NewsMon Nov 3, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Human Rights Commission: “Kill the Christian” Lyrics OK, but Criticize Homosexuality? No Way
By Hilary White
RED DEER, Alberta, November 3, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Alberta Human Rights Commission (HRC) has come under scrutiny again for what critics are calling a brazen double standard in its treatment of "hate" and discrimination.
Blogger, lawyer and democratic activist Ezra Levant has revealed that Alberta Human Rights Commissioner Lori Andreachuk, who in a ruling earlier this year ordered a Christian pastor to publish a renunciation of his Christian views in the local newspaper, in 2003 dismissed a complaint against a rock music group who used lyrics in one of their recordings that urged listeners to "kill the Christian."
Andreachuk dismissed the case saying that Christians are not "vulnerable" enough and the group in question not a "credible" threat.
Levant is calling foul, however. Bluntly calling Andreachuk an "anti-Christian bigot" he points to the ruling by the same commissioner against Rev. Stephen Boissoin, who was ordered to pay heavy fines and publish an apology and renunciation of his religious views.
Andreachuk’s ruling, he wrote, is a "smokescreen." "It’s not jurisprudence; it’s not coherent; it pretends to adhere to precedent, but it clearly doesn’t. It’s legal mumbo-jumbo to cover up the bald political fact here: Comrade Andreachuk thinks it’s fine to call for the murder of Christians. And this same anti-Christian bigot sentenced Rev. Boissoin to a lifetime of silence about his faith."
The 2003 case was that of "Quintin Johnson vs. Music World." Johnson, the complainant, was browsing for CDs at a Music World shop in Red Deer, Alberta, and found an album from the group "Deicide" containing a track called "Kill the Christian."
Song lyrics began, "Kill The Christian/You are the one we despise/Day in day out your words compromise lies/I will love watching you die." Levant comments dryly, "Pretty hard to find any nuances there."
As a Christian, Alberta resident Quintin Johnson brought a complaint against the store saying he had been discriminated against. Lori Andreachuk, however, while agreeing that the "content and tone" of the lyrics "appear on the face of them to be discriminatory," concluded that Christians had nothing to complain about.
"There is very little vulnerability of the target group," Andreachuk wrote. The rock group, she wrote, "lacks credibility and has a small circulation. The context of the publication is not presented as a debate or any purportedly authoritative analysis and the target group is not vulnerable."
Under this reasoning, Levant wrote on his blog, "a neo-Nazi could never be guilty of spreading hate, because by definition a neo-Nazi is obscure, not credible, and listened to only by those who seek them out."
Rev. Stephen Boissoin, wrote in an email he forwarded to LifeSiteNews.com, "I guess a music store that sells music which shouts out ‘Kill the Christian, Kill the Christian’ is totally acceptable in Canada."
"I am certainly not one to suppress freedom of speech but it would appear that Christians are not assured the same standard of protection via these Human Rights Commissions as the rest of Canadians. After all, where did I ever say ‘Kill the Homosexual, Kill the Homosexual?’" Rev. Boissoin said.
Boissoin was found guilty last year by an HRC panel, headed by Andreachuk, of having exposed homosexuals to "hatred and contempt" by publishing a letter in the Red Deer Advocate warning against the dangers to the social order of homosexual activism.
Rev. Boissoin was prohibited for life from preaching sermons that are critical of homosexuality and was told that he cannot criticize homosexuality even in his private communications such as e-mails. Rev. Boissoin was also ordered to pay a total of $7,000 in fines. As the respondent in the case, moreover, he was obliged to pay his own court costs while the complainant had the costs covered by the state.
Ezra Levant, who has had two HRC cases against him dismissed and dropped, maintains that even if the HRC decides in favour of the respondent, the "process is the punishment" with his own expenses having exceeded $100,000 and civil suits still pending.
Levant became an international internet celebrity when he published the proceedings against him on the video website YouTube. He resoundingly defended the democratic principle of freedom of speech and told investigating HRC commissioner Shirlene McGovern that he would "rot in hell" before he violated those principles and apologized for anything he had published in his magazine.
Levant said the Alberta HRC’s dismissal of the music store case was a brazen case of a double standard, in which only Christians and social conservatives can be guilty of "discrimination" but attacks on Christians by others are acceptable.
"So it doesn’t matter if Christians are exposed to hate - they’re not vulnerable. So says Comrade Andreachuk. By definition, she writes, a Christian cannot be the victim of hate speech," Levant wrote.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Two Years and $100,000 Later: Ezra Levant Complaint Dismissed by Human Rights Commission
Alberta Pastor Fined $7000 and Ordered to Publicly Apologize and Remain Silent on Homosexuality