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Fighting the “Human Rights” Machine

By Lee Duigon
October 07, 2008

While others sink under the firepower of Canada’s “human rights” machine, a British Columbia businesswoman stands directly in front of it and, like John Paul Jones, declares she has not yet begun to fight.

“Now that my four children are all grown up, and three of them are married, I can really get down to business,” Kari Simpson told Chalcedon.

She’s been fighting her battle for eleven years, so far; and now she’s ready to go on the offensive.

Sue the Tribunal!

Mrs. Simpson’s plan is simple—and audacious. She plans to file a human rights complaint against the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

To whom will she present the complaint?

To the tribunal itself!

“Of course, they can’t really hear a case against themselves,” she said, “so my complaint would automatically be passed on to the British Columbia Supreme Court for judicial review. But even if they were arrogant enough to hear the case, the rules say that any Human Rights Tribunal decision automatically comes up for judicial review. So one way or another, my case will be heard.

“I am about to file a human rights complaint against the provincial government and the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal itself. It will be easy to prove systemic bias and discrimination against Christians. It should be interesting.”

Because the complaint has not yet been formally filed, we cannot quote from it; but we do have Mrs. Simpson’s permission to paraphrase.

Her complaint is based on seven years’ worth of complaints to the tribunal, all made by Christians alleging religious bias against them—and all dismissed without a hearing. During this same time, the tribunal accepted many complaints against Christians, filed by homosexual activists, many of those complaints legally baseless, or even frivolous.

At the same time, Mrs. Simpson charges, the tribunal itself, as well as tribunal staff and members of their families, donated money and labor to “gay rights” groups and projects, personally participated in homosexual advocacy campaigns, and published documents exhibiting an active hostility to Christians and their beliefs.

One such document, A Call to Action: Combating Hate in British Columbia, published in 1999 by the now-defunct B.C. Human Rights Commission, recommends an amendment to the Criminal Code:

The defense of religious belief in s. 318 should be modified to ensure that hatred is not being perpetrated under the guise of religion … When religious views with undertones of hatred against specific groups are propagated to the general public by means of mass media, those views should be subject to community standards of multiculturalism and pluralism [emphasis added]. Freedom of religion should not mean the right to discriminate, or incite hatred, against other identifiable groups.[1]

The Multicultural Oxymoron

Let’s pause to examine this amazing statement.

What, exactly, would constitute “undertones of hatred”? The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is an abomination before God, and that those who practice it will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Does God’s Word carry “undertones of hatred”? Did the commission hope to ban the Bible? Or at least keep Biblical teachings out of whatever the commissioners conceived to be “mass media”? What would that do to Christian radio, television, magazines, and internet sites?

What are “community standards of multiculturalism and pluralism”? Do these concepts not mean that every point of view is to be considered equally valid? If so, any multicultural “standard” would be an oxymoron. But how is it that these “standards,” whatever they are, trump God’s Word?

R. J. Rushdoony addressed these issues almost thirty years ago:

In the name of public policy, a variety of evils are being promoted today. Increasingly, in the name of equality and rights, freedom of speech is being denied to Christians, because Biblical faith requires that sin be condemned, whereas humanism increasingly insists on equal rights for sin …

… A key tenet of this humanist public policy doctrine is the “equality” of good and evil. In fact, however, no such equality exists. If evil cannot be condemned, then righteousness is condemned. If a Christian pastor cannot speak out on television against homosexuality, it means that homosexuality has the freedom to condemn and silence Christianity [emphasis added]. Such a doctrine of equality is another name for the suppression of the freedom of Christianity.[2]

As we have reported in detail in recent months, this is precisely what has happened, and is happening, in Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Western world. The situation in Canada is especially grave because “human rights” commissions and tribunals have been given the power to persecute Christians for expressing their beliefs.

It was just such an attempt at persecution that sent Kari Simpson into battle eleven years ago.

