If you swallow the Anti-Defamation League’s line, you’d think that in Canada, where Christians are less free to express themselves, Jews would also be less free. But this isn’t the case. Jews are more upfront about their ethnic ties in this nation where Christianity is more virulently suppressed and denied free expression of conscience. The ADL’s proudest accomplishment—“anti-hate” federal laws in Canada and most of Europe—has produced the opposite of universal liberty: freedom for a privileged few.
In a fascinating article published in Jewish Political Studies Review (11:3-4, 1999), Irwin Otler contrasts Jewish activism in Canada with its counterpart in the United States. He argues that Canadian Jewish organizations differ from their American counterparts in that they more freely assert their ethnic “tribal” identity. For instance, they seek government support of Jewish religious schools.
Otler reviews how Canadian Jewish groups led the charge to overturn the Lord’s Day Act (which required stores to close every Sunday for the previous 75 years), mandated school prayer, and mandated Christian “religious education” in Canada. At the same time, they supported the building of a succa (Jewish religious symbol) at Toronto’s city hall and a menorah on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. The Canadian Jewish Congress even went to court to force the Canadian government to financially assist Jewish religious education. They said failure to subsidize Jewish education would deny freedom of religion and equality, as specified in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, passed in 1982.
Canadian Jews’ boldness should not come as a surprise, given that Canada has instituted the ADL’s Orwellian “anti-hate” laws, designed primarily to silence free debate about Jews, Judaism, and Israel. Christianity has been gagged in Canada, where the Bible qualifies as “hate literature” because of its condemnation of sin.
At the same time, it is surprising if you have been at all influenced by the PR mask worn by major Jewish groups like ADL. Such massive powerful Jewish organizations depict themselves as working benevolently for freedom and justice. They adamantly support “separationist” church/state policies as necessary for the freedom of all Americans. They claim concern for nationwide freedom is their only reason for opposing Christians' religious school vouchers or Christian symbols on public grounds.
But Canada shows the real intent and result of ADL hate laws. They protect Jews from the slightest criticism, while preventing Christians from expressing our sincerest convictions, our own “tribal” traditions of same-gender married sex, preservation of innocent life, glorification of Jesus, etc. The very activist forces intent to shield Judaism (and homosexuality and moral relativism) are intent to erode Christianity and traditional morality. The forces (spearheaded by Jewish activists) behind Canada’s Charter and anti-hate laws got a lot of their political steam from condemning western, Christian civilization for complicity with the Holocaust (and a heap of deeply mythologized sins such as slavery, colonial misdeeds, and mistreatment of native Americans). Many academic elites seem to earn their entire paychecks by shaming, silencing, and judging our white, western, largely Christian forebears.
Thus, the ADL and its cohorts aren’t trying to create free and equal treatment but very unequal treatment—preferential privileging of Jews and some others and disparagement and silencing of Christians and western traditionalists. Canadian Jews, for example, have shaped a nation in which an official orthodoxy about sex is enforced. A progressive indulgent view of homosexuality is the only tolerable perspective. The opposing viewpoint, which condemns same-gender sex on moral grounds, is censored.
Don't Censor My Conscience
This could quickly happen here in the United States. Supporters of “anti-hate” legislation use the same doublespeak that occurs in Canada. Supporters of speech bans and hate laws claim that people who experience others’ moral disapproval are so burdened and stigmatized that they become less politically free or equal. Censorship of moral disapproval is the only way to ensure their rights and political freedom. But this is just a good-sounding justification for censorship as brutal as a duct-tape gag and a knife blade against the ribs.
Religious conservatives who judge homosexuality are not declaring gays to be less politically equal! They are declaring a certain behavior to be immoral. The expression of moral judgment must not be made illegal, ever. Think about this: Even the most stubborn moral relativist (the kind of person who justifies “open” marriages) will say that Hitler was immoral, was less morally equal. He may or may not wish to deprive a present-day Hitler supporter of political rights. But that’s a separate question. The expression of moral judgments must be separated from the idea of “equality,” which is swung around like a club with which to knock senseless anyone who wishes to express moral disapproval.
Social judgment is a fact of life, and not a bad one, either. Almost everyone (at least this side of the Atlantic) agrees that pedophiles deserve public disapproval. Dateline NBC now markets this verdict with their ultimate shaming program, “To Catch a Predator,” which airs with disturbing frequency. In these episodes, NBC’s host makes would-be pedophiles sweat during sting operations. Millions of Americans tune in to unapologetically despise, squirm over, and marvel at these creeps (many of whom look like the guy next door). Nobody steps up for the perps; no public outcry demands that NBC stop “defaming” or hurting the feelings of this very identifiable group: child predators. Moral judgment about this behavior is completely widespread throughout society, almost unanimous.
