Tag Archives: Free Speech

Canadian judge bans pro-life ads, because free speech makes people feel bad

This pro-life ad was banned because it hurts people's feelings
This pro-life ad was banned because it hurts people’s feelings

This is from Heat Street. It reminds me what a joke of a country Canada has become since their 50 year slide into secular left fascism.

Excerpt:

A Canadian city was “proportionate and reasonable” in censoring a pro-life ads from the sides of its buses because the banners were “likely to cause psychological harm to women who have had an abortion,” according to a ruling.

Justice C.S. Anderson has ruled that the city of Grande Prairie in the province of Alberta “reasonably” balanced the freedom of speech rights of the pro-life advertiser with the city’s own policies of providing a “safe and welcoming” space for bus passengers and pedestrians with its advertising.

According to the judge, the ruling won’t prohibit every pro-life ad in the city, but he stressed that it was reasonable to ban banners specifically produced by the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) because they might upset women and children.

The pro-life group’s ad showed unborn babies at seven weeks’ and 16 weeks’ gestation followed by an empty frame filled in red to represent an aborted baby. Underneath the images were the captions: “growing,” “growing” and “gone.” The ad also read: “Abortion kills children” and showed the group’s website.

Judge Anderson said that CCBR website includes messages such as “Now is the time to put an end to the slaughter. Now is the time to look evil in the face and say, enough. Now is the time to join together, and lend our voices to those who had theirs brutally taken from them.”

“These are strong statements that vilify women who have chosen, for their own reasons, to have an abortion; they are not merely informative and educational,” Anderson added.

Now, it’s true that I am a bit of a “hold women accountable” person. In the past I’ve blogged about how women are more supportive of abortion rights and gay marriage than men. So, naturally, I wanted to know if the pro-abortion, anti-free-speech judge was a man or woman. Answer: she’s a woman:

The Honourable Charlene S. Anderson, a lawyer with Ross Smith Asset Management Inc. in Calgary, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Calgary) to replace Madam Justice B.L. Veldhuis who was appointed to the Court of Appeal on February 8, 2013.

Honorable!??? That’s not the word I would use for an anti-free-speech fascist, but I know that Canada is a third-world banana republic, where the right to free speech is not guaranteed in their founding documents. It’s a tax-and-spend nanny state, where the government micromanages the words of the citizens.

Canadian professor warns Americans about conflict between gay rights and free speech

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

This editorial by a Canadian university professor from the far left University of Toronto appeared in the non-partisan The Hill.

He writes:

Two weeks ago I posted three YouTube videos about legislative threats to Canadian freedom of speech. I singled out Canada’s Federal Bill C-16, which adds legal protection for “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal code.

I noted that the policy statements surrounding similar legislation — most particularly those on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website — were dangerously vague and ill-formulated. I also indicated my refusal to apply what are now known as “preferred” pronouns to people who do not fit easily into traditional gender categories (although I am willing to call someone “he” or “she” in accordance with their manner of self-presentation).

These videos attracted a disproportionate amount of attention — online, in the Canadian national media, and beyond. A demonstration at the University of Toronto protested my statements. Another was held in support of free speech. The latter was met by counter-demonstrators who drowned out the speakers with white noise and assaulted a young female journalist — an act now viewed by half a million people on YouTube overall.

Here is the video:

He continues:

If you are wondering, reasonably, why any of this might be relevant to Americans, you might note that legislation very similar to Bill C-16 has already been passed in New York City.

Authorities there now fine citizens up to $250,000 for the novel crime of “mis-gendering” — referring to people by any words other than their pronouns of choice (including newly constructed words such as zie/hir, ey/em/eir and co).

The issue is government forcing us to use words that do not reflect reality:

Bill C-16, and its legislative sisters, are particularly insidious constructions.

[…]There is… a crucial difference between laws that stop people from saying arguably dangerous words and laws that mandate the use of politically-approved words and phrases. We have never had laws of the latter sort before, not in our countries. This is no time to start.

So, a note from a Canadian friend. The citizens of your great country, and ours — and of our allies across the Western world — are at risk.

Careless, ideologically-addled legislators are forcing us to use words we did not freely choose. We have to draw a line in the sand. That’s why people are watching. It’s a vitally important issue. We cannot afford to get it wrong.

