Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What if Obama is re-elected and he legalizes gay marriage in his second term?

Canada has already legalized same-sex marriage, so let’s see what things are like up there. (H/T Commenter Scott)


The formal effect of the judicial decisions (and subsequent legislation) establishing same-sex civil marriage in Canada was simply that persons of the same-sex could now have the government recognize their relationships as marriages. But the legal and cultural effect was much broader. What transpired was the adoption of a new orthodoxy: that same-sex relationships are, in every way, the equivalent of traditional marriage, and that same-sex marriage must therefore be treated identically to traditional marriage in law and public life.

A corollary is that anyone who rejects the new orthodoxy must be acting on the basis of bigotry and animus toward gays and lesbians. Any statement of disagreement with same-sex civil marriage is thus considered a straightforward manifestation of hatred toward a minority sexual group. Any reasoned explanation (for example, those that were offered in legal arguments that same-sex marriage is incompatible with a conception of marriage that responds to the needs of the children of the marriage for stability, fidelity, and permanence—what is sometimes called the conjugal conception of marriage), is dismissed right away as mere pretext.

When one understands opposition to same-sex marriage as a manifestation of sheer bigotry and hatred, it becomes very hard to tolerate continued dissent. Thus it was in Canada that the terms of participation in public life changed very quickly. Civil marriage commissioners were the first to feel the hard edge of the new orthodoxy; several provinces refused to allow commissioners a right of conscience to refuse to preside over same-sex weddings, and demanded their resignations. At the same time, religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, were fined for refusing to rent their facilities for post-wedding celebrations.

[…]The new orthodoxy’s impact has not been limited to the relatively small number of persons at risk of being coerced into supporting or celebrating a same-sex marriage. The change has widely affected persons—including clergy—who wish to make public arguments about human sexuality.

Much speech that was permitted before same-sex marriage now carries risks. Many of those who have persisted in voicing their dissent have been subjected to investigations by human rights commissions and (in some cases) proceedings before human rights tribunals. Those who are poor, poorly educated, and without institutional affiliation have been particularly easy targets—anti-discrimination laws are not always applied evenly.  Some have been ordered to pay fines, make apologies, and undertake never to speak publicly on such matters again. Targets have included individuals writing letters to the editors of local newspapers, and ministers of small congregations of Christians. A Catholic bishop faced two complaints—both eventually withdrawn—prompted by comments he made in a pastoral letter about marriage.

[…][[T]he financial cost of fighting the human rights machine remains enormous… hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, none of which is recoverable from the commissions, tribunals, or complainants. And these cases can take up to a decade to resolve. An ordinary person with few resources who has drawn the attention of a human rights commission has no hope of appealing to the courts for relief; such a person can only accept the admonition of the commission, pay a (comparatively) small fine, and then observe the directive to remain forever silent. As long as these tools remain at the disposal of the commissions—for whom the new orthodoxy gives no theoretical basis to tolerate dissent—to engage in public discussion about same-sex marriage is to court ruin.

[…]Institutionalizing same-sex marriage has subtly but pervasively changed parental rights in public education. The debate over how to cast same-sex marriage in the classroom is much like the debate over the place of sex education in schools, and of governmental pretensions to exercise primary authority over children. But sex education has always been a discrete matter, in the sense that by its nature it cannot permeate the entirety of the curriculum. Same-sex marriage is on a different footing.

Since one of the tenets of the new orthodoxy is that same-sex relationships deserve the same respect that we give marriage, its proponents have been remarkably successful in demanding that same-sex marriage be depicted positively in the classroom. Curriculum reforms in jurisdictions such as British Columbia now prevent parents from exercising their long-held veto power over contentious educational practices.

The new curricula are permeated by positive references to same-sex marriage, not just in one discipline but in all. Faced with this strategy of diffusion, the only parental defense is to remove one’s children from the public school system entirely. Courts have been unsympathetic to parental objections: if parents are clinging to outdated bigotries, then children must bear the burden of “cognitive dissonance”—they must absorb conflicting things from home and school while school tries to win out.

