“…O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst… Amen.”The War Prayer, by Mark Twain
If you like movies, take 10 minutes and watch this YouTube epilog of Mark Twain’s classic The War Prayer. Then, watch this short clip video of “Christian Zionists” John Hagee and Benny Hinn praying for war. What difference do you see? Did 100 years change anything? Looks like the same prayer, doesn’t it? If you are in the habit of praying for war (as these two videos show), then this message is probably not for you, and I apologize for wasting your time. On the other hand, if you are even a little bit concerned about losing freedom of expression of religious beliefs in Canada, then please stay with me for the next few minutes.
Who Says It Can’t Happen Here?
Some of my Christian friends say: “What are you talking about? That stuff can’t happen here, Canada is a democracy. Besides, the government has just established an Office of Religious Freedom (Feb. 2013).” True; but Canada already prosecutes worshippers for their religious beliefs. Clergy are threatened with jail time and forced to pay huge fines, and are banned for life if they want to communicate their religious beliefs! Is this what we expect in a democracy?
Could It Get Worse?
Perhaps. I think it’s possible. It’s gradual and takes time, of course. For example, the present government of Canada has already eliminated religious reference from its expanded immigration handbook (2013) by deleting the lyrics of “O Canada” (“God keep our land glorious and free“). Will Canada someday become like “democratic” Germany where, recently, expressing a religiously incorrect opinion is equated with committing a violent action and therefore punishable by prison sentence? Who knows for sure? Will it get as bad as martial law imposed overnight in Boston during the Boston Marathon? Who knows for sure? You’ll recall that last month the ordinary people of Cyprus had up to 40% of their bank savings stolen (without warning) by their government. Not surprisingly, Canada introduced the same theft clause in its 2013 federal budget which allows our federal government to steal a major portion of your bank account in Canada’s major banks! So, you see, government theft of your bank savings can’t happen here in Canada, it’s a democracy, right? You get the idea. We don’t know for sure what will happen.
What’s Happening Now
So, what’s all this fuss got to do with religious freedom? Quite a lot, I would like to say. The enemies of religious freedom want to steal your religious freedom in the same way. Martial law might come, who knows. But before we get to martial law, there is something happening in Canada right now that could help postpone more severe restrictions on freedom of religious expression, and you can make it happen.The House of Commons has already passed Bill C-304 (Protecting freedom). This Bill would rightly eliminate Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and thereby abolish the “hate speech” provision of the Act. What this means to you, the religious person, (and believers of non-religious philosophies) is that you will no longer be thrown into jail, or fined (a type of forced labour), or banned for life from expressing your religious views by offending someone! To me, this is a good thing. But it isn’t yet law in Canada. Bill C-304 will become law IF the Senate passes it. This is where you come in. It is in 2nd reading in the Senate and Senators are sitting on it. If they wait long enough, they won’t have to deal with it, as it will die on the order paper.
Members of Parliament Who Voted To Restrict Your Religious Freedom
The enemies of free speech, especially of religious expression, are ever present, and here’s a list of who voted to possibly imprison you, fine you, or restrict your religious views: how Members of Parliament voted for Protecting Freedom (Bill C-304): 153 voted Yes (for freedom), while 136 voted No (against freedom). According to the Pew Forum Christians are the largest religious group in Canada and worldwide. If we lose more of our religious freedoms, we have only ourselves to blame. As comedian George Carlin would say, “Is this the best we can do folks?”
Easiest Thing You Can Do Now
Write to your own Provincial Senators, or all Senators if you have the time and energy. Here’s the list: Senators by province with their email addresses. Keep your letter polite. A sample letter follows at the end. I’ve already received very nice replies from Senators who are following this free speech debate. If you don’t have a lot of time, just write a one line note asking them to vote for Bill C-304 (Protecting freedom). It’s that easy. Feel free to send this essay, or parts of it, to your friends. Remember, human rights written on paper do not guarantee religious freedom or free speech (ask the former Soviet Union). If it did, all countries of the world would be following Article 19–Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” But as we all know, this is not current reality. And in Canada, free expression is being eroded gradually so that we don’t even realize it.