Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh Woe, The Christian is Persecuted

Via Canadian Cynic, I find myself directed to the most amazing piece of illogic I have read in a long time.

The writer seems to think that there is a logical comparison between the idiot treatment of Mark Tushingham by the CPC government, and Chris Kempling. After all, both are cases of "free speech" being abrogated.

WRONG. How utterly, vastly WRONG.

Tushingham is an environmental scientist who wrote - and got published - a piece of speculative fiction and was ordered not to talk about it by his employer.

Kempling was (is?) a teacher/guidance counsellor in a school setting who wrote several 'letters to the editor' that were blatantly homophobic.

If you were wondering about the moral equivalence here, it's nonexistent.

Tushingham interacts primarily with adults, Kempling was providing counselling to students.

Tushingham wrote a "what if" speculation based on his ideas about what could happen if global warming goes awry.

Kempling wrote a bunch of moralizing letters based on HOW HE THOUGHT the gay community behaves. (Given that Mr. Kempling refers to NARTH on his own website, I'd hazard a wild guess that quantitative research on sexual minority populations isn't big on his list of experiences).

Kempling's job made him a fairly high profile person in a small community. Word travels in small towns - fast. Any student that was GLBT would have found themselves unable to access Kempling as a credible counsellor for anything after those letters were published. Do you think that just maybe Mr. Kempling made the school(s) he worked in a less "safe" place for a small number of students?

Do I need to point out that prior to Minister Ambrose's ham-fisted action, nobody had even heard of Tushingham outside of his immediate circles? His job wasn't one that puts him in a position of "authority" over others, and his target audience for writing is clearly adults.

Of course, the "Christian Right" wants you to believe that Mr. Kempling was "only exercising his right to free speech"; that he was being persecuted for stating his religious convictions publicly.

One has to look at the impact of the actions involved. As far as I can tell, nothing in Tushingham's work would be jeopardized by him giving that speech. His ability to carry out his work effectively is not compromised, nor is his judgement being called into question. Kempling, on the other hand, by his own actions sent out a message to his students that effectively put them "on notice" that he was prepared to be discriminatory towards a small fraction of them. (a small, but very vulnerable, fraction)

The reason that you cannot compare Kempling's case with Tushingham's is pretty obvious - they aren't equivalent. Nor was Kempling being "persecuted" for being "Christian".

1 comment:

BC WaterBoy said...

Call me stupid, but I just don't get why the "christian" feels the need to castigate gay people in the name of religious freedom, freedom of speech or whatever other bullshit phrase they choose. Are gay people expected to just sit back and take the abuse hurled by the likes of this Kemp character? There is a fine line between free speech and religious freedom. Religious freedom ought not surpass freedom to believe in the divine. It has absolutely no business being in the realm of judging others or being "opposed to the promotion of...certain lifestyles", as it is so pathetically described, let alone in the establishment of laws or equal treatment under same. If the religious freedom arguement is used, then racism, sexism, anti-semitism is justifiable with the disgusting rampant homophobia that pollutes our society.