In Canada, the Human Rights Commission (CHRC) investigates “hate crimes.” Its mandate comes from Sec. 13.1 of the Human Rights Act, which criminalizes any phone or Internet message “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." This incredibly broad hate speech statute is ripe for abuse. CHRC has lately come under serious fire for such abuse.
There are public calls for federal and provincial CHRC bodies to be reformed or even abolished! In Canadian Parliament, a liberal politician even said the federal commission should lose “the mandate to investigate hate speech.” His cause is supported by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) which has testified against Canada’s federal “anti-hate” law since the sixties.
Canadians have become increasingly aware that “human rights” and “anti-hate” laws have been used to prosecute legitimate free speech. The National Post says hate laws have been used against “mainstream journalists, notably the staff of Maclean's magazine, who are accused of Islamophobic hate messages by the Canadian Islamic Congress for, among other things, columns and a book review.” There has been public protest as mainstream figures like Mark Steyn and others faced investigations for “hate speech,” mainly for criticizing radical Islam.
Demonstrating the power that hate laws give to bureaucrats, one man was responsible for alleging all but two of the 13 hate speech cases decided by the CHRC Tribunal. (The tribunal accepts cases that federal or provincial commissions can’t handle.)
Richard Warman used to work for the CHRC before becoming an ardent activist—a “human rights” lawyer awarded a 2007 human rights award from the Canadian Jewish Congress. Warman has won all ten of his submitted cases, in which he has complained against far-right activists such as Northern Alliance and the Canadian Ethnic Cleansing Team. Canada’s largest political discussion forum online, Free Dominion, faced a human rights complaint last summer. The complaint was dropped, but Warman later sued Free Dominion for “defaming” him as an opponent of freedom.
One of Free Dominion’s founders—Connie Fournier—writes on her blog, “The most vocal writers who have been fighting the human rights commissions have been threatened with lawsuits and worse.” Fournier notes that Canadian Christians are increasingly aware of the threat that hate crime laws present to their freedom as believers.
“The Canadian Human Rights Commission has already been used on many occasions to shut down websites and to place lifetime speech bans on webmasters who have been hauled before its tribunals,” says Fournier. This record demonstrates how Canadian law could be used against the “homophobic hate speech” of Bible-believing Christians.
Mark Steyn—one of the mainstream writers accused of “hate” by the CHRC—says pithily, “What is the real threat to Canada? A shmuck who calls himself a "supremacist" but lives in a basement flat and can't afford a lawyer? Or the supple expansive soft totalitarianism of unaccountable stage agencies above the law who believe they're entitled to do anything in pursuit of phantom enemies?”
In 1999, Canada’s prime minister said, “Human Rights Commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society…It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff." (BC Report Newsmagazine, January 11, 1999)
And so he should. Censorship is a full-scale project for the Canadian government. Last month it announced a plan “that would allow it to pull financial aid for any film or television show that it deems offensive or not in the public's best interest.”
Mainstream US media has virtually nothing to say about the Canadian crackdown. Media monitor Newsbusters notes, “New York Times searches on `Catholic Insight,' `Levant,' `Maclean's,' and `Mark Steyn,' and `Canadian Human Rights Commission' return no results—none—relevant to any of the matters described above. A Google News search on ["canadian human rights commission" "catholic insight"] (typed as indicated) returned six items, none from Old Media. The same search done in the Google News archive for 2007 came back bone dry.”
But internet lovers of freedom aren’t so ignorant. We know censorship attempts abound. That’s because freedom of speech also abounds. The political landscape may seem black. Jewish corporate giants enjoy a stranglehold on traditional media. (See, Jews Confirm Big Media Is Jewish) But there has never been greater potential for change, thanks to non-traditional media—the internet.
Connie Fournier says Canadian hate crime laws make her shudder for the future of Christians. But she says, “At no time in North American history have ordinary citizens had as much political power as they do today. Words written by the stay-at-home mom, the computer nerd or the diesel mechanic are being thrust under the noses of politicians and pundits who have previously been able to whitewash the opinions of those who had no public platform.”
The internet’s power is very threatening to those seeking to control Western society. In Australia, for example, state and federal attorneys-general are considering a plan to censor the internet of “race hate.” They commissioned a report about how to “to combat race-hate sites by ordering internet service providers to take them down.” NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said, "Any material that incites vilification and hatred is of concern. Material on the internet is a particular concern because it provides a cheap and easy means of dissemination to a very wide audience."
Many people still have real trouble understanding the concept of freedom. If you take it away from one person, the freedom of every person is threatened. Freedom of speech means freedom for the speech you hate.
Canadian National Post columnist Marni Soupcoff points out that those who have “called for an end to the CHRC’s power to investigate hate speech are fully aware that much of the writing and speech the commission encounters is malicious and vicious. But we’re also aware that if the right to free expression is to mean anything at all, then even the cruelest of the cruel speakers are entitled to its protection.”
That means—yes—that homosexual activists can create “acid-tinged” rap shows like “Bash’d” about two “gay gangsta angels” that originated in a gay bar. It also means pastors can stand up before their congregations—or on the steps of a city hall—and proclaim the truth that sodomy is a sinful destructive choice that tears society apart.
Such freedom of speech must remain! It faces increasing threats, and it’s up to us to make use of the internet for all it's worth -- while we still can.
Harmony Grant writes and edits for National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group.
Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at video.google.com. Purchase this gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at www.truthtellers.org for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.
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