Nasty Words and the Winds of Change

In the midst of all our other problems, Canada is now pondering reinstating the authoritarian internet hate-speech law, C-13, which as the article states, ‘made it a discriminatory practice to convey messages over the phone or internet that contain “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt,” as long as those people were “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

This all sounds nice and comfy, at least at the emotional level on which most people apparently live:  Like Gollum might say, ‘don’t be nasty’.

But at a more rational level, it is and always has been dangerous and counter-productive to give such power to the State and its legions of bureaucrats, most of them in Canada full to the core with Liberal ideology.  How are they to determine what speech is ‘discriminatory’, and what might expose someone to ‘hatred or contempt’, all vague, inchoate terms that have no place in law, which must be specific and clear? As I wrote sometime back in my reflection on Josef Pieper’s own take on these matters, a government that controls speech is a thinly-veiled totalitarianism.

We should keep in mind that Nazi Germany had one of the strictest anti-hate speech laws in history, and a fat lot of good it did them. Unless we allow even erroneous views (or what someone deems to be ‘erroneous) to be exposed to the fresh air of vigorous debate, critique and rebuttal, asinine and even ‘hateful’ views will go underground, fester, and eventually be released as violence.

Justin Trudeau continues his own ideological crusade, arguing at the Devos summit for women’s equality, family planning, and an end to the pay gap between men and women (which as Professor Jordan Peterson pointed out in his now-famous BBC interview has many more fundamental causes than simply ‘gender’), and on and on. Fiddling with his own ideological fetishes while Canada’s economy burns. He still will not rescind that abortion attestation, and I am now rather confident he never will. Trudeau has his finger to the wind, and knows well that most Canadians will eventually just shrug, and, along with his other policies, get used to it. As he and his dear old Dad said, ‘just watch me’.  Well, Mr. Trudeau, God is watching as well, and He matters more than our own purview of your actions.

I will not for now comment on the recent deeds and remarks of Pope Francis, the in-flight supposedly-impromptu marriage, the curious defense of his bishop accused of aiding and abetting child abuse, the call for proof, and the accusation of calumny, all of which have been dealt with in greater detail in other venues.  Whatever the truth in all of this, and what is behind the media smoke and mirrors, I am more and more convinced that God gave us the pontificates of John Paul and Benedict, and their vast body of clear and precise teaching, to guide us through these tumultuous days, tossed by the winds of ambiguity, and the waves of wobbly teaching crashing into the barque. All I will say is, pray for the Holy Father, for the Church, that all this unfolds in God’s good providence and His own time, in truth, in justice, in charity.

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