Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion policy is an example of “double truth” that can lead to oppression, says Douglas Farrow Register file photo.

Justin Trudeau’s ‘doctrine of double truth’

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  • November 5, 2014

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion policy is an example of the “doctrine of double truth” that leads to oppression, said McGill University Professor Douglas Farrow. 

In an Oct. 29 lecture, the Professor of Christian Thought pointed out how Trudeau has declared “the truth taught by the Catholic Church via his father is one thing, and the truth to which he and his caucus colleagues hold and must adhere is another.” 

Trudeau has been quoted in various places, describing his upbringing as “very religious, very Catholic,” and that he held his Catholic views strongly, Farrow said as part of the Creor Lecture Series on Religion, Secularity, Toleration at the McGill campus in Montreal. 

Yet at the same time, Trudeau will force his caucus to “stand up for a woman’s right to choose,” and that MPs in caucus will vote to “protect women’s rights” regarding abortion, Farrow said. 

Farrow contrasted Trudeau’s views with those of his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who recognized abortion involved the killing of a fetus and had asserted while women had rights over their own bodies, abortion was the killing of “somebody else’s body.” 

Justin Trudeau’s views indicate “something can be fundamentally wrong according to sound religion, but fundamentally right according to sound politics,” he said. “Either truth is indeed a house divided against itself, or the realm of religion, of deeply held personal views, is not really the realm of truth or rationality at all.” 

Farrow contested the notion one can “with integrity hold privately what one denies publicly.” 

“I grant Justin Trudeau this: that he does not seem to be proposing truth be divided or multiplied in the public sphere such that contraries are affirmed and a vain attempt made to value all views equally,” he said. “He knows, or thinks he knows, what is right and what qualifies as a right, he knows or thinks he knows that there is a moral as well as a legal right to kill one’s baby, a right it would be wrong for the state not to defend. 

“It leaves me thinking he is rather confused, but politicians like judges are often confused, and sometimes have reasons for choosing to remain confused just like the rest of us,” the professor said. “We cannot leave the matter here, however, for this kind of confusion is inimical to human freedom or human flourishing. 

“Whether you say that all views should be valued equally except the view that all views should not be valued equally, or whether you simply bracket out religious or moral teaching whenever it contradicts your own view, the result is the same, truth is divided and conquered,” he said. “Falsehood prevails and not only falsehood but oppression.” 

The betrayal of truth and of conscience that goes with it will not only be demanded of politicians, he warned. It is demanded of doctors who either have to abort or refer for abortion; doctors who will be forced to euthanize or refer for euthanasia; hospital and hospice administrators who will also be forced to participate in euthanasia; doctors who are forced to prescribe contraception or abortifacients or perform surgeries they do not believe in; and teachers and homeschoolers who are forced to “promote in their classes modes of life they think are injurious or even immoral.” 

Even businesses are being forced to “conduct businesses in a manner uninformed by their deepest convictions,” he said. “It’s even demanded of clergy that they violate the faith they profess and teach.” 

“Freedom of conscience is everywhere under attack, including freedom of religion,” he said. 

“The Liberal Party of Canada under Justin Trudeau is far from the only place where this is so,” he said. 

Earlier civilizations “emphasized comprehensive truth without a comprehensive tolerance,” Farrow said. Our postmodern society emphasizes an all-encompassing tolerance “due to its lack of a comprehensive truth.” 

“All-encompassing tolerance means no tolerance of anyone with firm convictions that stands in the way of this so-called tolerance, which means especially anyone with firm convictions about moral truths, about good and evil, about right and wrong,” said Farrow. “No society can survive for long without shared moral convictions.” 

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