Thursday, March 31, 2005

Canada, Religion Expression and Freedom of Speech

This article is incredible. It was an address given by Dr. Chris Kempling, a counsellor in Canada, to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and he received a standing ovation. In it he records something of the way in which Canadian laws are affecting religious expression in Canada, and the examples he gives are incredible. Here are the examples:

1. A man is now in British Columbia's maximum security prison for protesting. His protest - holding a sign saying thou shallt not kill outside an abortion clinic, entirely peacefully.

2. A Christian nurse was fined $15,000 by his association and $20,000 by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Why? - speaking out against homosexuality.

3. His own case, where he was convicted of conduct unbecoming a member of the BC College of Teachers. The charge - writing a letter outlinging the dangers (as recorded in the scholarly literature) of homosexuality.

His address is well worth consulting, and seeing just how bad things have got in Canada with their new laws. He writes on the potential implications if his appeal fails:

I appealed the conviction to the BC Supreme Court, but lost in February of last year. If this verdict is upheld by the courts, teachers will not be able to write privately to their own supervisors to question a new curriculum resource, or write privately their own elected officials on a matter of public policy, nor will they able to address the topic of homosexuality in post graduate research papers. I was disciplined for doing all of these things. This is an unacceptable restriction of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of intellectual expression.

I can hardly believe it. At least we still have freedom of speech (for now...)


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