Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Not actually feedback, but I'll pretend...

I got this in the email a few days ago. I have no idea where these sorts of things come from, or why anyone I know would think I'd be sympathetic, but I got it nonetheless:

The dangerous Bill that threatens our freedoms of speech and religion!

Bill C-415 is now C-250 - But is still the same dangerous Bill that threatens our freedoms of speech and religion!

Bill C-415, the proposed amendment of the hate crime law has been sent back to the Justice Committee as Bill C-250. So C-415 is not dead, as some have reported. It is exactly the same bill with a different number, and has been given the status as having passed �second reading�. This means that the Bill is only one vote away from becoming the �law of the land� and the only way to stop it is to send a message to the Justice Committee Members and to all MP�s that the bill must be defeated. Some MP�s are still not aware of this Bill nor its consequences. They must be informed.

Bill C-250 proposes changes to the Criminal Code hate crime legislation that are intended to criminalize all people with dissenting opinions on homosexuality and the homosexual agenda. Are you a criminal because you do not approve of homosexual behavior? If Bill C-250 becomes law, the following consequences will result; especially once hate crime charges are before the courts.

- The Bible, at least certain portions of the Bible may be declared �hate literature�.

- Expressing disagreement with homosexual behavior or the homosexual agenda, either verbally or in writing would be considered hate propaganda.

- Educators, including those at private religious schools, will not be able to refuse to teach homosexual curriculum.

- Religious institutions will not be allowed to teach anything non-supportive of homosexual sex.

- Canadian Blood Services will not be allowed to screen risk-behavior donors.

- Governments (including local municipalities) will be prevented from passing (even debating) sex standard laws.

- Churches will not be able to mention certain Scriptures.

- Clergy may be subjected to criminal charges if they refuse to marry homosexuals.

- PARENTS may be subjected to criminal charges if they refuse to allow their children to attend classes that teach about and promote homosexual behavior.

Please speak out against this Bill. We need every voice. Sign a petition, write or fax your MP and insist that NO amendment be made to the hate crime law, and to not allow this kind of assault on Free Speech and Freedom of Religion by such an oppressive law.

This is Crucial Do it Today! Please let everyone in your household 18 years and over to email your Member of Parliament

Is This The Future?

Please contact your Member of Parliament and let them know how you thinkabout the new proposed bill and how it will effect our nation.

(I've cleaned up a little of the formatting, but that's as far as I can bring myself to go)

So I searched Yahoo for "C-250", and found many, many sites plying the same sort of story. And none to give me any other perspective on C-250. Not Svend Robinson's site (he's sponsoring the bill), nothing at EGALE's site (though I whiled away several minutes there enjoying creative communications work like the Adopt-an-MP programme)... I was on my own here.

I have to draw a few conclusions based on flimsy information. If someone there finds actual facts to string together my assumptions, or tear them down, have at 'er. First of all, if this is sponsored by an Opposition member, it's going nowhere, though second reading does suggest the government is at least fond enough of adding sexual preference protections to hate crime legislation that they want to kick it around in committee, and see what they might come up with that some Cabinet member can sponsor and pass later on. And second.... well, most of the other assumptions are implied in my response, which follows (in bold, because, hey, it's my site):

... "There may be some religious organizations that are legitimately concerned about the slippage of their freedom of expression, but any law that infringes too far on section 2 Charter rights is going to get tossed out by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, whoever wrote this original note seems to be fear-mongering: "Educators ... will not be able to refuse to teach homosexual curriculum." WTF is "homosexual curriculum"? I think I took 'straight' math 30 in High School... do you suppose there's a correspondence course to upgrade that to bisexual math 30? "Canadian Blood Services will not be allowed to screen risk-behavior donors." If that means CBS can't ask if you're gay, well, good. If it means CBS can't ask if you've engaged in unprotected sexual activity with a new partner in the last few or several months, well, no court in the world would interpret that question as 'promoting hate'. (On reflection, even nice, Christian, formerly virginal straight kids newly married and monogamous for life probably get to answer that question "yes" at one point in their lives.)

What c-250 does is say that it is especially abhorrent to a tolerant society to beat up a man because you suspect he's gay, as opposed to beating someone up for the hell of it. Just as it is especially abhorrent to assault a man because he is black, as opposed to assualting black men and white men in equal measure. And so, in either case, the former will be penalized more harshly than the latter.

I'm not sure that's a good thing, that any hate crime legislation is a good thing. I can see a rationale for it, and think it's important to openly communicate that Canadians of all religious practices and political leanings do not tolerate gay-bashing. But at the same time I'm somewhat concerned about a court trying to decide why I did something, and judging my sins to be mortal or venal depending on my suspected motivation.

I do, however, know that fear-mongering claims that the Bible will be declared hate literature do not advance the debate."

I've had enough of straw men for a while. I need to start arguing with thoughtful people, and fast! In the meantime, if you see an e-mail like this, respond. Respond directly to the people who e-mailed you, and cc it to your MP or MLA as appropriate. Let those who govern know there are thoughtful citizens who will support them when they stand up to the kneejerk right. I've found some of those who might be thoughtful just need that little verbal push out of the kneejerk habit.

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