Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Karl Keating reports:

You may have heard about the “human rights commissions” in Canada. These are extra-judicial bodies set up to make an end run around judicial niceties. The commissions are staffed by left-wing activists who, unable to win election to provincial legislatures, try to impose their will by coming down hard on people who are not left-wing activists.

The main purpose of the commissions is to squelch free speech. This is done by dragging before the commissions people who speak their minds and whose minds are not in accord with left-wing views.

The commissions have been styled by commentators who are not left-wing activists as “kangaroo courts.” ...

The Canadian human rights commissions are not elected bodies. They do not have established rules of evidence. The government picks up the legal bills for people who prosecute complaints through the commissions, but the accused have to cover their own expenses. Naturally, this is a disincentive for the defense....

But some people and groups without deep pockets choose to fight back. Case in point: Fr. Alphonse de Valk and Catholic Insight magazine.

The Catholic priest, well known for his pro-life activities, wrote in defense of the Church’s teaching on marriage. Specifically, he wrote against “gay marriage,” citing the Bible, the catechism, and the writings of John Paul II. He wrote nothing that you or I would consider inflammatory; he simply restated constant Church teaching: marriage can exist only between one man and one woman.

What Fr. de Valk got for his troubles was a complaint filed by homosexuals who accused him of fostering “extreme hatred and contempt.” So far, the legal expenses for the priest and his magazine have exceeded $20,000. They are sure to rise.

Catholic Insight is a small-circulation, orthodox Catholic magazine. (That is almost tautological. All orthodox Catholic magazines have small circulations.) If its legal bills pile up enough, the magazine will have to fold—which is probably the goal of both the complainants and the activists on the human rights commission.

Fr. de Valk and Catholic Insight deserve our support because they support Catholic teachings. The magazine’s web site (http://www.catholicinsight.com) has an appeal for help in covering the legal bills.

At the Catholic Insight website donation information is provided:

If you are able to help, please send your cheque or money order to Catholic Insight, P.O. Box 625, Adelaide Station, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2J8. For a credit card donation, you can call us at (416) 204-9601 or e-mail admin@catholicinsight.com. If you have a PayPal account, please click the link below.

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