Marshall Rothstein wrote the majority opinion of the SCC in the William Whatcott case. Read the opinion here or about it here – here and here.
!@# ahdkry %$!$!* @#$ :;”’# Marshall Rothstein !#%& bdfg &^ 18$% E8di.
Is this hate speech? How do you know?
I got censored. When my personal editor saw what I wrote, she flipped. She does not like me being offensive which I clearly was as I wanted to make a point. What you see is the coded version.
I have to ask for your indulgence. Think of the most offensive way to address a supreme court judge including his ethnic background possibly his political orientation, his mental capacity and since this case was about protecting the feelings of homosexuals; a suggestion for him to perform a particular homosexual act. Think rude and insulting.
And now, let’s talk about it!
It is not particularly civil to say such a thing and most people wouldn’t even if they think it. At what point does the uncivil become criminal? At what point should it be? Maybe my insult was a very carefully constructed sentence to allow me to make some points about the enlightened decision of the Supreme Court. You’ll never know.
This case raises two very important questions for me:
What does this decision mean to me personally, and what does it mean to us, in the jurisdiction (Canada) where it will have an effect? What can it do to me personally, and what will it do to the world around me?
The personal question is simple: what am I supposed to do? What can I do? What is legal and what is criminal according to this decision? Good laws make it obvious what I can or cannot do. I cannot drive faster than 120 km/h, I am not supposed to steal from, hurt, or defraud someone. Even most bad laws are fairly clear. I am not supposed to own or trade certain drugs, not supposed solicit the services of certain women. With this latest interpretation of the law, I have no idea what I can or cannot say. Can I call a Jew fascist? A judge retarded? I need guidance and this law does not give me any.
Love & Hate
Is an insult hate speech?
If I say “I hate you!” is that hate speech?
The Christians say “don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin” and from what I understand that was the position of the accused. It still is. His motivation was not hate but love. He wanted to save souls. The Saskatchewan court got it right using this as the main argument behind its judgment.
When I was 19 years old, I spent 9 months in jail for calling two policemen fascists. There was a law in the book against insulting policemen. Calling them fascist was clearly an insult.
Even that law, enforced in a communist dictatorship was better than the abomination Marshall Rothstein created. Truth, evidence, nothing actually mattered in the process, but at least it was not declared openly that it did not matter. The law was abused, but it was at least clear. (It was a little more complicated than this; you can read the details here)
Is political disagreement hate speech? How can I know how my perfectly reasonable argument will be received? I have no problem with homosexuals but I have serious problems with some of their politics. Can I voice it? Can I disagree with same-sex couple adoption or am I only forbidden to voice that disagreement? From the decision of the court it is already clear that I cannot quote studies to make my case. According to Judge Rothstein, truth and evidence do not matter in the Canadian Justice system.
If some gay activists tomorrow will decide that to combat homophobia they need to expose high school students to some gay pornography, can I oppose it? Can I distribute flyers in front of the school explaining why I think it is a bad idea? We are already teaching high school students how to put condoms on cucumbers. What if someone suggests that to fight homophobia, boys should perform fellatio on each other just to combat their natural aversion then write about their experience in supportive, gay friendly manner? Could I oppose that without being labeled a homophobe? If you think such thing can never happen, are you sure?
In my twenties I was administering the Szondi test to a few douzen subjects. At that time, homosexuality was still considered a mental illness. Some of the pictures in the test were that of homosexuals. The test is still used today, even as we are approaching a world where expressing any sort of aversion to homosexuality is considered a mental illness (homophobia). Can I take an intellectual position concerning this 180 degrees change?
Let’s suppose that I can. Let’s suppose that I put all my faith in the Canadian Justice system and hope that the judge in a possible case will be reasonable. According to this court decision, even that would not save me. As long as it offends someone, it is a crime. But how would the judge know? How could he decide whether the feelings of my accuser(s) were really hurt or they just want to silence opposition to their agenda?
How do I know what is in anybody’s heart? How does any Judge? What gives them the superhuman power to see into the minds of others? I know that my feelings and intentions would not matter. Truthfulness of my statements, objectivity and evidence would not matter, but what about the other side?
I do not believe that any of the people going to the kangaroo courts with the claim of being offended ever was. How do we know that they are offended? How do we know that they could or should be?
The “ honorable” judge also made it clear that nobody has to get offended! To be found guilty, it is enough that someone thinks that someone may.
Bill Whatcott is offended by homosexuality. Why can’t we protect his feelings?
I am deeply offended by this case. Injustice offends me. Stupidity offends me so I am double offended by judge Marshall Rothstein. My most elementary human rights were attacked by the supreme court of Canada. Where do I go for remedy? Where can I find defense?
The greatest worry about this case should not be what it does but what it implies. That truth, freedom and justice no longer matter, only political power does.
Shouldn’t we ask where does this leave us? Where will be these judges when we need real protection? Where will they be when the Muslims will come for the gays? Unlike the Christians, they don’t want to save them. They won’t try to convince or appeal to them like Bill Whatcott; they do not want to convert them, they don’t just want them to change their lifestyle, they want to kill them. Sharia commands them to do so. Come to think of it, where is the law today in most parts of Europe where in most Islam infested cities you cannot say a bad word about gays publicly on the one hand while they are being beaten up by Muslim thugs on the other?
