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Standing up for the Threatened Rights of a Free Society
Table of Contents for this Page:
A Letter from Chris Kempling on the Latest BC College of Teachers Action Against Him [letter of February 5, 2008]
Parents to Rally in Support of Jailed
For the information of our readers, we post these news releases from the Christian Legal Fellowship and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada:
Release from the CHRISTIAN LEGAL FELLOWSHIP
May 17, 2011
On May 18, the Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF) will make oral submissions
before the Supreme Court of Canada in S.L., et al. v. Commission
scolaire des Chênes, et al., a case originating in Quebec, which will
decide parental rights with respect to religious instruction.
“This case, at its core, is about freedom of
conscience and religion,” says Robert Reynolds, legal counsel for CLF.
“More specifically, it is concerned with the freedom of conscience and
religion of parents and protecting the rights of believing
parents to pass on their religion to their children without
interference from the State.”
The appeal arises from the case out of
Drummondville, Quebec where Christian parents sought to have their
children exempted from participation in the mandatory Ethics and Religious
Culture Curriculum but were refused by their local school board. The
course is mandated from grade 1 to grade 11 for all public and private
schools. While the course has as its objective the promotion of tolerance
and respect, the curriculum advances certain rights and values at the
expense of others including the Appellants.
The CLF, which was granted intervenor
status in the case, intends to argue that the rights of the Appellants as
Christian parents includes the right to teach and disseminate their faith
to their children, and to ensure that their children’s religious
education is in conformity with their own convictions.
“For Christians, the right to teach and
disseminate one's faith begins with one's children,” explains Ruth Ross,
CLF Executive Director and General Legal Counsel. “Christians must be
free to shield and protect their children from competing ideologies and
teachings which are at odds with their own religious convictions.”
Other applications to intervene in the SCC
appeal were granted to groups including the Canadian Catholic School
Trustees Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian
Council of Christian Charities, Christian Group for Parental Rights in
Education, Coalition for Liberty in Education, Evangelical Fellowship of
Canada and Association of Quebec School Boards.
To access documents submitted by CLF, click here.
- 30 -
Ruth Ross will be available for comment at the Supreme
Court of Canada before the hearing and throughout the day.
further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
CHRISTIAN LEGAL FELLOWSHIP
des chrétiens en droit
Phone: (519) 641-8850 Fax: (519) 641-8866
The Christian Legal Fellowship is a national not-for-profit
association of legal professionals in Canada. The association, among other
functions, explores the complex interrelationships between the practice
and theory of law and Christian faith. The Fellowship has some 500 active
members from several dozen Christian denominations working together to
integrate Christian faith with law.
May 17, 2011
THE EFC TO APPEAR BEFORE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA ON PARENTAL
RIGHTS/RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE
OTTAWA – The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC)
will be presenting oral arguments to the Supreme Court of Canada on May
18, 2011. S.L.,
et al. v. Commission scolaire des Chênes, et al., a case
originating in Quebec, will address the issue of whether parents have the
right to choose the kind of education their children will receive,
particularly in regard to religious and moral instruction.
“This case will cut to the core of what freedom of
religion and conscience and parental authority mean in Canada,” states
Don Hutchinson, EFC Vice-President and General Legal Counsel. “Parents
simply want the right to teach morality and religion from their
perspective, or decide who will do so on their behalf. The right to pass
on one’s religious and cultural heritage to their children is a
fundamental aspect of religious freedom and parental authority in
At issue is the Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC)
program, a mandatory course which must be taught to all québécois
children, from grade 1 to grade 11, whether they attend public or private
schools, or are homeschooled. The course, which states its objective
as the instruction of children in a manner that will promote tolerance and
respect, thus equipping them to live a pluralist society, has proven to be
polarizing and controversial. Its mandate, while at first appearance
seeming at home in Canada’s multicultural society, actually sacrifices
certain rights and values in order to advance others.
“Parents in the evangelical Christian community are
split on the ERC program,” explains Faye Sonier, EFC Legal Counsel.
"Some welcome the opportunity for children to learn about the
contribution of religious communities to the culture of Quebec. Others are
concerned that teaching young children about a variety of religions in the
manner required by the course will convey to them that all religious
beliefs and all moral codes are relative or of equal merit. However, most
agree that parents should have the right to choose whether or not their
children participate in the program. Unfortunately, all parents who have
requested that their children be exempted from the classroom have been
“Parents are asking that their parental
authority be affirmed so they can exempt their children from course
material that is inconsistent with their sincerely held religious
beliefs”, explains Hutchinson. “Provinces across Canada permit
classroom exemptions, either in regulation or practice, or other forms of
accommodation. Further, the province of Quebec has yet to demonstrate why
this course is mandatory to ensure a peaceful and tolerant society.
Canada’s longstanding tradition of education from a Judaeo-Christian
foundation has bred a vibrant, multicultural nation known for its
acceptance of others and tolerance for differing opinions and religious
“To compel tolerance is to dispense with it. Every
religion is, in essence, exclusive. Compelling tolerance by state-mandated
compulsory religious and moral education can only be accomplished by
violating the freedom of religion and conscience of each religiously
devout individual,” concludes Sonier.
A related case still in the Quebec court system
involves Montreal’s Loyola High School which sought the right to teach
the ERC program from a Catholic perspective. The Ministry of Education
denied the school permission to do so. Justice Gérard Dugré of the
Quebec Superior Court stated that the decision to impose the course on the
Catholic school demonstrated “a totalitarian character essentially
equivalent to Galileo’s being ordered by the Inquisition to deny
For more information about the case or to read the
EFC’s written submission please visit www.theEFC.ca/SL.
Don Hutchinson will be available for comment
immediately after the hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada and
throughout the course of the day.
For more information or an interview contact:
We have received the following press release regarding an important new campaign:
For Immediate Release
(Vancouver) November 9, 2010: As Canada
prepares to remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom,
a grassroots campaign has been launched today to protect this freedom from
an unlikely source; our country’s human rights commission and tribunals.
“As strange as it might sound, it’s in
the very name of human rights that our fundamental freedoms are being
challenged” explained Neil Dykstra, the campaign’s spokesperson.
“These quasi-judicial bodies have wandered far from their original
mandate. They hold up fabricated “rights” and use these to undermine
the freedoms that we easily take for granted, including freedom of speech
and expression, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of the press,
and freedom of assembly and association.”
The campaign was kicked off with seven events
in BC and Ontario in the past few weeks and is now reaching all Canadians
through a action-oriented website www.HumanRightsCommissions.ca.
The site features brand new technology through which readers can send
customized letters straight to their MP about the issue in a matter of
seconds. It also provides petitions, sample letters, and talking points
for meeting with elected officials. The site even includes a video
interview with one MP who sits on the Standing Committee on Justice and
Human Rights, calling on Canadians to contact their MP’s about the
“We know that there is broad-based support
among politicians to reform or even remove these commissions and
tribunals” explained Dykstra. “Just last week Saskatchewan announced
its plans to reform their human rights code and dissolve their human
rights tribunal. BC is also considering disbanding its Tribunal and
sending complaints to a dedicated employment tribunal. These are positive
developments that must continue across the country. It will take
grassroots action to achieve this and our hope is that this campaign will
be a catalyst for spurring every-day Canadians to stand up for our
The commissions and tribunals attracted
significant attention in the past few years because of several
high-profile complaints, including one against Maclean’s newsmagazine
about an article on Islam that was an excerpt from a Mark Steyn book, and
another complaint against Ezra Levant and the Western Standard for
republishing the infamous Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. Not
quite as well known, the commissions and tribunals have been taking on
dozens of other complaints in which pastors, business persons, charities,
and corporations have been found guilty of offending people and sentenced
to forced apologies, re-education, fines, speech bans, and huge legal
Parliament began an investigation into the
conduct of the Canadian Human Rights Commission last year. Numerous
political leaders and media outlets have come out criticizing the
commissions and tribunals but as of yet few reforms or changes have been
made. Even a commission-initiated investigation concluded that significant
reforms were necessary, only to be ignored by the commission that paid for
Some of the problems highlighted on the
campaign website include:
“We urge Canadians to check out the
website, use the simple email program on it, and share it with their
families, friends, and co-workers” stated Dykstra. “When enough people
stand up for freedom it will be a political liability not to act.”
-- 30 –
To arrange an interview please contact Mark
Penninga at 1-866-691-2772 or email@example.com.
September 21, 2010
Santa Rosa County, FL – Liberty Counsel filed its Initial Brief at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, on behalf of the Christian Educators Association International (“CEAI”). CEAI sought to intervene in a federal trial court to defend the rights of the faculty and staff of the Santa Rosa County School District, but the court refused the request and refused to dismiss the case brought by the ACLU, even though the case had become moot following the graduation of the two high school seniors who brought the suit under the pseudonym of “Doe.”
The ACLU-crafted Consent Decree is being used to threaten employees with fines and jail time for praying over a meal. These outrageous actions prompted Liberty Counsel to request to intervene in order to stop this crackdown on constitutional rights. In August of 2009, Liberty Counsel successfully defended Michelle Winkler from contempt charges brought by the ACLU after her husband, who is not employed by the district, offered a meal prayer at a privately sponsored event in a neighboring county. On Constitution Day, Liberty Counsel successfully defended Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman against criminal contempt charges, after the ACLU complained when Freeman offered a blessing for a lunch meal, served to about 20 adult booster club members.
Under the Consent Decree and the guideline issued by the district, teachers are always considered to be acting in their “official capacity” whenever a student is present, even at private functions off campus. Teachers cannot pray, bow their heads, or fold their hands to show agreement with anyone who does pray. Teachers and staff cannot “Reply” to an email sent by a parent if the parent’s email refers to God or Scripture. Teachers either have to delete such references from the original email or reply by initiating a new email. Teachers and staff are also required to stop students from praying in their own private club meetings. During witness testimony, Winkler cried as she described how she and a coworker, who had recently lost a child, had to hide in a closet to pray.
The two anonymous plaintiffs who initiated the case graduated in May 2009, and the case brought by the ACLU became moot. But the judge has not dismissed the case. In addition to this appeal regarding intervention and mootness, Liberty Counsel has another suit pending against the district on behalf of faculty, staff, students, and people in the community whose rights are infringed by this Consent Decree.
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Public schools are not religion-free zones, yet this ACLU-crafted court order criminalizes Christianity and censors religious expression, even outside of school time. We will not rest until this unconstitutional order is overturned.”
Judge rules Quebec was ‘totalitarian’ in trying to impose secular approach to Roman Catholic ethics instruction; Charest says government will appeal
Montreal — From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Published on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 7:48PM EDT Last updated on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 8:15PM EDT
In a decision that sets back Quebec’s efforts to strip religion from the province’s institutions, a judge has ruled that the government showed Inquisition-like intolerance in the way it imposed a secular ethics course on a private Roman Catholic school.
The ironic reference to religious zealotry in the pursuit of secularism came in a ruling that handed a victory to Montreal’s Loyola High School. The Jesuit boy’s school went to court for the right to keep teaching its ethics course from a Roman Catholic perspective.
In a decision handed down Friday, Superior Court Judge Gérard Dugré said that not only did Quebec violate Loyola’s religious freedoms by insisting it teach the secular course, but also it went about it in a “totalitarian” manner. . . .
[Read the whole Globe and Mail article online.]
By Patrick B. Craine
REGINA, Saskatchewan, April 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has announced their intention to take their case against Bill Whatcott, a Christian fighting the encroachment of homosexualism, to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Whatcott told LifeSiteNews (LSN) Thursday that the SHRC has informed his lawyer, Tom Schuck, of their intention to appeal the February 25th decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals.
Whatcott suggested that, while he does not want to take the case “for granted,” the SHRC's appeal is a poor strategic move in light of the current negative feelings over Canada's human rights commissions. “Strategically, though I don't want to discourage them from doing it, ... it's a sign of desperation and poor judgment,” he told LSN. “Politically and legally, ... human rights commissions and their powers to censor opinion are not really politically all that popular right now.”
“If I was them what I would have done was just keep my mouth shut and wait about 10 years and try to build the momentum to censor people like myself when there wasn't so much scrutiny on these bodies,” he added.
