NewsFri Oct 6, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Attack on Religious Freedom Begins in Earnest in Canada - Battleground Homosexuality
By John-Henry Westen
OTTAWA, October 6, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The gloves have come off, the Parliamentary debate in Canada has moved beyond homosexual ‘marriage’ and on to refusing freedoms for those with religious beliefs opposed to homosexuality and those with conscientious reasons for opposing it.Â The mere suggestion of a ‘Defence of Religions Act’, to be put forward should the attempt to restore traditional marriage fail, has created a firestorm in theÂoverwhelmingly pro-gayÂmedia and in Parliament with the Liberals, NDP and Bloc arguing ferociously against such a proposal.
The Regina Leader Post newspaper, has joined the fray demonstrating the lack of tolerance for opposition to homosexuality.Â While the paper would allow for priests to oppose homosexuality publicly, it suggests that opposition by non-clergy should be illegal.Â“There is an argument to be made for allowing religious leaders leeway in criticizing homosexuality. Many religions have prescriptions against the practice and religious leaders should be permitted to publicly defend their religion’s tenets. But extending that right to rank-and-file members of a religion goes too far,” says the editorial in the paper today.
In today’s Globe and Mail in his column, “Sex, religion, politics, boom”, Rick Salutin, described in Wikepia as “a strong advocate of left wing causes”, castigates those who advocate the religious protection law as “yearning for authoritarian leadership”.ÂHe adds that such religious, conservative moralÂmovements haveÂhistorically given “rise to fascist movements which weren’t necessarily rascist. God, of course, would be the strongest leader.” However, contrary to Salutin’s charges, the Nazis and Italians fascists mercilessly persecuted and murdered those who held traditional ChistianÂbeliefs and especially murdered thousands of clergy who preached faithful Christian doctrine.
The current Prime Minister, while Leader of the Opposition during the introduction of the homosexual ‘marriage’ legislation warned that if passed the legislation would hamper the free speech rights of Canadians opposed to homosexual ‘marriage’ and the freedoms of religious groups in Canada.Â He promised to protect religious and free speech rights. (see coverage: https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/sep/06091306.html )
However, when the Globe and Mail claimed that a source has revealed a legal proposal to protect religious and free speech freedoms vis a vis homosexual ‘marriage’, the Conservatives denied knowledge of any such measure.Â
Nevertheless, the opposition parties have been hammering away at even the notion of such a proposal, equating freedom to criticize homosexuality out of religious or intellectual conviction to illegal discrimination.
Liberal Leader Bill Graham claimed yesterday in the House of Commons that even the proposal of added protections to ensure freedom of speech and religion has made it so that “Gay and lesbian Canadians are fearful of their future.”Â Liberal Lucienne Robillard continued the attack saying, “After it loses the vote on same-sex marriage, the government plans to table a radical bill legalizing discrimination against the gay and lesbian community.Â How dare the Prime Minister impose his right-wing values on Canadians?”
In response Conservative MPs merely reiterated that all such talk of a ‘Defense of Religions Act’ was “speculation”.
Incredibly, no MP during yesterday’s raucous debate stood up to speak for the need to protect religious freedom in Canada.Â
The best defence of the need for a Defense of Religions Act came in the editorial of the National Post today which stated:
“Given the current climate, DORA would be of value in making clear that expressions of moral and religious opinions about sexual orientation do not amount to hate speech. Already we have seen unfortunate examples in Canada whereby religious Christians who simply have been articulating Church doctrine in regard to homosexuality and gay unions have been censured and punished by human rights tribunals. It is not fanciful to imagine that these same individuals might, in future years, be thrown behind bars for expressing their religious beliefs.”
“Any new law should specify clearly that those who oppose same-sex marriage should not be at risk of hate-speech charges. More broadly, Canadians should be free to say that homosexual practices are forbidden by God or contrary to natural law, or that they are symptoms of a mental illness or amount to a disorder, as the late Pope John Paul II put it. While we do not believe any of this to be true, millions of traditionally minded Canadians do - and it is not the role of the criminal law to prohibit the expression of views that, however unfashionable in the modern era, are deeply rooted in true religious faith and conviction, and indeed defined mainstream thought within living memory. True, hate speech against homosexuals does exist, however. Incitement to assault or kill any group of human beings, or to make them subject to murderous hatred, should remain illegal. The history of the 20th century shows that extremist rhetoric - calling any group “a cancer on society,” for instance - leads down dark paths. But not every expression opposing homosexuality is or should be criminal. New federal legislation protecting freedom of speech and conscience in this way might seem merely declaratory. But a measured, well-worded and authoritative statement from the Parliament of Canada would help to shield the Canadian people from our homegrown fanatics of political correctness.”
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