Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Are some rights more equal than others?

Jonathan Kay has had a controversial series of posts in the National Post's Full Comment. It starts here, then here and finally culminates in today's print column generated from this post.

The main issue seems to be this particular statement in the original post:
...In fact, many Canadians still regarded homosexuality as a lifestyle choice rather than what it is — a hard-wired aspect of a person's identity, little different from their race or sex...

(Well I might might dispute the notion of sex or gender being hard-wired these days. It seems to be more like something you decide when you get up in the morning.)

In any case Mr. Kay, who is openly secular, believes that homosexuality is hard-wired. Indeed, he is convinced of it and chastises the religious right for vocalizing any opposing viewpoint:

...The idea that these specimens "turned gay" voluntarily -- or that they could reverse their God-given lust thrusters 180 degrees as a matter of conscious will--is laughable.

I say all this not to make fun of religious types. But speaking selfishly as a secularized conservative, I do find their line of free-will argumentation slightly embarrassing. It furthers the unfortunate stereotype of conservatives as being out-of-touch with anyone outside society's mainstream (narrowly defined). It also bespeaks a mindset that privileges dogma above empirical observation, an accusation usually reserved for the left...

So what I glean from this is that Jonathan Kay wants everyone on the religious right to shut up, because he feels that they are embarrassing him and undermining the credibility of the right. (And never mind that religious conviction is not just the purview of the right, although some parties choose to punish or expel their dissenters - all in the name of 'tolerance'.)

Let's be clear - There is no place in Canada for the incitement of hatred of any kind. However, we must differentiate between being able to vocalize one's personal religious belief vs. hate mongering against any other group of citizens.

Which leads me to this question: Is there a hierarchy of 'rights' in Canada?

If so, I suppose religious rights are at the bottom - probably because they're not 'hard-wired'.

* * * *
Update: Now, is polygamy 'hard-wired'? How long before polygamy (formally) comes to Canada?


Anonymous said...

Some time ago (but within the last 6 months) there was an article about the effects of estrogen use in livestock. The gist of the study was that estrogen was trickling down the food chain and causing increased estrogen levels in children. The result was that many girls were hitting puberty much earlier and many boys were delaying it, and there was certainly an inference that it could account for the increase in homosexuality.
Statistically it certainly made sense as the incidence of homosexuality has paralleled the use of additives in livestock feed, and the incidence is also proportionately higher in those countries that consume more meat and where "manufactured" feeds are used.

Alerta Girl said...

"Is there a hierarchy of 'rights' in Canada?"

Unfortunately - yes there is - following is my list as I see it.

1.Gays and Lesbians
3.Visible Minorities
4.First Nations
6.All other Anglosaxen Women
7.Liberals & NDP
8.Lebanese Canadians
9.Religious Right
10. Duck Hunters
11. All Anglosaxen, Heterosexual Men

Some of these positions may change dependent on the "crisis" of the day manufactured by #7, however #11 remains pretty constant.

I would accept revisions from other commenters though.

Anonymous said...

Alberta Girl

I think you have the order wrong.

Liberals & NDP most definitely share 1 & 2, position of course depends on which one you ask.

Then of course you also left out criminals, whose position floats depending on how heinous their crime. Child-abusers certainly have more rights than children, someone who kills in self-defense however probably rates somewhere below duck-hunters.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I wonder if pre-born human beings will ever get on the list? If so, will they be before or after animal rights?

Alberta Girl said...

Yikes - I can see that my brain is not working well this morning - i definitely left out the animals and the unborn children.

Therefore I revise my list- since the enviro guy the other day stated that the seals deaths rated higher than the 4 sealers, animals would definitely be above even gays and lesbians because - by virtue of the fact that the sealers were male and gays are male, it stands that animals would be #1

Unborn children - unfortunately, as to rights in Canada would be at the bottom - under even heterosexual males.


Chuckercanuck said...

Dear Joanne,

With the greatest affection and admiration, let me disagree, however slightly with your remarks.

When I read his column, I felt Kay was saying that arguing that homosexuality is a choice when it is patently obvious that lots of homosexuals are that way even as children does the conservative movement no favours. Arguing that people can be "converted" into enjoying heterosexual relations strikes me, quite fairly, as not possible.

Where Mr. Kay and I differ is that I think its entirely legitimate for people to argue that homosexual ACTS are immoral according to some religious teachings. (Its the sin, not the sinner).

Its a difficult thing to argue, in our hyper-sexualized culture where having sex appears to be the most important thing a person can do, that homosexuals - according to religious principles - should abstain from homosexual acts. Difficult, but it strikes me as a more accurate line of argument than pretending we could get a gay man to find something stirring about a woman in a v-neck.

So, I think its a mistake to pretend gay people can be converted and to push that possibility. They are gay. The choice aspect comes down to what they will do with that.

