Jonathan Bradley is a journalist and student at Ryerson University and until recently, was a journalist with the Eyeopener, the campus newspaper. On June 9, 2020, Eyeopener editor-in-chief emailed Mr. Bradley to tell him that the Eyeopener was terminating him as a writer. He was told that his termination was based on screenshots of a conversation on social media in which Mr. Bradley shared the Bible's views on sexuality. She said that while Mr. Bradley was entitled to his opinion, the fact that he shared it would make “members of our community” “no longer feel safe if you are associated with the publication.” Prior to his termination, Mr. Bradley had noticed an increased intolerance within the Eyeopener , including sharing anti-Semitic views. So, in some ways, it was unsurprising to him that he would be terminated on the basis of his religious views. On Mr. Bradley's behalf, Ms. Crosson filed a human rights complaint claiming that he has been discriminated against in the area of employment on the basis of his creed. No individual should have to face discrimination because of their religious views. Individuals in a free society have the right to share their beliefs openly without fear that sharing Biblical views will result in punishment.
Jonathan Bradley’s human rights claim has prompted a lot of media, with everyone from Conrad Black, Barbara Kay, Tyler Dawson, and Lindsay Shepherd writing on the case.
Why is the case so controversial and newsworthy? It may be because it's difficult for Canadians to imagine that a private conversation in which one individual shares Bible verses could possible result in a job termination.
The law, both constitutional and human rights law, protects discrimination and penalty on the basis of religious belief. It is also difficult for Canadians to imagine that, in the name of “tolerance," an individual should be punished for sharing passages from the Holy text on which their conscience relies. Freedom slices both way: if we want others to tolerate our opinion and beliefs, we should tolerate theirs.
It is precisely these kind of cases that the Advocate supports. Read more about this case in the media.