Stuff I Care About

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

See... Sometimes Saying "The Bible Said" Really is no Defence

Here is a great article from The National Post. Both Britain and Canada have strict laws making it hard for religious bigotry to flourish in the public sphere. Here is a great article about a pastor claiming that "The Bible Said" that it is okay to say that homosexuality is a sin, and his subsequent arrest in Britain. Had this incident occured in Canada, he would have been charged with a hate crime (which is what it is), because our Civil Liberties Association has fought very hard to make religious discrimination punishable by law. I really hope that Americans get tired of it too, and start becoming more proactive about the sanctity of the space that they collectively share.


  1. I fail to see why he was arrested. Saying "homosexuality is a sin" is disgusting, ignorant, and ludicrous, but it's not a crime. We can't just go out and silence all the voices we don't like. It's one of the burdens of living in a society that values free speech.

    On my university campus, it's quite common to see teabaggers, birthers, and Mennonites out in crowds with large signs and bullhorns, shouting about how sinful taxes, Obama, and receiving education are. It's disgusting (and it's usually matched by students shouting and counter-protesting, which is essentially the antithesis of the free exchange of ideas), but it's within their rights.

    Is it a hate crime? Only if it incites a crime (such as violence). Keep it in perspective, he was saying "homosexuality is a sin", not "let's go kill all the sinful homosexuals". Nothing reported in the article rises to that level, and unless something he said did, his own civil rights are being violated.

  2. I have to agree. It's up to society to shun him, not for the government to take him to a prison to be ass-raped. That's a tad harsh.

  3. Well, that is where it gets interesting.

    In British countries, like Canada, we have a very distinct line between private and public sphere. If you want to go and have a whole God Hates Fags meeting, you can, it just cannot infringe on public space. You can protest an abortion clinic, but you will be arrested if you are on their property, because that is private. If they are on the streets, it is up to the discretion of city officials.

    Because religious zealots have been trying to really weave in with the whole same sex debate, it is not cool to say it in public. You can protest on university campuses, etc, but it cannot be hateful. If he had said it in a church, it would be different.

    Bill C-250,Here it is, straight from the horses mouth;

    Some propaganda, including genocide advocacy, directing hatred against persons of any sexual orientation, heterosexuals, homosexuals and/or bisexuals, is now a crime in Canada. Sexual orientation now joins four other groups protected against hate speech on the basis of their "color, race, religion or ethnic origin." 1

    Of course, the people who opposed it the most were religious people, and they used the whole "attack on free speech" argument, which is valid.

    Its a valid question. I certainly think that exposure to that type of rhetoric fuels problems, no doubt about it. I also think that we are missing information in this article.

  4. Nice- ass raping. One thing that raised my eyebrow was this- Why would the guy preach in an area that is being policed by gay sensitive cops (and, yes, the city that I live in has them too). Makes me think that there is more going on.

  5. I do agree with Ethinethin, and Ginx that its most likely a tad harsh.

    But i wonder what if it was about the pastor out there suggesting the bible said coloured folks were lessor humans.

    Sure i agree with the idea of having freedom of speech,but there has to be some limits somewhere right?...At some stage we need to draw a line in the sand dont we?.

    For me what makes a little difference here is it was a pastor,and pastors are considdered to be types of leaders in our society.And along with public leadership comes the matter of carrying certain responsibilities.

    I mean we already have enough gay bashing in society already.Im not gay and have never been gay,but still feel kinda sick when i see some of the violence shown on TV or in news papers showing the actual physical pain thats been metered out to these people by folks who have gained some hate for them from somewhere.

    Are humans naturally born with gay hatered genes?.If not surely it must stem from somewhere.What if it was a polititian seen to be publically demonizing gay people, would that be so helpful and ok in helping stop people getting psyical and beating gay people black and blue and breaking their bones or even worse as has sometimes happed killing them ?.

    I agree feedom of speech is often a very good thing.But when its coming from people considdered leaders i think it carrys some responsibilities.Specially when concern with matters such as further demonizing groups of people who have already been often dished out a whole lot of physical violence.

    I wonder does this pastor while thinking of his wonderful salvation in some supposed afterlife, ever even bother for one moment considdering that just maybe his type thinking has something to do with inciting the physical violence thats often metered out to gay folks in this life?.

    If it was a country ruled by somebody like Stalin, where Christians were often bashed, beaten, and killed,how keen would the Pastor be for group leaders to be publically spreading the word that folks of faith were evil ?.

    Im all for freedom of speech as long as its not complete stupidity and life threatening, i mean would folks think it be such a great idea !, for LEADERS in the USA to be out there in public at the moment, suggesting there supposedly was something wrong with Iranians in general

  6. Im a agnostic/atheist who thinks faith stinks and to be honest doesnt think that much of many folks of faith either ...For reasons of what ive experienced.

    But if folks of faith were often getting bashed and beaten black and blue and often even killed over here in my country.

    Even though personally i dont think that much of faith at all...I`d still not think it so smart or so great that group LEADERS were out there publically demonizing folks of faith more

  7. Free speech is hard, but to truly be free we have to defend the speech of those we don't like and don't agree with. Anti-gay bigots, as loathsome as they are, still deserve the same free speech rights as anyone else...even in public spaces.

  8. Yes, I agree about free speech being a challenge. I agree that everyone has the right to a voice, no doubt about it. There are parts of this society (pornography) which I do not necessarily agree with, but I would never support censoring or banning them for fear of who would decide this. I think that it should be available to all of us, and it should be up to the individual to decide what works for them, and what does not.

    That being said, when I was young, I lived in a very gay neighbourhood. "Gay Bashing" was a common practice, and it was widely accepted as a "part of life". Guys from outside the city would pull up in vans and disperse with baseball bats, leaving many people seriously injured in their path. At first, the gays fought back by working out to the point of being quarterbacks, but it still happened. And, then the hate laws tightened, and they all live pretty peacefully in the "pink ghetto" as we call it.

    Scientists have found that certain species of primates display homosexual and bisexual activity. I think, like religion, we become homophobic, much like we become Christian of Jewish. Through accepting the cultural values, mores, norms and beliefs of our parents. Indoctrination is taught. And, this is where it gets funny. The fact is, I should be able to work, go to school, and live in my community, and not be subjected to indoctrination that I did not consent too. If I go to them, that is a whole other story.

  9. And, I agree with pretty much your last comment, but you aren't talking about free speech here. If someone decides to gay bash by actually bashing with a bat, well that's certainly a criminal act, and has nothing to do with free "speech."

  10. Yes, but I think that the way that I see this is a chicken or egg thing... Which comes first, free speech or the bashing?

  11. That's why free speech is hard, because we, as a society, have to figure out what part is speech and what part isn't, and which parts people should or should not act upon. But, we should still allow speech so long as it isn't an incitement to violence. IOW, as long as I'm someone isn't telling people to go and physically bash gays, then it should be allowed, no matter how odious the speech is.

    Remember, some things you say are thought to be odious by others since you speak against religion. I'm sure that you don't think your speech should be outlawed.

  12. I am aware of that.... At the same time, I am also not part of a group that is attempting to get the simplest of civil rights (gay marriage). And, their rhetoric has marginalized many groups of people. Nor would I even think to walking down the street and screaming "God is Dead" at people, or would I hand out pamphlets that incite violence and rhetorical hatred at any of them. There is a difference.

    I agree with you that the whole thing is complex. I have found myself pretty comfortable with the way that we guard the public tax paying space here.

  13. Actually, didn't Marilyn Manson do that? And, he got blamed for Columbine.