A roundup of news from around the interwebs.
I have been extremely impressed with Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s response to the Liberal Party’s ongoing crusade to create the most extreme suicide regime in the world. O’Toole did not campaign as a social conservative, although he stated from the beginning that he had concerns about Canada’s lax attitude towards assisted suicide. Now, he is following through on his convictions with action. From the CBC:
Federal Liberals are accusing the Conservatives of thumbing their noses at a looming court deadline by filibustering a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying. Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez made the accusation Thursday as Bill C-7 inched closer to passing the House of Commons.
MPs voted 213-103 to accept the bill as amended by the Commons justice committee. Only Conservatives, including leader Erin O’Toole, voted against it. However, 16 Conservatives joined Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat, Green and Independent MPs in support of the committee’s report on the bill. The government had hoped to have a final vote on the bill last Monday, in order to give the Senate time to deal with it before the court-imposed Dec. 18 deadline.
It is now at least a week behind schedule due to Conservatives talking out the clock during debate on the committee report. Shortly after Thursday’s vote, Rodriguez announced that final debate on the bill will begin Friday. If the Conservatives allow debate to wrap up Friday, that would pave the way for a final vote on Monday, leaving just two weeks for the Senate to consider the bill before the deadline.
However, the Conservatives have shown no sign so far of letting the bill come to a final vote that quickly. Indeed, O’Toole shrugged off the deadline earlier Thursday, contending that “protecting the most vulnerable is more important than a court’s timeline.”
O’Toole is precisely right. Good on him for refusing to play politics with people’s lives the way the Liberals are determined to do.
Speaking of the Liberal Party, their attempts to expand Canada’s suicide regime isn’t the only disaster they’re facilitating this winter. There’s also C-6, which could land religious leaders and parents behind bars for having a different view of sexuality than Trudeau and his fellow Liberals. From Father Raymond D’Souza in the National Post:
Does the federal government think that I should be thrown in jail? The federal justice minister’s answers this past week raises that troubling — to me, if no one else! — possibility.
The Liberal government’s Bill C-6 aims to ban conversion therapy in Canada by making it a criminal offence to coerce an adult into undergoing conversion therapy, to administer it to children or to take them to another country for it, to advertise it or to get paid for providing it. Yet the bill is so broadly and badly worded that it could be used to put parents, teachers, pastors, youth group leaders and others in jail.
The bill makes a fundamental error, described in these pages by Barbara Kay, in equating sexual orientation with gender dysphoria. So the same bill that would ban conversion therapy aimed at a 16-year-old changing his sexual orientation would also ban teachers, pastors or even parents from cautioning a 10-year-old girl that there are likely to be significant negative side effects to undergoing the necessary hormonal and surgical interventions to become a boy.
Justice Minister David Lametti, who’s responsible for the bill, claims that it doesn’t do that. But he refused to entertain any amendments that would make that point clear.
The text of the bill defines conversion therapy as “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.”
So if a 17-year-old boy came to me for spiritual direction and said that his social life included rutting with a wide variety of girls, I would exhort him to stop using women as sexual objects. This is fine, according to Bill C-6. But if a boy professed a similarly promiscuous nightlife with other boys, and I gave a similar exhortation to chastity, then I would run afoul of C-6, which makes it a crime to attempt to “reduce non-heterosexual sexual behaviour.” Should I advertise my pastoral counselling as promoting chastity only for heterosexuals in order to comply with C-6?
Consider a wife who demands that her husband enter a treatment program to reduce his extramarital affairs with women. Again, fine. But if he had been having same-sex assignations, would her similar demand be a crime? After all, it manifestly seeks to “repress non-heterosexual sexual behaviour.”
That’s how the bill is written. Lametti says that is not what it means. Spiritual counsel is not a “practice, treatment or service,” so conversations with parents and pastors would not be covered. But the distinctions are not so clear. What about a youth bible study? Or ongoing spiritual guidance, especially if paid? Clergy usually don’t charge for such services, but lay people often do, especially if they have taken years of training. How many meetings are required before “conversations” become “treatment” or a “service”?
Interference with religious liberty and professional judgment is a clear danger of the bill. So why not fix it now, instead of leaving these issues for the courts to litigate later? The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) — which is not known to be a hotbed of fevered religious bigots — suggested an innocuous amendment to protect “private conversations,” as well as “conversations with pastoral counsellors, faith leaders or religious leaders about sincerely held beliefs and the expectations flowing therefrom.”
If, as Lametti says, parents, educators and religious leaders have nothing to worry about, why not accept he change as a friendly amendment and put everyone at ease? But Lametti is not open to that, saying that such an amendment would be superfluous. It is a strange objection, given that he is refusing to make explicit the meaning he claims is already implicitly there. One might thus suspect that the broad wording of the bill actually intends otherwise, and the CIJA amendment has exposed that.
Should the bill pass, it does not really matter what the minister thinks it means. It is not hard to imagine local police and prosecutors, unwittingly or with malice aforethought, subjecting pastoral counsellors or faith leaders — or grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins — to threats or actual charges.
It is not hard to imagine how the law might be weaponized in family disputes and custody battles, with one party suggesting that the other is engaging in criminal behaviour. It is not hard to imagine secular fundamentalists and other extremists putting pressure on police to use the law against the faithful.
All this is alarmist talk, C-6 advocates say. But there is genuine cause for alarm when those who could easily put fears to rest refuse to do so.
In my view, there is only one reason for refusing to clarify something that you insist is already in the legislation—that the ambiguity is intentional. Then, when we see someone get prosecuted like the Liberals insisted could not happen, we will be faced with what Rod Dreher calls “The Law of Merited Impossibility”: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots deserve it.
In sexual matters too, there will be no wonder, no sense of what the sexes are, no gratitude of men for women and women for men. The ingratitude, impatience, and unwillingness to suffer the shortcomings of the opposite sex will be manifest in willed sterility, assuming three forms. First, a hatred or fear of one’s own fertility, leading to voluntary sterilization; for the sterile is, anthropologically, next door to the dead. Second, a refusal to marry, or a complete lack of interest in marriage, whether the ordinary marriage of man and woman, or the spiritual marriage one enters as a religious; the wedding feast to which Jesus compares the kingdom of God has no appeal. Nothing is sacred. Third, an embrace of mock marriage by means of mock intercourse; the deliberate and sacrilegious perversion of your sexual powers, such as sowing the seed of life into a sewer, the place of waste and decay.
They who would crush, dismember, or fry in salt that astonishingly beautiful child in the womb surely will not scruple to invade the haven of a child’s blessed innocence, during the time when his sexual desires are dormant or latent, that long time that boys and girls need to learn who they are and what they are, destined to grow up to be confident husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. Jesus has hard words to say about those who would offend against the little ones, but, since nothing is sacred, the people of a dying culture will be eager to have children join them in corruption and meaningless hedonism, festooned as always with euphemism, like lipstick and false hair on a skull. A horrid drag queen instructing little boys on how to tuck their testicles into their bodies and bind them there—death, boasting of death.
Read it and shiver. Esolen’s work is often dedicated to painting decadence in vivid terms, and he wields words like scalpels.