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The Shadow falls across Canada … what does it mean for the ID community in the United States?

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Observing the ongoing collapse of civil liberties in Canada, Bill asked me,

As I recall, Judge Jones in his ruling used the word “disparage” in relation to Darwin and his theory, attempting to put pressure on those who might want to disparage Darwin in the public school context. How soon before it is illegal to disparage Darwin in the U.S.?

Re “disparage” as a cue word, Bill was thinking, of course, of a recent punishment handed out by the Alberta “human rights” commission – one of fourteen shadow tribunals – to a Christian pastor, who had spoken out against the gay lifestyle (more below).

The rapid advance of fascism with a “human” face in Canada only became common knowledge in the United States recently, when popular columnist Mark Steyn was dragged before the BC tribunal.

To bring you up to date swiftly on Canada’s tribunals, I will simply quote Rich Lowry’s “Mark Steyn: Enemy of the State” summary this morning:

The country is dotted with human-rights commissions. At first, they typically heard discrimination suits against businesses. But since that didn’t create much work, the commissions branched out into policing “hate” speech. Initially, they targeted neo-Nazis; then religious figures for their condemnations of homosexuality; and now Maclean’s and Steyn.

The new rallying cry is, “If I hate what you say, I’ll accuse you of hate.” The Canadian Islamic Council got the Human Rights Tribunal in British Columbia and the national Canadian Human Rights Commission (where proceedings are still pending) to agree to hear its complaint. It had to like its odds.

The national commission has never found anyone innocent in 31 years. It is set up for classic Alice-in-Wonderland “verdict first, trial later” justice. Canada’s Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.” The language is so capacious and vague that to be accused is tantamount to being found guilty.

And the remedies can be bizarre, as in this Alberta decision, “the most revolting order I have ever seen in Canada”, according to civil rights lawyer Ezra Levant. It includes, among many outrageous conditions imposed on an Alberta Christian pastor:

Boissoin can never — ever — communicate anything “disparaging” about gays. It’s a lifetime ban — and it applies to every conceivable medium, including his private e-mails.

Before I go on to answer Bill’s question about “disparagement” creep, I should mention that another large – and largely unknown – story is the credible accusations of wrongdoing against the federal Commission itself, such as Levant and others detail. (Yes, Levant has been charged too.)

Here is a summary he gave before the Canadian Association of Journalists’ meeting this year:

Please note that the original video was removed from YouTube earlier today because of defamation claims, so you may be exposing yourself to a risk if you view this. (You may be exposing yourself to the risk of stunting of the spirit if you don’t.) The new home for this video is here.

However , keep in mind that the Commissions operate without most of the legal constraints to which conventional courts are bound. They secure many more convictions that way. In sum, it is not clear that the activities Levant details in the video – howver outrageous – are even wrong.

When your rights have been taken away, the bad things that the government does to you are not wrong.

So, could fascism with a “human” face attack the American ID community? That is, will there be a “human right” not to hear Darwin or Darwinism disparaged or challenged?

Having watched the soft tumour of fascism grow slowly over the decades in Canada, I have some thoughts to offer to Americans:

1. Wake up! “Human rights” are already eroding civil rights in the States – but the problem is currently concentrated on campuses. As FIRE ably documents, American campuses are already legendary for rampant, perhaps growing illiberalism.

When the students who have thrived under such conditions achieve power, they will institute, extend, and defend the only regime they have ever known to American society at large.

Of course there is hope. Free minds put no price tag on intellectual freedom, and academic freedom rockumentaries are beginning to appear …

2. Who drives the process? Because current high-profile cases in Canada are brought by a few unrepresentative Muslims or gays, some Canadian commentators – mistaking the smoke for the fire – attack those groups, thus dividing society and making some group members feel safer with fascism.

To fight fascism’s new “human” face effectively, please get this straight: The groups encouraged to vent complaints to kangaroo courts did not create those courts. The social engineers who in fact created them will just as readily persecute Muslims as Christians – when it suits their interests.

In fact, Turkish commentator Mustafa Akyol tells me that similar activists do precisely that in Turkey. And who would be very surprised if the human rights thugs here take down some gay guy who evangelizes against the gay lifestyle?

See, the point is not that some groups are favoured and others are not but that some grievances promote the “human” face of fascism and others do not. So the useful complaints are warmly welcomed. And favourable decisions extend Commission creep into more and more areas of society. That’s the real agenda.

3. Ignore legacy media: Don’t expect the legacy media to be much help. In fact, as the National Review editors noted recently, most Canadian media ignored the hearings, even though the hearings vitally concern their interests. That’s no surprise because no one knows who is next or for what complaint, and few can afford to represent themselves during the costly proceedings that would ensue.

But there is another factor as well: Embittered mediocrities play a key role in promoting  “human” fascism. Civil rights are small comfort, after all, to a Canadian journalism professor who may never, in his entire harrumphing life, write a paragraph that compares with Mark Steyn’s prose tossed off almost at random. It suits such a fellow’s interests to silence Steyn. After all, it just isn’t fair, is it?

So do not assume that all media oppose soft fascism. For many, it is an excuse not to take risks with their coverage. They will apprise you that government minders won’t let them and they do their utmost to appear virtuous.

