Deaton’s comments draw more criticism
As articles which have appeared in this newspaper will attest, I am not a fan of the Bishop of Charlottetown nor the Roman Catholic hierarchy in general.
So, it would take the near-hysteria of Richard Deaton’s seemingly endless stream of ad hominems to draw me out of the woodwork.
I take it that Mr. Deaton reads what follows as:
“2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication...EXCEPT the Bishop of Charlottetown” (plus, I would guess, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Dalai Lama, a chief Rabbi or two, the odd Imam, and, well, Tom Cruise; and how about we add anyone who espouses a point of view which is ethical in nature, e.g. Paul Watson, for example, or maybe even John Stuart Mill-oh yes, thankfully, he’s dead).
Neither the 1867 Constitution, nor the Charter speaks of separation of church and state (indeed, the 1867 Constitution actually protects two religious groups). We do not have the non-establishment clause that the Americans have in their First Amendment. And even non-establishment has probably been extended beyond its original limits. Two considerations. First, the recent Irish experience has pretty much demonstrated the irrelevance of episcopal pronouncements, (as Mr. Deaton points out). So what, pray tell, is the harm. Most people are not listening. (And for purposes of Charter interpretation, it is certainly not the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre).
Second, like many contemporary groups, the so-called “Inquisition” was certain that it had a lock on spiritual and moral truth. However, unlike those groups, the “Inquisition” did not care what people thought. No siree. You could think anything you liked, as long as you didn’t say it. Which puts me in mind of...right, Richard Deaton.
David M. Bulger, M.A., LL.B., LL.M.