6/29/2007

Political Differences Between Christians: Part II

(The following is not an apologetic for Christianity. If you are not a religious Christian, you may find some of my statements offensive. I will only be supporting any questions about what I have to say with Scripture, so you may find it unhelpful. Sorry for the inconvenience. An apologetic is best left for another time.)

Where the religious right and leftist or liberal Christians differ often regards what to do where society is in direct disobedience to God. All genuine Christians acknowledge that the world is in sin and it must be saved. This salvation can only be accomplished by God.
How do we react to sin in ourselves? How do we react to sin in our fellow believer? How do we react to sin in unbelievers? The answer to the first question dictates the answer to the other two.
All genuine Christians who have been converted by the power of the Holy Spirit know that we are called to flee from sin and temptation, put off the "old man," produce good spiritual fruits and strive towards obedience. When we sin, we are expected to repent and turn from our sin quickly. We are also expected to produce spiritual fruits worthy of repentance. (I Kings 8:46-48, Job 34: 32-33, Isaiah 59: 20, Jeremiah 15: 18-20, Jeremiah 31: 18-20, Matthew 3:8, Acts 2:37-39, Acts 20: 20,21, II Corinthians 7:10, 11 etc...)
Dealing with a fellow Christian who sins is no different. There are many portions of Scripture that instruct us how to do this. Matthew 18 states that when you see your brother in sin, you are to go to him directly and quietly and confront him with it. Leviticus 19: 17 states that we are to rebuke our brother frankly and so avoid sharing in guilt. It is important to notice that Christians are not given any license to ignore their brother's sin. There is nothing in the Bible that can be used to argue "what's good for you is good for you and what's good for me is good for me." Far from it. Nathan did not go to David and tell him it was ok to sleep with Bathsheba. Elijah did not tell Ahab and Jezebel they could continue to serve idols. Peter did not tell the crowds that they did right in executing Jesus. If we ignore the sin of our brother and do not rebuke him, then we share in the sin. We are disobeying God's Word if we do not rebuke our sinning brother, since there are so many verses instructing us to do it. (Leviticus 19: 17, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Matthew 18: 15-17, Luke 17:1-4, Galatians 6:1-3, I Timothy 5:19-20, I John 2:1, I John 5:16-18, etc...) Furthermore, we show the ultimate lack of love when we allow our brothers and sisters to walk a path we know could end in their ultimate destruction. Our obedience to God will naturally be reflected in how we deal with the sin of our fellow Christians: rebuke in humility and love and upon their repentance, forgive.
This practice is also extended to the world. The world is not to be left to itself. Christians have been given the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). We have been instructed to go into the world and preach the Gospel. Everyone is to repent and believe, be saved and be baptised. There are no exceptions. God demands worship. He demands obedience. We are to live, preach and teach His Word.
Put another, very unpopular way it's this: what God says is good for me, He says is good for you. Not only does He expect me not to sin, He expects you not to sin. He demands your obedience just as much as He demands mine. He is deserving of your worship just as He is deserving of mine. Anyone who tells you the Bible does not say this is either ignorant of what the Bible says or is deliberately lying to your face. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess God (Isaiah 45:22-24). It's only a matter of whether you bow now in life or after you are dead.
Every Christian knows that this is the one aspect of our message that unbelievers do not like to hear. It can make for such an uncomfortable face to face conversation. It can result in arguments, broken friendships, insults being hurled and all kinds of accusations of being judgemental. As Christians we can either obey God in this matter, or we can sin and say nothing and make the world feel comfortable.
An important side note must be made before I continue. Christians may not preach to the world or rebuke their fellow believer and continue to walk in sin themselves. This is hypocrisy. Rather, our attitude must always be "but for God's grace there go I."
Back to politics.
The religious right proceed from the belief that God is deserving of everyone's worship. Worship is not restricted to Sunday morning church services. Worship encompasses the entire life of a Christian. God is to be first in everything. Our personal lives are to reflect Him. Our homes are to reflect Him. Our businesses and schools are to reflect Him. Our healthcare, laws and treatment of the poor are all to reflect Him. This is not the Church interfering with the State, lest anyone should think that argument could apply. This is the State desiring to do God's Will. The religious right does not argue that the State be compelled through force to do as the Bible commands. Instead, it argues that the State should desire to do God's will. It is simply another way of articulating to the world that it is lost and must be saved. If the State desired to do God's Will, then it would not pass laws sanctioning things like same-sex marriage.
Put another way, the religious right are doing what every Christian is supposed to do. The religious right call the world, specifically the State, to repent and be obedient to God. The only difference is that they use the political forum to do so. This is not forbidden in the Bible, but encouraged. This was the role of every prophet who ever lived: to remind the king Who it was that put him there.
Because as Jesus said to Pilate, you have no authority unless it is given to you by God.

Political Differences Among Christians: Part I

Yesterday, an interesting question was posted regarding why Christians have different opinions on serious issues.
I have to wonder how it is that the HS can teach opposite things to people, so opposite that they end up disagreeing on nearly everything political, and perhaps even a few things theological...What I don't understand is how I can be led by the Holy Spirit to different conclusions about the way Christians should be involved in and affected by politics. I believe the right is wrong on most things. For the most part, I have good reasons (theological, spiritual, philosophical and practical reasons) to think so. So why do we both come to different and opposite conclusions at the prodding of the Holy Spirit?

