Monday, April 16, 2012

Wildrose Vs the PCs - Alberta Election

I am not going to sit here and pretend that I was okay with a particular pastor's comments on his blog regarding homosexuality and other issues - my brother is gay, so I pay attention to what these people in political groups say. However, at the same time, I know that everyone is supposed to have 'freedom of expression' in Canada, as long as it does not infringe on someone else's right's. That should cover 2 sometimes-warring parts of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Did the pastor's words infringe on someone else's rights? Did it infringe on my brother's rights? I don't think so. My brother would not have even heard about this man's words until it was reported in the news so I don't know that it did him or anyone else direct harm. I understand that it could 'lead' to someone doing something that infringes on his rights - but I think pretty much everyone has stated something in their lifetime, even recently, that could potentially 'lead' to another person taking those words and acting upon them in a way that infringes on another's rights. Where do we draw the line between having freedom of expression, and not having it? Who decides that? It's a tough road to navigate these days.

I did some reading and the blog post was made before the Pastor was a candidate. I don't know that he has written anything else that controversial since - I have not heard/read about it at any rate. Now he is a candidate for WildRose in next week's election. Okay - so if this guy was MY candidate and I was unhappy with things, I would have been contacting Wildrose and telling them that I would love to vote for them but I refuse to put my mark next to that guy's name, so they better be more careful in the future. Or something to that effect. But he is not my region's candidate and mine seems to be quite good. He took a lot of time going around talking to people - I saw him at my neighbour's house for a long time but I was dashing out the door to a sports event so I missed his knock on our door. But everything I have read sounds like he would be a good guy to try out. Our current PC MLA is retiring and I have never voted for him because about 15 years ago my boss had a run-in with him and he was VERY rude to her even though she had spent years looking after his kids at our center. So I did not bother voting in the last round at all even though I would have preferred to vote PC at that time. I just could not get myself to go put a mark next to this particular man's name. This time I am - and it's going to be for who I think would be a good candidate for my city as well as for Wildrose.

Anyway back to the matter at hand, there is a lot of press about Premier Redford being very concerned about these comments. I don't get it. The press is tearing WR Smith apart for defending the pastor's right to freedom of expression while warning that they will NOT be legislating on such matters..... and meanwhile a PC party member in Redford's own group, who is running for re-election, put forth a BILL stating the same things that Smith has been chastised for (freedom of conscience) and this pastor (acceptance of different sexuality in schools). So the PC guy tried to LEGISLATE on these same things back in 2006, taking it beyond freedom of expression and conscience, and tried to put it to the govt. Why is Redford having such a spaz when the same things and WORSE can be said about at least one of her own party members???

I found a great link from the Financial Post that shows PC members quoting the charter of rights and freedoms in the same manner that Smith now is - but suddenly it's the PCs that are coming down hardest on Wildrose for it. Bizarro. You could literally take out the PC part and Ted Morton in that article and slide in WR and Danielle Smith and re-post it today and no one would know the difference - other than the fact there was a Bill.

11 comments:

  1. The way I look at it is that all viewpoints should be reflected in a government. There are many who would agree with the pastor, and there are many who don't, but one view, held by a substantial per centage of the population should not be excluded simply because it is not politically correct.

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  2. You have expressed this in a very thoughtful manner.
    With this issue and this candidate, the glaring miscarriage is the fact that this was written by him several months ago as a Pastor, not a candidate and then it surfaces now?
    That suggest that it was a preplanned, staged outing.
    The PC's have run a very dirty campaign and I too feel very strongly that it's time to clean the 'House'.

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  3. A gay man just told me a few days ago that he is not really concerned about what others have to Say about his life, he is only concerned with what they Do about his life. He said that for every person out there who goes ahead and writes something in print, or states on camera/audio, his disagreement with homosexuality, there are probably 10 more who think it in their heads and pretend otherwise. I was surprised by his comment but it made sense.

    If someone WRITES their opinion, does that discriminate AGAINST someone exactly? How do we decide that? What points have to be made, how far does it have to go? There are a ton of people out there who had a bad opinion about me, and people like me, for many years - a single mom. A single mom with two kids by two different dads, no less. Now I have 3 kids but I am still with my last child's father, but I still get funny looks because all 3 of my kids have different last names and I only match one of them. Sometimes I feel like going back to my maiden name so me and my kids can have 4 different last names to REALLY mess people up :) :) But no one did anything AGAINST me directly. They spoke their minds or gave me strange looks, and I knew they were running around in their minds trying to decide if I was a 'ho or not, but in the end it didn't matter.

    If someone decided they did not want to serve me in a restaurant because they assumed things about me, that would be their loss because I would tell anyone and everyone I knew about it - and then those people could decide if they wanted to patronize such a restaurant themselves. Maybe I would go to the News and tell my tale. Who knows. But I was not discriminated AGAINST in the way it affected my life - it in fact taught me to follow what one of my friend's always says:

    "You cannot control what other people think of you".

