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CARPAY & CAMERON: Kenney misrepresents the Constitution & Bible in the same speech

“Making certain pastors the scapegoat of society’s problems and failed public policy is easier than presenting medical and scientific evidence in court to justify lockdown measures which violate basic Charter freedoms.”

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During a live-streamed question-and-answer session on May 19, Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney spent nearly ten minutes vilifying Christian pastors who disobey his orders. He claimed that the pastors were spreaders of disease, and were jeopardizing their neighbour’s health. Without citing any specific scripture, Mr. Kenney claimed that assembling for worship contrary to his lockdowns is a “reckless disregard” of a “biblical mandate.”

Pastors James Coates, Art Pawlowski and Tim Stephens have all spent time in jail. 

In his diatribe against these and other pastors, Mr. Kenney invoked the rule of law as the principle by which all citizens are governed. The premier explained the rule of law this way: laws apply to everyone and the health orders are laws, so everyone must obey health orders.

Unfortunately, the premier’s description of the rule of law is incomplete and misleading.  

In a constitutional monarchy such as Canada, the rule of law rests first and foremost on the premise that there is an ultimate law which governs society and which protects citizens by constraining government power: the Constitution. Laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution are of no force or effect. The rule of law requires politicians and governments to obey the Constitution.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of our Constitution, protects freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, and freedom of association and peaceful assembly. In contrast, lockdowns and other restrictions prohibit peaceful assembly and communal worship. Lockdowns destroy large swaths of civil society by making it illegal for Canadians to associate freely with others in social, business, athletic, religious, recreational and entertainment pursuits and activities.

The Constitution is what stands between politicians and total control of society. Indefinite lockdowns. Peaceful protestors and pastors in jail. Government control over the internet through Bill C-10. No more travel, internationally or between provinces. No more special family gatherings at important occasions like Christmas, birthday parties, weddings and funerals. Permanent poverty. Massive debt left to our children and grandchildren.

By waging constant war on civil liberties and by refusing to justify demonstrably, with evidence put before a court, the ongoing violations of Charter rights and freedoms, it is Mr. Kenney who disobeys the rule of law, not the peaceful pastors.

The Charter places no onus on pastors to justify their actions. Rather, the Charter places the onus on politicians to justify their violation of religious and other freedoms. In court actions in Alberta, BC and Ontario, governments have not placed any persuasive medical or scientific evidence before judges to support the governments’ theory that church services are deadly. While barricading GraceLife Church, the government has no evidence that this church caused or contributed to any COVID-19 deaths.   

The Charter demands that governments provide evidence, not mere assertions and speculation. Citizens have a right to this evidence, if it exists. Thus far, the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that lockdowns are the worst and most destructive public policy decision in Canadian history. 

Premier Kenney also claimed on May 19 that churches that continue with communal worship breach their “biblical mandates.” But nowhere in the Bible is there a single instance of a closure of the sanctuary or temple service because of the presence of a disease. You can search from Genesis to Revelation, and you won’t find it. 

Mankind has always suffered from numerous diseases for which there was (or is) no cure. Leprosy, for example, was prevalent in biblical times. It was always horrific, and caused massive disfigurement. It resulted in the isolation of a person, not for 14 days, but being cast out of society for the rest of their lives.

Contrast that with COVID-19, which has a 99.7% survival rate and poses no threat whatsoever to roughly 90% of the population. Most who get it, have no symptoms or only mild ones, and recover without any medical intervention whatsoever. Government data and statistics tell us that Canadians under 70 years of age should fear getting into a car more than they should fear COVID-19. There is no rational basis for the disproportionate and extreme fear that Mr. Kenney and other politicians continue to promote.

The Bible is, however, replete with examples of civil disobedience. The Hebrew midwives disobeyed a direct order from Pharaoh in Exodus 1. Jonathan and the soldiers openly defied Saul, then king of Israel in I Samuel 20-22. Three Hebrew worthies refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue of gold in Daniel 3, even though they were threatened with being burned alive. Daniel himself refused to honour the law of Darius the Mede and was consequently thrown into the lion’s den in Daniel 6. In Acts 5, the disciples were prohibited from preaching publicly, but they were specifically instructed by the angel who delivered them from prison to go back and continue preaching, in open disobedience to human authorities.

