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Homosexuality and Hate Speech: Defending Moral Principles Is Getting Riskier
Zenit ^ | Feb. 14, 2004

Posted on 02/15/2004 2:49:05 PM PST by Unam Sanctam

Christians defending moral teachings on homosexuality are increasingly running foul of laws that ban any negative statements about the subject. A British Anglican bishop, for instance, who suggested that homosexuals seek psychological counseling was the target of a police investigation, the Telegraph newspaper reported Nov. 10.

Bishop Peter Forster of Chester told a local paper: "Some people who are primarily homosexual can reorientate themselves. I would encourage them to consider that as an option, but I would not set myself up as a medical specialist on the subject -- that's in the area of psychiatric health."

Police investigated the statements and a spokesman said a copy of the article would be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. Subsequently, the police dropped the case, the Independent newspaper reported Nov. 11.

The matter raised fears about restrictions on defending Christian morality, the British-based Christian Institute explained in its January newsletter. It added that the bishop's position was backed up by a lot of academic research. Even a longtime supporter of homosexual rights, Columbia University professor Robert Spitzer, recently published a study finding that homosexuals could become predominantly heterosexual through psychotherapy, the newsletter observed.

Debate also flared last year in the United Kingdom over whether churches should be allowed to refuse employment to homosexuals. The government finally agreed to add a clause to anti-discrimination legislation giving religious organizations the right to exclude a person on the grounds of sexual orientation, the Sunday Times reported June 1. Still, the Christian Institute warned in its January newsletter that employers must be prepared to argue their case in court.

In Ireland, meanwhile, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties warned the Catholic Church that distributing the Vatican guidelines on same-sex unions could bring prosecution. The document published last July by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith falls foul of the Incitement to Hatred Act, according to sources quoted in the Irish Times on Aug. 2.

"The document itself may not violate the act, but if you were to use the document to say that gays are evil, it is likely to give rise to hatred, which is against the act," said Aisling Reidy, director of the civil-liberties council. Those convicted under the act could face six-month jail terms. Of the Vatican document Reidy said: "The wording is very strong and certainly goes against the spirit of the legislation."

The limits of diversity

On the other side of the Atlantic, December saw a victory for Christians. In Michigan, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen upheld the right of a Christian student to express her religious beliefs in opposing homosexuality, reported a Dec. 5 press release by the Thomas More Law Center.

The law center had filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Betsy Hansen as a result of a dispute over the 2002 Diversity Week program held at the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. School authorities censored the speech to be given by Hansen, a Catholic, as part of the activities of the "Homosexuality and Religion" panel. Officials claimed that her religious view toward homosexuality was a "negative" message and would "water down" the "positive" religious message that they wanted to convey -- that homosexual behavior is not immoral or sinful.

School officials also only allowed clergy who espoused a pro-homosexual position to take part in the panel, denying Hansen's request to have a panel member who would express the Catholic position on homosexuality.

"This case presents the ironic, and unfortunate, paradox of a public high school celebrating 'diversity' by refusing to permit the presentation to students of an 'unwelcomed' viewpoint on the topic of homosexuality and religion, while actively promoting the competing view," observed Judge Rosen in his decision.

Another case, still to be finalized, involves a Colorado mother who left a lesbian relationship after converting to Christianity in 2000. Cheryl Clark is appealing a ruling by Denver County Circuit Judge John Coughlin to "make sure that there is nothing in the religious upbringing or teaching that the minor child is exposed to that can be considered homophobic," the Washington Times reported Nov. 5.

Her former partner, Elsey McLeod, was awarded joint custody of the child, an 8-year-old girl.

Matthew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a public-interest law firm based in Orlando, Florida, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. He commented that the judge gave no similar orders to McLeod regarding remarks or teaching about Christianity or Christians. "It's a real one-way street on this," Staver said.

Vancouver bishop targeted

Controversy regarding criticism of homosexuals has been increasingly common in Canada. A recent case involves the Archdiocese of Vancouver. The Vancouver Sun reported Sept. 24 that the archdiocese canceled a long-standing partnership with VanCity Credit Union, owing to the fact that the institution actively supports the local gay and lesbian community.

The turning point for Archbishop Adam Exner was an ad campaign by the credit union, featuring a homosexual couple. Consequently the archbishop put an end to a VanCity program operating in four Catholic schools. Under the program, students learned out to save and invest their money and opened savings accounts with the credit union.

