Thursday, September 26, 2013

Half of Canadian universities fail at free speech

Universities are supposed to be safe places to debate controversial ideas but school administrators and students leaders would sometimes prefer instead to enforce their own points of view, even if it means silencing others.

As a result, the limits of free speech are frequently debated on campus. This week it’s at the University of Manitoba where a pro-life group is showing photos comparing abortion to the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide. Student Ashley James told the Winnipeg Free Press that it’s preventing her from focusing at school.

One can bet where the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms would stand. They want controversial speech protected. According to their 2013 Campus Freedom Index, released Tuesday, 23 of the 45 universities graded this year have failed to stop censorship. Each administration and student union was assigned two A to F letter grades, one based on policies and the other on practices. Their conclusion: “Our country’s institutions of higher education have failed in their promise to uphold the sanctity of free speech in its most cherished and necessary form: the discussion of controversial ideas, frank and spirited debate, and the pursuit of truth.”

The most common limits on free speech cited in the report were those placed on anti-abortion groups by student unions. The report quotes the Trent Central Students Association’s strange explanation for rejecting a pro-life club: “Campaigning for pro life or pro choice [sic] is not allowed on campus… since there is [sic] so many opinions to this it can lead to a very exclusive group, while all groups at Trent must be inclusive.” It also quotes the Brandon University Students’ Union which said it wouldn’t certify a pro-life group because, “[it] would be redundant since the Women’s Collective deals with all gender issues.” Student unions also hindered pro-life groups at York, Memorial, Calgary, Guelph and Lakehead, to name a few. On the other hand, the University of British Columbia administration got an “A” after it lifted restrictions on the pro-life club Lifeline.


Some pretty weak arguments from the pro-abortionists


Anonymous said...

It is hard to make the case that it is a good thing to kill babies for any reason or no reason at all so they must resort to silencing the opposition. It is hard to sell crap when there is an alternative voice telling people just what is involved.

Anonymous said...

The term "abortion" often makes no distinction between removing a tiny clump of undifferentiated cells and a fetus that's within the few weeks that the law allows in most western countries; and yet some people want to call either case a "baby", which is overstating the case, especially in the former one.

Anonymous said...

"To conquer a nation without the use of military force, you must first control the minds of their young..." -- Karl Marx

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:20 AM - Abortion kills human beings. How's that for "overstating" the case?

Anonymous said...

"Abortion kills human beings."

You better not jerk off then. The potential Human Beings are destroyed. Every sperm is sacred.

Use the Name, Luke said...

So 9:33's claim is that sperm is a human being that will grow to adulthood on its own?

Anonymous said...

Hey look up the word satire. You religious nuts can't take a joke. Go in your basement and flog yourself.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see anyone say anything about religion. Why do you feel it's necessary to insult people you disagree with. Are you unable to form any kind of argument or think logically? Why do you spew all the hate?

Anonymous said...

Nature as created by God aborts numerous fetuses all the time, but I guess that's okay coz God is the alpha-male deity, the celestial boss dictator running some weird bio experiment on this planet.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Ahh, the refuge of the scoundrel caught trying to push a stupid idea without admitting that he's obviously wrong: "It was just a joke."

In order for satire to be effective, it must bear a recognizable connection to reality. In order for it to be funny, it has to, well, actually be funny. That was neither.

2:18, look up the definition of "god".

Anonymous said...

Luke I think that you are hilarious. Your statements always make me laugh. Your fairy tale bible quotes do get boring, however.

Monty said...

"Every Sperm is Sacred" is a musical sketch from the movie Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

The chorus:
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

You don't get out much, do you Luke?

Anonymous said...

From 2:18 AM /
Why (Luke) should I look up the definition of "god" (and I note you didn't capitalize it whereas I did in my post) when I already know the usual dictionary defs.
I suppose as a very biased "Christian" that you have a special definition that suits your own particular prejudices? Most Christians do interpret everything to suit their biases including whatever egregious non-sense the Bible states (though serious unbiased academics have good and plausible explanations for its various sources, meanings and intentions).

Use the Name, Luke said...


1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.

3. ( lowercase ) one of several deities, especially a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.

4. ( often lowercase ) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.

"Supreme" is an inherent part of what a god is, whether it's the True God or a made up god. If you remove the "supreme" part, you cannot call such a being "god".


1. highest in rank or authority; paramount; sovereign; chief.

2. of the highest quality, degree, character, importance, etc.: supreme courage.

3. greatest, utmost, or extreme: supreme disgust.

4. last or final; ultimate.

Complaining that God is supreme is like complaining that water is wet. You can either make your peace with it, or get drowned by it. You cannot change it.

You can either face God as an enemy, or a friend. Those are the only options available. Your choice.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Your fairy tale* bible quotes do get boring, however.

Ok then. Just for you, since you asked so nicely… ;-)

for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

— Romans 14:11–12

(* Somewhere deep inside, you actually know that God exists and that the Bible is true. "Fairy tale" is just wishful thinking on your part; and you know what they say about wishful thinking.)

Use the Name, Luke said...

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
— Romans 1:19–20

Anonymous said...

definition of god: everything that we do not understand. god is getting smaller every day.

Anonymous said...

Luke's usual prolixity is clearly a case of trying to convince himself of his own "wishful thinking" about "God/god".
Like so many, he's been indoctrinated to fear this "G/god" whether or not he's been bright enough to ever wonder about the logic of his fundamentalist religious views (he's effectively admitted to being a "creationist").

Anonymous said...

Luke says you can only face God as a friend or an enemy as the only two options. That isn't true as there is a third and most obvious one - IT DOESN'T EXIST in any way that humans can possibly demonstrate in any OBJECTIVE way. And certainly not the pathetically anthropomorphic male god of the ancient Hebrews of whom the Jesus figure is supposed to have been the "son".

Use the Name, Luke said...

Your refusal to admit God's existence doesn't make Him vanish any more than refusing to acknowledge gravity could prevent a rock from landing on your toe when you let go.

Willful blindness does not a rational argument make.

Anonymous said...

"Willful blindness does not a rational argument make."

Since when have you been rational? Give me proof of god's existence. I am sure that you cannot do that. Delusions are not proof.

Anonymous said...

Are you simple-minded Luke? (I guess you are if you're religiously indoctrinated). You can make a rock land on my or your toe as a demonstration of gravity, so how does that equate to demonstrating a "god force", even if you want such a feeble analogy between a natural and a "super-natural" force to work in any logical way at all?

Use the Name, Luke said...

Give me proof of god's existence. I am sure that you cannot do that.

I've offered evidence many times. All you have ever offered in return is simpleminded gainsaying.

Here is some I've offered:

I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Which focuses on historical facts even opponents of Christianity admit are true.)

The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology

The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict

There is a God : How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

And here's a new one:

Cold Case Christianity

Your refusal to examine the evidence is your problem, not mine.

Anonymous said...

Does Luke refuse to admit the Spaghetti-Monster's existence, even though the Holy Pasta created Luke and all the Universe?

Anonymous said...

Luke's so-called arguments have been refuted so often and are at best just specious and self-serving ones based on a pre-conceived prejudice. They and he are not interested in what may actually be true. They have an emotional investment in one view of history and one view of existence, and will never entertain the idea of another. The only objective truth possible would be clear scientific evidence, which ought to be possible if the "supernatural" interferes in the natural World as the Bible claims.
Btw. Luke, instead of the lazy way of making endless links to biased sites that may or may not be directly relevant, try confining arguments to your own words addressed to the actual cases in point.

Use the Name, Luke said...

Logical fallacy in use by 3:01: Ad hominem. Also, a whole lot of begging the question.

I continually find it amazing how the "new atheists" claim to be the rational ones when their arguments tend to to be almost all logical fallacies.

Btw. Luke, instead of the lazy way of making endless links to biased sites that may or may not be directly relevant, try confining arguments to your own words addressed to the actual cases in point.

No. Rewriting arguments in my own words doesn't have anything to do with their validity. It just wastes my time.

So again: No.

Anonymous said...

So Luke save your time by stop posting your pointless comments. We all know you're a brainwashed creationist.