If there was any remaining doubt that the western world we once knew, that which was a beacon of individual rights and bastion of free speech, was in its twilight years, events on two continents involving Christian leaders should put those doubts to rest. The flame that burned brightly during the Enlightenment is now quickly flickering away, all but snuffed out in many places by the combined and oppressive weight of political correctness, multiculturalism, and the modern penchant for offence taking.
In Northern Ireland, a Pastor who called Islam a “Satanic” religion must stand trial, accused of sharing a “grossly offensive message through public communication.”
In Australia, the entire conference of Roman Catholic bishops could face a public hearing under one State’s (that of Tasmania) anti-discrimination laws, for the horrendous crime of publishing a booklet setting out the teaching of the church in relation to marriage, and re-stating its opposition to gay marriage.
The hypocrisy of the first case (Pastor McConnell in Northern Ireland) is breathtaking. The main prosecution witness will be a certain Dr Raied Al-Wazzan, who is on record as supporting Islamic State. He now has the extreme gall to bring a fatuous offence taking action against a Christian minister of religion who was speaking to his own congregation in the context of a sermon during a service of worship. Of course, no imam has been dragged before a court for giving an hysterically bloodthirsty address during Friday prayers in a mosque.
The case in Australia (in the State of Tasmania) rests entirely on the hurt feelings of a single transgendered person, who claims to be offended and humiliated. Well cry me a river. Life is tough sweetheart. Incredulously, the instruments of the entire State must be used to potentially coerce more than twenty bishops to appear in some judicial setting for a please explain – all for reiterating the centuries old teaching of their church in one matter of moral theology and all because a single person, upon reading it, could not cope with the fact that not everyone is an enthusiast for anal sex.
If this were not serious it could be treated with the laughter, scorn and contempt it deserves. But this is serious. And it is real. Free speech is under real and direct attack. Especially threatened is the free speech of conservative Christians, like Pastor McConnell in Ireland and the Catholic bishops of Australia, even within their own churches and among their own followers. For how much longer can the flame of the Enlightenment continue to burn in the suicidal west before the rights zealots and offence takers completely extinguish it?