Liberty and Virtue

A person who experiences same sex attraction and who endeavors to live chastely in accordance with his religious beliefs keeps an eye out for examples of gay activists' (1) showing intolerance and hatred of traditional religious and moral beliefs and believers, (2) attempting to deny freedom of speech, assembly and religion to others, and (3) trying to cause the government to impose liberal views on sexual morality on society. Other stuff of interest to blogger may also occasionally be posted.

Gay activists do not speak for all those who experience same sex attraction!

Not all those with SSA reject traditional sexual morality!

Not all those with SSA support promiscuity!

Not all those with SSA believe the gay activist ideology of “gay pride”!

Not all those with SSA believe in making their sex drive their primary public identity!

Not all those with SSA support public indecency in “gay pride” parades!

Not all those with SSA support government promotion of homosexual activity!

Not all those with SSA support same sex marriage!

Not all those with SSA support biased teaching in public schools on homosexual matters!

Not all those with SSA demonize traditional religious believers!

Not all those with SSA wish to deny basic freedoms of speech, religion and association to those who disagree with the gay activists’ ideology and agenda!

Christian charity for persons does not require affirmation of sinful or immoral activity!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Same Sex "Marriage" Watch: Great Britain

Britain to Allow Same-Sex Civil Unions

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Window was Broken in the 1960's

George Jonas thinks that traditional marriage was already broken in the 1960s with the advent of easy divorce. He makes a good point:

It's interesting that people who raised few objections while the institution was being dismantled -- while the wheels and doors of the derelict car were being vandalized -- now rise to the defence of the hood ornament. Analysts who let no-fault divorce pass without a murmur, object to gay marriage. Half of Canada's population does, in fact. Perhaps what makes same-sex unions loom so large is that they seem to add insult to injury.

Me: Of course I would add that the destruction also owes a great deal, as Pope Paul VI so prophetically pointed out, to the spread of artificial contraception, the contraceptive mentality and the consequent divorce of sex from its correct context in a lifelong union of man and women in an act potentially open to life.

Charles S.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Spanish Bishop Explains “Gay Phenomenon” and Origin of Gender Ideology

This bishop has a good, concise summary of the development of the gay activist ideology in recent decades:

The bishop explained that gender ideology began with the “fraudulent Kinsey Report at the end of the 1940s,” which “was an invitation to all kinds of sexual experimentations” and disrupted the proper order of human relationships: “marriage-love-sexuality (man and woman)-procreation.”

Later, Bishop Reig Pla indicated step by step the stages that led to the emergence of gender ideology. “First, sexuality without marriage: so-called free love. Then, sexuality without openness to children: contraception and abortion. Later, sexuality without love: having sex, pornography, etc. Later, having children without sex: assisted reproduction. Lastly, sexuality was separated from the person: there is no longer male and female; sex is an anatomic feature with no anthropological relevance. One can choose to sexually configure oneself according to one’s wishes: heterosexual man, homosexual man, heterosexual woman, transsexuals. Gender ideology was born.”

The bishop denounced the existence of a gay lobby made up of associations that coordinate in apply pressure in society, in the media and in politics. He also pointed to the existence of “political homosexuality as a fundamental tool of pressure used by the gay lobby.” This strategy aims to convince politicians of the political benefits of making legislative concessions to the homosexual lobby.

Likewise, Bishop Reig Pla warned that the “gay culture” is “the ultimate end of the gay lobby. It’s a gay civilization in which homosexuality, or at least bisexuality, is ‘natural’ and universally accepted and practiced”

Lastly, he denounced the emergence of a “gay theology” which is an extension of the gay lobby and has infiltrated all Christian denominations and the Catholic Church. Its representatives have systematically elaborated an absolutely heretical body of doctrine. This theology seeks to seduce some, divide Catholics and disparage pastors by spreading these ideas through the media.”

Charles S.

Canadian Parliament Gay ‘Marriage’ Debate Begins

Full debate transcript is here.

Charles S.

City Ties 'Family Values' to 'Homophobia'

Yet more restrictions on freedom of speech as the city of Oakland, CA, bans city employees from posting flyers on an employee bulletin board that do not even mention homosexuality.

Charles S.

H.S. Teachers Promote Homosexuality to Captive Audience

Public school gay activist ideology indoctrination alert!

By the way, here is some useful information from the American Center for Law and Justice on the rights of parents to have their children opt out of objectionable classes.

Charles S.

