Friday, October 05, 2012

Canada fires all prison chaplains … except Christians

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Vic Toews (Public Safety Minister of Canada)
Min. Vic Toews

You know, I really don’t think I care much for Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, given that the only times he came to my attention over the last year were when he excused the use of fundamentally flawed information gained through torture in certain circumstances and compared defenders of people’s right to privacy to “child pornographers” in his attempt to garner support for his Internet snooping bill. And now, it seems he may be a tad logically challenged to boot, as indicated in this report about how he’s firing all prison chaplains … who aren’t Christian:

The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.

Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.


Toews said he wasn't convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.

In an email to CBC News, Toews' office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.

One can imagine what would happen if it’s the Christian chaplains who’d been let go, thus forcing Christian inmates to resort to Muslim and Hindu counselors. Something tells me there’d be a lot more fuss than is expected with this present move.

But better yet, here’s how he rationalizes these pointless cuts:

"The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states. “However, the government … is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding. The minister has concluded … [Christian] chaplains employed by Corrections Canada must provide services to inmates of all faiths."

So, he’s upholding the government’s commitment to secularism … by imposing a Christians-only rule for government-employed religious penitentiary counselors.

How the hell does that work?

(via Pharyngula)