So, they got their way, Dr Hans-Christian Raabe has been removed from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs before he was able to attend a meeting.

The ostensible reason was that he had “failed to disclose” something which might cause embarrassment to the government or the committee. Dr Raabe failed to disclose that he had written a summary for a freely available 2005 study concerning homosexuality.

There is no indication given that his rejection has anything to do with his position on drug misuse or any doubt concerning his abilities as a medical professional to contribute to the work of the ACMD. The reason give is that his views with regard to homosexuality are held to have caused “embarrassment.”

If Dr Raabe had been rejected because he was incompetent or did not have sufficient expertise in drugs misuse we would all have supported the decision. Instead he was rejected because of the high embarrassment quotient of his views on homosexuality.

There are many questions to be asked. Embarrassment to whom, does a freely available document have to be “disclosed”, who decides what is controversial and how controversial does something have to be before it becomes a sacking offence, and who took the decision?

Amongst all these there is however a much more significant issue, freedom of speech.

The revealed intolerance of any view or person who deviates from the progressive norm is breathtaking. Dr Raabe’s sin has nothing to do with the position he was appointed to, it is that he failed to pronounce “Shibboleth” correctly. In the eyes of the progressives he wasn’t “one of us.”

There is a narrow-mindedness in progressive thought which is repressive and dangerous to the freedom of the individual and the wellbeing of the community. In a therapeutic age truth has become less important than the possibility that someone somewhere may decide that they have been offended.

The liberal believes in a broadness of mind and a robust approach to public discussion in which he trusts the truth will eventually triumph. The progressive believes in a censorship which would allow only accepted views to be uttered and would continually restrict the limits of free expression.

Allied to this there is an increasing opposition from some towards any who openly state an orthodox Christian view. In effect this amounts to a bigotry which would seek to debar traditional Christians from public service.

It is possible to see why. The Christian believes in grace and the redemptive freedom it brings to fallen human beings to explore and live our lives fully before God. The progressive believes in redemption by law and that only by ever increasing legislation can fallen human beings be brought to live their lives acceptably within the prescribed limits of the state.

This is not an issue about drugs or about homosexuality. At its core this concerns a clash of cultures.


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