Gay Groups Criticize AMA President Remarks

Once again it is shown how some gay activists trivialize religious freedom:

After being criticized by gay and lesbian groups, the president of the American Medical Association said Thursday his views were misrepresented in a newspaper article that quotes him defending a Roman Catholic-affiliated medical school's decision to ban a gay student group.

The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., said Dr. John Nelson likened the ban at New York Medical College to Brigham Young University's decision to suspend four former football players accused of rape, and with the Mormon school's refusal to allow caffeinated soft drinks on campus.

Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, said Nelson's comparison criminalized and trivialized homosexuality, and prompted dozens of complaints to his organization.

Me: A private religious institution has every right to require that those attending that institution follow the religious precepts of that institution. Doing so in no way "criminalizes" that activity, as people are free to conduct that activity in society, just not at that institution. And how can requiring that sinful activity not be tolerated or promoted at a private religious institution be considered "trivializing" it? On the contrary, it is saying that the issue is important. To Catholics, moral teachings of the Catholic faith should be important. They should be prepared to defend the right of Catholic institutions to free exercise of the faith, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, regardless of what others might think of the teachings of the faith.

Charles S.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Judge Dismisses Charges Against Anti-Gay Protestors

First Sweden, now Philadelphia! More good news on the freedom of speech front:

A city judge dismissed charges Thursday against four members of a conservative Christian group who were arrested last fall while picketing a street festival for gays and lesbians.

Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe tossed the charges after watching a videotape of the events leading to the defendants' arrest, saying: "We are one of the very few countries that protect unpopular speech."

The demonstrators, affiliated with a local group called Repent America, said their opposition to homosexuality is based on the Bible. They had faced a variety of charges, including felonies, in connection with their protest last fall at the Outfest event in downtown Philadelphia.

Prosecutors had said the bullhorn-wielding activists, led by Repent America founder Michael Marcavage of Lansdowne, Pa., were trying to incite the crowd. The defendants said they were being prosecuted for voicing their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Marcavage had been charged with felony riot, criminal conspiracy and ethnic intimidation -- Pennsylvania's version of a hate crime -- and five misdemeanor counts including disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.

...

Charles S.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Special-Interest Group Hug [Howard Dean and Gay Activists]

Howard "I hate Republicans" Dean panders to gay activists' outrageously overblown sense of victimhood:

"You are among the most persecuted people in the history of mankind," Dean tells his first audience, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus. This leads off a rapid-fire series of applause lines from Dean, who during his presidential campaign once declared, "If Bill Clinton can be the first 'black president,' I can be our first 'gay president.' " He doesn't go this far yesterday, but assures everyone that when he's elected, "it will not be my chairmanship, it will be our chairmanship."

Me: To say that those with same sex attraction are among the most persecuted people in the world is utterly ridiculous. Those with same sex attraction are not in our current society in any way deprived of life, liberty or property based on who they are. Indeed, with the Lawrence v. Texas decision, they cannot even say that their pursuit of consensual adult recreational sex is prohibited. Practicing and promoting homosexuals are completely, and I mean completely, free to live their chosen lifestyle. The problem is, they are not satisfied. What they want is that everyone affirm their actions as morally acceptable. They want government affirmation of homosexual relationships. They want public schools to teach the moral acceptability of homosexual activity. Far from wanting or needing any additional freedom for themselves, they want to use the government to impose their moral values on others. That is taking away rights of others, i.e. persecution, not being persecuted. The fact that someone, somewhere, believes that homosexual activity is immoral and states so publicly is NOT persecution.

Even assuming Lawrence had not been decided, and that unenforced bans on homosexual activity had continued on the law books, how is the legal right to recreational sex among consenting adults a fundamental liberty? How is it in any way equivalent to rights to life, property and liberties of the sort explicit in the Bill of Rights (e.g., freedoms of speech, religion and association, due process rights, etc.) such that the denial of such legal right is in any way comparable to persecution of discrete groups by denying them life, property or other such fundamental liberty rights? To equate the denial of a right to mutual masturbation with, say, the oppression and genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany, or the treatment of African-American slaves in the pre-Civil War South, is an insult to the memory of those truly persecuted groups. Homosexuals actually statistically fare better than average in our society, and are in fact a privileged, pameperd group, not a victim class. It would appear that the pursuit of the orgasm as the highest good in life is not only at the heart of contemporary gay activist ideology, but increasingly, at the heart of the modern American Democratic party.

