Minister pans Steinbach's anti-bullying opposition

A United Church Minister in Winnipeg says he's not impressed with Steinbach's resistance to Manitoba's new anti-bullying bill.

Winnipeg minister who is also a professor says opposition to Bill 18 not faith-based

A movement has grown in Steinbach, Man. to stop Bill 18, the province's new anti-bullying legislation. (CBC)

A United Church Minister in Winnipeg says he’s not impressed with Steinbach's resistance to Manitoba’s new anti-bullying bill.

Steinbach’s city council recently passed a motion to ask the provincial government to exempt faith-based schools from Bill 18, the province’s new anti-bullying legislation.

The bill requires schools to set up gay-straight alliance clubs if requested by a student.

The request came after a number of schools in Steinbach said the bill infringed on their religious beliefs.

A minister in Steinbach, the town’s city council and MP Vic Toews all spoke out against the bill and said it violated their religious freedom.

Now, a minister and University of Winnipeg theology professor is speaking out against faith-based opposition to the bill.

Rev. Dr. James Christie directs the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy at the U of W. He said opposition to the legislation is not about religious freedom.

"It’s essentially about control — societal control — and that is clearly not a gospel value, and it is not something the Christian leadership quite frankly ought to ever promote," said Christie.

Christie said faith should not be so fragile that it could be shaken by teens who want to form a club at school.