Saturday, October 21, 2006

First Nemesis Award

In a spasm of cosmopolitanism, we name a Canadian as the first recipient of our Nemesis Award, a.k.a. the Chihuahua of Retribution.

This will go to annoying, yapping, nipping person or group who causes unnecessary noise and irritation through illogical carping and blaming.

Our winner is Stonewall, Manitoba's Kevin Kisilowsky. This 36-year-old intends to sue to Canada's highest court if necessary. The sock he's chewing on and worrying is that his province won't let him act as a marriage commissioner (roughly equivalent to our justice of the peace) unless he complies with the law by solemnizing same-sex weddings if asked.

Let there be yelping.

It seems that our winner is not only an ex-junky biker, but that he owes his new life to his conversion to Jesus. As an evangelical Christian, he told the Winnipeg Sun, "I refuse to. To me that is laying down and dying. Stand up for your rights."

Wait, you say. Doesn't the Canadian law permit clerics to restrict their solemnizations to those that fit with their religious beliefs?

It certainly does, but if he were a minister rather than a government agent, he wouldn't qualify for today's award. Consider:
  • Kisilowsky is a sheetfed press operator professionally, not a cleric.
  • He seems to have made no effort to become a minister.
  • In his own lengthy, rambling statement, he considers himself a member of an unofficial outreach program in which "I been 'appointed' by the church as a missionary."
  • Under that non-authority, he wants the rights afforded to ministers, not the requirements applied to agents of the government, who cannot selectively obey laws and regulations.
  • He claims that the Canadian Charters of Rights and Freedoms gives all citizens protection and that he deserves the same as ordained clergy.
Is that something nipping at your ankles?

His Tory MP likes the story and gave a speech using his sad little case as proof of the evils of same-sex-marriage legalization. MP James Bezan features these remarks on his site here.

He stresses that Kisilowsky told them up front in 2004 that he would only marry Christian couples and others to whom he felt qualified "to minister to," even though no church thinks he's qualified to minister to anyone.

After getting his government commission, he saw the law passed legalizing SSM. Bezan and Kisilowsky's solution is to let those who will marry gay couples and not force these government agents to do so if they didn't want to.

Alas, our poor chihuahua has not convinced the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. They dismissed his case. Now he's headed toward courts and hopes to yap there early 2007. As Bezan puts it, "...government is now going to have to explain a glaring contradiction in its policies on same-sex marriage. It's going to have to explain why religious organizations, such as churches and their clergy, have their religious freedoms protected but not individuals such as Kisilowsky."

Call us anti-yapper, but we doubt that government lawyers will have a problem differentiating between government agents and ordained ministers.

That won't stop our award winner though. In his statement, he wrote:
Kisilowsky mugIf I were to marry homosexuals I would be making a public statement that I am willing to sacrifice communion with God in order to bow down to ungodly and worldly demands...The Manitoba Provincial Government picked this fight. The biker in me will shove back hard, but I did look to God's word when searching out what he would have me do. I found it in the book of 1 Samuel where we see the story of David and Goliath. It was there that God spoke and said "Kevin, when a giant picks a fight with you….throw a rock at his head". Bring it on!
While he's waiting for his two minutes in court, Kisilowsky might exercise his Christianity by thumbling through the New Testament. He might even get to Matthew 22:21 or Mark 12:17 or Luke 20:25, all of which include, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."
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Ryan said...

Oh, gosh... with that crazy hair, homophobic attitude and altogether scary credentials, is he really that afraid of a gay couple coming to him to get married? I'd like to think 99% of us are a little more sensible than that. Then again, homophobia is an irrational fear.

Anonymous said...

The "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.." comment is very clever. However, the author seems to have mistaken 'marriage' to be a civil (Caesar's) property. It's not. Marriage has been used by civil, secular society, but it's originally a 'religious' (God's) idea.

massmarrier said...

It would be difficult for Ann to be more wrong on this. The marriage in question is civil and that is the right and set of laws at issue. Our states control who can apply for a license, who can solemnize the union, who is then married, and then if necessary, who is divorced.

A minority of couples add a religious veneer to this most special union. However, that does not make them legally married. The cleric signing the license is one of several types of solemnizers thus empowered.

This is the matter of the state, Caesar, controlling, authorizing, validating and recording the marriage. Whether you choose a church wedding and want to consider yourself married in the eyes of your God is certainly your decision, and a very different matter.