Open letter to Rick Tone

Enough with the homophobia already

You’ve made your intolerant views quite clear to all of us over the years, Rick. But now, perhaps in an effort to broaden the reach of your insult, you state the young woman erecting the pride flag deserved the vitriol spewed upon her by two homophobic bullies in the parking lot of the Yukon Transportation Museum? That the despicable and narrow minded slurs were “not entirely misplaced?” Nice one, Rick.

I would ask you where you find the justification for bigotry in your book of Bronze-Age wisdom, but I won’t, because I don’t doubt that you could. I mean, your bible speaks nothing but favourably, over and over, of slavery and the stoning of women.

I’ve come to see that homophobia, couched in religious belief, has become the last safe bastion of the bigot. You confirmed that a few years back, with your judgemental condemnation of the students of Vanier, for their heartwarming act of compassion for a bullied gay student by rallying in support for her and the wearing of rainbow socks at their graduation. But now I see you’ve broadened your scope, to include patriotism as a refuge for your intolerance.

I love this country every bit as much as you do, Rick. Never a day goes by that I don’t realize the incredible good fortune of our birth into a free and democratic society like ours, with human rights and the rule of law, our health care and social services, and yes, our precious freedom of speech.

But to me, the most outstanding aspect of Canada is our foundation of multiculturalism, the inclusiveness of our society and the celebration of our differences. I believe this is what sets Canada apart, and can be a paramount lesson for the survival of the entire world. I don’t believe I’m overstating the matter here Rick. This is one planet. There is no place else to go. We all have to get along.

Your support for the narrowminded homophobic imbeciles and their hateful taunts confirm Hugh Kitchen’s words that “there is more work to do in this community to make it more tolerant and inclusive.”

Yes, the betterment of our society does take work. But it cannot happen with archaic views like yours that instil fear of the other and work to keep us apart. I know how offensive you must find my words, but can you consider, just for a moment, the fact that the evolution of our social ethic happens not within the constraints of religious belief, but outside of it? It is religious fundamentalism that, like an anchor on society, holds back this moral evolution.

I realize you’re not about to relinquish your religious views any time soon, Rick, but please, hold your hurtful and counterproductive words, and stop resisting the improvement of our society.

Jimmy Borisenko

Tagish Lake