Sexuality

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.…” – Ephesians 5:3

Sexuality is a gift from God, to be used for His glory. Of all gifts, perhaps this one has been the most misused and perverted since the Fall into sin. This is apparent in the way that our Parliament and courts have dealt with sexuality as well. We have an obligation to show the world what a blessing sexuality can be when it is used in conformity with God’s intentions – lovingly between one man and one woman who are committed to each other for life in marriage.

Featured: ARPA policy report on prostitution (sent to all MPs and Senators).

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14 Jul 2014 Prostitution and the Media Silence

The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has been listening to witnesses this week (July 7-11, 2014) as it relates to Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Person’s Act. The media has been reporting on the hearings, but the coverage has not been all that balanced. Just as we saw with the Bedford v. Canada court case where only Ms. Bedford and other privileged prostitutes had their voice heard in court, it seems the media wants to undermine the voices of those who worked in the industry but...

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02 Jul 2014 Report Card: Assessing Canada’s Conservative Government

The following article, "Report Card: Assessing Canada's Conservative Government on 10 Key Issues" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been updated and included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. By Mark Penninga (Updated July, 2014) In a June 2011 article for Reformed Perspective I detailed 10 realistic goals that could be accomplished for our nation under this Conservative government if our leaders have the courage to lead and if citizens give them the encouragement and accountability to do so. Now that we are about halfway through this government’s mandate, how are we faring on these issues? 1. Give Aboriginals the responsibility and hope that belongs to all Canadians Grade: B+ Not long after ARPA published a policy report on this issue in 2012, we were very encouraged to see the federal government announce a number of bills and policies to increase accountability, equality, and opportunity for Canada's Aboriginal peoples. In June 2013, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act became law. Aboriginal MP Rob Clarke has also introduced a private member's bill C-428 entitled the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act. And the government has also taken steps towards allowing private property ownership on reserves and increasing parental responsibility in education. As encouraging as these changes are, they are small steps in light of the enormity of the problem. And given that the issue crosses into provincial responsibility, much more can also be done in having the provinces and federal government work towards a common vision. 2. Reform the Canadian Human Rights Commission Grade: C- In light of all the opposition from all sides of the political spectrum to problematic sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is striking that it took a private member's bill (Brian Storseth's C-304) to finally abolish Section 13 in the summer of 2013. This was a huge victory, but the current government can't take much credit for it, apart from not actively opposing it. Much more can be done to reform or even abolish the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
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13 Jun 2014 ARPA in Vancouver Sun: All lawyers abide by religious covenant

Mark Penninga, Vancouver Sun, June 12, 2014: A strong majority of the B.C. lawyers who voted Wednesday made it clear Trinity Western University's law school grads should not be recognized by the Law Society of B.C. because of the school's Community Covenant. This vote should make our province pause and consider what this means for the broader institution of law and order. If pledging to uphold a Christian understanding of sexuality or marriage makes one unworthy of practicing law, then all lawyers should be unworthy of practicing law because they have also bound themselves to a community covenant which is based on religious convictions and principles. To practice law, lawyers must take the barristers and solicitors' oath. In British Columbia, they swear to diligently, faithfully, and to the best of their ability "uphold the rule of law and the rights and freedoms of all persons according to the laws of Canada and the province of British Columbia."
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05 Jun 2014 Prostitution law tabled, and you helped shape it!

*Update: the mainstream media is sharing many of the talking points we use on this issue as well. Check out excellent commentary from Calgary Herald, National Post, Globe & Mail, and The Catholic Register. As many ARPA readers know, the issue of prostitution has been a big one on our policy plate for the past few years. In the fall of 2011, ARPA Canada published its first Respectfully Submitted report on this issue, calling on the federal government to give serious consideration to rewriting our laws on prostitution to pre-empt the Supreme Court from striking down our current laws. The government did not act at that time, and the Supreme Court, in December 2013, did strike down our prostitution laws as we predicted. Thankfully, the Court gave Parliament one year to draft new laws. Today, they tabled the draft law titled, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The preamble sets the tone of the document and is quite impressive. It's worth reproducing here. Note how it doesn't shy away from the public harm that prostitution is and how the commercialization of prostitution is so detrimental:
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05 Jun 2014 A biblical response to transgenderism

