UPDATE: Canada Post, religious group respond to anti-gay flyers

Derek Montague
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Flyer distribution in Happy Valley-Goose Bay causes uproar

Canada Post in Happy Valley-Goose Bay distributed homophobic flyers through residents’ mailboxes late last week, causing an uproar in the community.

TC Media photo

The eight-page flyer is called “Same-Sex Marriages And God’s word,” and, according to the address on the back of the flyers, was published by The Peoples Gospel Hour, a group based in Halifax.

A stamp on the front of the flyer bears the name Arthur A. Riche, a Happy Valley-Goose Bay man who has a reputation for handing out religious and anti-gay messages.

The flyer uses several biblical references to condemn homosexuality and makes such statements as “God makes it clear from Romans 1:24-27 that homosexuality is a sin,” and “It is wrong for a court and a nation to give special status to any group of people who are identified in the Bible as sinners under the judgment of God.”

Perhaps most shocking is the flyer’s claim that homosexuality and violence are linked. Under a sub heading “Homosexuality And Violence,” the flyer states “… I want you to observe another truth about homosexuality. It is almost always violent. Homosexuality is still associated with violence.”

The flyer also makes several statements, which indicate that God hates homosexuals and the two are in conflict with each other.

“The homosexual is at war with God. Homosexuality is the culminating sexual practice of man’s apostasy and hostility towards God,” it reads.

“Notice the words God used to express His hatred of homosexuality . . . Every part of this description indicates the filthy nature of this perversion . . .”

Denise Cole, a member of the LGBT community in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, says she was shocked when she read the flyer and has made an official complaint with Canada Post.

“I thought that we were past this . . .we just flew the rainbow flag in our community for the past two weeks in support of diversity and inclusion and then Canada Post allows propaganda and hate mail to come through like this?” says Cole.

“Well it’s not just a little small community, you can let it slide and they (Canada Post) got to make 500 bucks or whatever they made off of him paying for those (flyers).”

Cole is also a member of he Safe Alliance, a group that raises awareness on homosexual issues throughout Labrador. She believes that Canada Post bears the majority of the responsibility for the distribution of the flyers.

“We are all responsible as agency people that we approve and actually review things that we are going to be sending out to our costumers,” says Cole.

“This isn’t just about being offended . . . there are laws in place now around hate crimes and around same-sex discrimination.”

The Labradorian tried contacting Riche at his home, but nobody answered the door.

A spokesman for The People’s Gospel Hour told The Labradorian Pastor Perry Rockwood wrote the material several years ago. He also said the church still stands by what the flyer reads.

“We’re just putting forth what the Bible teaches,” he said. “The Bible says, ‘thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is an abomination’.”

The spokesperson also said despite using phrases like “Notice the words of God used to express His hatred of homosexuality,” the flyer doesn’t claim that God hates homosexuals. Instead, he said, the flyer states that God hates the sin of homosexuality, not the sinner.

“He has hatred of the sin … he loves the sinner but he hates the sin, and we’re all sinners before God,” he said.

The spokesman would not comment, however, on the sections of the flyer that claim violence and homosexuality is linked, claiming he did not have Rockwood’s source material.

“I’m just saying that this was written by Pastor Rockwood. He’s been deceased since 2008, so I don’t really have the material where he would get this.”

Canada Post spokesman John Caines said the controversial material was prepared properly for distribution, but that no one from the Crown corporation actually read the flyer.

“Well, I can tell you that it was properly prepared and it was paid for and, as part of our practice, it got delivered,” said Caines.

“However, we didn’t know what was inside, because we didn’t open it. But once we reviewed the content, we can see how it can be offensive to some people and we wouldn’t distribute any more of it until we had a legal opinion.”

When asked why no one looked at the inside of the eight-page flyer, Caines replied: “Because it didn’t seem to be anything that was untoward when they looked at the cover of it.”

Caines did say, however, Canada Post will not distribute anymore of these particular flyers if they came into the system.

 “I can say that we apologize if anybody was offended by it and that we won’t deliver any more of it, if it comes in,” he said.

Caines would not admit a mistake was made by anyone at Canada Post for distributing the flyers. He suggested anyone who has concerns over the flyer should contact the person who wrote it.

 “Canada Post didn’t author this material … We did (distribute it) because it was properly prepared and when you look at the front, it says clearly where it came from and who published it. So, if anyone has concern with the content, they should talk to that party,” Caines said.

