HRCs: Canada’s thought-police

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The Article

In subjecting Catholic Insight magazine to investigation on baseless charges of homophobia, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is once again trampling upon the very human rights and fundamental freedoms it is supposed to uphold. The sooner this oppressive Commission and its provincial counterparts are abolished, the better.

Catholic Insight is the latest in a long line of publications to run afoul of Canada’s human rights commissions. Among the other victims are Maclean’s magazine, The Western Standard, the Calgary Herald and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Some journalists have been so intimidated by Canada’s human rights thought police that they no longer dare to publish anything that might offend the sensibilities of Muslim zealots, homosexual activists or any other group that qualifies for special treatment in the freedom-stifling, federal and provincial, human rights codes that have sprung up over the past 50 years.

Yet it’s open season on the Catholic Church for anti-Catholic bigots. No Canadian human rights commission has ever reprimanded anyone for expressing hatred or contempt for Christianity. To the contrary, as the attack on Catholic Insight indicates, these commissions have specialized in attacking Canadians who uphold the traditional principles of Judeo-Christian morality.

In 2005, the Alberta Human Rights Commission placed Catholic Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary under investigation for opposing same-sex marriage in a pastoral letter and a column in the Calgary Herald. Following several months of harassment, the Commission dropped the case when the two complainants against him withdrew their charges.

Stephen Boissoin has not been so fortunate. After a five-year investigation, he was found on November, 30, 2007, by an Alberta Human Rights Panel to have expressed hatred and contempt for homosexuals in a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate that he wrote in his capacity as a Baptist minister. Among the statements held against Boissoin was his warning : “From kindergarten class and on, our children, your grandchildren are being strategically targeted, psychologically abused and brainwashed by homosexual and pro-homosexual educators.”

Such rulings have sent a chill through faithful clerics throughout the country. In testimony before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional affairs on July 13, 2005 , Marc Cardinal Ouellet, the primate of Canada, said: “A kind of climate is developing in which people no longer dare say what they think. Even from the pulpit, we feel threatened if we recall the sexual morality of the Church. That is also part of religious freedom. Even in our churches, these words are troubling, and we feel accused of homophobia, hatred of or hurting homosexuals.”

Of course, not all clerics have reason to fear oppression by a human rights tribunal: Liberals who have embraced the gay rights ideology are quite safe. Indeed, some trendy clerics have abetted the human rights inquisitors in oppressing their faithful fellow Christians.

A notorious case in point is The Very Rev. Dr. Bruce McLeod, former moderator of the United Church of Canada. In 2001, he testified before the Ontario human rights tribunal against Scott Brockie, an Evangelical Protestant, who was subsequently found guilty of discriminating against homosexuals for having refused on religious grounds to print materials for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

It will ever be thus, it seems. Down through the centuries, faithful Christians have been persecuted by heretics who conform their thinking to the current pattern of the world rather than uphold that good and acceptable and perfect word of God as revealed in Sacred Scripture.

Father Alphonse de Valk, the editor of Catholic Insight, is made of stern stuff. He can be counted upon not to capitulate under pressure by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, but to stand firm in upholding the truths of Christian faith and morality as authoritatively expounded by the sacred magisterium of the Catholic Church.

And in doing so, Father de Valk should have the solid support of all Canadians who affirm the inalienable rights of all people to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. Certainly, conscientious Christians should never fail in their duty to defend and affirm the faith in public after the manner urged by Abraham Lincoln: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.”

Rory Leishman
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