The SHRC brought Whatcott before the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal in 2006 over his practice of distributing flyers about the dangers of abortion and homosexuality. They launched their case following several complaints over a series of flyers that he had delivered in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002.
The flyer at issue was penned in objection to a classified ad in a homosexual newspaper that sought “boys/men for pen pals, friendship, exchanging video, pics.” It also criticized the promotion of homosexuality in Saskatoon public schools and the University of Saskatchewan.
The Tribunal found that Whatcott had violated section 14(1)(b) of the province's human rights code, which prohibits speech that “exposes or tends to expose to hatred, ridicules, belittles or otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons on the basis of a prohibited ground.” He was ordered to pay a $17,500 fine and to cease publicly spreading his beliefs about homosexuality.
The Tribunal decision was upheld in 2007 by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, but it was overturned February 25th by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
Justice Darla Hunter ruled that Whatcott had not violated the human rights code, and that the Tribunal decision unjustly limited the freedom of expression. "It is acceptable, in a democracy, for individuals to comment on the morality of another's behaviour,” she wrote. “Anything that limits debate on the morality of behaviour is an intrusion on the right to freedom of expression."
In his interview Thursday with LSN, Whatcott insisted that he is not letting the case prevent him from speaking out, noting that he has a mission to Quebec planned for June to preach the Gospel in light of the Quebec government's recently-announced effort to normalize homosexuality.
“I'm not going away regardless of what the outcome of this case is,” he said.
Sask. Court Overturns Human Rights Ruling against Anti-Homosexuality
Catholic Activist "Banned for life" From Publicly Criticising
By Patrick B. Craine
CALGARY, Alberta, March 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The homosexual activist who has pursued Alberta Pastor Stephen Boissoin on a complaint of discrimination since 2002 has re-launched his campaign after a December court defeat, taking his case to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
Dr. Darren Lund is appealing the December 4th Court of Queen's Bench decision by Justice Earl C. Wilson, who overturned a 2008 ruling against Boissoin by the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
The AHRC was dealing with a complaint from Lund over a June 17, 2002 letter to the editor from Boissoin regarding the promotion of homosexuality in the school system. The AHRC ruled that the letter could expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt and ordered Boissoin to cease expressing his views on homosexuality publicly, to pay $7,000 in damages to Lund, and to publish a personal apology in the local paper.
According to Justice Wilson, however, Boissoin's letter “does not go so far as to fall within the prohibited status of 'hate' or 'contempt.'”
"Inferring some sort of call for discriminatory practices prohibited by provincial law is an unreasonable interpretation of the letter's message,” he added.
“The problem lies with the laws of our land,” Boissoin wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to LifeSiteNews. “According to our laws (across Canada) anyone can file an accusation of hate or prejudice to a Human Rights Commission and as Ezra Levant has so correctly pointed out. ... the process then becomes the punishment regardless of the ruling. Years and years of fighting a malicious accusation.”
He noted that Lund's case against him will likely end up taking 10-15 years and cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Of course every penny is worth it but this fight should not have to take place,” he said. “My prayer and hope is that the Appeals Court smacks this down and stands behind Justice Wilson's ruling. Please pray to this end too.”
“Regardless, I will, by God's grace, always find the strength to stand,” he added. “I will oppose to my last breath in word and deed the HRC's, the Lund's of this world and any ruling that attempts to inhibit my freedom of speech and religious conviction.”
Tricia Cooper says she removed her two children from the public school system because she could see increasing infringement on her parental rights.
As a family with strong religious beliefs, Cooper wanted to take her daughters out of an environment she feels teaches her something contrary to what she believes.
“My child should not be taught in junior kindergarten that a woman can love a woman or a woman can be a man,” the Hamilton resident told the Mountain News.
“It’s really up to me in my home to provide that kind of information.”
[February 6th, 2010]
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) today responded to the
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision in Whatcott v. Saskatchewan Human
Rights Tribunal, a case in which the CCF had intervened in support of
a decision released February 25, the 3-member court ruled that William
Whatcott did not violate section 14(1)(b) of the Saskatchewan Human Rights
Code by distributing flyers to oppose the teaching of homosexuality in
Saskatoon’s public schools.
flyers distributed by Mr. Whatcott in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and
2002 were polemical and inflammatory, and the court noted in its decision
that many people would find his words “crude, offensive, and
pejorative.” The contents of the flyers are re-printed in the
court’s decision, posted HERE.
CCF intervened in support of free expression. Its factum is posted HERE
. You will note that many of the CCF’s arguments were adopted by the
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, sometimes with an express reference to the
CCF (see paragraph 130 of the court’s decision) and sometimes without an
Court set aside a Human Rights Tribunal Order that Mr. Whatcott pay
$17,500 to four gay complainants who were offended by his flyers. The
Saskatchewan Human Rights Code prohibits the publication of any statement
which “exposes or tends to expose to hatred, ridicules, belittles or
otherwise affronts the dignity of any person or class of persons” on the
basis of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other grounds.
court decision is good news for free speech,” stated lawyer John Carpay,
Executive Director of the CCF, which intervened in support of the right of
citizens to express their religious and political opinions on matters of
the court did not strike down the restrictions on free speech. But
nothing prevents our federal and provincial politicians from repealing
these laws,” continued Carpay.
Rights tribunal ruling could force
groups 'out of business'
Charles Lewis, National Post Published: Wednesday, December 16,
By Hilary White
WESTMINSTER, November 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - MPs have voted down a proposal that would have ensured that Christians in the UK retained the freedom to criticise homosexual activity in the country under a proposed hate crimes bill. A free speech amendment in the proposed hate crimes legislation was rejected 342 votes to 145 by MPs on Monday night.
The defeated amendment, proposed by Lord David Waddington, reads, "For the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred."
In the proposed bill the offense of "stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation" carries a sentence of up to seven years' imprisonment. Government ministers contend that the clause is unnecessary.
The clause has been batted back and forth between the House of Lords, who reinserted it last July, and the Commons, which has repeatedly rejected it. The bill is to return to the House of Lords November 11th and 12th for debate.
Tory MP Dominic Grieve, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, said on the night of the vote that without the amendment, the bill could have a "chilling effect on freedom of speech" and that there is "plenty of evidence" that existing similar "public order" ordinances already have this effect.
Such laws, he said, are "based upon a form of political correctness" that are "leading to abuse in a number of circumstances by the police who threaten individuals with prosecution unless they desist from expressing perfectly legitimate views."
Grieve said, "I would be more reassured if the Government were taking the public order legislation problems that have arisen more seriously." The problem is continuing, he said, and for that reason, "we should be very wary of legislation that fetters freedom of speech."
Lord Waddington, the author and sponsor of the amendment, told the House of Lords on Monday, "We are not talking about the terrible threat that is faced by many gays, because that threat can be dealt with - and often is dealt with - under the present law."
He said it is simply "not the case" that the "free speech clause opens the gates to incitement to violence against gays." He pointed to the same incidents referred to by Mr. Grieve in which citizens expressing religious or other opinions opposing homosexual activity have been "interviewed" by police as possible offenders. Such people, he said, "were told by the police that they were very close to the serious offence of homophobia, punishable by seven years' imprisonment."
The most recent case in which a citizen expressing an opinion against homosexual behavior has been interrogated is that of Mrs. Pauline Howe, 67, a Christian who was denounced to police by her local Norwich Council when she wrote complaining of the local "gay pride" events. Mrs. Howe was visited by police who questioned her and said she could be open to a hate crime charge. She is considering legal action, saying the visit frightened and intimidated her, although police said they concluded they had no grounds for a charge under existing statutes.
In October, Lord Dear, a former HM Inspector of Constabulary, said that the amendment was "essential" if police officers are to enforce the Government's 'homophobic hatred' law with "good judgment and a light touch."
"The police need to be free to make a judgment in the moment, not harnessed by a one-size-fits-all policy dictated from above," Lord Dear said.
The bill has been heavily criticized in its long journey through Parliament, even by homosexuals themselves. In 2007, British actor and comedian Christopher Biggins warned that it would quash freedom of speech and result in a backlash against homosexuals. Biggins called it "yet another step in the grim march of authoritarianism now afflicting Britain, with people terrified of speaking their minds for fear of the knock on the door."
[a press release from the website of the B. C. Civil Liberfties Association--October 21, 2009]
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is taking up the case
of Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), a pro-life club at the University of
Victoria. Despite repeated appeals by YPY, the UVic Student Society
(UVSS) has consistently denied funding to the group on the grounds that
its pro-life advocacy is inconsistent with the pro-choice position of both
the Society and the Canadian Federation of Students, and that it amounts
to harassment of women by creating an atmosphere of "ambient
violence". The BCCLA believes that the actions of the UVSS are an
infringement of the Charter freedoms of conscience and expression of the
CBC online, September 16, 2009
A Calgary judge heard Wednesday that a letter to the editor that called homosexuals immoral is free speech, not a violation of human rights.
In 2002, Reverend Stephen Boissoin sent a letter to the Red Deer Advocate which claimed that "homosexual rights activists and those who defend them are just as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers, and pimps who plague our communities."
The letter continued to criticize school programs that promote positive images of the gay community, calling them "wicked."
A high school teacher in Red Deer, Darren Lund, filed a complaint and after several years, the Alberta Human Rights Commission ruled the letter violated the province's human rights code. The Commission ordered Boissoin pay $5,000 and apologize to Lund, now a professor at the University of Calgary.
Boissoin decided to appeal the case. The Alberta government stepped out of bounds with its human rights legislation by slapping restrictions on free speech, said Boissoin's lawyer, Gerry Chipeur.
"Nobody should have the power to use the tools that are available to the state, to use the police powers of the state, to prosecute someone else who they disagree with," said Chipeur.
But Boissoin's letter to the editor was hate speech, not free speech, said Lund. . . . .
[Click here to read the whole of the above CBC article.]
PETERBOROUGH, ON, July 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Jim Corcoran, the owner of one of Canada's largest and most lavish spas, has launched a human rights complaint against the Bishop of Peterborough Ontario for refusing him permission to continue to serve as an altar server.
Corcoran admits that he is homosexual and lives with another homosexual man, but says that he follows the Church's teaching and lives a chaste lifestyle. According to the Catholic Register, Bishop Nicola De Angelis asked Corcoran to accept his decision that he not serve on the altar based upon the bishops' desire to avoid public scandal.
Corcoran is seeking monetary damages of $25,000 from the bishop
and $20,000 each from 12 parishioners who complained to the bishop about
Corcoran and his roommate having been invited by the local priest to
serve on the altar at Masses.
was made in the Alberta Legislature Tuesday, June 2, at 1:20 a.m. as
parental rights were enshrined in the Alberta Human Rights Act with the
passage of Bill 44 by a vote of 35 - 7.
is the first time that the fundamental rights of parents have been
recognized in human rights legislation in our nation.
Bill 44 included a proposal that the Government of Alberta enshrine in Alberta Human Rights Legislation the right of parents to be notified when school curriculum or materials include the explicit teaching of religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation, as well as the right of parents to opt their children out of participation in such curriculum or materials without academic penalty to the child.
you Alberta for upholding the family as the fundamental unit of society,
and for setting this profound precedent for the rest of Canada!
. . . .
of Alberta Hansard, Monday, June 1, 2009, afternoon session.
Speaker: The hon. Member for Airdrie-Chestermere.
would like to table a petition signed by 820 Alberta parents, compiled
over roughly a 72 hour period, which reads as follows.
petition urges the Government of Alberta to follow through with its
proposal to enshrine in Alberta’s Human Rights Legislation the right
of parents to be notified when school curriculum or materials include
the explicit teaching of religion, sexuality or sexual orientation, as
well as the right of parents to opt their children out of participation
in such curriculum or materials without academic penalty to the child.
you, Mr. Speaker.”
send our heartfelt gratitude to all of you who took the time to become
informed about this critical measure and spoke out by signing our
parental rights petition, contacting your MLA, and encouraging others to
made a difference by sending a strong message to the Alberta legislature
that Albertans believe parental rights are a fundamental human right and
should be enshrined in the Human Rights Act.
just a matter of days, word spread via the Internet and over 1,000
Albertans spoke out through our petition.
can see the list of signatures here and read the many insightful
Monday, June 1, MLA Rob Anderson (Airdrie-Chestermere) presented our
petition to the house in the afternoon legislative session.
that evening, Mr. Anderson again referred to our petition during third
reading debate on Bill 44 stating:
hon. Member for Edmonton-Strathcona earlier had mentioned that she
believed the majority of parents were against this bill. I could not
disagree with her more on this point.”