The premise of this question is wrong. It presumes that the Holy Spirit does, in fact, teach people opposite things. However, we know from Scripture that God is immutable. He does not change. He does not lie. He does not contradict Himself. (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Psalm 33:11, Psalm 119:89, Malachi 3:6a, Hebrews 1:12b, Hebrews 6:17, 18, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17b) The Holy Spirit cannot teach people opposite or mutually exclusive things. It may teach people different things based their circumstances (ie: how to preach versus how to deal with a wayward child) but that is clearly not the same as opposite things.
It is incorrect to assume that all thoughts and beliefs held by Christians are necessarily inspired by the Holy Spirit. In fact, such a belief is very dangerous as it will lead Christians into sin. R.C. Sproul illustrates this concept well in his book "The Intimate Marriage." He discusses the number of times he has counseled Christian couples who honestly believe God wants them to get a divorce, despite the fact that the Bible expressly forbids it (except for infidelity). The steps of this myth are typically as follows:
1. I wish God would allow me to do something sinful.
2. I do it.
3. I claim Divine approval for my actions.
4. I state that it was God who led me to disobey in the first place, therefore I was not actually disobeying but doing the right thing.
The most famous historical example of someone who used this line of "logic" is Henry VIII. This is exactly how he justified his marriages, divorces and beheadings. His actions lead to the creation of a state-run church of which he was the head. A Biblical example would be the life of Saul before his conversion. As noted in Acts and in Paul's letters, Saul believed that persecuting the early Christian church was the will of God. Clearly, he thought wrong.
Christians must examine their own hearts and minds to ensure that what they believe does correspond to Scripture. Paul admonishes us in I Corinthians 11:28 & 31 and II Corinthians 13:5 to examine and judge ourselves. Christians are to be humble, teachable and poor in spirit. This is a very difficult and humbling process, which will not be completed in us until we are in glory.
Sinful thought is not the only explanation for different opinions between Christians. Christians are often genuine in their desire to do good. Their similar views are supported by Scripture. However, two Christians may differ on how to achieve the same goal. Sometimes, it is because one person has a different method than another. Other times, it is because lies are told by the world about one Christian group. Rather than recognizing that these are lies coming from the world, the other Christian group believes what it is told. Dissent and strife result from something that should have produced unity.
As an illustration of both points, consider the poor. The Old Testament has many laws on how the poor are to be treated by their fellows. These laws were for society. They were not directed at the priesthood but at the people. Therefore, according to the Bible, the government does have some responsibility to the poor. Many of the indictments made against Israel by the prophets deal with how the poor are treated, how the laws were not properly followed.
In the New Testament however, society had changed. Under the Roman government, the poor were not adequately cared for. Synagogues, which later became churches, now took up this role. In fact, the early church was well-known for its treatment of the poor and sick. The office of deacon was created for overseeing the daily food ration for widows.
It is quite common for two different Christians to each take only one of these principles and argue that the other is wrong. The argument is typically framed as state-run welfare versus care administered through the church. In point of fact, neither position is wholly correct. The Old Testament does not prescribe Canada's current form of welfare and the New Testament does not exclude the role of government.
Sometimes, Christians accuse their fellows of total indifference to the poor. I recently saw an advertisement on YouTube for the Community Christian Church (look for Christian No More) that did exactly this. Rather than examining churches to see how their poor and the poor in their city were cared for, these ads came out swinging. They picked up the lie that the overwhelming number if Christians are white, rich, judgemental, self-centred bigots and ran with it.
Before any Christian posts and says "Well, Christians should be doing a better job," let me just say that there is always room for improvement. However, it must be noted that poll after poll and study after study demonstrate that Christians donate far more of their time and money to the poor than any other secular or religious group. Most churches have a benevolence fund designed to accommodate the needs of their own poor. In fact, I have never attended a church that doesn't. The church budget and the benevolence fund are arguably the top two uses of a church's collection. That there are still poor people is not an indictment against the church. Rather, it is an indictment against the rest of society. The church is being obedient. Society is not.
That brings us to another big difference between Christians (aside from their own sin): dealing with the sin of others and, in particular, the world. Where the religious right and leftist or liberal Christians differ often regards what to do where society is in direct disobedience to God. This topic is worthy of its own post.

6/27/2007

What Lefties Think of Me

I love reading about myself.
It's especially entertaining when the opinion is so flabberghastingly wrong.
Take for example this post by a certain Jeff Davidson, whom I have never met by the way and who knows virtually nothing at all about me since I rarely post about my private life.
ruth vanhooydonk, author of rootleweb is insufferably self-righteous. she hides behind her christianity in order to condemn all those who think differently than her to the fiery depths of hell.
when she's not bashing islam, homosexuality, publicly-funded daycare, a woman's right to manage her own body or native canadians, she turns her attention to environmental issues...

<snip post I made about being a climate change "denier">
ruth's posts are a constant part of the bloggingtories landscape. her outright refusal to accept that man-made climate change is a reality and already altering the planet in a major way is echoed by many of her fellow conservative bloggers.
kooks abound in the blogosphere, we all know it. when you find such a splendid selection all heaped together under the bloggingtories banner and realize that they simply adore stephen harper, how can you not feel a little uncomfortable about the great leader?

The name seemed oddly familiar so I looked through my blog to see if he had ever posted here.
Ah yes. This is the guy who says things like:
"spanking is assault blah blah blah if you're not clever enough to manage your children w/o assaulting them, you shouldn't be anywhere near kids"
and "ok, let's accept your definition of a human being. now, tell me why you reject a woman's right to choose?" when I'm talking about abortion (because that the baby is a human is somehow not enough reason to at least give abortion a thought beyond "it's her body")
and "macs have their obvious strengths" and "i've noticed that you and many other conservatives mock what they can't understand" when he's talking about my knowledge of computers (Particularly hilarious. I am still laughing.)
and "many of the so-called christians who exist in bloggingtoryland seem pretty darn hateful." (Because really, no one has heard the old and tired "All Christians are hateful" line before.)
Now, I never read this guy's blog before today. In fact, I didn't even know he had one. I almost never read the blogs of the lefties who drop by to harass me.
What I do read are the blogs that send me traffic.
So, thank you Jeff for sending some traffic my way.
And by the way, I am not hiding behind my Christianity. It is who I am. There isn't some secret part of me that you can't see because of a Christian mask or shell. This Christian "drivel" and "hate" you so despise? It's me... or rather, it is the Holy Spirit in me, transforming and renewing my mind. It is actually what I think. I could address your other "points" but I won't. None of them are true and you are unlikely to be swayed by what I would say.
Great puppet by the way.
Perfect likeness.

