January 18, 2005 (updated with additional media quotations on Jan. 22)
toxic religion in Canada
By Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell
As same-sex marriage continues its progress across Canada (8 regions have already legalized gay marriage, 5 regions continue to discriminate), opposition from religious extremists is highlighting the need to ensure that our country remains free from the inflammatory influence of faith-based bigotry and intolerance.
Further, Henry argues that the privacy of one's home can be violated if activities in that home violate church teaching through "evil" acts (hide your birth control).
"It is sometimes argued that what we do in the privacy of our home is nobody’ s business. While the privacy of the home is undoubtedly sacred, it is not absolute. Furthermore, an evil act remains an evil act whether it is performed in public or in private."
is a stand the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops should promptly distance
itself from. So should leading individual Catholic prelates ... This can only
inflame prejudice, encourage hate-mongering and undermine the church's pastoral
mission to reach out to every community."
" ... a froth of fundamentalism and bigotry ... the last desperate shriek of man who fear's he's on the losing side ... the poor, turbulent priest must be having some sort of delusional flashback ... by this entry into the same-sex marriage debate ... the bishop has all but disqualified himself from further credible paritipation in it," said a subsequent article, "Bishop's sad tirade a reminder of a darker era", in the Toronto Star (Jan. 22, 2005).
We hope to hear more from Henry as gay marriage continues its righteous roll-out across Canada. Every time he spews his hateful message, he helps the cause of justice and equality by underscoring the need to ensure that our society and its laws are never degraded to his dogma. Henry has been compared to a fascist (a shared love of "coercive power"), and it's good to remember that bishops like him supported Hitler. Fortunately, his office carries none of the power of the past.
The Catholic Church leadership has already disgraced itself with its handling of the sexual and physical abuses perpetrated by its employees. Its authority is already ignored on matters of divorce and birth control. And they have lost the battle on gay marriage, unable to impose their religion on our secular laws.
We know from firsthand experience, as we've documented in our book Just Married, that gay marriage is leading Canadians towards acceptance of homosexuality. Henry doesn't like this because he knows that either his church will have to change or it risks the continued loss of support from its dwindling faithful. The lies this religion maintains about homosexuals cannot be supported when society reflects reality.
Canada has welcomed Sikhs seeking the sanctuary of our nation. The Canadian Charter has protected their rights and religion, enabling Sikhs, for example, to wear turbans as part of a police uniform (a right they had to fight for in court, using the Charter to protect them, as we have in our gay marriage legal battle). We're most confident that Sikhs in this country will not revert to the superstitions and behaviour of the underdeveloped countries they left behind, edicts from abroad notwithstanding.
Instead, we predict that gay marriage will indeed result in the growth of acceptance of homosexuality now underway, as Henry fears. But marriage equality will also contribute to the abandonment of toxic religions, liberating society from the prejudice and hatred that has polluted culture for too long, thanks in part to Fred Henry and his kind.