Sunday, December 12, 2004

I hate haters. (diary, commentary)

If you're in Ottawa, or if you can reach the website of the Ottawa Citizen (which I can't seem to access right now for some reason), there's a very good (albeit long) story by Dan Gardner (perhaps my favourite Citizen reporter who I don't know personally) about Fred Phelps, a Topeka, Kansas pastor who singlehandedly inspired bill C-250. I suggest you read the article. If you can't, read the Wikipedia entry on Fred Phelps and Bill C-250.

Bill C-250 is the bill passed by Parliament last year to include homosexuality in the definition of 'hate crime' under the Canadian Crinimal Code. Phelps inspired this bill by being the most anti-gay fucker you could possibly imagine (and still be within the law). Unfortunately, the US constitution's first amendment prevents legislation banning his really really despicable "God hates fags" and "god hates america because america doesn't explicitly hate fags" speeches, sermons, websites and protests. Hell, he protested Mr. Rogers' funeral simply because he didn't use the show to teach kids to hate homosexuals. Ironically, his career as a pastor from 1955 to 1991 was supported as a lawyer defending the rights of black people. He lost his legal licence because he claimed that the supreme court hates black people (or some such similar thing).

Apparently, aside from his anti-gay-ness, he's a nice person (which is like saying aside from his jew-hating genocidal nature, Hitler was a good leader).

Because this bill passed, Mr. Phelps will refrain from coming to Canada because he knows he will probably be arrested and jailed.

But a Topeka councillor who is a lesbian says that because they can't simply ban him from saying what he says led to people learning to deal with it in different ways--Tolerating a lesbian enough to elect her to office, for example (in terms of being in the middle of the republican bible belt. I have nothing against GLBTs). She says that she wouldn't like the way that Canada dealt with it, because it has led the people to grow and be more tolerant.

I say something different. (this is where the commentary starts). I say that Canada is already much more tolerant than the US, and we value the rights of a person not to be persecuted for who he or she is over the rights of someone else to count the number of days they have been in hell for having been gay. Once the majority of Kansas residents become as tolerant as Canadians are, they still won't be able to prevent people from spreading this hate.

There's also the factor that although Phelps and his followers (most of whom are his many, many direct descendants) are not violent, their message can lead people to do violent things. Like kill and torture gay people. And if this happens, I'm sure Phelps' gang will be at the funeral.

On the bright side, just about everybody ouside his congregation thinks he goes too far, and he has had no converts since he started his anti-gay tirade. And I'll never have to worry about seeing him in Canada.

Maybe I should start a list of reasons why I refuse to go to the, too hard.

- RG>

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