This is actually the mainstream Democrat view. We should expect this view to become federal law whenever Democrats are elected (often with the votes of Catholics and liberal Protestants). This is what Democrats mean when they say “tolerance” and “equality”. They mean an end to free speech. You don’t have to be a conservative to be alarmed by this, especially when we have so many other more pressing problems, e.g. – the national debt, national security, the dangerous foreign policy situations worldwide, etc.

For those looking to science on the transgender issue, I recommend this peer-reviewed paper published in The New Atlantis journal. It’s balanced, and I disagree with some of the conclusions, but you have to at least know what science says about this issue right now.

Google censors conservative video lectures from Prager University on YouTube

Google and YouTube censoring mainstream conservative viewpoints
Google and YouTube censoring mainstream conservative viewpoints

Jay Richards tweeted this story on Twitter, which appeared in the Washington Examiner.

It says:

In the latest example of bias against conservatives, YouTube is censoring videos from conservative group PragerU by placing them on “restricted mode.”

The category, which is applied to videos that may contain “potentially objectionable content,” was applied to 21 PragerU videos, the groupannounced on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

The group has created a petition to get YouTube to stop the censorship, and has already received more than 20,000 signatures. The 21 videos account for 10 percent of PragerU’s video collection, and include videos asking: “Are the Police Racist?” “Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?” and “Is America Racist?”

PragerU, or Prager University, is the brainchild of radio host Dennis Prager, and offers short, five-minute videos about a range of topics presented from a Judeo-Christian and conservative perspective. The videos use slick graphics and statistics to summarize complex issues such as racism and foreign policy.

Jared Sichel, communications director for PragerU, said in a statement that the organization has been communicating with YouTube, which is owned by Google, for “several months” trying to get their videos uncensored. Sichel explained what placing the videos in “restricted mode” does.

“Restricted mode is something that many parents and schools use so that children don’t watch explicit adult and sexual content — not so they can’t find animated, educational videos on topics ranging from history and economics to happiness and philosophy,” he wrote.

Because YouTube and Google has refused to relent, Sichel said, the organization started the petition. Another spokesperson for the organization told the Washington Examiner that news reports generated Tuesday about the petition have so far not resulted in the videos becoming uncensored.

For comparison, PragerU posted to its Facebook page that videos addressing similar topics from the liberal Vox are not placed in restricted mode. For instance, the PragerU video “Is America Racist?” is in restricted mode, while Vox’s “The racist history of US immigration history” is not.

In case you haven’t heard about Prager University, these are just 5-6 minute courses taught by scholars who teach atmajor universities or who do research at major think tanks.

Here is a quick video introduction to the series:

The courses are meant to convey truth on complicated subjects in an easy to understand way. I have featured some of them on this blog, and I watch them and share them all the time on social media.

Here are the 21 videos that were deemed unacceptable to the far left activists running Google and YouTube:

  • Are The Police Racist?
  • Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?
  • Why Did America Fight the Korean War?
  • Who’s More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?
  • What ISIS Wants
  • Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees?
  • Are 1 in 5 Women Raped at College?
  • Islamic Terror: What Muslim Americans Can Do
  • Did Bush Lie About Iraq?
  • Who NOT to Vote For
  • Men and the Power of the Visual
  • Is America Racist?
  • Israel: The World’s Most Moral Army
  • Radical Islam: The Most Dangerous Ideology
  • The Most Important Question About Abortion
  • Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?
  • Don’t Judge Blacks Differently
  • What is the University Diversity Scam?
  • He Wants You
  • Israel’s Legal Founding
  • Pakistan: Can Sharia and Freedom Coexist?

And it’s not just Google censoring conservative views. Just last month Twitter censored professor Glen Reynolds for criticizing criminals who block highways. And earlier this year we heard about how Facebook editors deliberately push conservative stories down in their “trending topics” section.

These companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter) couldn’t be successful in far left countries like North Korea and Cuba, but they love to bash the country that gave them success anyway. Ingratitude is everywhere on the left. Ingratitude and narrow-minded intolerance of free speech that disagrees with their own prejudices.

