Biblical standards are under attack by the “bastardized courts” of Canada, where activists who claim they have “hurt feelings” are demanding – and getting – penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle, according to a family organization.
The description of the courts, also known as the provincial and national Human Rights Commissions, comes from the Canada Family Action Coalition, which has addressed the problem in an alert to its constituents, and warns the United States is not that far from having similar assaults on traditional family values.
“It has become apparent in the past month how badly the acts are written and how they are being misused to violate the rights of Canadians,” the organization said.
“We today have a major national magazine, a federal political party leader and a registered political party, a major Catholic newspaper (Catholic Insight) and an internationally renowned journalist all of whom are being investigated by appointed ‘hate speech therapists’ from the commissions,” the group said.
The journalist is Mark Steyn, according to CFAC spokesman Brian Rushfeldt, and the newest case involves Canada’s national Catholic magazine of news, opinion and analysis.
The publication has been told it is being targeted by a complaint from Edmonton resident Rob Wells, who alleges the publication has offended homosexuals.
The magazine’s editor, Father Alphonse de Valk, dismissed the complaint as unfounded, and said his publication follows the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.
In a typically democratic form of government, basic rights such as freedom of speech, opinion and the press would answer for such concerns, but in Canada, under the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Commissions, the result is anyone’s guess, Rushfeldt told WND.
The first problem is that the laws setting up the commissions note that if something “indicates discrimination” and “is likely to expose to hatred or contempt” there is a basis for action. But that leaves the determination on what “indicates discrimination” or “is likely to expose to hatred” up to the officials appointed to the commission panels, he said.
The laws also often are interpreted by those who have no training in the law, and the commissions are not bound by the rules of law when they make their decisions, he added.
Catholic Insight reported that Wells’ attack on the publication is not his first. In 2006 he tried to close down several websites including concernedchristians.ca because of their Christian content, and he targeted Ron Gray and the Christian Heritage party because the political entity posted articles “motivated by hate” of homosexuals.
Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary, the Knights of Columbus in Vancouver, Maclean’s magazine and its editor and Steyn also have been targeted, mostly for their writings regarding homosexuality, or the influence of Islam.
Alan Borovoy, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, told the magazine he never imagined human rights commissions would ultimately be used against freedom of speech, because they were launched in an effort to eliminate discrimination in pay and housing.
But after “sexual orientation” was added as a protected class, the tribunals have been exploited in pursuit of a ban on anything or anyone with less than a full endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle choice.
“The majority of the complaints have been related to homosexuals claiming that they’ve been offended, that hate is being propagated against them. The majority being targeted are religious sectors of society,” Rushfeldt said.
He cited Alberta’s provincial requirement as an example. That law requires that, “No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published, issued or displayed before the public any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that (a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a class of persons, or (b) is likely to expose a person or a class of persons to hatred or contempt bcause of the race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income or family status of that person or class of persons.”
“You see if my feelings are hurt and I feel discriminated against due to my ‘religious orientation’ then surely I must have a right and entitlement to have an appointed group of people in the Human Rights Commission at taxpayers’ expense, intervene and force the activist to pay me compensation for my feelings. This is really not bullying is it? Or is it more like extortion?” said a commentary by the Family Action organization.
“How can I prove my feeling are hurt? I don’t need to prove it. I just say it is so and it is so. Do I need to provide truth? No, not under the functions of the Human Rights Act. … Section 3(1) states that if something ‘indicates discrimination’ and ‘is likely to expose to hatred or contempt’ is a basis for action.”
Worse yet, the commentary noted, the tribunals may make their own rules and regulations, based on the statutory provision that “the panel is not bound by the rules of law respecting evidence in judicial proceedings.”
Further, the law says, “No member of the Commission, nor the director of the Commission or any other employee mentioned in section 18, shall be required by any court to give evidence relative to information obtained for the purposes of this Act.”
And, “No proceeding under this Act shall be deemed invalid by reason of any defect in form or any technical irregularity.”
“The panel (in essence one person perhaps, who is not trained as a judge) can violate the laws respecting evidence and make their own laws in violation of our Charter. That is frightening at any time,” the group said.
How could it all apply to the United States? Simple, said Rushfeldt. The “hate crimes” plan that was proposed in Congress could serve as that “one crack” in the wall that would allow such procedures in.
CFAC, which seeks a restoration of Judeo-Christian moral principles in Canada, said the plan advocates tried to “sneak in” by attaching it to a defense appropriations bill recently “was on the verge of some of this kind of stuff.”
Rushfeldt said the plan aligned with what now is going on in Canada, even to the point of making people liable for actions by second parties. In Alberta, a man recently was convicted by a Human Rights Commission after writing a letter to the editor opposing homosexuality.
The HRC decision legally linked that writing to an alleged assault on a homosexual two weeks later, even though the attacker never has been arrested or charged.
The Family Research Council has noted the fine print of the U.S. plan would allow the same thing:
“Those who can be found culpable have also been expanded to include not only those who commit the crime but those who may have unknowingly ‘inspired’ those actions. For example, a pastor can be considered legally culpable if he preaches against the homosexual agenda and a member of his congregation subsequently commits a crime against a homosexual. Thus, the act against the homosexual is considered a crime, as it should be, but so also is the thought against the agenda or conduct,” the organization said.
That particular plan has been cited among the top seven acts of Christian-bashing for the year 2007.
Said the Christian Anti-Defamation Coalition, “The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for ‘thought crime,’ which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful.”
The actual U.S. plan was an amendment to the spending bill, but was stripped out and that delayed at least for now the application of such punishments, before the bill was sent to President Bush.
Michael Marcavage, of Repent America, says his organization has members who were jailed for proclaiming their Christian beliefs on public streets in Philadelphia, because of state regulations similar to the federal proposal.
“It’s extraordinarily important that it has been removed from the defense reauthorization bill,” he told WND. “But we know that the homosexual lobby is extraordinarily aggressive when it comes to obtaining special protections. That’s exactly what this is.”
“We must be very vigilant as to what their next move is going to be. They’re not going to go away,” he said.
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