Archive for August, 2003

They came by the thousands. On buses, on foot, in their cars and in their vans. They came from Montreal and Toronto, mostly. Driving to the Supreme Court where participants for National Marriage Day gathered, we saw them in their buses and on the street corners with their signs and banners boldly affirming traditional marriage. As my family and friends approached the grounds, you could not miss the seas of red in front of the Supreme Court. Organized. Efficient. Disciplined. Numerous.

And Chinese.

Some were Baptist. Some were Pentecostal. Some were non-denominational. It didn’t matter here, though. They arrived to fight a war together as Christians, and they came prepared. All attired in bold red T-shirts with the image of a man and woman emblazoned on them, they were sending a message to Canada and its politicians: don’t mess with marriage.

They organized themselves into what could only be described as military columns. Behind wide, red banners affirming traditional marriage, hundreds of Chinese Christians fell into formation. Each formation had a commander who telecommunicated with their field general. They moved only on his command. And when the command was given to begin the March to Parliament Hill, they marched – with precision and purpose. In total, I think they may have accounted for at least 40% of the entire crowd. It didn’t matter, though. The rest of us knew leadership when we saw it, and we simply fell into line and marched with them.

When we arrived at Parliament Hill, the crowd settled in from the march. I made my way up the stairs to confer with the principal organizer for the Event. Gazing over the crowd, I estimated at least 10,000 people based on other rallies on the Hill. It was a good and respectable turn out. Sadly, however, I knew that with more co-operation from certain Christian Churches and their leadership, we could have easily trippled that number.

As the people settled in, Mr. Tim Dooling, the Event’s principal organizer, made a few brief announcements. He made it clear that all those assembled were not there to “hate” or “bash” anyone. The objective of the event was only to oppose same-sex marriage. Indeed, considering the composition of the crowd and its polite and charitable behaviour, combined with the constant message of God’s love for everyone, the mere suggestion of “hate” would be comical, if it were not taken so seriously by a dum-downed electorate. After the crowd sang the national anthem, Mr. Dooling passed over the podium to the speakers.

Addressing the crowd, Canadian Alliance MP, Cheryl Gallant, (Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke) underscored how the Liberal government has attempted to divide, intimidate and conquer on family issues in order to gain the upper hand. She said, “This is not about equality, or a woman’s right to vote, or about lifestyles or about any other unrelated excuse that is intended to confuse Canadians. This is about one thing: this is about protecting the institution of marriage.”

Rev. William Oosterman of Christian Coalition International cited a number of cases where religious rights were denied in the name of the gay agenda, and the financial and democratic costs Christians were already paying in this country. He gave the crowd an ominious warning: “The Charter of Rights will not protect you. It will be used as a witness against you as people of faith”. He urged his listeners to make the next federal election a referendum on marriage.

Canadian Focus on the Family Vice President, Derek Rogusky, reiterated the necessity of Canadians to remain vigilent in their opposition to policies which attack and undermine the traditional family. He reminded everyone that it was absolutely necessary to get involved in the political and social debate, and keep the pressure on the politicians.

Rev. Paul Holden, a Baptist Minister, explained why he had to give up his license to marry people because of the imminent threat of the government to force clergy to marry homosexuals. Despite the media and the government’s false assurances, he explained how there was a concerted attempt to limit civil marriages in Canada in order to force clergy into the corner. Earlier, Rev. Oosterman related a telephone conversation he had had with a gay man who demanded that he officiate at his marriage to his lover.

Rev. Peter Au, the Chinese spokesman, challenged Prime Minister Chretien to begin a country-wide consultation process and hold a referendum on the issue, which Prime Minister Chretien has refused to do. The Liberal Party is severely underestimating the backlash that is building among ethnic voters who overwhelmingly vote Liberal. Immigrating ethnic communities usually vote for the governing party as a sign of loyalty and respect. However, there is a line which even they will not cross, and marriage is that line. In a bold and determined voice, Rev. Au made a solemn vow to the politicians that Chinese Christian Canadians across this nation will vote against any politician who favours same-sex marriage. Judging by the unanimity and organization which this particular ethnic group showed during the protest, this can only serve as a prime example of how the ethnic vote will be the deciding factor in overturning Canada’s current one-party State.

The current government is divided on the issue. While cabinet ministers are squarely behind the Prime Minister and his legislation, a number of backbech MPs are firmly against it. The Prime Minister has declared that this will not be an issue in the next election, but many in the crowd held up signs saying “My vote counts” and “Vote No and I will vote for you”. The legislation is scheduled to be voted on in 2004.

