The proposal by the conservative faith-based think tank Cardus to lease and restore the historic Balfour house on the mountain brow has triggered opposition from Hamilton’s LGBTQ+ community. In an op-ed published in the Spectator Graham Crawford and Cameron Kroetsch object to Cardus’ views on contraception, homosexuality and poverty, writing; “If council and the city of Hamilton are truly committed to focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion, this proposal should give them serious pause, but so far it’s business as usual.”
There is no question Cardus exists to promote a conservative world view centered around religion. Many of Cardus’ views were mainstream 50 years ago but are no longer. But it is not illegal to hold views that have fallen out of fashion with the majority. The organization disseminates its views through peaceful and legal communication channels—online publications, research papers and seminars. No one is forced to consume Cardus teachings against their will.
The real test of the “equity, diversity and inclusion,” that Mssrs. Kroetsch and Crawford discuss in their article is our willingness to tolerate people who hold views that are different from our own. We cannot claim to have equity, diversity and inclusion if we only allow those who share our views to operate in the marketplace of ideas. To reject the Cardus sub-lease proposal because of their views is a form of discrimination and censorship. It has no place in a modern society that fancies itself as inclusive, but increasingly shows a disturbing trend towards intolerance and rigid conformity.