Saturday, June 28, 2008

Open Letter: HRC

[An open letter to Msgr. Mario Paquette, P.H., General Secretary, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops]

Msgr. Paquette,

I am somewhat dismayed that the Bishops' Conference has not spoken up on the recent controversy on Canada's federal and provincial human rights commissions. Freedom of speech, press, and religion are all under threat from the radical agendas these commissions facilitate.

There are several prominent cases, such as the complaints against author Mark Steyn, MacLean's Magazine, Ezra Levant, and recently Stephen Boisson, a Protestant minister in Alberta. Even Bishop Fred Henry has been the victim of an HRC assault.

The means these commissions use stand in stark contrast to the legislative and judicial foundations on which our country was founded - there is no due process, no right to a speedy trial, no truth as defense, and no obligation to display harm done. The accuser's legal costs are covered by the state, whereas the accused person must pay all his own bills. The process can go on for years before the HRC invariably pronounces guilt and imposes fines, public apologies, and even recanting of deeply held beliefs.

As one familiar with the history of the early Church, I must wonder... how long do we have before they start burning us at the stake?

I know the Conference frequently speaks out on social issues, such as the recent letter to the G8 leaders reminding them of their responsibilities for the poor and to care for the planet.

The issue with our abusive Human Rights Commissions is, in my opinion, far larger in its implications for humanity and Christianity than environmental or social concerns. I encourage the Conference to speak out with all due haste, requesting the respective governments to tear down the HRCs, or at the very least, retool them so they incorporate the same basic legal practices that our real courts do.

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