In early July, Bill C-38, the government bill leggally permitting same-sex partners to “marry” in civil ceremonies, was debated in the Canadian Senate. For one senator, the debate became a theological question: what would Jesus do?
“As a Christian, I often ask myself: ‘What would Jesus do?’” Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, a New Brunswick Liberal, commented. “In this case, in this time, I believe he would say, ‘Yes.’”
Many religious leaders and clergymen have been outraged by these comments. Fr. Alphonse deValk, c.s.b., editor of Catholic Insight magazine, stated, “That is utter nonsense. Jesus Christ would do no such thing.” Fr. Paul Nicholson, a pastor at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic church in Listowel, Ont., responded along similar lines: Her comments “are a terrible miscalculation that shows her political naivete and her ignorance of orthodox Christianity,” he said.
Bruce Clemenger of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada commented in an interview with The Interim that, “Jesus is quite clear in his own words when discussing marriage. God created man male and female, man and woman, and that the two of them should become one flesh. Jesus would say that same-sex ‘marriage’ is contrary to the very way that God created us and the way that God intended for us to live. Christ rooted himself in our creation at the hand of his Father.”
Interim columnist Rev. Royal Hamel, ordained with the Christian Missionary Church, said when he heard Trenholme Counsell’s argument, he was both astonished and incredulous. “Jesus affirmed marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” in Matthew 19:4-5, he said.