4. Some Americans imagine that a “conservative” government will provide protection. As if. The current Canadian government – which, for all practical purposes, supports the “human rights” racket – is “Conservative.” And to see how the province of Alberta’s perennial Conservative government has behaved,  here’s the view from the EZ:

I think I was unfair to Lori Andreachuk, the thug on the Alberta “human rights” commission who recently ordered a pastor to publicly renounce his religious faith. Yes, Andreachuk is a bully. Yes, she is a destroyer of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and an underminer of justice. Yes, she is positively un-Canadian in her values. Everything I said about her was true. But I think I left the implication that her fascist decision was hers alone. It wasn’t.

It was a direct result of her boss and political patron, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach. Let me explain. ….

And Levant does explain – how a Conservative government backed, promoted, and supported the infamous ruling.

Now, a Democratic administration in the United States will probably move much more rapidly to implement fascism with a “human” face. But a Republican administration will probably find it just as convenient an instrument, and do little or nothing to get rid of it later.

Reality check: Once civil liberties are lost, they are immensely difficult to recover, as many Canadians are finding, to our sorrow.

5. Some Americans will tell you that the large Christian population in the United States will be a bulwark. Again, as if.

Christianettes fit so neatly into the “human” face of fascism. They can help Christians recover from state muggings or – much worse! – encourage them to use the corrupt and abusive tribunals to try to expand their “rights” – in other words, their right to be the tyrant instead of suffering under the tyrant.  I’ve seen Chrstianettes in both modes. My rebukes are evidence of “hate,” of course – or, seen from another perspective, sanity.

6. Some will actually argue that the “human” face of fascism restrains “hate.” For example of hate, they cite the Rwanda massacres of the Nineties and the rise of Nazi Germany in the Thirties.

Re Rwanda, there is no comparison. Fascism with a human face did not get started in order to prevent generally unarmed and non-violent Canadians from massacring their neighbours. And Nazi Germany? Well, about that I learned something quite interesting recently: As Mark Steyn writes in Maclean’s (yes, the first big magazine that has been charged):

“Remarkably, pre-Hitler Germany had laws very much like the Canadian anti-hate law. Moreover, those laws were enforced with some vigour. During the 15 years before Hitler came to power, there were more than 200 prosecutions based on anti-Semitic speech. And, in the opinion of the leading Jewish organization of that era, no more than 10 per cent of the cases were mishandled by the authorities. As subsequent history so painfully testifies, this type of legislation proved ineffectual on the one occasion when there was a real argument for it.”

Actually, all Hitler had to do was invoke Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which gave him the right to place his “reasonable limits” on “freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom from unlawful search and seizure and surveillance of postal and electronic communications.” Just the sort of free hand the Commissions and Tribunals of Canada are learning to love.

7. Lastly, please stuff a red sock in the mouth of anyone who says that no Canadians are fighting back. Yes, many Canadians were born infected with the Trudeau virus and they love their Nanny Monster, and strive to be like her in every respect – and are largely succeeding. 

But many Canadians were born immune. And others, from all communities, are rapidly acquiring immunity.

Oh yes, you will hear greasy excuses for the “human” face of fascism, along with insinuations against the resistance. Believe what you want. You are entitled,for now. But consider this declaration from 1960 (before the United States civil rights marches):

I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge
to uphold for myself and all mankind.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker , July 1, 1960, House of Commons
* enshrined in the Canadian Bill of Rights

And this too: Now here is a real Canadian:

Remember, buy extra red sox – you may run out. Note: You may use white sox instead.

