Intolerant Canada again: Christian Political Party Before Human Rights Commission for Speaking Against Homosexuality
Leader says: "I'm willing to go to jail over this"
The Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) and its Leader Ron Gray are being investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission after a homosexual activist complained of material published on the Party's website he claims is offensive to homosexuals. Homosexual activist Rob Wells of Edmonton, has previously launched human rights complaints against Christian activist Craig Chandler in Alberta and has now made formal complaints against the CHP and Gray. Wells took issue with a 2002 WorldNetDaily news story republished on the CHP webpage as well as three Christian Heritage Party communiqu,s written by Gray.
The World Net Daily article in question concerned a study which found "Pedophilia more common among 'gays'". (see the item here: http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27431 )
Of the three communiques, one was issued in 2004 and two in 2005. The first of these condemned the actions of the self-styled "gay militia" who disrupted a Christian meeting by shouting down the speaker. Gray used strong language to condemn the actions citing the gay militia, the "militant secularists and homosexuals" as the true "hate criminals." He noted that homosexual activists work to "normalize sexual perversion" in schools because they "want to recruit our children into their debauched lifestyle." (See it here: http://www.chp.ca/arc-CHP-Communique/communique_11_17.htm )
The second took issue with Canada's bill to legalize same-sex 'marriage', saying, "Why would anyone even contemplate putting the nation's children at risk to pander to the sexual appetites of a tiny minority of mentally-ill adults?" Gray added: "Yes, I said 'mentally ill'", noting that many psychiatrists still consider homosexuality a treatable disorder. (See it here: http://www.chp.ca/arc-CHP-Communique/communique_12_21.htm )
The third item dealt with Canada's "cone of silence" around all discussion related to homosexuality. The facts on homosexuality he stated are: "homosexuality is a treatable illness; homosexuality is abnormal; homosexuality is extremely unhealthy, shortening life expectancy by decades." (see it here: http://www.chp.ca/arc-CHP-Communique/communique_12_13.htm )
In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, Gray maintained he does not harbour any ill will toward persons with same-sex attractions, in fact just the opposite. "Christians are probably the best friends homosexuals have in the world because we want to see them delivered from an addiction that will shorten their lives in this world and condemn them in the next, said Gray. "I'm not motivated by hate at all. I would guess that very few if any real Christians are motivated by hate in their response to these issues. It's a question of compassion."
Gray added: "Who truly loves you, someone who tells you the truth even when it hurts, or someone who will tell you you're okay even when you're headed down the wrong road. The Scripture says 'Faithful are the wounds of a friend, and deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.'"
The CHP Leader believes that the case is of highest importance also for the Conservative Government in Canada. "I really think this is a crucial case because if an agency of the government, which the CHRC is, can tell a political party what it may and may not include in its political statements we have gone way down the road to totalitarianism," he said.
Gray says he wants to win the case but not by compromise but in a way which affirms freedom of religion, thought and political rights in Canada. Rather than arguing before the human rights tribunals, Gray would prefer the case moves to the courts where the burden of proof is more stringent.
Moreover, says Gray, if Wells "truly believes I'm motivated by hate, he should charge me with a hate crime" under the existing Canadian hate crime law. "I'm willing to go to jail over this," Gray told LifeSiteNews.com.
Costs for the initial defense before the tribunal are expected to come to $20,000. Canadian Human Rights procedures give overwhelming advantage to plaintiffs. Defendents are liable not only for their own costs but also for those of the plaintiff plus fines should the complaint be upheld.
Does Nancy Pelosi really object to a common language in the workplace?
Should the Salvation Army be able to require its employees to speak English? You wouldn't think that's controversial. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding up a $53 billion appropriations bill funding the FBI, NASA and Justice Department solely to block an attached amendment, passed by both the Senate and House, that protects the charity and other employers from federal lawsuits over their English-only policies.