The press coverage of the event was vintage liberalism. In one of my two interviews with the media, one rather eager reporter asked me how my life would be impacted by two homosexuals getting married. He asked the question, of course, to suggest that I was an irrational religious zealot who would otherwise be unaffected by “two persons in love”. I responded: “When the government legislates homosexual marriage, it is legislating morality. As such, it requires me, through the law, to acknowledge and recognize the homosexual relationship in law as equal to my own heterosexual marriage. This means that when Adam brings in his “spouse”, Steve, into school to discuss his “marriage” with my 6-year old daughter, it most certainly does become my business.”

Some time before the event Mr. Dooling had informed me that the RCMP expected the opposition to be out. I expected hundreds. Less than a dozen turned out. Some opposition. Nevertheless, the media were fawning all over them like some cheap hollywood liberal over their local pro-abort candidate. In one news report, this young teenage lesbian was dutifully informing the camera that all of those nice, polite Christians casually strolling behind her were “hate mongering”. The media laughingly presented the event as a “clash” between views and gave equal air time to both camps, even though the other “side” was outnumbered 10,000 to 12.

The CBC, Canada’s national broadcaster (which I affectionately call the “Communist Broadcasting Corporation”), somehow got a hold of socialist NDP Leader, Jack Layton, who showed up to give his support to the dozen or so gay marriage supporters. Offering his gay soundbite for the event, he took the opportunity to challenge Paul Martin, the soon-to-be Prime Minister, to meet him next month for Gay Pride Day in Quebec. That was the only interview they aired! And, as for the local paper, it scooped up a picture of two teenage lesbians with an elderly gentlemen. Based on their comments, they were obviously very confused, being dutiful drones of the “human rights” brigade.

After the last speaker, Mr. Dooling thanked everyone for coming out, and reminded them that this event and their participation in it were a sign of their committment to kick the gay marriage politicians out of power. The crowd, in turn, thanked him, a sixty-eight year old former Liberal Party member, for his tireless efforts in organizing the event. We all then sang Amazing Grace and went home to turn up the heat on the politicians.

As I told the TV-reporter who ended up airing my interview with her: “The politicians better listen up. If they don’t, there will be a heavy political price to pay at the ballot box during the next election.” If the general electorate is emboldened with only a fraction of the zeal the Chinese Christians showed, Paul Martin will be Prime Minister for about as long as John Turner was. About six months.

John Pacheco with Suzanne Fortin

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The battle for the sanctity of human life today is not really about the peripheral issues surrounding it. Issues like homosexuality, abortion, and genetic manipulations are only the logical outcomes of the worldview espoused by competing forces. The Christian world view does not see the dignity of the human person in terms of utility or action. Rather, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “the dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God” (CCC, 1700). From this simple distinction, it is not difficult to understand that those holding a purely materialistic and worldly view of man will confront and oppose the Church and her teaching. The secular world view sees man as a means to an end. The end, of course, is self-gratification, whether expressed sexually or otherwise. The secular view is necessarily selfish. It does not seek the good of the other, but demands the natural right to gratify itself at the expense of others and human dignity itself. In order to establish this concocted right, the secular order seeks to sustain its propositions of license under the guise of “liberty”. But authentic liberty can never be sustained without appeal to an objective truth. Without such an appeal, the liberty of one group becomes the tyranny perpetrated against another.

In seeking to defend the traditional Christian teaching on morality, our opponents are not interested in being challenged on this issue. They are not interested in reconsidering their defunct and atheistic world view. They are not interested in the arguments against their position from history, anthropology, physiology, psychology, biology, natural law, moral law, or religion. What they are interested in is maliciously painting everyone who disagrees with their encroachments on common sense as individuals who “hate” them. Consider, for instance, the recent outrageous threats of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties against the Vatican’s rather firm yet balanced approach to the question of homosexual ‘marriage’. If the Vatican can be accused of “hate”, then there is really little hope for the rest of us in engaging our opponents.