Grilling the Plaintiff

In the mid-1990s, Mrs. Simpson founded the Citizens Research Institute (CRI), dedicated to enforcing the rights of families not to have their children subjected to homosexual propaganda in the public schools. CRI created and circulated a “Declaration of Family Rights,” which parents could file with their children’s schools, stating their intention that their children were not to be subjected to such “teaching.”

At the time, the declaration was firmly in line with provincial school policy and the policies of local school boards. Nevertheless, a kindergarten teacher who identified himself as “a gay man,” and publicly stated that he taught five-year-olds in his classroom about “alternative families” and “heterosexist oppression” (among other things), claimed that the declaration discriminated against him. Joined by several others, he filed a “human rights” complaint against Mrs. Simpson and the CRI. The Human Rights Commission accepted the complaint, and the case was heard before the Human Rights Tribunal in 2000, three years after the complaint was filed.[3]

Acting as her own lawyer, Mrs. Simpson became one of the few defendants in Canadian history to fight down a “human rights” complaint.

It cost her $70,000 of her own money.

“It was a huge expenditure,” she said: “All the time I had to take off from my business, subpoenas, copies, couriers, and consultations with attorneys. Afterward we tried to go after the complainants for our costs, but did not win. So although the case was dropped, it was a brutal punishment.”

Mrs. Simpson kept the lead plaintiff, kindergarten teacher James Chamberlain, on the stand for several days of rigorous cross-examination—so rigorous, indeed, that before a second witness could be called, the plaintiffs withdrew from the case. “They withdrew the complaint after James Chamberlain provided very damaging testimony,” she said—damaging, that is, to his own case.

Mrs. Simpson provided us with several hundred pages of transcripts from that hearing, copies of which will probably be entered into evidence in her own case against the tribunal. We were impressed by the withering effect of her questions on the plaintiff’s case—all the more so, in that she never attended law school.

“I raised four kids on my own,” she said. “You get to be good at asking those sorts of questions.”

The Libel Case

Before she can begin her human rights case, Mrs. Simpson has to wait for the conclusion of other litigation that arose from her campaign for parents’ rights.

This summer, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Vancouver radio talk show host whom Mrs. Simpson had sued for libel, upholding an earlier ruling by the British Columbia Supreme Court. Mrs. Simpson is trying to get the Canadian Supreme Court to reconsider the case—on the grounds that her attorney disregarded her instructions and failed to represent her competently. Her original libel suit was filed almost nine years ago.[4]

The radio host, Mrs. Simpson said, in some thirty editorials on the air and in print, repeatedly compared her to Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan. Without getting into the technicalities of Canadian libel law, judges ruled that although the host had in fact defamed Mrs. Simpson, his remarks were protected as “fair comment” on a public issue.

Of course, had he made similar comments about a gay activist, the radio host would have had to answer to the Human Rights Tribunal.

“This man went on a two-year campaign against me,” Mrs. Simpson said, “in excess of thirty editorials in print and on air. The case is important because the truth matters, and I’m tired of all the gay-speak politics and the special rights provided to this group. As a result of this man’s campaign against me, my life and my children’s lives were threatened, and I required special police protection on numerous occasions—like when I would address a pro-family rally or attend a conference.

“We received threats like, ‘We’ll take your children when they come out of school,’ and lots of death threats. That’s mostly subsided by now, but it was pretty harrowing then.”

Although Mrs. Simpson and the CRI campaigned for parents’ rights in the public schools, her own children went to a private Christian school.

Mrs. Simpson’s husband, Sean, died in 2003. He strongly supported her activism, she said, although he did not himself take a spot on center stage, “and he was not prepared for how big the whole thing got.”

Things Change

Things have changed in British Columbia since Kari Simpson fought for the exclusion of homosexual propaganda from kindergarten classrooms in the public schools. That battle, for the most part, has been lost: school policy has been changed to accommodate militant homosexuals.

