“What qualifies as progressive liberalism is not at every point clear, and the ecumenical consensus is therefore a product of ongoing reality negotiation.  Thus, the major churches have unanimously opposed the legalization of Sunday shopping ostensibly on the ground that workers deserve a guaranteed weekly respite, not, at least explicitly, because they wanted to salvage a traditional religious meaning for Sunday as the Lord’s Day.  Likewise, they have denounced pornography and advocated limited state censorship, again not presumably out of a puritanical religious motive, but for the sake of correcting the negative images of women and sexuality to which pornography is thought to give rise.  In both cases, the churches seemed untroubled by the suppression of individual liberties that would potentially follow for Canadians (for example, non-Christians, non-believers, hedonists) who may not share their views.”

“The progressive  liberalism of the ecumenical consensus is under-girded, if only in a quite fuzzy sense, by the principle of compassion for the underdog.  Thus, over the past several years the churches have spoken out loudly and in unison on a plethora of other issues such as capital punishment, free trade, nuclear disarmament, American involvement in Central America, Canada’s immigration and refugee policies, the rights of native-Canadians, discrimination against women and ethnic minorities, and apartheid.  In all of these cases, they have attempted to sway public opinion and influence governmental policy by virtue of their institutional religious authority.”