Anderson then referred to our petition’s over 900 signatures by Monday
night as proof.
quoting four of the comments from our supporters posted on our petition
Anderson concluded by saying:
could go on. There are hundreds and hundreds of comments like this.
There are many others, but the point is, honourable member, that there
are thousands and thousands of parents, the silent majority, severely
normal Albertans that are extremely happy with this legislation, that
believe it’s right to affirm the right of parents as being the primary
educators of their children in these subjects. I think that it’s a
credit to this government that it has stood up for what is right on this
matter despite the inevitable cries of foul that come from the
. . Alberta
Passes Bill 44!
Stelmach allowed his Tory caucus a free vote on Bill 44.
heated debate, it passed 35 – 7 in the early hours of the morning on
June 2, with all the Conservatives in the house supporting the bill, and
all the NDP and Liberal opposition voting against it.
Voting For: Ady,
Anderson, Benito, Berger, Bhardwaj, Blackett, Boutilier, Campbell,
Dallas, Danyluk, Denis, Doerksen, Drysdale, Elniski, Fritz, Griffiths,
Groeneveld, Horne, Johnson, Johnston, Knight, Liepert, Lukaszuk, Marz,
McQueen, Morton, Oberle, Olson, Prins, Quest, Renner, Rodney, Sarich,
Blakeman, Chase, Hehr, Mason, Notley, Swann, Taylor.
44 and amendments as passed: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=bills_status&selectbill=044
. . Take Action Alberta: Send your 1 click letter
us not neglect our opportunity to say thank you for enshrining parental
your 1 click letter to Premier Stelmach, Minister Blackett, Education
Minister Hancock, and your MLA to let them know of your appreciation for
the MLAs who voted in support of the family as the fundamental unit of
society by enshrining parental rights in the Albert Human Rights Act.
your 1 click letter. “Thank
you Alberta for Enshrining Parental Rights” http://unitedmothers.ca/links/1click/
it takes is 5 minutes to make a difference.
. . Take Action Other Provinces: Send your 1 click letter
of other provinces:
Send your 1 click letter encouraging your premier and justice minister
to enshrine parental rights in your human rights act.
your 1 click letter today. “Our
Province Needs to Enshrine Parental Rights” http://unitedmothers.ca/links/1click/
All it takes is 5 minutes to make a difference.
Reading: Parental rights: Whose kids are they, anyway?
the entire article here:
[To visit ithe United Mothers and Fathers website, click on the
link to it in the column to the right.]
[To visit ithe United Mothers and Fathers website, click on the link to it in the column to the right.]
, From Christianity Today online:
Proposed EU law may force out faith-based social services.
Under an anti-discrimination directive passed by the European Union Parliament in April, Christian churches, schools, and social services in Europe cannot limit their membership to those who share their beliefs. The directive, which the parliament passed by a 360-277 vote, must be passed unanimously by member states for it to become law.
The directive expands anti-discrimination protection beyond employment to health care, social benefits, education, and "access to goods and services." Originally intended to prChotect the disabled, the proposal was expanded to include discrimination against religion and belief, age, or sexual orientation. Exemptions in the draft legislation for "organizations based on religion and belief" were removed before the final vote.
"In its present form, I would say I am extremely concerned," said Don Horrocks, head of public affairs for the European Evangelical Alliance "It is very serious, though many regard it as extreme." He believes the directive is unlikely to be passed in its present form, and expects that the government may hold public consultations before it is finalized.
If the directive were passed into law, faith-based social services would face problems, said Luke Goodrich, legal counsel at the The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
For example, faith-based schools and daycare centers could be barred from taking applicants' religion into account for enrollment and employment. Marriage counselors and adoption agencies could have less discretion in accepting clients.
[Read the whole article "Stopping Discrimination" in Christianity Today online.]
By Hilary White
LONDON, May 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com ) - British churches will be forced to accept practicing homosexuals or "transsexuals" in positions as youth workers and similar roles, under upcoming equality legislation, the government has said. The Labour government's Equality Bill will prohibit churches from refusing to hire active homosexuals even if their religion holds such behavior to be sinful, said deputy equalities minister Maria Eagle.
The legislation is due to come into force next year, and churches fear that it will force them to act against their religious convictions in a broad range of areas. Eagle indicated at a conference called "Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights" in London, that the legislation "will cover almost all church employees."
"The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between," she told delegates. "While the state would not intervene in narrowly ritual or doctrinal matters within faith groups, these communities cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law.
"Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment."
The bill allows a religious exemption for roles deemed to be "for the purposes of an organised religion" but restricts this definition to those who conduct liturgical celebrations or spend their time teaching doctrine.
The Daily Telegraph quoted Neil Addison, a Roman Catholic barrister and expert on religious discrimination law, who said that the bill will leave churches powerless to defend the fabric of their organization. "This is a threat to religious identity. What we are losing is the right for organizations to make free choices," he said
Equality commissioners include the homosexual lobbyist, Ben Summerskill, the head of the leading British homosexualist activist group Stonewall. Summerskill has called for churches to be forced to employ homosexuals and for the police to stop Christians who were peacefully protesting against 'gay rights' laws outside Parliament.
Tony Grew, a homosexualist activist and the former editor of PinkNews.co.uk, wrote recently that the Equality Bill will "entrench gay rights in all aspects of public life." Grew wrote on PinkNews that the bill will open unprecedented opportunities for homosexuals.
The bill, he said will cover central government departments, local authorities, education bodies, NHS bodies and the police service, plus a wide range of other public and private bodies, including churches and church-run institutions. It will impose the "Equality Duty" on all organizations providing public services, he said, such as residential care homes that "would have to consider the needs of same-sex couples."
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Enforced "Diversity" will make Britain "First Modern
Soft Totalitarian State"
UK: Religious Schools May Not Teach Christian Sexual Morals "As if
They Were Objectively True"
Even an Openly Homosexual Actor has Condemned New UK Law Which Would
Criminalize Criticizing Homosexuality
"Climate of Fear" Growing in Britain for Christian Civil
Rights Commission 'Dismisses' hate charges against CHP Canada!
27, 2009 - The Christian Heritage Party of Canada and the CHP's former
leader have been notified by the Canadian Human Rights Commission that
allegations of 'hate' by an Edmonton man against the Party, one of its
Electoral District Associations and former leader Ron Gray have been
dismissed the three complaints because "the content and context of
the material which forms the basis of the complaint is not likely to
expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt based on sexual
orientation," says the letter from Lucie Veillette, secretary of the
Commission, to Ron Gray. "Accordingly, the file on this matter is now
critical of the CHRC's procedures, and the effect its proceedings can have
of "chilling" public discussion of important policy issues.
wrote to the CHRC about these complaints Feb. 19, 2007--almost two years
ago--and have not yet had a reply to that letter," Gray said.
"The proceedings have cost about $50,000. Fortunately, there were
people across Canada who believed in free speech enough to cover those
costs with voluntary donations.
to thank the hundreds of people who helped to defend free speech rights in
Canada by contributing to our legal defense fund.
the CHRC's method of operation is both slipshod and unjust. The
complainant bore no costs at all for filing a frivolous and groundless
complaint; as Ezra Levant has said, 'The process is the
punishment'--whether the respondent is innocent or guilty.
idea of protecting people and groups from 'hate speech' that incites to
violence is still sound," Gray said. "But such incitement is
already a criminal offence, and the defense against it belongs in criminal
court, where the normal rules of evidence and the presumption of innocence
apply. In a real court, these ridiculous charges would never have been
The new CHP
Leader Jim Hnatiuk maintains that the CHP is the only federal political
party in Canada that has and will continue to defend "traditional
marriage" between one man and one woman.
The new CHP
Leader, Jim Hnatiuk, re-affirms the commitment of the CHP to fight for the
repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. "We are the
only political party which is taking seriously the threat to our freedom
of speech posed by this repressive piece of legislation."
Jim Hnatiuk, 1-888-868-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Kempling, the Christian teacher and school counsellor who has been
harassed over the
last number of years and penalized for speaking out in his own time
against the pro-homosexuality propaganda program being promoted for use in
the schools, has decided to leave the public school system. We trust
that this will bring a greater measure of freedom for Chris, but it does
not prevent the BC College of Teachers from continuing their attempt
to penalize him further for exercising his democratic rights and speaking
out according to his conscience. He is going to need our continued
support in the months ahead.
Dr. Chris Kempling, the Christian teacher and school counsellor who has been harassed over the last number of years and penalized for speaking out in his own time against the pro-homosexuality propaganda program being promoted for use in the schools, has decided to leave the public school system. We trust that this will bring a greater measure of freedom for Chris, but it does not prevent the BC College of Teachers from continuing their attempt to penalize him further for exercising his democratic rights and speaking out according to his conscience. He is going to need our continued support in the months ahead.
New Action of BC College of Teachers Against Chris Kempling Highlights the Perilous State of Freedom in Canada
February 6, 2008
We have just received wordWe have just received word
As we have said before, the action taken against Chris Kempling is significant because it represents a threat to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, political freedom, and the freedom of the educational system. It should be a warning to Canadians of all stripes who value our national heritage.
Friends and Colleagues at BCPTL:
On January 28, 2008, I received another citation from the BC College of Teachers. They have laid 12 new charges against me for "conduct unbecoming a member". They include: writing a letter to the editor as the representative of my political party objecting to the then proposed same sex marriage law, submitting an essay for publication on the BCTPL website (which was also published in the Calgary Herald), submitting an essay to a family journal in Germany (which they have not read), for being the "local representative of the Christian Heritage Party", and for having "knowledge" that an article written about me by CHP Leader Ron Gray was published on the party's website. The list goes on, and is the most Orwellian document I have ever read. My lawyer told me that I should expect a very substantial suspension. I've been subpoenaed for a four day hearing in late September.
I've decided I've had enough of the College of
Teachers. I'ver resigned my position with the
Quesnel School District to take a job with St. Ann's
Academy in Kamloops. Although the remuneration
is less, it is worth it to me not to have to be a
member of the BCCT. Unfortunately, one side
effect of this decision was that the BC Teacher's
Federation has cancelled my legal aid, so my lawyer
has withdrawn her services. There is a great
deal of legal preparation needed before the hearing,
so I have appealed the BCTF decision to the executive
committee on a technicality. Should that appeal
fail, I've asked Kevin Boonstra of Kuhn and Company to
represent me. I have sufficient funds in my
legal defense fund to cover his costs for the hearing
(but I was hoping to use those funds for my next
Supreme Court appeal). The Lord provided last
time--every cent--and I'm trusting Him for this next
battle, too. Please pray for me as I continue to
take a stand on this very important social issue.
Earlier this year Kempling received a fresh list of citations for
"conduct unbecoming a member" of the BC College of Teachers (BCCT)
for his exposition of the Christian position on homosexuality, which fact
Kempling said drove him to leave the College of Teachers.
One upshot of the decision to leave the College, however, is the loss
of Kempling's legal aid fund, which was provided by the College. The
schoolteacher will be covering his own legal costs for an upcoming hearing
with the College, but he still faces enormous financial challenges as he
throws himself into a fight that is anticipated to take years and which he
has said he intends to pursue all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada
TORONTO, July 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Canadian
Human Rights Commission has dropped a complaint by a homosexual activist
against Catholic Insight a Toronto-based national Catholic news magazine.
A year and a half - and many thousands of dollars in legal fees - after a
nine-point human rights complaint was filed by Edmonton-based homosexual
activist Rob Wells, Catholic Insight has been informed that the case has
been dropped. However, a judicial review before the Federal Court is
still possible should the complainant pursue that avenue.
Wells filed the complaint over the magazine's allegedly offensive coverage of homosexual activism and the issues it has affected. According to editor Father Alphonse de Valk, however, the magazine has consistently set out the Roman Catholic Church's position on such questions, making it clear that persons with same-sex attraction must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity and every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.