Meanwhile, …

After writing three pages of reply, I don't know if I can fit this into this discussion without appearing to hijack it. There are a number of sayings of Jesus that can suggest context-free principles. It's kind of like mathematic models. There's an principle of "diagnalization" in mathematical proofs used to rule out some propositions. The statement "There are no truthful statements" is a good example of a statement that nullifies itself. It must be nonsense, because in the normal context of evaluating statements there must be at least one case where it could be true. There can be no instances where this could be true, for we could not even say that we understand the sentence and mean it. By this, we pretty much know--if we can know anything at all--"There is at least one true statement" must be true. Of course, if that is the case, I've made another one: that it must be true. It might be the brute fact that there are no true sentences, but only that there are can ever make sense, we cannot pretend to convey any knowledge that way. In the same way, we can counter absolute relativism, or even unqualified relativism. Any earnest apologist knows the technique. It's just an isomorph of the above. Again, the universe can possibly resemble the universe proposed by relativism, but it cannot do so and be relativistic in that aspect at the same time and be communicable in that same sense. So you'll find the Special Pleading universes of "Everything is relative except in that everything is relative." The framework of the universe and our understanding of it are two different facts--or at least I think so. I always try to council fellow apologists that rational order is not an absolute, but it is the only profitable assumption. (I interpret this as an illustration between the benefit of a positive assumption (a proto-faith) as opposed to a strict constraint to negative fact.) We can always build on the assumption "Things make sense." Until we accept this as a basis, all other discussion is noise. So even though I'm using principles within the Christian perspective, I'm not simply using them in the conventional Christian way. The idea behind Jesus is God in human context--the Word made flesh. I can use implications in this, illuminated by Jesus himself, and not be restricted to a traditional Christian commentary. If you've read much Lewis, then you've seen these principles in action. Now, to the HRC. If the HRC creates a climate hostile to Christians, then they've exposed a person or a group to hatred or contempt. Since "likely to expose" is a lesser level, it is already satisfied by the actions. Anything they would have said to influence this is then, by their definition "hate speech". Thus if they are wrong in their assumptions, they could well fail their stated goal in this area. The idea that Christian principles can be construed as "hate speech" relies on the idea that moral judgments working on a similar thinking group of people can result in private citizens enforcing that judgment (even if just through negative actions associated with hate or contempt). And again, if there were any self-proclaimed enforcers as a result of the HRC's action, they again would fail in making a difference between their moral judgments and the Church's. So we have to believe that given an admirable HRC, enforcing moral censure on a person or persons does not result in a sort of moral indignation in like-thinking persons. This is where they need to create a difference in kind, in order for it all not to fall apart. A potential, untested human nature that separates from an already exhibited human nature (and an accepted interpretation) on sheer stipulation alone that people who side with progressives are more orderly than those that don't (likely, because of their "hatred"). Of course, you can't create a difference by stipulation, so in the event that human nature allows self-appointed enforcers--of whatever the moral order is--as an innate part of social norming behavior, there is an argument that you are exposing the censured to public contempt. This argument would always be valid, until what you insisted as necessary human reaction in one case can be ruled out. That's why I said it was self-oblivious. Because it overlays assumptions onto a pattern of social norming behavior, i.e hateful actions, as a result of the pronouncement of social norms. But seeks to engage in norming behavior without even the admission that it could be likely to expose the other group by the same perhaps innate pattern. Thus they have to believe that they have remade man, just as every other naive progressive movement before them. jjcassidy
jj: I am sorry, but I still don't get your point. StephenB
Denyse: I'm not sure I follow your response. You seem to be saying simply that everyone is losing liberties and rights under these fascist commissions. Agreed. Never thought the contrary. But these last decades there are always more attacks against anything remotely smelling of Christianity and it's principles than anything else. Just like in the US. I see the racket side of HRC, (wish the PM would!) but I fail to see why you don't think Christians have been losing rights and others gaining them. That was my main point in that statement you take issue with. Christains have lost rights and are losing rights every year. Others are gaining rights - like gays - which no one can deny. What about the pastor fined and constrained for his comments on homos? Is that not a major loss of rights? Even though not written clearly in legislation? Has anyone ever tried to sue a gay for saying disgusting things of the church or christians? Never heard of it. And if they did would they obtain gain of cause? Doubt it, but I could be wrong. Sihks gained the right to carry concealed daggers to school while all others are prohibited from such. And Christians lost the right to traditionally accepted public confessional schools. How else can we explain the widely publicized "accomodements raisonables" and Taylor/Bouchard commission in Quebec? We in Canada, like the rest of the world, are suffering from the proverbial "boiled frog" syndrome. Slowly Judeo/Christian values are being "boiled" away, denied and ridiculed. The "frogs" barely react. Anyway, it seems that I've either missed your point or you've missed mine. So please clarify if you will. Thanks Borne
PS: I think I should add that in the just above, I am underscoring that we can address groups advocating for that which is counter to the common good, by looking at the implications of their agendas; especially as manifested in cases where already we see injustice and oppression at work. We therefore expose wrongdoing, trace it to its roots int he agenda, and act to restrain such destructive agendas, while respecting the dignity of the persons involved. Difficult, perhaps something we can never do without partial failure, but a necessary challenge; all the difference between justice and mere revenge. kairosfocus
Key point: Stephen B has aptly put his finger on a central issue:
