On January 29th 2018, Lighthouse Trails released a new booklet titled Transgenderism and Our Children, written by LT authors Maria Kneas and Lois Putnam. The booklet describes the transgender issue and how it is affecting children. While the booklet does say that transgenderism is not God’s will for any human being, there is no language in the book to incite hate against transgenders.
The day after the booklet was released, one of our Canadian customers ordered 101 copies to be shipped to Canada. We began processing the order for shipping when we remembered reading about new Canadian laws on transgenderism. We pulled the order and began researching the matter. Here is what we learned:
According to a ruling in June of 2017, transgenders are now considered a protected people group in Canada:
The Canadian Senate passed Bill C-16 by a 67-11 vote. The bill adds prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act, amends the criminal code to extend protections against hate speech and allows judges to take into consideration when sentencing whether a crime was motivated by hatred of the victim’s gender identity or expression. (source)
The bill became law on June 19, 2017 in Canada.
We learned also that Canadian customs has the right to seize any material that would be classified as hate propaganda and that because of the new law, material that speaks against transgenderism would fall into the hate propaganda category. This is described in Memorandum D9-1-15, which can be read on the Canada Border Services website.
Memorandum D9-1-15 defines what is hate propaganda as:
Goods that incite or promote hatred against an identifiable group, by incorporating some or all of the following allegations, may be prohibited as hate propaganda:
(a) allegations that an identifiable group is to blame for serious economic or social problems;
(b) allegations that an identifiable group manipulates media, trade, finance, government or world politics to the detriment of society;
(c) allegations that an identifiable group is inferior or superior to another group; and/or
(d) allegations that an identifiable group weakens or threatens society, in whole or in part.
Because transgenders are now considered an “identifiable group” in Canada, and because our booklet does suggest that transgenderism will weaken our society and bring much harm to our children if it is introduced to them in school, our booklet would fall within the parameters of hate propaganda in Canada.
There is a clause in Memorandum D9-1-15 that states:
Goods that may constitute hate propaganda, through their willful promotion of hatred, will not be classified under tariff item 9899.00.00 if the goods are found to:
(a) communicate statements that are established to be true;
(b) predominately express, in good faith, an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
(c) be relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which is for the public benefit and, on reasonable grounds, are believed to be true;
What this above section means, according to the Memorandum, is that under certain circumstances (e.g, opinion based on a belief in a religious text), those distributing “hate propaganda” will not be prosecuted under the criminal code, but the material is still deemed hate literature and will not be accepted into Canada.
Because it seemed that Memorandum D9-1-15 might allow for the freedom of expression and opinion if it is in a religious context, we made a phone call to the Canadian Customs office in Ottawa, Ontario to gain clarification and spoke to a Canadian customs officer who handles questions about the new laws on transgenders. We explained that the booklet did not incite hate but was warning about the dangers in teaching children that transgenderism is normal and healthy. The officer told us that the way to tell if a particular literature would be deemed hate literature was to substitute the word in question (transgender) with the name of a particular race of people, for instance, black people. So, in other words, if our substitution said that African American people were a danger to society, that would be considered hate propaganda (which we would agree with). So according to this test, if literature says that transgenderism is a danger to society, then it too is considered hate propaganda.
Our conversation concluded with the customs officer saying we are welcome to send our material to Ottawa for review, but he believed with what we told him that our booklet would not be allowed into Canada as it would be definitely considered hate propaganda.
First of all, we find it very disturbing that transgenders and homosexuals have been placed in the same category as people groups, such as African American people and Jews, who have truly been persecuted and hated for merely being whom God created them to be.
While we do not condone hateful and cruel behavior to any group, including transgenders and homosexuals, it is wrong that society (and especially our children) must submit to the demands of groups whose sexual preferences are contrary to God’s Word. Those groups should not be placed in the same category as ethnic or race groups.
What’s more, while laws should protect every citizen from cruel and hateful actions against them (and in all Western societies, laws are set up that way to do that), the Canadian government has set a precedent that eliminates the freedom of speech in societal issues that should be allowed to be debated.
Where will this stop? There are people who want laws created to protect those who practice bestiality (sex with animals) and those who want to have sex with children. Will we be told it is hate propaganda to speak up against child molesting? And what about the freedom of religion? Christians believe that man is sinful and needs a savior and that the only Savior man has is Jesus Christ. Will it soon be considered hate propaganda to send Gospel literature to Canada because the Gospel rejects all other forms of salvation? Will the day come when Bibles (except for loose inaccurate paraphrases) will not be accepted either?
With all this said and in view of our findings, some Lighthouse Trails booklets and books will no longer be allowed to cross the Canadian border from the U.S.
We know that what we are seeing happen in Canada is just a foretaste of what is going to happen throughout the world, and it is just a matter of time before it will happen in the United States. Already we have people in this country who have been sued and even gone to jail for refusing to bake wedding cakes for homosexual weddings or refusing to take photographs of homosexual ceremonies.
The handwriting is on the wall, and as one of our authors said this week when he learned of the Canadian law – “and so it begins.”
LTRJ Note: After posting this article, we received the following e-mail from one of our Canadian readers:
I read online the article on the transgender issue here in Canada. I was shocked, and I cried. I knew this was coming but-now my concern is . . . will you still be able to send your products up here to Canada? Your ministry has help me so much and also it has helped me help others by sharing books and booklets. It’s ministries like yours and others that God has blessed to help others. I sure hope you can still send up here. May God continue to bless and guide you. S.A.
Our comment: While Lighthouse Trails will not be able to send any more material addressing the homosexual or transgender issue to Canada via print materials, we will continue providing our discernment/Gospel material to our Canadian and other international readers. On societal issues such as the ones mentioned above, we know this is the way the world system will continue going. But when it comes to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and to warning the body of Christ of impending danger through false teachings that undermine the Gospel, we will, by His grace and provision, do all we can to stand and help spread the truth throughout the world. There may come a time when we are told to stop spreading this Truth, and at that time, we must obey God rather than man. May He help us all who love Him to live in the world but not of the world and to always be faithful to that which we are called.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5)