 

The Labradorian/TC Media

 

 

•••

(Earlier story)

Anti-gay flyers distributed through Canada Post in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Flyers claim that God hates homosexuals

Canada Post in Happy Valley-Goose Bay distributed homophobic flyers through residents’ mailboxes late last week, causing an uproar in the community.

The eight-page flyer is called “Same-Sex Marriages And God’s word,” and, according to the address on the back of the flyers, was published by The Peoples Gospel Hour, a group based in Halifax.

A stamp on the front of the flyer bears the name Arthur A. Riche, a Happy Valley-Goose Bay man who has a reputation for handing out religious and anti-gay messages.

The Labradorian tried contacting Riche at his home, but nobody answered the door. The Labradorian also left a message with The Peoples Gospel Hour, but no one called back by press time.

The flyer uses several biblical references to condemn homosexuality and makes such statements as “God makes it clear from Romans 1:24-27 that homosexuality is a sin,” and “It is wrong for a court and a nation to give special status to any group of people who are identified in the Bible as sinners under the judgment of God.”

Perhaps most shocking is the flyer’s claim that homosexuality and violence are linked. Under a sub heading “Homosexuality And Violence,” the flyer states “. . . I want you to observe another truth about homosexuality. It is almost always violent. Homosexuality is still associated with violence.”

The flyer also makes several statements, which indicate that God hates homosexuals and the two are in conflict with each other.

“The homosexual is at war with God. Homosexuality is the culminating sexual practice of man’s apostasy and hostility towards God,” it reads.

“Notice the words God used to express His hatred of homosexuality . . . Every part of this description indicates the filthy nature of this perversion . . .”

Denise Cole, a member of the LGBT community in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, says she was shocked when she read the flyer and has made an official complaint with Canada Post.

“I thought that we were past this . . .we just flew the rainbow flag in our community for the past two weeks in support of diversity and inclusion and then Canada Post allows propaganda and hate mail to come through like this?” says Cole.

“Well it’s not just a little small community, you can let it slide and they (Canada Post) got to make 500 bucks or whatever they made off of him paying for those (flyers).”

Cole is also a member of he Safe Alliance, a group that raises awareness on homosexual issues throughout Labrador. She believes that Canada Post bears the majority of the responsibility for the distribution of the flyers.

“We are all responsible as agency people that we approve and actually review things that we are going to be sending out to our costumers,” says Cole.

“This isn’t just about being offended . . . there are laws in place now around hate crimes and around same-sex discrimination.”

A spokesperson for Canada Post agreed to speak with The Labradorian. But, when called back, the spokesperson said that he had to contact Canada Post’s legal department before commenting.

 

 

 

Organizations: Canada Post, Flyers, Safe Alliance

Geographic location: Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Halifax Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Concerned Reader
    July 01, 2014 - 19:23

    If the Post Office distributes pornographic magazines, do they look inside to see if they are offensive? What about Sears Catalogues with ladies in barely there clothings - that's offensive. What about parcels with offensive contents do they search those too? It's a free country. People don't have to get junk mail. And they are free to throw it out. We are all adults. I am offended when I see gay people parading around in the nude as this is not helpful activity. BTW the captcha feature provided here is offensive as it takes 30 tries to type the right one, preventing people from commenting and restricting our freedom of speech.

  • Barb
    March 05, 2014 - 03:51

    In this story from March 3 it states that John Caines CPC spokesperson "would not admit a mistake was made by anyone at Canada Post for distributing the flyers." On March 4 another news article ( see reference below) states that Anick Losier , another CPC spokesperson , "says the flyers should not have been accepted for mailing.".... So it was a mistake to accept them but not to distribute them ??http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-post-apologizes-for-delivering-anti-gay-flyers-in-n-l-1.1713719

  • Burt Collins
    March 05, 2014 - 01:50

    Gospels were written at least 100 years after Christ died and nothing was written by the disciples directly. The correct translation of abomination meant"not of the majority"Other abominations: women cannot cut their hair, a donkey and Ox pulling the same cart at same time. Please investigate the translations from the original Hebrew/Greek. Love is the most powerful word ever assigned to language and should be capitalized in everything we do or say. ""

  • Steve
    March 04, 2014 - 17:12

    Other things banned in leviticus: - Picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard (19:10) - Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19) - Cross-breeding animals (19:19) - Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23) - Trimming your beard (19:27) - Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32) - Selling land permanently (25:23) Anyone who ever tries to quote that nonsense to justify their own insecurity had better strictly abide by the following: http://boingboing.net/2012/12/11/76-things-banned-by-the-bible.html

  • Roderick Brentnall
    March 04, 2014 - 17:04

    These people need to get a life. The days of WASP= White Anglo Saxon Protestant is so over and I for one am happy they are. Just because a person loves someone you don't approve of does not give you Carte blanche to hate and destroy that love. People who hate and are miserable in their own skin will do just about anything to destroy those who are not. If these people have so much love respect and understanding of God why are they so full of hate?