Taking their instructions from the Bible, principled people for millennia have – at great personal risk – stood up to tyrants. The American Quakers in free states disobeyed the laws which made it illegal to assist run-away slaves. Corrie ten Boom and her family hid Jews in their home in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation, contrary to the laws in force. 

Some will argue that public health orders are good laws, worthy of obedience. If that were true, Mr. Kenney’s government would have submitted medical and scientific evidence in court a long time ago, relishing the opportunity to humiliate the “unhinged conspiracy theorists”, as Jason Kenney has publicly described lockdown opponents. If public health orders actually produce more good than harm, governments would actively gather comprehensive data on lockdown benefits as well as lockdown harms. Instead, Canada’s federal and provincial governments have demonstrably failed to conduct any meaningful cost-benefit analysis of their Charter-violating measures.

Publicly vilifying peaceful pastors is easier than responding to the growing number of MLAs who have openly challenged Premier Kenney’s lockdown measures. Making certain pastors the scapegoat of society’s problems and failed public policy is easier than presenting medical and scientific evidence in court to justify lockdown measures which violate basic Charter freedoms.

John Carpay is a Columnist for the Western Standard and President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

Jay Cameron is Litigation Director of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

John Carpay is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms and the former Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Westcanguy

    May 24, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    He also misrepresents Alberta Conservatives, so not overly surprised.

  2. Wesley

    May 24, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Good point Barbara! Our judges have become just as disappointing. Why are they not defending Constitutional rights in their decisions and demanding proof from health officials for evidence?

  3. Josh

    May 24, 2021 at 8:45 am

    By the way. Technically all living organisms are “spreaders of disease”.

  4. Neil McCartan

    May 24, 2021 at 12:43 am

    People can focus so much on the letter of the law that they can end up missing what the spirit of the law is. Christ and the apostles found themselves addressing these kinds of issues as the church was first being established.
    In his letter to the new Christians in Rome the apostle Paul discusses why it is important “to obey ruling authorities”(Roman’s chapter 13). The apostle Peter(1Peter 2) also talks about using the Christian’s new found freedom in Christ in a mature way as to win the respect of those who may have power over you in this earthly life. As an intelligent Christian I may not agree with every decision that the government, or my boss, or my partner in life may make or request my co-operation with. But my attitude or humble response can go a long way to working things out as we go forward together. You would have to truly know these individual pastors and their intentions(including spiritual maturity and understanding) to discern whether or not they had the best interests of they’re congregations in they’re decision making. As Christian’s we are charged above all by our loving(and overly-cooperative) teacher and salvation Jesus Christ to be meek and seek peace with all. Let’s try to keep this in mind as we fight for our earthly freedoms. ✌💛

  5. Josh

    May 23, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Kenney needs to take some time to self reflect and ask the question. Why would someone willingly face persecution, fines and jail time. Nobody does that unless they have spent months self reflecting to determine what is actually right and true.

  6. Seven-Zero-One

    May 22, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Great article.
    Kenney is Anti- Christian, Anti- Alberta.
    Alberta needs 🌹Wildrose Majority Government in 2023🗳️!

  7. francis witzel

    May 22, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Excellent article, guess Kenny should get his facts straight, but he won’t, nor can’t , this is and always has been about CONTROL.

  8. Left Coast

    May 22, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Kenny dislikes Christians . . . they represent everything he is NOT !

    If Churches were giving Campaign Donations like the Corporatistas who have managed to stay in business, some doing much better than in non-covid times, things would be different I am sure . . .

    Why Mr. Kenny is it safe to walk around in Costcod, Safeway or Wallymart with 100s of your friends, handling 1000s of items, lining up at the checkout . . . yet dangerous to sit 6 ft apart in your local Church?

    You of course have no answer . . . which is why you are not a leader and need to be replaced NOW !