Does anybody have any illusion about our future being different? Does anybody believe that the judges who are protecting the gays from the evil Christians will offer the same protection from the religion of peace?
Come to think of it, the real question is not what Mr. Whatcott (or anybody for that matter) thinks or says. He was quoting the bible. Any imam may quote the Quran. The bible says that it is a sin. If you are a believer, you must think that you will go to hell. If you are not, it should not matter to you. The Quran says that you should be killed for it. You do not have to be a Muslim; you do not have to believe a word of the holy book to be killed for it. If there are enough Muslims around you, you better get back into the closet. The real offenders in this case could be the holly books. Will the good judge have the balls to do something about that? Will anybody? Shall we censor the Quran? The Bible? Will we ask Muslim immigrants to renounce that passage? Will we ask them to sign a declaration stating that in that particular point they do not agree with their prophet?
Conformity & obedience
In the end, the Supreme Court decision is simply a legal affirmation of the call to conformity.
What this decision says is “conform, or else!” Conform to what? Well, whatever happens to be the majority opinion at the time. Whatever happens to be the whim of those in power. If you do not know what that is and cannot guess it right, you will be crushed.
Ezra Levant mentioned Galileo Galilei as an example. Letters were written to his show in response mentioning his name. Actually reading the story of Galileo is highly educational. It teaches a lot about this case. The work of Copernicus advancing the heliocentric world view was published twenty one years before Galileo was even born. The trial and condemnation of Galileo was a purely political matter.
I do not know the politics behind this case but in a way it doesn’t really matter. What we see makes it absolutely clear. “Justice” is selective and unpredictable. Having the experience, I have to say possibly even more so than under communism.
This is what I grew up with! Obey! Don’t stick your head out! Go with the crowd, go with the flow. Keep your thoughts to yourself! Develop a keen sense to detect who you should not offend in any way. Keep away from those in power and show deference when you cannot.
Soon I will have to relearn the five commandments of living in a dictatorship:
If you think something, don’t say it!
If you said it, don’t write it down!
If you wrote it down, don’t sign it!
If you signed it, don’t be surprised!
The decision in its full 200+ pages glory
This is a very interesting article (Canadian Constitution Foundation) making some good points about the messiness of the decision.
The Andrew Coyne article pointing out the insanity of the decision and its inherent dangers
From the Montreal Gazette (depressingly stupid, I will NOT spend half a day explaining why)
Farzana Hassan in the Toronto Sun
Lorne Gunther’s article with which I disagre. No baby was split in the middle this decision was a solid affirmation of censorship. ‘Fine tuning’ it just made it more entrenched.
Bruce Bawer makes some interesting points in a WordPress blog
If you want to get involved, if you want to do something about the travesty of the kangaroo courts, this is the organization you should start with.
Great article but I think it needs to be turned into a very short movie. Long movies can’t hold the attention of the average Canadian. But they can’t read either so a short movie with loud sounds are the best way to get your message across to a population of Eloi; a population of systemically retarded inhabitants who are completely unaware of their own, impending demise. Yeah, a short movie with surround-sound booms and lots of special effects might get the message across … but not for many and not for long.
The majority of Canadians have never heard of Bill Whatcott or the recent Supreme Court decision that has gutted our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and taken away our freedom of speech and expression. You still have the right to be offended; in fact, we encourage it. But you have no right to offend even if the nature of your offence is based upon truth, scientific fact or real events.
The members of the Supreme Court of Canada have wandered so far off the path that they don’t even know they exceeded their authority. The courts in this land do not legislate; only our elected officials can do that. What does that mean? It means that members of the House of Commons must bring this issue to the floor of Parliament and dissolve this decision and the Supreme Court that devised it.
But why hasn’t this happened already? Where is the outcry from the national, elected body? Not a peep …
We have, in Canada, something called the Civil Defence Act. Copies of it are very hard to find. I am currently in the process of digging this out of a reluctant government. I remember back in the sixties, when I was in the military, we were given instruction as to the content and meaning of the Civil Defence act and it clearly put forth that the “people” are the last line of defence for this nation and the act described our obligations and rights as citizens. When I finally find the whole document, I will get back to you with the details.
Regardless, our nation is under assault by non-elected, bureaucratic bodies and past governments created the Civil Defence Act partly for this very purpose. When the governing body at large becomes the enemy of the people in a democracy, and electoral representation concerning legislative actions has been forcibly taken from them, what recourses do the people have?
It is clear that when the Supreme Court happily demolishes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom to pander to 1.5% of the population, the end of our democracy is nigh. It is time to dissolve this corrupted body or find ways for regions to secede and establish new democracies.
Do you think enough Canadians care, Zork? That was a rhetorical question.
PS. WordPress prompts for the American spelling but I refuse to cave. ;o)
Just like you, I am also on a roller-coaster of hope and despair doing the only things I can: sounding the alarm few will hear, speak the voice of reason while I still can and ignore the whole deal when I can afford it.
I had a great kiting session on Lake Simcoe last week 🙂