A document posted on the archdiocese Web site explained the reasons for the decision. "VanCity in its advertising and by its sponsorship has publicly manifested its support for agendas which are worrisome and harmful to the Church and to society," said the statement signed by Archbishop Exner. "Any cooperation with an organization that publicly supports such agendas appears unacceptable."

The decision drew strong criticism, as Archbishop Exner noted in a letter published Oct. 1 by the Vancouver Sun. When news of the move became public, it "opened the floodgates to letters, e-mails, phone calls and faxes, alleging everything from bigotry to fascism," he said. "I found myself accused of teaching intolerance and hatred of homosexuals -- something contrary to Catholic teaching and my own convictions."

Not-so-free speech

David Bernstein, professor at George Mason University School of Law, addressed the topic of how antidiscrimination laws are creating problems for free speech in his recent book, "You Can't Say That!" Fear of litigation, he observed, "is having a profound chilling effect on the exercise of civil liberties in workplaces, universities, membership organizations, and churches."

Bernstein related how one U.S. Catholic university was beaten down by legal actions into giving full recognition to student homosexual groups. And citing several recent legal cases in Canada, he commented: "Indeed, it has apparently become illegal in Canada to advocate traditional Christian opposition to homosexual sex."

On the question of how homosexuals are to be treated, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is careful to point out: "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided" (No. 2358).

Nevertheless, the Catechism is no less clear when it deals with the morality of homosexual acts: "They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (No. 2357). Defending this teaching, in a charitable way, is no easy task. And in the current legal climate, it could get a lot harder.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: christianstudents; firstamendment; gays; homo; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; intimidation; lavendermafia; prisoners
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1 posted on 02/15/2004 2:49:05 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam
The deal is that the homosexuals don't like it when you point out that they are going in direct contrast to what both God and nature dictates.

People that do their level best to live life according to Gods' law should never be cowed into the trap of moral relativism (aka "political correctness) under any circumatance.

The more that good, honest and decent people stand against the assault on our socital standards of morality, the less that these assaults will be successful.
2 posted on 02/15/2004 2:57:04 PM PST by Howie66 ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.")
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To: Unam Sanctam
Bump
3 posted on 02/15/2004 2:57:12 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: Unam Sanctam
The heterophobes are insecure about their identity. And having the state on their side to silence their foes only draws attention to the fact they can never make people really like them for who they really are.
4 posted on 02/15/2004 3:00:11 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Howie66
"Christians defending moral teachings on homosexuality are increasingly running foul of laws that ban any negative statements about the subject....." This is another example of how "numb" people are becoming to the homosexual agenda. We need some good people need to stand their ground and fight the groups that seek to prosecute people that are in opposition to the homosexual agenda.
5 posted on 02/15/2004 3:06:44 PM PST by bamafan93
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To: Unam Sanctam
Defending Moral Principles Is Getting Riskier

You're not kidding. Even speaking out against pornography to so-called Conservatives is not without risk. Witness my recent thread where I was attacked, called a socialist, and generally disparaged because I dared to speak out.

6 posted on 02/15/2004 3:08:08 PM PST by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (I'm anti-porn. You got a problem with that?!! Pornography is not a Conservative family value.)
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To: bamafan93
"This is another example of how "numb" people are becoming to the homosexual agenda. We need some good people need to stand their ground and fight the groups that seek to prosecute people that are in opposition to the homosexual agenda."

Bring 'em on. I make it point to take on the "pc" morons every chance that I get.
7 posted on 02/15/2004 3:11:02 PM PST by Howie66 ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.")
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To: goldstategop
"They" really are human beings in the image and likeness of God, but the behavior is sinful. Love the sinner and hate the sin.
8 posted on 02/15/2004 3:16:47 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam
Hitler was once a bouncing bundle of cuddlejoy too.

They are going after our children in elementary schools. They are a danger to us all.

Whether it really happened or not, our ancestors long ago knew well the dangers and tried to warn us about "them" with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
9 posted on 02/15/2004 3:25:19 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Gut and raze the NEA! )
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To: Unam Sanctam; little jeremiah
Need a Q&F (Queers and Fagots) pingify here.
10 posted on 02/15/2004 3:37:07 PM PST by upchuck (Ta-ray-za now gets to execute her "maiming of choice." I'm hoping for eye gouging, how 'bout you?)
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To: Unam Sanctam
In my opinion, the spectacle of a bishop in full regalia, carrying his crozier and wearing his miter, being arrested for speaking biblical truths might undermine the agenda these politicians are trying to implement.

