Thoughts from the Stephen Boissoin Case and at Random
I am somewhat in a state of shock from testimony that I read the other day from the Lemire case Summations of September 2008.
There is no piece of scripture in the bible more fundamentally important to me at this stage of my life than John, Chapter 8, verse 32: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." I cannot even think of anything more straight forward, simple and above all true. It is the basis for this blog "Freedom Through Truth."
And how do you get to know the truth? First, you have to make yourself open to it, and desire it above all else. For me as a Christian, it comes first through prayer. But for all of us, regardless of our faith background, knowing the truth comes from listening actively and discerning what we listen to, and filtering out that which is not for our own edification, and that of our loved ones.
It does not come from the government filtering things out before we get to do that for ourselves. That is Big Brother censorship. It is not so much about taking away our right of free speech, as denying us our responsibility to train our minds to discern what we see and hear.
Compare that to what Simon Fothergill, a lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada had to say about the truth in the Lemire case in the fall of 2008: “It’s very difficult to construct an entirely truthful statement that constitutes hate, but there might be a context. Truth is not a defence and intent is not a defence, but they are irrelevant to the effects and effects are what matters in human rights legislation." Give me a fricking break.
As Marc Lemire blogged on his Freedom Site, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal member hearing the Lemire Case, Athanasios Hadjis then asked Mr. Fothergill: “So, I’m to judge a truthful statement on the basis of who made it” and as Mr. Lemire comments "to decide whether it’s likely to expose someone to hatred or contempt?" Unfortunately, as absurd as it sounds when you put it out there Mr.Lemire, I think you got it.
So, we have human beings deciding whether something will expose someone to hatred and contempt to convict a person of hate speech, based solely on their own feelings or the perceived feelings of some other group of people. Facts are irrelevant.
Here's the real bottom line. If what is said is the truth, but is said by someone not from a distinguishable endangered group from an artificial discrimination standpoint, about one of the endangered, it's hate speech. Put the blighter through years of investigation, and hearings. Turn his life upside down, then penalize him, and get him to retract his hateful speech, and mend his ways, even if what he said was true or he had reason to believe it was true.
Stephen Boissoin wrote "1" (that's ONE count it ONE) letter to the Editor of the Red Deer Advocate, which you can find in one of my other blog entries, about activists bringing in a biased homosexual mandate to teach children from an early age about the homosexual lifestyle. He had young kids in the Red Deer school system, and he did not like what was being taught about homosexuality to his kids.
He was in his letter to the editor declaring an ideological socio-political war. He wanted to stand out. He is a committed Bible believing Christian. He speaks a different language than non Christians. When he talks war, the weapons of his warfare are the spiritual weapons from Ephesians in the Bible, not physical weapons. His weapons are teachings of truth from the word of God and science, that reveal that promiscuity is a dangerous lifestyle. That is what he wanted to have people understand to counter what was creeping into the school system. That is a father who loves his children, and the other children in the school system as well.
What he saw from his viewpoint was a homosexual machine that was moving into the schools with a mandate to teach and impress children. He believed that it was just as immoral as allowing a pedophile or drug dealer in the schools to influence young children. But, his letter was not about gay people, but about the gay politics of some hard line groups and there is a big distinction. His position was that most North Americans are not aware of what is going on in the public school systems.
The complainant against him, Darren Lund, was a high school teacher in Reed Deer. He invited a pro-gay minister into the public high school to teach what he called the pro-gay interpretation of the Bible. Stephen Boissoin was part of his local ministerial association and none of them were invited to ensure that the young minds were offered fair opportunity to consider and choose a view. No, as Stephen told me in an email, instead they were manipulated or corralled and guilted into believing lies, without hearing the truth.
Stephen himself has a long history of helping youth, and going that extra mile for them. In Red Deer, he has given his life savings to youth ministry and a group home for teens, including kids who were homosexuals, with no exclusions.
The organization Stephen worked with which ministered to teens still functions in Alberta, except for Red Deer. Where it was difficult before, the Human Rights complaint magnified the difficulties. They had 100 teens a week that they ministered to, and had good rapport with the local churches. The complaint and the unsavoury profile that the complainant Darren Lund was able to generate from the hate speech case over Stephen's letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate limited the access to funds.
Here is my hope and prayer for Darren Lund. I hope and pray that one day Darren Lund will see the damage that he did to Stephen Boissoin and the youth of Red Deer, both the street kids that Stephen ministered to and the students that Darren taught. When that moment comes, I pray that God's mercy will open his eyes, and that his heart will be softened.
Basically, in Stephen's opinion, left alone, the letter would have sparked debate, and then faded away. The letter was meant to be a sounding of the alarm. By it, Stephen was asking parents to wake up, and ask some questions about what was being taught in schools.
Stephen Boissoin saw something that he believed fervently was harmful to his children and other children, and he spoke up about it. It was either true or he had reason to believe that it was true.
TRUE does not cut it with the HRCs. They care about feelings, hurt feelings, or potentially hurt feelings some time in the future for one of their endangered groups.
Oh, by the way, Stephen Boissoin received death threats on his computer during the whole process but he just carried on. Who would have listened to him anyway?
If you want to hear an interesting interview with a thoughtful, calm and peaceful man, who was only trying to do the right thing, and will do so again, you can hear it on Catholic Light here.
If I have to choose between Stephen Boissoin and the Simon Fothergill's of this world, give me Stephen Boissoin every time. He will do his best to tell me the truth every time out. With the Simon Fothergills of this world, the truth is an inconvenience, unless it feels good.