Freedom of speech

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The UK has no constitution and therefore no constitutional right to freedom of speech. Indeed our laws categorise certain types of comments as hate-speech which makes them illegal. Increasingly, it seems, interest groups see such laws as a way of making their opponents be quiet. As with all laws, there is room for interpretation; but as with all law, getting that interpretation is an expensive process. It can be expensive in more than one way. The cost of defending oneself can be prohibitive not only in cash terms. Depending upon one’s profession, it might be that any publicity might make one’s employers uneasy, not least since they might be the next target, and no one wants to put themselves, or their employer, into such a position. And so it is that even where a view does not contravene the law, the consequences of expressing it can be such as to deter people. Sometimes people ask why some of us blog pseudonymously; I would refer such enquirers to the foregoing.

Those of us who work in institutions where the prevailing mindset is secular and liberal know that, for all the vaunted freedom liberalism supposedly offers, the views most tolerated are secular and liberal; there is an unconscious bias against views which offend that consensus. It is, for example, very easy to read an orthodox Catholic view of homosexuality as ‘hate speech’; the very word ‘sin’ burns the devil, and he screams – and loudly; and institutions will now listen. Those who run them may well be inclined to see the use of the word ‘sin’ as a bad thing; surely one is being ‘nasty’? To explain ‘natural law’ and original sin to those who have no conception of them is all too easily construed as making an ingenious, if unconvincing, case for ‘hate speech’.

So what is one to do? Blog under a pseudonym? Yes, by all means, but they can yield to the determined inquirer. Keep silent? It is a temptation. Not one to which one can yield. But it is the pass to which some are now reduced.

America has a constitution and has, still, freedom of speech. That, I think, will protect you from the worst effects of the situation here, but on your campuses and in your media, the same biases are at work. It is not, I suspect, a mark of approbation in American academia or the media to be labelled a ‘conservative’, and to be a religious one is probably worse. But then Our Lord always said it would be so, and we should not, as I have perhaps been too quick to do here, conflate being Christian with being conservative. And yet, that said, I do not think that those Christians who undertake to explain why Christianity should and can condone and approve of homosexual acts, face the problems that those who make the orthodox case do. The world approves of what conforms to its way. If we want its approval, then that is what we should do. if we want God’s, then we know what we should do.

 

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86 thoughts on “Freedom of speech

  1. It is not a mere coincidence that our present predicament with free speech versus hate speech comes on the heels of a softening in the west to the ideals of socialism, communism and marxism. All are atheistic in their disregard and disdain for a moral universe. Scientism plays into that cocktail as well. The Catholic Church looks like a seer in rejection of such ideologies and perhaps the world will eventually awaken to the crumbling of their civil societies under the weight of this kind of oppression.

    It is not uncommon now that certain sins (or if you prefer, behaviors) have attained ‘rights’ and that to speak against these rights will land you in jail, subject to fines or out of a job. It seems any group, no matter how odd and perverse, can lobby the state for protection of their views; all, that is, except the traditional Christian who hold morality and our conscience to this morality as the basis of our lives, religiously, politically and socially.

    Truly, it is God being assailed by contemporary thought and secular societies. Well, we signed up to be Christian soldiers once we were confirmed in our faith. And the battle between heaven and hell, good and evil, God and Satan continues on. I guess we just didn’t expect in our lifetimes to be seeing this old battle rage so openly in the societies that henceforth from our youth, embraced Christian morality as the foundation of our civil society. It doesn’t take long for Satan to tear asunder what God has joined together if we do not stay vigilant.

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  2. We certainly also have our problems, and I don’t dissent from what Servus has said, in truth, I concur. Many of our problems proceed from the fact that the constitution applies to the federal government and somewhat tertiarily to local government, not to private institutions, and that is proper. The thing is we have granted to those same, institution rights which allow them to suppress liberty without penalty.

    A ‘free’ speech code (a misnomer if ever there was one) at a given university doesn’t matter, really but, when it extends over most of the system, and precludes speaking of objective truth, it matters greatly.

    One should never be penalized for speech, which doesn’t incite to riot, say. But we have come to the point where we would have an argument about the definition of the word riot, and that pretty much marks the end of the road for freedom.

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  3. What is even worse, for anyone in the UK, is when the denial of “free-speech” becomes a threat to ones life and the lives of your family. There, God forbid you kill an assassin, assuming you have a legal long gun, highly unlikely, you’d be up before the beaks in no time flat having to defend your action. Your “free-speech” is denied and your freedom to use deadly force in jeopardy.

    It’s a little different here in the US and even more so in Arizona.

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  4. tHE AUTHORITIES ARE NARROWING DOWN THE SEARCH ARE FOR WHERE THAT iSIS CLOWN CAME FROM THAT CUT THE HEAD OFF THE JOURNALIST.

    Russia has taken off the smiley face and now is rolling into Ukraine .

    Hezbolla is executing suspected collaborators.
    North Korea is massing tanks on border with China.
    No end to the Isis threat. They are heavily funded.

    Two teenage boys were arrested here in so cal for attempting to kill as many people as possible in the Pasadena hi school.

    Hezbolla has new set of armaments. Can attack Israel better.

    Racial riots are breaking out in the US. Blacks against police. One black gang has declaird war on the police here in so cal.

    Im afraid this is it. Yes, life will continue, but it will be different. The rapture will be any day now and the inhabitants of the earth will be left to their master. Israel will finally be wiped out. That is when the fury wells up to gods nose. The inhabitants of the earth will ready themselves to do battle with the almighty god.

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  5. `Hezbolla killed a 3 yr old Israeli child today

    China warplanes are buzing US planes in international airspace

    5 gang members shot at police here in so cal earlier today, critically wounding a rookie officer.

    Israel says hezbolla will pay dearly for attack

    Many members of Isis are british.

    Nowhere is safe on earth anymore.All the politicians run after money. The dead lay in the street.
    The good guys used to rule the world. Now its firmly in the hands of the evil people. There is no hope. Its only going to get worster.

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