‘Free Speech on Trial in Europe’

This is a must-read article from Hudson New York by Soeren Kern.

It is impossible to paste a just little excerpt here that would be representative of the whole article, because the article itself is a long, sad and, frankly, frightening list of all the anti-free-speech trials that have been taking place in Europe lately.  I recommend just popping over and reading the list – no fluff there, just the facts.

‘Freedom of Religion’ is a wonderful thing – but, to be perfectly honest, I do not see how everything one needs FOR practicing one’s religion freely and unhindered – but without infringing on the rights of others – is not already covered by some of the other ‘core freedoms’:

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Thought
  • Freedom of Association
  • Equality before the law

It seems to me that there is nothing contained within ‘freedom of religion’ which is not already an integral part of the other ones – so, it is, in a way, a redundancy to list ‘religion’ among the core freedoms as a separate item.

Not that we should not have ‘freedom of religion – rather, that it is already implied in the others and re-stating it can not in any way be beneficial.  Rather, whenever things are redundantly re-stated, people will tend to read into them things which were never intended.

As in, it leads to abuse.

As it has, with claims of ‘religious discrimination’ by people who are merely offended by the very existence of any criticism of their religion.

Not being able to criticize something – whatever that something may be – is dangerous.

Deadly, in fact.

Because it infringes on the CORE freedoms – especially the ones I listed above:  freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of association and equality before the law.

Let’s just look at that last one:  equality before the law.

Because it is unlikely that all people will, all of a sudden, share the same beliefs and opinions.

If everyone is equal before the law, then they are all permitted to believe what they wish and speak it freely, whatever the other people may think of it.

However, if we interpret ‘freedom of religion’ to mean that saying things that are critical or disparaging of that religion – not the practitioners, mind you, but the religion itself – then we have created ‘blasphemy laws’ which put one set of beliefs above another’s criticism.

And that is NOT equality under law.

I know, I am repeating some very, very basic things. But, lately, it seems to me like more and more of us are forgetting the basics…

Like, what  ‘equality before the law’ actually means.

Unless we remember, it will be our undoing.