The flag, again

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

Did the premier of this prov­ince tell a whop­per in March? There is plenty of ev­i­dence to sug­gest he did. Dwight Ball said on ra­dio, and else­where, that there was no clear pol­icy on what sort of flags can be raised on the courtesy flag­poles at Con­fed­er­a­tion Build­ing.

Not only is that not true, but email ex­changes di­vulged through an access-to-in­for­ma­tion re­quest re­veal Ball was in­formed of the stated Pro­to­col Of­fice pol­icy on courtesy pole us­age in March 2015.

That pol­icy ex­cluded all flags of a com­mer­cial, re­li­gious or po­lit­i­cal na­ture.

It was sent to him by Tol­son Chap­man, a mem­ber of the St. Stephen the Mar­tyr church in St. John’s. Chap­man has been vo­cal for years about his Chris­tian be­liefs re­gard­ing ev­ery­thing from abor­tion and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion to evo­lu­tion. He has writ­ten sev­eral let­ters to the ed­i­tor.

“(Judges) have changed or al­tered our God-given nat­u­ral rights, and as a re­sult it has led to the mo­ral de­cline of Cana­dian so­ci­ety,” he wrote in June 2015.

Those “rights” in­clude rec­og­niz­ing only male and fe­male gen­ders, and re­strict­ing mar­riage to that be­tween a man and a woman.

Chap­man be­lieves there is no flex­i­bil­ity in God’s plan.

“He did not ac­cept sin­ners 2,500 years ago and does not to­day,” he wrote in De­cem­ber 2012.

“God has given us free will to choose eter­nal life or eter­nal death (Hades).”

Chap­man has been the driv­ing force be­hind the plan to have local leg­is­la­tures fly the so-called Chris­tian flag at Easter. He is the sender or re­cip­i­ent in most com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­tained in the re­leased doc­u­ments.

In de­fend­ing the idea, he says all groups should be tol­er­ant of each other, and should have a right to ex­press them­selves in a public fo­rum. The flag this year was meant to ac­knowl­edge the per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians around the world.

Yet in com­mu­ni­ca­tions to TC Media, the only com­par­i­son Chap­man has ever drawn is to the Gay Pride flag. He has em­pha­sized the LBGT com­mu­nity only rep­re­sents one per cent of the world pop­u­la­tion (a very low es­ti­mate) whereas Chris­tians rep­re­sent more than 30 per cent.

On March 30, 2015, Dwight Ball replied di­rectly to Chap­man’s ques­tion as to what his govern­ment’s pol­icy would be.

“Our so­ci­ety must be tol­er­ant and re­spect­ful of all groups, re­gard­less of their re­li­gious, racial, gen­der based or other ori­gins,” he wrote.

“A Lib­eral govern­ment would op­er­ate based on a pol­icy of tol­er­ance and strive to ac­com­mo­date as many re­quests as rea­son­ably pos­si­ble to raise a flag at Con­fed­er­a­tion Build­ing.”

There are only two con­clu­sions: ei­ther Ball ig­nored the clear pol­icy about courtesy flags, or he pre­tended not to have seen it.

Mean­while, the per­son be­hind its pro­mo­tion lo­cally clearly seems to have a fix­a­tion on so­ci­ety’s ac­cep­tance of LGBT rights.

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