A Slow-Burn Bonfire of Liberties

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by Mark Steyn: Our
Own Greek Tragedy



At the time
of writing, I have no idea who’s won the British general election.
At the time of reading, you probably have. But, whatever the result,
I doubt it will make much difference to the fate of the United Kingdom,
which is in the fast lane of the not-so-slow-burn bonfire of the
liberties consuming much of the Western world.

The official
“defining moment” of the campaign was Gordon Brown’s
unguarded post-photo-op dismissal of Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted
woman.” Mrs. Duffy, a plain-spoken working-class granny and
lifelong Labour voter, had made the mistake of asking Mr. Brown,
her party leader, a very mild question about immigrants from eastern
Europe. He got back in his car and wrote her off, forgetting he
was still miked. So she’s a “bigot.” He’s not.
That’s why he makes all the decisions for her, and she just
makes the best of them. What part of that don’t you understand?

The other “defining
moment” got less coverage. Another “pensioner,” 74-year-old
Roy Newman, got sick of the various party hacks knocking on his
door and put a sign up in his front window: “GET THE LOT OUT.”
Ninety minutes later, two police officers arrived at his home to
arrest him for “racism.”

Racism? Why,
yes. His sign was a piece of white card with red and blue lettering.
Red-white-and-blue, geddit? The colours of the Union Jack. If using
the same colour scheme as the national flag isn’t coded racism,
I don’t know what is. Mr. Newman was prevailed upon to alter
some of the letters to yellow, thereby diminishing the racist subtext.

With bigotry
and racism running rampant, it was inevitable that homophobia would
raise its ugly head. Dale McAlpine, a practising (wait for it) Christian,
was handing out leaflets in the town of Workington and chit-chatting
with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order”
charge by police officer Sam Adams (no relation), a gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender community outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine
said homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Officer
Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Officer
Adams arrested him for causing distress to Officer Adams.

In fairness,
I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress
to members of the public more generally, rather than just the aggrieved
gay constable. No member of the public actually complained, but,
as Officer Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in
a loud voice” that might be “overheard by others.”
And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled
and tossed in the cells for seven hours.

The other day,
upholding the sacking of a black Christian for declining to provide
“sex therapy lessons” to gay couples, Lord Justice Laws
ruled that “law for the protection of a position held purely
on religious grounds is irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary.”
Actually it’s the law of Lord Justice Laws that is increasingly
“irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary.” Or as George
Orwell, in Animal Farm, formulated it: all animals are equal, but
some animals are more equal than others. In the land of Laws, a
gay is more equal than a Christian. A Muslim is more equal than
anybody. A black man is more equal than a white man, unless the
white man is gay and the black man a Christian. An eco-zealot is
more equal than an Anglican. Not long before Lord Justice Laws’
decision on the “irrationality” of legal protection for
Christianity, Tim Nicholson, a “Head of Sustainability”
fired for questioning his property management group’s environmental
policies, sued for wrongful dismissal under “Employment Equality
(Religion And Beliefs) Regulations.” He wound up with the best
part of one hundred thousand pounds after Mr. Justice Burton ruled
that Mr. Nicholson’s faith in anthropogenic global warming
was a “philosophical belief” on a par with religion. So
the Employment Equality (Religion And Beliefs) Law protects belief
in apocalyptic “climate change” but not in Jesus.

the rest of the article

19, 2010

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