This time it’s a wacky British organisation called Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON), which is going on about an amendment in the UK’s Coroners and Justice Bill that would protect free speech when it came to Christians who wanted to have a go at their favourite target: the LGBT community.
The Christians wanted to be able to continue to criticise gays; the government wanted more protection. This Bill has been to the upper house a couple of times, but the lower house has now admitted defeat.
Christians will be able to talk critically about homosexuality.
And that’s fine, as long as they’re not risking a world war or inciting people to beat gays up in the street. It’s unfortunate, and it means that these bigoted twassocks can use speech that could conceivably lead to more bullying of gay people. That’s why the pro-gay lobby wanted the restriction.
It’s always a toss-up. Do you deny free speech to one group because a given thing might be the consequence of allowing it, only to permit free speech on another issue, giving critics the opportunity to draw comparisons and cry inconsistency?
I reckon that, if it weren’t for these toxic people in the first place, and many like them – and, of course, society’s seeming willingness to give credence to their rantings – there’d be less hatred for gay people and the considerations about free speech just wouldn’t be high on the agenda. People wouldn’t bully gays just because a nutjob had said something.
But they’ve created a climate, a series of expectations, and it’s within the context of that climate and those expectations that all kinds of skewing of what should be straightforward and unproblematic takes place. In other words: no religious bigotry would mean less need for special protection; therefore there would be no need for opposition to special protection, and the whole thing wouldn’t be an issue. But it is.
The nice people at CCFON send me emails. They probably wouldn’t if they realised that I think they’re a bunch of right-wing, bigoted lunatics, but, for the moment, I’m on their list. Of this issue, they say in their latest bulletin, addressed to their “Dear Friends and Supporters”:
We are writing with wonderful news of deliverance from the pernicious attempt by the Government last night (11th November) to remove Lord Waddington’s free speech shield from the face of the laws of this land.
In a remarkable debate the House of Lords stood firm against the Government’s fourth attempt to impose its will upon them. Thanks to their steadfastness the vital democratic right to free speech was upheld, the police will have clarity about cases they do not need to investigate and ordinary, peaceful Christians and others who wish to be free to express orthodox Christian views on sexual ethics will not have their freedom so to do unreasonably interfered with.
A short time ago Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw MP, announced that the Commons will not attempt to send this particular question back to the Lords yet again under this Bill. On this basis it would seem that the immediate danger to our vital freedom has passed. However[,] you can be assured that we will be vigilant and will let you know if another assault comes to light.
For now at least though we can thank God for this wonderful victory for Christian freedoms, free speech, democracy and common sense. Thank you all for your prayers on this vital issue. We believe they have availed much. [My emphasis.]
God bless you all, and thank you for your concern and your support.
Oddly, when they do a lot of praying and wringing of hands and lose on an issue, they don’t blame God for not listening to, or at least not acting on, their prayers. Now, if they think God is infallible and listens to their prayers, they have to accept that, on occasions when he’s not gone in their favour, they were wrong.
But they wouldn’t admit that, would they? It just gets swept under the carpet of dusty obfuscation, along with all the other uncomfortable niggles that prevent religionists from squaring their nutty beliefs with reality and logic.
But there you go. They must be a bit touched to believe in all that shit in the first place.