Christian NHS worker who gave a book to Muslim co-worker loses her appeal

Judge Jennifer Jane Eady, Queens Counsel
Judge Jennifer Jane Eady, Queens Counsel

The UK Telegraph reports on the state of religious liberty in the United Kingdom.

Excerpt:

A Christian NHS worker suspended for giving a religious book to a Muslim colleague has lost her appeal against a ruling that the decision to discipline her was lawful.

Victoria Wasteney, 39, was found guilty by her NHS employer in 2014 of “harassing and bullying” a work friend for giving her a book about a Muslim woman’s encounter with Christianity, praying with her and asking her to church.

She was suspended for nine months and given a written warning, even though the woman had been happy to discuss faith with her and never gave evidence about her allegations to the NHS.

Ms Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, challenged the decision by East London NHS Foundation Trust at an employment tribunal last year, but it ruled that her employer had not discriminated against her.

A judge gave her the chance to appeal against that decision, saying it should consider whether the original ruling had correctly applied the European Convention on Human Rights’ strong protection of freedom of religion and expression.

But at a hearing in central London on Thursday, Her Honour Judge Eady QC dismissed the appeal.

Following the decision, Miss Wasteney, from Epping, Essex, said: “What the court clearly failed to do was to say how, in today’s politically correct world, any Christian can even enter into a conversation with a fellow employee on the subject of religion and not, potentially, later end up in an employment tribunal.

“If someone sends you friendly text messages, how is one to know that they are offended? I had no idea that I was upsetting her.”

[…]The woman, who quit her job shortly after making the complaints, never gave any evidence about her allegations to the NHS or later to the employment tribunal.

It sounded to me like the Muslim woman encouraged the Christian woman and the Christian woman was later surprised by the complaints. I think most Christians can take no for an answer, but Christians are caring, and they see offering to pray and offering to bring someone to church as a caring thing to do. If they don’t hear a no, then they keep right on doing what comes naturally to Christians – talking about spiritual things and trying to lead others to the Lord.

It was much easier to do this in the past, before people got more concerned about not feeling offended than they were about discussing what is or is not true. So now, even in a country like England, you can be anything you want to be as long as you’re not behaving like a Christian in public. I think this is especially the case when the people who adjudicate these cases are more focused on feelings… the person who feels the most offended seems to win all the time.

Before I had an alias, I had experience dealing with co-workers who did not much like me talking about spiritual things at work. Some types of people are more risky than others, I’ve found. That’s when I started to make rules based on my experiences, about who was and who was not safe to talk to. And that’s when I decided that to really say what I wanted to say, I’d have to get an alias, and not tell too many co-workers about it.

So who is dangerous? Obviously, people who are committed to a sinful lifestyle already are dangerous to talk to. I don’t talk to people about anything interesting if they are committed to a sinful lifestyle, because they will feel obligated to discuss issues defensively, rather than in a truth-focused way. I also avoid people who are more focused on feelings, family and community above truth. They tend to be more focused on feeling good and getting along, and they are the worst people to disagree with. The safest people are people who like to argue about what is true, and who respond to evidence.

So how to detect who is safe? Well, If the person talks about themselves a lot, and about their feelings, and happy experiences, and their vacations, their families and popular culture fluff, then I would avoid them. Don’t say a word to them. The ones who are safer are the ones who accept disagreements and don’t just rush to agree with you while hiding their own opinions in order to be liked. You also want to avoid people who take everything personally, instead of debating the outside world with a focus on what is true.

I am terrified of people who try to agree with me on everything, or who cannot explain both sides of an issue respectfully. I watch what people watch on TV in the gym – if it’s sports, housewives of beverly hills, or other shallow life enhancement fluff, then I don’t talk to them. If it’s news or business, then it’s safer to talk to them – because then you can talk about facts. Beware of people who try to jump to agreement quickly, without showing any evidence or reasons for their view. It’s always better to talk about issues in the abstract, rather than offering to pray or asking someone to church. For example, you can discuss whether the universe had a beginning, or which books of the Bible were written early. Christians need to learn how to do that – how to talk about facts.

