Category Archives: law
British Pastor to Be Prosecuted for ‘Hate Crime’ of Calling Islam ‘Satanic,’ ‘Heathen’ During Sermon
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A pastor in Northern Ireland will be prosecuted with a hate crime for denouncing the Islamic religion during a Sunday sermon last year.
As previously reported, James McConnell, 78, pastor of the Whitewell Metropolitan Church in North Belfast, discussed Islam during an evening sermon in May 2014. During the message, McConnell denounced the religion and said that the contrast between it and Christianity is stark.
“The God we worship and serve this evening is not Allah,” he proclaimed, according to a video of the sermon. “The Muslim god—Allah—is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel deity. Allah is a demon deity.”
McConnell then criticized the “foolish” British government for attempting to appease Muslims financially, saying that Islam is “Satanic” and “a doctrine spawned in Hell.” He also noted that Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith by the “fanatical worshipers” of Allah.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, McConnell’s remarks were inspired by the plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to hang after she was convicted of apostasy for refusing to deny her faith and convert to Islam.
But following McConnell’s sermon, the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigated the preacher for allegations of a hate crime. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the preacher’s comments as “hate mongering” and said the anti-Muslim statements “must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
John McCreedy, assistant pastor at Whitewell Metropolitan Church, also soon resigned from his position because McConnell would not retract his statements. McConnell apologized for any offense he may have caused, but would not recant his sentiments.
“I spent many days trying to sort this, without success, and I could not continue after the pastor’s initial remarks were not withdrawn,” McCreedy told the Belfast Telegraph.
“The theological arguments presented by the pastor are a contradiction to my own beliefs—religious, political and moral—in relation to New Testament evangelism,” he continued. “Neither are they the views of many others I have spoken to at Whitewell, who have for years reached out to others from every ethnic background and denomination.”
Now, because McConnell refused a lesser punishment by the government following police questioning, prosecutors have decided to move the matter forward in court. The hate crimes charge appears to be related to the sermon being streamed online.
“I can confirm that following consideration of a complaint in relation to an internet broadcast of a sermon in May 2014, a decision was taken to offer an individual an informed warning for an offence contrary to the Communications Act 2003,” a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service told the publication Premier.
“That offence was one of sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive,” he continued. “The offer of an informed warning was refused by the defendant and accordingly the matter is now proceeding by way of a summary prosecution in the Magistrates Court.”
It is not yet known when McConnell’s trial will begin.
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are officially dead in the U.K.
McConnell shouldn’t have even bothered apologizing for any offense caused; the Gospel will offend, and moreover, it’s not like that will protect him from prosecution, anyway. But glad he refused to retract his remarks. May the Lord give him courage and strength, and resolve to stand firm.
McCreedy, meanwhile, is a gutless, spineless coward. Glad he has resigned; there are plenty of dhimmi mainline ‘churches’ he can join instead.
Socially Extinct’s latest post is about prisons, and progs turning their gaze upon them, no doubt intending to ‘reform’ them along their ideological lines.
Like SE, the last thing I want to see are prisons remade along SJW, prog lines.
But I also don’t care for the status quo, in both directions.
That is to say, on the one hand, I think prisoners today have far too many privileges, in terms of things like the ability to communicate with the outside world / have contact with the outside world, through internet access, and the like. If it were up to me, I would severely curtail prisoners’ access to communication with the outside world (other than occasional visits through glass – no conjugal visits; and otherwise mostly communicating with loved ones by letters, the way it used to be), and entertainment, other than libraries to develop their minds and imaginations, and improve their literacy, etc., and maybe a prison band, playing musical instruments or singing in choirs – as was the case in olden days, certainly here in Canada, anyway. I’d make that a reward for good behaviour, rather than an automatic right. And if prisoners are made to do hard labour, they won’t need gyms to stay physically fit.
On the other hand, I do think there are many problems with modern prisons, both in terms of sadistic guards abusing their powers, having too much free reign to indulge in unnecessary levels of brutality against prisoners, and also in terms of prisoners having not enough oversight, and having free reign to victimize other prisoners, making them their ‘bitches’, etc.