This charge “hatred” stems from a distorted view of human dignity. Human dignity is not determined by the sexual act or any act, for that matter. Nor is human dignity predicated on utilitarianism. Hence, any Church criticism of any act cannot be considered as an attack on a person’s dignity. The Church believes that man’s dignity is founded in God:

“The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit…” (CCC,364)

As such, man’s intrinsic dignity is irrevocable regardless of the sin man engages in – sexual or otherwise. This means that the homosexual person has an intrinsic dignity which no one can take away precisely because he is created in the image of God. This is something that everyone engaged in this debate needs to understand so that misconceptions can be allayed. The homosexual must understand that when the Church condemns his sexual acts, She is not revoking or undermining his human dignity. Human dignity is not determined by the sexual acts performed. This is why, whether he is celibate, heterosexually active, or homosexually active, man retains his dignity in the face of the abuse of his sexuality. His dignity remains because he remains created in the image of God. Indeed, it is precisely in the abuse of the sexual act that homosexual acts undermine human dignity, although not removing it completely. In today’s culture, however, since there is no conception or possibility of abuse in the sexual arena – as long as it is consensual – any attack on its abuse is falsely understood as an attack on the person.

This is why the Church focuses the attention on the act and not the person or his dignity:

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC,2357)

Although not the basis of his dignity, the sexual act is an expression of how man understands his dignity. When that expression is disordered and against the natural law; when it is against its physiological procreative purpose; and when it is against its moral purpose in affirming the unitive attributes of its essence, then those sexual acts must be rejected and condemned as a grave depravity. Homosexual acts are not life affirming. Neither are they procreative nor unitive. Yet, God is a God of creation and unity. And He has made man in His own image and given him an indispensable part in this noble act of creation.

Physiologically, a penis and a vagina complement one another for the purpose of uniting a husband and wife. They are not merely random biological parts of the body with no substantive purpose. Yet, homosexualism insists that their primary purpose is for sexual self-gratification without recognizing the reality of the procreative element to sex. Our physiology as men and women show us that we are incomplete as a sex without the other. The natural law proves that, in the natural course of human relations, our species cannot survive without conceding our gender limitations. When a man unites himself with a woman, he is implicitly admitting that he is incomplete without her. His completion can only be realized through her affirmation of their union. This affirmation of the heterosexual act is realized through the birth of a child, being the fruit of the union between both persons. It is nature’s way of affirming the inherent goodness of their act. This affirmation is not merely incidental to their union, but in the most profound literal way, a personal realization of that union.

The human person, therefore, cannot divorce the cause of his existence from the sexual act itself. His very existence, his conception is defined by the sexual act of a heterosexual couple. In the natural course of human relationships, no homosexual can define himself other than by the heterosexual act of his parents. He was not, nor could he ever be, called into existence by a homosexual act. Hence, he could never point to the past to justify his act because the act itself denies his very existence, and therefore attacks the dignity of his person in the most grievous way possible. A heterosexual act, on the other hand, can point to the past and to the future and claim its rightful place in human lineage by the natural act of propagation. But the homosexual act cannot point to itself as the basis for the existence of future homosexual persons. In fact, homosexual acts are always dependent on a heterosexual act of creation to sustain their very existence.

Each sexual act is meant to be an affirmation of human existence. Each act affirms the feminine and masculine physical image. Each act is an affirmation of the creation of our first parent and the creation of our last. Each act joins us to history and to all of creation. Homosexual acts are none of these, of course. They do not seek to unite generations. At best, they seek a human unity which cannot survive in the natural order. This is why engaging in contraceptive sex, of which homosexuality is merely a logical corollary, is a contradiction. It is a lie and a self-deception. Intercourse is meant to be an act of total abandonment to the other person. It is meant to be a full and complete sacrifice of self. Yet the object of this complete abandonment and self sacrifice must be capable of receiving the gift of self. Since the human body’s physiology is not merely tangential or incidental to a person or his dignity, man must respect his physical image and the purpose of this physical image in this abandonment.

With this understanding, a man’s total self-abandonment to his wife is correctly ordered since their respective bodies are designed for this self abandonment, and therefore yield the procreative fruit of their mutual self-sacrifice. Homosexual sex, however, is not capable of a complete abandonment because while the emotional and psychological attachment may be perceived to be present, the physical reality points in the opposite direction. The homosexual apologist chooses to dismiss this fact, but in so doing, he only attacks his own person by rejecting his own physiological image and the dignity that such a divine image demands.