The U.S. used to welcome immigrants while at the same time encouraging assimilation. Since 1906, for example, new citizens have had to show "the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English." A century later, this preference for assimilation is still overwhelmingly popular. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 87% of voters think it "very important" that people speak English in the U.S., with four out of five Hispanics agreeing. And 77% support the right of employers to have English-only policies, while only 14% are opposed.
But hardball politics practiced by ethnic grievance lobbies is driving assimilation into the dustbin of history. The House Hispanic Caucus withheld its votes from a key bill granting relief on the Alternative Minimum Tax until Ms. Pelosi promised to kill the Salvation Army relief amendment.
Obstructionism also exists on the state level. In California, which in 1998 overwhelmingly passed a measure designed to end bilingual education, the practice still flourishes. Only 29% of Latino students score proficient or better in statewide tests of English skills, so seven school districts have sued the state to stop English-only testing. "We're not testing what they know," is how Chula Vista school chief Lowell Billings justifies his proposed switch to tests in Spanish.
Yet the public is ready for leadership that will forthrightly defend reasonable assimilation. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won plaudits when he said last June that one way to close the Latino learning divide was "to turn off the Spanish TV set. It's that simple. You've got to learn English." Ruben Navarette, a columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune, agreed, warning that "industries such as native language education or Spanish-language television [create] linguistic cocoons that offer the comfort of a warm bath when what English-learners really need is a cold shower."
But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that last year filed over 200 lawsuits against employers over English-only rules, has a different vision. Its lawsuit against the Salvation Army accuses the organization of discriminating against two employees at its Framingham, Mass., thrift store "on the basis of their national origin." Its crime was to give the employees a year's notice that they should speak English on the job (outside of breaks) and then firing them after they did not. The EEOC sued only four years after a federal judge in Boston, in a separate suit, upheld the Salvation Army's English-only policy as an effort to "promote workplace harmony." Like a house burglar, the EEOC is trying every door in the legal neighborhood until it finds one that's open.
In theory, employers can escape the EEOC's clutches if they can prove their policies are based on grounds of safety or "compelling business necessity." But most companies choose to settle rather than be saddled with the legal bills. Synchro Start Products, a Chicago firm, paid $55,000 to settle an EEOC suit against its English-only policy, which it says it adopted after the use of multiple languages led to miscommunication. When one group of employees speak in a language other workers can't understand, the company said, it's easy for personal misunderstandings to undermine morale. Many companies complain they are in a Catch-22--potentially liable to lawsuits if employees insult each other but facing EEOC action if they pass English-only rules to better supervise those employee comments.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), who authored the now-stalled amendment to prohibit the funding of EEOC lawsuits against English-only rules, is astonished at the opposition he's generated. Rep. Joe Baca (D., Calif.), chair of the Hispanic Caucus, boasted that "there ain't going to be a bill" including the Alexander language because Speaker Pelosi had promised him the conference committee handling the Justice Department's budget would never meet. So Sen. Alexander proposed a compromise, only requiring that Congress be given 30 days notice before the filing of any EEOC lawsuit. "I was turned down flat," he told me. "We are now celebrating diversity at the expense of unity. One way to create that unity is to value, not devalue, our common language, English."
That's what pro-assimilation forces are moving to do. TV Azteca, Mexico's second-largest network, is launching a 60-hour series of English classes on all its U.S. affiliates. It recognizes that teaching English empowers Latinos. "If you live in this country, you have to speak as everybody else," Jose Martin Samano, Azteca's U.S. anchor, told Fox News. "Immigrants here in the U.S. can make up to 50% or 60% more if they speak both English and Spanish. This is something we have to do for our own people."
Azteca isn't alone. Next month, a new group called Our Pledge will be launched. Counting Jeb Bush and former Clinton Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros among its board members, the organization believes absorbing immigrants is "the Sputnik challenge of our era." It will put forward two mutual pledges. It will ask immigrants to learn English, become self-sufficient and pledge allegiance to the U.S. It will ask Americans to provide immigrants help navigating the American system, the chance to eventually become a citizen and an atmosphere of respect.