    I think that is something good to remember. If they TREAT you differently, then that may take it to the next level, but if they Speak of you or Think of you differently, what can you do about it, really? You CANNOT control people's thoughts anymore than you can control the weather. As long as they do not try to do something that would change something in your own life, such as legislation on social issues that stops one group in favor of another, what is left to do?

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    Replies
    1. Hold Ally accountable for stating that only her opinion is true and anyone who disagrees with her has an "illegitimate" opinion. Who the HELL does he thinks she is? The thought police are trying to control how we think and speak. THAT is very scary to me!

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  4. I wanted to point out something else from that financial post article as well... something I came up with all by my lone self awhile ago --- the author asks why a gay couple would even want a marriage commissioner that was so against their union to perform their ceremony by force anyway. I nearly cheered out loud reading that... because just last week I said the same thing.

    A discussion on FB between some gay and straight people brought to my mind this: "If I was getting married and I knew that the person doing the ceremony could have been forced and actually is standing there thinking UNHOLY! ABOMINATION! CRETINS! BURN IN HELL! in their mind, why the heck would I want them doing the ceremony?" So I posted that and it got at least one person thinking 'hmmmmmmmmmmmm maybe she has a point there'.

    Would you rather know right off the bat that someone did not approve and didnt want to be there? Call them up, tell them you are a gay couple, the person says 'Im sorry, I do not believe your union is sacred, I don't want to do it'... and then hang up the phone and say PHEWWWW I'm glad I found out that person is not the one for the big day... then you also have another choice to tell anyone and everyone you know what happened, and they in turn can pass it on, and maybe that person won't receive as much business. Handle it within the people, not force and push by the govt.

    Another part of the article that jumped out at me was how some people were acting as if allowing marriage commissioners to opt out would suddenly lead to a great flux of anti-gay responses. Do these people presume to know how many marriage commissioners disagree with gay marriage? From what I read on the AB govt website, a commissioner is only appointed for a period of 5 years so is it not true that pretty much ALL of the current marriage commissioners would have known going into this that they would have gay couples contacting them too? Since it's been legal for years now? But they act as though the one or two that might crop up from time to time are the end of everything for gay couples.

    And then I come again back to the 'wouldnt you want your ceremony done by someone who wanted you to have a wonderful day and felt good sharing it with you' thoughts... Maybe I would run into some ultra-religious person who thought I should not marry my current partner because we both have children from previous relationships and I have been divorced once. Maybe I want to know that the person I'm calling doesnt agree so I can move onto the next person who will go that extra mile to make sure my day is extra special.

    Im not really a 'romantic' per-se but I have been helping my friend take photos at weddings and the commissioners we met were awesome. They made a big difference to the day and I highly doubt forcing someone to officiate my ceremony, someone who thought my marriage was sinful, would make my day as great as the ones I have seen in the past year.

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  5. That is this Pastor's opinion of what GOD thinks of homosexuality and how GOD will deal with them after they die. Have you looked at all into what this Pastor thinks about how all people should be treated in this world by the government and by other people while they are alive?
    Which one do you think is most important in this election?

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  6. I actually have and am glad you brought it up. I have read the nasty stuff and then I went in search of things the news may not want to print, and I found all sorts about this man. Some written by friends, church members, potential constituents, etc and they had glowing reports of a man that is open and accepting of everyone. That completely wars with how he is being treated in the press so I was not sure what to make of it. Perhaps it is actually a good thing that all of this dirty laundry is being aired - for some people to have rational discussions about it. Unfortunately most of the stuff I have seen is decidedly IRrational, but there are some lights in the dark tunnel that are trying to shine through at least.

    I should share some deep dark family secrets too - not long back, my gay brother did not think such a big stink should be made about gay marriage. He did not understand why so many people were trying to buck the system. He does not think that the govt should have such a heavy hand in marriage anyway - applying for a license (permission from the govt to marry someone of your own choosing, a personal deep decision), having to follow their rules such as certain wording being in all ceremonies, etc. He thought it was actually not smart for gay couples to fight so hard to let the govt have a little more control over them.

    It was ME that disagreed with him. Fancy that - a straight person being FOR legal gay marriage and a gay person being AGAINST it lol. It led to some lively discussions, believe me. We both sort of fall in the middle now - we do not believe that certain couples should not be allowed to marry legally, and we thought there should be a hell of a lot more protection for gay couples such as life insurance, etc where some long term partners were being cut out because their union was not deemed 'legal' for such purposes. I used to say 'well, if they want the govt to take more of their money because their taxes will be combined instead of single, all the more power to them' lol.