"We welcome the Canadian Human Rights Commission's decision in this matter and were confident from the outset that we would be vindicated," said Father de Valk. He added that his publication not only has the right, but the responsibility, to report, analyze, comment on, and criticize where necessary, homosexual activism as it pertains to important social issues such as the nature of marriage, adoption rights, the allocation of social benefits, burdens on the health system caused by unhealthy behaviours and so on.
"It is chilling to think that a publication can be hauled before a government tribunal simply for reporting to interested citizens developments in these areas of controversy," said Father de Valk. "This matter underscores once again the necessity of urgent reform of the Canadian human rights system." He added that, coupled with a series of actions launched by a Toronto-based homosexual activist, Catholic Insight has been unnecessarily burdened with $20,000 in legal fees to date.
Given the consistently unsuccessful nature of these homosexual activist attacks upon it, Catholic Insight will now examine the prospects of launching countering legal actions against those who have been unnecessarily harassing and financially burdening the publication, said Father de Valk.
By Joe McLaughlin - Red Deer Advocate - June 17, 2008
A lot of folks in Alberta and beyond are feeling bruised and abused by the Alberta human rights commission’s conduct in dealing with a letter to the editor that was published on this page six years ago today.
We at the Advocate are among them.
We have had our eyes opened to some state-sanctioned ugliness.
The letter, by a local pastor, expressed love and compassion for some homosexuals, while decrying the activist homosexual agenda of some educators, MPs, judges (and possibly, though not specifically mentioned, Advocate editorialists who have long supported gay rights.)
Stephen Boissoin’s letter promoted a flurry of responses, pro and con, in our pages and two complaints to the Alberta human rights commission against the Advocate.
Both complaints were successfully resolved with no finding of fault, no Advocate admission of wrongdoing, no promise to act any differently in the future.
Darren Lund, a former Red Deer high school teacher now at the University of Calgary, also lodged a complaint against Boissoin. That led to a lengthy, dispiriting process that culminated at the end of May with the rights commission ordering Boissoin:
• to pay two people whom the commission acknowledges were not direct victims of his words — $5,000 to Lund for ridicule and harassment and up to $2,000 to a witness;
• to apologize in writing to Lund;
• to ask that the Advocate publish his letter of apology and the commission’s seven-page Decision on Remedy.
Boissoin has no intention of apologizing, as he makes clear in a letter on this page.
The galling presumption of the rights commission to subvert a newspaper’s own judgments over whether, when or where it should publish coerced opinions offers a window into its dangerous thinking.
The commission has its own website where it can readily publish any and all of its documents. Curiously though, more than two weeks after its Decision on Remedy was handed down, that ruling was not posted.
The more fundamental and serious defects of the rights commission surround its flawed processes that can lead to repressive and dangerous fallout.
[Click here to read the whole article on the website of the Red Deer Advocate.]
hope that not only his fellow-Christians, but all who retain a love for
our basic freedoms, will respond to Chris's appeal in the letter
February 5, 2008
I regret to inform you that the BC College of Teachers has again cited me for conduct unbecoming a teacher, in a letter dated January 28, 2008. They have cited me for participating in a CBC radio interview where I quoted the Bible saying that homosexual behaviour is a barrier to salvation, for contributing an essay discussing the philosophical differences between social liberals and social conservatives (published in the Calgary Herald on December 29, 2003), for publishing a scholarly article in a German family journal on the topic of homosexuality, for offering orientation change therapy as part of my private counselling practice and mentioning this in a radio interview, and, incredibly, for "knowing" that an article written by Christian Heritage Party leader Ron Gray in support of me was posted on the party's website. They also cited me for being "the local representative of the Christian Heritage Party". This is certainly true as I was the candidate for the CHP, Canada's sixth largest registered political party, in the last federal election in the Cariboo-Prince George riding (I came 5th out of 8 candidates.) All of the items listed occurred between February, 2003 and April, 2005.
The last time I checked, we had freedom of speech and freedom of religion in Canada, and the right to join the political party of our choice. It appears to me that these rights are in jeopardy, as the BC College of Teachers has threatened to withdraw my license to teach, despite the fact that there were no complaints registered with the College as a result of any of the items they listed. I am currently working in the Quesnel school district, am abiding by my letter of direction, and have been told by my principal that he has no concerns about my conduct or my job performance, which includes working professionally with students of all orientations.
This is extremely distressing for me and my family, and I would welcome your prayers. It appears that I may have to ask those who care about freedom to help me defend myself again. The registered trust fund is called the:
Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund, c/o Mr. Jim Sagert, Trustee, 798 Beaubien Avenue, Quesnel, BC V2J 1A6.
Letters of acknowledgement will be issued, but, as it is not a charity, there can be no tax receipts.
I am not afraid to face them but please do not leave me like Uriah to face the enemy alone. I take comfort in the words of our Lord: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..."
I am happy, because I know my Christian brothers and sisters will stand with me as I face this trial yet again.
Dr. Chris Kempling Psy.D. R.C.C.
I’m not Allowed to
not allowed to speak publicly about homosexuality.
I’ve been banned from being a school counsellor.
I’ve been convicted of “personal harassment” because a
colleague didn’t like a letter to the editor I wrote, even though I had
never once communicated with that person on the matter.
I’ve served a total of four months of suspension without pay and
have countless letters of discipline on my personnel file, none of which
has to do with my on-the-job performance.
It’s no picnic standing up to the gay juggernaut.
But I haven’t given up yet.
Thursday, I attended a workshop at the BC School Counsellors
Conference, entitled Coming Out and Sexual Minority Students:
What’s the Big Deal? The
presenter urged us to help confused teenagers come out to their peers.
So I thought I’d inform him that there was a big deal.
I asked him if he was aware of the research done by Gary Remafidi,
a homosexual pediatrician, who found in 1991 that ¾ of all first suicide
attempts by gay youth followed self-labeling, and that 1/3 attempt suicide
in the first year after coming out. Dr.
Remafidi also found that in his study group,
30% admitted to prostituting themselves, 51% had been arrested for a
criminal offense and 85% used illegal drugs.
Yet this is the “healthy” lifestyle the school system wants to
urge our young people to embrace as “normal”.
is some additional data of this normal alternative lifestyle, done right
I’ll briefly recap how this all got started.
On May 9th of 2002 I was convicted of conduct unbecoming a member
of the BC
I appealed the conviction to the BC Supreme Court, but lost in
February of 2004. I appealed
to the BC Court of Appeal and lost again in June, 2005.
I appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada but it was
As a last resort, I sent my case to the UN Commission on Human
College presented no complaints about what I had written publicly from
teachers, none from students, none from parents, and most importantly,
none from any member of the gay community. The people who did disagree
with me did so by writing their own letters to the editor, and I fully
support their right to do that.
school district supervisors have also decided to silence me. They have
disciplined me repeatedly for speaking out, including for advertising my
intention to offer orientation change therapy services through my private
practice. On March 31,
appeared before a formal hearing of the Quesnel
School Board to explain why I publicly criticized the government’s same
sex marriage legislation. I
was then suspended for three months without pay, even though not one
homosexual person has gone on record to complain about what I wrote. I
filed a Human Rights complaint against the school district for religious
discrimination, but surprise, surprise, they did not even bother to
investigate my complaint.
In June , 2005, I was requested by the
parliamentary committee examining the same sex marriage bill to testify
before them. I agreed, but
when I returned from
latest letter of discipline came last spring.
In an article discussing the proposed legislation increasing the
age of consent from 14 to 16, our local Member of Parliament was quoted as
saying that there was very little opposition to this bill.
But I happened to know that there was opposition to it from EGALE
Canada (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere).
They submitted a formal brief to Parliament arguing that raising
the age of consent was a bad idea. So
I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out that there was opposition to
the bill and it was from EGALE. I
received a letter from my Director of Instruction saying I had crossed the
line again. I then challenged
my superior to defend EGALE’s wish to have
continued sexual access to 14 and 15 year olds, but imagine that, he
declined and backed off further discipline.
have one more round to go with the
here is what the book of Ecclesiasticus says of such a situation, and this
is God’s message for those of us who call Christ our Lord:
“My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an
ordeal. Be sincere of heart,
be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured
at the end of your days. Whatever
happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state,
be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the
furnace of humiliation. Trust
Him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in Him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his
mercy; do not turn aside in case you fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust him and you
will not be bilked of your reward. You
who fear the Lord hope for good things, for everlasting happiness and
mercy. Look at the
generations of old and see: who
ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame?
Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken?
Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful, he forgives sins, and
saves in days of distress. Woe
to faint hearts and listless hands…Woe to the listless heart that has no
faith, for such will have no protection.
Woe to you who have lost the will to
endure; what will you do at the Lord’s visitation?
Those who fear the Lord do not disdain his words, and those who
love him keep his ways. Those
who fear the Lord do their best to please him, and those who love him find
satisfaction in his Law. Those
who fear the Lord keep their hearts prepared and humble themselves in his
presence. Let us fall into
the hands of the Lord, not into the hands of men; for as His majesty is,
so too is His mercy.”
friends, the fate of our children rests with you, because the secular
humanists who control our school systems are bent on imposing their
worldview on all Canadian children, no matter what their sincere religious
beliefs may be. And
if that conflicts with their parent’s beliefs—well too bad.
You can just keep quiet while we indoctrinate your children.
But here is what Abraham Kuyper, the
great Dutch statesman who believed that Christian principles and civil
politics were not incompatible: “When
the principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the
day, then the battle is your calling, and peace has become sin.
You must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare
before friend and enemy with all the fire of your faith.”
Godless principles are now winning the day, and now is the time to
go to battle for the lives of our children and our children’s children.
you for inviting me to speak, and may God bless you all.
Chris Kempling Psy.D.
R.C.C. Registered Clinical Counsellor
(last updated February 12, 2008)
So much time has elapsed since we first learned of Chris Kempling's
situation, and the actions of the British Columbia College of Teachers
have been so complex that it is easy to become confused about the sequence
of events related to this case which is so crucial for education and for
the right of free speech. Reviewing the events affecting Chris may
be useful and instructive for all of us.
In a “sentencing” session, a BC College of Teachers hearing panel in November 18th recommended that Chris be given a one-month suspension without pay. (The panel did not actually hear Chris speak—only his lawyer. Chris had not attended the hearing in May due to concerns about conflict of interest.) This recommendation was to be ratified (or modified) by the entire Council. Later, since Chris had already appealed the original BCCT verdict of “conduct unbecoming” to the BC Supreme Court, an understanding was communicated to Chris that the BCCT would not ask that the penalty be served until after the BC Supreme Court decision (and then, of course, it would only be if the Court found in favour of the BCCT.)
In February of 2003 it was learned that the BCCT would not pronounce Chris’s penalty till later than expected, but that the BCCT (which is not bound by the recommendations of its own penalty panel) would consider a more severe penalty than the panel had recommended.
Later he heard that the BCCT had agreed to the request that they hear Chris Kempling in person. We interpreted their intentions as being to actually hear Chris speak. But at the April 1st hearing, when Chris Kempling appeared before them, the members of that body apparently did not have the curiosity or the interest to avail themselves of that opportunity, and only heard Chris’s lawyer.
Chris did not hear the BCCT verdict for some days, but in a message of April 14th Chris wrote: “The College has decided that my penalty is to be one month’s suspension (the original recommendation of their own committee in November . . . .) It is to commence on May 1st unless they agree to suspend it until after the court renders its decision.”
On July 28th to 30th, Chris
Kempling’s appeal of the BCCT ruling was heard in BC Supreme Court.
Judge Holmes reserved decision. On February 3, 2004, after over six
months of waiting, Chris learned that the judge had ruled against him,
siding with the BC College of Teachers. In a message dated February
4th, Chris announced his intention to appeal the ruling of the British
Columbia Court of Appeal.* This appeal was made.
Even before his Appeals Court hearing in Vancouver, Chris had been dealt yet another blow. In a decision handed down on April 4, 2005, Quesnel School District Superintendent Ed Napier suspended Chris Kempling for three months. Dr. Kempling is also the local spokesperson of the federal Christian Heritage Party, and had written a letter to the editor of the local newspaper on behalf of his party, criticizing the Liberal government's same sex marriage legislation. The school district did not provide a single example of disruption to the school system, or any negative effect of the letter. [Click here to go to this letter.] They also ignored over a dozen letters of reference from supervisors and community members written in support of Dr. Kempling.