Just to stir the pot!

Anonymous said...

Guess what? I don't care. This issue isn't the first and foremost on the minds of Canadians.

Have the Liberals even clued in to that fact.

This subject just wastes important blog space....let's find something else.

Anonymous said...

You guys have got it all wrong. The terminally stupid are at the very top of the list.

Anonymous said...

Remember the moment in your life when you chose to be straight?

Yet, if you were raised in a Muslim household you're likely to be a Muslim child, and grow up Muslim. Propensity for belief in the absence of evidence might have some genetic basis, but religion has nothing of the sort. It is foisted on children who still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

When do we accept that a child is a 'Marxist' child, or a 'Keynesian' child, or a 'white supremacist' child? What is the difference between any of those labels - applied, too early, to someone who has no choice - and the 'Jewish' child, 'Muslim' child, or 'Christian' child label?

Reid said...

Well SDA has proof that Muslim rights are higher than gay rights.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

This subject just wastes important blog space....let's find something else.

I never thought of the blogosphere as a non-renewable resource.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Chucker, you had me at With the greatest affection and admiration.

Alberta Girl said...

Joanne - I just received the following in my mailbox - I usually don't forward these, but this struck a chord - especially given your topic this morning.

After all - not matter the position on the list, all had a mother and I would say that almost without fail, their mothers would fight to the death for their child's rights. So in saying that - and being a mother and a grandmother myself, I think that MOM should be at the top. Sorry for the length, but I wanted to share this.


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office,
was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is, " explained the recorder,
"do you have a job or are you just a ...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.
"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation,
'housewife' covers it,"
Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself
in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised,
efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like,
"Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of

Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid air and
looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest,
"just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
"I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers
and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more
distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Reid, thanks for that tip re: SDA who links to this article - Same-sex books removed from schools after Muslim Anger.

We may need to re-jig the list a tad.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

My dear very astute and brilliant Chuckercanuk - After having pondering your comment for some time, I find myself agreeing with you, but the argument is very nuanced.

So you are saying then that religious viewpoints that condemn homosexual activity should be allowed a voice in the public forum, but not those that condemn the state of being homosexual?

Chuckercanuck said...

yeah, exactly. that the argument becomes much more difficult for snobby "secular conservatives" and liberals to swat away when the "hate the sin, love the sinner" principle is applied.

and it ties into something larger than just homosexuallity --- its the very hyper-sexified way of pop culture. What I mean is:

if you say, "I think homosexuals should abstain from homosexual acts" - well, you'll get laughed at because the laughers are working with the underlying principle that having sex is the most important thing a person can do. the most fulfilling, etc.etc.

but, that premise needs to be challenged, if you ask me. We are - even us heteros - over-sexed in terms of popular culture.

Joe said...

My opposition to the gay agenda comes from my experience of people crossing the gay straight divide sometimes more than once. I have several friends, aquaintances and family members who once proclaimed themselves gay and have since renounced their gayness and are now living straight lives. I also have several aquaintances who were happily married who suddenly decided that they were gay. Their decision devastated their spouse and children but their lust trumped everything else. There is also a very dear friend who was straight then became gay then reverted to straight.

What my experience has taught me is that anyone can convince themselves that they are sexually aroused by any given stimulus and that anyone is capable of acting on that arousal. Anyone given enough support is capable of resisting those urges.

Finally I must say that what truly matters in life begins when we start to say no to our lusts and desires.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Finally I must say that what truly matters in life begins when we start to say no to our lusts and desires.

Chucker, & Joe, I think we're getting somewhere now. I must admit being offended by heterosexual couples who paw each other in public. It's a matter of not being offensive to others in a 'get in your face' way.

That can apply to anyone.

As far as I know there's no 'Charter Right to lust' yet.

Chucker, are very wise.

Alberta Girl said...

"It's a matter of not being offensive to others in a 'get in your face' way."

And that is what "offends" me so very much about the so called "pride-parades". I would suggest that it makes homosexuality look depraved when they are asking for acceptance.

I wonder if someone can explain WHY the need to parade naked down the street in all manner of strange getups and bondage gear. How does that, in anyway, garner acceptance from the average joe or jane?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And that is what "offends" me so very much about the so called "pride-parades". I would suggest that it makes homosexuality look depraved when they are asking for acceptance.

I would find that equally disdainful if a group of so-called heterosexuals paraded down a main street in Toronto in the nude.

Alberta Girl said...

"I would find that equally disdainful if a group of so-called heterosexuals paraded down a main street in Toronto in the nude."

Absolutey, Joanne - I should have clarified myself, but as heterosexuals would most likely be arrested for "public nudity", it would most likely never happen. But if it did, I would speak out against it in the same way.

Thanks for clarifying.

OMMAG said...

Wrong AG ... Ideological identity trumps gender identity in the table of moral equivalence.