Wednesday, 1 March 2017
'Free speech' has always been a limited offering. To many the words mean we can say anything we like anywhere no matter who is listening. Yet there has always been limits, usually caused by thoughts uttered in an offensive manner towards people who the speaker wishes to upset. Indeed free speech does not mean, and never has meant, feel free to insult and offend for the sake of it.
However today we are in a time when little speech is free in any way. Political Correctness, the new absolutes of western society, decides what we are allowed to say and where we can say it. This has run so deep within society that I read recently only three universities are without limits on speech of any kind, all the others, including the so called 'Best ones' limit what can be said and by whom.
One such incident saw Germaine Greer, that mentally unbalanced writer, self proclaimed 'academic' and media favourite banned from speaking at one university because she upset some of the students. Had she been banned because she is a mental case I could accept this but a banning just because she disagreed with them is unacceptable in any university. Many would say that all universities exist so ideas can be debated, not banned. Race, sex, religion and just existing appear reasons for rejecting a free thought, and secularists are very bad at this where religion is concerned, the left bad where politics is concerned and the right make use of their media to ensure other opinions are drowned out and kept from the readers too lazy to think for themselves.
Should anything be banned? Any idea of any sort?
It would be easy to ban any who suggest violence ought to be banned. I could agree with this. On the other hand should there not be a place where the ones making such a suggestion can be questioned about their beliefs, where they originate and what lies behind them? Universities would be an ideal place for such debate. Rabblerousers who refuse to debate cold them be banned after refusing to discuss and listen to other open ideas.
Why are people so afraid to debate their thoughts?
One fear is what they hear could be right and destroy their preconceptions and long held beliefs. Ideals long treasured and found to be wanting can destroy an individual and he does not wish to hear any more. Laziness allows many to accept what their media tells them because it is easy and saves them from deep thought about their world and their lives.
Why are students so afraid of opposition? Can it be many are radicalised and unwilling to be open to other ideas, then get out of universities, can it be they are pushing their own beliefs and will never accept another?
This is not new, this has gone on before within such hallowed halls. Politics, religion, monarchy and ideas have always caused conflicts in places of learning, possibly it is worse now possibly not.
I mention this as two men have been found guilty of 'Public order offences' by preaching scripture to people at a Bristol Shopping Centre. It appears they got into discussion with many who disagreed with the biblical saying by Jesus "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me." Those opposing took a Muslim line it appears. Eventually police arrived and the 'PC' PC brought charges against them.
Now it seems to me these two men, one was an American, handled the situation rather badly. This was a tough approach but nonetheless the opposition closed them down not because of their manner but because they did not agree with what they said. Does this mean Muslims, as well as Gays who have tried this before, can stop preaching because they are 'offended?' What an open door to censorship that is.
Keep in mind what is occurring in the UK today, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) has desired to charge people who state that 'marriage is between one man and one woman only' with a 'Hate Crime' against gays, and transgenders! During this trial the prosecutor states "To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth." How can he say this? He can say he disagrees and oppose it, he cannot state it is not truth.
What we are seeing here is an outworking of a process that has been ongoing for forty years. The state now decides what is truth, what is allowable to state, and bans those who state truth. The church has seen the persecution coming and each week we see similar stories, not always reaching the courts, yet appearing in business, the NHS, and all parts of society.
Not long before the Christian church is outlawed in the west once again.