Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from WorldNetDaily, February 18, 2003, with the headline: “Bible Passages Construed As Hate Literature—Certain passages of the Bible can be construed as hate literature if placed in a particular context, according to a Canadian Provincial Court.
“The Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatchewan upheld the 2001 ruling by the province’s Human Rights Tribunal that fined a man for submitting a newspaper ad that included citations of four Bible verses that addressed homosexuality. A columnist noted in the Edmonton Journal last week that the December 11 ruling generated virtually no news stories and not a single editorial. ‘Imagine the hand wringing if ever a Federal court labeled the Koran “hate literature” and forced a devout Muslim to pay a fine for printing some of his Book’s more astringent passages in an ad in a daily newspaper,’ wrote Loran Gunter in the Edmonton Alberta Daily.
Under Saskatchewan’s human rights code, Hugh Owens of Regina, Saskatchewan, was found guilty, along with the newspaper, The Sascatoon Star Phoenix, of inciting hatred and was forced to pay damages of 1500 Canadian dollars to each of the three homosexual men who filed the complaint.
“The rights code allows for expression of honestly held beliefs, but the commission ruled that the code can place reasonable restriction on Owens’s religious expression because the ad exposed the complainants to hatred, ridicule, and their dignity was affronted on the basis of their sexual orientation.
“The ad’s theme was that the Bible says, No, to homosexual behavior. It listed the references to four Bible passages: Romans 1, Leviticus:18:22, Leviticus:20:13, and 1 Cor:6:9-10, on the left side. An “=” sign was placed between the verse references and a drawing of two males holding hands, overlaid with the universal nullification symbol, a red circle with a diagonal bar. Owens, an Evangelical Christian and corrections officer, said his ad was a Christian response to Homosexual Pride Week.
Two years ago, the Ontario Human Rights Commission penalized printer Scott Brockie $5,000 for refusing to print letterhead for a homosexual advocacy group. Brockie argued that his Christian beliefs compel him to reject the group’s request. In 1998, an Ontario man was convicted of hate crimes for an incident in which he distributed pamphlets about Islam outside a high school. In one of the pamphlets, defendant Mark Harding listed atrocities committed in the name of Islam in foreign lands to back his assertion that Canadians should be wary of local Muslims.”
Tom: Dave, I borrowed this news alert from TBC weekly e-mails, and the title we used in that situation to cover the stories after it is, “No Doubt We Are in the Last Days News.” This is scary stuff, Dave.
Dave: Yeah. You can’t tell the truth about Islam?
Tom: Well, not before the Human Rights Tribunal! Boy, there’s a…how about that for a title? Tribunal!
Dave: Yeah, Human Rights Tribunal? And they do not defend the rights of people that the Muslims are killing. They have no concern for—well, two million or more that Muslims have killed, the ones they are torturing, the churches they’re burning down. This is the Human Rights Commission? Come on, Tom! And they are denying the right to tell the truth, okay? That’s number one.
Number two: quoting Bible verses? Well then, what they’re saying is, “God has no right to address the subject of homosexuality,” or “God didn’t write the Bible”; they are denouncing the Bible as not God’s Word.
Furthermore, they are suppressing the truth. This was called Homosexual Pride Week! Now when you talk about homosexual pride, I think—why don’t we give some of the statistics? Why don’t we mention that it cuts life expectancy just about in half, both for men and women.
Tom: So, you’re just giving objective statistics. This is not religious bias, or whatever.
Dave: This is the health factor; this is medical factors. Why don’t we talk about what it does to a person? Why don’t we talk about the fact that this is not natural. It was long recognized as a crime against nature—this is how it was described in the law books for generations. It was recognized as aberrant behavior by the psychiatrists until they had a vote in San Francisco, and the homosexuals outside threatened to pull the plug on the electricity if they didn’t vote the right way.
Tom: Disease by vote, Dave, there we go!
Dave: This is scientific? You vote on science? “…Well, I don’t know, what do you think? Do you think there’s a law of gravity? Well, let’s have a vote on it.” Ridiculous! You can demonstrate the law of gravity, and we can demonstrate what homosexuality does. Furthermore, we can demonstrate that it is not natural, normal behavior. If it were—these guys believe in evolution—if this were something in the genes, evolution would have wiped it out, because these people don’t procreate. Furthermore, they are talking about disobeying God; they’re going against the very first command in the Bible: “Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Now, I don’t know how you can be proud, Tom, about something…if everybody adopted this lifestyle, it would be the end of the human race, because they don’t have children. This is against nature—well, Tom, I’m getting a little bit worked up, but the main thing that concerns me is you cannot quote the Bible anymore. If the Bible offends some group…or, how about it? The Bible says, “All have sinned. Wait a minute! I don’t want to be called a sinner!” So, why don’t we take it to that extent, too?
Tom: Dave, I don’t know where else it can go. Just the very things that you’re saying, if you stood before the Tribunal—fined now, maybe, but imprisoned later? Whatever happened to free speech? What happened to rights along those lines?
Dave: Yeah, everybody has rights except those who really stand up for the Word of God, and sadly, this is where we have come—well, you can see where we are going, Tom. What the world wants is “Don’t rock the boat; don’t offend anybody; don’t speak the truth—it might hurt someone’s feelings.” And those who do are getting in the way of the unity that the world is looking for—truth doesn’t matter, facts don’t matter. “Let’s just get along with one another—put our heads in the sand.”