  9. MD

    May 22, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    This reminds me of a time in history when the Germans were told that Jews were the spreaders of disease. They were manipulated through fear, lies and propaganda. There were divisions in society; non-essential businesses, schools, and churches were shut down; priests and pastors were imprisoned. Forced medical experiments were performed on the undesirables. Jason Kenney is now saying that Christians are disease spreaders . He’s threatening Albertans ( the people that he has no respect for, the undesirable base) to take the experimental unapproved injections or else we will not see freedom. Lockdowns will continue indefinitely and he has no hesitation in blaming and insulting Albertans which is causing further divisions especially in the Christian community. As a Christian and a long time citizen born in this province I find Jason Kenney’s speech, actions, and misuse of the bible evil and reprehensible! He thinks he can come from Ottawa and bully us into submission and change this province into his Alberta that aligns with a federalist and globalist agenda. He is arrogant and out of touch with the people of our province.
    Jason Kenney is not a conservative or a decent man, he is a deceiver and a communist. Communists demand complete allegiance to them selves and their laws without question.
    My question is how long are the UCP MLAs going to keep going along with all of this? They all need to take a hard stand like Todd L. and tell JK to resign!!

  10. Woodrow George

    May 22, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Kenney has to go NOW!!! before the next election. He’s a Federalist!

    Disclaimer: I’m a WIPA and Maverick Party member!

  11. berta baby

    May 22, 2021 at 6:52 am

    What a great article well done! If it wasn’t for the justice center we would be marked and jailed already.
    It is disgusting that Kenny a so called Christian would vilify and slander Christians as spreaders of disease, what about the thousands of Palestinians protesting Israel standing up for themselves? What about the huge gather for the cop who got killed last year? How about BLM riots…. no spread there? AHS has found 1 case from the Rodeo. Kenny has lost his authority to lead his polling shows this . These in debated health measures are not laws , the courts have been weaponized to subjugate the citizens and do not up hold the charter , the true law as Is stated in the article.
    Kenney is the true disease, it is he that is causing death and mental health issues to the point where people take an experimental vaccine and are still double masking and goggles and face shields by themselves on a side wall…. the deaths of the people who have had their surgery’s put off over this are on hinshaw and kenney… hinshaw has never treated a Covid case yet she projects some so called wisdom and experience on how to handle this so called crisis.

    Kenney will be run out of this province to spend the rest of his life flip flopping party’s trying to stay relevant.

    Fat useless tyrant who may have tricked us once but won’t twice.

    Name one thing his government has done that was successful or rational … communist Kenney and his perv drone should be all the MLA’s need to toss this garbage leader to the ditch.

  12. Barbara

    May 21, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Now if we only could find judges and prosecutors who believed and stood up for our constitutional rights instead of pandering to their own fears and the government.

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Opinion

WAGNER: The prominent Toronto political scientist who called Communism ‘democratic’

As it turns out, some members of Canada’s Left have a fairly positive view of communism.

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Some commentators have noted the silence of Canada’s Left in the face of anti-government protests in Cuba. Why the reluctance to condemn a communist dictatorship?

Well, as it turns out, some members of Canada’s Left have a fairly positive view of communism. One such prominent Canadian leftist was C.B. Macpherson (1911-1987), an internationally-renowned political scientist who taught political theory at the University of Toronto. Among other things, he was especially known for his critiques of capitalism and individualism.

Interestingly, Macpherson also defended Soviet Communism as genuine democracy in action. This can be seen in a series of CBC radio messages he delivered in 1965 that were subsequently published as a book entitled The Real World of Democracy. These lectures argued there were three forms of government that could be legitimately called democracies: the liberal democracies of the West, the Soviet bloc countries, and the one-party states of the Third World. 

As Macpherson put it, “democracy is not properly to be equated with our unique Western liberal-democracy.” Instead, “the clearly non-liberal systems which prevail in the Soviet countries, and the somewhat different non-liberal systems of most of the underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa, have a genuine historical claim to the title democracy.”

