The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

The Victimless Victims of Secular Religious Freedom

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The opening graf of this WorldNet Daily story, ought to make pastors everywhere run to their nearest Alliance Defense Fund attorney and give them a hug:

A Canadian human rights tribunal ordered a Christian pastor to renounce his faith and never again express moral opposition to homosexuality, according to a new report.

Apparently, a couple of years ago, Pastor Stephen Boisson wrote a letter to the editor calling homosexual activism, “wicked,” reserving particularly strong criticism for “homosexual and pro-homosexual educators” who have “psychologically abused and brainwashed” young children.

Since penning his letter, Pastor Boisson has been embroiled in a legal probe before the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. At issue is whether or not he his words have violated the Canadian prohibition on hate speech. (For those of us on this side of our neighbors to the north, that law is akin to the myriad of laws in the US like ENDA, “hate crimes,” and other nondiscrimination ordinances (N.O.’s) like Colorado’s that permits the gender confused to use the public restroom facilities reserved for use by the opposite gender.)

Here’s the pay-dirt paragraph from the May 30 decision of the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal:

Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. . . . Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current Web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.,” the lawyer opined.

That, plus the Tribunal’s pronouncement of Boissoin as “guilty” and an order to pay $5,000 in fines (plus an unknown amount that has been spent in nearly 7 years of legal fees), is what a pastor gets in Canada for “inciting hate speech.”

Oh wait, there’s more. One would think that such extreme actions as deeming one “guilty,” fining them multiple thousands of dollars, wrangling them through the legal mill, and forbidding a pastor from what amounts to speaking his sincerely held religious beliefs would be based upon the great harm that person caused to all of society or, at least, one person in particular. Quoth the Tribunal:

In this case there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward.

N.O.’s, and laws giving similar special rights, punish individuals who do no more than simply abide by their religious beliefs. Exercising your First Amendment is not a crime…..YET! The government has no right to harrass someone for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights in public.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

June 12, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Religious Freedom

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