A bishop could do worse things for his flock and his Church than get himself jailed for preaching the faith. That's how Christianity spread through the ancient world in the first place.
11 posted on 02/15/2004 3:46:29 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Unam Sanctam
Isaiah 5

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
12 posted on 02/15/2004 3:48:06 PM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: *Homosexual Agenda; EdReform; scripter; GrandMoM; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; ...
Homosexual Agenda Ping!

A good summary of the current "hatespeech" situation, although I don't believe it mentioned priests in Spain and Belgium getting sued.

If anyone wants on or off this ping list, ping me.

And if anyone thinks this is not going to happen here, they are deluding themselves. That is, unless we DO something.

For ideas on activism (and add your own), check out this thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1076476/posts
13 posted on 02/15/2004 3:53:55 PM PST by little jeremiah (everyone is entitled to their opinion, but everyone isn't entitled to be right.)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp
One doesn’t have to speak out “against” homosexual behavior. It is sufficient merely to ask questions:

What group has more than 80 percent of the HIV/AIDS cases in the US?

What group has the highest incidence (relative their portion of the overall population) of STDs, hepatitis, TB and gay bowel syndrome?

What group that claims to not suffer from mental disease but is 24 times more likely to die from suicide on an individual basis than any other member of the population chosen at random?

What other segment of the population has an average life expectancy of 41 (more than 35 years less than the overall average)?

What other group costs the taxpayer an overall average cost per case treatment of $38,000 for AIDS?

What group is responsible highest rate of pedophilia (relative their portion of the overall population)?

Why is acceptable to condemn alcoholism and smoking for causing premature death of their practitioners but not homosexual activities that cause its practitioners premature death?

Why is homosexual activity worthy of legal approval but prostitution, polygamy incest, etc, aren’t?

What sexual activity has been discouraged or condemned by every major religion in the world?
14 posted on 02/15/2004 3:55:10 PM PST by Lucky Dog
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To: Unam Sanctam
Is it still legal for me to post,

Read Romans 1.
15 posted on 02/15/2004 3:57:03 PM PST by Chris Talk (What Earth now is, Mars once was. What Mars now is, Earth will become.)
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To: Unam Sanctam
Statement: "Homosexuality and Hate Speech: Defending Moral Principles Is Getting Riskier."

Response: One will eventually have to decide whether to say yes or no! To take a stand or to 'let it happen!'

16 posted on 02/15/2004 4:00:40 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (Further, the statement assumed)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
Isaiah 5 ;21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

That is a succint definition of Evil, and it is the flaw in all liberals.

17 posted on 02/15/2004 4:05:46 PM PST by TalBlack ("Tal, no song means anything without someone else....")
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To: Unam Sanctam; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; ...
In Ireland, meanwhile, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties warned the Catholic Church that distributing the Vatican guidelines on same-sex unions could bring prosecution. The document published last July by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith falls foul of the Incitement to Hatred Act, according to sources quoted in the Irish Times on Aug. 2.

The official position of the Catholic Church on Gay Unions is clearly spelled out here:

CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


18 posted on 02/15/2004 4:16:34 PM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp
Defending Moral Principles Is Getting Riskier

Maybe it is time to find a new, safer target. I suggest Shellfish.

Lev. 11:10 tells us that eating Shellfish is an abomination.

"And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:"

Do you have any idea how many Shellfish eating sinners there are? The Shellfish agenda is creeping into the very fabric of our lives.

The Shellfish have there own lobbies such as The Shellfish Growers Association.

Not only is eating Shellfish an abomination but it is dangerous to the health and the very lives our Nation's Children.

Stamp out eating Shellfish now, before their lobby too becomes to powerful.

19 posted on 02/15/2004 4:17:27 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (arabed - verb: lower in esteem; hurt the pride of [syn: mortify, chagrin, humble, abase, humiliate])
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To: Jeff Gordon
Only the moral aspects of the Mosaic law apply to Christians, and in particular strictures relating to sexual morality, as is made clear in the New Testament. And as for your anti-Semitic mocking of the prescriptions of the Mosaic law on shellfish, in a free country, Jews are perfectly free to avoid shellfish and speak out against their being eaten by Jews.
20 posted on 02/15/2004 4:37:32 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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