WorldNetDaily.com 2/18/03 by Art Moore-
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 a 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 address homosexuality.
A columnist noted in the Edmonton Journal last week that the Dec. 11 ruling generated virtually no news stories and "not a single editorial."
Imagine "the hand-wringing if ever a federal court labeled the Quran 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 Lorne 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 Saskatoon StarPhoenix, of inciting hatred and was forced to pay damages of 1,500 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 Owen'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 Corinthians:6:9-10 on the left side. An equal 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. Justice J. Barclay wrote in his opinion that the human-rights panel "was correct in concluding that the advertisement can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule."
"When the use of the circle and slash is combined with the passages of the Bible, it exposes homosexuals to detestation, vilification and disgrace," Barclay said. "In other words, the biblical passage which suggests that if a man lies with a man they must be put to death exposes homosexuals to hatred."
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 compelled 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.