Religious bigotry won’t solve the Canadian military’s discrimination problem


In an article published today in The Globe and Mail titled, “Religious bigotry won’t solve the Canadian military’s discrimination problem,” RFI Senior Fellow Andrew Bennett argues:

Eliminating sexism, racism and other social evils from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is a laudable goal. But sadly, the National Defence Advisory Panel on Systemic Racism and Discrimination has recommended an approach that appears to be based in religious bigotry: a theological cleansing of the military’s chaplaincy from some faiths.

Bringing to a fine point the implications of such a recommendation, Bennett writes:

[T]he panel recommends the CAF no longer employ chaplains from faith communities that don’t accept same-sex marriage, distinguish different leadership roles for men and women, or reject polytheism. In short, the panel seems to want to fire Christian chaplains from Catholic, Orthodox and most Protestant backgrounds, as well as many Muslim imams and Jewish rabbis.

Bennett highlights a number of moral and practical reasons that the advisory panel’s recommendations are objectionable and unworkable. “[I]n the name of inclusion and diversity,” observes Bennett, “[the advisory panel] simply declared some groups worthy of exclusion.”

“Yes, racism, sexism and other forms of extremism have no place in Canada’s military,” Bennett concludes, “But we won’t win that battle by wielding bigotry.”

Read the full article: “Religious bigotry won’t solve the Canadian military’s discrimination problem.”