2005, in a decision that was unexpectedly fast--for the courts--the BC
Appeals Court released its ruling regarding Chris Kempling's appeal of a
BC Supreme Court decision. The Appeals Court ruling supported the
imposition on Dr. Chris Kempling of a one-month suspension from his
teaching and counselling position in Quesnel School District.
In March of 2006 Chris Kempling served the
one-month suspension imposed by the British Columbia College of
Teachers. Chris has continued to be
employed by Quesnel School District, and began work in
September of 2006 as a "behaviour resource teacher."
On May 29, 2006 Chris received a letter from the College notifying him that they were putting him under investigation for his Christian Heritage Party letter of January (the one he had already served a 3 month suspension for). They did so because the BCTF had abandoned his grievance over the issue. In February of 2008 Chris received notice that the BC College of Teachers was citing him for conduct unbecoming a teacher. Chris writes: "They have cited me for participating in a CBC radio interview where I quoted the Bible saying that homosexual behaviour is a barrier to salvation, for contributing an essay discussing the philosophical differences between social liberals and social conservatives . . ., for publishing a scholarly article in a German family journal on the topic of homosexuality, for offering orientation change therapy as part of my private counselling practice and mentioning this in a radio interview, and, incredibly, for 'knowing' that an article written by Christian Heritage Party leader Ron Gray in support of me was posted on the party's website. They also cited me for being 'the local representative of the Christian Heritage Party. ' "
Note that this is the correct term. The appeal was from the
BC Supreme Court to the BC Court of Appeal, which is a higher
court than the BC Supreme Court. Our apologies for getting
this wrong on an earlier posting.
Continue to check this BC Parents and Teachers for Life website to learn of further developments in Chris Kempling's case.
The CCRL does not want to see HRCs involved in freedom of speech issues at all.
"The League has refrained from making hate speech complaints to any courts or commission, even though some of the anti-Catholic content we address, and the remarks directed at us in the course of our work, could certainly be described as demeaning if not downright hateful," McGarry said in the alert. "In our view, the importance of free speech supersedes whether we agree with what others are saying."
"As a civil rights organization, we recognize that freedom expression and freedom of religious expression two the most important values for Canadians," she said in an interview from Toronto. "We think the use of human rights tribunals to penalize the peaceable expression of religious viewpoints is a misuse of their original purpose."
Freedom of expression, she said, "is an important enough value that any curtailment of it must be held to the much higher standard required by a court." That standard, she said, includes the presumption of innocence, both parties facing equal costs, and the possibility that frivolous complaints could result in the complainant picking up the defendants court costs.
McGarry said the best way to address these issues is through dialogue, especially through the media. She said it is in the give and take of debate that most people learn about acceptable speech. "Politeness is not something that needs to be judicially imposed," she said.
McGarry's alert lists 11 examples, including Christian Heritage Party Leader Ron Gray, brought before the Canadian HRC and the Ontario HRC for a website article critical of homosexual conduct. The list can be read at their website.
-- Copyright Canadian Catholic News. Please do not reprint without permission.
its own worst enemy
Rights Commissions just like Hydra
human right to be an idiot
by Muslim group against Maclean's tests limits of press freedom
List of Recent Cases
TORONTO, January 2, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The news in early
December that Mark Steyn and Macleans Magazine are the subject of a
complaint to the B.C. and federal Human Rights Commissions because of an
article the magazine published, excerpted from Mr. Steyn's book
"America Alone", is a higher-profile example of an ongoing
pattern in the use of human rights' commissions to penalize the expression
of unpopular opinions, says the Catholic League in a press release.
Susan Comstock and Dave MacDonald sought to have their union dues
diverted to charitable organizations in protest of the union's use of
their dues for political activism and anti-Catholic activity. In refusing,
the commission noted in Mrs. Comstock's case that "no prohibited
ground of discrimination was established."
The League believes that the continued incursion of human rights' commissions in matters of peaceable free speech will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression. "When someone's words are disagreeable or contentious, the normal give-and-take of human discourse should be all the regulation that peaceable free speech requires," says the League.
The League provided a list of recent cases where human rights tribunal
were used to quash or attempt to quash free speech: [bold-facing by
editor of this BCPTL website]
Evangelical leader named to U.K commission upholding equal rights.
The appointment of Joel Edwards, general director of the U.K.'s Evangelical Alliance, as a commissioner to the nation's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has drawn complaints from gay activists.
Formed to enforce legislation guaranteeing age, ethnic,
disability, gender, and sexual preference equality, the EHRC brings
together the U.K.'s three previous equality commissions. The Equality Act
(Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, which went into effect on January
1, added prohibitions against treating anyone "less favorably than he
treats or would treat others" on the grounds of sexual orientation.
However, concessions within the act allow religious organizations to
define standards of sexual behavior for their members and leaders.
CitizenLink, June 26, 2007
Representatives Draw Up Statement of Principles in Response to the Corren
Settlement Agreement in British Columbia
Statement of Principles of Fairness for Students and Parents and of
Can be Used to Remedy the Injustices of the Corren
2. Access to the means of influencing the development of curriculum for all subjects in British Columbia public schools should be open to all citizens without discrimination. No special rights of access or influence should be given to particular private citizens or groups.
3. Parents have the right to educate children in conformity with their moral and religious convictions. Public schools must be transparent and accountable to parents about what is taught to students. Teaching materials should be open to examination by parents, and particular care should be taken that parents are directly advised, well in advance, when sexuality or other controversial or sensitive topics are to be discussed.
4. Nothing in the curriculum or practice of British Columbia public schools should denigrate the legally protected moral and religious beliefs of parents and children.
How the above principles can be used to remedv the inequity of the Corren Settlement Agreement
Because it unfairly gives privileged procedural access to Peter Corren and
Murray Corren, the Corren Settlement Agreement has created a dangerous
precedent in the curriculum review process. We ask for recognition of the
'prior right’ of parents to choose the kind of education their children
receive. We request that the Minister extend full consultation to parents
and other stakeholders.
I. New Internal Review Guidelines for the development of IRPs ("Integrated Resource Packages") must be drawn up with input from all interested parties, as identified in the Charter Article 15 (1).
2. Similarly, input from all interested parties should be welcomed in finalizing each IRP.
3. The Social Justice 12 Course provided for in Section 3 of the Corren Settlement Agreement should be balanced with respect to Charter Article 15 (1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
4. Delivery guidelines to assist teachers in delivering the Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum should be developed openly with recognition given to the prior right of parents to choose the kind of education their children receive.
5. Parents of students should be permitted to make arrangements for Alternative Delivery of sensitive topics in a manner that respects the individual needs and interests of their children.
6. Any further changes in matters covered in the Corren Settlement should arrived at by a regular democratic process in a manner authorized by the legislature and subject to alteration by that body.
7. The Ministry of Education should send a letter to the parties named in the Corren Settlement Agreement (Section IB) affirming the prior right of parents and stating policy of openness in the development of curriculum.
1 UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights -- Article 26
Lexington Green, where Massachusetts colonists
confronted the British in the opening battle of the American
Revolution, will be the site for a rally to support a father
who was arrested for questioning pro-homosexual materials at
his children’s school.
In the wake of the British Columbia Supreme Court's ruling against him, Dr. Kempling has appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which may or may not agree to hear the case. In addition to the other persecution he has faced, Chris Kempling is now facing discipline for his testimony before a parliamentary committee.
Chris Kempling Update—September 15, 2005
In my . . . update in April, I related that I had
been suspended for three months without pay for writing a letter to the
editor opposing same sex marriage. I
have now served the suspension and am back teaching (after working as a
dump truck driver in the summer to make ends meet).
Unfortunately, my struggle continues.
In early June, the BC Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the
College of Teachers, saying that although there was no evidence of harm or
disruption to the school system, it was appropriate for the College of
Teachers to discipline me for expressing my opinion off the job in letters
to the editor. For this
reason I have appealed the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Supreme
Court of Canada. My new lawyer, David Brown of Stikeman Elliott in Toronto,
filed leave to appeal on September 9th.
It is not known when the Supreme Court will make a decision on
whether or not to hear the case—they only hear 15% of the cases referred
to them. If they choose not
to hear it, I have will have to serve another one month’s suspension,
and pay my opponents prior legal costs of over $23,000.
My lawyer has told me I have to pay their costs now, even if the
Supreme Court chooses to hear the case.
This will deplete my legal defense fund entirely, leaving me
without funds to proceed with the Supreme Court case or the Human Rights
Tribunal case. My lawyer
feels that at least $50,000 will be needed for that, and a similar amount
for the Human Rights case.
My Human Rights Tribunal case against the Quesnel School Board for religious discrimination is still on-going. I was disciplined for speaking with a CBC radio reporter about the orientation change services of my private Christian counseling practice. They provided no evidence that anyone was concerned about this interview—they feel it is acceptable to prevent me from telling people that orientation change is possible. I made it clear that most of my clients would be Christians, who know that acting on same sex attraction is sinful behaviour, and thus are more motivated to seek professional assistance. I am currently providing treatment to a Christian client for this purpose, so I find it entirely unacceptable for my school district employer to interfere with a service offered by a Christian counselor to Christian people. I was to have had a two day hearing in October, but my lawyer feels it will take 7-10 days and involve over a dozen witnesses. A new date has yet to be scheduled.
I’m hoping my employer will acknowledge that official witnesses of Parliament have special protection from harassment.
There is some good news to report, however.
Rev. Tristan Emmanuel of Equipping Christians for the Public Square
held a fund-raising banquet for me in June in Hamilton, Ontario and
presented me with a cheque for $18,000.
I have already given the entire amount to Mr. Brown as a down
payment for the Supreme Court appeal.
God has supplied all my needs up to now—I’m just going to keep
trusting Him for what it is still needed.
I’m very grateful for all of you who have generously given so
far. I would appreciate your
prayers as I face the upcoming struggles.
Jesus warned us that we would face persecution for standing up for
him. He was right.
April 25, 2005
The final bell on “round two” has rung in the long-running match between Dr. Chris Kempling and the British Columbia College of Teachers, but it will likely be several months before the judges release their decision. The case will decide whether Christian teachers have freedom of speech and the freedom to express their religious beliefs on their own time. Dr. Kempling is appealing a decision of the College which suspended him for one month for writing letters to the editor objecting to the promotion of homosexuality in the public school system. Dr. Kempling and his legal team faced off against the College of Teachers and their allies on April 21st and 22nd in Vancouver’s Court of Appeal. The case arose out of a complaint filed with the College in July, 2000.
Dr. Kempling’s team consisted of William Clark of Harper Grey law firm, plus three lawyers from the intervenors: J. Rogers for the BC Teachers’ Federation, and Kevin Boonstra (Kuehn and Company, Abbotsford) and David Brown (Stikeman Brown of Toronto), who represented the Canadian Religious Freedom Alliance. (The CRFA is comprised of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Christian Legal Fellowship, and the Christian Teachers Association of BC.)
The BC College of Teachers was represented by Mr. Bruce Laughton, who has handled the case from the outset. Intervenors for the College included Elliot Myers of the BC Civil Liberties Association and Judith Anderson of the BC Public School Employers Association. Hearing the case were Madam Justice Huddart, Mr. Justice Lowry, and Head Justice Ian Donald. The only media in attendance was Frank Stirk of Christian Week.
The bulk of first day of the case was occupied by the Mr. Clark’s presentation. He argued that Dr. Kempling’s Charter rights of freedom of speech were definitely violated by the College, and given that no evidence of “harm” was presented, the “inference of harm” was not enough to impose discipline. Furthermore, the one month penalty was excessive given Dr. Kempling’s unblemished teaching record, extensive community service, and numerous character references from a wide variety of supervisors and community leaders. Mr. Clark noted that all other freedoms are an extension of freedom of expression, and that even if speech is “unpopular” it is worthy of protection in a free and democratic society.