Hope For Holland

Interesting article in the Star today.
AMSTERDAM–For years, W.B. Kranendonk was a lone ranger in Dutch politics – the editor of an orthodox Christian newspaper in a nation that has legalized prostitution, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage and allows the personal use of marijuana.
Today, with an orthodox Christian political party in the government for the first time, and with immigration anxieties fuelling a national search for identity, the country that has been the world's most socially liberal political laboratory is rethinking its anything-goes policies.
And suddenly, Kranendonk no longer seems so alone.
"People in high political circles are saying it can't be good to have a society so liberal that everything is allowed," said Kranendonk, editor of Reformist Daily and an increasingly influential voice in the shifting mainstream of Dutch public opinion. "People are saying we should have values; people are asking for more and more rules in society.'"
In cities across the Netherlands, mayors and town councils are closing down shops where marijuana is sold, rolled and smoked. Municipalities are shuttering the brothels where prostitutes have been allowed to ply their trade legally. Parliament is considering a ban on the sale of hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms."
Orthodox Christian members of parliament have introduced a bill that would allow civil officials with moral objections to refuse to perform gay marriages. And Dutch authorities are trying to curtail the activities of an abortion rights group that assists women in neighbouring countries where abortions are illegal.
The effort to rein in the Netherlands's famed social liberties is not limited to the small, newly empowered Christian Union party, which holds two of the 16 ministries in the coalition government formed this year. Increasingly, politicians from the more centre-left Labour party are among the most outspoken proponents of closing some brothels and marijuana shops – known here as "coffee shops.''
"Has the Netherlands changed? Yes," said Frank de Wolf, a Labour party member of Amsterdam city council. "There is not only a different mood among our people and politicians, but there are different problems now.''
The Netherlands is going through the same racial, ethnic and religious metamorphoses as the rest of Western Europe: Large influxes of black, Arab and Muslim immigrants are changing the social complexion of an overwhelmingly white, Christian nation struggling with its loss of homogeneity.
But here those anxieties are exacerbated by alarm over the international crime organizations that have infiltrated the country's prostitution and drug trades, the increasing prevalence of trafficking in women and children across its borders, and dismay over the Netherlands' image as an international tourist destination for drugs and sexual debauchery.
"There is an uneasiness about globalization that the Dutch don't have control over their own country any more," said James Kennedy, professor of contemporary history at the Free University of Amsterdam. "There is a more conservative mood in the country that is interested in setting limits and making sure things don't get out of hand.''
De Wolf, the Amsterdam councillor, is part of that movement.
"In the past, we looked at legal prostitution as a women's liberation issue; now it's looked at as exploitation of women and should be stopped," said de Wolf, an HIV/AIDS researcher.
He said Amsterdam's police force is overwhelmed and ill-equipped to fight the sophisticated foreign organized crime networks operating in the city. Laws designed to regulate prostitution and brothel operators have instead opened the trade to criminal gangs, according to de Wolf and other city officials.
"Amsterdam has a reputation that you can do everything here,'' de Wolf said. "That's not the way I want people to look at Amsterdam.''
Ivo Opstelten, the mayor of Rotterdam, the second-largest Dutch city, announced this month that he will close all marijuana shops within 75 metres of a school – nearly half of the city's 62 shops.
Michael Veling, 52, proprietor of an Amsterdam coffee shop where a marijuana joint sells for $5.50, said politicians increasingly are looking for any excuse to scale back the sale of soft drugs.
"This toleration policy goes back 35 years," said Veling, snapping the lids off plastic boxes of pungent marijuana blends marked Neville's Haze and White Widow. "Now the word 'coffee shop' has become a symbol of something we don't like about society.''
But historian Kennedy describes the attitude as a national "weariness with moral squalor – the Dutch have grown tired of it and are unwilling to put up with it.''
He said the rise of the orthodox Christian Union party, many members of which shun television as part of their strict religious code, has coincided with the changing public attitude.
Editor Kranendonk said his Christian Union party is realistic: "When you're a small party, you can't change everything in four years.
"If you had said to me in 1995 that one of the main orthodox Christian parties would be in the government today, I wouldn't have believed it," Kranendonk said. "The number of Christians is diminishing, churches are closing.''
He paused and smiled, "But there are other ways of believing."

Only a few things need to be said. First of all, this article should be a stern note to everyone who thinks we should follow the Netherlands down the path of regulated prostitution and legalized drugs. The country hates where they are now. They are trying to reverse many years of damage. We don't need to make their mistake.
Secondly, I find it interesting that although the Netherlands is a purportedly progressive country, many people share the beliefs of the recently elected conservative Christians. People simply cannot do whatever they want and then expect their society to turn out well.

Memo to the President of Iran

Dear Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

I regret to inform you that the recent decision to ration the gas consumption of the plebes has guaranteed the failure of your regime. As of last night, the masses are rioting and two gas stations have been burned. I recommend evacuation as this is surely not our moment of triumph. Our Supreme Leader is not pleased.
In light of recent events, I also recommend that you begin a thorough study of How to Be an Evil Overlord. Point #12 is of particular interest:
One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before iplementation.

Had we kept said child in our employ, no doubt he or she would have predicted the result of the ration.
In light of the situation, I would advise you to remain indoors. Under no circumstances are you to go outside. Make no public appearances and cancel all speeches and appointments for the rest of the day. I will tell anyone wishing to see you that you have a cold.
In the meantime, plans for Total World Domination and the Annihilation of Israel will have to be put on hold. The Department of Strategic Studies is currently formulating a plan to deal with last night's riots and will present the results in a meeting this afternoon.

Respectfully,
Persian Underling

6/25/2007

Pedophile Found Working at Daycare

(h/t: Sara)
If there was ever a reason not to put your kids in daycare this is it.
A Quebec woman, a survivor of incest, was shocked to find herself face to face recently with her molester -- a volunteer at a drop-in centre for intellectually-handicapped kids.
Convicted pedophile Yves Plante resigned last Wednesday as chairman of the board for the Centre Louise Bibeau in St-Hyacinthe, Quebec. This happened after he was discovered working there by one of his past victims, his stepdaughter Josiane Deslandes.
Plante was convicted of sexually assaulting three young girls in 1991. He was released in 1995 after serving a portion of his 40-month sentence.

First of all, this man didn't even serve his entire sentence. Then, there were no restrictions placed on him and where he could go, work, or be.
Then he gets a job at a daycare for handicapped kids.
Anyone out there still think there isn't a problem with our justice system?
Deslandes said she went to register her daughter at the drop-in centre last week when she came face to face with Plante, the first person to greet her at the door.
"He greeted me as if I was just another client," Deslandes told CTV Montreal, speaking in French. "My first reaction was, 'What's he doing here!'"
Deslandes said she went straight to the daycare's administration. "I was dumbfounded, we had no idea," said the centre's director, Sylvie Gazaille. She and other staff members confronted Plante and asked him to leave the centre. CTV Montreal could not reach Plante on Tuesday for an interview.
"We're told he was never in direct contact with the children," said CTV Montreal's crime reporter, Stephane Giroux. "He got involved with the center because his own brother was a client. We paid Plante a visit. He wasn't home."

And if you believe he could work at a daycare and never be in contact with children, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Under the current law, educators and childcare workers at daycare centres, schools, and other organizations need to have their backgrounds checked. But the law does not apply to non-profit institutions such as the Centre Louise Bibeau.
The issue was debated in the National Assembly, where the opposition pressed the government on the loophole in background checks.
The Quebec government says it will look at ways to make background checks mandatory for staff and volunteers who work in health-care institutions that serve children.
"I think no compromise can be done with safety so I think (Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques) Dupuis was very open in studying ways to extend the checks to these types of circumstances," Health Minister Philippe Couillard told reporters.
Meanwhile, the staff at the daycare centre say they have started running background checks on all their volunteers and board members.
"When you've got nothing to hide, a background check is not a problem," said volunteer Diane Morin.

