Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:35 am Post subject: POLICING OF OPINION HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COUNTRY
|POLICING OF OPINION HAS NO PLACE IN OUR COUNTRY
Opinions shouldn't be policed / picture posed by model
Wednesday October 28,2009
By Ann Widdecombe
IT HAS happened again. a Christian pensioner of 67 wrote to her local council to complain that a Gay Pride march was a public display of indecency and offensive to God.
The council should have responded merely that it disagreed instead of which it called the police who grilled the woman in her own home, investigating what they called a “hate crime”.
If that sounds familiar it is because the incident is by no means isolated. This was in Norwich but it is no good saying the Norwich police acted dis proportionately (the description not of any church but of stonewall itself) because it happens elsewhere too.
In Lancashire a Christian elderly couple were grilled for an hour and 40 minutes in their home because they had asked their council if they could display religious literature in register offices alongside the council’s own material on civil partnerships.
Again, the council could simply have said “no” but again it called the police. It has happened in London too where a respected children’s author, Lynette Burrows, opined in the course of a radio programme that children should not be adopted by same sex couples.
The police rang up. When I raised two of the above cases and some related ones in a Cambridge Union debate on political correctness a couple of weeks ago, the reaction of the opposing side was that it was all a matter of some police men reacting inappropriately.
Apparently not. the tendency seems to be nationwide. Britons can now find the police on their doorsteps not for any thing they have done but merely for opinions they have expressed.
Presumably this is because the police have nothing better to do. there are no burglaries, sex offences, stabbings, muggings or murders about these days so they all sit in stations drinking tea and twiddling their thumbs, waiting for a council to report the dangerous possession of opinions which do not match the prevailing orthodoxy, a role usually
That does not, of course, apply to politicians who may freely express views on civil partnerships, samesex adoptions and religious freedom without fear of arrest. For how much longer?
Even clergy have to look over their shoulders when preaching traditional morality. Of course Sir Iqbal Sacranie, former General secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, was less lucky and faced a police quiz when he explained the teaching of his faith on homosexuality.
Real freedom must include the freedom to offend, insult and irritate. that is very different from stirring up hatred. I, as a Christian, am regularly offended and insulted by the likes of atheist Richard Dawkins but that is not reason enough to gag them, let alone send the police round to their doorsteps.
A free country and the policing of opinion cannot exist together. We have to decide which sort of state we prefer. We are either prepared to resolve issues by debate and persuasion or by banging on the door at dawn, by tolerating the dissident or by using the law itself to silence him.
At the moment it is capricious. Nick Griffin can say what he likes to millions on a mainstream television programme but some poor old lady is subjected to the modern equivalent of the Inquisition for saying a lot less in a letter to her local council, which would probably be read by fewer than a dozen people.
The moral is clear enough: politicians, however dubious, have freedoms denied to ordinary citizens. that also is the mark of a totalitarian state. If we do not wake up Britain will soon take suppression of politically inconvenient views for granted.
Remember the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “First they came for the communists but I wasn’t a communist so I did not speak out; then they came for the Jews but I wasn’t a Jew so I did not speak out; then they came for me and there was nobody left to speak out.”
Well, they have already begun coming for the Christians.
Is it just me that thinks there is something horribly wrong with these type of things. Homeosexuals, lesbians, transgender and whtever else they deem to call themselves thesedays seek, sorry demand tolerance from everbody concernig their lifestye choices and sexual preferences yet seem to have ZERO tolerence for anybody elses beliefs or choices. This country has been nearly destroyed by this Governments fanatical demand for political correctness and it has to stop. Lets hope the incoming Government can return the country to the days of common sense and let the police deal with PROPER crimes!