Blasphemy is a crime in Canada

Not because we're living under the Stephen Harper Christofascist dictatorship, though. (Sorry, Michael Harris.)  It's actually a law that hasn't been enforced successfully since 1935, but remains part of the Criminal Code of Canada: Section 296 of the Criminal Code makes “blasphemous libel” punishable by up to two years in jail in Canada. No one … Continue reading Blasphemy is a crime in Canada

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Book review: A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy by Craig Jones

[Originally posted at Canadian Lawyer] When s. 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada was referred to the British Columbia Supreme Court, I wrote that I believed the law was clearly unconstitutional in its current form: If this case was about legal recognition of polygamy — with massive implications for family law and even immigration policy — it … Continue reading Book review: A Cruel Arithmetic: Inside the Case Against Polygamy by Craig Jones

The other “Jesus shirt” case

Nova Scotians who followed the "Life is Wasted Without Jesus" controversy may be interested in this markedly similar case from Ohio, where a student's T-shirt was banned because of a controversial religious message. The difference? In the Ohio case, the shirt read, "Jesus is Not a Homophobe."

Two related stories

Canada: A Nova Scotia teenager who made international headlines for getting suspended from school after wearing a T-shirt with a Christian message didn't attend classes on Monday and may be leaving the school for good. William Swinimer, a Grade 12 student at Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, N.S., was suspended last Monday after … Continue reading Two related stories

“Until somehow his soul is taken from him.”

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Christian pastor faces execution for "apostasy": Fears are growing for the fate of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani after some reports claimed he could be executed by as early as today. White House spokesman Jay Carney stated yesterday: "A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian … Continue reading “Until somehow his soul is taken from him.”

Review – The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion by Hugh B. Urban

[A version of this review originally appeared at CanadianLawyerMag.com.] An academic history of the Church of Scientology might not seem relevant to lawyers, unless you’re familiar with the controversial movement’s use of the justice system against its many detractors. Founder L. Ron Hubbard explained his legal philosophy in 1955: “The purpose of the [lawsuit] is … Continue reading Review – The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion by Hugh B. Urban

Quote of the day

"People are entitled to speak their mind. If their speech is unkind or irrational or similarly improper, it should be condemned on those grounds. But neither law nor morality can demand that they restrict what they do because of the murderousness of others." - Eugene Volokh, on the Koran-burning controversy. Someone should read that post … Continue reading Quote of the day