I don’t know who has been following the bizarre destruction of liberty in Canada, but that country has now officially become non-free. It is now illegal to say anything someone finds offensive. No other rights — religion, speech, assembly — trumps the right of the censor. The so-called Human Rights Commission is not bound by the constitution, and there is no defense against their findings — truth is not a defense, intention is irrelevant, and even damage need not be shown. As one inquisitor noted: “Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value.“
So much for freedom of speech. Now the so-called Human Rights Commission has decided that freedom of religion is of no value, either. In this case an academic took offense at religious expression. Even though nobody was damaged or hurt, or as the HRC noted: In this case, there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward…” (See Ezra Levin’s column).
However, someone simply took offense “Dr. Lund, although not a direct victim, did expend considerable time and energy and suffered ridicule and harassment as a result of his complaint. The Panel finds therefore that he is entitled to some compensation.” In other words, the religious speech did not cause him harm, just the ridicule he received for filing a stupid complaint. Nonetheless, that’s enough to shut down religious speech in Canada. “Mr. Boissoin and [his organization] The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.”
That’s forever, folks. No more preaching on this subject. Not *hateful* speech. Not speech advocating violence. Merely *criticizing* it is illegal. Reading the wrong passage in the Bible is now illegal. Just on the basis of an accusation. Without recourse. Without constitutional protections.
The HRC’s take on religious freedom is particularly frightening: ” In balancing the freedom afforded under the Charter and the degree of protection afforded through the provincial legislation, I considered s. 2(b) of the Charter in regards o the fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion, the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including the freedom of the press and other media, the freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of association. Having considered the Charter and the balancing of the freedoms set out in the Charter, I have interpreted the Act in a manner which respected the broad protection granted to religious freedom. However, I have found that this protection does not trump the protection afforded under the Alberta human rights legislation in s. 3. to protection against hatred and contempt. I also take the view that s.3(2) required a balancing of these freedoms afforded to individuals under the Charter, with the prohibitions in s. 3(1) of the Act. In this case, the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter. It cannot be the case that any speech wrapped in the ‘guise’ of politics or religion is beyond reproach by any legislation but the Criminal Code.”
In other words, in Canada, you have freedom of religion — as long as nobody disagrees with you on any important issue and brings a complaint. The HRC found that “moral criticism of homosexuality” constitutes “contempt” and “disparagement,” and is thus illegal.
The defendant is ordered not only to pay a fine but to apologize for “his views on homosexuality.” Welcome to the world of thought crime.
Canada, welcome to the third world.
This bodes ill for the kangaroo court brought up against Mark Steyn for criticizing terrorists.
And, America, think about this before voting for Obama. That’s the road he wants us to travel.
Religious discussions about *anything,* including homosexuality, will sometimes be contentious. No moral issue will be without debate. The correct response is not to criminalize the debate. This is not about homosexuality. It is about fundamental freedom, and the ultimate hatred for such freedoms inherent in the left.