Comment 104227

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted August 29, 2014 at 19:30:22 in reply to Comment 104220

it isn't always greed driving things.

I certainly agree that there are other issues at play here rather than greed. Indeed, it is rather refreshing to see a clash of values in which personal financial gain is not one of them.

For churches in general, those values include the Gospel imperatives of caring for people who are poor, sick, homeless, refugees, prisoners or otherwise marginalized. They include the worship of God and bringing forgiveness and healing into people’s broken and messed-up lives.

These values do not include the preservation of historic structures. Indeed, the most important of historic structures to Jesus would have been the Temple in Jerusalem where he taught daily as a rabbi. And yet he condemned it to destruction. “Not one stone will be left upon another.”

Which, of course, is where the conflict with the City government comes into existence. Unlike the church, the government’s values do include the preservation of heritage buildings. I note that in Quebec, the government provides generous heritage preservation grants to churches. I was rather astonished when I first saw one of their signs on the scaffolding of a church restoration project in Montreal, complete with the government slogan, “Our religious heritage: A sacred trust.”

Alas, we live in Ontario. This forms the core of Helen’s freedom of religion argument: the government should not dictate to churches that they use their resources in ways that are incompatible with their religious beliefs.

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