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Michael Ignatieff is ignorant of human rights.

It is a measure of the decadence of the Liberal Party of Canada that one of the foremost candidates to succeed Paul Martin as leader is a morally benighted Harvard professor and darling of the left, Michael Ignatieff.

In the 2000 Massey Lectures broadcast by the CBC and later published as The Rights Revolution, Ignatieff outlined the evolving understanding of human rights over the past 40 years without mentioning the most basic right of all--the right to life. Moreover, the omission seems to have been deliberate. Like almost all contemporary liberals, Ignatieff is an unabashed exponent of a woman's so-called right to choose to have her baby killed by abortion.

In The Rights Revolution, Ignatieff states: "Abortion rights have increased the freedom of women, while at the same time raising bitter and contentious debate about our right to terminate the life of the unborn." As authority for this last statement, he refers in a footnote to English-speaking Justice, a treatise written in 1973 by the late Canadian philosopher and Anglican theologian George Grant. In this prophetic work, Grant warned: "If tyranny is to come in North America, it will come cozily and on cat's feet. It will come with the denial of the rights of the unborn and of the aged, the denial of the rights of the mentally retarded, the insane, and the economically less-privileged. In fact, it will come with the denial of rights to all those who cannot defend themselves."

Except to cite Grant's book in a footnote, Ignatieff has nothing to say about the sanctity of human life in The Rights Revolution. He does not discuss, let alone refute, Grant's compelling arguments for the right to life of all human beings. On the basis of no reason or argument whatever, Ignatieff arbitrarily upholds the court-instigated regime of unrestricted access to abortion in Canada that abets the wholesale slaughter of babies in the womb.

Ignatieff is just as irresponsible in dealing with so-called "gay rights." In The Rights Revolution, he regrets that in 2000, homosexuals still did not have the same rights as heterosexuals to marry and adopt children. As for the rights and well-being of children, he states: "Same-sex parents have taught us that there is no necessary relationship between heterosexuality and good parenting."

In support of this assertion, Ignatieff also cites no reason or evidence whatever. He seems to be so infatuated with the "gay rights" ideology that he is unwilling even to consider all the compelling evidence from time immemorial that children thrive best in a united home under the care and guidance of their own natural mother and father.

Ignatieff argues that women need "abortion rights" and homosexuals need "marriage rights" to enjoy agency. He explains: "Agency is the key idea in rights. The word 'agency' just means the capacity of individuals to set themselves goals and accomplish them as they see fit."

Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin and the majority of her colleagues on the Supreme Court of Canada have embraced this same perversion of human rights. In the December, 2005 Labaye ruling, for example, they decreed that despite the ban on indecency in the Criminal Code, perverts have a right to engage in group sex in a public place as they see fit.

How can Ignatieff and these judges be so wrong about human rights and morality? The answer lies in the rejection of religious faith. Like most liberal intellectuals, Ignatieff describes himself as a "secular liberal." Instead of renewing his mind so that he might know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, he conforms to the world.

In conformity with the ideology of secular liberals, Canada has descended into a dark age. First, we had legalized contraception and easy divorce. Then, we legalized abortion on demand and homosexual activity.

And now, as Grant foresaw, we have tyranny in Canada. Our so-called human rights tribunals are so out of control that even a bishop of the Catholic Church risks persecution for stating the truth about marriage and the natural family.

Under these circumstances, any Christian who supports the leadership of a secular liberal like Ignatieff is guilty of an inexcusable betrayal of the faith and the Church.

See also "Liberal leadership contest uninspiring," by Tony Gosgnach, page 20 in this issue.

Rory Leishman is the auther of the newly-released book Against Judicial Activism: The Decline of Freedom and Democracy in Canada (McGill/Queens University Press, Montreal). He has also been published in Judicial Activism: A threat to democracy and religion (2004). It is available from Life Ethics Information Centre, (416) 204-9601, www.lifethics.com.
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Author:Leishman, Rory
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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