The problem is that many who are prone to abnormal behavior try to normalize it by joining with others of the same mind set. In a spirit of solidarity, they try to remake society in their own image and likeness, and they don’t mind that the proposed change is at the expense of the common good. Under those circumstances, it is no longer possible to keep the focus on the behavior and away from the person, because the person has now embraced a “movement.” That means that the criticism of the behavior must now shift to criticism of the group, because it has now been made a group issue. Again, the HRC has decided that we may not confront, speak, or even think (yes I said think) of those groups in a negative way. Hate crimes are, in fact, thought crimes, even when they are not always articulated as such. That is what makes them so dangerous. In some parts of Europe, you can be thrown in jail for speaking about the Biblical teaching on homosexuality. The United States and Canada are well on their way to reaching this stage.
In short, once a society accepts that there is a need for reformation from longstanding wrongs [historically in the West this was pioneered by the prophetic dimension of the Judaeo-Christian tradition], then there is a second level of issue. Namely, false reformation, in pursuit of the "normalisation" of self- and socially- destructive or oppressive conduct.
Q: So, how do we reliably discern the true from the counterfeit? A: By looking under the hood: ethical analysis.
Namely: 1 --> For a community to be worth living in across time, there has to be a mutual recognition of ourselves as equally being human beings who should be respected. 2 --> As Locke therefore cited from Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity in Ch 2 Section 5 of his 2nd essay on Civil Gov't, to lead up to the points and principles of rights, justice and liberty:
. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant.
3 --> Our equality under or Creator who made us in his image as moral agents is thus a self-evident premise of morality and governance, thence of liberty and justice. Anything that tends to undermine this fundamental equality is destructive to the community and threatening to individuals in it. 4 --> This brings up another theme SB raised, when he spoke of hating sin while loving sinners. Namely, that we must respect the individual but since that individual is a responsible moral agent living in a community of other equally endowed moral agents, we must not condone self- or socially- destructive destructive and/or oppressive behaviour and agendas. (And, especially when the word-magic of "science" or that of "rights" or "equality" are trotted out to persuade us to accept injustice. Hence, inter alia, the punch in Expelled, and of course that in the Mark Steyn case now directly in view. Today, they have come for the Sternbergs, Gonzalezes, Pastor Greens, Ezra Levants and Mark Steyns. If they get away with this, they will come for us soon enough, and -- as Martin Niemoller so poignantly noted not so long ago -- there will be no-one there to stand with us in defence of liberty. So, we must stand together NOW!] 5 --> This brings up the delicate balance of rights and responsibilities, thence the role of justice and government as an institution of justice. For, "your right to swing your hand ends where my nose begins." (A right is a binding moral claim we exert on others because of our inherent dignity as God's creation. That means that rights are mutual. It also means that some behaviours cannot be rights, as they tend to the destruction of the individual or the community that sets up the context for justice and mutual benefits and prosperity.) 6 --> Next, we instinctively know that societies that allow some to get away with destructive arm-swinging and prevent protest or appropriate restraint or response, fall into chaos. Sadly, there are too many historical examples of this. And not a few current ones. [For instance, if we allow judges and agenda-driven advocates to redefine key terms and institutions without serious pause to see just what they are pushing for and where ti will lead, that runs right into the 1984-type situation where words lose their proper meanings, and become tools of destructive deception and oppression. If words like "rights" and "equality" can be redefined, so can "justice." In this case, "hate" and "contempt" seem to have been improperly re-defined, in service to highly questionable agendas, not least those sitting on the Judge's bench.] 7 --> Enter, Denyse's point [and behind it both Locke's and Hooker's; beyond them lie Paul and Jesus and Moshe]: the magistrate, the one in Rom 13:1 - 7 who wields the sword of justice, is sometimes just as likely to become the dangerous arm-swinger as anyone else. 8 --> Thus, we the people, perhaps acting though our spokesmen and/or lower magistrates interposing themselves, have a right to restrain, correct, reform and if necessary remove such offending authorities. 9 --> Thus, the force of the relevant paragraph of the US DOI of 1776:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 - 21, 2:14 - 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers [Cf Rom 13:1 - 7] from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . . when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .
10 --> Now, when you have a court set up to prosecute thought crimes, using vague assertions and the like, which has a longstanding record of 100% convictions, then you have prima facie evidence that you are looking at once creeping, now accelerating despotism. And, when we see the perversion of rights being used to suppress hard-won liberty, that is manifest injustice. 11 --> Canada, my sister Commonwealth country, faces two alternatives: [1] descent into the dark night of tyranny, or [2] waking up and stoutly resisting tyranny before it is so firmly established that it will take rivers of blood to break its destructive iron-fisted hold. So, Denyse, you have the support of this Jamaican. For, much is at stake. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
StephenB, I didn't think it was that subtle. But perhaps I should frame it a little bit more. I'm taking a look from the language taken at face value. We have a law that seeks to discourage any speech that is likely to expose someone to hatred or contempt. I can accept that if I said "Muslims shouldn't speak" I have gone over the line. What would be their judgment? An injunction on my speech. I have to agree that that would be a reprehensible comment on my part, so I want to propose another case. What if I wrote a comment "Mr. Makkinejaad should have held his tongue," about a case where I really believe that it would have been prudent, but somebody implies that it really means "Muslims shouldn't speak." (Because I'm Christian and some other Christian recently said something similar) and the HRC agrees. Or what if I quoted an Imam whose idea was that in a specific case "Muslims shouldn't speak," and the HRC ruled that it is likely to to expose someone to hatred. The idea that I'm speaking hate, suggests that it is a hateful thing to want to suppress the voice of another. Their decision is to suppress my voice, regardless of whether their interpretation is the best one. If the right to speech is dear, then injunctions against it are a grave act. Provided that the HRC is doing a good job and has the backing of the public, how can you prevent the all-too-human contempt against those whose abuse of their freedoms is so great as to deserve such injunctions. You've already separated Boisson from the respectable members of society. You've just changed the definition of decency. It's still likely that people will be viewed as indecent--especially those groups that are already more inclined to say things that can be interpreted as "hateful". jjcassidy
