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Andrew's Grad heads "Liberty Counsel"


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"Liberty Counsel" is an organization headed by Matthew Stavers, a theology grad from (SDA)Andrews Univ in Michigan who is also an attorney. Liberty Counsel fights for religious freedom of speech and soon has a case coming before the Supreme Court. He has won 8 of 10 of all his suits in this effort.

Go to www.worldmag.com and look up the Nov 12, '04, issue searching for the title, "Truth with Truimph".

I believe most will find this very interesting.

Ben

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a good free speech issue that seems to be ignored. I wrote the following article and thought Liberty Magazine was going to publish it but they have apparently decided not to so I am posting it here.

Free Speech Canada, Intolerant for the sake of Tolerance

By Ron Corson

Recently the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the B.C. College of Teachers (BCCT) was within its rights to suspend Dr. Chris Kempling for one month without pay because he wrote letters printed in his local newspaper critical of a proposed school policy dealing with homosexuality. As Kempling explains, in a letter after B.C. Supreme Court Justice Holmes' decision “What does this mean? It means that teachers who happen to be Christians or who belong to other religions proscribing homosexuality may not comment publicly on this issue. It means that disciplinary bodies do not need to provide any evidence of impairment or harm at a professional's workplace if they exercise their right to free speech in their off the job capacity. Inference of harm is sufficient to remove a teacher from his job. It is a serious blow to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

While the issue of the educational changes proposed by the British Columbia Teachers' Federation in regards to treatment of Homosexual issues is certainly important there is a larger free speech issue that must be considered. Is free speech only for those who speak according to politically correct standards, or does free speech include those who speak up for their beliefs?

Dr. Kempling, a 13 year veteran teacher and school counselor was suspended for writing letters to the editor of the community newspaper, the Quesnel BC Cariboo Observer. Kempling who has two masters degrees as well as a recently completed doctorate in Psychology has done considerable research into the subject of homosexuality. The BCCT suspended him for unbecoming conduct for expressing his opinions away from his job and on his own time. Contrary to what most would expect in countries which advocate free speech the B.C. Civil Liberties Association chose to side against Kempling. As is the case for the American Civil Liberties Union the civil liberties fought for are often only those within a certain political perspective. As Kempling noted; "When civil liberties groups act like Orwell's thought police, true democracy is in serious trouble."

The issue is succinctly expressed by Susan Martinuk of The Province; “The B.C. College of Teachers (BCCT) seems determined to prove that teachers who are members of the Christian faith are unfit to teach in public schools. Its charge: Christians don't promote homosexual practices and, thus, they discriminate against students who may be homosexuals and they create a 'poisoned,' homophobic class environment. There's no evidence to support this irrational assumption. Nonetheless BCCT has used it to accuse and judge Christian teachers.”

Kempling and others who have already felt the sting of the government’s new agenda may be only the pioneers of the coming persecution. On April 28, 2004 Canada’s House of Commons passed Bill C-250 which adds sexual orientation as a protected category in Canada's genocide and hate-crimes legislation. This legislation in part states: “319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or (B) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

As WorldNet Daily reported before the Bill passed, “opponents fear if the bill becomes law, the Bible will be deemed "hate literature" under the criminal code in certain instances, as evidenced by the case of a Saskatchewan man fined by a provincial human-rights tribunal for taking out a newspaper ad with Scripture references to verses about homosexuality.”

The Bill supposedly has a loophole for religious opposition to homosexuality but past history and many scholars think that it will offer little protection. Evan as Canada marched forward with its censorship, Law Professor David Bernstein in his book You Can't Say That!: The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws wrote, "it has apparently become illegal in Canada to advocate traditional Christian opposition to homosexual sex." His book published by the Cato Institute in 2003 seems quite prophetic now. In light of the current Homosexual rights agitation currently occurring in the United States it is likely that the U.S. is following the lead of Canada. Same-sex couples can now marry legally in Massachusetts, while other states such as New Hampshire have signed legislation to block recognition of same sex marriage. By Canada’s new standard those opposing same sex marriage could be charged with hate crimes. Already in many of these issues Judges in the U.S. have noted that they will take into consideration the “wider civilization” as it looks upon U.S. court cases.

Recently in a Speech to the American Constitution Society’s first national conference Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the U.S. Supreme Court should look to other countries laws for insight into our own judicial rulings. “Our island or lone ranger mentality is beginning to change,” said Justice Ginsburg. Judges “are becoming more open to comparative and international law perspectives.” The implication of this is that judges, should they not like the body of American law and opinion, should feel free to see what other countries do and think. “Your perspective on constitutional law should encompass the world,” she told assembled convention. “We are the losers if we do not both share our experiences with and learn from others.” (Justice Ginsburg’s Foreign Law, James N. Markels)

In last years Lawrence v. Texas Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that in a previous decision "case's reasoning and holding have been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, and that other nations have taken action consistent with an affirmation of the protected right of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct."

For years there have been Christians warning against the Homosexual Agenda. However it was never well defined just what that agenda encompassed, many times it merely seemed that they were Christian reactionaries who felt that the homosexuals were trying to recruit more homosexuals. At best they could say that the agenda was about tolerance toward the homosexual lifestyle. Whatever the plans of the past, the Homosexual Agenda seems to have moved past tolerance to intolerance. From civil rights to a restriction of civil rights.

Civil rights once restricted become a restriction upon all sooner or later. When words of disagreement become outlawed for one section of society logically they can be outlawed for other sections of society. Ultimately no section of society is safe from the government’s ability to censor people’s words and perhaps thoughts. These are areas where the government has no business in a free country. Actions, we have long held are under the purview of the government and its laws. So it becomes reasonable for the government to restrict discriminatory actions against homosexuals. But discrimination has to have some tangible effects, it is not something that is inferred or assumed.

The B.C. Supreme Court acted not upon any complaint from any individual in the decision against Dr. Kempling. In fact his record is exemplary and both his principal and vice principal have presented letters of commendation for Dr. Kempling. Yet Justice Holmes ended up agreeing with the BCCT’s damage by inference argument when they wrote: “"It is not essential to find direct evidence of a poisoned school environment. It is sufficient that an inference can be drawn as to the reasonable and probable consequences of the discriminatory comments of a teacher."

Dr. Kempling realizes the enormous implications of his case and is intent upon taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. In fact the case is now of importance outside Canada. Yet there is certainly hope that Canada has not lost its moral compass completely. In the past the Supreme Court of Canada set forth a judgment saying, "For better or worse, tolerance of divergent beliefs is a hallmark of a democratic society." Ironically the BCCT quoted that statement in their 14 page document concerning the Kempling case. However they added that a teacher's freedom of speech may be curtailed to maintain a school system "free from fear, prejudice and intolerance." The BCCT’s statement is contradictory to that of the Supreme Court’s statement of free speech “for better or worse”.

If the decision against Dr. Kempling stands the potential for fear, prejudice and intolerance will be increased vastly. No longer will people need to fear the results of only their actions but they will be in fear of what someone infers from their conversation, written words or even looks. Their schools will become a breeding ground for prejudice against anyone with beliefs not in vogue. The end result is intolerance of various views and all done in the name of tolerance.

For further reading on the subject see the following Web sites:

http://www.ccrl.ca/issue_kempling.html The Catholic Civil Rights League includes many articles on the subject

http://www.ccrl.ca/issue_kempling.html#2 How to Contribute Financially to Chris Kempling's Legal Defense

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34639 'Bible as hate speech' bill nearing vote

http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen.html Audio Interview with Kempling

http://www.the-grove.net/kempling/ Written speech given by Kempling

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