    But I find that when the more vocal supports of these rights get going, they do not even realize when they are in turn stomping out what should be the rights of others! When I got married in alberta in 1992, I had to meet the marriage commissioner and decide if I accepted him, but he also had to agree to accept us as a couple. It was almost like a contract. So it seems to me that this man could have decided he was not the right one to perform my ceremony - even for a straight couple... does it not? I remember having to shake hands and say like a little phrase and he asked us if we accepted him, etc. Then we went from there. It's an important day for most couples, so I guess they take it seriously that both the couple and the commissioner are in agreement?

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  7. continued - I have noticed a lot of people saying that a marriage commissioner should lose his/her appointment if they refuse to marry someone based on their personal beliefs - and while I actually agree that if someone applies for the position, they should be willing to perform any legal ceremony that comes their way - but then we get back to the Charter again. It does not stop a couple from getting MARRIED, it stops them from getting married by that particular person.

    I can foresee some nastiness like for example, someone decides to really screw up a couple by pretending they are going to do the ceremony and on purpose not showing up that day.. ugh that would be horrible - but it could happen to ANYONE for ANY reason, not just gay couples. So to me that would be solved by making sure in the marriage commissioner's job info, it states clearly that they MUST absolutely perform any ceremony they have contracted to do, and make sure it's in writing, etc. someone could still cause trouble but then that is supposed to be an issue for Human Rights and anything else covered by the contract. Huge fines, termination of appointed status, etc etc.

    But in the end, all of this seems to have come about by someone questioning Smith with specifics and she gave the only answer she should, based on the charter. And if we get into the doctor issue, it gets even messier. Most people have no idea what they are even talking about anyway. You may be shocked, for example, that almost everyone I have talked to about that side of the issue had NO idea that Canada allows abortions at any point of pregnancy. They had no clue. So knowing that, once they realized they were advocating for doctors to occasionally be forced to abort an otherwise healthy 9 month fetus from an otherwise healthy mother, they were not so vocal. Even having to do that once in a person's career could have devastating effects on a person deep down. You don't have to be religious to have a problem pulling a perfect child out of a woman's womb dead and then discard it. Yikes. I can't imagine there are many OBGYNs out there who would want to do it. There are NONE in my whole city that will do it at any point, women have to go to Calgary for that. So yeah - that's a whole other kettle of fun to get into and it's shocking the number of people who advocate for this stuff and have no idea of the basics. Or the possible repercussions.

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  8. I heard the leader of the Alberta NDP say on the news that the comment went beyond freedom of speech. So I guess we can now expect the Alberta Human Rights Commission to get involved and censor the good Reverend because someone’s feelings were hurt.
    God I love our pseudo democracy! Happy Charter of Rights day ya’ll!

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  9. Good Post Kez.

    I agree 100%

    My own point of view is essentially libertarian. If someone isn't hurting me, they should have freedom to organize their life in whatever manner appears best to them. Not my business.

    What bothers me, is Alison Redford is a former Conservative Party of Canada nomination candidate - which party has many members who share this particular religious belief that homosexuality is wrong, including MP David Sweet who ran for nomination at the same time as Redford, and who is the former CEO of "Promise Keepers" a group who openly advocated the ability to "cure" homosexuality.

    Alison Redford brought in Bill 44 as Attorney General, specifically aimed at allowing parents to remove their children from school where views contrary to their own religious views on homosexuality were being taught.

    And.

    Yet.. there she is piling on about this Pastor's views - and, incidentally, the formal views of the Catholic, Methodist, Evangelical, Jewish, Mormon and Muslim churches.

    Do I agree with them?

    Nope.

    But then I eat pork, drink occasionally, and go shopping on Sundays.

    Big deal.

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  10. I can understand if other parties were the ones shouting the most about the WR candidate and Smith's response, but it's been the PCs loudly and clearly in most of the media I have seen (actually, 99% of it) and that just blows my mind.

    I have started to think after the past several years that politicians' number one hope in the world is that people have short memories. Too short to remember their boondoggles and any past history whatsoever. It makes no sense that they would act like this when it was spread across headlines in recent years of their OWN party doing these same things (only moreso, but actually trying to legislate on it, not just expressing opinions), unless they truly think people do not recall the past.

    And sadly they are right. An awful lot of people have no memory of those past headlines. I am one of them. I remembered Ted Morton's name for various reasons, for example, but could not pinpoint it until I took the time to google and then it came rushing back. But I checked those things out BEFORE talking about it with anyone else, before bashing and crashing. I went to Smith's twitter, for example, to see what was being said about her own comments about conscience of thought and a recent post (or 10) directed people to the Charter of Rights so I went and read that to refresh my mind. All this before commenting to anyone about the topic, not even to my partner, so that I could at least try to be educated about it. I would guess that the vast majority of people do not do that. And the politicians and media know that.

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*Disclaimer

These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

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