If I had been that poor woman, I am certain I would have had a breakdown. The very man who molested her was working at the daycare where she was about to place her child. She must have been shaken to the core.

The CBC: Today's Crying Stone

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Luke 19:39,40

Some days, God uses His Church.
Other days, He uses stones.
Today, He's using the liberal talking head that is the CBC whether it likes it or not.
All I can think is talking donkey. (Numbers 22:21-30)
It is a cosmic irony that three of the top five wishes in the Great Canadian Wish List are religiously motivated: abortion, revival and marriage. It just does not get any better.
There is simply no way the CBC saw this coming.
I have to hand it to them. Credit where it's due, the CBC has not backed down. They have received an enormous amount of flak for giving the religious element in this country a voice. A lot of people don't get that the wishes are coming from other Canadians and not the CBC. Some are denouncing the project as a flop. Others are accusing the CBC of religious extremism and preaching, not to mention bigotry and right-wing bias. In fact, that has to be the most ironic accusation of all: the CBC, voice of the religious, right-wing "bigot." I can't even say it with a straight face.
Below is the text of the wish for spiritual revival in Canada. As I said in a previous post, this is the most important wish of all. Everything that is good in our country comes from God, whether we acknowledge it or not. Better that we acknowledge it. I wish this wish was in first place. Nevertheless, in light of the stated goal of their social experiment, the CBC had no choice but to post it.
Why do I love Canada so deeply? Because it is my 'home and native land.' Canada has such amazing potential, much of it squandered. Canada to me is a land of plenty, a land of unimaginable resources, a land of vision and dreams and hope. But Canada more recently has become a land of the cynical and despondent. We have lost so many of our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations. Now is the time to recapture our heritage. As we scratch below the surface, everywhere we look, we find a deep Godly heritage in Canada's history. This history is ours to
reclaim as our very own. Canada needs renewal, revival, and restoration like it has never needed it. We are on the edge of a precipice that many people refuse to see, but it is very real. I grieve for the rapid loss of so much that has made Canada great.
Canada is my past, my present, my future. I cry out for our beloved land that it may return to whom it really is. Jesus is the Lord of Canada, in a way which if recognized, can transform even dark corners of our land into beacons of light.
Wake up Canada! Come alive, Canada! Claim your inheritance before it is too late. Repent and turn from your self-absorption, and He will have mercy upon you and on your children's children. Now is the hour! Now is the time! Now is the day of salvation for our beloved land. The very soul of our nation is at stake. Let us not be found wanting.
-- Reverend Ed Hird

And that is how God uses the CBC: in spite of themselves.

Edit on Tuesday, June 26:
It would seem I erred and mistook a comment published at the CBC for the actual wish. The wish itself is:
You and me. Let's wish for a revival in Canada! =) Canada was once a more spiritually active nation than even the United States. Four decades of secularization have changed the face of this country. Although over 70 percent of Canadians still claim to be Christians today, many of them are inactive in their beliefs. Less than half of them are actively involved in a church or other spiritual community. This is a call, not to bring Canada back into the past, but a forward-looking call into a future where Christians stand up for their beliefs and show who they are without fear! We believe that it is time for this generation to step up, get out of our comfort zones and pray together for a spiritual revival in Canada from sea to sea to sea! 2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Anglican Church Rejects Gay Marriage... Barely

Vote breakdown:
Laity: For (78) Against (59)
Clergy: For (63) Against (53)
Bishops: For (19) Against (21)
Notice that the majority of voting members were in favour of gay marriage. However, in order for a motion to be accepted, there must be a majority in all three leadership groups.
This issue is probably not going to go away for the Anglican church. The church may well split over this, and you know what? That's ok. On an issue this crucial to a church's spirituality, a split may well be what is needed to divide the wheat from the chaff.

6/22/2007

The Great Canadian Wishlist: Cheating

Apparently, pro-choicers are sore losers and must resort to online cheating to make their point in what is supposed to be a "stupid contest."
When I opened my email this morning, I had several emails from a pro-life group that noted the fact that the pro-choice side had suddenly taken over. Some were concerned that their may be cheating involved.
There is.
Posted at Babble.ca:

This was posted on facebook 42 minutes ago under how to cheat wishlist:
1- remove support from your favourite group
2- add support
3- click te back button
4- add support
5- rinse and repeta as desired

Other ppl have posted confirming that it works. So I wonder if this means that CBC will shut down the contest as the results will have no validity or if they will find someway to cancel out the multiple supports?

And then:
It works. I have personally run the numbers up to 7440 from 7350 or so.
The only thing this dorky CBC scam proves is that I have no life.

As though enlisting Americans to aid in a Canadian wish was not enough, the pro-choice side has to cheat to get their point across.
I recommend that if you are pro-life that you join the wish, email your friends and simply get to work on rebuilding the pro-life votes.
Please, do NOT cheat.
Do NOT invite non-Canadians.
We should do this honestly. I'd rather "win," but if we don't then at least we have our integrity intact.

6/20/2007

Your Job Title is Security Guard

The world is a messed up place. This seems to be especially true of Montreal.
MONTREAL -- Montreal police and the city transit commission are investigating reports of an incident where a woman was beaten in a subway station as security guards looked on.
The security guards' union says their members have been advised that such interventions are now up to city police who started patrolling the subway on Monday.
Montreal police are asking the victim to come forward because they have received no complaint regarding the alleged assault.
The union says guards are not supposed to intervene in such cases, leaving it up to the new 132-officer police patrol unit.
Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis calls the event intolerable and wants city police to clear up the protocol and ensure such a thing doesn't happen again.

I hate to ask what seem like obvious questions.
Nevertheless...
What the heck is the point of security guards who don't stop a woman from being beaten?
Did someone forget to explain to their union that security guards are to keep a place secure? Hence the name!!!
Did no one stop and help this woman? What about non-security personnel? Wasn't there a single knight in shining armor to save her? What about another woman? Anybody? What did you all do? Stand around and say "Hey, that's the security guards' job" while the security guards were expecting the police to deal with it?

