Revanchist Review

Friday, January 28, 2005

Oh, Canada - Chapter 6 - Pretension or Piety

Pretension or Piety

“Now the family is an institution of which nearly everyone speaks well; but it is advisable to remember that this is a term that may vary in extension. In the present age it means little more than the living members. Even of living members, it is a rare exception when an advertisement depicts a large family or three generations; the usual family on the hoardings consists of two parents and one or two young children. What is held up for admiration is not devotion to family, but personal affection between the members of it; and the smaller the family, the more easily can this personal affection be sentimentalized.

But when I speak of the family, I have in mind a bond which embraces a longer period of time than this; a piety towards the dead, however obscure, and a solicitude for the unborn, however remote. Unless this reverence for the past and future is cultivated in the home, it can never be more than a verbal convention in the community. Such an interest in the past is different from the vanities and pretensions of genealogy; such a responsibility for the future is different from that of the builder of social programmes.”
- Notes Toward the Definition of Culture p.44-45, T.S. Eliot

Proponents of same sex marriage express shock that defenders of traditional marriage should fear anything bad could possibly result from permitting same sex persons to be married. Hundreds of same sex marriages have been performed since the courts ruled in favour of such unions and the “sky hasn’t fallen” is the standard response.

It is a matter of fundamental human rights says our Prime Minister. Objectors are labeled as narrow-minded, intolerant or excessively religious.

Since there are so many supporters of same sex marriage who in every respect seem to be honest, decent, thoughtful people; it occurred to me there must be something much deeper than intellectual disagreement at work here.

I found some important clues in T.S. Eliot’s work from which I selected the epigram. Defenders of traditional marriage are talking about the need to preserve the family in the sense of that word used by Eliot – as an enduring bond linking past, present and future; while the supporters of same sex marriage are focused on the “vanities and pretensions” of the personal affections contained within families.

If family has become no more than a verbal convention to describe a level of love and commitment between two persons, then surely anyone should be able to marry. In such a society marriage and family are merely social programmes administered and regulated by governments. The fact children of same sex parents in many instances will be unable to trace their origins back even one generation will be of no concern to a society focused on the immediacy of affection.

The rights being sought by gays and lesbians are not for access to the institution of marriage and its link to family, but rather the right to fundamentally change the definition of marriage and thus strip it of is inherent value and worth.

A society which abandons a fundamental link between its past and future seems doomed to take on continually increasing risk of not learning from its mistakes.

Oh Canada, Chapter 5 - Lawyers Lead Deconstruction

This may seem like Chinese water torture to some of you, but like the little pink energizer bunny, I intend to continue to march forward with some facts and opinions that regrettably you won’t be reading or hearing about in our mainstream media outlets.

A significant impetus for me in persisting in my opposition to the movement to change the definition of marriage is the role which the legal system – academic and judicial- has played in the deconstruction of marriage. I have personal knowledge of the workings of our legal system having practiced law for 33 years. I know personally some of the judges whose reasons have led us to the brink or the threshold depending on your perspective of a new social paradigm in Canada – same sex marriage. I am utterly convinced they have no special insights into what our society wants or needs by way of a new definition of marriage. I am also convinced based on my reading of legal literature, court decisions and conversations with members of the profession that the legal academy is overwhelmingly liberal in its orientation.

The Charter of Rights has been in force since 1982. In 1999 the Parliament of Canada voted 216-55 to reaffirm the historic definition of marriage. In 2001 the Supreme Court of B.C. rejected a petition to approve a same-sex marriage, arguing that the common-law definition of marriage could not be changed without an amendment to the country’s Constitution. Yet in July 2002, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that the existing legal framework of marriage in Canada was discriminatory since it failed to provide fair recognition of gay and lesbian unions. BC and Quebec appellate courts soon followed suit and here we are.

What happened? Did Canadian society really change so dramatically in less than 5 years? Did we suddenly discover how wrong we had been in retaining a historical definition of marriage as an institution reserved for a man and woman?

Rather what has occurred is a militant and extremely well funded lobby group advocating the “rights” of gays and lesbians began to reap the rewards of years of propaganda in our universities and amongst our media and politicians. They are well funded because all the legal expenses of the law suits challenging the restrictiveness of marriage are financed by tax payer dollars. It is so Canadian to use our own tax dollars to finance the efforts of interest groups to tear down the fabric of our culture. In a country where a political party, whose only purpose is to destroy Confederation, can wear the mantle of Official Opposition what more should we expect.

The lobbyists also benefited from the fecklessness of a tired and corrupt Liberal government under Jean Chretien. Eager to deflect attention from the brewing scandals onto a topic where polling showed it could gain traction in urban Canada, the Chretien Liberals rolled over like a cowering mongrel and refused to appeal the provincial court decisions and disbanded the parliamentary committee that was systematically gathering information from a broad spectrum of Canadian society on this issue. Instead it turned the keys of the highjacked car back to the joyriders.

These well funded legal academics had succeeded in convincing the Ontario Appellate Court to accept the findings of the Law Commission of Canada in its 2001 report: Beyond Conjugality: Recognizing and Supporting Close Personal Adult Relationships. It was from this fever swamp of academic deconstructionism that emerged the concept of marriage being no more than a form of close personal relationship. More on this later.