Macpherson explained the meaning of democracy has undergone some change over time. It hasn’t always referred to the kind of constitutional system common in the Western countries: “Democracy originally meant rule by the common people, the plebeians. It was very much a class affair: it meant the sway of the lowest and largest class.” Thus, Macpherson argued Soviet Communism and other one-party states can legitimately be called democracies, based on this definition. That is, he used this conception of “democracy” to describe some of the world’s most brutal and repressive regimes. 

Karl Marx’s proposed “dictatorship of the proletariat” was an expression of genuine democracy in Macpherson’s view. He noted many people would find it outrageous to consider the dictatorship of the proletariat to be a form of democracy. “But,” he wrote, “to call it democracy was not outrageous at all: it was simply to use the word in its original and then normal sense.”

Macpherson’s analysis gets even worse. Lenin extended Marx’s theory by arguing a revolution would need to be undertaken by a relatively small group of class-conscious people he called the vanguard, which is to say, the Communist Party. 

From the Communist perspective, since the vast majority of people in any society are debased by the structures of capitalism, they cannot be trusted to participate in political decision-making. To allow their participation would just perpetuate the problems of the old, capitalist society. Only the vanguard could bring about the necessary reforms. As Macpherson explains: “Lenin, building on Marx, came out for a seizure of power by a vanguard who would forcibly transform the basic relations of society in such a way that the people would become undebased and capable of a fully human existence, at which point compulsive government would no longer be needed.” 

In Macpherson’s view, this rule of the vanguard to “forcibly transform” society is democracy in action, despite the fact that it involves politically motivated executions and concentration camps. Democracy, it seems, becomes indistinguishable from dictatorship.

Macpherson evokes what he calls the “broader concept of democracy” to legitimize the Marxist-Leninist state: “Wherever the circumstances are such that no motion towards this kind of society is possible except through the action of a vanguard, then the vanguard state, so long as it remains true to its purpose, may be called democratic.” Thus, in his view, an outright communist state can be legitimately called a democracy. Many of the most brutal, bloodthirsty, and repressive regimes in the 20th Century were democracies in this sense. Who knew?

Using a similar line of argumentation, the one-party dictatorships of the Third World can also be justified as democracies. Invoking Rousseau, Macpherson wrote one-party states can be legitimately called democracies because “there is in these countries a general will, which can express itself through, and probably only through, a single party.” As a result, “opposition to the dominant party appears to be, and sometimes actually is, destructive of the chances of nationhood. In such circumstances opposition appears as treason against the nation.” Thus, a one-party state, where opposition to the ruling party is punished as “treason,” can be a legitimate form of democracy. (Don’t tell Justin Trudeau.)

Macpherson was an internationally known and respected political scientist. The views he expressed were not the rantings of a black-clad activist running wild in the streets. Some elements of the intellectual Left truly believe that a Marxist-Leninist state (or any other Left-wing single-party state) is a genuine democracy. Despite the inescapably violent and murderous nature of communism, some Canadian leftists view it favourably. 

The lessons of the 20th Century have not been learned. Ideas that inspired inhuman tyranny – what C.B. Macpherson happily calls the “broader concept of democracy” – seem to be making a comeback.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

MORGAN: COVID has shown the need to overhaul Canada’s health care system

“We need to stop pretending the American and Canadian models of health provision are the only ones on earth. In fact, only two other countries on the planet explicitly ban private health care insurance: Cuba and North Korea.”

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After his retirement, Ralph Klein was quoted expressing regret for having backed down on his “third-way” health care reform plan. We are paying the price today for the government’s lack of will of yesteryear.

Canada’s health care system has long been considered a sacred cow. We have been taught since childhood that it’s the best health care system on the planet; it’s the very thing that defines what it means to be Canadian. Any efforts to reform the system are immediately framed as potentially moving us towards the dreaded American system.

The most politically expedient way to deal with health care challenges has been to blindly toss more money into the system without changing how anything is being done. Government reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our finances and exposed massive shortcomings in the health care system. Both these problems are good cause to undertake a serious overhaul of the status quo.