But sometimes (in fact, frequently) one or two courageous individuals must take the part of prophet, challenging social stasis by expressing moral disapproval of something that is not unanimously judged. This was the case with slavery. William Wilberforce, a valorous 18th-century Christian, spoke out against slavery in England at a time when it was not universally condemned. He didn’t express a broadly accepted viewpoint, like NBC’s “Predator” show. Instead, he heroically championed a position of moral and Biblical truth that had been covered with a sludge of justifications and excuses. Wilberforce spoke much like the critics of Christian Zionism today, who dare to criticize Judaism and Christian support of Israel in a time when America has fallen prey to false theology and ruinous foreign policy.
What if “anti-hate” laws had been around in the time of Wilberforce? Imagine “anti-hate” legislation wielded by the Anti-Defamation League of British Slave Holders, who demanded Wilberforce stop damaging the feelings of this very “identifiable group.”
Protect America from Hate Laws
Today, in an era of increasingly globalized and concentrated power, laws against the expression of conscience have never been more dangerous.
We can’t give the government (meaning whoever’s in power) the tools to silence the expression of conscience. Religious and political speech is the most volatile, controversial, feelings-hurting kind. It’s also the most valuable because it incites, leads, and justifies individual and national action.
At this point, an ivory tower debate about speech is a little lame. We’ve already got on-the-ground evidence about “anti-hate” laws’ architects and their political motives and about the establishment and use of “anti-hate” legislation. We have 37 years of damning proof from Canada.
“Anti-hate” laws are a political weapon designed to silence certain segments of the population—primarily conservatives, Christians, and critics of Israel and Judaism. They are intended to shut down free political and religious speech, enforcing by law the current orthodoxies of unconditional support of Israel, moral relativism (particularly about sex), unlimited immigration and cultural relativism, and denunciations of the United States, God, and our western, Judeo-Christian heritage.
Let’s face it: Hate laws won’t make public discourse any more polite or any kinder and gentler. That’s not why they were designed. They have almost nothing to do with protecting innocents from hate. They are about censorship. The ultimate aim of “anti-hate” laws is exemplified by Israel, the world’s foremost religious, racist state. There, Jews have the ultimate freedom to express their “tribal” identity while denying Arab rights and also the expression of Christianity like crosses and evangelism. The Zionist spirit is shared by Jews who support Israel and ADL around the world. It is certainly the reason Canadian Jews want Christian pastors to be penalized for expression of conscience, while simultaneously requiring Christian taxpayers to actually pay for Jewish religious education.
Recently I visited a small boutique in downtown Portland with my sister. The store’s glass windows were posted with several signs saying that “derogatory remarks of an ethnic, homophobic, or sexist nature” would not be permitted in the store. But inside, shelves were filled with smutty giftware defaming the President, the Vice President, and men in general—calling them profane names and depicting them naked, as monkeys and asses. The shop was a perfect capsule of “anti-hate” laws’ double standard. Far from purifying society from hatred and bigotry, “anti-hate” laws protect the prejudices of the powerful while eliminating the freedom of speech and thought that enables pursuit of truth. “Anti-hate” laws aren’t used to elevate public conversation or ban offensive speech. They’re used to silence some people and ban some viewpoints while permitting free reign to others. “Anti-hate” laws actually empower and institutionalize hate. There are no laws more dangerous than these. There is nothing more worthy of our attention and energy.
If you want “anti-hate” laws, move north of the border. Hands off the land of the free! That’s the message we must send to the House and Congress, which are now reviewing a slew of "anti-hate" legislation that would bring ADL’s chains to our federal government and destroy our unique and precious First Amendment rights. Please call your House and Senate representatives now and tell them to say no to hate laws in any and every shape!
Harmony Grant writes and edits for National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group. Read more of her work at www.hisnamesake.blogspot.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to video.google.com for the whole story of how ADL took away free speech in Canada and wants to do the same in America. Watch Rev. Pike’s “Hate Crimes: Making Criminals of Christians,” also available at www.truthtellers.org in VHS or DVD for $24.90 postpaid.
The federal hate bill, H.R. 254, remains in the House Judiciary Committee, awaiting action. Call all 40 members, available at www.truthtellers.org and protest.
Also call your House member and two state senators at 1-877-851-6437. Send them and their influential legislative aides Rev. Ted Pike's flyer, "Anti-Hate Laws Will Make You a Criminal." All this information is available at www.truthtellers.org.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Pike! Call 503-631-3808.
National Prayer Network
P.O Box 828, Clackamas, OR 97015