Note that all of these enemies, the court system, the human rights commissions and the public school system – are all taxpayer-funded. Christians and other social conservatives are literally paying the socialist welfare state to persecute them and to indoctrinate their children. I should note that abortions, sex changes and IVF are also taxpayer-funded in parts of Canada, because health care is run by the government. We really need to keep the government out of as much of our lives as possible if we expect to keep our freedoms. Let’s not imitate the Canadians by legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Fascism: Ontario education minister wants to stop Catholic schools from teaching pro-life view

Political map of Canada

Political map of Canada

From Life Site News.


In what pro-life leaders are calling a stunning and unprecedented attack on religious freedom, Ontario’s Education Minister has apparently declared that Catholic schools can no longer teach that abortion is wrong.

Laurel Broten, who serves under Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty, said Wednesday that Catholic schools are barred from teaching this core moral belief because Bill 13, the government’s controversial “anti-bullying” law, prohibits “misogyny.”

“Taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take,” she told the Canadian Press. “I don’t think there is a conflict between choosing Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

Bill 13 had already been slammed by Ontario’s bishops as an attack on religious freedom because it forces Catholic schools to allow “gay-straight alliance” clubs.

And confirmation:

 An official transcript sent to LifeSiteNews by the Ontario government confirms that Dalton McGuinty’s Education Minister told media on Wednesday that Catholic schools should not be teaching that abortion is wrong because it is a violation of the government’s newly-enacted anti-bullying bill.

[…]In her press conference, Minister Broten went beyond saying that Catholic schools cannot teach their pro-life beliefs, insinuating that they must actually adopt a “pro-choice” position. “We must ensure that women, young girls in our schools, especially highlighted during the week of the first ever Day of the Girl tomorrow, that young girls can make the choices that they make. This is not about being pro-abortion, it is about being pro-choice,” she stated.

A reporter pointed out that in the debates around Bill 13 there was no mention of abortion, and so asked why she had brought up the controversial bill.

“Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students,” she explained. “That includes of LGBTQ students. That includes young girls in our school. Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman’s right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.”

“There are many, many families that send their children to Catholic school and choose that education for their children that also support a woman’s right to choose,” she continued. “And as I said, I don’t think that there is a contrast or a conflict between choosing a Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.”

And reactions from pro-lifers:

Since LifeSiteNews first published the shocking comments Wednesday, they have ignited a firestorm of criticism from pro-life and faith leaders in both Canada and the U.S. and across denominational lines.

Dr. Margaret Somerville, the founding director of McGill University’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, called it an “appalling” violation of religious freedom. “If Bill 13 were interpreted in the way the Minister suggests, in my opinion, it would be unconstitutional as offending freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and free speech, as well as contrary to parents’ obligations and rights with respect to their children, and so on,” she told LifeSiteNews.

[…]Steve Phelan, communications director for the Virginia-based Human Life International, called it “a case of radical, secular leftists trying to take away the most basic rights of those with whom they disagree.”

William Saunders, Senior Vice-President of Legal Affairs for Americans United for Life, said the comments show the “totalitarian instincts” of pro-abortion politicians, but also stressed that “it can’t be misogynistic to oppose something that is so harmful to women, as many recent studies show.”

“That’s the dirty secret about abortion – how harmful it is to women; and so to suggest it’s misogynist is to completely miss the point,” he explained.

[…]Somerville said the Minister’s comments are a sign of abortion advocates’ desperation, which she sees as hopeful.

“The fact that they can’t discuss abortion shows how frightened they are that they cannot support their case in an open public square and get others to support it,” she said. “And now, if we take the Minister’s comments as an indicator, that fear seems to have increased: They don’t want to let anyone even disagree with them, indeed, they want to go further and have everyone ‘preach what they preach’ about abortion. So much for their stance of adopting so-called “progressive” values which is supposed to include their ideology of tolerance for diversity and manifest this in practice.”