  • just wonderin
    March 04, 2014 - 14:29

    agree with Suzanne mealey...this (and lots of other ) junk mail shows up in my mail box regularly...I don't read it...sometimes I throw it in the can at the post office and sometimes I use it to start the fire in the shed (which shows it can be useful regardless of the opinion printed on it)...I am no more offended by this than a walmart flyer...when we have no walmart. Were the opinions offensive....not sure, that is a matter of the reader's perspective ...based on the comments of the content the content was probably to some...but crazy and extreme to most...best to ignore the extremists. most people of moderate thought and common sense accept all people (not just tolerate them)

  • Soolio
    March 04, 2014 - 12:04

    What year are we living in? When are we going to realize that none of this matters in the big scheme of things. If it doesn't affect you then why give a damn about it? It seems that the ones who rally the most against gay and lesbian rights are the ones who are the most confused by their own sexualities. Maybe Arthur has some of these feelings that he is hiding or is scared of.

  • Soolio
    March 04, 2014 - 12:03

    What year are we living in? When are we going to realize that none of this matters in the big scheme of things. If it doesn't affect you then why give a damn about it? It seems that the ones who rally the most against gay and lesbian rights are the ones who are the most confused by their own sexualities. Maybe Arthur has some of these feelings that he is hiding or is scared of.

  • jarge
    March 04, 2014 - 01:38

    While the flyer is correct in what God's Word says about homosexuality, the writer has definitely taken the wrong approach - and added much more than he should have. God does not hate homosexuals. We are all born in sin (because of the fall of mankind) and in need of a Savior. Homosexuality though has no Biblical model whatsoever for marriage.

  • tim
    March 03, 2014 - 22:11

    I'm offended at your offense! This is ridiculous.! A lot of people have got to start growing up and stop being offended at what other people have to say about them or their lifestyles. How soft and childish has society become.... oh me nerves!

  • Suzanne Mealey
    March 03, 2014 - 20:57

    I've received plenty of these over the years and nobody had a conniption or gave a damn when they damned Catholics to hell...

  • RATTER 01
    March 03, 2014 - 20:47

    You may not like and you may not agree with what Arthur Riche has to say, but the last time I looked, this was still a free country and Mr. Riche has the right to think and say what he believes in. We have the right not to read or agree with his views.

  • David
    March 03, 2014 - 19:36

    Hahahaha

  • Awok
    March 03, 2014 - 18:29

    "I can see how some people would be offended by this" wow yeah i guess i can see why some poeple would be offended by this.

  • Linda
    March 03, 2014 - 17:21

    @ Byron Hamel. You need to take the time, and read the Bible...Maybe you will get a understanding of same sex marriages. If anyone is going to cause trouble. its people like yourself. Who don't understand God word.

    • alicia
      March 04, 2014 - 10:14

      And what gives you the right to judge people, or force your 'god' on them? Just remember, theirs a part in the bible about judging others as well. Sadly you and many people seem to skip over that part...

    • Tsukihime
      March 04, 2014 - 23:44

      If you take the time and read the bible as you say, you'll find many contradictions and violent acts demanded upon by your 'god'. Here's a link to a page that has managed to make a list of some but not all of them, and where you'll find them in the bible: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/refuting-the-bible btw before you cry that we are 'taking it out of context', what context advocates the stabbing of babies with swords among other atrocities in the bible?

  • Byron Hamel
    March 03, 2014 - 16:45

    So sick of this guy's garbage he sends out all the time. This person is disgusting. How can he think he's better than anybody when all he does is try to hurt people and spread hate? Read the bible again there buddy. I'm not even a Christian, and I'm more Christian than Arthur A. Riche.

  • Bruce
    March 03, 2014 - 16:00

    Mr. Riche is just another one of those suffering from Religious Fanatismus. Read this Site in the Internet. http://godisimaginary.com/i1.htm