Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The world's hatred...

"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, 'They hated me without cause.' "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning." (John 15: 18-27).

By clicking on the link contained within the title to this post, you will be taken to a LifeSite News article detailing what is happening to freedom of religion and freedom of expression in Canada. As the article explains, the Canadian government is now attempting to silence any and all moral opposition to homosexuality:

"Most disturbingly, says [Alberta Pastor] Boissoin, is that the ruling calls for him to "cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals." Boissoin wondered to what extent the right to freedom of expression in Canada will be deteriorated, stating, "I am not allowed to hold on to my views."

My response to this crisis and specifically the persecution of Father Alphonse de Valk at the hands of the Canadian Human Rights Commission which I have submitted to The Pilot:

Has the Canadian Human Rights Commission forgotten the legacy of John Humphrey?

In its zeal to criminalize any and all moral opposition to homosexuality, it would appear that the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which has the full power and prestige (such as it is) of the Canadian government behind it, has forgotten the legacy of a great Canadian: John Humphrey. Mr. Humphrey served as the Director of the Human Rights Division in the Secretariat’s Department of Social Affairs. And it was his 400-page draft outline which served as the blueprint for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Without a single exception, representatives of the world’s nations, had passed Resolution 217A, thereby approving this Universal Declaration. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provided the basis for the model on which the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was built. This document, also known simply as the Charter, is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada.

Ignoring Article 18 of the UDHR which states that, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and to "manifest his religion or belief (in public or private) in teaching, practice, worship and observance," the Canadian Human Rights Commission has decided to investigate Father Alphonse de Valk, a Basilian priest and pro-life activist who has had the audacity to defend the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage while drawing upon such subversive literature as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Encyclical Letters of Pope John Paul II.

The Commission is using section 13-1 of Canada’s Human Rights Act to investigate Fr. de Valk. The section reads, "It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part, by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."

Is the Canadian Human Rights Commission prepared to suggest that the official teaching of the Catholic Church relative to the issues of homosexuality and marriage engenders an environment which is "likely to expose" homosexual persons to "hatred or contempt"? Granted that section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also known as the reasonable limits clause or limitations clause because it provides for the government to legally limit an individual’s Charter rights, has been used to prevent a variety of objectionable conduct such as hate speech and obscenity. But it must be remembered that in the landmark freedom of expression decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697, the Court was simply upholding the Criminal Code of Canada provision which prohibits the willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group.

The key phrase here is "the willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group." Anyone even remotely familiar with Catholic teaching (and this apparently does not include members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission) knows full well that the Catholic Church rejects any and all hatred which is directed toward the homosexual person: "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided..." Hardly a hate manifesto.

Under Canadian law, in order for an individual’s right to be limited, in this case Fr. de Valk’s right to freedom of religion and/or freedom of expression, the onus is on the crown to show two things. First, that on the balance of probabilities, the limitation was prescribed by law. That is, the law is in compliance with the values of accessibility and intelligibility; and second, that the limit on the individual’s right is justified in a free and democratic society. This means that it must have a justifiable purpose and it must be proportional.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has no case against Fr. de Valk. Rather than striving to cater to radical homosexual activist groups and their anti-Christian agenda to silence any and all moral opposition to homosexuality, the Commission should reflect carefully on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

As we approach the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nation’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what better way to honor the very idea of universal human rights and freedoms while simultaneously honoring the memory of a Canadian human rights champion?


Ellen Wironken said...

What a brilliant legal rebuttal to the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission. Legally, there is no basis for limiting the free speech rights of Christian activists who oppose homosexuality because of Revealed truth and Natural Law principles.

Christian opposition to homosexuality does not fall under "willful" promotion of hatred toward an identifiable group.

What a shame that Canada, which supported the Universal Declaration of Human Rights back in 1948, has decided to pursue an agenda limiting these universal human rights when it comes to Christians. And this without a legal framework which justifies such an approach.

Anonymous said...

How much longer before this is happening right here? While our priests remain silent on this burning issue (and most Catholics as well), homosexual activists continue to assure us that all they want is equality. Tell that to Fr. De Valk and the protestant pastor in Alberta who has already been found guilty. They are facing fines and soon it will be jail time. And we're next. Wake up Catholics.....Wake up!

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you Ellen for that. The situation in Canada is definitely deteriorating. Pray for the persecuted Church there. Pray that Christian ministers (Catholic and Protestant) and the Christian faithful will remain firm in Christian teaching and will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit's gift of Fortitude, one of the Cardinal Virtues.

Stewart, won't it be interesting to see whether or not Mr. John Hosty (a homosexual activist who claims that he only wants "equality" for homosexual persons), will denounce the Canadian Human Rights Commission for its efforts at violating free speech and exercise of religion rights?

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, but don't the Ku Klux Klan and the Saint Benedict Center constantly heroize themselves as persecuted innocent lambs in the same manner as Christ and constantly trot out that passage? How can I be absolutely certain that you're different? I do not want to attack the Church at all. Rather, I wish to raise questions about pro-family activism the best way I can, however clumsily.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I hope you're not suggesting that Fr. de Valk shares the ideology of the KKK or the SBC in Richmond, New Hampshire or that I do. Actually, those who want to criminalize moral opposition to homosexuality are the ones exhibiting an intolerance similiar to that of the Klan or the SBC.