Now, I am not a Roman Catholic. I am an evangelical Protestant Christian, and proud of it. But I do defend religious liberty for all. There is nothing that I hold to more strongly than religious liberty, the first and most precious of our American liberties. I think it is important for us here to look around the world and to see which groups are opposed to religious liberty and freedom of conscience. It’s not the conservatives. It’s the progressives. And that’s why we must never vote for them, for any reason. We have to defend that right, as a matter of the first importance – not just for us, but for everyone else, too.

It’s important for social conservatives to understand never to make common cause with those who support big government and the restriction of basic liberties. We need to embrace small government and fiscal conservatism so that government never gets powerful enough to take away our freedoms. For a start, government should not be in control of education at the federal level. As social conservatives, we should be promoting state and local control of education, right to work laws and school vouchers. There is a connection between fiscal policy and social policy that both sides need to understand.

Must-see videos on education policy

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Toronto man who is suspected in mall shooting was under “house arrest”

How ineffective is the justice system in Canada? Well the Conservatives are trying to lock it down, but things like “house arrest” are very popular with liberal elites.

Here’s what you can do in Canada while under “house arrest” for some other crime:

A 23-year-old man was supposed to be under house arrest when police say he opened fire this weekend inside a busy Toronto shopping mall, killing one and leading to injuries to seven others.

The suspect, Christopher Husbands, is now in custody after surrendering early Monday, police said.

[…]He faces one count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder, according to police. Husbands appeared around 3:30 p.m. in a Toronto courtroom, where he was formally charged, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

[…]The detective described Husbands as a “charged individual (who) was on house arrest conditions, not to be outside his residence” when he was out with people — including Ahmed Hassan, the 24-year-old man police say he shot dead — on Saturday at the Eaton Centre mall in downtown Toronto.

In Canada, as in the UK (and here), criminals are apparently less at risk of being put in jail than law-abiding people who defend themselves.


Chen owns the Lucky Moose Food Mart in Toronto. When a career thief ripped him off yet again in May 2009, he had had enough. Chen chased down the thug, tied him up with twine and stuffed him into the back of a van, then called police.

When police arrived, however, Chen was the one charged with numerous crimes including kidnapping, forcible confinement and having a concealed weapon. The last count was added because Chen keeps a box cutter in his back pocket for work. 

[…]The senate committee also heard from Joseph and Marilyn Singleton of Taber, Alberta.

When the couple returned home to their rural acreage after a dinner in May 2010, they found a suspected thief trying to flee after he and two others had allegedly broken into their house, trashed their home and stolen their belongings.

When the suspect tried to smash through their garage door with his getaway car, Joseph feared for his wife, who was standing on the other side of it, calling police. Joseph hit the 20-year-old in the head with the butt end of an axe to subdue him. The homeowner was charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, offences that carry up to 10 years in prison. The charges were later dropped.

The repeat offender, who was on bail after threatening another homeowner with a crowbar, was given house arrest.

“One of the hardest things I have ever had to do is answer questions from my young grandchildren, trying to explain why their grandfather was in trouble for protecting their grandmother,” Joseph told the committee.

Marilyn echoed his feelings. “At the time of our home invasion, I never would have dreamed that Joe would be charged for possibly saving my life. If he did not take action, it’s possible he would have had to explain to our children and grandchildren why he did not take action to protect their mother and grandmother.”

Defending themselves against the charges cost the couple $30,000, draining their retirement savings.

I guess that the jails in Canada are meant primarily for law-abiding people or legal gun owners. Criminals apparently go free, aka “house arrest”. That’s liberal jurisprudence – all very tolerant, you know. Let’s hope the Conservatives can fix the mess the Liberal Party made.

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Democrat-connected PR firm gets $20 million taxpayer dollars to promote contraception/abortion mandate

From CNS News.


The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $20-million contract to a Democrat-connected public relations firm, which will promote awareness of Obamacare’s “preventive services” mandate.

