I worry our government is making V for Vendetta come true

Aug 16, 2015 by

By Paul Nizinskyj, Conservative Home: “I remember [Friedrich] Hayek telling me that Brits thought you only had totalitarian dangers if people wore funny uniforms and funny salutes. He said they don’t understand that a man in a tweed suit can be as vicious as any Gestapo officer.” Peter Clarke, Political Secretary to Enoch Powell (1972-75), 2007 “The whole power of the aggressor depends upon preventing people from seeing what is happening and from saying what they see.” Enoch Powell, 1970 I used to think a totalitarian Britain, should such a horror ever occur, would most likely look something like IngSoc (Newspeak for English Socialism) from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four; socialism’s reliance on coercion to enforce its aims meant it seemed logical to me that a movement which sought to control people’s thoughts and actions would be spawned by the Left. By the same token, it irritated me that in the dystopian comic-turned-film V for Vendetta, fascist dictator Adam Sutler was portrayed by John Hurt as a former Conservative MP; how could a man who came from the party of Thatcher possibly be believed as a fascist dictator, I thought? So naturally it is with great humility, sadness and anger that I have to concede it is the Conservative Party, not Labour; David Cameron, not Tony Blair, which are busy constructing a totalitarian state here in the United Kingdom. And it is something which both terrifies me and emboldens me in my belief that establishing  Conservatives for Liberty more than two years ago was not only the right thing to do, but necessary, too. Mr Cameron, who nailed his colours to the mast only days after the general election with the chilling announcement that following the law was no longer enough, and Theresa May, the latest in a long line of authoritarian Home Secretaries, have been on my radar for some time now; but the disease appears to spread much further. My attention was recently drawn to Liz Truss’s PPS Mark Spencer, whose interpretation of the Government’s ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’ –  already an intolerable curtailment of freedom of expression – are the stuff of nightmares. Mr Spencer chose to express his views on the subject on the Conservative Way Forward website on Wednesday which, if nothing else, helpfully distinguishes that ostensibly Thatcherite group from one like Conservatives for Liberty which actually believes in free speech. Read here...

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If we want Muslims to embrace our values, we must be clear what those are

Aug 11, 2015 by

by Dr Martin Parsons, Conservative Home: As news of fresh Islamist plots hit the newspapers over the weekend, we should remember when, last month, the Prime Minister made British values central to the fight against extremism. He didn’t refer to the abstract values liberals love to promote such as ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’ that are so vague as to be of limited value. Instead he clearly articulated historically rooted British values: democracy the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press freedom of worship He also insisted that these apply to all regardless of their race, sex, sexuality or faith i.e. in this county we have equality before the law and one law for all, not shari’a for some and British law for others. This of course is not something new: these are historic British values because they have emerged over the centuries and become embedded in our institutions. In that sense they are deeply rooted. But too be honest, we have often lost sight of them. One of the clearest examples of this in the last few decades has been the state promotion of a form of multiculturalism that failed to distinguish between the external layers of culture – what we eat, drink, wear, the type of music we listen to – and the deeper underlying values. Within broad limits of decency and security, it shouldn’t matter two hoots to the government what you wear or what you eat or don’t eat. It should matter though if you want to see a ‘partial’ implementation of shari’a in the UK through shari’a courts. The result has been that historic British values have too often been lost sight of and drowned out in a cacophony of contradictory noises. In so far as they have been spoken of, it has too often been the abstract, generalised values promoted by liberals, such as  ‘tolerance’ that are so vague that they are open to abuse, instead of specific values – such as equal treatment by all before the law and freedom of speech – that have been deeply rooted in our history. Consequently young people, and Muslims in particular, have too often been put in the unenviable position of being told to subscribe to British values, without being clearly told what those values actually are. Read here...