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=135546 Some U.S. press is covering this subject. JasonB
-----jj: “How do you avoid exposing someone to societal contempt when you’re arguing that what they’ve done is so grievous that normal societal rights should be suspended for such a person or group?” JJ: You seem to be making a very, very, subtle point, in which case you must use the most concrete language at your disposal. I am not sure what you are driving at here. The whole idea is to shape society so that it promotes virtue and discourages vice. We want society to hate bad behavior and love good behavior. A good culture is one in which it is easy to be good. A bad culture is one in which it is easy to be bad. The HRC is saying that Canadians may not discourage (what they perceive to be) bad behavior and that they may not, therefore, try to influence the culture for the good. Beyond that, I am not getting your point. Are you saying that those who criticize bad behavior are violating the Christian imperative which bids us not to “judge?” As Christians, we are to hate the sin and love the sinner, which means that we must be circumspect and judicious in calling attention to bad behavior. If we hold to that standard, we can then hope that society will follow our lead and not be unduly harsh in enforcing the minimum moral standards for a well-ordered society. We want society to think of good behavior as “in” and bad behavior as “out.” If civilized people don’t tell society which standards to embrace, then the barbarians will do all of the shaping. The problem is that many who are prone to abnormal behavior try to normalize it by joining with others of the same mind set. In a spirit of solidarity, they try to remake society in their own image and likeness, and they don’t mind that the proposed change is at the expense of the common good. Under those circumstances, it is no longer possible to keep the focus on the behavior and away from the person, because the person has now embraced a “movement.” That means that the criticism of the behavior must now shift to criticism of the group, because it has now been made a group issue. Again, the HRC has decided that we may not confront, speak, or even think (yes I said think) of those groups in a negative way. Hate crimes are, in fact, thought crimes, even when they are not always articulated as such. That is what makes them so dangerous. In some parts of Europe, you can be thrown in jail for speaking about the Biblical teaching on homosexuality. The United States and Canada are well on their way to reaching this stage. StephenB
This type of thing can and has been used against creationists, and could easily be extended to ID. A German pastor who compared the Darwinist German government to Hitler was sentence to jail for 8 months, just for saying something. I believe the Council of Europe story was covered here on UD, where they used exactly the same human rights language in condemning creationism as somehow committing human rights violations. tragicmishap
Everyone has a right to free speach. Every9one has a right to freely think or have personal opinions about matters. Everyone even has a right to HATE... If the government, courts or any pseudo courts think they have the moral authority to say we can only express love. Well, isn't that special and nice. But maybe it hurts my feeligns for you to love me. So, maybe then those people should be punished for loving! So. My free speach may therefore expresses my hate. It can be my hate for you or your values. If it hurts your feelings - then I simply don't care. Shoudl I be penalized for hurting your feelings? If so, let God handle it. But maybe your/whoever's mere existence might hurt my feelings. Then they shoudl be punished..right? Difference is, I can live on and be an adult about it without crying like a baby at some pseudo court's tit. Okay. That's off my chest... for now. A related link: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/11/america/hate.php JGuy
Mohammed, Who's "you guys"? Borne suggests it; Denyse quotes that part to take issue with that part of his post. Does Borne make "you guys"? jjcassidy
First off, I admit that I botched it when I referred to the Holy Roman Catholic (Church?) as the HRC in a conversation that had already assigned that acronym to the Human Rights Commission. I started off in a tangent about Emperor Otto of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) and made some bad edits trying to compress my point. But apart from that I thought my comment about the self-oblivious definition was really pretty simple. How do you avoid exposing someone to societal contempt when you're arguing that what they've done is so grievous that normal societal rights should be suspended for such a person or group? If not a conflict they seem to making an argument of a difference in kind. The people who stand behind their moral censure are different from the people reachable by your moral censure. We can't trust the rabble who would agree with you, but we can trust the people who agree with them. Such a rationale speaks against the whole idea of condemnable groups though. It can't eliminate in-group/out-group behavior, it can only reassign the out-group, and hope that despite falling into the all-too-familiar human pattern of behavior, will not follow its more typical course of human behavior. And as the sole assigner of “rights” to rights, it fails to hold up the concept of independent (we'd call them “inalienable”) “Human Rights” unless it simply means “rights apportioned among humans,” which is arguably anything. My point about Jesus is that he provides more than “a side” in the controversy but a commentary on human controversies and arguments. That while we're asserting our rights to witness for him, we might as well heed his counsel, often amplified through Paul. Various teachings like the one on the plank in the eye argue for more than simply seeing our own perspective. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians backs this up, as it pinpoints the contentious flesh as the source of squabbles and arguments and controversies. Jesus IMO warns against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, not because they would inject themselves into the body, but because vigilance against self-righteousness is necessary for the pursuit of real righteousness. And by suggesting vigilance, he is suggesting a universal tendency not confined to just the existing Pharisaic practices. In my small comment on your characterization of their motivation, I did not imply that there was in any way an even a proportional share of blame, if that is what you inferred. Also there was no intent to imply that your slight against HRC members as O'Brien-esque betrays a suppressive tendency in the other direction. It wasn't a tu quoque in any sense. Just that there is a case for common hubris and venality in even the worst blights of 20th-century totalitarianism, there's no need to invoke the a sense of otherliness which so often plays a role in common human scapegoating. jjcassidy