Under that mandate, all health-care plans must cover — without any fees or co-pays — all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions, as well as sterilizations.

The public relations firm hired to conduct the PR campaign, Porter Novelli, is a global firm whose leadership team features former Obama campaign surrogate and Democratic operative Catherine “Kiki” McLean.

McLean appeared on television on behalf of the Obama campaign in 2008. She also worked as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign as well as the presidential campaigns of former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

The $20-million taxpayer-funded public relations campaign is mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an HHS official told

“Section 4004 of the Affordable Care Act required the department to conduct this effort as one way to encourage utilization of preventive benefits and services,” the official said.

“This public education campaign is part of our ongoing education efforts that will inform the American people about the steps they can take to prevent disease and illness and stay healthy.”

Section 4004 of the legislation requires HHS to conduct an “education and outreach campaign regarding preventive benefits,” using radio, television and online media in a campaign that, among other things, “explains the preventive services covered under health plans offered through [ObamaCare].”

The campaign also “promotes the use of preventive services” including those covered under the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate, HIV screenings for “at risk” youth, and diet and obesity prevention services for children.

I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but this is the same kind of scandal that brought down the Liberal Party in Canada in 2006.


The sponsorship scandal“AdScam”“Sponsorship” or Sponsorgate, is a scandal that came as a result of a Canadian federal government “sponsorship program” in the province of Quebec and involving the Liberal Party of Canada, which was in power from 1993 to 2006. The program was originally established as an effort to raise awareness of the Government of Canada’s contributions to Quebec industries and other activities in order to counter the actions of the Parti Québécois government of the province that worked to promote Quebec independence.

The program ran from 1996 until 2004, when broad corruption was discovered in its operations and the program was discontinued. Illicit and even illegal activities within the administration of the program were revealed, involving misuse and misdirection of public funds intended for government advertising in Quebec. Such misdirections included sponsorship money awarded to ad firms in return for little or no work, which firms maintained Liberal organizers or fundraisers on their payrolls or donated back part of the money to the Liberal Party. The resulting investigations and scandal affected the Liberal Party of Canada and the then-government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. It was an ongoing affair for years, but rose to national prominence in early 2004 after the program was examined by Sheila Fraser, the federal auditor general. Her revelations led to the Martin government establishing the Gomery Commission to conduct a public inquiry and file a report on the matter. The official title of this inquiry was the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities. In the end the Commission concluded that $2 million was awarded in contracts without a proper bidding process, $250,000 was added to one contract price for no additional work, and $1.5 million was awarded for work that was never done, of which $1 million had to be repaid.

Keep in mind that Canada is about one-tenth as big as the USA, for things like population, budget, etc. So their scandal was about the same amount of money as ours, if you correct for that.

That was the election that brought Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper into power. The Liberals also gave taxpayer money to Liberal-connected ad firms. When the truth came out, the Liberals went from having 135 seats in 2004 to 34 seats in 2011. So this is the kind of story that can bring down an entire political party. Using taxpayer dollars to promote your political party is serious, and when you put it together with Barack Obama already campaigning in swing states at taxpayer expense, it’s even more egregious. This is America, not some banana republic.

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A look at redistribution of wealth from the workers to the non-workers in Canada

Canada election 2011: Conservatives in Blue, Socialists in Red, Communists in Orange

Election 2011: Conservatives in Blue, Socialists in Red, Communists in Orange

I found two examples of policies that promote the redistribution of wealth from producers to non-producers in Canada. I think it’s worth taking a look at their policies so that we understand more about our own redistribution policies.

The first example of redistribution has to do with unemployment insurance, where productive taxpayers who choose low-risk, high-pay jobs must subsidize other citizens who get high-risk, low-pay jobs. Their program is called “Employment Insurance”. Canadians who work have to pay into the system, and when any of them loses their jobs, then they get to take money out of it. Those who work more pay more, those who work less pay less. Those with safe jobs collect nothing, and those with risky jobs collect more.

