National Post: Conrad Black: 'No, your eyes do not deceive you. This peppy, multi-disciplinary and very opinionated panel clearly wishes to disqualify Roman Catholics from serving as chaplains in the CAF, although they represent the largest religious denomination in Canada (representing almost 40 per cent of the population), including the sectarian identification of seven of Canada’s last nine prime ministers — i.e., the democratically chosen leaders of the organization that funds and commands the Armed Forces and is responsible for governing the country that it is the purpose of the Armed Forces to defend. The panel also considers various other Christian sects that are represented in the current chaplaincy of the Armed Forces to be unacceptable. In its holy crusade against systemic discrimination, this panel has taken it upon itself to decide what clergy members of the Armed Forces may consult, and apparently feel entitled to judge what theology it is acceptable for members of the Armed Forces to be exposed to.
'The report reassures us that the panel “does not seek to evaluate or categorize these religions in this report. Rather it is pointing out that the Defence Team cannot consider itself supportive of inclusivity when it employs as chaplains members of organizations whose values are not consistent with National Defence’s ethics and values.” And in its recommendations, the panel urges the rejection of “chaplaincy applicants affiliated with religious groups whose values are not aligned with those of the Defence Team.”
'It is undoubtedly appropriate for the Canadian Armed Forces, especially given the recent actions of some of its senior officers, to consider any changes that might be useful to eliminate harmful discrimination and generally to make the ambience of the Armed Forces as contented a workplace as it reasonably can be. But the idea that it has any standing to determine which of the world’s Christian and other religious denominations are adequately inclusive suggests that what is required is less focus on inclusivity and a more rigorous administration of tests of the basic intelligence and psychiatric wellness of the Defence Ministry’s advisory panel. More precisely: are these people mad? ...'