Monday, February 27, 2006

Even England Doesn’t Get Free Speech

From Dad29 Blog, an account of how even the British, who are normally more attached to freedom than the people on the European continent, really don’t get the idea of free speech.
Thus, Birmingham University forced the Evangelical Christian Union off campus and seized the group’s funds because it refused to amend its bylaws to allow non-Christians or atheists to become voting members.

Thus, [Bishop N.T.] Wright noted that police have shut down protests in Parliament Square against British policies in Iraq. Comedians — facing vague laws against hate speech — are suddenly afraid to joke about religion. And was there any justification for government investigations of the Anglican bishop of Chester and the chairman of the Muslim Council of Great Britain because they made statements critical of homosexuality?

Public officials, said the bishop, are trying to control the beliefs that are in people’s hearts and the thoughts that are in their heads. The tolerance police are becoming intolerant, which is a strange way to promote tolerance.

“People in my diocese have told me that they are now afraid to speak their minds in the pub on some major contemporary issues for fear of being reported, investigated, and perhaps charged,” said Wright. “I did not think I would see such a thing in this country in my lifetime. . . . The word for such a state of affairs is ‘tyranny’ — sudden moral climate change, enforced by thought police.”

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