Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday and the Light Is Not Yet Dimmed

Or something....

What better way to open a post on the feast day of the Korean martyrs than with this:

The judicial chastising of the way an Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator tried to ferret out bogus refugees stems from the case of a man who fled China saying he fears persecution for being a Roman Catholic. He was refused because of his answers to questions about Catholic tradition.

The Federal Court of Canada expressed dismay at the level of knowledge expected from the recent convert, who knew Mary was the mother of Jesus but didn’t know Jesus’ grandmother’s name; and who knew Jesus was baptized by John but didn’t know John’s mother’s name.

(The answers are Anne and Elizabeth, respectively.)

“He had little knowledge of the Bible’s characters,” Rose Andrachuk, an IRB adjudicator who previously was chairwoman of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, concluded following the quiz she gave Mao Qin Wang, prior to the court’s intervention.

Mr. Wang, 26, says he turned to religion after his father was seriously injured in an accident and a friendly Catholic said he was praying for him. When his father improved, he started attending his friend’s underground church in 2007, he says.

When he was a lookout at an illegal service in 2008, Chinese police raided the gathering, he told Canada’s immigration officials. He fled, but the next day police went looking for him, accusing him of engaging in illegal religious activities, he says.

He came to Canada in 2008 after paying a smuggler $30,000, settled in Toronto and filed for refugee protection, claiming he fears arrest, jail and maltreatment because of his religious beliefs if returned to China.

At his hearing before the refugee board, Mr. Wang was asked several questions about Catholic liturgy and history, through a translator.

Ms. Andrachuk was dissatisfied with his answers.

“The claimant was asked whether the consecrated wafer or the bread represents the body of Jesus or whether it is the body of Jesus. The claimant responded that it represented the body of Jesus, which is incorrect,” Ms. Andrachuk wrote in her IRB decision.

She continued: “The claimant was asked to tell the panel what happens at mass from the beginning to end. The claimant listed introductory rites, liturgy of the Word, liturgy of Eucharist and conclusion rites, which is correct. The claimant was asked to explain introductory rites. He replied that it is sprinkling of water and priest’s blessing. Neither are essential parts of introductory rites.”

He knew Mary was Jesus’ mother and that John baptized him but not the names of Mary’s and John’s mothers; correctly answered questions about the rosary and the seven sacraments; named books of the Old Testament but was uncertain what they were about; failed to note that 2009 was dedicated to St. Paul by the Catholic Church, and gave other answers that fell short of Ms. Andrachuk’s expectations.

“I find, on a balance of probabilities, that the claimant is not and never was a genuine practicing Roman Catholic,” Ms. Andrachuk wrote. “I find that the claimant’s level of knowledge of the Catholic faith is not commensurate with someone who has been a Roman Catholic for three years.”

The case was appealed to the Federal Court of Canada, where Justice Michel Beaudry overturned the decision, declaring that Mr. Wang was held to “an unreasonably high standard of religious knowledge.

“The board erroneously determined the applicant’s knowledge of the Catholic faith by way of ‘trivia,’” Judge Beaudry wrote, adding Ms. Andrachuk wrongly expected Mr. Wang to know as much about the Catholic faith and tradition as she did.

Mr. Wang will now have another hearing before a different IRB adjudicator.

Shelley Levine, Mr. Wang’s Toronto lawyer, said the arcane test would exclude many lifelong Catholics in Canada, let alone a recent convert from an underground church in China, where the communist government restricts religious practice.

“What they really ought to be determining is an issue of faith rather than an issue of knowledge. There are some people who sit in the front row of church every Sunday all their lives but probably couldn’t tell you very much about where to find things in the Bible,” Mr. Levine said.

“The questions got so detailed that, really, only someone in the business of studying the religion may be familiar with them.”

We need to expand the scope of this. A refugee from communist China whose catechism and English language skills are probably not up to par has done a fairly superlative job of explaining the Faith as he knows it, a rather difficult task considering that religious adherents of any stripe are persecuted in China and that learning a language whose alphabet and syntax are totally different from Asiatic languages isn't easy.

Let's put it this way. If I had to hire a native-born Canadian teacher who never went to church and pronounced "contrition" as "kon-TRIT- ee-ohn" or Mr. Wang, I'd ask Mr. Wang to show up Monday, 8 AM sharp.

This guy is better suited to teach at Catholic schools. Three guesses why.

Moving on....

I guess we owe the Danes an apology:  Ex-Afghanistan president Burhanuddin Rabbani killed by 'turban bomb'

Sarah Palin's Wonder Twin challenges the Saudis on censorship:

This is Ezra Levant's double-finger to the Saudis. In Canada, you're allowed to do that.


Is Saudi Arabia losing its cool over Canada’s growing oil sands? It certainly seems that way, based on the Middle East kingdom’s bizarre over-reaction to television commercials that promote Canada’s “ethical oil,” in contrast to oil coming from Saudi Arabia, a regime that oppresses women.

The commercials are sponsored by a tiny grassroots organization based in Toronto, EthicalOil.org, that encourages consumers to favour “ethical” oil from Canada over “conflict” oil that comes from undemocratic regimes, where most of the world’s oil reserves are located.

EthicalOil.org ran the commercials on the Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada in late August. The Saudis responded by hiring lawyers to tell the Television Bureau of Canada, the advertising review and clearance service funded by Canada’s private broadcasters, to withdraw approval of the ads.