David Brown had just 30 minutes to present his argument on behalf of the Canadian Religious Freedom Alliance, but he gave an outstanding oration. He argued that, in the absence of “harm” in the school community, the speaker should receive the benefit of the doubt. Moreover, characterizing speech as “discriminatory” is a “show-stopper”, i.e. it has the effect of shutting down debate by labeling unpopular speech as inherently harmful. Brown posited that there should be an analysis of the difference between critical speech and discriminatory speech, which was not done in this case. Brown noted that it is quite possible to believe in the inherent dignity of a person while concurrently holding that certain behaviours practiced by that person are immoral. Furthermore, tolerance ought not to mean “mandated approval”. Though his time was short, Mr. Brown captured the essential elements of the case in a brilliant presentation.
Mr. Laughton took up the bulk of the second day, presenting the College’s case. He stated that it wasn’t necessary for anyone inside the school system to complain, nor was it necessary to call any witnesses to prove their case. The College was well within its authority to suspend a member for speech it had determined was discriminatory—the harm could be inferred. He also stated that it was improper to present a “freedom of religion” defense, since the College didn’t know what religion Dr. Kempling belonged to. That was a remarkable statement considering Dr. Kempling’s writings are full of Christian references and Bible citations.
Elliot Myers of the BC Civil Liberties Association stated that the BCCLA agrees that the College made the right decision, but for the wrong reasons. They felt it was improper for the College to base its decision on private memos written to a superior, private letters to elected officials, and unpublished research essays. Their main concern was that Dr. Kempling identified himself as a teacher in his letters to the editor. They were particularly upset by Dr. Kempling’s statement that he would refuse to be a false teacher, teaching information that was morally questionable, and that he would encourage those who were confused about their orientation to come and see him, as it could save their life. Mr. Myers asserted that Dr. Kempling had “announced his intention to discriminate” by making these statements. Even though no evidence was presented he actually did discriminate against anyone, the possibility he might was enough to impose the suspension.
The lawyers for the BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public School Employers Association made no oral submissions, and merely submitted their written briefs due to time constraints.
Mr. Clark is actually not too hopeful of a positive outcome in the trial, and believes it will be necessary to carry on to the Supreme Court of Canada. It is doubly difficult at this time since Dr. Kempling is currently enduring an additional three month suspension without pay for public objecting to the Liberal’s same sex marriage legislation as a spokesman for his political party.
But, as Paul urged Timothy: ”I solemnly urge you to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
The children of this land deserve to be presented with balanced information on same sex issues, so that they can avoid putting their lives at risk. Without the freedom to present the Christian perspective in a public venue like the editorial page of a local newspaper, the safety of our children, and the freedom of all Canadians is at stake.
[Please note that the
action of this local bureaucrat and the school board are quite separate
from the actions of the BC College of Teachers in seeking to have Chris
Kempling punished for earlier public statements. The audacity of the
local superintendent of schools in joining in the persecution of Dr.
Kempling may well have been encouraged by the climate of opinion created
by the successful passing of Sven Robinson's bill limiting free speech and
by some of the statements coming from ministers of the federal government.
--editor of this website.]
April 4, 2005
A trust fund has been set up. It is the "Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund." Money contributed to this fund will help Christopher Kempling with the expenses of his legal defence. Subsequently, money in the fund after Chris's defence can be used to help other Christian teachers who may find themselves in a similar position.
If you would like to contribute to the trust fund, you may make a contribution at any Royal Bank branch. The transit number is 4720. The account number is 101-030-5.
If you prefer to contribute by cheque, send your contribution to:
Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund
by Dr. Chris Kempling
Early in February, 2005, I received a surprising call
from Anna Marie White of Focus on the Family Canada. The United Nations
Commission on Human Rights was holding a Delegates' Briefing on March 4,
and she was hoping I could represent Canadian Christians by speaking on
the topic of religious freedom in Canada. Anna Marie explained that UN
ambassadors and NGO (non-government organizations) representatives were
aware of the official Canadian government position on religious freedom,
but that the delegates wanted to hear from someone who had actually been
subjected to persecution because of their religious beliefs. They were
preparing for a major Human Rights conference to be held in Geneva in
I readily agreed and started making travel
arrangements. I had never been to New York City and was delighted when
Anna Marie stated that Focus would be happy to cover my hotel costs for an
extra day if I wanted to do a little sight-seeing.
I flew on Cathay Pacific Airlines for the five hour
flight and booked into the Grand Hyatt Hotel on 42nd and
Lexington Streets, just a few blocks from the United Nations. On Friday
morning, I met with American Focus on the Family officials, who were the
hosts of the briefing, in the Helmsley Hotel. Two of the other speakers,
constitutional lawyer Gerry Chipeur of Calgary, and lawyer Pers Karlson of
Sweden, also attended. We then headed as a group to get our security
passes in a separate building not far from the UN. Security is very tight
at public facilities in New York. Thomas Jacobson, Focus on the Family's
UN representative (Focus is an accredited NGO to the UN) was pulling a
small rack with a couple of boxes of hand-outs. He was stopped by
security, who radioed for the bomb detection unit to check his boxes.
The UN building is situated on the riverfront, with
an adjacent park holding several impressive sculptures. The building
itself was crowded with school tour groups, plus 6000 delegates attending
a UN Women's conference. There were many delegates in their colorful
national costumes walking the hallways and speaking a cornucopia of exotic
languages. The Africans and South American delegates were quite flamboyant
in their flowing robes and distinctive headgear.
We peeked into the General Assembly room and saw
where the Canadian delegation was sitting. It looks pretty much like it
does on TV. Our guide explained that simultaneous translation is done in
the six official UN languages, but all UN delegates must have a working
knowledge of English to be posted to the UN.
At the breakfast, Thomas Jacobsen said they were
delighted to learn that they had received 98 confirmations of delegates
wishing to attend the luncheon, three times what they were expecting.
Furthermore, one-third were full rank ambassadors to the UN. They didn't
invite the Canadian representatives, who are very strident in their
support of abortion and gay rights causes. I spent the morning fine tuning
my speech with Anna Marie White, Focus' representative for Family
Policy and Community Impact, and the representative from the British Focus
equivalent, which is called CARE.
I was seated next to the Korean ambassador.
Sichan Siv, who just finished his term as the US ambassador to the UN, was
also at the table, along with the ambassadors from Ireland, and an NGO
representative from Belgium. The food was excellent and included Mesculn
Salad in a basil lime vinagrette, with Sugar Cane and Cocoanut Glazed
Chilean Sea Bass, Malanga Puree with Mango Salsa as the entrée. Dessert
was a Chocolate Raspberry Ganache. (They gave us a souvenir menu, which is
why I have all the details.)
Ambassador Siv spoke first, and related his very
impressive "rags to riches" story as a Cambodian refugee who
escaped the Pol Pot's killing fields in the 70's. His first job was
picking apples in Connecticut, followed by a stint as a New York City cab
driver. He eventually became the first Asian American refugee to join the
American administration as part of President Bush Sr.'s cabinet, and
finished his career as the Ambassador to the United Nations.
Gerry Chipeur spoke next, highlighting the various
constitutional cases that he has been involved with at the Supreme Court
level, including the Vriend and Egan cases. He told me privately that the
only way to reverse Canadian policies is to defeat the Liberals in the
I spoke next, outlining my particular struggles with
the BC College of Teachers and my efforts to defend freedom of speech and
freedom of religion for public school teachers. My talk was well received
as there was a standing ovation. Janet Parshall, who hosts a national US
radio talk show, invited me to speak on her show, while another woman, a
Canadian lawyer working in Manhattan, said she was so upset at my
treatment she wanted to return home to practice human rights law in
Pers Karlson, the Swedish lawyer, detailed the Ake
Green case. Pastor Green was arrested and sentenced to one month in prison
for preaching a sermon outlining what the Bible says about homosexuality.
The Swedish Court of Appeal overturned that sentence, stating that the
Swedish law forbidding any criticism of homosexuality went too far in
penalizing pastors who perform their religious duties by explaining what
the Scriptures say about behaviours deemed to be sinful. Mr. Karlson
stated that Swedish embassies around the world had been flooded with
protests. Nevertheless, Swedish prosecutors have now appealed the case to
the Swedish Supreme Court. Pastor Green has been invited to speak at
the UN Human Rights conference in Geneva.
Overall, it was an excellent experience, and an
honour to be invited to speak at the UN. The following day, I spent seven
hours at the very impressive Metropolitan Museum situated in Central Park.
I wasn't able to see it all, despite my best efforts, and missed the
entire Egyptian wing. The medieval armor and Renaissance art was most
impressive. On Sunday, I had the privilege of worshipping with the First
Alliance Church congregation. This church is descended from the original
Christian and Missionary Alliance Church founded in Manhattan in 1888 by
A.B. Simpson (a Canadian from Prince Edward Island). They meet on the
second floor of a commercial building on E26th Ave, and share space with a
Messianic Jewish congregation.
Afterward, I took the bus towards Wall Street and
boarded the ferry to Liberty Island. The ferry terminal is in Battery Park
and houses an old fort, the original immigrant screening facility prior to
the establishment of Ellis Island. It would have been the facility my
great grandfather Joseph Kempling passed through in 1879. Security was
intense, as all passengers were required to remove watches, belts, shoes,
and jackets, plus pass through bag inspections and metal detectors. But I
wanted to see the statue which is the worldwide symbol for freedom,
something which we in Canada are beginning to lose a grip on.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to climb up inside the interior of the
statue, but it was pretty impressive just seeing it up close.
I'll close with a quote from Abraham Kuyper
(1837-1920), a Dutch Christian politician who founded the Christian
Democratic Party in that country: "When the principles that run
against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then the battle is
your calling, and peace has become sin. You must, at the price of dearest
peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy with all the fire
of your faith." We no longer have the luxury of assuming
that our country's leadership shares Christian principles and will uphold
Godly values. As is clearly obvious, they are quite prepared to make laws
which run counter to the principles upon which this country was founded,
and are attempting to silence or marginalize anyone who would protest
against them. Kuyper's call to arms rings true for today. But who will
answer? Ghandi said, "You must be
the change you wish to see in the world." It means a commitment
to action--and the time for action is now.
Dr. Chris Kempling Psy.D. R.C.C.
Quesnel, British Columbia
[The following letter was received October 6th, 2003. Mr. Wagner had been unable to get any in the mainstream media to publish the letter. We think it should be published. You may not agree with all of Frank Wagner's statements, but we hope you agree that a teacher should not be disciplined for passing on information or opinions to his colleagues.]
The following is the text of a message, dated May 9th, 2003, received from Premier Campbell:
The following letter from the Catholic Civil Rights League to The Province is reproduced with permission. We think it makes a very good point.
5 December, 2002
There is no evidence that Chris Kempling brought his opinions about homosexuality into the classroom, yet the BC College of Teachers intends to punish him for participating in public discussion of a controversial topic (Teacher faces ban over views on gays, 1 December, 2002).
Well, not just for participating, as it turns out. Gay and Lesbian Educators of BC have been participating in public discourse on the topic for years, yet not one of its members has been charged by the College for having done so. In fact, GALEBC and its supporters have been trying to do precisely what Mr. Kempling has not done: force their opinions about homosexual lifestyles into the classroom, even against the objections of parents.
In other words, the College is willing to allow pro-homosexual advocacy inside the classroom, but will not tolerate opposition to this agenda even outside. Its partisan attempt to silence Mr. Kempling is an affront to freedom-loving people and an abuse of its powers of self-governance.
Sean Murphy, Director
The Sunday Province (December
1, 2002, P. A27) ran a full-page article on Chris Kempling. The main
headline is "Teacher faces ban over views on gays" and the
subheading reads: "There's no evidence Chris Kempling ever exposed
students to his opinions on gays, but the College of Teachers may suspend
him anyway--and his union isn't supporting him." It's a pretty
positive and accurate article, and The Province is inviting
responses on the issue.
In the article, Wendy McLellan, Education Reporter for The Province, writes (very accurately), "Although an investigation found no evidence that Kempling brought his opinions into the classroom or pushed his views on students, the college is considering suspending his teaching licence for three months." Yes, that is what the BC College of Teachers argued for before the BCCT panel last month (November 18, 2002), and as far as we know that is what the college is still considering.
The Province, in an attention-getting box within the article asked "What do you think?" and said, "Give us your comments by phone at (604) 605-2029, email at email@example.com or fax at (604) 605-2099. . . . .." Seventeen letters appeared, all but one in favour at least of Chris Kempling's right to speak out. n
As we have indicated previously, Chris Kempling is not the only teacher whose rights to freedom of speech have been challenged. For the protection of the teacher involved, we have withheld his name and have not given the details of his victimization, since his case has not been made public by the authorities involved, who may take further action.
Speak out publicly against the program of pro-homosexuality indoctrination being conducted by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and you risk your job and your professional reputation. That seems to be the message sent to teachers by the action of the British Columbia College of Teachers against Chris Kempling, Kempling, a public-school counsellor who holds two degrees in counselling, has been found “guilty” for merely speaking out against aspects of the program launched by the BCTF. The action of the BC College of Teachers comes in the wake of actions against other teachers by board personnel at the local level. Teachers who have opposed the pro-homosexuality agenda have been called in to secret meetings where their actions have been questioned in ways that were highly intimidating.
Chris, who is a Christian, has written an appeal to fellow-Christians, which we reproduce here. The appeal is one which not only Christians, but all people of faith, and indeed all who believe in liberty of speech and of religion, ought to respond to. At the close of this article are suggestions about what you can do to support Chris in his courageous stand on behalf of young people.
Chris Kempling's Appeal:
In case you may have missed it, the reference to Uriah is to the Biblical story of Uriah the Hittite, who was ordered placed in the forefront of a battle, to be slain by the enemy when his fellow-soldiers retreated.
I would appeal to all who are moved by Chris’s appeal to support him by doing the following:
1. If you share Chris’s faith, pray for him.
2. Write to the British Columbia College of Teachers protesting their high-handed actions against those who speak out against the pro-homosexuality program.
3. Write to the Premier, with a copy to the Minister of Education, protesting the abuse of power
by the BC College of Teachers.
4. E-mail Chris Kempling, to tell him you are standing with him, and to let him know what actions you have taken on his behalf.
The addresses you need are the following:
British Columbia College of Teachers
Hon. Gordon Campbell, Premier
Hon. Christy Clark, Minister of Education and Deputy Premier
Mr. Chris Kempling
Newly posted contact information:
Note: Two of Chris Kempling's articles are posted on this
website. We think that if you read them you will be impressed by the
care of his research, and by the good will shown, contrary to the findings
of the BC College of Teachers. The two essays referred to are on our
page on "Opposing the Pro-Homosexuality Agenda" and are
Friends and Fellow Believers:
Message from Chris Kempling (Dated September 25th) on Other Developments,
Including the "Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defence
have been grateful for your prayers and letters of support and
encouragement. While the recent headline in the Vancouver Sun
made it appear that I could soon be unemployed, I am confident that I will
still be teaching when the College of Teachers is replaced by a more
representative College of Educators,
promised earlier this year by the Liberal government.
the article entitled
the article entitled
Friends: The Penalty Hearing panel of the BC College
of Teachers is
BC Parents and Teachers for Life Letter to Education Minister Regarding the Kempling Case, Teachers' Rights, and the BCCT
British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life has sent the following letter to the Education Minister, Christy Clark, with a copy to Premier Gordon Campbell. The letter covers not only the Kempling case, but related broader issues. Here is the text of the letter sent
Facsimile Transmission with Copy by E-Mail
July 31, 2002
Hon. Christy Clark, Minister of Education and Deputy Premier
Dear Ms. Clark:
The British Columbia College of Teachers, as you know, is a body set up by the provincial government and regulated by its law. Unfortunately, the College has abused its power and attempted to interfere in the most blatant way with the freedom of a religious educational institution (Trinity Western University), and now with the freedom of an individual member of the teaching profession.
We are writing on behalf of British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life to protest the abuse of power by the BC College of Teachers in finding that Mr. Chris Kempling was guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the College. It is our understanding that Mr. Kempling was doing nothing more than exercising his rights as a Canadian citizen and a professional member of the teaching profession in protesting against a program that he felt was harmful to students. His objections to the program were based on a concern for the welfare of young people, and he has backed his statements with evidence from medical research and statistics. Mr. Kempling’s performance as a counsellor in a public school is not the subject of complaint. It is merely for exercising his rights of free speech that he has been judged and found guilty.
We would ask that the provincial government act immediately to restrict the power of the BC College of Teachers and, if necessary, to restructure it so that it does not use its power to intimidate teachers or prevent their exercising their rights as free citizens. Nor should the BCCT be seen to be acting as an enforcer of BC Teachers’ Federation decisions, as it appears to be in the Kempling case, where Mr. Kempling is in difficulty with the BCCT for criticizing the pro-homosexuality program of the BCTF.
We would like to mention a separate but related matter: Teachers of our acquaintance have been called before committees of school board personnel and, while told to keep the proceedings secret, have been led to expect that that they were in danger of discipline for expressing their views either outside the school or to other teachers. Teachers called before committees that have the power to require them to give an account of their actions should not be required or expected to keep proceedings against them secret. A teacher should be able to freely seek advice and choose his or her own advocate (either a lawyer or otherwise), not necessarily a BC Teachers’ Federation or local teachers’ union representative. Proper records should be made of any proceedings of such committees and shared with all parties involved.
Both school boards and the BC College of Teachers come under the control of the provincial government and are creatures of provincial legislation. We would urge that your government act to protect the rights of teachers. It is important that these rights be protected not only because teachers are entitled to the same rights as other Canadian citizens, but because it is essential that education remain a matter open to public debate, and the freely-expressed opinions of individual teachers are essential to that debate.
The matters which we have drawn to your attention are urgent, since the rights of British Columbians are in jeopardy. We would respectfully ask for an early reply to this letter, and hope to hear that your government will act to redress the injustices which we have called to your attention.
Further issues that need to be addressed are the nature of the pro-homosexuality program being promoted, and the validity of the objections being raised concerning it. Following this letter is a list of some sources of relevant information available on the Internet. We might point out that in the United States there is already concern regarding the legal liability that schools will face when the repercussions of homosexual behaviour are experienced.
[signed by the president and the secretary of BC Parents and Teachers for Life]
Mr. Chris Kempling
Information Resources from the Website of British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life
(www.bcptl.org) Related to Topics Dealt with in the Above Letter
On the page entitled: “Standing Up for Parents’ and Teachers’ Rights”: “BC School Counsellor Found ‘Guilty’ after Objecting to Pro-Homosexuality Agenda,” “Teachers’ and Parents’ Rights Denied,” “Teachers’ Rights to Moral Protest Threatened”
On the page “Opposing the Pro-Homosexuality Agenda”: “Surrey Web Site Promotes ‘Gay-Straight Alliances,’ Links Students to ‘Little Sister's’ "The Homophobia Myth” [by Chris Kempling], “Challenging Homophobia in Schools: A Pro-Homosexuality Resource . . . ,” “Challenging Homophobia in Schools: A Critical Review” [by Chris Kempling], "Moving Beyond Silence . . ."--Comments on a B.C. Local Teachers' Union Publication”
Other Sources of Information from the Internet
“The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” by Dr. Timothy J.
National [U.S.] Center for Disease Control: Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention:
A trust fund has been set up. It is the "Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund." Money contributed to this fund will help Christopher Kempling with the expenses of his legal defence. Subsequently, money in the fund after Chris's defence can be used to help other Christian teachers who may find themselves in a similar position.
If you would like to contribute to the trust fund, you may make a contribution at any Royal Bank branch. The transit number is 4720. The account number is 101-030-5.
If you prefer to contribute by cheque, send your contribution to:
Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund
From CBC online,
last updated Jul 11:
Can one person
really go up against a union and win? Just ask Dennis Robey.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ordered the
National Education Association (NEA) to stop badgering religious teachers
who object to the union's political agenda.
The EEOC's determination came as the result of one teacher, Dennis
Robey. He protested because in order to be granted religious-objector
status the NEA required detailed answers about his beliefs, with
documentation, every year.
"If they're going to have this as their form, when I fill it out
the first time, I shouldn't have to fill it out every single year,"
Robey said. "I shouldn't have to go to my pastor every single year
and have him sign some form for me."
The EEOC maintained the NEA is violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
saying an employee cannot be forced to support a union if it violates the
employee's sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC said once that
objection is established it does not need to be proven each year.
Robey said his Christian beliefs led him to oppose the NEA's support of
issues such as abortion, school clinics and homosexuality. As a religious
objector, he can legally have his union dues diverted to a charity. [For the rest of the above article, go to the "Focus on the
Family", and employ the search facility, using the key phrase--in
quotes--"NEA Must Honor Religious Objectors."]
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ordered the National Education Association (NEA) to stop badgering religious teachers who object to the union's political agenda.
The EEOC's determination came as the result of one teacher, Dennis Robey. He protested because in order to be granted religious-objector status the NEA required detailed answers about his beliefs, with documentation, every year.
"If they're going to have this as their form, when I fill it out the first time, I shouldn't have to fill it out every single year," Robey said. "I shouldn't have to go to my pastor every single year and have him sign some form for me."
The EEOC maintained the NEA is violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, saying an employee cannot be forced to support a union if it violates the employee's sincerely held religious beliefs. The EEOC said once that objection is established it does not need to be proven each year.
Robey said his Christian beliefs led him to oppose the NEA's support of issues such as abortion, school clinics and homosexuality. As a religious objector, he can legally have his union dues diverted to a charity.
[For the rest of the above article, go to the "Focus on the Family", and employ the search facility, using the key phrase--in quotes--"NEA Must Honor Religious Objectors."]
The job action taken by British Columbia teachers has brought to the public’s attention the many extracurricular activities which teachers voluntarily sponsor and lead on behalf of the children and young people they teach. These activities are a testimony to the genuine interest most teachers take in their students.
Since teachers give of their time voluntarily it may seem odd that during a job action a union can forbid teachers to sponsor such activities. At any rate, a teacher should surely not be penalized for helping a student with school work after class. But such is the power of the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF), that a teacher could actually be found to be in violation of the BCTF “Code of Ethics” for giving a student help outside of class during a job action. It has been suggested that such a teacher could even forfeit his or her job, no doubt through being expelled from the union.
This is only one example of the extraordinary power which over the years has accrued to the years to unions and professional organizations such as the BCTF. Not only is it necessary to be a union member to teach in the public schools of British Columbia, but the union can take the dues taken by compulsion from its members and spend them for anything it pleases. Examples are: the money spent to attempt to force Surrey School Board to approve pro-homosexuality books as teaching materials for primary students, and the support given to “Gay-Straight Alliances,” and the money used some years ago to compel some teachers to be a part of the Teacher’s Federation even though they wished to be free of it because of its support of abortion.
By tomorrow, probably, the labour dispute will be settled by government
legislation. We sincerely hope that it will be settled fairly, recognizing
the just claims of both teachers and the public. But what is needed is a
much more general settlement: one which will restore the rights of
individual teachers and of parents—the rights of individual teachers to
be free of a tyrannical union, and the rights of parents to have a proper
say in their children’s education.
Both teachers and parents in British Columbia have had their rights denied. Teachers in public schools, because of their union contracts, must belong to the British Columbia Teachers' Federation, which has almost unlimited power to use for political purposes (short of direct contributions to political parties), the dues obtained by legal compulsion. Local teachers' unions can give donations to school-board candidates, playing a role in choosing their own bosses.
Parents who choose to have their children attend public schools have their rights severely limited. They can help choose school board members, but the power of such boards to make decisions is severely limited. And, if the decision of Justice Saunders made in December, 1998, is allowed to stand, parents whose religious beliefs have an impact on their morality will be second-class citizens in their ability to influence their elected representatives. (See the article below entitled "Appeals Court Reasserts Rights of People of Faith.") n
Several cases have come to our attention where teachers who have spoken out moral issues have been "hauled" into secret meetings or asked attend meetings where their activities have been inquired into.
The circumstances of these incidents ought to cause serious concern for the freedom of teachers of faith and conscience.