Fr. de Valk and I believe the same thing. Namely, that Catholics have a right to accept the teachings of their faith and to promote and defend them. This includes moral opposition toward homosexuality.

However, unlike the Klan or the SBC, we have absolutely no desire to impose our beliefs using force (Klan) or any other means of coercion (SBC).

The CHRC has no case against Fr. de Valk. He has consistently taught that homosexual PERSONS must be respected and treated with dignity and compassion. Does that sound like the Klan to you? Or the SBC?

Please don't take the SBC in Richmond for Catholic or assume that the Church believes what the cultists there do. Unlike Eugene De Lalla, we have no desire to throw homosexuals in jail or persecute them in any way.

Should't our religious freedoms be respected in a free democratic society? Or are you suggesting that Catholics (and/or other Christians) do not possess the right to religious freedom and freedom of expression?

Anonymous said...

Brian, I hope you answer Paul's questions put to you. Do you believe all opposition to homosexuality is a hate crime? Do you hate Christians Brian? What about the universal declaration of human rights which EVERY NATION signed off on Brian? Is this document now null and void?

Anonymous said...

Brian writes, "Pardon me, but don't the Ku Klux Klan and the Saint Benedict Center constantly heroize themselves as persecuted innocent lambs in the same manner as Christ and constantly trot out that passage? How can I be absolutely certain that you're different?"

How insulting! Paul is the one who first started exposing the SBC in Richmond years ago. I don't recall seeing anything from you Brian. Where were you all these years when the SBC was promoting anti-Semitic ideas? I posted numerous times at the Keene Sentinel Blog. I don't recall seeing your name at that forum or anywhere else.

Paul has been opposing hate groups for years. The homosexual movement is also largely based upon hatred. While there are homosexual persons who are not fostering hatred toward Christians, there are many more who are. Read some of Paul's recent posts on the subject.

How about the Father De Valk case Brian? Should his religious rights and his free-speech rights be stripped away just because homosexual activists don't like them?

How about those homosexual activists who threw bottles at Christian youth at a Christian rally in Germany? Do you consider that to be intolerance Brian?

How about the homosexual group EGALE which has asked the Canadian government to censor mail to ferret out opposition to the homosexual agenda? Do you have a problem with this Brian?

Suppose the U.S. government told you that your rights to freedom of expression were now void and that your mail would be censored. How would you feel Brian? And suppose that your neighbors started to throw beer bottles at you and mock your deeply-held beliefs and the police wouldn't do anything? Would you be okay with that?

You say that you "do not want to attack the Church at all." Why should we believe you?

Anonymous said...

I find Brian's comment troubling too Elizabeth. I don't think it was offered in good faith but instead to incite discord. Apparently he has no problem with the CHRC's persecution of the Church in Canada. And that would suggest something about Brian wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the work that you've done in exposing the SBC. I also did not intend to say that you have the exact same ideology as the KKK or the SBC. Rather I intended to offer constructive cricitism of pro-family rhetoric. I was asking a question from the perspective of someone who is angry and confused about Christianity. I was extremely clumsy.

I do not deny that the left is prone to extremism. I do no that rightist skinheads routinely assault homosexual persons--I wish that pro-family activists would condemn such violence more forcefully, explicitly, and frequently.

I was extremely clumsy. I apologize. Please forgive me.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Brian, thank you for that last comment. Apology accepted. The teaching of the Church has been most consistent in this regard. For example, in its Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes) Vatican II had this to say: "The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles. By the same token, she also strongly insists on this right, that no one be frightened away from the faith by unjust vexations on the part of others." (AG, No. 13).

And in its Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) No. 10, Vatican II had this to say: "It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man's response to God in faith must be free; no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will."

However, this same document teaches us in No. 3 that, "..religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs. Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power were it to presume to command or inhibit acts that are religious."

The CHRC has transgressed this limit.

Anonymous said...

At Holy Cross, there have been attempts to intimidate those who oppose homosexuality as well. Excellent post....keep up the important work here. I posted ths at the Cardinal Newman Society forum (Vic Melfa's website).

Sanctus Belle said...

I can't speak to the political culture in Canada or America as I'm so busy with family and life - but I can speak to the academic culture. If any tenure track professor were to speak out publicly - on campus or off, attend any sort of protest against the homosexual agenda, or make known their strident Christian beliefs that could in ANY way be construed as "anti-homoesexual" or in any way opposed to the GLBTG (sp?) will NOT get tenure. Unless you are at a more traditional Christian school of course. You will be blackballed, persecuted, prevented to getting any internal funding/grants, exluded from the more important committees....essentially the end of your career. In academics, the line must be towed - or else.

And all this among the most elite, "open minded" and "tolerant" liberals in America and Canada. Right...

Education does NOT equal wisdom, but often makes a bigot and well educated bigot. I've seen some of the most childish, immature, intolerant behavior among PhD's than anywhere else.

Sorry about my rant, this is just another example of persecution in North America.

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