On February 2, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at a public town hall in Nanaimo, British Columbia. In a session dense with Trudeau’s approval of the the Kinder Morgan pipeline during the final town hall meeting of his cross-country tour. Although three protesters were physically removed by the police after refusing to proceed in an orderly manner, the meeting proceeded as planned.
In addition to the disruption of Trudeau’s session by protesters, yet another catastrophe occurred on February 2nd. One questioner from the World Mission Society Church of God, a restorationist sect of Christianity established in South Korea in the late 20th century, urged Trudeau to examine the presently rigorous legislation involving the ability of charitable religious organizations to freely volunteer.
Currently, eligibility for qualifying a religious charitable organization as a non-profit organization in Canada includes having one’s organization or denomination “teach the religious tenants, doctrines, practices, or culture associated with a specific faith or religion. The religious beliefs or practices must not be subversive or immoral.” Of course, such a requirement places the Canadian government in the awkward situation of having to federally define specific religious and cultural beliefs as immoral.
The following excerpt follows the young woman in question as she began her rather illustrious question beseeching the Prime Minister to consider loosening the restrictions for religious charitable organizations to qualify as non-profit. To see the full hour-and-a-half video recording the town hall event, click here.
Questioner: “So, Mr. Trudea, we thank you for coming to our city today and sharing [your] knowledge of what’s going to happen in our country. One thing I wanted to give you thanks for was how you recently filled the seats of your cabinet with female leaders. We believe that you’ve done this because you realize the ability and power that women actually possess and the reason why women possess this kind of power is not because they are authoritative, but it’s actually because they hold something called maternal love.”
Questioner: “Maternal love, scientifically known as mitochondria or Oxycontin, is the necessity that sustains life in our global village. And actually, this kind of love is a kind of love that puts others ahead of themselves, like a mother cares for her children. If the economy is filled with women, our society will truly develop beautifully, and that’s honestly what every country needs. Until this moment in time, our world has not actually seen this kind of equality, so I give you thanks for allowing our nation to take place in this movement. It’s very important. Our world today is deteriorating in love. There are more wars going on, more hatred going on, even churches are deteriorating. But I just want to let you know one aspect – we are actually from the World Mission Society Church of God – and the reason why, actually, our church is different and is growing is actually because we have the female aspect of God, which is God the Mother, actually. The whole world only knows about God the Father, but in the Bible, they’re actually…”
At this point in the session, Trudeau appears visually bothered, and shifts while taking a drink of water.
Trudeau: “Hang on, do you have a question?”
Questioner: “I do. I absolutely do.”
Questioner: “My question is about volunteering. So, the World Mission Society Church of God is truly growing and changing society through our volunteer work. We have received the Queen’s Award in the UK… [and] have received many awards throughout the whole word; however, unfortunately in Canada, our volunteering as a charitable religious organization is extremely difficult. Extremely. That’s why, in actuality, we cannot do free volunteering to help our neighbors in need as we truly desire. So, that’s why we came here today to ask you, to also look into the policies that religious charitable organizations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed, because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind…”
Trudeau: “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind, because it’s more inclusive.”
At this point, the crowd cheers, and the questioner herself applauds Trudeau for his incredibly inclusive language.
Is this real life? Did the political head of a first-world country ‘correct’ the historical usage of the word mankind? This act of verbal control, dictating the speech of others to align with one’s moral or social worldview. Words are the medium we use to convey meaning and ideas, so naturally, if the medium a society uses to convey meaning is limited in some way, so is the ability to freely exchange ideas.