McGuinty's Pledge of $3M to
The end doesn't justify the means: McKeever
April 29, 2006, Toronto - Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever is today objecting to the McGuinty government's decision to give the taxpayer's money to religious organizations. McGuinty today announced a three million dollar contribution by the Ontario government to a "Down with Guns" program being administered by a partnership of The Coalition of Christian Leaders and the Toronto Community Foundation.
"The usefulness, or effectiveness, or righteousness of a religious group's activities is of no relevance to the issue of whether government should take money from Ontarians and give it to religious organizations", says McKeever. "The end does not justify the means, no matter what the end is.
"We live in a democracy. The defining characteristic of a democracy is the idea that the government is the hand not of any supernatural being, but of the governed; that the conduct of government is not authorized by a god, but is rather justified by the practical and ethical necessity of ensuring that consent, rather than coercion, is the rule governing human interaction.
"Democracy necessarily implies a separation of government not from morality, but from religion, religious organizations, and mysticism generally. Democracy implies a government whose actions are determined by reality and rationality, rather than by superstition or by a belief in that for which there is no physical evidence. The government's consolidated revenue fund, in a democracy, is not a collection basket for religious organizations, no matter how good or evil may be their activities.
"The problem here is not that money is being provided to a Christian organization, but not to Jewish, Muslim, and other religious organizations. Providing comparable funding to non-Christian religious groups would not somehow remedy the wrong involved in funding a Christian religious organization with tax revenues. This isn't an issue of fairness. As abstract and irrelevant as it might sound to some, the issue here is democracy itself.
"Arguments that the government already finances religion with tax breaks and the like are not lost on me. To that argument I can only say that many wrongs do not make a right.
"What, incidentally, are the implications of this decision for the McGuinty government? Is Mr. McGuinty going to continue his opposition to faith-based schools, or is he going to join the Progressive Conservatives in their panderings to implicitly theocratic sentiments? Is he now going to reverse his decision concerning faith-based marital arbitration? Or does he consider democracy to be an airy-fairy, abstract and irrelevant concept when it comes to those issues too?"
This media release distributed to Ontario's major news media and to Ontario's MPPs.