You guys really think that Canadian public television promotes Islam and that the rights of "Islamics," (i'm not really sure what that means) is increasing? Are you kidding me? You guys really live in a dream world. Really. mohammed.husain
Regarding the continued freedom of communication, I point to one of the Discovery Institute's most important projects, one that could keep the multi-billion dollar IT industry viable by keeping the Darwinists and thought police from ruining the IT industry. Visit the Discovery Institute's Technology and Democracy project at: www.Disco-Tech.org scordova
I seem to recall Hillary Clinton advocating for some censorship of talk radio in the USA. Some have advocated taxation of the internet, which I suppose can be eventually used to curb free communication. Think of what a Darwinist at the FCC/IRS would do to thwart UD.... scordova
I submit that there are really only three serious power players on the world’s stage, atheism, Islam, and Catholicism/Christianity. Since each is incompatible with the other, the only real question is, which one will gain hegemonic control? In the United States, the anti-Christian contingent consists of secularists and Muslims, who have formed a kind of informal alliance to go after their common enemy. The radical secularists in the American Civil Liberties Union are of one mind with the radical theocrats in the Council on Islamic American Relations. Both want revolution followed by tyranny (though each has its own agenda) and neither is being used by the other. Just as the Sadducees and the Pharisees once formed a temporary truce to do away with Jesus Christ, atheism and Islam have established an informal détente to prevent a resurgence of Christendom and to exterminate what little is left of a Judeo/Christian culture. Like the Sadducees and the Pharisees, they would normally be enemies, but under the circumstances, they are perfectly willing to settle their differences later. That is because both groups consider Christianity’s political formulation of Godly freedom totally unacceptable, especially the part which teaches that we are made “in God’s image.” Neither group has ever been able to live with that proposition. The only real question is whether or not Islam (at least that variation of it that is most forcefully active) can be reformed to the point where it renounces Sharia law and accepts the “inherent dignity of the human person.” If it can’t, then co-existence is unworkable. Atheism, of course, cannot be reformed at all and must be defeated. To me, the best strategy for preserving what is left of our free speech rights is to tell everyone the truth about where political rights come from in the first place. The Declaration of Independence explains that they come from “the laws of nature” and “nature’s God.” Since the Judeo/Christian philsophy is the only world view that supports that concept, it is the only one around which we can build a well-ordered society. If we are too ignorant or too afraid to say so, then we don’t deserve to be free. StephenB
Yes, your point is well taken—sorry to have skirted around it so. The revolution eats its children, as they say. It’s the same reason the American left, whom you’d think would be repelled by fundamentalist Islam, has found common cause with the same. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It's like when the Iranian Tudeh left welcomed Khomeini into its realm, hoping to use him and then cast him aside. It didn’t quite work then, for Khomeini beat them at their own game—he used them and then disposed of them. All who value their liberty—be they of whatever persuasion or religion or lack thereof—should fight this thing tooth and nail. What’s frightening is that, as you say, we may have passed the point where a majority no longer cares. Rude
Well, that's a key factor here, Rude. The hardline leftist proceeds against Canadian Christians because Christianity has been a dominant civilization force. But - and this is the idea I have been struggling to get across - the leftist is not trying to privilege, for example, a radical Muslim imam. He would use the imam as an instrument, in the same way he would use a Moonbat Worshipper if he can find one to make a complaint. Leftists and fascists behave similarly. For example, when the Soviet cache of documents seized after Hitler's fall became available, it emerged that after their "victory", the Nazis planned to get rid of serious Christians. First they got rid of Jews, and I have little doubt that they used willing Christians in the process. In the same way, a hard leftist will use compliant Muslims as a weapon against Christians, but the Muslim would be greatly deceived if he did not see that the leftist will then get rid of him too. O'Leary
I think maybe I get it. The leftist agenda is and always has been totalitarian and hateful of Judeo-Christian morality. Judeo-Christian morality tends toward political liberty for a variety of reasons, i.e., human nature is irredeemable, utopian schemes suspect, the state is part of Satan’s kingdom, etc. The left denies God and worships nature, and it sees Judeo-Christian morality as contrary to nature and repressive. The left seeks power—both to constrain and to liberate—to constrain our creativity and to liberate us to follow our instincts. It is exactly the opposite of biblical morality which seeks to liberate our creativity and restrain our baser appetites. Rude
You've said more than you need to, JJ, because you are not making a grain of sense, and more wouldn't help. By the way, those interested in this topic, see the latest: "CHRC employee sends private investigator to harass my parents at their home" O'Leary
Let's bring in someone that sheds most light on this: Jesus. Progressives (for want of a better word) judge that what did the Church and the Nazis in was that they were not like they are. They place too much emphasis on Cause and too little on human venality. The former Cause becomes the Great Sin, and we learn to “cleanse” ourselves from it attributing to it an alien-ness. The lure of human vanity, I believe, is to recognize ourselves as other than zealots or nationalists, and be categorically okay. It seems we only learn the lessons in retrospect. It's too easy to forget that the HRC wasn't always the HRC of the 16th century and the NAZIs weren't first the NAZIs from Nuremberg--nor were the Volkish always the NAZI party. We kind of lose the perspective of Francis of Assisi or Sir Thomas More as a “zealot” of a kind. The Canadian definition of “hate speech” seems to be remarkably self-oblivious. Are Canadians suppose to embrace “haters”? What does it mean for “hate speech” to retain it's moral power and yet avoid being “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt”? How precious is freedom if you moderate it as less than a grave judgment? Most likely, a public judgment would be “justified” by the gravity of the crime (determined as well by the gravity of the punishment). So we don't avoid exposing people to contempt, we just regulate who can the subject. In the same way, I think people have to be on guard against accusations like yours, Denyse. It is too easy to make the opposition connivingly evil, inhuman and mechanistic. I think Orwell invented another stereotype in “O'Brien”, as I doubt that most people who run away with power really want to stand on the face of humanity eternally. Power does corrupt. As corrupt as I think Hitler was, I think his corruption was his ego, but his ego didn't float the air, it was inflated by his own inflated importance to the German nation and through them, the progress of humanity in general. I wanted to keep the above short, so I realize I didn't make all the connections I could have. jjcassidy
