When Christianity is Considered Hate: The Case of Pastor Stephen Boissoin

This is what led me to interview the former youth pastor. Boissoin surprised me by how soft-spoken he was during our interview. He came across as gentle, albeit fervent like most evangelicals (although he doesn’t admit the label, calling himself a simple Bible Christian).

Moreover, he expressed genuinely felt concern for the emotional, spiritual and physical welfare of those who practice the homosexual lifestyle. He was anything but hateful.

Part of the problem, I feel, is that the theological vocabulary between Catholics and Protestants has evolved differently since the Reformation. So often statements that are understood one way by Catholics, are misinterpreted to mean something completely different by Evangelicals. The same is true in reverse. For example, Boissoin kept referring to the CCC. As Catholics we think immediately of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. However, Boissoin was speaking of the Coalition of Concerned Christians – an evangelical coalition in Canada that engages in political and social debate from the evangelical perspective..

This different vocabulary is amusing when the issues are not rooted in strongly-held moral beliefs. Insert Canada’s debate over same-sex marriage and the education of one’s children, and a lack of nuance or understanding suddenly brings about a darker reaction. For example, Boissoin said he prays God will “convict” those who brought this case against him. To the non-evangelical, this wreaks of calls for Divine vengeance. For the Evangelical, this simply means Boissoin hopes for Saul of Tarsis type conversion, whereby St. Paul stopped persecuting Christians and became a great apologist of the faith after God convicted him in his heart on the way to Damascus.

Despite historic differences between Catholics and Evangelical Christians, we share the same belief in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, as well as Our Lord’s resurrection. And within the context of Canada’s human rights tribunals – which do not distinguish between Catholics and Evangelicals – we also share a 100 percent conviction rate when critiquing homosexual acts and activism. The legal persecution makes no distinction among Christians.

This is why Catholics have a duty not to question the negative stereotype of Pastor Boissoin being perpetuated by his accusers in the secular media. These impressions are often drawn from secondary sources. What follows is a half-hour audio interview in which we hear the other side of Pastor Boissoin. We hear the Christian missionary who was helping youth – including many homosexual youth – get off the street and beat prostitution and drug addiction. We hear the man who had just spent an hour listening to a young homosexual speak of his difficult childhood, and Pastor Boissoin offering him the hand of friendship as well as his sincere prayers.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen for yourself:

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/v/XT3lXDpnC0o

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/v/Pq7EZ-gJxw8

Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/v/PiYzymomROk

Part Four: http://www.youtube.com/v/FKsQMtC-JkA


Pete Vere is a canon lawyer, author, and Byzantine Catholic from Northern Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Sonya have six children. In his few spare moments, when he is not cooking or camping with his family, he enjoys hunting, reading, video games and scotch.

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