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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Charged with being a Christian so-con

B.C. teacher Christopher Kempling is facing yet another attack from the provincial teachers' college, which this time is aiming to drive him completely out of the profession. Among the new charges against him: that he stood as a candidate for the Christian Heritage Party. You can find lots of background about this important free-speech case here.

And here's the full text of Kempling's latest letter, describing his plight and asking for help:

A Letter from Chris Kempling
on the Latest BC College of Teachers Action Against Him

February 5, 2008


I regret to inform you that the BC College of Teachers has again cited me for conduct unbecoming a teacher, in a letter dated January 28, 2008. They have cited me for participating in a CBC radio interview where I quoted the Bible saying that homosexual behaviour is a barrier to salvation, for contributing an essay discussing the philosophical differences between social liberals and social conservatives (published in the Calgary Herald on December 29, 2003), for publishing a scholarly article in a German family journal on the topic of homosexuality, for offering orientation change therapy as part of my private counselling practice and mentioning this in a radio interview, and, incredibly, for "knowing" that an article written by Christian Heritage Party leader Ron Gray in support of me was posted on the party's website. They also cited me for being "the local representative of the Christian Heritage Party". This is certainly true as I was the candidate for the CHP, Canada's sixth largest registered political party, in the last federal election in the Cariboo-Prince George riding (I came 5th out of 8 candidates.) All of the items listed occurred between February, 2003 and April, 2005.

The last time I checked, we had freedom of speech and freedom of religion in Canada, and the right to join the political party of our choice. It appears to me that these rights are in jeopardy, as the BC College of Teachers has threatened to withdraw my license to teach, despite the fact that there were no complaints registered with the College as a result of any of the items they listed. I am currently working in the Quesnel school district, am abiding by my letter of direction, and have been told by my principal that he has no concerns about my conduct or my job performance, which includes working professionally with students of all orientations.

This is extremely distressing for me and my family, and I would welcome your prayers. It appears that I may have to ask those who care about freedom to help me defend myself again. The registered trust fund is called the:

Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund, c/o Mr. Jim Sagert, Trustee, 798 Beaubien Avenue, Quesnel, BC V2J 1A6.

Letters of acknowledgement will be issued, but, as it is not a charity, there can be no tax receipts.

I am not afraid to face them but please do not leave me like Uriah to face the enemy alone. I take comfort in the words of our Lord: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..."

I am happy, because I know my Christian brothers and sisters will stand with me as I face this trial yet again.

Dr. Chris Kempling Psy.D. R.C.C.

Quesnel, BC

How to Contribute Financially to Chris Kempling's Legal Defence

A trust fund has been set up.  It is the "Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund."  Money contributed to this fund will help Christopher Kempling with the expenses of his legal defence.  Subsequently,  money in the fund after Chris's defence can be used to help other Christian teachers who may find themselves in a similar position.

If you would like to contribute to the trust fund, you may make a contribution at any Royal Bank branch.  The transit number is 4720. The account number is 101-030-5.

If you prefer to contribute by cheque, send your contribution to:

Christian Public School Teachers' Legal Defense Fund
      c/o Mr. Jim Sagert, Trustee
      798 Beaubien Avenue
      Quesnel, BC V2J 1A6

Posted by Terry O'Neill on February 12, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Is that college a union?

Privatize the education system and let the market decide who is worthy of being a teacher and who isn't.

Posted by: Veteran | 2008-02-12 6:44:08 PM

...you know, I shudder each time I read/hear about a teacher's union and their communistic ideologies.

I shudder because twice the judgement will come upon them for ruining the minds of innocent students or those who stand for righteousness.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-02-12 6:48:03 PM


Are they firing Jesus?

Posted by: Veteran | 2008-02-12 6:55:20 PM

The BC College of Teachers is NOT a union (BC's teacher's union is the BC Teachers' Federation). The college is, instead, the licensing body. Read about it here: http://www.bcct.ca/default.aspx.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2008-02-12 7:21:51 PM

"Charged with being a Christian so-con"

Terry, Terry, Terry.... You KNOW this isn't true, it's just red meat for the righteous indignation crowd. Whatever.

But in other free speech news: "Muslim leader drops Ezra Levant cartoon complaint" ( http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=303895 ) - "Calgary Muslim leader Syed Soharwardy says he is withdrawing his Alberta Human Rights Commission complaint against former Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant. 'Over the two years that we have gone through the process, I understand that most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech, that that principle is sacred and holy in our society,' said Soharwardy, president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada."

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-02-12 7:28:17 PM

The BC College of Teachers is acting exactly like a union and has no business here. This man's qualifications and competence are not in question. This is not the only case of this group's blatant prejudice against teachers who hold and express personal views outside the classroom that this group does not like. The message is that teachers must all endorse the militant homosexual agenda or else.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-02-12 10:46:46 PM

Fact Check, if he's not charged with that, how else do you describe these allegations?

