Friday, October 28, 2011
In Regina both the definition of hateful speech and freedom of speech are on trial along with Bill Whatcott, a fundamentalist Christian who has concluded that it is mission in life to publicly condemn homosexuality. Whatcott has been charged by the Saskatchewan human rights commission with hate speech, which is illegal. Whatcott and his lawyer, Tom Shuck are arguing that he has the right to express a traditional Christian tenet that homosexuality violates God's law.
"The problem that I have and many others in the Christian community (have), is that this law is being used to charge Christians - Christians who have a different view as to what is right and wrong on sexual behaviour and in particular same-sex sexual behaviour," Schuck said Friday in a phone interview from his office in Weyburn, Sask.
"The argument is that our Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, gives all Canadians the freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion. And the utilization of human rights commissions to stop someone from saying that same-sex sexual activity is wrong infringes on all three of those charter rights."
There are people who are defending Whatcott's right to pass out his pamphlets and walk around with his placards even though they vehemently disagree with his views. They see this as fundamental (no pun intended) in a free and democratic society. My feeling is that his actions are not consistent with the gospel, and every freedom has its limits, but I am conflicted on this one.
Have you followed this story? Where are you on this one?