Charles S.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Swedish Pastor Is Acquitted on Appeal

Great news to start the day! This restores somewhat my faith that Western civilization will continue to respect freedom of speech and religion on the topic of homosexuality:

A Swedish pastor convicted of hate crimes for a sermon denouncing homosexuals as a "cancer" was acquitted Friday by an appeals court that said he was protected by the country's free speech laws.

The Goeta Appeals Court said that while Aake Green's views of gays can be "strongly questioned," it was not illegal to offer a personal interpretation of the Bible and urge others to follow it.

"The purpose of making agitation against gays punishable is not to prevent arguments or discussions about homosexuality, not in churches or in other parts of society," the court said.

However, it would appear that at least one prelate of the Lutheran Church of Sweden does not believe in fundamental human rights:

Swedish Archbishop Karl Gustav Hammar has denounced his sermon, calling it "a miserable theology," and said the case should not be seen as a threat to religious freedom. "It's not a question of the freedom of the pulpit," Hammar said. "The sermon was evidently sent out to the media to create a reaction."

Now can we please have a similar demonstration by Canadian courts in favor of freedom of speech and religion on homosexuality?

Charles S.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

St. Louis Archbishop Warns of Upcoming "Persecution” over Abortion and Homosexuality

I hope and pray that the good archbishop is wrong about this, and indeed this blog was started mainly to keep a focus on restrictions of freedoms in this area in order to prevent the proliferating of such. However, given the demoralizing lack of any outcry from the liberal establishment over restrictions of speech and religion in this area in Canada, Europe and even here in the US, I fear that what Archbishop Burke predicts may indeed come to pass:

In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said that as Catholics continue to speak out on life and family issues they will face persecution. “There is going to be a persecution with regard to this, that’s clear,” said the Archbishop.

The media has painted the St. Louis church leader as a mean-spirited bully, yet in person he is soft-spoken and kind with a keen sense of the truth and an urgency to convey it for the salvation of souls. Rather than using high-sounding platitudes which coast over the heads of many, Archbishop Burke speaks plainly the teaching of the Church on matters of central importance, without fear of being labeled politically incorrect. ...

In his diocesan paper Burke wrote, "There is a tendency to accept same-sex relationships because we do not want to deal with the embarrassment and hurt of recognizing same-sex attraction as disordered,” he said. “The fact that our American culture more and more fails to make any distinction between same-sex attraction and heterosexual attraction does not justify our failure to make the distinction, respecting God's gift of human life in its integrity and helping others to attain the perfection to which we are called as true children of God." ...

The archbishop acknowledged that speaking the truth was intimidating. “It’s intimidating because we live, as our Holy Father says, in a society of a culture of death where people want to convince us that everything should be convenient and comfortable and they don’t like to hear a voice which says ‘this isn’t right’”, he said.

But with being outspoken on the truth will come persecution, a fact the archbishop is willing not only to acknowledge but to accept. “Bishops will be persecuted,” he said, and “also priests and lay people.”

Even now those proclaiming the truth are called, homophobic and hateful. Yet the archbishop explains, “It’s what it means to be a sign of contradiction. We just have to accept that and we have to remain tranquil in proclaiming the truth with charity, but insisting on the truth.”

“If we look to the example of Our Lord, we have to take up the cross for the defence of life,” he said.

Charles S.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

In Grits We Distrust

This editorial by Paul Albers is worth reproducing at length, given the previous quotation of Canadian Justice Minister Cotler cited previously on this blog (The following was cited here: Cotler said that when equality rights and religious rights face off, “equality rights always trump religious rights.”) Here's the editorial:

How can anyone believe Justice Minister Irwin Cotler when he claims the government’s same-sex legislation will not affect religious freedoms? Over and over again the Liberals have proven that they either don't understand what freedom of religion is, or they don't really care about protecting it. I would rather trust Don Cherry to run a charm school than trust the Liberals to protect the free exercise of religion.

Not that long ago, amendments to hate crime legislation designed to protect religious expression were voted down by the Liberals, and church leaders were threatened with the loss of their tax-exempt status if they spoke out against same-sex marriage during the election campaign. Under Martin's leadership, the party tested how effective religious bigotry would be as an election strategy, polling Canadians on whether they would be "more or less likely to vote for the Conservatives if you knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians". They also prepared ads along the same lines. Recently, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said that churches should keep their nose out of the public debate over same-sex marriage.