6/19/2007

Spanking and Other Punishments

(h/t: Mark Peters)

Interesting story at Canada.com
Removing the parental defence in the Criminal Code to prevent parents from spanking their children could lead to parents being slapped with assault charges for something as simple as trying to strap a screaming toddler into a car seat or forcing them to wear boots instead of sandals in the winter, Justice department lawyers warned a senate committee Monday.
Testifying before the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Justice Department officials Gillian Blackell and Elissa Lieff warned that the threshold for charges of simple assault is very low and the Criminal Code is a very blunt instrument. Technically, all that is needed is the intent to apply any force against someone’s will, they said.
Consequently, without section 43 of the Criminal Code — which allows parents to use reasonable force by way of correction — parents could easily face criminal charges, they warned.
"If section 43 was simply repealed, any non-consensual force that a parent or teacher uses on a child or pupil could be an assault given the broad definition under the Criminal Code," said Blackell. "There would no longer be a statutory defence to criminal charges where the force used is minor corrective force of a transitory or trifling nature. Parents who physically put a reluctant child in a car seat or remove a child to their bedroom for a time-out are applying nonconsensual force and could be convicted of simple assault."
The Supreme Court has already put limits on the way in which parents can use force to correct their children, they added.
The Justice Department officials were the last to testify Monday as the committee wrapped up its hearings into a bill tabled by Quebec Liberal Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette which could open the door to parents who routinely spank their children being hit with charges of assault.
The bill, which now goes to clause by clause consideration, would remove the defence currently contained in section 43 of the Criminal Code for parents and educators who resort to corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure.
In a comprehensive report tabled in April on the rights of children, the committee recommended that section 43 of the Criminal Code be repealed by April 2009. The committee also recommended the government launch an information campaign on the negative effects of corporal punishment, research alternative methods of discipline and examine whether alternate defences should be made available to those charged with assaulting a child.
Conservative Senator Raynell Andreychuk, chairwoman of the committee and a former judge, said the challenge for the committee now will be how to balance its desire to prevent corporal punishment while still allowing parents the possibility of using reasonable restraint.
Currently, following a Supreme Court ruling, it is illegal for parents to strike a child under the age of two or over the age of 12. However, it is legal to use reasonable force "by way of correction" for children between those ages.

This is yet another attempt by the state to parent our kids. Parents should parent. The government can barely manage the country. It will not be managing my home, thank you very much.
It is alarming to me that there are so many people who confuse spanking with hitting, beating and child abuse. It is unfortunate that abuse abounds to the point that people cannot tell the difference.
Abuse is wrong. There is no reason to justify it.
Spanking is not abuse. It is a tool. Spanking has its proper place and time. It should not be used for everything. Indeed, it cannot since it will not correct everything. Parents who spank must always be careful to control their anger in order to avoid crossing the line. If spanking is to be used, it must be used in a consistent manner as a first line of defense and not as a last resort because the parent has "had it" with their kid. Typically, such an attitude is indicative of frustration and anger.
It is of paramount importance that children learn to accept authority. They must also learn to accept no for an answer. If they do not, they will never learn to be in authority and deal in that authority correctly. If children do not learn to accept a no, they will never learn to deliver a no effectively and will forever be manipulated and manipulating.
Parents have different views on what is best for their child. They know what is best because they have the immediate experience. Parenting requires a great deal of thinking on one's feet. The government has no right to dictate what is or is not a correct approach to parenting. They should stick to the business of managing healthcare and stop meddling.

6/18/2007

Beyond Blasphemy

Deuteronomy 5:11 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.


The Toronto Police have assisted in breaking a Internet child pornography ring. Working closely with police in Britain, they have arrested more than 700 individuals across 35 countries and saved 31 children. Some of these poor children were only a few months old. The mere thought makes me want to vomit.
So, why the title?
The first arrest made netted the original host of the site, Royal Raymond Weller of Tennessee, who used the nickname "G.O.D." This recent arrest netted the man who kept the ring alive in a new chat room, Timothy David Martyn Cox, who used the nickname "Son—Of—God."
I don't know what makes me angrier, that this was done to children or that this was done to children by someone who had the audacity to call himself God. It offends my sense of all that is just and holy to the very core. These sickos took the name of the Almighty on their lips while engaging in what is probably the most heinous of all possible crimes.
What more can I say?
This is why I believe in the death penalty.
The world is just a little bit safer after these arrests. It is my hope and prayer that there will be some measure of healing for these poor children. May God restore the pieces of what are surely shattered lives.

6/15/2007

Definition of a Person

I was asked to provide the definition of a person.
Fine.

It is an axiom that if you are a person, you are a human being. Does being a human makes you a person? In other words, is person a subset of human under any conditions (in which case the answer is no, human does not equal person)?

Definitions of "person"

1. a human being, (man, woman, child) as distinguished from an animal
2. an individual, a unique human being under the law
2a. a group under the law
3. a self-aware or rational human being
4. the self, that is the emotional, mental, spiritual, intellectual, physical aspect of a human being
5. character or role in a story, play, movie, book, etc (not relevant to the argument)
6. an individual human being of importance (such as the Queen)
7. grammatical voice (not relevant to the argument)
8. parts of the Trinity (not relevant to the argument)

Of those relevant to the discussion, only definition #4 is not a synonym for human being. The rest are, including #2a since collectives under the law are treated as single human beings and are accorded rights.
Definition #4 is one frequently used in philosophical arguments. In fact, this definition does not strictly mean "human" but rather "aspect of human." One can begin the discussion one of two ways. First, this definition is NOT the one we use in our legal system. Law is not based on metaphysical definitions. In other words, the law has no interest in the soul. Secondly, where an individual is concerned (person according to definition 2), the law in Canada does implicitly protect and develop the aspects of personhood as per definition #4. So, for example, people have the right to practice their religion and believe as they wish. This is the development and protection of their spiritual and emotional being. People have the right an education, since the state oversees some aspect of educating its public. This is the development and protection of their mental being. If we are assaulted, robbed, etc, the offending party is punished. We also have public health care. This is the development and protection of our physical being. As per the previous post, the unborn child is merely a human at an early stage of development. Unborn children do possess all the aspects described in #4; they merely possess them at earlier stages. Therefore, they require that these things be protected and developed for themselves also.
Definition #3 might place some restrictions on what is a person. In other words, we could attempt to extract a subset of humans and call them persons and others not. This was certainly the case for women prior to 1929 and blacks at one time (but I forget the date). In fact, many of the same arguments for not according rights to the unborn are identical with those used to not accord rights to blacks or women. However persons under the Charter are human beings (men, women, children). This is self-evident. It is note-worthy that we accord rights to children. Self-awareness and the ability to rationalize do not fully appear until ages one and seven years respectively (give or take depending on the intelligence of a child.) Furthermore, we even accord rights to those with no self-awareness at all (those on life support) since euthanasia is illegal in this country and we accord rights to those who are less than able to think for themselves (such as the mentally disabled). This is because all of these things do not affect their status as human beings... persons under the law.
Unborn children are the only exception to this.