Update: We have posted links to a 5-part series from the Gospel Coalition on this issue below as well as a link to a detailed medical/phychiatric analysis from world-renowned physciatrist. Just click Read More and scroll to the bottom of the article. The issue of transgenderism is all over the mainstream news these days. The issue is a very emotionally sensitive issue, and a politically sensitive issue as well (to say the least). Yet we know that God has designed gender a certain way (that is, gender and sexual identity are binary for He created us male and female). Since we know this truth, Christians ought to have something to say about the modern phenomenon of gender fluidity. We've talked about the issue from a public policy perspective already a couple years ago. You can see our video explaining our position here. You can also read Senator Plett's speech in the Senate urging caution on moving forward with a gender identity affirming bill. For a refreshingly common sense approach to the issue, check out this frank commentay here. And for a well thought out Biblical response to the issue and how the church should respond, check out this link here as well as this resolution here, (or rather, 18 resolutions) which one of the largest Christian denominations in the world will consider in the first half of June, 2014. Hopefully the resolutions will be adopted and the Biblical truths and the freedom that come from it will be upheld.   Photo credit
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20 Feb 2014 Take Action! Prostitution consultation by government of Canada

On December 20, 2013, in the case of Bedford v. Attorney General of Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada found three Criminal Code prostitution offences to be unconstitutional and of no force or effect. This decision gives Parliament one year to respond with a new law before the judgment takes effect. The government is now asking for feedback from you. Here is your chance to help shape a very important law for the better. What a practical and far-reaching way to honour the command to love your neighbour as yourself! The link for the government feedback survey is right here (just click on the consultations tab). Before filling it out, it might be a good idea to review the next few paragraphs. What follows is a basic summary of what our law currently says, what the Supreme Court said about these laws, and what other options there are in dealing with this issue. Then we’ve listed ARPA’s own talking points on the issue. Consider using these when filling out the survey.
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03 Feb 2014 Group Says Human Trafficking Investigations Invade Sex Workers Privacy

The Ottawa Citizen recently reported that a group that advocates for sex workers in Ottawa complained that investigations into human trafficking are an invasion of privacy of sex workers (read the Ottawa Citizen article here). On January 22 and 23, twenty-six police service agencies across Canada interviewed more than 330 women in 30 communities to determine the presence of human trafficking and to ensure that those who were not there willingly had the freedom to get out of a dangerous situation. A group that advocates for some sex workers in...

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20 Dec 2013 Breaking News: Supreme Court declares prostitution laws unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Canada has just declared that the prostitution laws in Canada are unconstitutional. A saving grace in the ruling however is that they have suspended their declaration of invalidity by one year, meaning that the current law remains valid until December of next year, giving our federal government time to rewrite the law. ARPA's legal counsel was able to comment on the decision with CTV news this morning. Check out this link to watch the 6 minute interview (video appears on the right side of the page)....

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17 Dec 2013 Proposed Christian law school clears major hurdle

We are happy and thankful to report that Trinity Western University (TWU) has cleared a major hurdle on its quest for a Christian law school. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave preliminary approval to the university's proposed law school. All that's left now is approval from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education. TWU has been working on creating a Christian law school, the first in Canada, for quite some time. There has been incredible pushback however, especially from anti-Christian lawyers. In fact, even if TWU's law school is...

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31 Aug 2013 The State Under the Sheets

By Mark Penninga (www.ARPACanada.ca): "There's no place for the State in the bedrooms of the nation" Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau quipped upon introducing legislation in 1967. His omnibus bill would decriminalize homosexual acts done in private, and make a swath of other revolutionary Criminal Code changes. Not quite so well known are the words he uttered next: "when it becomes public this is a different matter, or when it relates to minors this is a different matter." Fast forward 46 years and we find today a State that has never been so interested in and engrossed by the bedrooms of the nation. Political parties, government officials, and civil servants of all stripes are tripping over each other in their zeal to align themselves with those who identify themselves by not being heterosexual. The political fascination with all things LGBTQ reaches a feverish pitch every summer as politicians march down Canadian streets alongside scantily clad activists (if clad at all). The mainstream media is sure to capture every angle. Viewers are treated to the smiling faces of the likes of Mr. Thomas Mulcair surrounded by his orange team, with signs that brag the NDP is "erecting a better Canada." Not to be outdone, the city of Vancouver said it was well worth the $25,000 cost to taxpayers to paint a permanent rainbow crosswalk for Pride week. Imagine the fury if the state paid to paint a crosswalk praising heterosexuality. The human rights commission would be on hand passing out complaint forms.
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