RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ERODED IN SWITZERLAND

Reporting from Vietnam, the war correspondent Peter Arnett quoted an American major saying, ‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it’. Today’s liberals are as ludicrous as those they poured scorn on yesterday.

In the latest advance of the LGBTQ movement earlier this week, Swiss voters decided in a referendum to back hate speech legislation making supposedly ‘homophobic’ speech a criminal offence.

Protesters demonstrate in favour of same-sex marriage in Bern

In an ironic and intellectually fraudulent move, Swiss government authorities assured voters that even though free speech is being curtailed it is not actually a curtailment of free speech, which according to the Swiss is an inviolable principle.

In other words, they say that although there is speech which will carry criminal sanctions, this is not a limitation of free speech. Continue reading “RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ERODED IN SWITZERLAND”

SINGER ‘COMES OUT’ ON X FACTOR – IMMEDIATE BACKLASH

The culture spreads. Television programmes throughout the world become more homogenised. No matter where you go, you find the same shows, just different languages. More importantly, with the spread of the media culture we get the spread of the social culture.

The X Factor is now screened on four continents. From Latvia to Indonesia, there is no escaping the franchise. The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta has its own version of X Factor. For once, instead of the usual hyped enthusiasm and expressions of wonder at winning, one Maltese contestant created a genuine moment of controversy.

The_X_Factor_world_map
                                                 Countries Where X Factor has Franchises or is Screened

On Saturday night Matthew Grech, a singer and vocal coach, appeared on X Factor Malta. As per the usual format, there was a video interview segment played before his performance. A member of the River of Love Christian Fellowship, Grech used X Factor as a platform. He ‘came out’. Continue reading “SINGER ‘COMES OUT’ ON X FACTOR – IMMEDIATE BACKLASH”

PHOBOPHOBIA

Earlier this week on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, where else, Matt Wells twice casually described Pamela Geller as an “Islamophobe” because of her anti-jihad advertising campaign “In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. ”

Confrontational, clearly. Offensive to Islamists, no doubt. Liable to exacerbate tensions between religions, probably. Yes to all these and more; but does that mean that Pamela Geller is suffering from a clinical psychological malady which amounts to an irrational fear of Islamic supremacists? When one takes into account the anti-Semitic, not to say genocidal, pronouncements of Islamists concerning Jews and the fact that Pamela Geller is a Jew then perhaps her response to Islamists is rational after all.

Thankfully the press agency Associated Press has come to its senses and announced that it will cease conflating “phobia” and “criticism.” It is to be hoped that the BBC will follow suit, but don’t hold your breath.

The use of ‘phobe’ as a casual political suffix has ludicrously expanded the term from its actual meaning. It has become just another way for the lazy progressive to shut down discussion. Oppose homosexual marriage? You are a homophobe. Defend Danish cartoonists? You are an Islamophobe. It follows that if you are a phobic your opinions are irrational and no sensible person needs listen to you. By ridiculing as mentally unstable those with differing ideas progressives attempt to silence opposition.

“Phobia” is a clinical term employed by psychologists to indicate a specific form of anxiety disorder. If you have a panic attack on seeing a small spider in your bath you may well suffer from arachnophobia. People have irrational fears of many things, this does not mean that a dislike of something or a criticism of that thing is an irrational fear of it.

Whilst it may be possible to question their sanitary habits it is not reasonable to say that teenage boys actually suffer from ablutophobia or the fear of washing, or at least not all of them. Perhaps men who wear trousers instead of kilts really do suffer from genuphobia or fear of knees, or maybe they just don’t like draughts. It is possible that readers of the Sun suffer from Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia or fear of long words, or perhaps they enjoy succinct journalism and photographs of ladies with big breasts.

It is possible, however, to make a case that progressives do suffer from phronemophobia or fear of thinking. To describe your opponent as irrational or mentally ill you have no need to enter into debate with him. Could the labelling of opponents as phobic reveal a fear of engaging them in discussion and thus having to think through not only the opposing position but one’s own?

Is there really no better way for progressives of describing their ideological opponents than “phobic”? To describe one’s opponent as having a mental disorder is reminiscent of Soviet Russia where, to be opposed to communism that idyllic state upon earth, one had to be mad and could thus be incarcerated in an asylum.

“It’s just words and words change their meanings.” True, but “phobia” has a distinct clinical meaning which is not separate from its general cultural usage, the one is informed by the other. There may well be people who are homophobic or irrationally afraid of homosexuals. To label the majority of the population who are opposed to homosexual marriage as irrationally fearful of homosexuals is grossly offensive. It is possible that there are those who have a clinical anxiety disorder leading them to an irrational fear of Muslims. To accuse all those who are opposed to the influence of Islamism in Britain as irrationally fearful of Muslims is grossly offensive.

Is it only opponents of progressivism who could possibly be offensive? Maybe I am being oversensitive, or perhaps I may even suffer from catagelophobia or the irrational fear of being ridiculed.

Toleration

Tolerance:  a term deployed by progressives when trying to promote acceptance of those whose politics, cultural norms, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from the majority of Britons; term not applicable regarding evangelical Christians, defence of marriage supporters, right to lifers, and generally anyone who disagrees with the political establishment and media elite.

Tolerance once meant you were willing to abide behaviour in others which you found objectionable. Then it came to mean not judging such behaviour at all. Then it moved on to respecting them. Next it came to mean celebrating them, often at the cost of what was once held to be central. Now it means silencing those who continue to find such behaviour objectionable.

If you refuse to celebrate that which you think is unhealthy or wrong then the proponents of toleration will do their level best to stifle your previously free expression of opinion.

One favourite tactic the social, political and religious progressives often use in order to suppress debate is to label opponents as mentally unstable. If you are opposed to homosexual marriage you are labelled ‘homophobic’ or suffering from a psychological malady the symptoms of which are an unreasoning fear of homosexuals. If you speak out against the increasing influence of radical Islam amongst Muslims in the West you are labelled ‘Islamophobic,’ another psychological malady.

The list goes on endlessly. This tactic has it’s own perverted logic borrowed from the old USSR. There dissidents were routinely confined to mental institutions. After all, if you objected to the way the USSR was run you were obviously deranged, after all, wasn’t it a paradise upon earth.

We shouldn’t blame Stalin for this concept, its pedigree is much longer. Diderot in his article on ‘Natural Law’ in the Encylopedie in 1762 wrote “We must reason about all things.” If anyone refused to seek out truth he could no longer be considered human and “should be treated by the rest of his species as a wild beast.” Once the truth was discovered refusal to accept it meant one was “either insane or wicked and morally evil.”

With the advent of the French Revolution this doctrine was adopted, via Rousseau, by Robespierre who used it as part of his justification for the Great Terror.

There is a response to accusations of say Islamophobia. Those progressives who bandy it about as a term of opprobrium in an effort to censor cultural critics will refuse to listen to a discussion of their methods. They are interested in closing down discussion not in opening it up, they have forgotten the first part of Diderot’s argument “We must reason about all things.

Simply ask: Who has an unreasoning fear of radical Islam, the person who speaks out openly concerning its dangers, or the person who is afraid to acknowledge those dangers? Who is afraid of radical Islam, an elderly Danish cartoonist who mocked Muhammad, or the Yale University Press which last year refused to publish the cartoons in a scholarly tome by Professor Jytte Klausen devoted to the incident?

The true ‘phobics’ are those progressives who are so afraid of open discussion of contentious matters that they attempt to silence those who do wish to deal with vital social issues. A toleration which only tolerates those who agree is no toleration.