Last week "columnist of the world" Mark Steyn went on trial before the Canadian Human Rights Commission for slandering Islam -- or something like that. The specifics of Steyn's crimes include pointing out the demographic advantages Islam has over aging Western societies and reviewing Robert Ferrigno's "Prayers for the Assassin." (A book I reviewed here.)
This plunged Steyn into a kind of Kafkaesque otherworld where the right for a few people not to be offended trumps the free speech rights of everyone else. Steyn is tried in a "court" where the only rules are what a panel of "judges" decides they are -- they make it up as they go along.
(If you're interested in the liveblogging of the trial by Andrew Coyne -- who may find himself in the dock at a later date for reporting on what actually happened -- the links are here: Day One Pt. 1, Day 1 Pt. 2, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five.)
And what could Steyn's punishment be? Ezra Levant, who has gone through a similar farce of a trial (video here) reports that Steyn could be barred from talking, writing or otherwise communicating about Islam in any "disparaging" way for the rest of his life.
Think I'm kidding? That's the ruling that came down from Alberta's Human Rights Commission for the Rev. Stephen Boission. Boission made the mistake of criticizing homosexuality and a busybody -- who isn't even gay -- took him to the local human rights commission. The commissioner -- a woman named Lori Andreachuck came down like a ton of bricks.
Mr. Boissoin and [his organization] The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.
I'd love for Ms. Andreachuck, a despicable, smelly, obnoxious, rancid, fetid, shrew of a woman (yes, I'm trying to get brought before the HRC -- if you read Coyne's liveblog, you'll discover that they have jurisdiction over the whole of the Internet) to experience some of the garbage she dishes out in the name of "human rights."
And the kicker is that Andreachuck has decided that Boisson must pay up to $7,000 for the complaintant -- who isn't gay and suffered no damages -- and one of his witnesses.
So, let's re-cap.
A Christian pastor has been given a lifetime ban against uttering anything "disparaging" about gays. Not against anything "hateful", let alone something legally defined as "hate speech". Just anything negative.
So a pastor cannot give a sermon.
But he must give a false sermon; he is positively ordered to renounce his deeply held religious beliefs, and apologize to his tormentor for having those views.
And then that pastor is ordered to declare to his entire city that he has renounced his religious views, even though he has not.
That's Alberta's human rights commission. That's the group where 15 bureaucrats are busily beavering away against me, because I published some Danish cartoons two years ago.
That's the same "law" under which Maclean's and Mark Steyn are charged.
Fire. Them. All.
Think it can't happen here?