I remember when this article came out over a decade ago, I was glad to see that someone on the Right (more or less) was actually concerned about the welfare of prisoners, although unlike Taylor, despite the racial dimensions which I do recognize, I see it more as a case of injustice, period, rather than particularly a racial one. (Prison rape and ‘bitch-making’ is wrong, period, regardless of who does it to whom, even if it happens more according to some patterns than others.) Would that others felt similarly, I thought.
IMO, both prisoners and guards don’t have enough oversight, and I don’t see why prisons need to have two people to a cell, rather than smaller individual solo cells. And given 21st century surveillance technologies available to us, I don’t see why we can’t implement a modern version of Bentham’s ‘panopticon‘, albeit with surveillance cameras rather than round-shaped buildings.
And rather than giving guards too much free reign to inflict violence sadistically, as they please, I’d rather have more formal institutionalized violence, such as bringing back the lash, and administering it for various offenses, with one designated guard doing the whipping at each prison, per shift.
I’d like prisons to be unpleasant places to be, but not in terms of permitting atrocities and injustices such as prison rape, and excessive beatings by guards. Simply in terms of being places of boredom, tedium, without many comforts, with much supervision, and formalized violence when warranted by true misbehaviour.
Surely, as Christians, we should believe in justice, which can be and must be hard sometimes, but we must avoid allowing injustices to occur, as we strive to administer justice.
Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:
Here is a story from The Daily Signal about the Christian bakers who are being sued for $135,000 for refusing to bake a gay couple a wedding cake.
The Daily Signal has exclusively learned that the government agency responsible for enforcing Oregon’s anti-discrimination law appears to be working closely with a powerful gay rights advocacy group in its case against Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
Communications between the agency, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and the LGBT organization, Basic Rights Oregon, raise questions about potential bias in the state’s decision to charge the Kleins with discrimination for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
In April, a judge for the agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000.
Communications obtained through a public records request show employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries—which pursued…
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homosexual advocates in the state urged Gov. Pat McCrory to veto the legislation, stating that judges shouldn’t have the right to decline to participate simply because of their religious convictions.
“We call on Gov. McCrory, who has already opposed the premise of this bill, to veto this discriminatory legislation and send a strong message that no public official is exempt from the Constitution they’ve sworn to uphold,” Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro said in a statement.
On Thursday, McCrory, who was raised Presbyterian, said he would do just that.
“I recognize that for many North Carolinians, including myself, opinions on same-sex marriage come from sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said.
“However, we are a nation and a state of laws,” McCrory stated. “Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.”
Lawmakers are now considering the next step, including whether another vote will be taken to override the veto.
McCrory has been in headlines before over vows to veto legislation, including in 2013, when he required lawmakers to revise an abortion bill because he said that it would restrict women’s access to abortion.
Another typical Republican establishment ‘moderate’, i.e. prog…
A similar ban-lifting happened up here two years ago…
This is the same sort of thing, once again: politics trumping public health considerations. It reveals progs for the monsters they are, more concerned about the feelings of some folks than the health of everyone else…
Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:
Breitbart News reports.
The Obama administration, more interested in pleasing its LGBT supporters than in protecting the health of the general public, is proposing “new rules” through the FDA that would terminate the 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
Hilariously, the FDA would still ban gay men from donating if they confess to having sex with a man within a year before donating blood.
The FDA did admit that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral.”
[…]The FDA decided that the MSM group (men who have sex with men) was much less of a risk than those in the commercial sex work (CSW) and injection drug use (IDU) groups, even though the agency reported, “In 2010, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 63% of newly diagnosed HIV infections among adults, and 78% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in men, indicating that male-to-male sexual contact remains associated with…
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Canada’s neo-con regime equates calls to boycott Israel with anti-Semitism; threatens to use ‘hate-crime’ legislation against organizations encouraging boycotts
The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.
Such a move could target a range of civil society organizations, from the United Church of Canada and the Canadian Quakers to campus protest groups and labour unions.
If carried out, it would be a remarkably aggressive tactic, and another measure of the Conservative government’s lockstep support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While the federal government certainly has the authority to assign priorities, such as pursuing certain types of hate speech, to the RCMP, any resulting prosecution would require an assent from a provincial attorney general.
And it would almost certainly be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, civil liberties groups say.
