Mr. Jim Hillyer (Lethbridge, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, when Prime Minister Diefenbaker introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, he said, “I am a Canadian…free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way…”.
We believe this freedom to worship or not to worship as one sees fit as fundamental and that supporting it will support all other rights and freedoms.
We understand that religious freedom requires a separation of church and state, but this does not mean that we must separate ourselves from God.
Freedom of religion does not mean public spaces and public discourse must be free from religious expression. We should not, in the name of tolerance, become completely intolerant of public worship in any form.
History has shown that societies that protect religious freedoms are those societies that prosper and enjoy all other fundamental freedoms. That is why we are committed to the office of religious freedom as part of our commitment to stand up for freedom at home and all around the world.