Criminalizing Thought

For the past few years we’ve been hearing constantly from folks, mostly on the left, about how our essential freedoms were being eroded by the practices and policies of Bush and Blair. Oh, they’d go on about how there was a ‘chill’ in the air, how they were at risk by these neo-con fascists in bravely airing their thoughts on the evil and repressive nature of Chimpy’s jackbooted minions. And we all know how many of these brave academitions and artistes have *cough-cough* disappeared *wink-wink* shall we say into the retched gulags squirreled away in the frozen wastes where the Lileks doth play. Something on the magnitude of, um, zero, I think.
But I’m forced to admit that these folks may have a point. We’ve seen a rise in ‘hate crime’ legislation here in the States. And now there’s this from Mark Steyn about what’s happening across the pond:

So what is a “priority crime”? Well, the other day, the author Lynette Burrows went on a BBC Five Live show to talk about the government’s new “civil partnerships” and expressed her opinion – politely, no intemperate words – that the adoption of children by homosexuals was “a risk”. The following day, Fulham police contacted her to discuss the “homophobic incident”.
…As it is, Lynette Burrows has been investigated by police merely for expressing an opinion. Which is the sort of thing we used to associate with police states. Indeed, it’s the defining act of a police state: the arbitrary criminalisation of dissent from state orthodoxy.

This is the scary trend that’s going on. Curse at Bush and call him Hitler, and you get to host an MTV show. Put a crucifix in a jar of urine and you’re idolized. Make a film showing how muslim women are treated in Europe and you end up like Theo Van Gogh. Express some doubts about letting homosexuals adopt children and the police come calling.
As Steyn says

No society with an eye to long-term survival should make opinion a subversive activity. Here’s a thought: we should be able to discuss homosexuality, Islam and pretty much everything else in the same carefree way Guardian columnists damn Bush’s America as “neo-fascist”.

Words for all to consider.

5 Responses to “Criminalizing Thought”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    “Words for all to consider”

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    These boots are made for stompin’
    That’s what they’re gonna do…

  3. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Britain seems to be a quasi-police state. Or a police state in training. An object lesson for us in America.

  4. I believe there’s similar legislation in Australia concerning opinions not supportive of Islam, etc.

  5. Crusader says:

    Very true, and the worst part is that both sides of the political spectrums hands are dirty with regard to it. The left gets the most blame for it, but the folks on the right have done little to actually curtail it, and in many cases are proud cheerleaders of such legislation.

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