Freedom of religion is not confined to the interior of chapels and it applies to both individuals and churches. It is a basic human right that includes freedom from being compelled to act contrary to your faith, and freedom from persecution because of your creed. It includes the right to share your beliefs publicly and privately, to teach them to your children, and the right to participate in society on an equal basis with all other citizens.

Religious people and groups have every right to lobby government for laws in harmony with their moral views and to work for the election of representatives who will voice their concerns. They have a right, and a duty to speak out on moral issues, even if they happen to be members of the clergy. Priests' religious authority is not political authority, but they do have a democratic right to bring what political pressure they can muster to bear on matters of religion and morality.

Paul Martin won't even allow his cabinet the right to vote their conscience on same-sex marriage. Those opposed must put their political career above their personal morals or be forced out just as marriage commissioners from coast to coast are being forced out of their jobs because of their religious views.

Liberal appointed judges have shown great disregard for religious liberties as well. They upheld schoolteacher Chris Kempling's suspension for writing a respectful letter to the editor expressing moral opposition to same-sex pension legislation. Printer shop owner Scott Brockie was fined for refusing to produce materials that violated his conscience, and the Durham Catholic School Board lost the right to require students to adhere to Catholic standards of behaviour while at their school dances.

It simply isn't enough to legislate that churches can't be forced to perform a same-sex ceremony, even if that law is upheld. The Port Coquitlam chapter of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, has withdrawn from the community in the face of legal action against them for refusing to allow a lesbian couple to rent their hall for the wedding reception. Now only practicing Catholics can use their facilities.

You can expect more of the same if marriage is redefined. Anyone who draws a moral distinction between homosexual and heterosexual couples might want to have a good lawyer handy. Nothing in the bill stops the government from someday requiring church operated adoption agencies to give equal consideration to same-sex couples. Nothing in the bill ensures that a church will not lose its tax-exempt status or face some other penalty for refusing to accept same-sex unions as valid. Do we really want the kind of freedom of religion where some religions are 'more free' than others?

The societal impact outside the church is also cause for concern. Schools that receive public funding (which would include many Catholic schools) and government funded daycare centres could be required to actively contradict the moral teachings of Christian, Jewish and Muslim parents. Individuals who do not accept same-sex marriage as a human right, even on religious grounds, could find themselves disqualified from working as teachers, police, judges, or elected officials.

Pettigrew might change his mind about the separation of church and state being "one of the most beautiful inventions of modern times" if he realized just what it was that Thomas Jefferson meant by that phrase. Jefferson coined the term to reassure the Danbury Baptists that it was beyond the constitutional powers of the government to interfere with the free exercise of religion or to limit religious expression.

If you go to Washington D.C. and visit Jefferson's Memorial, you'll find these words of his carved deep in the marble: "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever." I have no doubt that if Jefferson were alive; the Liberals would add him to their list of people who should shut up.

Charles S.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How Privacy Went Public

James Taranto has a good editorial on the social legislation promulgated by the Supreme Court in the line of cases from Griswold v. Connecticut to Roe v. Wade to Lawrence v. Texas. I agree with Mr. Taranto that the "government promotion of homosexual activity" aspect of same sex civil "marriage" is what is most objectionable to it:

None of these cases rest on solid legal ground. As Justice Douglas acknowledged in Griswold, the right to privacy is to be found not in the Constitution but in its "penumbras" and "emanations." At the same time, there is a strong political consensus against the government intruding into people's bedrooms. If Griswold and Lawrence disappeared from the books tomorrow, it's unlikely any state would rush to re-enact laws against contraceptives or consensual sodomy.

Abortion and same-sex marriage, by contrast, do spark strong opposition, but not on privacy grounds. Abortion opponents argue that life before birth is worthy of legal protection, while the case against same-sex marriage is that it confers public approval on gay relationships--approval the New York and Massachusetts courts have given without public consent.

Charles S.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Same Sex "Marriage" Watch: Canada

Canada Braces for a Social Tsunami: Bill Introduced to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Charles S.

Same Sex "Marriage" Watch: New York

N.Y. Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down

Charles S.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Judge Rules Against Christians who Preached to Homosexuals

Bad news on the Philadelphia front:

In another blow to the "Philly 5" – the Philadelphia Christians facing possible 47 year jail terms for evangelizing at a homosexual event – a federal judge has refused a request to stop the local prosecution of the group.