“Parents have no more rights in B.C.’s public schools,” Mrs. Simpson said, “and I’m not fighting on that battleground anymore. Let them do what they want in public education—eventually people will see how bad it is. I’m concentrating more on keeping funds for the private schools.”

In Canada, private schools receive a certain amount of funding from the government. “It’s Mother Canada everywhere,” said Mrs. Simpson, “from the cradle to the grave. So even Christian schools get a government subsidy—which the teachers’ unions are trying to cut off. So that’s where the fight is now.

“Meanwhile, homeschooling in British Columbia is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s huge!”

Mrs. Simpson has survived the campaign to silence her, so far, but the organization she founded has not.

“CRI still exists on paper,” she said, “but it was so successfully and thoroughly smeared and demonized as a hate group that it’s virtually out of the picture.”

Wakening a Warrior

What makes Kari Simpson fight so hard?

“It’s funny,” she said: “I wasn’t raised a Christian, but I always knew the Lord. I always knew the Lord was with me. I guess my mother set a good example. She was a very godly woman.

“But I grew up and went out into the world, and got into worldly things—and then one day, God just called me. When God has His hand on you, you can’t resist.

“Unless the churches in Canada and America wake up, and soon, and in the other Western countries, too, they’re going to find themselves in a very bad position. But once a worldly sort of person wakes up to God’s calling, then you have a warrior.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s “human rights” machine rolls on, grinding those whom it can grind, emptying the purses of those who try to resist—unhampered by rules of evidence, by precedent, by double jeopardy laws, or by constitutional restrictions.

One reason we cover these stories is that the practice of breaking human eggs to make a utopian omelet is not confined to Canada. It infects the whole world, including our own United States.

Even now, Organized Sodomy’s allies in the U.S. Congress hope to attach a “hate crime” amendment to the Fiscal Year 2009 Department of Defense reauthorization bill.[5] This would pave the way for a Canadian-style “human rights” regime criminalizing speech critical of homosexuality. Previous efforts to do this have failed; but who can say what changes the next election might bring?

Canada’s justification for conferring tyrannical and arbitrary powers on its “human rights” agencies is that it will result in the “eradication of hate and racism.” As R. J. Rushdoony warned his readers in 1994:

“The democratization of sin has been marked in the 20th century … What was once theft is now a civil right and social justice … Justice has been replaced on all levels by another concept, human rights. Instead of the law of God governing all men, human rights, the law of man, must govern all…”[6]

And, “[T]he godless power wants all things to be under its authority, and below itself in rank … When the state assumes powers independently of God, it acts in terms of power, injustice, and evil …”[7]

Or, as the British Columbia Human Rights Commission puts it, “The Commission believes that we must move beyond the notion of tolerance and embrace a much more holistic ideal of acceptance and celebration of difference and diversity.”[8]

The Canadian government demands its citizens embrace and celebrate behavior that the Bible calls abomination.

Kari Simpson won’t.

When our turn comes, will we?


[1] The Human Rights Tribunal, which took over the work of the commission in 2002, was unable to provide a copy of A Call to Action. We rely on Mrs. Simpson’s copy, which will be entered as evidence in her own complaint.

[2] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction, “The Humanistic Doctrine of Infallibility,” (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991: 1980 position paper), 80–81.

[3] “Homosexual Activists Take Pro-Family Group to Court,” LifeSiteNews.com, October 3, 2000, http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2000/oct/00100306.html.

[4] Tobin Dalrymple, “Rafe Mair wines libel suit in Surrey gay-book case,” Canwest News Service, June 27, 2008.

[5] Bob Unruh, “Return of ‘hate crimes’ plan looms in Congress,” September 12, 2008, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=75041.

[6] Rushdoony, Systematic Theology (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1994), 481.

[7] Ibid., 1031.

[8] From Mrs. Simpson’s copy of A Call to Action.

Topics: Culture , Justice

Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.

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