Sunday, August 03, 2008

Follow-up on recent B.C. Human Rights Tribunal complaint

In my earlier weblog on the recent decision by Dean Skoreyko to take a complaint to the BC Human Rights Tribunal, I mentioned that if "such a complaint helps put these tribunals out of their misery or motivates reform, then it may serve a useful purpose, but I doubt that this will be the result, nor do I think that this is his intent."

I received a one line email yesterday from Dean in which he states that this is exactly his intent. So, I admit that I was wrong. But I am left wanting to know more.

I confess to being intrigued by this approach that Dean is taking here, although I still have mixed feelings about what I consider an abuse of the tribunal complaint system being used even for a purpose that I agree with. Of course, one could also argue that Dean is simply making the most of a stupid system in order to get it fixed.

I would be interested to know what the rest of you think. And if you are reading this, Dean, feel free to get in touch again and explain more about what your thinking is here. I will be happy to give you some space to let your views be known.

<a href="">Do you agree with Skoreyko's complaint to the BC HR tribunal?</a> <a href="">BuzzDash</a>


Al said...

I'm not convinced this is the best approach nor that it will put a tribunal out of its misery. 2 points: 1. Is a potitician the best person to file the suit? Although he may know enough about the system it could look more like posturing and be less effective. 2. We might consider how others would respond if the banner proclaimed the same about their prophet to help set apart our actions.

Reminds me of the 2 sons who were asked to work in their fathers vineyard. Many proclaim their faith by 'towing' Jesus loves you signs on their bumpers and proceed to cut and swerve in front of people (and worse). However the son who did rightly was the one who worked in the vineyard. Why not remember that they are still entiled to repentance and by gods grace could oneday work in his vineyard. How will a tribunal help that? We are not meant to drag people into the courts we are meant to forgive.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say I definitely disagree with this response. What we are now suggesting is any type of free speech must be squelched. This will only lead to further reductions in our rights as Christians to speak about our own beliefs, which we know is an offensive gospel to those who do not believe. I suggest we forgive and educate, (witness to others about the hope that is within us) and let Christ be the judge, not a fallible human judge.

Anonymous said...

I emailed this to you, Glenn, but I thought it may be interesting for others to read. I prefer to stay annonymous at this point though. Thanks.

My question is regarding the "Jesus sucks" banner and the response Dean made to it. I don't know that I agree with going to court about it...but I do wonder how this applies to other situations in Canada.

For example, many churches have bought into the fact that homosexuality is good, whereas I believe the Bible teaches it is against his standards to practice homosexuality. So now, what should my response be when I see these gay pride parades all across Ontario? I certainly don't agree with it is "right" or good or effective to stand with signs and take a stand that offers hope - JESUS - and shares the truth of repentance for sin?

I guess it boils down to this: in any situation, how ought a Christian respond to something that is "wrong" or "untrue" according to Biblical standards while still respecting freedom of speech. We are thankful for the freedom we have in Canada (as compared to so many other countries), but at the same time, tolerance isn't really the issue either. I welcome your thoughts!!!

Glenn Penner said...

I am not sure that protests, in and of themselves, are an effective way of offering hope in Jesus or sharing the truth of repentance. Richard Wurmbrand often mentioned that he thought a far more effective means of reaching our opponents was to invite them for a meal. He is probably right. If we are not prepared to share the love of Christ, we should be hesitant to show the anger of God against sin (i.e. through protesting). As time as gone on, I am less and less enthusiastic about protesting, I must confess. At least, the signs and picketing type. Letter writing, personal conversations, and other forms of advocacy, I think, are more effective.

As for freedom of speech, I agree with a recent comment I read that pointed out that freedom of speech means little unless it includes speech at the extreme ends of the ideological (and sanity) spectrum. Tolerance does not mean that I have to agree with those who spout hatred and other distasteful messages, but the proper response is not to seek to shut them down but to counter their message with one of love and truth. This is the call of the Christian. We have no right to be protected from being offended nor should we support those who would try to protect us from that. It would be very easy for the tables to be turned on us. For 2000 years the message of Christ has been offensive. And in today's world, where the exclusive claims of Christ are seen as being narrow-minded, bigoted and intolerant, we need to defend the right to say offensive things for in doing so we defend our own right to speak.