The Controversy of Religion and Sexuality in Canada
Essay Question 1
Religion and sexuality are among the most controversial topics in Canada. The country values diversity, including in Canadian churches. From the same perspective, religious traditions in Canada are not monolithic. Thus, views regarding sexuality in religion are as diverse as religious beliefs in Canada. Variability exists within the churches, such as “Dignity in the Roman Catholic church and Integrity in the Anglican Church” (Young 100). While most religions consider some sexualities, such as gayism, unacceptable, they also prohibit discrimination based on sexuality. Over 75% of Canadians identify as Christian, but they have other diverse segments within the major religion, including some sects that support members of sexual minorities. The reading indicates that while Christianity does not support sexual minorities, such as the LGBT Community, some disagree with their churches regarding sexual diversity.
Nonetheless, many churches, such as Catholics and protestants, esteem heterosexual marriage as the norm. However, just like diversity prevails within the Canadian culture, no single “Christian” opinion exists regarding sexuality. Unlike Christianity, which has diverse views regarding sexuality, Orthodox Judaism condemns gay and lesbian relationships. They use religious texts to prove that heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships are religious norms. Like Judaism, Hinduism values sex for procreation and does not give room for the discussion of sexual diversity. Although Hinduism is diverse, none of the sects supports sexual diversity and same-sex relationships. Since sex can get in the way of enlightenment in Buddhism, it should be practiced in a moral context. While sex should be for procreation, sexual relationships that do not have goals should be prohibited since they hinder enlightenment (Young 87). Christianity is the only religion in Canada that is so diverse that it accommodates sexual diversity.
Essay Question 2
Diversity is one of the essential elements of Canadian society. One of the things I have learned from the text is that Canadian society differs from the American society that strives to achieve cultural integration. I have learned that the cultural diversity idea in Canada emanates from the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other legislation, by Human Rights Commissions, and by policies on employment and pay equity” (Young 85). One of the areas which diversity applies is sexuality. The text reveals that views about sexuality are as diverse as other cultural aspects in other areas. Thus, although many Canadians are Christians, they have diverse views on sexuality. It is interesting to learn that some Christians have gone against their religious beliefs regarding sexuality. Thus, unlike other minority religions, such as Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, Christians are among the majority that supports same-sex relationships. What I found most striking, interesting, important, and useful in the course is the view of religion as non-discriminating. While religion does not support some forms of sexuality, such as homosexuality, they also protect people against discrimination. The Canadian Charter of Rights protects the rights of Canadians to live free of bias (Barkman 73). Regardless of religious views, Canadians should not discriminate against others, even based on sexuality. For instance, the lecture notes reveal the 1995 policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation and the promotion of sexual diversity. Besides, they indicate that cultural diversity reflects other forms of diversity, including religious diversity and sexual diversity. The reality explains the viability of beliefs about sexual diversity in Christianity.
Barkman, Adam. “Religion and Sexuality: Diversity and the Limits of Tolerance, edited by Pamela Dickey Young, Heather Shipley, and Tracy Trothen.” 2016, pp. 329-331.
Pamela Dickey, Chapter 4: Two by two: Religion, sexuality, and diversity in Canada.