Alexander Hamilton, the First US secretary of The Treasury is credited with saying "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
But, frankly it is getting harder to stand for anything in this day and age. In fact, in Canada, it has become next to impossible, though there are some who will do it anyway because it is the right thing, and are prepared to suffer whatever consequences come of it.
I came across a couple of examples from our southern neighbour that gave me pause this morning, because there are parallels here in Canada that I will discuss later on.
Morehouse College in Atlanta is an all male school that has graduated Martin Luther King Jr., Samuel Jackson, and Spike Lee, to name a few. It has produced 2 Rhodes scholars and 5 Fulbright Scholars. Morehouse took a stand recently that hit CNN here. You see, Morehouse banned all clothing and other apparel that it felt was contrary to being respectful. It met with some resistance, but by and large has been well received.
An all-male college in Atlanta, Georgia, has banned the wearing of women's clothes, makeup, high heels and purses as part of a new crackdown on what the institution calls inappropriate attire.
No dress-wearing is part of a larger dress code launched this week that Morehouse College is calling its "Appropriate Attire Policy."
The policy also bans wearing hats in buildings, pajamas in public, do-rags, sagging pants, sunglasses in class and walking barefoot on campus.
Somebody at Morehouse took a stand, from the President on down. They are leading the young people in their charge. If they tried to do this in Ontario, I imagine that Barb Hall would accept a human rights complaint, since it appears that this all black school is discriminating against its gay, though still black students, by not allowing the cross dressers among them to continue to dress crossly. I also imagine that some adventurous black kids could claim that preventing them from wearing do rags, and having their pants sagging down to their knees, is somehow taking away their human rights, though it might be a challenge. Too bad the school president isn't white, then they'd have a case for sure.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, a justice of the peace, Keith Bardwell, wouldn't marry a mixed race couple, she's white, her new husband black, because he was of the belief that mixed marriages in Louisiana are too hard on the couple and on the children that they produce. He took a stand. Was he right? Does it matter? He took a stand, from his heart. He might be wrong. He might be right. He took a stand.
Of course, the woman in the couple is offended. Why, because someone disagreed with her. He must be a racist, and God put her there to make things right. Give me a break. She got married, just not by him. Now, of course, it's been on CNN, and Bobby Jindal, the Governor, who is pushing up his political capital is on it like white on rice, oops, I mean he's on it. This is about politics now, and Keith Bardwell will be fried in the end, unless people other than just him stand up for his "unalienable Rights.".
The American Declaration of Independence said: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." But, in 2009 it seems it is no longer true. If Mr. Bardwell's pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness gets in the way of a woman who wants to get married, for whatever reason he might have, fry him.
Now this case is not a far stretch from the case in Saskatchewan where Marriage Commissioner Orville Nichols, a Baptist refused to marry a gay couple of men, on his personal beliefs. The gay men took him to Kangaroo Court, and the CBC reported that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench supported the HRC ruling against Mr. Nichols further ruling the HRC "correct in its finding that the commission had established discrimination and that accommodation of Mr. Nichols' religious beliefs was not required." They haven't heard about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Saskatchewan. Or, if they have they must think that one of the rights is political correctness.
As the Saskatchewan Kangaroo Court responded to the ruling:
The Court of Queen's Bench decision was praised Thursday by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
"To allow a public official to insert their personal beliefs into decisions about who should and who should not receive a public service would undermine the protection of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code," said Human Rights Commission manager Rebecca McLellan.
Crazy world we live in. "Unalienable Rights" like in the Declaration of Independence in the US, not so much. "Fundamental freedoms" like freedom of conscience and religion (that's the first one), and freedom of association in Canada as in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, not so much.
It will be interesting to see who stands for what here. Don't roll over and die on these folks. Remember the Alamo. In Canada, remember the Boissoin case, and Fr. De Valk, Bishop Henry and those who will speak the truth as they understand it to be, and have a right to do so, unless you stand by and allow that right to be curtailed by our Kangaroo Courts.