Monday, September 20, 2004

Swaggart Under Investigation for Death Threats 

Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart is in the hot seat in Canada after complaints were filed about a sermon he made last week from Canada. The show was televised throughout Canada and the United States. At one point he discussed gay marriage, and had this to say:
"I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."

Before continuing on to the statement that got him in trouble, let me interrupt to say that I've also never seen a man I wanted to marry. And I'm really okay with that. So is The Girl. And Jimmy? I'm fairly certain that there aren't any men out there who want to marry you. Now back to the hate speech:
"And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died."
Yep, Jimmy Swaggart stated on multinational television that he would kill a man for looking at him. And his audience applauded. The comments have been described as "a serious breach" of broadcast regulations in Canada, as well as possibly being violative of Canada's criminal statutes against hate speech.

The portion of the Canadian Television Broadcasting Regulations that applies is regulation 5(1)(b):
"A licensee shall not broadcast any abusive comment or abusive pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability"

The criminal statute is Chapter 46, Section 319.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:29 AM