This is a big challenge, but Our Pledge points out that the U.S. did it before with the Americanization movement of a century ago. It was government led, but the key players were businesses like the Ford Motor Company and nonprofits such as the YMCA, plus an array of churches and neighborhood groups.
The alternative to Americanization is polarization. Already a tenth of the population speaks English poorly or not at all. Almost a quarter of all K-12 students nationwide are children of immigrants living between two worlds. It's time for people of good will to reject both the nativist and anti-assimilation extremists and act. If the federal government spends billions on the Voice of America for overseas audiences and on National Public Radio for upscale U.S. listeners, why not fund a "Radio New America" whose primary focus is to teach English and U.S. customs to new arrivals?
In 1999, President Bill Clinton said "new immigrants have a responsibility to enter the mainstream of American life." Eight years later, Clinton strategists Stan Greenberg and James Carville are warning their fellow Democrats that the frustration with immigrants and their lack of assimilation is creating a climate akin to the anti-welfare attitudes of the 1990s. They point out that 40% of independent voters now cite border security issues as the primary reason for their discontent.
In 1996, Mr. Clinton and a GOP Congress joined together to defuse the welfare issue by ending the federal welfare entitlement. Bold bipartisan action is needed again. With frustration this deep, it's in the interests of both parties not to let matters get out of hand.
Britain: Myths about rape myths
The Government is to produce "myth-busting" packs for juries to get more convictions for rape. These are supposed to demolish the idea that date rape does not count as rape, or that women who drink or dress provocatively are "asking for it". The details have not been finalised because of the small matter that pretrial information given by the prosecution might prejudice the trial. But politicians are determined to raise the conviction rate for this crime. "Where changes to the law are needed, we will make them," the Solicitor-General, Vera Baird, said yesterday. "Justice must not be defeated by myths and stereotypes."
Quite right. But I wonder if she and I have different notions of justice. For the more I look at this issue, the more myths I seem to find. The biggest is being propagated by politicians themselves. They repeat, ad infinitum, that the conviction rate for rape is scandalously low, at 5.7 per cent. They conclude from this that juries cannot be trusted. But 5.7 per cent is only the proportion of convictions secured out of the total allegations made, not the proportion of convictions secured out of the cases tried. The attrition rate in rape cases is high: only about 12 per cent of cases reach court. So in the courtroom, the true conviction rate is about 44 per cent, slightly higher than that for murder.
Rape is a shocking crime. But you would expect it to be at least as hard to prosecute as murder. More than four out of five allegations are now made against a partner, friend or acquaintance. About half of those involve drink and/or drugs. Jurors think long and hard about decisions if there is no witness, only circumstantial evidence and where a guilty verdict means a minimum of seven years in jail. Gang rape by strangers carries the same minimum sentence as rape by a drunken partner. There is no equivalent to manslaughter, because victim groups feel that a lesser charge would downgrade the seriousness of the crime. Yet some lawyers feel that some juries are not convicting because they feel that the right crime is not being tried.
No one argues that there must be something wrong with the law because only 40 per cent of those tried are convicted of murder. Yet rape is a deeply emotive issue. The Government has already bent over backwards to bend the law. It has changed the definition of consent. It has created specialist rape prosecutors. It now plans to make "hearsay evidence" - complaints of rape to a third party - admissable in trials. Yet the number of allegations that result in a conviction is still falling, because although more people are being found guilty of rape, allegations have jumped by about 40 per cent in the past five years.
This is partly because more women are prepared to come forward. That is a good thing. There are now some excellent sexual assault referral centres and rape crisis centres, which welcome women in and collect evidence - although provision of these is still too patchy. There is also a growing number of rape allegations involving binge drinking, which tests definitions of guilt to the limit.
