Wednesday, October 04, 2006

They are sooo good at naming things

Perhaps tired of all the press the Liberal leadership race has been getting (latest rumour, Rae to endorse Dryden, pass it on) the Conservatives made some news of their own today by releasing plans to introduce a "Defence of Religions Act."

Man the barricades! Or, as the witty Zac put it, Onward Christian Soldiers!

You know, I've said it before and I'll say it again, no one is better at naming things then the political right. These are the people that gave us the Death Tax and the Defence of Marriage Act, after all. A source close to Conservative CoS Ian Brodie tells me Defence of Religions Act narrowly won-out over their second choice, the Defence of Cuddly Wuddly Puppies Act.

Make no mistake though people, this has nothing to do with protecting religion. Or puppies. Religion is protected. How do I know? Well, the law says so, and so does, who was it…oh yeah, The Supreme Court of Canada. My friend (when he's not talking about Dion) TDH (now permalinkable!) lays out the history there quite clearly. As for puppies, they have the SPCA.

Clearly then religion is just being used here as cover, as nearly everyone would say heck yeah, religions should be protected. And they ALREADY ARE PROTECTED. So, what's this about then? Well, clearly one motivation is to rally their base in advance of the next election. Because hey, the Republicans do it every two years, and it works for them, right?

That's part of if, but there's more. This is from the Globe piece:

The measures would seek to ensure, for example…that a justice of the peace cannot be compelled to marry a same-sex couple in violation of his or her religious beliefs.

I agree that churches shouldn't be forced to perform ceremonies. Everyone does. But a justice of a peace isn't a priest or a rabbi. They don't work for a church. They work for THE GOVERNMENT. THEIR JOB is to marry people. If you don't want to marry some people, don't take the job! What if it's against their beliefs to marry, say, an inter-racial couple? Should that be acceptable too?

Here's more from the Globe, bolding is mine:

…there is acknowledged uncertainty about the rights of individuals to publicly criticize homosexual behaviour, to take out advertisements that quote scripture demanding that homosexuals be put to death, or to refuse to do business with groups whose views an individual or group finds objectionable.

Umm, why would we want to protect such speech as that in bold. Try replacing homosexuals with jews, blacks, Asians, etc., still acceptable? And on the issue of refusing to do business with "objectionable" people, how will that work? So, you're gay? Sorry, that Harvard MBA is impressive but you're not getting the job.

This proposed act has nothing to do with religion. Religion is protected. What this proposed legislation is about is legislated gay bashing, and I surely hope it will never see the light of day. Clearly, some Conservatives hope so as well:

Conservative MP Garth Turner, however, said Wednesday that such a law could be the “slippery slope” toward protecting bigotry and intolerance.

And fellow Tory Art Hanger said Charter protections of religious freedom are “cast in stone,” so another law may be unnecessary.

Cast in stone. Slippery slope to bigotry. Thats from your own caucus. Time for a rethink, Vic.

UPDATE: The always witty, and biting, Canadian Cynic sees the upside to the proposed Conservative legislation.:

I mean, surely no one is suggesting that taxpayer-funded bigotry be restricted to only the devout, are they? If Canadian Christians are granted that kind of freedom, it would seem inarguable that all taxpayer-financed Canadians will have the same choice to associate, or not, as they see fit based on nothing more than their personal beliefs. And, oh, the possibilites are endless.

For instance, teachers in Canada's public school system might decide that they just don't feel like teaching students who are strict Biblical creationists. (Such students are typically a royal pain in the ass anyway, so booting their sorry asses out the door of the science classroom can't help but be an improvement.) And why stop there? Why, indeed?

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Olaf said...

the Defence of Cuddly Wuddly Puppies Act. I'd be fully supportive of such a bill. There's been a vacuum in puppy legislation for too long!

But I liked the post... I really see no reason for such legislation, as it doesn't make sense to hire someone for public office who is unwilling to uphold the laws of the country.

The rationale - in hiring a public official for a certain job, and then allowing them to choose which of the job's responsibilities they were interested in discharging - is surely unprecedented.

I hate it when the conservatives do something this transparent - if we're gonna be bigoted in an attempt to court the old-timer vote, we can't make it so damn obvious!!!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that you liberals hate Cristians?

Now I don't care if you believe we came from monkeys god or aliens. I never been to church, and I no jack about the bible. But I don't hate on them like you guys do. Is that not hypocritcal? so homosexuels should trump christians? should they not be equel?

On SSM I think it sould be civil unions like france and england and like Harper does. (so is France and england bigots b/c they only allow Civil unions?)

I could carless about this issue now, but are you not being bigoted towards people who believe in god? so do you have to believe in SSM? and if not are you a bigot b/c you say I'am?

I'm just asking b/c if you don't drink from the same kool-aid you do I'm a bigot and a christian nut b/c I believe in civil unions. Why is it that the left will go out of there way to not say anything bad about Muslimns but it is open season with christians.

I don't know I just think the left is hypocrites on this issue. Thats all. And once again before the tolerent left comes out, why do you people hate christians so much?

These are just question, I could careless what you call me. I just don't understand the hate you have for Christians thats all and I would like to know why it is socilay acceptable to only bash christians?

Sorry for the grammer and spelling.