Oh, I knew that, Gil. I simply wanted to reiterate that the reason for the discrepancy in what constitutes "hate" is only partly anti-Christian bigotry. It is mostly a long-term social engineering strategy - and that fact is often poorly understood by people who are stung by individual outrageous decisions - so they make the mistake of attacking the people they see as the beneficiaries of the decisions. Fascism with a "human" face continues its lethal stealthy advance while public hostility is vented against the alleged beneficiaries. Gil, if you don't yet have these Commissions and Tribunals where you live, I have a piece of advice for you: Fire. Them. All. BEFORE. They. Start. FInd out who the poor excuse for humanity is who wants to be on the Tribunal, and give him his Termination letter in advance, and save your whole community much anguish and discord. Cue "Chariots of Fire" By the way, who the heck was that fellow who said Canadians don't have a sense of humour? What unemployment line is he currently standing in? O'Leary
Denyse, Actually, I was being somewhat cynical and sarcastic, since we all know that hate speech is only hate speech when it is of the politically incorrect variety. GilDodgen
Actually, Gil, not quite. Read what I said above, "The “human rights” racket fronts some minority group grievances in order to increase the power of the racket itself in the lives of all Canadians. Members of minority groups acquire privileges only in relation to their ability to act as agents of the racket (whether they know they are doing so or not)." Speech critical of a politician or his significant other - or of Christians - would generally be actionable if shutting down the person who made the statement increases the power of the racket. I think that, right now, the human rights racket is better advanced by permitting abuse of Christians. Scared by the growing hostility, many morph into Christianettes and are eager to comply with the directives of the Nanny Monster, instead of banding together to: Fire. Them. All. O'Leary
Canada’s Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt. This would surely mean that any speech critical of a politician and his policies would fall into the hate-speech category. It would also mean that the vitriol of the secular left directed at the religious right would have to be banned and censored. GilDodgen
Borne sounds like he is one angry Canadian. I am glad he has a right to say what he thinks. I must take issue with this, however, "Out rights as Christians have been quickly and subtly dragged over the precipice while the rights of Islamics, Sikhs, criminals, gays, pedophiles and rapists ever increase." As I pointed out in the post, that is a common - but key - misunderstanding. And a disastrous one for far too many traditional Canadians. The "human rights" racket fronts some minority group grievances in order to increase the power of the racket itself in the lives of all Canadians. Members of minority groups acquire privileges only in relation to their ability to act as agents of the racket (whether they know they are doing so or not). Levant describes a case in which the BC tribunal, for example, recently upheld the right of a McDonalds employee not to follow handwashing rules - and opined that there isn't supposed to be a clear relationship between handwashing and health. Such a ruling forces everyone who knows about it to maintain that a manifest untruth is true in order to protect themselves from the racket. Does Borne imagine that Sikhs or Muslims will be permitted to insist that all employees follow proper sanitation procedures? As I said above, ... as if. O'Leary
I don't want to get on anyone's bad side, and I know it's a bit off topic, but....I don't have that big of a problem with homosexuality; at the very least, it as unfair to compare it to euthanasia or abortion. Berceuse
Thanks Denyse for bringing this kind of travesty of humanity to light. As a Canadian, I've been long ashamed of this country's ever growing moral idiocy. The Canadian governments, no matter which party rules, have lost it big time. Politicians are now below the public trust level granted to sleazy used car salesmen. Canada is a haven for organized crime in the West. Our great sin is tolerance. Tolerance of everything but the truth. That we are not supposed to speak and usually don't for fear of legalized gestapos like the HRC and it's hags. This HRC tyranny over conscience makes me very angry, like everyone else I know who's aware. Makes me sick to my stomach and I'd love to kick these these brain dead HRC devils' disciples over to Iraq - one way. In days gone by, free truth and justice loving men would have gone to war for reasons like what we've seen passed as law in Canada. Now most Canadians just sit on their apathetic butts, inanely and lethargically believing there will be no consequences and all is for the well in Socialist Canada. Belching and beer guzzling their way to hell without a clue. Quebec passed laws against confessional public schools a few years back. Now, they have legislated a new school curriculum for teaching all religions - as equal - starting in elementary school. Parents have no options, no voice. It's obligatory. One must wonder why. What hidden agenda is there lurking behind the scenes? There are protests and even law suits being launched against having a crucifix displayed in government buildings, much talk of banning prayer etc., just like in the states. Even private confessional schools are being threatened for not teaching Darwinism as the absolute and only truth. Protests against the actions of these ungodly arrogant scomm have no effect. They don't care for anything but their anti-Christ goals. The government bulldozes whatever secular humanist toxic moral waste they please unto the public system. Worse is that most of it gets fronted, passed and signed before the public are even aware that something is amiss. Out rights as Christians have been quickly and subtly dragged over the precipice while the rights of Islamics, Sikhs, criminals, gays, pedophiles and rapists ever increase. We unfortunately still think this is a true democracy. Wrong. Once elected they do whatever their humanist agendas dictate they must to end the rule of what they deem "the rotting corpse of Christianity" from all public view. And no amount of protests, petitions, complaints etc. does anything to sway them from their evil purposes. Our forefathers would hang their heads in shame if they could see what Canada has become under secular humanist rule. And, it's universally backed by Canadian mass media humanists like the CBC. They air multitudes of TV and radio shows not so subtly promoting Islam, homosexuality, euthanasia, abortion etc. but vehemently decry anyone standing for Judeo/Christian values. Canada has failed it's destiny and is lost unless there is a major revival of Judeo/Christian values, understanding and purpose. Borne
