Letter: It is time to uphold diversity, not lessen it

Editor: In reply to my letter, Saddened by Friday’s Supreme Court decision, Roland Bottiglieri suggests “TWU should just get rid of its covenant.”

He asks, “I’m not entirely sure what form of diversity that Matt Etherington fears will be missed in Canada.”

Free discussion and debate over ideas related to life, liberty, marriage and other worthy topics is a wonderful thing.

Such freedoms are to be cherished, to be defended, but we take such freedoms for granted.

Diversity of thought is not guaranteed unless we all support such diversity, and if we do not, we will all lose this freedom. This is the type of diversity I am talking about; the toleration of other views about life that are central to someone’s identity — in this case, one’s religious identity.

I believe in progress but a progressive decision in this case would have defended the rights and freedoms of both identities to coexist freely together in the public market place.

In truth, the boundary between public and private life is artificial.

The narrative of two identities in conflict with one other is a false one — that is, it should be a false conflict. A free civil society should invite all identities e.g, secular, religious, sexual, cultural etc., to share together a public life in peace, respect and acceptance.

One of my favorite philosophers, Voltaire, when defending the importance of freedom and tolerance is purported to have said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Of course, disagree — in fact, this is how people learn viewpoints other than their own, but please defend the freedom for all people to think differently about important life matters. After all, the world is becoming more diverse, not less. It is time to uphold diversity, not lessen it

Matt Etherington,

Walnut Grove

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