Is reading the bible hate speech in Canada?

1 minute read

My friend Steve, an advocate for free speech in the U.S, and I were discussing hate speech, where I highlighted that most progressive countries have hate speech laws now, including defined hate speech laws in Canada.
From Wikipedia,

Section 318 prescribes imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years for anyone who advocates genocide. The Code defines genocide as the destruction of an "identifiable group." The Code defines an "identifiable group" as "any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."

Section 319 prescribes penalties from a fine to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years for anyone who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.

Steve then asked,

Would reading the old testament where genocide is advocated by the deity and portraying this as ethical (particularly to children) count?

I started to think about genocide in the bible (wow, there's more than I recall) including children, and started with a re-read of Deuteronomy 22:13-21 which ends with

 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

If there's no evidence a woman being married is a virgin, she is evil and should be stoned to death sounds like a recommendation for genocide to me. So that has me wondering if Steve has a point; I'm pretty sure that that being a sexually active single woman is sexual orientation (as defined in section 318 above) and this appears to advocate for the genocide of any such human who attempts to marry -- would reading sections of the bible (or Quran) aloud like this one classify as hate speech?


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