If you have another definition of person that cannot be reduced to human being, I would be interested in seeing it. However, until that happens, I maintain that person will always equal human and human will always equal person.

The Definition of a Human

I have been following the discussions regarding the wish to end abortion on the Great Canadian Wishlist.
Pro-life CBC Editorial
Pro-choice CBC Editorial.

Reading the comments I came across the following absurd statement:
It's a logical fallacy to simply assume a fetus is a person or human being...

A logical fallacy refers to some sort of error or flaw in a logical argument. It can refer to a mistake in one's pattern of reasoning or an untrue statement. The author of the above comment is essentially saying that it is an error to assume that a human fetus is a human.
Where do I begin with such a foolish statement? The urge to heap ad hominem upon this idiot woman is almost irresistible.
The definition of a human being is not one for philosophical debate. Anyone who says it is needs to go back to highschool and take biology again. Clearly, they were not paying attention in class. Any and all attempts to philosophize about what it is that makes us human can only be rooted in unforgivable superstition and scientific ignorance.
We know what makes us human.
All beings, human or otherwise, are defined by their DNA. This was shown by Watson and Crick in 1953. The Human Genome Project is a massive ongoing project to decode the entire human genome.
There are 24 distinct human chromosomes: 22 autosomal chromosomes, and the sex-determining X and Y chromosomes. The egg provides 23 chromosomes (22 autosomal chromosomes plus and X) and the sperm provides 23 chromosomes (22 autosomal chromosomes plus either and X or a Y) for a total of 46. A human being is therefore defined at conception when the egg and sperm join.
Biogenesis is the process through which life forms produce other life forms like themselves. To find out what a living thing is or will be, one need look no further than at its parents. A human woman can therefore give birth to nothing other than a human. Stages of development change, but it will always be a human. Abilities and disabilities can never be considered when defining a human being. This is a scientifically untenable position, since both individuals with disabilities and individuals with exceptional abilities still contain all the DNA required to define a human being.
That a human fetus is a human being is an axiom, not a logical fallacy. No assumption is being made. It is simply an unarguable statement of scientific fact.

6/14/2007

Food Fight

Funniest Story so far this year...

When 20 police officers gathered at a Montreal high school this week, it wasn't to investigate an altercation or monitor a protest -- they hoped to quell a food fight.
Internet posts and a video on YouTube had trumpeted the event at Honore Mercier, along with a flurry of text messages between students.
And then, during lunch hour on Wednesday, the food fight began.
"I saw someone throw an egg, then it started," student Claude-Alexandre Blais told CTV News.
Sgt. Ian Lafreniere described the event as a "riot." The officers moved in, trying to subdue the mob but three people were injured.
Two students -- aged 14 and 16 -- were arrested. They now face assault charges and are expected to appear in court in the next few days.
There have been five separate food fight incidents in schools around Montreal. Analysts say the Internet and cellphones are helping students organize and promote the events...
Beliveau said he will ban cellphones when the students return next fall.
But Jonathan Sterne, a communications professor at McGill University, said communications technology like the Internet should not be blamed for the students' behaviour.
"If the students had planned it by speaking to each other, do you think there'd be an article about the evils of conversation?" he told The Canadian Press.
Michael Hoechsmann, also from McGill University, suggested the massive food fights are connected to a culture that finds entertainment in idiocy.
"There seems to be a trend where it's about frivolity and foolishness, and proving yourself as dumber than the next guy,"

So, there is truth in media after all. I would never have guessed it. Still, one wonders about the wisdom of printing this story. In the minds of some, there is only the most tenuous line between fame and infamy. While it's true that the culprits names are never printed, they know who they are and are no doubt reveling in their "glory."

6/11/2007

Because Class doesn't always mean Classy

Late last week, the news was abuzz with the story of Prince Harry at a bar in Calgary. He met and kissed one of Canada's "hottest bartenders," Cherie Cymbalisty. Now it would appear that a British tabloid has paid Ms. Cymbalist the equivalent of a years salary to divulge the details of her encounter, which she of course did.

Warning: If you are a country music fan, stop reading.

It is next to impossible for me to take this situation seriously. It's like something out of a cartoon. On a whim, I decided to look up the Cowboys Bar website. What was I thinking? Did I really need their site to tell me the bar is like Hooters meets "Night at the Roxbury" meets Garth Brooks on steroids? I now have their stupid song in my head. It is beyond doubt that this is the sort of bar where people line dance. They don't do it once or twice either. They line dance all the time. I am certain the female staff at this bar ride the bull for the pleasure of their male guests. Everyone wears cowboy boots and cowboy hats. I bet even a few people wear chaps and/or shirts with fringe. What's worse is that they think it's cool to do so.
As my husband said, "Yeehaw!"
This bar is essentially the embodiment of everything that is wrong with country music and its associated insanity culture. This is where Prince Harry chose to spend his time. What a classy choice.
So, Prince Harry, did you line dance? Did you wear the requisite hat? What about cowboy boots? I hear they are the most manly thing in the world.

Ok. Country music fans can start reading again. I'm done.

You should see "Canada's hottest barmaid." Only one word comes to mind: dirty. Her life's aspirations are to be either a Playboy Bunny or a Playmate. Yes, she really has high expectations for herself. Does it really surprise anyone that this trampy looking ho beautiful waitress would tell all for $30k? I am sure the stories in the British tabloids go something like this:
Interviewer: Ms. Cymbalisty, what was it like to to meet Prince Harry?
Cymbalisty: It was like, so hot.
Interviewer: And what was he like?
Cymbalisty: He is like, so hot.
Interviewer: Would you care to share the details of your evening?
Cymbalisty: Well, he was like, hanging out with me and my friend and it was like so hot. Then he like kissed me on the cheek, and it was like so hot.

Her pimp daddy boss is no doubt loving the press. It's better than free advertising. Nothing draws a crowd like scandal, even if that scandal is really a non-scandal. Let's not forget folks, this is a bar devoted to trampy beautiful women who entertain men.
And they do it to country music.
In cowboy hats.
And fringe.
Prince Harry went there to do what every other man who goes to this bar does: hang out with trampy beautiful women.
So really, this is a non-story. But, as we all know, the media excels at non-stories.

6/09/2007

Pew Filling and Millstones

Video link to CNN piece on Goth Eucharist and U2charist
This piece is about the new Goth Eucharist introduced in the Anglican Church and the U2charist, where church services revolve around music by U2.