Is this program fair? In this article from Brian Lilley’s Lilley Pad blog, Canadian columnist Lorne Gunter explains what’s wrong with this program.


Employment Insurance is a lot of things, but an insurance plan to encourage employment it is not.

For one thing, the premiums aren’t based on the risk of making a claim.

Young drivers pay higher auto insurance premiums because they are much more likely to get in an accident. Yet Canadians in high-unemployment industries and high-unemployment regions make no higher EI contributions than those who live where they are never likely to be without work.

Indeed, those most likely to make EI claims will make far lower lifetime contributions than those who are unlikely ever to claim. That makes EI a welfare program underwritten by a tax on employment, rather than an insurance plan.

In the 1990s, I interviewed a Statistics Canada researcher who had made the study of EI his life’s work. He told me that he had discovered one New Brunswick town of 3,000 people where every adult had made at least one EI claim. Most had claimed three or more times.

In some areas, EI is an accepted part of the culture. It’s that entitlement mentality the Tories’ changes are aimed at breaking.

In the CBC’s fawning 1994 biography of Pierre Trudeau, St. Pierre admitted that one of the goals of his government’s ’70s-era reforms to Unemployment Insurance (as it was more accurately known then) was to enable Canadians to stay in their home regions if they wanted to, even if they were never likely to find steady work there.

So the scheme is also an interregional transfer of wealth — from have to have-not provinces.

Of course, every year thousands of Canadians move from have-not regions to more prosperous areas in search of better jobs and higher pay. So it is not as though everyone who could collects EI to stay put.

But the question is why should hard-working Canadians be compelled to subsidize anyone who refuses to move or turns down locally available work?

It’s very similar to their health care programs, which transfers wealth from producers to health care users – and remember that not all health care is from stuff like car accidents. Abortions, IVF and sex changes are entirely voluntary – based on lifestyle choices.

But this is not the only program that transfers wealth from workers to non-workers. It turns out that there is an entire province of Canada that has a majority of secular socialist slackers who can’t pay their own way, but must instead depend on the rest of Canada to support them.

Eric Duhaime explains in this article on the Lilley Pad.


Although we live in the same house, we certainly don’t sleep in the same room anymore. Our romantic days are long gone. Quebec and the rest of Canada have grown apart. Young Quebecers have no appetite for constitutional quarrels, although they define themselves more and more as Quebecois and less and less as Canadians. They have even invented the word “decanadianization.”

Conversely, English-Canadians are becoming more and more fed up with paying for Quebec, which receives more than half the money given through the so-called equalization program, the equivalent of $8 billion a year.

The solution might not be to ask Quebec to become an independent nation but to become less dependent on its neighbours and more fiscally autonomous. To calm English Canada down, the equalization formula — which will be reviewed before 2014 anyway — could be modernized.

Canada has evolved over the years. The need for interprovincial welfare is not as necessary as it used to be. The principle of redistribution is part of our Constitution but could focus exclusively on funding very essential social programs, which wouldn’t include $7-a-day daycare or a fully subsidized year of parental leave after the birth of each child.

I think it would be an excellent idea to cut Quebec loose. Whatever goods and services they produce could still be bought by the rest of Canada – if there are any such things. Let them pay for their own exorbitant abortion and day care costs, for a start.

Why am I posting about Canada? I think it’s important for us to look at other countries so that we understand how public policies that are sold to us as “compassionate” actually punish hard work, thrift and risk-taking while at the same time rewarding ignorance, wastefulness and sloth. In fact, one could argue that Obamacare itself is nothing more than a way to transfer wealth from those who are take care of their health and work hard for their money, to those who are unemployed and want free contraceptives, abortions and sex changes. You can get all three of those things in the Canadian province of Ontario, and in the UK as well. But the UK goes even further and provides taxpayer-funded IVF and breast implants. This is what liberal compassion really means: pillaging those who sacrifice their leisure to work, in order to buy votes from unproductive, reckless and lazy special interest groups.

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