Jeff said...

If it's fair for you to ask me why I hate christians jdot, then it's fair for me to ask why you hate gays.

No. Wait. Neither question is fair, is it?

I don't hate christians. I was raised catholic. I don't think churches should be forced to perform a ssm against their will. And they CAN'T BE. The law says they can't be forced to do it. The Supreme Court says they can't be forced to do it. THEY CAN'T BE FORCED TO DO IT. IT'S ALREADY THE LAW.

So, now that we've established that churches can't be forced to perform a SSM, and that you can't be forced to marry someone of the same sex yourself, what do you care if two dudes get married? How does that impact you?

I would really like to know HOW it is me hating christians to believe two guys or two gals should me able to get married OUTSIDE of a church without any involvement from the church. HOW?

This isn't trumping your religious rights. You don't have to perform the ceremony. It doesn't have to happen in your place of worship. You don't have to watch.

So how does it hurt you for two people you've never and will never meet to get married on the other side of the country?

You are entitled to your beliefs. You're not entitled to have your beliefs trump what other people believe.

Suzanne said...

Clearly then religion is just being used here as cover, as nearly everyone would say heck yeah, religions should be protected. And they ALREADY ARE PROTECTED.

No they are not. It's clear from the cases of Scott Brockie, Chris Kempling, the Knights of Columbus who were penalized for not renting their hall to "married" lesbians, WE ARE NOT PROTECTED.

The proof is in the pudding. If there had never been a case, perhaps you have a point.

We are forced to act against our religious beliefs by the State.

I would really like to know HOW it is me hating christians to believe two guys or two gals should me able to get married OUTSIDE of a church without any involvement from the church. HOW?

Catholics can lose their jobs for their religious beliefs. It's as SIMPLE as that. You want a Catholic to lose his job for stating homosexual behaviour is wrong?

We are not protected, and there are plenty of cases to show this.

Christians are becoming ghettoized. We won't be allowed to be justices of the Peace, teachers, psychologists, doctors (because we don't deal with abortions) and a whole host of other professions. Because of our religious beliefs.

What's next down the road?

We definitively need protection.

Olaf said...

Is it a Christian belief to oppose same sex marriage, or is it a convenient pretext? I'm sure it's in poor form to post links to ones posts on another's blog (my apologies Jeff), but I haven't the energy to rewrite everything I've already written, so please read my post on this:

By the way, if anyone could PLEASE explain to me how to link to something without reprinting the entire link (by having a single word which links to something), I could save myself the embarrasement of not knowing something that apparently everyone else knows. That would be nice.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So where do you stand on the issue of firing marriage commissioners who refuse to perform SSM's?

Jeff said...

Where do you draw the line, Suzanne? Churches are protected. Are the KoC a church, though, or a social club founded on christian beliefs? Are we going to allow business owners that hold christian beliefs to refuse to serve homosexuals?

No one can lose their job because of their religious beliefs. If they refuse to do their job because ut violated their religious beliefs, that is THEIR choice. Either do the job or get another one. It's totally up to you.

Jeff said...

Joanne, while I may be open to considering a grandfathering of those that held the position before the law changed, my instict is as I said before: if you can't do the job then you need a new job.

Jeff said...

On links, np Olaf. And don't worry, I don't know how to do the one word links either. It's an html code thing, not my area of expertise.

Mike said...

"No they are not. It's clear from the cases of Scott Brockie, Chris Kempling, the Knights of Columbus who were penalized for not renting their hall to "married" lesbians, WE ARE NOT PROTECTED."

None of which had anything to do with clergy being forced to perform a gay marriage. When have clergy been forced by law to perform ANY marriage? Jeff is right, it is very clear in the legislation and the case law that churches are specifically protected. If someone did try to force a marriage, a la the KoC, they would lose. Period. Full stop. End of story. STake your scare mongering and sell crazy someplace else.

And really Suzzane, this persecution complex is getting tiresome. A religon that has a guarantee of a school system written into are constitution is hardly being persecuted.

Jeff is right. If I hired a butcher who refused to cut steaks because of "religious beliefs" then he or she isn't much of a butcher. Time to get another job. Or become a clergy in the religion that allows you to be a butcher without cutting steaks.

We've had gay marriage for 4 years in Ontario and none of your hand-wringing doom and gloom predictions have come to pass. No clergy forced to perfom marriages. No family breakdown. No locusts.

Why don't you concentrate on what Jesus had to say about this:

Yep. Nothing.


"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."


"You shall love your neighbor as yourself. "

Come to mind.Love and understanding or hatred and bile, Joanne. Which do you think HE would approve of?

Jacques Beau Vert said...

I actually am really liking the Harper government so far, to be honest - I think they are getting things done and getting down to business, and as a non-partisan environmental-minded voter, I'm almost sold on these guys.

But man, you are right - so right. No one names things like the right. From Coalition of the Willing to this, they are the champions of overdone names.

I think they should have called it Richard, or Dana. They're turning out like Gwyneth Paltrow and Tom Cruise.

By the way, Suzanne is wrong. Jesus Christ had no problem with hookers or lepers, he'd have no problem with Elton John or George Michael. Or Pet Shop Boys. Scott Brison he may not be so big on, but I can't say for certain.