Matthew 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

John 12:42, 43...They would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.


Whenever I read, watch or listen to stories about a church attempting to increase its numbers through some ill-conceived scheme, I feel a sense of disappointment. This story is no exception. Leaders of a church gathered together, discussed the problem of failing church attendance and the needs of the world. Rather than recognizing that what the world really needs is to recognize their sin and the grace of God, these leaders decided to create an outreach program that virtually emasculates the power of the Gospel. Sin is condoned rather than condemned. The need for grace is never mentioned. Church services are about finding your way, but no one ever says to what. Certainly the need for love is preached, but no one really addresses Who it is that does the loving or what that love involves. It is true that these types of services do attract new members for a time. People are going to church who wouldn't normally go.
So what?
Who really cares if the entire church is packed to the ceiling if the Truth is never preached?
The church building is only that: a building. It has walls, a ceiling and some pews for people to sit in. It doesn't necessarily house members of the Church body. In fact, if a local church insists on absconding its duty to preach the Word of God, it may find itself well outside of the Church body.
Many who argue that we should make people comfortable, never judge and never preach about sin use the fact that Jesus ate with tax collectors and prostitutes to support their position. They argue that the Pharisees were the ones who judged. I used to be angry at such an inaccurate interpretation of the Bible. Now, I feel sorry for these people who have such a poor understanding of Scripture. By and large, these people shake their heads at the decline of the church, never realizing that it is their wrong understanding that is at least partially to blame. It's true; Jesus ate with sinners. However, He never once condoned their sin. There must be 50 or more stories between the four Gospels where Jesus tells sinners to go and sin no more. Furthermore, the chief sin of the Pharisees was not that they judged. Indeed, there are many references in the Bible instructing us to judge with right judgment and not by appearance. The chief sin of the Pharisees was that they rejected God all the while claiming to be God's children and that they heaped extra law on the people but did not obey the laws God had actually given them.
No one can argue with the fact that we live in a needy world. Many people are alone, depressed, without love. Some destroy their lives through a variety of addictions. However, the way for a church to address this problem is not to condone sinful behaviour, change services to accommodate rock songs that have no reference to God at all, put on a light show or preach wimpy sermons that talk about an artificial love all the while ignoring the real problem. The correct way for a church to address the world is to speak the truth. To be sure, we must speak this truth in love, but it must be truth, not a feel-good message.
It is important to firmly place in the forefront of your mind that preaching the truth may not necessarily fill the pews. It might, but there is no guarantee. Although we are called to preach, moving hearts is the divine work of God and not man. Furthermore, the Truth of God is offensive to some and welcomed by others (II Corinthians 2:15, 16). That the Word might cause offense is not up to us. I am not advocating that we be deliberately rude and cause offense where none need be. I am simply stating that if offense is caused, we should not assume we were the cause. The Word is simply offensive to some. Who really wants to hear that they are sinful and in need of grace? However, that some might be offended should in know way deter us from obeying God.
The leaders of the Anglican church should have asked themselves whose approval were they really seeking.

6/08/2007

Under Construction

I am in the middle of a new look.

Menopausal May

It's getting harder to take Ms. May seriously as the leader of a political party. First, there was her deal with Liberal leader Stephane Dion. Then, we had her preposterous idea of a carbon tax. It would effectively raise gas prices by twelve cents a litre.
Now, she has suggested she might quit altogether.
Green Leader Elizabeth May, frustrated and "bone-weary" over her small salary, a sore hip, an exhausting schedule and internal bickering over the party's debt, warned senior party members last month that she might resign if they removed her from the party's budget committee...
She said she is personally "broke" because of her $50,000 salary and called her job "grueling."

If you can't live off $50k, then there is something seriously wrong with your ability to budget. I question your (not to mention your party's) fitness for government.
I realize you are turning 53 Ms. May, but stop letting your menopause get the best of you. If you want to lead a country (and really that's the goal of every party leader or their party wouldn't exist) then you have to learn to suck it up. Tantrums, even via email, are exactly what our bored media sits around waiting for.

6/06/2007

Media Bias

Just a note to the Globe and Mail: Canadians can count. Really, they can. So, when you publish an article sympathetic to poor David Suzuki's "troubles" don't try to blame said troubles on the Conservative government.
Because, like I said, we can count.
David Suzuki is Canada's most outspoken environmentalist, and regularly lambastes those, such as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whom he deems insufficiently green.
But he's worried that shooting from the lips too often about federal politicians may have made his namesake environmental charity, the David Suzuki Foundation, the target of vindictive federal tax auditors...
"I am being hounded by the current government because I have a foundation that has my name and so they're trying to take away my charitable [status]..."
But in an interview yesterday after a news conference on Parliament Hill, Mr. Suzuki said the foundation has been audited three times..."

You cannot be audited more than once a year.
It is only possible for the Conservatives to be responsible for ONE of those audits. So, who conducted the other two hmm?
Could it be the Liberals?
Funny how I don't see them mentioned anywhere in the article. Only the evil, anti-green Harper makes an appearance. It doesn't shock me at all toe see Gloria Galloway's name attached to this article.
We also have this gem at PoliticsWatch. The CBC has been caught (by a blogger, though the article doesn't say who) flaunting their bias yet again.
The public broadcaster's news web site carried an altered stock photo of the Toronto skyline that was noticeably darkened and made the smog and atmospheric haze appear much worse than in the original photo.

Amazing that they have actually stooped so low as to alter their photographs. I thought this only happened in Lebanon. The CBC seems to be losing its judgement. This type of thing has happened more than once in the last year. I don't have a link to the story on their insertion of pics of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan into a story about American soldiers in Iraq.
The mainstream media needs to be more careful. The general public wants the facts, not their biased opinion. Stop telling us stories. Just present us with data and leave us to make up our own minds.

Revival and the CBC's Great Canadian Wishlist

According to this article at the Western Standard, not only is the wish to abolish abortion number one, the wish for a spiritual revival is number two.
Spiritual revival is actually the more important of the two wishes. Abortion is only a symptom. The need for revival is the real problem. Unless God changes the hearts of the Canadian people, correcting the problems of abortion and gay "marriage" can only take us so far. Our efforts are in vain if God is not acting on our behalf.
Incidentally, when asked, most Canadians say they are Christians. However, most of that group also says they don't go to church, don't believe in the value of "organized" religion and don't really practice what they think it is they believe. When the average Canadian who says they are a Christian articulates what they think the Bible teaches, most are not able to express anything beyond a general and inaccurate concept of "love." Sin is considered a more "hateful" concept and people are naturally just and good.
Of course, this isn't what the Bible teaches at all. In order to truly understand what it means to love God, love others and be loved by God and others in return, we must understand the depth of our sin and our dire need of grace. Grace is the solution to the problem exposed in us by the law. Grace has no meaning without the law. How can we even know that we need a solution if we don't know what our fundamental problem is?
As long as our society continues to believe it is perfect and there is no problem, revival cannot happen. The only way we can collectively be shown that there is a problem is if God moves our hearts. It's not something that can be fabricated through our own efforts.

