Canada’s homosexualist community is gloating over another milestone passed on “the road to equality for homosexuals,” as one of their advocates put it, and bragging that the falling-domino insinuation of homosexualism into Canada’s social fabric represents progress rather than decay. Many
Canadian Christians beg to differ.
On April 2, the Supreme Court ruled for the plaintiff in Vreind v. Alberta. Delwin Vriend had been dismissed from his laboratory co-ordinator position at King’s College – a private Christian school in Edmonton – in 1991, when it was discovered that he is a practising homosexual. The college argued that Vriend’s chosen lifestyle is incompatible with the Christian moral standards it endeavors to uphold.
Mr. Vriend complained to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which rejected his action on the ground that sexual orientation was not protected by the province’s human rights legislation. Mr. Vriend appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench, which ruled in his favor and ordered that “sexual protection” be “read into” the human rights act. The province successfully counter-appealed, the appellate court overturning the lower court decision.
Mr. Vriend appealed to the Supreme Court, with the outcome noted above.
Human rights legislation was commendable within its original scope. No one should be unfairly discriminated against in terms of employment, housing, or education on the basis of race, gender, or religion. However, human rights commissions across Canada have aggressively expanded their sphere of jurisdiction far beyond the original intent of basic human rights legislation, and when they begin policing religious freedom and free expression of opinion, I dig my heels in.
The Supreme Court ruling means that if Mr. Vriend or other homosexualists seek employment at a Christian institution, their sexual behavior will no longer be a legal ground for rejection. Thus, human rights legislation collides head-on with freedom of religion. The Bible, in both Testaments, unequivocally condemns homosexual activity as sinful, and, in the words of the Roman Catholic Catechism, such activity is “objectively disordered.” The courts and legislatures have granted human rights commissions license to trample the religious principles of orthodox Christians.
It sends a very strange message indeed when a school that affirms the Biblical teaching that homosexual behavior is an abomination before God, is obliged by the government to hire homosexualist teachers and staff.
Limits to freedom
Which brings us to the issue of free speech. Speech is either free or it isn’t, and attempts to weasel around this principle with fudges like “responsible speech” are philosophically bankrupt. Freedom of speech, if we are to have it, means that we must hold our collective noses and let
everyone have their say, including those who say things we don’t like or find offensive.
British Columbia’s NDP government recently enacted the most fascistic, speech-policing, human rights legislation in the country. They also passed two bills last year granting full “spousal rights” to homosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. These measures were vigorously opposed by a coalition of twenty-odd religious groups including Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, several evangelical denominations, Mennonites, Muslims, the Orthodox Rabbinical Council, and Sikhs. According to Anglican Catholic Bishop Robert Crawley, B.C.’s Attorney General responded by suggesting patronizingly that these people needed some “sensitivity training” and “further education,” hinting ominously that the Human Rights Commission might be strengthened even further in order to help them “grow up” and gratefully accept the government’s enlightened decisions.
A charge was recently filed with the Ontario Provincial Hate Crimes Unit against Sylvia MacEachern of Gloucester, Ont., for allegedly uttering “hate speech” by publicly stating that homosexual acts are depraved. Ms.MacEachern is a Roman Catholic and a member of the St. Bridgit’s Association, an orthodox lay action group. “I never once thought that it would be a crime in Canada to simply state the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church,” commented Mrs. MacEachern.
Our American cousins would simply not put up with the jackbooting tactics routinely engaged in by Canadian human rights bureaucrats. In the United States, Canadian-style anti-free speech laws would be immediately struck down by a Constitution that protects free expression. By comparison, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a leaky boat.
If someone stood on any Canadian street corner, publicly declaring that homosexual acts are “vile passions” and “against nature”; that those who participate in homosexual acts are “unrighteous and immoral wrongdoers … an abomination,” and “perverted,” they would risk being hauled before a human rights tribunal for uttering “hate speech.” However, they would also be merely quoting – verbatim and in context – from the Holy Scriptures of the Christian religion. I fully anticipate that in the not too distant future, the militant homosexualist lobby and its fellow travelers will mount a campaign to have the Bible banned or purged of certain “offensive” passages.
At that point, those who profess Christianity will be obliged to clearly choose which side they are on – that of the Bible and the 2,000 years of Christian teaching and tradition that founded and built Western civilization, or the side of the revisionist moral relativism and secular humanism that are doing their utmost to tear that civilization down and destroy it.
(Charles Moore contributes to The Interim from Shelburne, Nova Scotia).