I’ve been accused, by using the term “terrorism” of insulting the victims of terrorism around the world.

Let me be clear: that is not my intent.  There is no disrespect.

At all.

The horrible events of 9/11 and other dates around the world ring loud and clear with me.  I remember that morning like it was yesterday, listening to the radio as the Twin Towers came crumbling down, killing 3,000 people in the process.

No.  Unlike the “truthers”, I have respect for the victims of terrorism, and for those who fight the terrorists.

However none of that contradicts what I am about to say.

You see, terrorism, in its base form, is the use of fear to influence people.  That’s it.  That’s all.  The word “terror” is rooted, after all in “fear”.  So, whether one is violent, or not, if one uses fear to influence behaviour, then one is engaging in terrorism.

KikkiPlanet.com posted this gem earlier tonight, posting about “Conscience Rights” that are included in the policy of the Wildrose Party.

Let me be clear before I go any further:

I am not a member of the Wildrose Party.  I speak for myself.  I do not speak for the Wildrose Party.

At all.

However, KikkiPlanet’s gross mischaracterization of Conscience Rights needs to be addressed.

According to KikkiPlanet:

Conscience Rights allow doctors to ignore the oath they took when they became doctors. Conscience rights allow lawyers to ignore the oath they took to uphold the law, above all else, when they stood before the Bar to be admitted, thus allowing them to refuse to act on behalf of someone of a different race.

Conscience rights allow marriage commissioners to refuse to marry same sex couples, despite the fact that those same commissioners are given powers by a government that acknowledges the rights of gays to marry.

Conscience rights allow pharmacists to refuse to fill certain prescriptions. Conscience rights would allow me, if I were a doctor, to deny treatment to a Christian, based on the fact that I’m an atheist.

Conscience rights allow doctors to refuse to perform or recommend fertility treatments.

It’s bullshit, of course.

Conscience rights means that a marriage commissioner who happens to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds, can simply say to a couple, “I’m sorry, I personally cannot marry you on a matter of personal conscience, however here is a list of marriage commissioners who would be more than willing to marry you.”

Is this really – REALLY – such a big deal?

It’s called a referral, and it happens all the time.  I once needed some dental work done, and asked my dentist if he used nitrous oxide.  He said he did not, but could refer me to one who did.  As it turns out, I didn’t need the work after all, but that’s how these things work.

Nobody will be denied the opportunity to get married.

Doctors take an oath to heal people.  The oath ensures, amongst other things, confidentiality.  A doctor, by the Hippocratic Oath, cannot refuse to provide a medically necessary treatment based on the behavioural choice of a patient.

Nobody will be denied health care services because they’re gay.  Or black.  Or an atheist.

Nobody is going to bleed to death because a doctor won’t treat them.

Nobody is going to be refused birth control pills because a pharmacist is Catholic.

This is nothing more than terrorism.

And, like Bob Rae, the people engaging in this believe you’re stupid enough to believe them.

Do us all a favour: prove them wrong.

Vote Wildrose.

Steven Britton Deep Stuff, My Stuff, Political

17 Replies

    1. Yeah, I caught that just before retiring for the night. It’s fixed now. I wanted to get the blog entry posted, and sometimes my fingers move over the keyboard faster than my brain’s spell checker. Incidentally, on an old episode of the Cosby Show, in the episode where they pay tribute to the late Jim Henson, one of the muppets refers to the Hypocritic Oath. I expect there’s some of that in there as well…

  1. This is just a provincial variation of the “Harper is scary” meme. When will people wrap their heads around the reality that the SSM horse left the barn a long time ago, and won’t be coming back. I have gay friends and family that tend to fall for this kind of crap quite readily, and I think it’s very sad.

  2. “Nobody is going to be refused birth control pills because a pharmacist is Catholic.”
    Really? Would that it were so.

    As for gay people moving on down the road because one public servant doesn’t want to do the job they are paid to do. What other public servants would you like to extend this privilege to?

    Also does this privilege of conscience extend to non-religious points of view too? If I’m an environmentally aware doctor can I refuse to treat you because you drive a large SUV?

    Your assertion that these things wouldn’t happen is strangely not founded in reality. The UK and the US have experienced exactly that which you said would not happen.
    How about people doing the job they signed a contract to do.. If they want to be a public servant, be a public servant (that means all the public) if they don’t, they should go work for the organisation that allows them to discriminate under some kind of pious umbrella.

    1. I’m not going to entertain isolated cases from the US, a completely different country and culture as an equivalence to what can be expected here.

      Secondly, by not allowing people to act in accordance with their conscience, by forcing, for example a Christian marriage commissioner to marry a gay couple against the marriage commissioner’s conscience, opponents to conscience rights are, in essence, advocating Official State Morality, and suggesting anyone who refuses to conform to Official State Morality should be punished for it.

      Is this Alberta, or Saudi Arabia?

  3. Accepting that an individual’s arbitrary decisions about what is moral and what is not and that it has a basis in the deliver of a service that you are entitled to seriously reduces everyone else’s autonomy.
    Religious beliefs are individual, arbitrary and can change on a whim. Governmental rules are determined by elected members who argue within a publicly accepted legal framework. These rules can only be changed by further discussion and consensus.
    Living in a society means compromising and reducing freedom of action to a minimum. To do this we have a very public process in which laws are enacted.Law changes are as a result of a lot of consultation in a democracy; one persons theocratic, political or social point of view and the insistence that everyone else account for it is a tyranny.
    Everyone else should compromise so a select few don’t have to. Really?

    1. In 1985, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed conscience rights in a decision. A person, if compelled to act I way they othise would not, is not truly free.

  4. Nice quote, but non of us are every truly free then are we?
    I think I understand this conscience thing now,
    “If I refuse to provide you with a taxpayer funded service because you are a xian, I’m discriminating. If you refuse to provide me with a taxpayer funded because you are a xian, that’s a matter of conscience.”
    Is that it?

    1. More along the lines of “I personally choose not to perform homosexual marriages, but let me call a commissioner who does and set up an appointment for you.”

  5. Nice sidestep
    They want their cake and it eat. They want their intolerance to be protected by government order while shielding them from the quid pro quo. Codifying intolerance and bigotry is never the way to go.
    Are you then accepting that beliefs using other decision making frameworks should be equally as protected? After all their foundation for their beliefs is at least a s strong as blind faith..
    So the racist can refuse to serve a black person as long as he can point to someone who might. The ER doctor can refuse to treat an alcoholic with liver disease as long as they can provide the telephone number of someone who will.
    All of us then become an arbiter of what our job entails and who are clients are and can change qualifying criteria at a whim, Those of us paid by tax payer money can then actually be paid to perform a function by those who will we will refuse to perform it for.
    Superstition trumps a service contract does it?

    1. You’re using a slippery slope argument, which I won’t entertain. If there is a dispute over a refusal to provide service, the person can take it to the court system. The Wildrose Party has a policy on that.

      As I mentioned in the original post, doctors are bound by the Hippocratic Oath, which means they treat, regardless of the morality of person they’re treating. So that is a red herring.

      As this discussion is starting to cover pretty much every argument raised by every person opposed to conscience rights, I see little point in continuing with it.

      You have expressed your opinion very well, and for that, I thank you.

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