Interview with a Persecuted Christian Pastor
By John Jalsevac
June 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Albertan Steve Boissoin, the latest victim of Canada’s intensifying persecution against Christians who openly defend Christian moral teaching on homosexuality, was recently interviewed by the Christian journalist Pete Vere. Vere has since posted Youtube clips of the interview on his blog (see http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/).
In particular, Vere hoped to give Boissoin the chance to defend himself against claims that he propagated hate speech.
Late last year the Alberta Human Rights Commission ruled against Boissoin, and last week issued a remedy ruling that orders the pastor to apologize in writing to Darren Lund, the complainant in the case, to pay $7,000 in fines, and to never make "disparaging" remarks about homosexuality again.
The problem, says Boissoin, is that he has never felt any hate towards homosexuals. While Boissoin admits that he used impassioned and strong language in his letter to the editor on homosexuality, published in the Red Deer Advocate, language that some may have been offended by, he says his intention in doing so was simply to shake people of good will into recognizing that the radical homosexualist agenda has made significant inroads into Canadian law, and schools in particular.
"I certainly don’t feel any anger or bitterness towards anyone who’s homosexual," says Boissoin.
He believes that Darrell Lund took the letter to the editor, seriously misinterpreted it by pulling quotations out of context, and used his misinterpretation as the basis for a hate crimes case. Boissoin also says that during the tribunal hearing that led to his conviction he was never given the opportunity to explain what he had intended by the letter.
"I did not have what I believe is an equal opportunity to not only speak what my context and the interpretation of my letter was - after all I’m the one who wrote it, I should be able to interpret it. What I felt at the Tribunal hearing, and in the public, there’s been a lot of this, where people have had the - like the Darren Lunds - liberty of interpreting the letter for me."
In particular, says Boissoin, people have taken some of his stronger language, especially his statement "war has been declared" and interpreted it literally. With this interpretation in hand the HRC ruled that Boissoin was guilty of instigating a violent attack against a homosexual that took place several weeks after his letter was published, despite the lack of any evidence linking the two events.
The statement "war has been declared" was obviously, says the pastor, "in my context an ideological, sociopolitical war, that I was no longer going to stand and do nothing while these agendas were being propagated in my schools and in my own community. I was going to stand out. I was going to sound the alarm through that letter, whereas that has been twisted into, was I condoning, and did I have anything to do with a teen who was beaten, two weeks after my letter was written - a homosexual teen. Which is utterly ridiculous.
"I would stand and protect any teen like my own brother."
"Obviously the weapons of my warfare are not the same weapons of the warfare that is spun by the Darren Lunds, trying to capitalize on any term that he can to make it look like I’m some hateful animal. The weapons of my warfare are the teachings of truth, out of the Word of God, combined with science, which is revealing more and more that promiscuity, period, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual…is a very, very dangerous lifestyle psychologically, physically."
Another problematic and common misinterpretation of the letter, says Boissoin, is that its contents were directed at all homosexuals. But he says this is not the case. Indeed, the letter opens with the assurance that it is not meant for homosexuals on the whole, but rather only for those radical homosexual activists who are pushing for the indoctrination of young children in schools, leading them to accept homosexuality as but another legitimate and good "lifestyle."
Boissoin’s letter begins: "The following is not intended for those who are suffering from an unwanted sexual identity crisis. For you, I have understanding, care, compassion and tolerance. I sympathize with you and offer you my love and fellowship. I prayerfully beseech you to seek help, and I assure you that your present enslavement to homosexuality can be remedied. Many outspoken, former homosexuals are free today."
The pastor told Vere, "If a homosexual couple wants to keep their relationship in the bedroom then I’ll mind my own business and carry on with my own life. But the truth is they’re not keeping it in the bedroom. They’re now into the schools, and my passion is for young people. If the Lord calls me to be an advocate, to put my own freedom at risk, to speak out - and my letter was strongly worded, it was designed to open the Pandora’s box. I wrote it for that specific reason and I believe that God is using it because of that."
The pastor also observes that the letter was originally intended for the local Red Deer community where he, and the inner-city ministry that he performs, is well known. "Anyone who knew me in Red Deer knew that I had given my life savings over to ministry here, to at risk youth and inner-city mission," he observed. "I have had over two dozen teens move into a youth home that myself and some other Christian investors renovated to accommodate teens, many who were homosexual."
Boissoin also observes that it is ironic that he has been accused of "hate speech" for having done nothing more than having written an impassioned appeal for people to oppose the radical homosexualist agenda, particularly in schools, while he has been the victim of blatant, up-front hate speech.
"If anyone has seen the persecution that I’ve suffered and the verbal beatings I’ve taken, it’s unbelievable," he said. "Every day people are bashing my faith and making derogatory comments and hateful comments, I mean, blatant hateful comments. They’re telling me they hate me. In Calgary and in Red Deer I have been told I would be injected with an HIV positive syringe, I’ve been told that I would be lynched and sodomized."
The Christian pastor told Vere that for now he is continuing to perform his Christian ministry to anyone who comes to him seeking help. "If it’s a homosexual I try to share a loving and graceful…love and truth cannot be separated. God’s truth has to be presented with that message of love. And then I leave it with them and I pray for them. And that’s all I can do. I’m not responsible to save anybody. I feel no animosity in my heart."