Judge Petrese B. Tucker, for the second time, has refused to sanction the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for what the Christians' attorneys say are "retaliatory criminal proceedings."

According to the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, which is representing the Christians on the federal level, Tucker denied the request for relief last week, saying the Philly 5 had "insufficient evidence ... regarding why any of the defendants would want to stifle their First Amendment rights."

The group's attorneys had presented as evidence their clients' First Amendment rights were violated the fact that Assistant District Attorney Charles Ehrlich told an earlier court proceeding the Christians' religious speech was "hateful, disgusting, despicable words," and "fighting words." ...

Me: The city can constitutionally only regulate the time, place and manner of speech, not the content. It appears to me that there is prima facie evidence here that the DA's office is trying regulate content of speech, perhaps through selective enforcement against alleged "fighting words".

Charles S.

Dutch Government Unveils New Integration Exam

Link here. Note the following:

Is it OK to sunbathe topless on the North Sea beaches along the Dutch coast? ...

A video accompanies the exam material to give candidates insight into life in the Netherlands. It includes images of women sunbathing topless on the beach and of gay marriage — two examples of accepted behaviour in the Netherlands.

Me: I know this sort of thing is supposed to promote tolerance, but it seems a bit thought-controllish to me. The questions are not whether these activities are legally permitted, but whether they are "OK." Those are value judgments on which I would have thought Dutch persons could have differing views. Is there no freedom of thought allowed to Netherlands' citizens and residents morally to object to these activities? What if one were a believing Protestant or Catholic Christian and could not answer in good conscience that either of these activities are "OK"? Does that mean that the Netherlands is reversing its long history of religious tolerance and not welcoming Christian believers of every stripe, including traditional?

Charles S.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Canada Introduces Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

As expected, the Canadian parliament is about to make permanent government promotion and celebration of homosexual activity through civil same sex "marriage." Note this little gem from the Canadian "Justice" Minister Irwin Cotler:

The proposed legislation stipulates that religious groups and organizations can refuse to marry same-sex couples. However, in a CBC report that aired earlier yesterday, Cotler said that when equality rights and religious rights face off, “equality rights always trump religious rights.”

Me: This statement certainly does not give one confidence that the Canadian government is interested in protecting freedom of speech, association and religious exercise of religious believers and organizations. Rather than relying on courts sensitive to the rights of EVERYBODY to make appropriate balances, including the rights of religious believers, the Canadian government specifically announces that it is committed to using the government to impose the gay activist agenda and promote homosexual activity, the human and civil rights of traditional religious believers be damned.

Charles S.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Canaries in a Free-Speech Mineshaft

This article has some useful background information on the Philadelphia "OutFest" Christian free speech case.

Charles S.

Government to Churches: No Right to Speak Out Against Same Sex Marriage

This editorial by Arthur Weinreb states what needed to be said:

What little Petey Pettigrew [Canada Foreign Affairs Minister] is doing [in saying that speech by churches on same sex marriage violates the separation of church and state] is denying ministers, priests, bishops, and other church officials their rights as Canadian citizens to express their opinions. And this notion that the church is somehow interfering with what is properly within the realm of secular government (same sex marriage) is utter nonsense. Whatever "rights" that gays and lesbians have been denied in the past or in the present all stem from religious teachings. If anything, the government is interfering with religion; not the other way around.

This is not the first time that the Martin government has attempted to bully or threaten the churches. Recently, the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) threatened to withdraw the charitable status of churches if they speak out on "political issues" such as gay marriage. While tax exempt status is conditional upon not having a political purpose, the churches were warned that since same sex marriage was now a political issue, the churches were risking their status if they spoke out about it. Of course Martin, Pettigrew and the gang remain silent when the United Church of Canada (sometimes referred to as the NDP at prayer) speaks out in favour of same sex unions. Separation of church and state is only raised in an attempt to silence and coerce those who oppose the Liberal government policies.

Paul Martin and his flacks like Pierre Pettigrew talk a good game about rights and tolerance. But they have no tolerance towards Christians and their religious opinions (in spite of the fact that Paul pretends to be a devout Catholic). While Martin can hardly utter a complete sentence without including the words "the Charter of Rights", he has no compunction about denying Christians that disagree with him, their rights under the Charter to freely express their opinions.

Pettigrew’s statements; uttered on behalf of the government of Canada, was Christian-bashing pure and simple. Church leaders have no right to express their opposition to the government; they are second class citizens.

Charles S.

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