Man’s dignity, therefore, has already been established by God. Its foundation rests on man being created in the image of God. This image is reflected in, and expressed by, the complementarity of the sexual act. As such, any proposition which seeks to redefine this truth is an affront to all persons and an attack on the dignity of the human person. By opposing the homosexual act, the Church is affirming its belief in the dignity of all men as created in the image of God. This is the reason the Church can love the homosexual person but hate the sinful act which he engages in. Our intrinsic dignity is not determined by our acts – however good or sinful. It is predicated on man’s immortality as a child of God. Being so ordered, any sinful acts which seek to undermine or negate this relationship can and must be condemned. If any of her children were to abdicate their responsibility to teach this truth, the Church would consider such treason as an affront to the homosexual person who retains their inherent dignity before society and God.

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For the past 35 years, religion has been treated as the proverbial door mat in Canadian politics. Catholic politicians and prime ministers, in particular, have received a whole lot of political mileage from professing their “closet Jesus” with their lips. Being the masters of political ventriliquism, they can show their counterparts in show business a thing or two about simultaneously speaking out of both sides of their mouths. It’s almost worth the price of admission to see the rhetorical gymnastics these fools go through in order to keep their religion safe. It’s not just about safe sex, after all. It’s about safe religion too. If you must practice religion, make sure you wear a political condom to keep the damage to a sustainable level. Above all else, keep that Jesus in the closet and make sure the door is locked when it comes time to legislate.

The duplicity of our elected officials and their supporters in this regard is nothing less than suffocating. The suggestion that religion should have no voice or active participation in the laws of a civil society is a secular and absurd construction with absolutely no historical basis in western democracy. It even lacks the most basic and rudimentary principles of logic or objectivity.

What is religion? One can define religion, in its broad sense, as merely a set of beliefs accepted by a group of people. This understanding would encompass all forms and structures of thought, and therefore there would be no cogent objection to keeping ‘religion’ out of civil legislation since, quite obviously, everyone who participates in public life has some kind of religion – whether this religion is expressed through a political, social, or cultural ideology. Most of our secular opponents, however, do not have this idea of religion. Their idea of religion is much more restricted to a defined set of theistic beliefs. This imposed restriction, however, is merely an artificial, boorish attempt at semantic hide-and-seek. Some secularists seek to assign “religion” exclusively to theistic beliefs. They appear to be completely oblivious to the fact that they are merely transferring divinity from God to themselves as the end of being. As such, there is no real distinction between a ‘secular religionist’ or a ‘theistic religionist’ except on where the object of divinity rests. For the secularist, man is the end. For the theist, God is the end.

In his desperate attempt to isolate and ostracize his theistic counterpart, the secular religionist absurdly claims that he is not “religious” at all. And then goes on to confidently dismiss “religion” as irrelevant to the public. What he fails to appreciate, however, is that he is JUST AS RELIGIOUS as his theistic counterpart – except that instead worshipping another being as God, he worships himself and orders his life toward that end. This, then, is the first case of secular, atheistic fascism: only those who profess themselves as god are capable or worthy of participating in the political process of a civil society. The Theist is a second class citizen who need not apply for membership.

For these secularists, then, there are two simplistic, competing ideologies – the secular and the religious. As long as there is no appeal to a divine or supernatural order in the political or legal world, there is no danger to their established world view. Everything is just swell. Once legislation is proposed which seeks to use a supernatural, theistic basis for its existence, however, the familiar howls of indignation can be heard from miles away. Proponents of such legislation will be deemed “religious zealots” by the secular establishment – religious fanatics who seek to impose their morality on others. Unbeknownst to these people, of course, is that they are in the business of “legislating morality” everyday of their lives. It is just that they do not like it to be overly theistic. Remember the rule, now, secular morality yes; religious morality no.

The bankruptcy of this position is clearly evident for all to see. Only the willfully blind refuse to see it. It is an atheistic fascism pure and simple. If you believe in God and use that belief as a basis for public policy, you will be deemed unsuitable for public life – irrespective of the other merits of your position. As long as the secular and religious objectives are in line with one another, there is no problem. Once there is a divergence between the two, those holding religious convictions are suddenly thrust into the political desert. Never mind that the theist may appeal to cultural, social, anthropological, scientific, philosophical or historical reasons for his position. Never mind all that. As soon as the “R” word is mentioned, one can see the political leprosy begin to grow, and there will be no political messiah to cure it either. Say the “R” word and all bets are off.