The government’s intention was made clear in a response to inquiries from CBC News about statements by federal ministers of a “zero tolerance” approach to groups participating in a loose coalition called Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS), which was begun in 2006 at the request of Palestinian non-governmental organizations.
Asked to explain what zero tolerance means, and what is being done to enforce it, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney replied, four days later, with a detailed list of Canada’s updated hate laws, noting that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of such laws “anywhere in the world.”
The BDS tactic has been far more successful for the Palestinians than armed struggle. And it has caught on internationally, angering Israel, which reckons boycotts could cost its economy hundreds of millions of dollars.
Just last month, 16 European foreign ministers denounced the “expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories,” demanding that any imported goods originating in the settlements be distinctly labeled.
But Canada, a country where the federal Liberal and NDP leaders also oppose BDS, appears to have lined up more strongly behind Israel than any other nation.
In January, Canada’s then foreign affairs minister, John Baird, signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Israeli authorities in Jerusalem, pledging to combat BDS.
It described the movement as “the new face of anti-Semitism.”
A few days later, at the UN, Canadian Public Security Minister Steven Blaney went much further.
He conflated boycotts of Israel with anti-Semitic hate speech and violence, including the deadly attacks that had just taken place in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket.
Blaney then said the government is taking a “zero tolerance” approach to BDS.
Coming as it did from the minister responsible for federal law enforcement, the speech alarmed groups that have, to varying degrees, supported boycotts, believing them an effective tool to bring about an end to Israel’s occupation and colonization of the West Bank, and its tight grip on Gaza.
Some of these groups had noted that the government changed the Criminal Code definition of hate speech last year, adding the criterion of “national origin” to race and religion.
This change could, they feared, effectively lump people who speak against Israel in with those who speak against Jews.
Micheal Vonn, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, says the expanded definition is clearly “a tool to go after critics of Israel.”
Canadian civil liberties groups maintain that boycotts are a long-recognized form of political expression, and therefore constitutionally protected.
In March, the Canadian Quakers wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, expressing concern about Blaney’s speech and protesting the label of anti-Semitism.
Nicholson’s response merely repeated the talking points first used by Blaney at the UN, and the government’s vow not to tolerate boycotts.
But in response to specific questions about what “zero tolerance” of BDS means, and how it will be enforced, Blaney aide Josee Sirois gave CBC News a much clearer picture of the government’s intent.
“I can tell you that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of laws against hate crime anywhere in the world,” wrote Sirois.
She highlighted what she termed “hate propaganda” provisions in the Criminal Code criminalizing the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, and further noted that “identifiable group” now includes any section of the public distinguished by “among other characteristics, religion or national or ethnic origin.”
She also referred to Criminal Code provisions requiring that a judge consider hate, bias or prejudice when sentencing an offender.
“We will not allow hate crimes to undermine our way of life, which is based on diversity and inclusion,” she concluded.
So our ‘Conservative’ government wants to out-do progs in championing ‘diversity’, ‘inclusiveness’, and ‘hate crime’ legislation, which they are bent on using to attack freedom of speech, conflating opposition to Israel’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with anti-Semitism, wanting to show the world that they’re the Tribe’s biggest ‘Shabbos goy’.
I’m pretty much neutral on the Israel/Palestine issue, but that’s not the point; this is a breathtakingly audacious, arrogant, totalitarian attack on freedom of speech, and a smear against anyone who has legitimate issues with Israel’s policies. I’m not a big fan of leftists like Quakers or the United Church of Canada, etc., and I question the ultimate effectiveness of boycotts, but that’s besides the point; it’s a legitimate act, that people should, in a liberal democracy, be free to support and encourage. Israel doesn’t have any inherent ‘right’ to the world’s business; if countries and individuals decide to boycott them, there’s nothing wrong with that; it certainly isn’t necessarily motivated by hatred and bigotry – but so what if for some, it is? Apparently neo-cons are ready to join progs in punishing ‘thought-crimes’…
And it’s pretty stupid, too – this will not stand up in court; it’s sure to be overturned – and it will give the Liberals and NDP a big hammer to use against the government, from now till the next election.
Stupid and evil.
I’m tempted to vote Liberal or NDP next time around, rather than simply not voting as per my usual practice, just on principle, against this government, to try to hasten its demise.
*Update: They’re denying it…