Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Canada's Ruling on Ad Sparks Concern Over Religious Freedom

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Glenn Penner of Voice of the Martyrs-Canada, which deals mainly with freedom of religion issues in Communist countries, said, "Increasingly in Canada, it seems, God can be gagged, His Word silenced, and His people told to keep their beliefs confined to their homes and places of worship." Now the Saskatchewan Human Rights commission (HRC) says even quoting the Bible teeters on the brink of promoting hate literature towards gays, as reported in Christian Week, Canada's national Christian newspaper. Valerie Watson, a one-woman board of inquiry commissioned by the Saskatchewan HRC, ruled June 20 that both the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper and Regina resident Hugh Owens must pay $1,500 to each of three homosexual activists upset by a controversial ad. Owens placed the ad on June 30, 1997, to coincide with Gay Pride Week, quoting four Bible passages with some descriptive graphics. Watson said, "Owens believed that he was publicly expressing his honestly held religious belief. However, when combined with Bible passages, the board finds ... the ad would expose ... homosexuals to hatred or ridicule." Penner added, "What makes the ruling so disturbing, however, is that the adjudicator concluded it was the Bible verses that pushed the ad over the line." (From Christian Week - Religion Today)

Indeed, the voice of Christians is less and less welcome in our land, "thanks" in no small part to our notorious Human Rights Commission. Some day the voice of the Christians here may well become the voice of the martyrs too.

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