There is another group of secularists who are nothing less than a walking contradiction, and amazingly, they comprise a large part of the political establishment in the western world. I am speaking, of course, of that bastion of logic and cogency himself: the Catholic politician. Here is a man who can profess, as being objectively true, his belief in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, but then turn around and sell his faith down the river in order to get elected because, after all, there is no place for religion in secular politics.

This abdication and apostasy, of course, is simply a smoke screen for his own cowardice. In truth, he is more willing to run from the faith of his baptism, than he is to stand and accept the ridicule for believing in his Lord. That’s really the bottom line, and everyone knows it. This silly hermeneutic of separating faith from participation in the political life of a nation is an excuse for political expediency. If this politician were a man of integrity and an authentic democrat, he would offer the convictions of his faith as an alternative to his constituents. And let them vote on it. Instead, he panders to the secularists, atheists, and fascists. He is a useful idiot for them; a slave of the culture of death. A good son of Pontius Pilate he is.

Like a good Clintonian, he foolishly thinks that he can separate his personal convictions from his public ones. If he is dishonest in his personal life, then quite obviously this duplicity would never ever migrate into his public life. Everyone knows that. There is this clear line in the sand that no politician would ever dream of crossing, you see. If he is an immoral recalcitrant in his personal life, that doesn’t affect his public duties. It’s part of his political nature to lie in his personal life but be completely honest to his electorate. Of course. It’s soooo obvious – don’t you see it? He lives in two separate worlds. They are separate. He can cheat, lie, manipulate and blaspheme his God in his personal life by the public positions he takes, but his weakness, cowardice, and wickedness are not permitted to influence any other decisions he makes in public office. Right.

Let us be frank: what our bankrupt culture really wants is a smooth liar to sell them smooth lies.

And if the media professes him to be a “staunch” Catholic? Not to worry – that too won’t impact his duties to “the people”. He’ll leave Jesus in the closet where He belongs, except on Judgment Day perhaps where he might find Him somewhat useful. And speaking of judgment, he is quick to inform us that God will only judge him in his “personal faith life”. God will certainly not hold him accountable for the perverse and immoral legislation that he promotes in this world. After all, God is not a religious fanatic. More than anyone, God understands that when you put on that three piece suit and sit in that leather chair in Parliament, you’re no longer subject to the moral law you professed just 24 hours previously. You are now above it all. He understands. Really, He does.

And what about all of those politicians who used their religion as a basis to better the human condition? What of them? Tommy Douglas was a Christian minister who championed universal health care in Canada. He became the father of medicare in this country. I don’t see many leftists telling him to check his religion at the door. No one with an ounce of dignity would suggest that his religion had nothing to do with views on universal health care. Consider also former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. While not exactly a faithful Roman Catholic during his life, his warped Catholicism had a profound role in shaping Canadian society. He was a big fan of “Catholic” theologian Theillard de Chardin. Yet, you won’t hear nay a word of this little uncomfortable fact by the secularists. Mums the word here. ‘Cause they like that kind of religion. I wonder if our opponents would be so open to repealing the liberalizing influences of de Chardin. After all, we don’t want religion influencing public policy. And that brings us to what this is really all about. This is not about religion per se, but a particular kind of religion. Everybody knows it. Let’s all just have the courage to come out and say it.

This, then, represents the second case of secular, atheistic fascism. This fascism is supported by the “Catholic” politician who has contempt for himself and for his constituents by refusing to stand for his faith. He has become a symbol of capitulation and abdication. He is true neither to himself, nor to his constituents, nor to his God. The first kind of fascism was dominated by persons who revile theistic religion as a principle. This second kind of fascism serves, and is a slave to, the first kind. While not having the integrity to stand for the convictions of their faith in the public sphere, they become political schizos professing Christ with their lips on Sunday and denying Him with those same lips on Monday. This way, they can have their proverbial cake and eat it too. Their masters have already told them: if you must practice your religion, remember to do it safely. Keep your political condoms on.

With the Vatican’s recent directions to Catholic politicians to fight the culture of death, the gloves have come off. There is no more room for pretenders. There is no more diplomatic mumbo jumbo. Every Catholic must decide where they will stand. Either you are with the Vicar of Christ or you are not. In the past, a Catholic politician could dance around his faith, but those days are now gone. If he continues his dance, the public will no longer tolerate his intellectual dishonesty. Even our opponents are beginning to tire of the dance. It’s time for a different tune. So what’s it going to be, Mr. Catholic Politician? “Ave Maria” or “Sympathy for the Devil”?

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