The group was so outraged by the Saudis’ “intimidation tactics” it started running the commercials again this week on the Sun News Network and was planning to run them on CTV, until the network backed out, said Alykhan Velshi, executive director of EthicalOil.org.

In an e-mailed statement, CTV’s director of communications, Matthew Garrow, confirmed CTV News Channel received an order for an ad from Ethical Oil: “As the ad in question is the subject of a legal dispute between Ethical Oil and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the advisement of our legal department we will not accept the order until the matter is resolved,” the statement says.

The Saudis’ pressure went further. The Saudi government also approached Canada’s oil industry to express its concerns over the ethical oil campaign, just in case it had a role in it, industry sources confirmed.

It doesn’t. The oil sands industry’s communications strategy has focused on talking up its efforts to address oil sands challenges, rather than criticizing competing energy sources, since it believes all will be needed in the future to meet growing energy demand.

Still, the unprecedented approach from the Saudi embassy raised eyebrows. Saudi engagement with Canada’s oil community has been minimal, ranging from visits to the oil sands to sponsorship of CO2 carbon capture and storage research at the Weyburn oil project in Saskatchewan.

The country’s heavy handedness seems out of character and shows a lack of appreciation for Canadian values such as freedom of speech. It also shows a lack of appreciation for how the world sees its archaic treatment of women — a treatment that is unworthy of its place in the Middle East and its leadership in the world of oil.

It’s an indication the oil sands are getting under its skin. Not long ago, the Saudis downplayed Canada’s unconventional oil as its poor cousin — as hard to produce and costly next to its deposits, which it could produce for $2 a barrel.

But they underestimated Canada’s resolve to grow market share in the United States, largely at the Saudis expense, diminishing their influence over a country they counted on for military and political support.

Once American’s largest oil source, Saudi Arabia has dropped to fourth after Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. Canada, the only non-OPEC member among the world’s five top oil reserve holders, now supplies almost twice as many barrels to the U.S. as Saudi Arabia — nearly 2 million barrels a day in 2010, next to Saudi Arabia’s 1 million. Those volumes will increase further if the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast is approved by the end of the year.

And here's my double-finger to the Saudis.  

Censorship is not "bizarre" or "out-of-character" for a country ruled by an obscenely wealthy oligarchy and where women are not allowed to drive, leave the house without a male or where Jews simply cannot enter or reside. Relying on domestic oil is just as good speaking one's mind or simply telling the ugly truth about this misogynist, anti-Semitic oil-producing state. You can't appeal to emotional retards the way you can with ordinary people who have souls. If letting school girls burn to a crisp is considered "proper", then we have absolutely no business buying their oil, especially when we can produce our own. CTV should have- on principle- run the ad day and night. No foreign interest- particularly Saudi Arabia- has any right telling a news agency or TV channel what they can or cannot run. To let Ezra Levant and SUN TV News swing in the wind with this serves only to bolster that network's mission statement, darken the image of CTV and cement what the West already knows to be true about Saudi Arabia.

Speaking of Sarah Palin.....

Wow. Some people just scratch the bottom of the barrel.  I think people will look back on things like the 2008 election and wonder why they drank the Obama Kool-Aid and never vetted him the way they should have. They will hang their heads in shame when they think of how they hounded Sarah Palin and how this witch hunt ended so ignominiously. 

(thumbs up

"Designer babies" are yet another sign of how we have devolved as a culture:

We're rapidly closing in on the ability to design babies the way we design cars, says one of Canada's top researchers into reproductive medicine, but we haven't set any ground rules. 

Dr. Roger Pierson, director of the Reproductive Biology Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan, says new techniques are allowing scientists to screen for an expanding number of genetic diseases, making it easier for parents to decide what future baby they want to bring into the world.

"We desperately need a national think-tank on how we're going to accept or reject or implement the changes that are coming," Pierson told Postmedia News. "Instead, we're still focusing on problems as old as the technology itself.

Because he's Mark Steyn:

With defense like this, who needs enemies? The designation of the "war on terror" was the first equivocation, and one that hobbled its strategists: For, in the absence of "terror," where was the "war"? As I note in my new book, over the course of the decade, the more alert the security state was to shoe-bombers, panty-bombers, implant-bombers, and suppository-bombers, the more indulgent it grew of any Islamic initiative that stopped short of self-detonation. What, after all, is al-Qaeda's end game? They want the West to live under Islamic law. Hey, take a number and get in line. So does Imam Rauf, the Ground Zero Mosque guy, who was in Scotland the other day at a "Festival of Spirituality and Peace" arguing that sharia should be incorporated into U.K. and U.S. law. He's such a "moderate Muslim" that he's subsidized with your tax dollars: The State Department bought thousands of copies of his unreadable book to distribute at U.S.-embassy events throughout the Middle East, and they paid for his book tour, which they've never offered to do for me. Flying Imam Rauf to the United Arab Emirates to talk to other imams apparently comes under State's "multifaith outreach" program. Wait a minute: He's an imam, they're imams. Where's the multifaith? If we have to have taxpayer-funded outreach, why can't we send 'em Jackie Mason, or that gay bishop the Episcopalians are hot for? 

And now, a rabbit and kittens.  Enjoy.

No comments: