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March 31, 2001

Real cross-burning ignored by Hedy Fry

Lorne Gunter
The Edmonton Journal
National Post

So it turns out there has been a cross-burning in Canada in the past year. But not in Prince George. Or anywhere else in B.C. Or even by racists.

The one and only recent example of a cross-burning was in Montreal last March. By feminists. On International Women's Day. On the steps of a Catholic cathedral.

The feminists, hiding behind ski masks, set alight homemade crosses, then stormed the cathedral. They vandalized the walls and altar with spray paint proclaiming, "No God, no masters." They knocked down elderly nuns, destroyed hymnals and prayer books, smeared the walls with used sanitary napkins and strewed condoms around -- all in the name of tolerance. It seems these protesters could not bear any views on abortion or women's rights that disagreed with their own. And since the Catholic Church believes all abortion is sin and chooses not to ordain women as priests, well then, its cathedrals were fair game for a good ransacking.

Such thinking is at the core of post-modern liberalism: You are free to say and think what you wish, as long as you agree with us. Disagree and we'll jump immediately to name-calling (racist, sexist, homophobe, etc.), then try to legislate or regulate against your words using hate-crimes legislation or our human rights commissions and broadcast regulators.

Secretary of State Hedy Fry, who elsewhere sees two Klansmen in every home and a burning cross on every lawn, did not decry the Montreal desecration. Far from it. The only news release issued by her Status of Women Canada secretariat near the date of the Montreal defilement (March 8, 2000) came two days later and it blew sunshine up Finance Minister Paul Martin's kilt: Women and their families stand to gain in Budget 2000.

An actual, egregious example of hateful, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian bigotry had just taken place, and the federal minister responsible for ending prejudice didn't even take notice. She was too busy writing news releases extolling the virtues of her party's government.

One lone man suspected of connections to white supremacists is alleged to have tried to recruit followers in Prince George, and Fry had her department fund an expensive Intercultural Committee and Hate Activities Task Force. Then she makes up a story about cross-burnings (plural) there to demonstrate how morally superior she and her fellow multiculturalists are. But if a real incident of hate and intolerance occurs against Catholics and against a Christian church, you would die an old man before you would hear so much as a peep from Hedy Fry.

If rioters, especially Anglo-Saxon males, had smashed any other faith's place of worship, Fry would have been first in the moral indignation line. She would have led the cries for a full inquiry and demanded millions for sensitivity education from cradle to grave.

But she would have done all this because it suited her political and philosophical ends, not because she was truly interested in ending racism and intolerance. Fry never sees the timber in her own eye, only the splinter in her opponent's.

Yet such selective outrage is not conscious. Liberals, in general, are hyper-sensitive to anything remotely resembling intolerance from whites, men, Christians and right-wingers, because such abuses, real or imagined, justify liberal solutions such as massive government spending on intrusive programs for social engineering.

At the same time, liberals are blind to abuses by racial and religious minorities, women and leftists because abuses by politically favoured groups upset the liberal agenda. They destroy the liberals' claim that the problem is all of "them" and the solution all of "us." So liberals conveniently, but subconsciously, ignore such breaches.

Moreover, while liberals may not always agree with the actions of lib-left extremists, they sympathize with their motives. Fry would agree with the Montreal rioters that Catholics need to change their minds on abortion and women's rights, hence she understands their anger and is not outraged by their crimes.

Now here's the irony of ironies.

The Montreal rioters started off from the city's main Women's Day rally. As she had every year since becoming minister, Fry encouraged women to celebrate Women's Day 2000 by making posters or banners for the walls of their offices or schools, by hosting workplace study groups to recount personal efforts to fight inequality, by signing pledge scrolls committing themselves to continuing the struggle (in no other department is the vocabulary of Marx used more often than in Status of Women), and by organizing and attending rallies and parades.

Of course Fry didn't incite the cathedral smashing. She merely gave her general blessing to rallies of the type the rioters set off from. She is not responsible for their actions.

But does anyone actually think she would acknowledge such a distinction from a conservative minister in a similar predicament?

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