Ordinary Canadians must stop to consider that the majority of appeal court and certainly Supreme Court of Canada judges enter the judiciary from the ranks of academia and politics. Lawyers are hardly representative of the broad cross section of society, and judges are an even thinner slice of the universe of lawyers.

So people whose adult professional lives have primarily been spent thinking about the law rather than practicing and applying it to real life circumstances; or who have leveraged their political positions or connections into the sinecure of a judicial appointment (Roy McMurtry and Rosie Abella two prominent examples on the Ontario Court of Appeal) are now vested with the ultimate power of deciding the constitutionality of the laws of our country. It is no exaggeration to liken this to the inmates running the prison.

I will stop here to let you ponder how comfortable you feel about such folks determining matters of culture, morality and the welfare of our children; and doing so without any accountability to the citizens of Canada.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Marriage Redefined - Golf is Next

(*Association of Sufferers of Yips Needing Immediate Equality Now")

- Supreme Court of Canada orders golf courses to install 3 ft. diameter holes on all greens

Ottawa – June 15th, 2006

Litigia L’Amour, counsel to ASYNIEN met with reporters on the steps of the Supreme Court Building to celebrate the historical ruling. The majority judgment written by Madam Justice Rosie Abella found that the rule of golf limiting the diameter of the hole on a green to a mere 4 1/4 inches “was repugnant, and violated the human rights of her clients to enjoy the thrill of shooting sub-par scores and regularly sinking 10 foot putts.”

“It is our view that the dignity of persons suffering from the yips , the existence of which makes it virtually impossible for one to post consistently low scores in golf, is violated by the severe limitation of the size of the hole on the greens of golf courses” pronounced Madam Justice Abella. “The humiliation and discrimination felt by golfers afflicted with the yips as they fail to make putts regularly sunk by yipless golfers constitutes an affront to their human dignity. Accordingly, we conclude that the definition of “hole” found in the Rules of Golf be declared invalid to the extent it states that the hole ‘must be 4 1/4 inches (108 mm) in diameter’.” The court accepted the petitioner’s argument that the size should be increased to up to 36 inches in diameter.

Counsel for the Royal and Ancient Golf Association unsuccessfully argued that the Rules of Golf are steeped in history and tradition and have formed the framework within which men and women have played the game for centuries. The discriminatory nature of the game against which the petitioners have launched their attack, is based not on a violation of human rights but rather on the natural differences in ability, effort, co-ordination and aptitude amongst those who choose to play the game. As a sport, golf by definition creates conditions of inequality by declaring that there are winners and losers. This is the nature of sport argued the R&A counsel.

Changing the definition of the size of the hole, changes the nature of the game of golf, argued counsel for the R&A. “This one change in definition means the game that will be played using manhole size holes may resemble golf in many respects, but it won’t be golf”, said R&A spokesman Angus MacDonald.

This entire line of argument was rejected by the Supreme Court justices who ruled that under the “living tree” concept of the Canadian Charter of Rights, the post-modern enlightened recognition of the damage to human dignity caused by persistent failure demands that society be willing to change old prescriptions and definitions established by less discerning early lawmakers.

The court drew on its experience in the same-sex marriage debate and the resulting court ordered redefinition of marriage, and found the true nature of golf to be one of “close personal relationships”, not that of a sport of skill and competition. The court took judicial notice of the many social indicia of the game which support this new characterization. It is almost always played by groups of individuals, often as part of an outing specially planned for the participants focused on close personal interaction including conversation, eating, drinking, and carousing together. “Accordingly, the Charter of Rights and its goals of creating equal opportunity for all Canadians and of eradicating discrimination clearly applies to the governance of such close personal relationships” said Madam Justice Abella, a 33 handicapper.

The court did rule that so long as a golf club installed a 3 ft. diameter hole on each of its greens, it could retain the traditional size hole for yipless players and golf association officials would not be forced to demand that all players use the larger hole. However, they must ensure that players declaring themselves to be ASYNIEN members are free to avail themselves of the larger hole, and have their score recognized as valid and of equal value to that of traditional players.

Asked to comment on the fact that most Canadians would find the news that the rule prescribing the size of the hole in golf was inherently discriminatory, Prime Minister Paul Martin said he supported the SCC decision. “It is all about human rights and you can’t choose your rights willy-nilly. These yip sufferers deserve to have their self worth and dignity preserved, and if redefining the rules of golf to increase the size of the hole is what it takes, I am all for it.”

At a celebratory party in a popular Ottawa nightclub, where ASYNIEN members and their counsel were joined by a number of Supreme Court justices in a show of solidarity and support, one particularly forthright member of ASYNIEN volunteered that if its members are “allowed to participate as regular golfers in the clubs and institutions that traditional golfers claim as theirs, our presence will change those institutions and practices enough to undermine their preferred version of golf, and in turn they themselves will not be the same. Traditional golfers are right, for example, that if ASYNIEN golfers participate in golf tournaments, the game of golf will change, and since the game of golf is one of the institutions that support traditional golfers’ identities, golf and traditional golfers will change as well.”