The focus on trials is obscuring the more important question of why so few cases come to court at all. Earlier this year a report by the Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service found enormous variations in the way that different police forces deal with rape. That remains a problem. It is clear that some forces are sceptical about some claims, particularly those that involve alcohol, and that many women are easily discouraged from pursuing cases that are traumatic to endure.
Home Office research undertaken two years ago at six different referral centres found that a sixth of the complaints that were dropped by police were classed as false allegations. A quarter were dropped because of insufficient or no evidence. A third were dropped because the complainant withdrew - some because a report had been made by someone else, against the person's wishes. This is tricky territory. It is right to encourage women to come forward. But a Home Office analysis of the British Crime Survey recently stated that "only 60 per cent of female rape victims were prepared to self-classify their experience as rape". If those women did not see themselves as victims, I wonder why the Home Office is so keen to make them so?
What hits you when reading reports of these cases is the painful individuality of each one. It is impossible to generalise about the infinite circumstances of human behaviour. Some people fear reprisals. Some want to deal with the trauma in their own way. Some are not sure what really happened. These are the delicate lines on which so many judgments must turn.
In March the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction of a 25-year-old computer software engineer, Benjamin Bree, for raping a 19-year-old student after a night of drinking with friends. The judges ruled that the student was still capable of consenting to sex, even after consuming substantial amounts of alcohol. They also ruled that a drunken person can lose the capacity to consent, and that would amount to rape. That seems to me to be an intelligent calibration. Ministers are still considering whether to insist that no agreement can be taken as consent if it is given when intoxicated. But that would make a drunken man accountable for his deeds, but not a drunken woman.
It is an outrage that some men are getting away with rape. But I also worry that the language in which the issue is now being discussed implies that the only right result is a conviction. That would be a travesty of justice. It is no good trying to bust myths about rape if you are also going to propagate the myth that everyone is guilty as charged.
Abstinence Activist Elected to School Board that Fired Him
Liberal School Superintendent Resigns in Protest
After being fired for promoting abstinence among students at the school where he worked, ex school supervisor Chris Lind has been elected to the Prior Lake-Savage district school board in Minnesota.
Lind, who was a hallway and parking lot supervisor at a local high school and a "conservative Christian" was told by District Human Resource Director Tony Massaros that he could not discuss abstinence from sexual activity with any students, during or after school hours, on or off campus, according to a friend who witnessed the meeting. Lind was told that this restriction included Sunday Bible school classes at his own church, and it even extended to former students of the school. He was also told to take down his "My Space" website, which purportedly gave advice to the many students who sought his counsel.
However, after the Prior Lake-Savage School District fired Lind on the recommendation of Superintendent Tom Westerhaus, the voters returned him to the District in the months following, electing him to the school board early this month.
Westerhaus soon after announced his resignation, stating that he couldn't continue to function as the employee of the man whom he had fired so recently. What galled Westerhaus the most was the fact that the people of the school district had clearly sided with Lind. "It isn't that one person. It's the 3,400 people who said he's one of the best candidates for School Board," Westerhaus told a local reporter. "I'm being told this was courageous. I don't know that's what this was, but I'm taking a stand. Maybe that's what we need now in education more than ever."
Chuck Darrell of the Minnesota Family Council, noted that the school district that fired Lind has a "sex ed program" that promotes promiscuity and unnatural sexual behavior. "Perhaps Lind would have kept his job if he had limited his discussions to other comprehensive sex education topics such as how to get an abortion or oral sex with a dental dam," Darrell writes on MFC's blog, which has covered the issue for months. "The recent rise in STDs and STIs in Minnesota is proof that current sex education curricula are a colossal failure," says Darrell. "And, as long as schools continue to fire personnel for promoting abstinence then we can only expect more of the same."
Although Lind will soon be a school board member, he has not ruled out the possibility of a lawsuit against the same board for his firing.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.