Hey, JGuy, in fairness, the HRC grievance marketeers are not stupid. They are smart. They have found a way of guaranteeing that they and their complainants do minimal work for maximal money. We must give them that much. Every useless bully class, it is true, discovers that same thing. So they don't deserve a Nobel Prize for smartness, over against all the other thugs worldwide. Making it all work in a Western jurisdiction should get them some kind of secondary prize, of course. (The Golden Lamprey? The Silver Sneak? [= if allegations of Internet deception or communications theft can be properly substantiated]) I don't know what the children of people who hang around "human rights" commissions are taught. If I had the teaching of the children, I would say nothing whatever to encourage disrespect of parents (See C'ment 5, Ten Commandments). But I would emphasize the classical "hinge" virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. (The virtues on which all others hang.) I would hope that the kids would never consider buying into the kind of behaviour that Ezra Levant and the other bloggers have alleged or provided evidence of. No one could prove that their decisions had much to do with me because I am doubtless a very imperfect communicator of perennial values. O'Leary
Ok. I was a little harsh. And honestly, I don't think it is the work of stupid people. It may be more accurate to say it is the work of immoral selfish fascists. So, I retract my attack on stupidity. Stupid people can actually be repsectable for moral fortitude..while fascists have an issue to attain that kind of respect. JGuy
This is the kind of thing that drives me absolutley nuts! These people are apparently suffering from some kind of heavy metal poisoning... or perhaps they became addicted to eating toothpaste in their youth. I guarantee you this is the work of some kind of cult. With their own secret covens distinguishable by toothpaste brands... The leaders are probably those that ingested the most flouide tablets. Wouldn't this be proof that huamns are devolving? It reminds me of the movie "Idiocracy", where morons were found to breed faster than intelligent people. So, I'd like to propose an 8th point for Denise's list.. 8. Reproduce faster than stupid people. If your less intelligent neighbor is raising children, then volunteer to tutor their chindren if they promise to never have any more kids. And if they don't accept the offer, then tell the man of that home that very hot baths before sex will cure stupidity. JGuy
The Levant before Canadian Association of Journalists’ video appears to have gone the way of all the earth. Following are other links to: at YouTube.com I don't answer to the state Attributes of Free Speech What was your intent? I do not answer to the State Concluding remarks The National: Complaint against Ezra Levant dropped Highly recommend them as an eloquent if blunt reminder of the freedom of speech and religion. DLH
-----DLH: "Unless people rise up and emphatically reject and delete such legislation, we have no freedoms left. Unless we stand up for these rights and teach the next generation of their rights, they will never remember that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” on which the USA was founded by the Declaration of Independence." Yes, and we must also counter the nonsense that our nation, our freedoms, and our natural rights, were founded on some murky notion such as "reason." They were not. They were based on the self-evident truths that reason points to, one of which you have alluded to. StephenB
This "hate speech" tribunal directly destroys the freedom of conscience, religious exercise and petition won by the Trial of the Seven Bishops for Publishing a Libel 12 How. St. Tr. 183, 415, 1688 Parliament codified to affirm the right of petition in the English Bill of Rights 1 W. & M., 2d sess., c. 2, 16 Dec. 1689 This right of petition was explicitly codified in the Magna Carta Sect. 61. Note that the Magna Carta explicitly begins with:
1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever that the English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs forever.
The Magna Carta again affirms this at the end:
63. Wherefore we will and firmly order that the English Church be free, and that the men in our kingdom have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably, freely and quietly, fully and wholly, for themselves and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all respects and in all places forever, as is aforesaid. . . .
The Founders of the USA similarly codified the rights of religion, speech and petition in the First Amendment to the US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
That "Human Rights Commission" and "hate speech" legislation directly violates the right of trial by a jury of one's peers. Unless people rise up and emphatically reject and delete such legislation, we have no freedoms left. Unless we stand up for these rights and teach the next generation of their rights, they will never remember that: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" on which the USA was founded by the Declaration of Independence. DLH
Canada's standard that hate speech is speech "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt" has its American counterpart as the so-called "right not to be offended." When you think about it, America's standard is even more chilling than the Canadian standard, though it is not yet being enforced with quite as much ferocity. Still, the rules are in place and are being applied both in the courts and in the culture. There are many things that you simply may not speak of in a negative way, with Islam and homosexuality at the top of the list. Of course, you may say anything you like against Catholics or Christians even to the point of blasphemy. The tyranny is inseparable from the double standard; one implies the other. StephenB
Canada’s Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.”
Oh, and you must not have newspaper reporters up there, since exposing people to contempt is a mainstay of the journalism enterprise down here. russ
Canada’s Human Rights Act defines hate speech as speech “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt.”
Is there no one in Canada who is worthy of contempt? It must be a wonderful place to live! russ
I suggest that Christians in Canada scour likely groups, periodicals and media for any content that disparages Christians, faith, belief, religion, etc., file a complaint and fill the commission docket time up forcing anti-religious groups and zealots to "shut up". We'll see how long this state of affairs lasts when the tables are turned and they are forced to no longer disparage those of faith. William J. Murray

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