Bill Casey Expelled

This is a no-win situation. Conservative MP Bill Casey has been ejected from the Conservative Party caucus after he voted against the budget. On the one hand, he felt the budget was unfair to his constituents. He believes in representing those who elected him. On the other hand, the budget is a confidence motion. Voting no-confidence against your own party is something of a problem to say the least.
Personally, I don't see how this could have gone any other way. Hopefully Casey will sit as an independent rather than join the Liberals.

6/05/2007

Young Liberal Ads on YouTube

Also known as "The Return of the Nefarious Hidden Agenda."

These are so bad. I hate, loathe and despise the Apple commercials enough as it is. Anyone with even a modicum of computer experience knows they are crap. Mac's are only useful for artsies. If you want to do anything useful, like gaming, you need a Windows box WITHOUT Vista. If you want to do anything really useful like programming, then you need a Linux box. Everything you can do with a Mac, Windows and Linux do better.
But back to the ads.
How unoriginal.
I am sure the Young Liberals are congratulating themselves for their brilliance, but really. Haven't you given up on the hidden agenda angle yet? It's so obviously a ploy.

6/04/2007

Whatever McGuilty

"I won't raise taxes because now I'm in charge."
Yeah. I'll believe that when I see it, as will the rest of Ontario.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty promised Sunday that he won't raise taxes if he is re-elected this fall and insisted he really means it this time.

I bet he does.
The premier, who ran on a no-new-taxes platform in the 2003 election and then introduced one of the largest income tax increases in provincial history, said Ontarians should believe him now "because I'm in charge."

What a lame line of reasoning.
After looking at the province's books and concluding the Conservatives had left them with a deficit of more than $5 billion, the newly elected Liberals in 2004 introduced an income tax hike - they called it a health premium - that now costs Ontarians about $2.6 billion annually...
"I didn't raise that health tax in order to raise my popularity. I did it because we needed to raise money for our healthcare system," he said. "Now we're on track to balance the budget for five consecutive years."

No, that's not what happened. You introduced a health premium and then laid off a bunch of nurses whose very jobs were supposed to be covered by your new premium.
I'd also like to direct everyone's attention to the wording used here. "We're on track to balance the budget..." Not "We've balanced the budget" but "We're on track." Hmm.
"What I will not do is make any kind of a reckless commitment that will lead to another huge hole in our budget. We've been there. We made difficult decisions to get ourselves out of that," he said.

Like give yourselves a raise? I recall you said that was a difficult decision too.
No, I will not be voting Liberal at the provincial election.
But then, I am sure that shocks no one.
I have to be honest though. I do have some concerns about Tory's suitability. He doesn't seem to be very conservative for a Conservative.

Making Mischief

Excuse me while I fight the urge to heap scathing ad hominem against this guy. I should have known it was coming.

A Montreal gay man is launching a human-rights complaint against Curves, a United States-based chain of women-only fitness franchises he says denied him membership.
The case comes after a Longueuil woman filed a similar complaint of sexual discrimination after being ejected from Le Stud, a men-only bar in the Gay Village...
...he wants to make a point: Women shouldn't demand access to men-only bars if they're not willing to open up their own clubs to men.
"It's a hypocrisy that I want to expose, and I have the power to do that," Matthews said yesterday after faxing a copy of his complaint to The Gazette.

This little s**t disturber admits to filing this suit to make a point. It's some sort of warped revenge against women in general because of the Vachon incident at Le Stud a week ago. As far as I am concerned, for that reason alone this complaint ought to be ignored. He is doing nothing more than making mischief on the public dime.
On Thursday, Matthews called a local Curves franchise, on Sauve Blvd. W. in St. Laurent - the quickest one he could find in an Internet search - to ask about membership.
He said he was told he wasn't eligible because he was a man and the company's policy is to accept only women.
The club's owner, Elaine Sadori, said yesterday she was unaware of the call, but added each application is treated on a case-by-case basis and Matthews is welcome to book a consultation to discuss the matter.

Excuse me for being skeptical. I doubt a call was even made, or if it was it was warped and manipulative, designed to get someone to say "No, men don't get memberships to Curves."
"It is a women's gym," acknowledged Shadia Habib, one of the downtown club's owners.
"It's a really delicate issue, however, and I understand by law you cannot say no to a man coming into a gym, and I totally support that, because I don't see why they shouldn't (be able to join), " said Habib, who bought the club three months ago. "If they absolutely demand it, we cannot totally refuse (men), but we would tell them at first it wouldn't be right" to become a member.
The franchise has nearly 400 members - all women.
"I would love to have men (here), because they're who I'm used to training," Habib said.
"But it's the members - they're training here because they don't want to train at Nautilus or the YMCA, because they're very uncomfortable with their weight." Most of Habib's clients are overweight and shy about it; the last thing they need is a man looking at them, she said. "They go to women's gyms so they won't be evaluated on the way they look." If word gets out that men could apply for membership, "that would totally wreak havoc in the gym - everybody would be complaining," Habib said. Even if the applicant is gay, like Matthews, women would still object, because he's a man, she added.
The club already has a problem with women cancelling their memberships over the issue of gender, because the club's other owner is a man, who comes in once a week to work in his office, walking through the gym to get there, Habib said.

I hate to say it, but there is a world of difference between the issue of working out at a gym and getting a drink at a bar. Habib is right. Loads of women avoid regular gyms and go to Curves because they are uncomfortable with their body image. They do not want to go to a gym that ends up being a pick up joint. They want to work out in a place where no one is "looking at them," but the privacy of their own home may not be an option. They need the discipline of a public place without the added ogling. This is not a problem faced only by overweight women either. Smaller women may also have problems with their body image. There are also religious and cultural concerns to consider.
This is not about discrimination. It's about providing a service requested by members willing to pay. If Curves was excluding black or Indian women, then they would be discriminating. Le Stud is not a private, membership-based club. It's a bar tailored to gay men. If they want to keep women out, then they must alter their format. Male-only private clubs exist and they are not considered discriminatory, but private clubs.
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