A good question to ask to test a person is to ask where they get their news. If there is no balance there, then it’s a good sign to avoid them. Two of my leftist co-workers this week asked me why I thought that the Washington Post and the New York Times were “radically leftist”. I asked them to name conservative columnists at either paper. They couldn’t name a single one. One tried to google it right in front of me! I named Arthur Brooks, Ross Douthat, Jennifer Rubin, etc. and explained why they weren’t conservative. Then I listed off a half-dozen liberal names at the Washington Post. If the person you are talking to is in a bubble, then they are too risky to talk to. Pretty much everyone on the secular left is that way, and you should check first by seeing what they read for news. If they’re not safe, then get yourself an alias and write something online, instead.

Todd Starnes: Ted Cruz is the best candidate to defend religious liberty

Ted Cruz explains policy to little girl who wants to be President
Ted Cruz explains policy to little girl who wants to be President

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, my second favorite think tank behind the Heritage Foundation, is advising the Ted Cruz campaign about religious liberty issues. They’ve actually made a list of things for him to do if he is elected President. Since this issue is the core of my being – it animates my whole life plan – I was curious to see what Cruz intends to do about religious liberty.

Here is Todd Starnes of Fox News writing about it:

America’s Christian bakers and florists and wedding planners will be safe under a Ted Cruz presidency.

“I am absolutely convinced in my discussions with the senator that religious liberty will be a lot better off in America with a Cruz administration,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and Chair of Cruz’s Religious Liberty Advisory Council.

The council released exclusively to me its initial recommendations for both legislative and executive actions that will restore the nation’s First Freedom – the freedom of religion.

[…]The council, made up of prominent religious leaders, recommended 15 action items that will protect Americans from discrimination by the federal government on the basis of their view of marriage and also protect employers threatened by the HHS contraception mandate.

[…]The council is also calling on Cruz to direct a review of the IRS’ treatment of religious organizations and to direct federal agencies to respect the free exercise of religion.

The list includes measures to promote religious liberty at the Department of Education, the IRS, the Department of Health and Human Services, the armed forces, and in the federal government as a whole.

Cruz has a record on defending religious liberty:

Cruz has been a passionate advocate of religious liberty for years. He’s been in the front line trenches defending our First Freedom – helping secure courtroom victories to preserve the Texas Ten Commandments monument and the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.

“As president, I have pledged on my first day in office to rescind every single one of President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions, and to direct every federal agency to respect and protect the religious liberty of every American,” Cruz said.

His vow is certainly welcome news to American Christians who have been subjected to eight years of vicious attacks by militant LGBT and atheist groups – not to mention the Obama administration.

“Our constitutional liberties should not be subject to the whims of the current administration, and – whether Hobby Lobby or the Little Sisters of the Poor – people of faith should not be made to bow down at the altar of political correctness,” Cruz said.

I took a look over the names of the people on his panel of policy advisors, and was surprised to see people I actually know on it. You probably know these names as well: Jay Wesley Richards, Everett Piper, Bishop Harry Jackson, Ken Blackwell, and Jason Benham. Jason Benham has had to face discrimination himself, when his show was pulled because of his Christian worldview. If I had to pick a scholar who has the same interests as me across the board, it would probably be Jay Richards. So, needless to say, I’m pretty pleased with this. Seems to me like we have been losing, losing, losing at religious liberty for the last 8 years under Obama and his Democrat allies in the House, Senate, federal government and Supreme Court. If Cruz wins, thins are going to change for us on this all-important issue. I just want to be free to be me, and not to be punished for disagreeing with other people on issues of morality and conscience.

I guess it goes without saying that Donald Trump is the polar opposite of Cruz on all of these issues. That’s why it’s important to me that someone with a record of standing up for religious liberty at the Supreme Court wins the nomination. I don’t want someone who only has talk – and Trump’s talk isn’t even that encouraging. He’s promised gay rights activists “forward motion” on gay rights. I think we’ve had enough of #NewYorkValues already under Obama, Mr. Trump.

By the way, if you’re not listening the Family Research Council Washington Watch Weekly podcast, please subscribe. They cover everything from social issues, to fiscal issues, to foreign policy. One of their frequent guests is retired Lt. General William G. Boykin, who is also on Cruz’s foreign policy advisory committee, which I blogged about before.

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