Alberta has 11,120 physicians and 32,000 nurses. We have 161 hospitals and spend more per capita on health care than most other provinces. At the peak of the pandemic, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital beds was just over 500 people. Why did this volume of patients seemingly bring our system to the brink of collapse? If we don’t ask ourselves some tough questions and begin to make some serious changes to our system, we could find ourselves vulnerable to a true systemic meltdown if a more serious pandemic hits us down the road.

In the event of a widespread medical crisis, a system needs to be able to pivot in order to meet sudden new pressures. Our socialized system has led us into centralizing our treatments and procedures into hospitals. Many services and procedures are being performed in hospitals when they could have been done in outside, specialized clinics. When something like a pandemic occurs, entire wings of hospitals can be closed off while large blocks of staff are placed under quarantine. This leads to procedures deemed as being non-essential being deferred which leads to long backlogs of medical procedures which could take months, or years, to catch up on. If we had more health facilities outside conventional hospitals, our hospitals could focus on acute health care needs while elective and non-urgent procedures continue unhindered in clinics.

In order to get these specialized clinics, we will need to allow more private investment into health care provision. We have to set aside that ingrained prejudice against profit-based models in health care provision. Private clinics for general practitioners haven’t crushed the system. Private facilities for everything from hip replacements to dialysis won’t either. This is not a matter of reinventing the wheel. Most European nations allow for private health provision within a publicly funded, universal model. Entire private hospitals are integrated within public systems. We need to stop pretending the American and Canadian models of health provision are the only ones on earth. In fact, only two other countries on the planet explicitly ban private health care insurance: Cuba and North Korea.

Many other systems are outperforming Canada’s in both outcomes and in cost. It does not deserve the status of sacred cow.

We will also need to take on the public sector unions. Organized labour has traditionally battled every form of health care reform every step of the way. How many years have we battled back and forth over something as simple as the outsourcing of hospital laundry services?

How many stories have we heard about nurses who game an incredibly generous overtime system to the point where some have earned over $200,000 per year? Alberta’s nurses are the highest paid in Canada yet they immediately started rumbling about striking when the Kenney government proposed a modest 3% pay reduction. We are in an economic crisis as well as a pandemic. If we can’t even get modest concessions from unions in times like these, we won’t be able to sustain our service levels for much longer. Seniority systems and contract clauses make it difficult to schedule staff based on surges leading to sporadic shortages and over staffing at times. It’s going to take some strong will and it will take some labour disruptions, but the union stranglehold on health care provision needs to be ended.

We need to look beyond the politics of envy and let people pay out of pocket for enhanced services. They wouldn’t be jumping the queue. They should be jumping out of one queue, and into another, allowing both to receive quality services faster.

Let’s face it, people have been leaving the country in order to “jump the queue” for decades. These people aren’t always rich, but they are desperate. If a person is given a choice between suffering or potentially dying on a waiting list for treatment or selling their home and seeking treatment in another country, most will sell the house. Let’s keep those dollars here and have regulated pay-for-service models that allow for private insurance. It will lead to shorter wait times for all. Don’t look at it as if it is a person cutting the line ahead of you, look at it as if a person wants to spend their own money in order to shorten the line for all of us.

Canada’s health care system is rigid and obsolete. The pandemic has shown us we are always teetering on the brink of overrunning our capacity despite constant increases in health care spending. Our economy is in shambles and government deficits are unsustainable. If we want to have a strong, universal health care system we can rely upon during times of crisis, we need to dramatically reform our current one. There’s no better time than right now to begin that process. Let’s hope our political leadership can find the will and courage to take on this difficult but essential task.

If they can’t stand their ground on a modest wage reduction for nurses, they won’t be able to do what really needs to be done in the long term.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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Opinion

CONROY: Biles did the best she could under the circumstances

Simone Biles has just as much of a right to take a break, step back, or make any other choice for her career which she sees fit.

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Simone Biles’ choice to withdraw from the remaining Olympic events is respectable when you look at her reasoning.

Characters like bombastic TV personality Piers Morgan would disagree, but Biles’ choice to withdraw from the remaining gymnastics competitions in this year’s Olympics is not only honourable but, sadly, predictable. The lives of professional athletes have always been caught up in a sporting culture that has only grown more and more toxic with the years.

