Prior to expressing a concern please read and carefully consider the following:
Bus Stop Bible Studies welcomes feedback from the public. If you have a practical concern please do contact us.
Note: Comments sent which include any form of profanity are digitally screened and automatically deleted without being read.
Canada is a democracy with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter reads in part: Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion [that is freedom of – not freedom from]; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;…”. The right to post ‘advocacy advertising’ on any of Canada’s public transit companies was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2009. A copy of the ruling may be found here.
Bus Stop Bible Studies mandate is to display messages of hope and encouragement, to educate individuals about the Christian faith and encourage people to seek a personal and vibrant relationship with God. While the Bible clearly demonstrates that some will be offended by the gospel message (gospel means ‘good news’) this is not the objective of this ministry.
Please consider, is your concern with the principle of religious advertising or concerning a specific message or display? If the concern is regarding a specific message please provide as much reference detail as possible and the message in question will be thoroughly reviewed and evaluated.
Canada is a nation founded of Christian principles and Judaeo-Christian law. Indeed, the very first words written in the Canadian Charter are, “Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God:” According to Statistics Canada persons who identified themselves as specifically atheist or agnostic were 0.11% and 0.14% respectively. In the same census report 67% identified themselves as being Christian and 24% identified themselves as having no religious affiliation without expressing a belief in God one way or the other.
The Supreme Court has defined ‘The essence of the concept of the freedom of religion is: the right to declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal; and the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination.’ No one has the right not to be offended.
Secularism is not the realm of unbelief. In 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada (Chamberlain v. Surrey School District No. 36) clearly agreed that “secular principles” must include—and not exclude—religious believers, because the secular is the realm of competing belief systems and atheism and agnosticism are belief systems. Justice Gonthier wrote 137 Re: assumption that “secular” effectively meant “non‐religious”. This is incorrect since nothing in the Charter, political or democratic theory, or a proper understanding of pluralism demands that atheistically based moral positions trump religiously based moral positions on matters of public policy. I note that the preamble to the Charter itself establishes that “. . . Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”. According to the reasoning espoused by Saunders J., if one’s moral view manifests from a religiously grounded faith, it is not to be heard in the public square, but if it does not, then it is publicly acceptable. The problem with this approach is that everyone has “belief” or “faith” in something, be it atheistic, agnostic or religious. To construe the “secular” as the realm of the “unbelief” is therefore erroneous. Given this, why, then, should the religiously informed conscience be placed at a public disadvantage or disqualification? To do so would be to distort liberal principles in an illiberal fashion and would provide only a feeble notion of pluralism. The key is that people will disagree about important issues, and such disagreement, where it does not imperil community living, must be capable of being accommodated at the core of a modern pluralism.”
There are the variety of ways in which you can contact Bus Stop Bible Studies:
Bus Stop Bible Studies
Box 364 - 1920 Ellesmere Road
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (416) 234-0555
Toll-free: 1-888-4-BUS-STOP (1-888-428-7786)
Fax: (416) 234-0555