Canada Court Rules against Religious Liberty

Susan Comstock asked that she be able to divert her union dues because of the union’s advocacy of homosexual marriage. She’s now been turned down at the third level, the Federal Court of Appeal.

She sought accommodation under a provision that exists for those who have religious objections to unions. She’s in a bind, however, because of the Catholic Church’s long record of unquestioning support of labor unions.

In hopes of strengthening her argument, Comstock had argued she should be able to divert her dues as a result of a collective agreement provision allowing union members to give their union dues to charity when they are members of a religious organization “whose doctrine prevents him or her as a matter of conscience from making financial contributions to an employee organization.”

The Federal Court, however, said that the Catholic Church does not oppose unions as a matter of practice and that, in fact, it has recognized the value of collectivities.

The court reasoned that if you’re part of a church that supports unions, you can’t divert your dues just because you disagree with one of its political stands.

This bears out the wisdom of those churches, like the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has consistently opposed unions and seen them as a threat to religious liberty.

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