The modern world of competitive athletics places values of unachievable proportions onto its athletes. Theories have been offered pointing to the rampant doping in athletes being largely because of unrealistically high expectations for their performance. These unrealistic expectations can lead people on both sides to do crazy things.

It’s no secret larger organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) — an entity historically known for openly partaking in corruption — not only allow these smaller entities to get away with abusing their athletes, but go so far as to create a culture encouraging it. The IOC has long since been turned from an organization valuing athletics over all else into a business seeking profit.

In 2018, Biles bravely came forward saying she had suffered abuse at the hands of Larry Nasser, the former doctor for the American women’s national gymnastics team. Biles was among dozens of other gymnasts who accused Nasser of sexual abuse. He later pleaded guilty and is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence.

Biles said the abuse she suffered under Nasser during her teen years left her with trauma and thoughts of suicide. The athlete was told by her coaches and superiors at USA Gymnastics to trust Nasser, which is why she rightfully places the blame on USA Gymnastics for the suffering she went through.

It wasn’t Biles who let the team, the Games, America, or anyone else down, it was Biles who was abandoned by the establishments meant to protect her.

Simone has handled this situation with a level of grace and maturity very rarely seen in someone so young. It’s amazing to watching her take on criticism from the likes of Morgan and others who feel entitled to her and her career.

They seem to be taking it as a personal attack of sorts because Biles has chosen to put her mental health above her career for seemingly the first time ever. Biles has recently been open about her history of sexual and other forms of abuse during her athletic career.

With an autobiography already under her belt, word she will be attending virtual college soon for business administration, and even placing fourth on a season of Dancing with the Stars, Biles is already more accomplished at 24 than most of her critics can say at twice her age. She deserves to pursue whatever she wishes to, and while gymnastics maybe her passion it is healthy to maintain a sense of well-roundness.

Biles has competed in five gymnastics world championships and games already, and won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games alone. Biles holds an impressive portfolio and is objectively known as the most accomplished American gymnast in the world right now.

Achievement like that doesn’t come cheap. Athletes like Biles give up every other aspect of their life in order to put the full focus, energy, and time into their sport. She switched from public school to homeschooling in 2012, allowing her to up her training hours from 20 hours to 32 hours weekly.

She currently maintains a schedule of full seven-hour practices Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and allows herself half practices on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Gymnastics is one of the most dangerous sports one can compete in. With increasingly intricate moves now being completely banned by many athletics organizations for their potential to cause damage to the person performing them, completing many of these tricks requires full mental engagement. When one’s head isn’t in a positive, stable enough place to engage fully, disaster can easily strike.

The vault routine incident many believe led to Biles’ withdrawal from the team and other remaining events have been described by those in the community as Biles “losing herself in midair.” This short drop in focus apparently almost ended tragically, she failed to complete a double and-a-half turn which could have left her with “career-ending” and “life-threatening” injuries according to former gymnast Andrea Orris.

Biles’ choice was probably one of the most difficult of her life, and for the world to weigh in and criticize what she believes is best for herself is entitled and ridiculous. For Biles to receive such aggressive backlash for openly choosing to honour her mental health and take what she believes is a needed step back from her career is disappointing in a day and age where mental health is touted as the latest buzz words.

At the end of the day, Biles’ gymnastics career is just that — a career, a job. Just because the general public has been let into her life to watch her perform and compete, she’s still completing a job which, like any other career, allows one to leave it if the situation becomes undesirable.

Biles has just as much of a right to take a break, step back, or make any other choice for her career which she sees fit. Perhaps social media has played a large part in allowing people to believe they do have the right to offer their opinions to someone they’ve never met before.

Is this what we as a society want? To watch someone for solely our own amusement — it’s not like any of us have stakes in Team USA — even if it means the person is mentally breaking herself just to perform?

Biles has obviously accomplished so much in gymnastics by her own volition and desire, but now it should be left in her very capable hands to decide what she’ll do next.

She doesn’t need career advice from anyone right now.

Jackie Conroy is a reporter for the Western Standard
jconroy@westernstandardonline.com

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