How much do you love Fido?

It’s official. The world has gone mad.  In a recent bizarre hearing, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that sex with animals is entirely legal – so long as it does not involve ‘penetration’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bestiality-legal-canada-supreme-court-a7073196.html; https://www.rt.com/news/346036-canada-bestiality-court-ruling/).

The facts of this unsavoury case are as follows: A British Columbian man apparently smeared his 15 year old step-daughter’s genitals with peanut butter, which he then got the family dog to lick off while he took photographs. Attempts to make the dog have intercourse subsequently failed – though not it appears for want of trying (read court report at: http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc csc/en/item/15991/index.do?r=AAAAAQADRExXAQ).

One might have thought this was a bit of a no-brainer, especially as the court had a choice in making its decision.   Historically, the definition of bestiality has included a requirement of penetration but, when the Canadian Parliament adopted the term, it omitted to define it. In interpreting the legislation, therefore, the court had a choice: between a narrow, legalistic definition, and one that took account of the moral and social role of the legislation aimed at discouraging the behaviour in question and protecting people subject to it … and indeed animals, who of course cannot speak out for themselves.

The court excused itself from the latter course on the ground that it is not a court’s function to make law. Which is true … but only up to a point. Legislatures cannot provide for everything in detail or continuously review the law. That is the role of the judiciary.  So it follows that when courts interpret legislation, particularly where it is unclear, they do make decisions and lay down the law. In this case, therefore, the court had opportunity to come down in favour of what one would expect most right-thinking people to regard as morally just and socially desirable. To have avoided doing so, on the basis that Parliament could change the law if it had the time and inclination (which all lawyers know is unlikely), is effectively to condone the behaviour in question.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, and as justification for their decision, Justice Thomas Cromwell stated,

“(The Canadian) Parliament adopted that term [bestiality] without adding a definition of it, (but) the legislative history and evolution of the relevant provisions show no intent to depart from the well-understood legal meaning of the term.”

So it could surely be argued that whatever was said to the contrary, by applying what they took to be Parliament’s unstated intention, the judges were actually ‘making’ law after all. Hu…um.

The inevitable result of this decision will be that perverts think the performance of sexual acts with animals is fine, so long as they draw the line at penetration. Which is unfortunate, to say the least, because anyone with even the moral development of a slow-worm (and no disrespect intended to slow worms) would surely say that this is wrong!

The trouble is that in our brave new world, built on the shaky foundations of LGBT rights where tolerance of all sexual behaviour trumps everything else, people appear to be able to do whatever they want. Which means that this decision sends out a very unpleasant message, further liberalizing an already ‘liberal’society, which seems to have adopted as its motto, ‘Absolutely anything goes!”

Which sadly, and with the greatest respect, reinforces the assessment of Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist that, “the law is a ass – a idiot.

Not our fault, says the Supreme Court – though perhaps it was – but at the very least the law now needs urgent redrafting.

Current ‘liberal’ attitudes are not consistent. One cannot help thinking that if this had been a case concerning Christian right of expression, even if traditionally within the law, the court might well have bent over backwards to find the ‘right’ solution – and what is ‘right’ would been open for reinterpretation. Because modern day society seems afflicted with almost schizophrenic hypocrisy, where tolerance extends to everything … except the voicing of religious dissent towards rebranded morality. And this doesn’t just apply to Canada, of course. It could just as easily have happened in the UK or Alabama, or almost anywhere (except Eastern Europe).

The cries of moral outrage are deafening in their silence.

Surely the time is long overdue for all of us to wake up and smell the coffee! Like it or not, and whether you have any religious faith or none, the fact remains that there are, and always have been, sound reasons for disapproving certain behaviours. And the performance of sexual acts with animals, whether or not penetration is involved, has to be pretty near the top of the list.

Sanctioning such behaviour makes animals of us all. It says, none of us can resist our sexual urges, neither should we be expected to. Biology, at is most basic, rules!   If then we allow such unsavoury behaviours  – even if only on a technicality – not only will the individuals involved be irrevocably damaged, but so too will be society as a whole.   So too will be the animal kingdom!

To continue the animal theme, if we refuse to pass judgment on such acts, the snake will have won. A pyrrhic victory perhaps, given the fact he’s been ultimately and decisively defeated by Christ. But not much comfort, one would have thought, for the men and women slithering willy-nilly into hell.

 

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