Steven Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada are hatemongers. Does that sound a little extreme to your sensitive ears? Well how else would describe a political party which is introducing legislation that would make it legal for anyone who felt like it to speak out against a group, refuse services to a group and in general treat them like second class citizens because of who they are.
They’ve given the bill a nice sounding name; it’s called the Defence Of Religions Act. You see it’s meant to defend the rights of poor Christians against the contamination of having to have homosexuals as equal members of society.
Now we all know that real Christians have no compassion and are filled with hatred against those who are different from them. So the government is moving in a timely fashion to ensure that they can tell anyone they want about the evils of homosexuality. Contravening the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the process, by denying them the services of a government office by a government official based on a reason of race, creed, colour, or sexuality, the government has spared no effort to ensure that real Christians everywhere will be able to discriminate to their hearts content.
I mean if you, as a good Christian, were a sworn officer of the court who had taken an oath to uphold and enact the laws and Constitution of Canada wouldn’t you want to be able to refuse to do so whenever it was convenient for you as an individual? If you were a Justice of the Peace whose duties include performing civil, secular, marriages for those couples who don’t want religion to play any role in their marriage, shouldn’t you be able to refuse to marry them because you don’t like them for who they are, because it offends your religion?
Well the Conservative Party of Canada thinks so. In fact they are going to let you if they have their way. In spite of the fact that the existing laws state that no religious organization has to perform any act that contravenes the tenets of their faith, our fearless government seems to think that is not sufficient protection for those people who wish to discriminate.
But they’re not just going to defend your right to refuse to marry gay couples; they’re going to do a whole lot more. You’ll be able to refuse to do business with openly gay businesses. It says gay activist companies in the bill, but I doubt if anyone will argue with you too closely if you just refuse service to any business you know to be run by gays. (Aren’t they all radicals anyway – buggers are lucky they’re even legal, right?)
It gets even better though. Under the new act you’re going to be able to get up in public, in front of school students, and in front of your congregation and tell everyone just how evil homosexuals are. In direct contravention of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms you’ll be able to get up and disseminate hatred against a group based on their sexual preferences.
Now of course this isn’t just limited to Christians, anybody who wants to can discriminate against homosexuals, but the government’s main audience are their people. In fact I’m sure if they had their way they would try and figure out how they could use this bill so they could refuse service to anyone they wanted. The word precedent springs to mind when dealing with legal matters.
If somehow or other this bill makes it out of the House of Commons as law, and manages to stand up to the multitude of court challenges it will face, think of the possibilities. You could refuse service to anyone you wanted because they offended your religious beliefs.
Of course you may have to subject all potential clients, employees, customers, or tenants to questionnaires to make certain they didn’t practice, believe, or hold to anything that might even possibly be considered offensive to you at some point in the future. You just can’t tell by looking who or what somebody is these days can you?
What is especially wonderful about this bill is how it makes it sound like the government is doing something noble. Defence of Religion sure does have a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Yet what it really is doing is allowing people to carry personal prejudices into public and making it legal for them to act on them. In other words reversing years of civil rights legislation and activity.
Canada has a very deliberate policy of separation between church and state in order to prevent the very activities this law would legalize. All people are equal under the eyes of the law supposedly and all of a sudden an exception is going to be made in the case of two groups on religious grounds. One group, homophobes, are going to be allowed to discriminate at will under the guise of religious freedom. The second group, homosexuals, will be subject to discrimination whenever somebody decides they offend their religious beliefs.
Religious beliefs are a highly personal matter and can change from individual congregation to congregation no matter what the faith. In many cases it can even change from person to person in the degree to which they adhere to the tenets of their religion; not everybody keeps as strict observance of rules as everybody else.
But personal beliefs are just that, personal, and have no place being imposed upon the public at large where they will come into conflict with another’s personal beliefs. The law already protects the right of people to worship in any manner they choose and how they see fit. No faith, denomination, or congregation can be forced to do anything that goes against the beliefs of its community
Defence of Religion is the right to gather and worship your God, Goddess, or small fuzzy creatures from the planet Zarcon in the way that your community finds meaningful. It doesn’t give you the right to refuse to treat anybody else the way you wish to be treated just because they aren’t like you. That’s discrimination.
Discrimination is saying that some individuals are less worthy then others. To write a law which allows for one group to be discriminated against by anybody who feels like it is to give official sanction to the belief that they don’t deserve to be respected or treated the same as the rest of us no matter how you word it.
No matter what else you say, you are encouraging people to dislike those people because you have given the legal right to discriminate against them. If the government says homosexuals can be treated like dirt; that means that the idea that they are inferior is going to be the next logical thought in the minds of many people. What’s next: gay bashing in self-defence because their presence infringed upon your religious rights?
Steven Harper and The Conservative Party of Canada are proposing that one segment of our population deserves to be discriminated against because of who they are. That’s hate mongering and it’s illegal in Canada. Does anyone know how to make a citizen’s arrest?