Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Belief

24 Jun

For goodness sake, when will the christians quit whining about persecution, when the real issue is that they’re slowly losing the power to persecute others?

Besides, they still have far too much power:

Their main organisation is part of the state. They have permanent seats in parliament. They have a say in legislation as self-appointed religious leaders are so often consulted by legislators and government committees. They have tax breaks. They have chaplains that proselytise in schools, hospitals and the army paid for by the tax payer. They have the bloody queen. They even have capitalisation in spell checkers!

As far as I’m aware we’ve not had an atheist prime minister in the UK or an atheist president in the US. Sadly it seems it’s not considered to be a vote winner.

From the Boston Standard

The latest silly christian censorship story is best described in this witty post. In short, a pensioner has had a little sign in his window for the last few years that says “Religions are fairy stories for adults”.

Fair enough you might say, churches often have much larger billboards telling us we’re doomed to an eternity of fire-based torture if we don’t sign up, but no, apparently the coppers had a quiet word with John here and told him to take it down.

The Lincolnshire Police backtracked with this weasel-worded statement, but it’s a bit late now.

Christians whinge about not being able to discriminate against homosexuals, and whine about not being able to withhold contraception from people that need it. This is persecution?!

Thankfully the christian-only blasphemy laws were (belatedly) repealed in 2008 otherwise I could in theory be prosecuted for promulgating such heretical views. It was only 400 years ago that people were last burnt at the stake in England for disagreeing with the church’s dictated beliefs.

So I was a christian in my youth, and thankfully I was able to extricate myself from the belief system. It wasn’t easy as this is how I was brought up and how I thought. My life was based on these beliefs and christendom was my world. But thankfully things have moved on in the christian west in the last few centuries thanks to the many brave luminaries of the enlightenment, so these problems are piffling compared to what they used to be. I can’t imagine having to do what I did under threat of jail or even death by fire.

However that’s what many muslims still have to go through should they start to exercise their grey matter.

Thankfully we’re a long way ahead of other countries. Indonesia have just fined and jailed Alexander Aan for stating his atheistic belief on facebook. In Kuwait, Hamad al-Naqi has just got ten years hard labour for his twitter posts – thankfully the Emir did not allow the death penalty to be added to the new legislation, but it was close.

I tell you, if Orwell was around he’d have a thing or two to say.

In a debate I saw recently, Sam Harris said that “A recent poll in the UK showed that a third of British muslims say they want to live under sharia law and think that anyone who leaves the faith should be put to death for apostasy. 68% of British muslims think that their neighbours who insult islam should be arrested and prosecuted. 78% think that the Danish cartoonists should be brought to justice. These people do not have a clue about what constitutes a civil society.” This poll was not taken in Iran; it was carried out in the UK. Sheesh.

As a result I’ve recently started to support these very brave people: the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

Here’s their manifesto. Here is their donation page.

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2 Responses to “Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Belief”

  1. Dan June 25, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    YES, YES, YES!!! I LIKE that Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain manifesto. Religion should be a personal choice and I am weary of state institutions forcing people to comply, and prohibiting freedom of speech. I don’t support intentionally insulting someone for the specific purpose of insutling them, BUT: 1. If someone is insulted because of a point of view, then challenge it and debate it, don’t stifle debate; 2. Even if someone does intentionally insult someone, it should not be a police matter!! For f****’s sake, it’s like crying to mummy/daddy because your big brother insulted you! Fine for little children when mummy/daddy needs to keep the peace, but in adult life?? Come on!

    Also, I totally agree that faith/religion should be separated from the State. Let people practise their religion if they want to, but don’t let it creep into laws etc.

    One disagreement with you though, Rushers: the police statement wasn’t weasel-worded, IMHO. They were correcting the distorted view put across by journalists, who had – probably by use of selective facts – given the impression that the situation is even worse than it is. Journalists often write crap by selctively choosing their facts/data or even probably making bits up, just to sell their shit by invoking anger and/or fear. Failed writers, IMHO

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  1. Feel Free To Insult Me « unfebuckinglievable - July 10, 2012

    […] have been some pretty egregious uses of the law to silence people. The legislation says “A person is guilty of an offence if he […]

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