“Tremble,” said Jordan Peterson.
In response to a question regarding the implications of transgender politics for religious freedom, the professor described the “social-justice warriors” driving this agenda as “postmodern Marxists.”
“Those people are no friends to religion, that’s for sure,” said Peterson, a political psychologist who has studied the psychology of totalitarianism for 30 years.
“As long as your religion doesn’t contravene any of the social-justice warrior doctrines, and by the way it does, then you’ll be okay as long as you’re quiet — and I would say very quiet... You guys have every serious reason to be worried.”
Peterson, the centre of controversy over his refusal to use transgender pronouns, was in Ottawa Nov. 19 to receive an award the day after Transgender Bill C-16 was sent to the Senate. The bill, which passed easily through the House of Commons, adds gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and to the Criminal Code’s hate-speech provisions. There was no recorded vote because too few opposition members stood to require one.
An attempt by Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall to have the bill returned to committee for further review failed. Critical of what she calls the “deeply flawed, undemocratic process” that saw the bill zip through the Justice Committee without hearing any witnesses other than the Justice Minister, Wagantall wanted each clause examined for its impact on freedom of expression.
“My concern is that dissent of any kind will be construed as hate speech and could subsequently lead to Human Rights Tribunal hearings or, worse yet, criminal charges being laid,” Wagantall said.
Peterson has expressed similar concerns. The professor has been facing recriminations after publicly assailing the use of transgender pronouns that he says are required by the Ontario Human Rights Act.
These pronouns will soon be required by the Canadian Human Rights Act as Bill C-16 speeds through Parliament, he warned. He contends that forcing people to speak against their conscience and beliefs is a hallmark of totalitarianism. Requiring people to use specific words is even more worrisome than preventing free speech, he says.
Peterson is not conventionally religious, but has studied the importance of foundational myths in providing order out of chaos for society. He believes in the Logos, a philosophical and theological system that predates Judaism. In Christianity, Logos designates the Word of God made flesh—the symbolic ideal man.
“The Word made flesh is a fundamental principle of Western culture,” Peterson said. “It will not survive without it.”
Peterson said society would be “unmoored and oscillating” from the radical right to the radical left with “nothing to keep people centred” if it lost its fundamental belief systems.
“When a society loses its religious suppositions, people turn to ideology,” he said. Ideology is a “poor” and “dangerous substitute” for religion.
Wagantall wants Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to give Canadians a clear answer on how Bill C-16 will impact immigrant and faith groups “who may be at odds with gender fluidity concepts.”
“Would they have the freedom to teach their children and practise their beliefs without being accused of hate speech or being accused of human rights violations? Yes or no?” she asked.
In addition to its new legislation, the government has appointed MP Randy Boissonnault as Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues to guide its aggressive agenda. He will advise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and work with LGBTQ2 organizations, according to a government news release.
Also on Nov. 15, the Justice Minister introduced an amendment to the Criminal Code that would lower the age of consent for anal sex from 18 to 16.