19 November, 2016

Julian Clement charged with mischief, uttering death threats after wearing shirt with anti-gay message | CTV News

I oppose what this bigot wore in his shirt in the strongest possible terms. But charging him with a criminal offence for wearing it is also wrong as it raises the spectre of the Crown imposing undue restrictions on our freedom of expression. I appreciate that reasonable limits are appropriate (eg: you can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre) but this hardly rises to that level since no one is immediately endangered by wearing an article of clothing. Hopefully, the courts will agree that the Crown has overstepped its authority in laying this charge.



What do you think?



Julian Clement charged with mischief, uttering death threats after wearing shirt with anti-gay message | CTV News

6 comments:

  1. If the shirt had only said "I hate gays" or "I hate blacks" or "I hate Catholics" it would have been reprehensible but something that must be tolerated in a society that values free speech. But when it follows that with a threat of violence, in the case killing the person, then it is totally unacceptable and should be prosecuted. The state must step in when groups of people are threatened with violence.

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    1. Michael: I recently confronted someone wearing a shirt that said 'Kill the (Muslim symbol) and let God sort it out". It wasn't a particularly happy encounter for all concerned. But do you believe that such a shirt should also result in the person wearing it being criminally charged? I saw something similar being worn by a victim of clergy sexual abuse with priests as the target. How about that shirt?

      I guess what I'm saying is that there are more than a few hate-filled examples out there and I would be uncomfortable with the state presuming that they could suppress them all with criminal charges. I appreciate that the one involved in this article might be different because it 'personalized' it to any individual gay person who would approach the wearer (who btw publically apologized for wearing it the day after he was outed but was charged a week later with uttering death threats), but I think the precedent being set does not auger well for our civil liberties.

      Fr. Tim

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    2. In a civil society we need to have no tolerance for serious threats of violence against groups of people or individuals for that matter. Is a off hand remark around the water cooler ("I'd like to see him dead") a serious threat. No. Is researching, planning and squiring the means to kill someone or a group of people serious. Yes, it certainly is. Is wearing a shirt that says "I will kill any gay who approaches me" serious. It's somewhere between the two.

      In this case I would say it was as it was a public display of that attitude no different than if he displayed it on his front lawn.

      The fact he apologized should probably be taken into account but the charges will send a message to him and others that society will not accept this.

      I don't agree with anyone targeting groups of people, priests included. In fact I told my wife that if the Muslim registry comes to the US, that if asked when crossing the border my religion, I will answer Muslim.

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    3. Michael: I think I'd say the same in crossing the border if it comes to that... but it might be hard to convince them if I'm traveling in my Roman collar!

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  2. Have you seen this ad for Amazon Prime?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouu6LGGIWsc

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    Replies
    1. Michael: Yes I did. Well done imho.

      Fr. Tim

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