Is there a single allegation, let alone a credible one, that Mr. Kempling has done anything against any of his students?

I don't see one listed. If there is one, I invite the BC College of Teachers to make it.

No sir, the charge here is of holding political views that the left doesn't like, and espousing them privately. This isn't James Keegstra making kids recite Holocaust denial garbage.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-02-12 11:29:33 PM

It is gratifying to see readers respond to the plight of Chris Kempling. I have heard him speak many times, and never have I heard him utter a word that anyone could rationally describe as hateful. He has been punished for speaking out in his own time on public issues. British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life has expressed its admiration for his stand and the courage he has shown by granting him a life membership. He has had support from CASJAFVA, the Catholic Civil Rights Laeague, ECP, and Focus on the Family Canada. He deserves all our support at this time.

Posted by: Ted Hewlett | 2008-02-13 12:18:02 AM

"This is Canada and in Canada people have a right to mix business and their perverted pleasures."

Um, yeah, they do - and it's nothing to scoff at, even if you don't approve of those perverted pleasures. Don't know if you've noticed, but religious states aren't working out so great for the rest of the world.

Veteran has the right idea in privatizing schools to allow people to be hired where they're wanted and fired where they're not. In a public school system this is ridiculous, but it would lose that distinction if he taught at a private school that was distinctly and purposely secular to meet the demands of some parents.

Posted by: Janet | 2008-02-13 8:36:53 AM

One should not assume that conservatives will actually oppose legal restrictions on speech. In fact, conservatives sometimes SUPPORT restrictions on speech by Christian religious organizations expressing their opposition to the acceptance of homosexuality. Like here: http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/30761.html

"The reasons the ... congregation has no legal right to vomit their hatred ... is that hate speech has no protection under the constitution. The October 31, 2007 civil ruling against the group ... is an example of the courts ability to distinguish free speech from the willful intention to inflict emotional distress.... Now that was a happy day."

Of course, once you read the full story and its context, you will easily see how the position this conservative takes is not one of principle at all, but based on wanting to eliminate speech he does not like. I'm sure he'd be the first to scream about the evils of restrictions on free speech if it were speech he liked, like these guys: http://catholicinsight.com/online/features/article_784.shtml

So long as people are taking up collections and looking for support only when THEIR speech is violated, they can make no believable claims to love free speech. And when the appeal comes wrapped up in a lie, then the sincerity of claim that it is a free speech issue is even more dubious. "Charged with being a Christian so-con" is a lie. But if someone wrote a story about the WB Church and headed it with "Christian Church fined $11 million for expressing religious beliefs" it would be true, even though some conservatives heartily applaud that decision.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-02-13 10:53:40 AM

Which begs the question Karol Karolak: What do you do for a living?

Posted by: Veteran | 2008-02-13 5:33:33 PM

..and the far less mentally advantaged gravitate to becoming Harperites and dream of living in Airdrie. Right, Karol?

Posted by: trudeau's ghost | 2008-02-13 6:31:18 PM

Hi Monroe.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-02-13 7:24:38 PM

I have worked with Chris Kempling and find this to be a witch hunt of the kind that you sometimes find can happen in small towns, which means small minded people doing this, making a small issue and blazing it out of control for their own purpose. Someone in Quesnel is working very hard to discredit Chris.
Everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs and otherwise. Having worked with Chris in the counsellor setting I know that his personal
views were kept his personal views.

He is a kind, caring person. I spent some time with him over the years we worked together and we spoke of things like, it sure is nice to see couples walk down the road and hold hands. We spoke of how words of the English language came to be known and how they were derived. We spoke of work and work situations, and I do recall one time where I was acting small minded and he reminded me each person is an individual and must be treated as such in a fair way, without discrimination. The way I was thinking was actually discriminating against this person when it came to a work program. Not proud of myself!, but I did learn a strong and lasting lesson. That lesson came from Chris. He is no a small minded person, nor did he ever show prejudice against any person regardless of sex, race, marital status, or religion.

Posted by: Kathleen Murray | 2008-09-12 5:28:55 PM

Fact Check, you're on track to become the most contrarian poster on this blog. You barely spent two sentences on the subject before switching to something completely unrelated. Your denial was lame and unsubstantiated, which is actually quite atypical of you.

The radical attitudes of teachers and their governing bodies is well known. The BCTF, for instance, has devoted considerable funds to what it considers social justice. Keep in mind that those union dues come out of the public purse and were intended for the functioning of the union, not politicking on matters unrelated to teaching. Keep in mind that Leftists are the biggest censors of all.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-12 6:17:38 PM


Wars and oppression are NEVER about religion.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-12 6:18:37 PM

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