Are they listening to themselves?

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while now before I decided to write something because there are times I’m a little hot-headed.  That usually means much more time editing that I actually spent writing.

Through a UK website, pinknews, I’ve been reading about some of the pronouncements of the anti-gay crowd and I have to ask myself two questions.  First, as the title says, “are they listening to themselves?” and second, “does this lot have a brain among them?”

Here are some examples of what I mean:

– (I can`t find the article any longer and don`t recall if the Representative in question was state or federal).  From the context this was written shortly before the Supreme Court decision on DOMA.  This man said that overturning DOMA would lead to straight men pretending to be gay so they could marry other men just to take advantage of the benefits.  He compared it to a foreign national marrying an American to gain citizenship.  Is there a brain in that head?  These are benefits that married couples already enjoy and this will only extend them to same-sex couples.  And if this hypothetical man pretending to by gay were to marry a woman an additional benefit would be sex.  Was this Representative listening to himself when he made his pronouncement?

– Two pastors in Colorado blamed the recent wildfires in that state on a photograph that appeared on the front page of The Denver Post that showed the Majority House Leader kissing his partner on the steps of the legislature.  According to one of these pastors, God reads the Denver Post, which is how He became aware of this incident. Funny, I thought He read the Globe and Mail from Toronto. The straw man from Wizard of Oz has more of a brain than these two put together.

– Finally, Westboro Baptist Church is at it again.  This time they not only proved they are homophobic, but bullies as well.  According to the brief article, an anti-bullying group was running a lemonade stand to raise some funds.  The stand was painted pink and at the time in question was being run by a five-year-old. I presume a parent was hovering nearby.  Westboro took exception to the colour of the stand and raised a fuss.

I know that at one time there was a petition being circulated to have WBC declared a hate group.  Don’t know what’s happening with that but I certainly hope that petition receives serious consideration by American lawmakers.  After all, they were banned from Britain for a reason.

Now, I have no objection to anyone having and expressing an opinion – after all, when you read these postings, you’re getting my opinions.  I like to think there is some logic in my writings.  I also think it would be nice if others would put a bit of logic in their pronouncements as well.  These three individuals and one organization appear to be so blinded by their homophobia that they can’t see there is no logic in their actions and statements.  They are obviously not listening to what they’re saying.


Are you sure?

Caught an item on the late CTV news tonight that what is described as “quite a few” Americans are considering moving to Canada since Obama won the election.

You may think that’s a great idea – after all we’re just like you except we talk funny eh.  Well, yes and no.  Because Canada is inundated with American entertainment, you’re not going to miss your favourite television shows – we’ll have them somewhere on the dial.  And you can be reasonably assured of better weather on Thanksgiving since ours is in early October, not late November. And there’s still football on Thanksgiving, although it may be the Canadian Football League (which supporters claim is superior to the American game – at least the field is larger). Those are a couple of the good things.

But, are you aware Canada has had socialized medicare since sometime in the last century?  And did you know that same-sex marriage has been legal federally for at least the past five years?  Oh yes, and gay rights are enshrined in our Bill of Rights.  I understand Republicans have been opposed to these, so before you move here, you’d have to consider whether those could be deal-breakers or not.  You’d also have to learn to put the “u” in words like neighbour and colour – that’s the law.  No, seriously. Our first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald, managed to get an act through Parliament that made the inclusion of the “u” the only legal spelling.  One final thing – you’d have to leave your guns south of the border. Not allowed in Canada.   And, if you’re from Washington or Colorado, sorry, but weed is not legal in Canada either.

We won’t get into the economics of your move to Canada other than to say you will pay more for the identical products.

So, given all this, are you sure you want to move to Canada?

Think about it and if you decide you can live with these differences, welcome eh.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


It cheapens the honour

According to a column by Heather Mallick on the website for The Toronto Star for Friday September 28, Jason Kenney, Canada’s Immigration Minister, is to be awarded an honorary doctorate in early November.  The article states the University of Haifa will present Mr Kenney with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy Degree in a special ceremony at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel on the fourth of November.  To quote from the article, this degree is being presented “‘in appreciation of his revered leadership’ as immigration minister, among other things.”  I doubt strongly there is a single member in any legislative assembly in Canada, from the feds on down to town hall, to whom the adjective “revered” could be applied.  “Reviled” perhaps, but certainly not “revered”.

And if that adjective could be applied to a politician, Jason Kenney’s name wouldn’t even make my list of candidates for the description.  There have been many times he’s been less than stellar in his job.  Jason Kenney is the person who, while holding the Immigration portfolio in a previous Harper government, ordered (unsuccessfully) all references to the fact same-sex marriage is legal in Canada, and any other references to the legal protections offered gays and lesbians removed from the Newcomers to Canada handbook.  The article states Kenney graduated from a Catholic high school in some small town in Saskatchewan, then dropped out of university.  From some of his decisions and actions, it appears to me he lets his religious views determine how he votes rather than follow the government line on many occasions..  Last week for example, a backbencher tried to reopen the abortion debate through the back door by trying to introduce a motion to discuss when life begins.  (I have my views on this and I’m sure you have yours, but this is not the forum to discuss them).  During the election campaign, Stephen Harper, the party leader, promised not to reopen that debate – and amazingly it’s one promise he’s kept – and most of his caucus followed his lead and voted down the motion.  When questioned on some of his actions, his usual response is to try to bluster his way out of it.  In her column, Ms Mallick called Jason Kenney “more bully than intellectual” and she’s right.

Giving a man like this such an honorary degree does not elevate the man.  It merely cheapens the honour.


A very fine line

Whether the Pope realizes it or not, he is in a position most people would call untenable.  As head of the Roman Catholic Church, he is expected to, as he did in France this past week, defend the traditional definition of marriage.  To quote from the article on Pink News website, “Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself”.  This statement is acceptable considering he is, as I wrote, head of the Roman Catholic Church and he was speaking to a conclave of bishops.  The article also mentions that in his year end speech in 2008, he made comments opposing the acceptance of transgender people.

But where the statements, and motives become questionable is that Pope Benedict XVI is also a head of state.  Vatican City, while surrounded by the city of Rome, is not part of that city.  It is an independent city-state, a nation in other words, and the Pope is the head of that nation.  Some of his pronouncements could be construed as attempting to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations.   The statement quoted above was made in France, where the newly elected president, Francois Hollande, has promised to make same-sex marriage legal.

Many nations have passed, or are in the process of passing, legislation ensuring the trans community (transgender and transsexual) are entitled to the same legal rights as other citizens.   Some nations, such as Canada, have made same-sex marriage legal.  So, the question then becomes this: When Benedict speaks on these topics, is he speaking as head of the Church, in which case the comments are acceptable or is he speaking as head of state of Vatican City, in which case he would be attempting to influence the internal affairs of other nations?  And how is one expected to tell the difference?  As I said, Benedict walks a very fine line.

And on that note, I’ll go now.

Enjoy the first weekend of autumn and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.