CTS drops McVety over controversial remarks

TORONTO, ON - Crossroads Television System (CTS) has dropped Charles McVety's “Word TV" program.

CTS cancelled the program after the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) found the station had violated broadcast codes for statements made by McVety, president of Canada Christian College, about Toronto's gay pride parade and Ontario's proposed sex education curriculum.

The CBSC ruled that while McVety had the right to publicly “object" to homosexuality and call it sinful, some of his specific comments had misstated or misrepresented facts.

ChristianWeek attempted to contact McVety but he was unavailable for comment.

McVety responded to the CBSC ruling through the media, commenting, “I don't know how they want me to talk. I thought I lived in a free, democratic country and that political censorship was reserved for totalitarian regimes."

Days before the cancellation, McVety sent an “urgent message" to supporters, urging them to contact the station and government.

“I am personally asking for you(r) help to fight against the political censors that are working hard to silence the truth, putting our children at risk," he said.

McVety says he was intentionally misunderstood, wrongfully persecuted and that the council was trying to take him permanently off the air for raising concerns about the government's agenda regarding homosexuality.

CTS says they made every attempt to work with McVety, and their concerns hadn't stemmed from McVety's viewpoints on homosexuality, but rather his tone and factual inaccuracies.

“We also believe the kinds of issues McVety shared are of critical importance particularly for the body of Christ to be aware of," says Lara Dewar Laurie, chief shared services officer for CTS and Crossroads Christian Communications Inc.

But she adds that CTS' internal code of ethics “demands that when we raise these, we factually and appropriately contextualize such issues so as to inform and inspire.

“There's a difference in message and tone and moreover, there's a difference in context and use of facts. Differentiating opinion from facts is important and ensuring that facts can be supported give debates credibility.

“Holding ourselves to a higher standard is a part of our great calling. The Bible doesn't refer to our responsibilities as easy but it demands that we are loving even when raising contentious issues and matters of concern. We have an obligation to debate in a way that preserves the dignity of all even when we do not agree with them."

Dewar Laurie adds there is a distinction between Crossroads - which creates inspirational Christian programming - and CTS as a station, which works within a regulated industry and is required to meet Canadian broadcast standards in order to maintain its licence.

“We feel protecting that licence to be used as a light in a dark world is vitally important," she adds. “This is an important witness in a landscape where standards are shifting all the time and not in a good direction. Our goal is to be the destination for programming that inspires and demonstrates the values of Jesus with people across a broad spectrum of beliefs."

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