If we are concerned about the rights which Canadians have hitherto taken for granted, surely we should be concerned about situations where teachers are hauled into meetings and led to fear for their jobs because they exercise the right (or duty) of expressing their moral convictions. What is especially disturbing is that these meetings can be in the nature of secret tribunals, where teachers are warned not to let anyone know of the proceedings. Hence there may be many more teachers in the same position that we do not know about. Another concern is that teachers in two cases were not allowed to name their own spokespersons, but are limited to defence by union representatives. Such representatives may be personally opposed to the teachers' moral stands. n
(Note: The following article was written following the September, 2000, ruling of Justice Mackenzie mentioned below. Unfortunately, even the limited protection offered by Justice Mackenzie's decision is now threatened. His decision has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. See the article "Surrey Book Case to Be Heard in the Supreme Court of Canada")
The decision of the B.C. Appeals Court reaffirming the Surrey School Board’s right to deny the use of certain pro-homosexuality books as formal teaching materials was certainly a victory of sorts for parental rights, but we should not be lulled into complacency.
It is gratifying that, in the “reasons for judgement,” written by the Honourable Mr. Justice Mackenzie and released this September, he gave a devastating rebuttal of the decision of Madam Justice Saunders in December, 1998. Justice Saunders, incredibly, had ruled, in effect that parents and other citizens whose morality springs from their religious beliefs have no right to have those morals influence school board decisions.
In a cogent argument, Justice Mackenzie asked, “Are only those with a non-religiously informed conscience to be permitted to participate in decisions involving moral instruction of children in the public schools? Must those whose moral positions arise from a conscience influenced by religion be required to leave those convictions behind or otherwise be excluded from participation while those who espouse similar positions emanating from a conscience not informed by religious considerations are free to participate without restriction? . . . . A religiously informed conscience should not be accorded any privilege, but neither should it be placed under a disability.”
In what ought to be regarded as a major pronouncement on behalf of liberty, Justice Mackenzie also said, “No society can be said to be truly free where only those whose morals are uninfluenced by religion are entitled to participate in deliberations related to moral issues of education in public schools.”
Justice Mackenzie’s judgement is insightful, and his decision (and that of the two concurring judges of the appeal court) is gratifying. But in his “Reasons for Judgement” we can also see that social engineers who happen to be teachers can easily bypass the regulations made by a school board. Regarding the three books in question (Asha’s Mums, Belinda’s Bouquet, and One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads), Justice Mackenzie wrote, “. . . There is nothing to prevent the three books being placed in school libraries within the District and made accessible to teachers and students in the same manner as other resources within a school library. In the context of K-1 classes where the students are just learning to read, use would presumably mean being read to the class by the teacher in story time or some similar circumstances with perhaps a discussion period about the story afterward.”
We can readily see how such a discussion period could become a full-fledged lesson on the acceptability of homosexuality.
In March of this year, well before the justices of the Appeals Court of British Columbia brought down their judgement, the “Ad Hoc Committee on Homophobia and Heterosexism of the Surrey Teachers’ Association had brought out “A Resource Guide for Classroom Teachers (Kindergarten to Grade Seven) in which they in effect gave hints as to how to bypass school-board objections.
The 1997 British Columbia Teachers Associations' resolution to develop a program “to combat homophobia and heterosexism” was a vote to develop such a program for all BC schools. That program is no doubt reflected in their “handbook for educators,” entitled Challenging Homophobia in Schools—distributed, we understand, to all the public schools in the province. We have not yet had an opportunity to examine this book, but have seen its "Table of Contents." The following titles of just a few sections of this book may give an idea of its contents: "Homophobia and heterosexism, Who and How They Hurt," "Levels of Attitude About Homosexuals & Bisexuals," "Transgender People," "Gay/Straight Alliances in Schools," "What is Family? (K-3)," "Two Dads Who Are Blue (K-3)," "What Makes a Family (K-5)," and "Famous Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals (8-12)." n
The December, 1998, decision of Justice Saunders, appealed by the Surrey School Board (see article above for the results of that appeal), had far-reaching implications for parents of faith.The day after the decision of Madam Justice Saunders in a case against the Surrey School Board, I visited the Internet site where British Columbians can read the “Reasons for Judgement” in cases that come before the British Columbia Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeals (http//www.courts.gov.bc.ca). What I found there was deeply disturbing. The Surrey School Board, as is well known by British Columbians, had ruled against the use of certain materials as “learning resources” or teaching materials. Several people took the Board to court for doing this. In her judgement rendered in December in the Supreme Court of B.C., Judge Saunders ruled, in effect , that a very large and diverse group of parents and other citizens are denied the right to influence Board policy in moral matters.
Judge Saunders ruled that the School Board erred in the way it arrived at its decision on the teaching materials precisely because it gave significant consideration to the fact that the books would conflict with the views of parents who are religious. She wrote, “I conclude that the words [in the School Act stating that schools should be] ‘conducted on strictly secular . . . principles’ precludes a decision significantly influenced by religious considerations.” In the rest of her “Reasons for Judgement” she makes clear that even the firm conviction of parents that educational materials are in conflict with their moral beliefs is not to be given significant consideration if those beliefs derive from religious teaching. (The judge quotes statements supporting the Surrey School Board’s stand from religious leaders who are Christian, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu; yet instead of acknowledging that these statements count in the Board’s favour, she uses the fact that they are religious leaders to discount their right to influence the Board’s judgement.)
One is tempted to ask where Judge Saunders received her education? Is she unaware of the fact that many of our public morals derive from religious teaching—teaching found in the Ten Commandments and other parts of the Bible, but also teaching found in the writings of many world religions besides Christianity and Judaism? Are parents who are concerned about an outbreak of theft in the schools to be dismissed because they are religious and the Bible says, “Thou shalt not steal”? Is lying about others to be legitimized in the schools because it says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”? The mind boggles at the logical consequences of the judge’s “reasons for judgement.”
This issue does not just concern three little children’s books. It has to do with the right of activist groups to propagandize for the acceptance of a behaviour which many parents oppose, either on moral grounds or because they feel it is unhealthy and dangerous.
The pro-homosexuality program was put forward as an answer to harassment of students from homes with homosexual parents. The parents in Surrey and in many other parts of British Columbia who support the Surrey School Board do not want any student harassed or hurt. Students need to understand that human beings have the right to be free from harassment and violence simply because they are human beings, not because they belong to any particular group in society.
Madam Justice Saunders’ decision came on the heels of an arbitration decision against the Surrey School Board for supporting the transfer of a child at the request of a parent who was concerned lest her child be indoctrinated by a homosexual activist teacher. The implications of the arbitration ruling are also disturbing. Both these decisions should be wake-up calls to the majority of parents and other citizens who do not want the public schools used for the type of social engineering desired by the minority of activists who want to promote a favourable view of homosexual behaviour. n
[Article from B.C. Parents' Alert, January 1998]
First they attacked the rights of pro-life teachers, but those who were not active pro-lifers or public-school teachers did nothing. Then they attacked the rights of parents of public-school students, but most who were not directly affected did nothing.* Now they attack the children, and independent education, and unless we take strong and well-considered action it may be too late for us to restore in our time the rights of either public-school or independent-school parents and children.
It is never pleasant to be the bearer of bad news. Unfortunately, a lot of things have happened in the year just past which spell out bad news for parents--particularly for parents who are attempting to bring up their children to honour the moral virtues which are part of our heritage. The fight led by the “Gay and Lesbian Educators” to promote pro-homosexuality education in the schools has disturbed many parents who were previously unaware of the attempts being made to usurp their legitimate role as moral guides for their children.
It helps us get perspective if we realize that the current attack on parental rights is not a sudden or isolated development. The attack on the rights of parents cannot really be separated from the attack on the rights of teachers holding to traditional morality. Long before the recent attacks on parental rights, teachers had been compelled to support pro-abortion propaganda through their fees. In spite of some sacrificial acts on the part of teachers who spent thousands of dollars to fight this injustice, their stand received little support from the general public, and the B.C. Teachers' Federation was allowed to continue to support abortion with money from dues teachers were compelled to give in order to teach in the public schools.Enquiries as to the position of the provincial government with regards to pro-abortion counselling and referrals in the public schools received vague answers from both the Social Credit and the succeeding NDP Ministers of Education. Then in September of 1992 a letter from the then Minister of Education confirmed our worst fears: There was, according to the Minister’s letter, no law or ministry directive which prevented a public school counsellor, teacher, or school nurse from referring a school student to an abortion agency; and, furthermore, no law or ministry directive which could determine whether or not the student’s parent should be informed or consulted before a student was exposed to abortion advocacy or referred to an abortion agency.
In January of 1993 an amended Infants Act became law in B.C. Its provisions undermined the rights of parents and, in effect, authorized pro-abortion referrals in the schools.
A petition signed by thousands of B.C. citizens was presented in the legislature in June of 1995 asking that the government enact legislation prohibiting pro-abortion counselling and referrals in the public schools. In spite of this petition and a follow-up questionnaire to MLA's, the government took no action to remedy the situation.
In 1997 we were faced with the attempt to further undermine parental rights to determine the nature of their children's education. The "Gay and Lesbian Educators" are leading a fight for pro-homosexuality education in the public schools. It is evident that what they want are programs to promote a positive attitude towards a homosexual life-style. As we pointed out in the last issue of British Columbia Parents' Alert, these homosexual activists want school resources to "positively affirm the achievements of gay and lesbian people" and they want information about lesbians and "gays" (information acceptable to them, of course) "included in the curriculum, primary through post-secondary." They want youth to be provided with "positive lesbian and gay role models."
A rally held in Vancouver to protest the attempt to propagandize youth for the homosexual life-style was shut down by noisy and aggressive activists who apparently did not recognize the right of concerned parents and others to object to their plans.
When asked to approve materials of this type for use with public-school students, the Surrey School Board turned down the request. This summer, pro-homosexuality activists launched an action against the Surrey School Board because of its refusal to give approval for the use of the materials. At considerable cost to the taxpayer, the School Board is having to defend its actions in court.
When some ethnically Chinese Christians signed a petition opposing gay-friendly classroom materials, they were told in effect, by a school board employee that they should return where they came from. (The school-board's secretary-treasurer later wrote a letter in which regret was expressed for the hostile letter to the petitioners.)
Parents and others who have objected to the pro-homosexuality programs have been accused of fomenting hatred, and had their rights to free speech on the issue questioned.
Not unrelated to the issue of the promotion of pro-homosexual programs is the provincial government's action this summer to redefine "spouse" to include homosexual partners. This was in spite of opposition of religious leaders from a broad spectrum of beliefs.
This summer saw the revelation that the government's web site for B. C. young people had electronic connections that led to sexually explicit material and thousands of on-line ads. While we would not suggest that the connections were intentional on the government's part, we would suggest that the government was not sufficiently careful in appointing those who developed the web site. Perhaps this is an indication of what can happen when the guidance of the young is left to the judgement of the government.
Not unrelated to the drive to promote the homosexual life-style as normal are the actions of the B.C. College of Teachers. The College has decided to appeal a ruling ordering them to approve Trinity Western University's Teacher Education Program. The College, in June of 1996, had voted to reject TWU's bid to extend its teacher education program. The College made it clear that for the majority of the members of its Council the real reason for their denial of Trinity's application is the University's Christian world view and its standard of student conduct. Specifically the College objected--and still objects--to Trinity's requiring students to commit themselves to refrain from homosexual behaviour. The College's appeal now may result in a lengthy and costly time in the law-courts for the privately-funded Evangelical Christian university. (See the article on Page 7 of this issue of Parents’ Alert.)
As for the public schools, their future may well be in the balance. If parents and others can make them secure places where the basic beliefs of parents of traditional morality are not challenged and undermined, those schools may regain the confidence of parents. If, on the other hand, people of traditional morality do not take positive actions to oppose those who would take over the schools to promote another agenda, the future of the public schools is bleak. And a failure of those parents and their supporters to take positive action will be read as a sign that parental rights and the rights of all those of traditional morality may continue to be trampled on with impunity. Already there are signs that no institutions, whether public or private, will be safe from the social engineering of those who are seeking to reshape society in a way that will free it from the moral constraints which have up till now managed to hold it together. n
* Readers will recognize the indebtedness of this wording to the well-known comment on the results of inaction during the Nazi regime. Of course, there is no intention to equate our opponents with Nazis.
Date this page was last updated: May 18, 2011
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