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How liberalism became an intolerant dogma

Aug 9, 2015 by

By Damon Linker, The Week: At the risk of sounding like Paul Krugman — who returns to a handful of cherished topics over and over again in his New York Times column — I want to revisit one of my hobby horses, which I most recently raised in mydiscussion of Hobby Lobby. My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism’s decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma. The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. But the cultural shift during the Obama years that has led a majority of Americans to support gay marriage seems to have opened the floodgates to an ugly triumphalism on the left. The result is a dogmatic form of liberalism that threatens to poison American civic life for the foreseeable future. Conservative Reihan Salamdescribes it, only somewhat hyperbolically, as a form of “weaponized secularism.” The rise of dogmatic liberalism is the American left-wing expression of the broader trend that Mark Lilla identified in a recent blockbuster essay forThe New Republic. The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls “neoliberalism.” At its deepest level, libertarianism is “a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice” in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right’s anti-government furies, but it also animates the left’s push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West. What makes libertarianism a dogma is the inability or unwillingness of those who espouse it to accept that some people might choose, for morally legitimate reasons, to dissent from it. On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government. The latter tendency shows how, paradoxically, the rise of libertarian dogma can have the practical effect of increasing government power and expanding its scope. This happens when individuals look to the government to facilitate their own liberation from constraints imposed by private groups, organizations, and institutions within civil society. In such cases, the government seeks to bring those groups, organizations, and institutions into conformity with uniform standards that ensure the unobstructed personal liberation of all — even if doing so requires that these private entities are forced to violate their distinctive visions of the good. Read here...

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MassResistance takes to the streets for Dr. Church!

Aug 5, 2015 by

Signs and flyers at busy entrance to hospital in Boston. On Thursday afternoon, July 30, MassResistance took the fight for medical truth into the streets. A group of protesters gathered during lunchtime outside of one of the busy entrances to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in downtown Boston. Our activists carried signs and distributed information to doctors, staff members, patients, and even passing cars about the embattled Dr. Paul Church. Dr. Church, a well-respected urologist, was recently expelled from the medical staff of BIDMC, a major Harvard-affiliated hospital, because he voiced concerns to his colleagues about the unhealthy nature of homosexual behavior and objected to the hospital’s aggressive promotion of “gay pride” activities. July 30 was the second day of Dr. Church’s appeal hearing at the hospital. Most people were completely unaware of the situation. Many were shocked when they learned about it. Our flyers were taken by so many people that we ran out and had to quickly get more printed!  Read the flyer here. Read here...

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I can’t ‘celebrate’ but it doesn’t mean I hate you

Jul 17, 2015 by

By Steve C Craig, MercatorNet: From left to right, the car’s bumper stickers read: “Hatred is Not a Family Value,” “Celebrate Diversity” (in rainbow colors), and “Obama-Biden.” Collectively, these refreshed my growing fear that I should soon “celebrate” certain lifestyle choices or suffer the consequences. There was once another option, but memory of it is fading rapidly like an image in my rear view mirror. Both the imperative tone and intolerance of the bumper messages are troubling; as is the shallow and muddled thinking behind them. A polite “no thank you” is now an unacceptable response to the colorful and demanding “celebrate”. It is time we rediscovered the validity of conscientious objection. Conscientious objection is objection to an act, not a person. Equating conscientious objection with bigotry is unkind and a particularly egregious kind of ignorance. And restricting and penalizing the exercise of religiously-informed civil rights is simply wrong — though in modern parlance it is “evolved” behavior. Two examples might help. Read here...

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Public life after same-sex marriage: Canada

Jul 10, 2015 by

By Andrea Mrozek, MercatorNet: It is the IMFC’s position that legalization of same-sex marriage (SSM) is an effect of a longer cultural trajectory away from Judeo-Christian norms. It is also a cause of new cultural and legal trends, yet the legalization of SSM must be viewed in its historical context. Many aspects of cultural change occurring now were happening before the legalization of SSM. Therefore, it is impossible to assign causation to SSM legalization. One can assume that all the changes to family form—including no fault divorce, and recognizing common-law (de facto) relationships as being the same as marriage, alongside legalization of same sex marriage — will indeed have an effect. We know other forms of family change have had an effect, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that legalizing same sex marriage would too. We would be wise to measure outcomes for children from various family forms so that we could know concretely what effects on families are. In other domains, we need to closely watch freedom of religion. The Law Society of Upper Canada is the group of lawyers who have refused to accept Trinity Western grads. Trinity Western is a Christian, private university that has a lifestyle code that precludes, among other things, any form of pre-marital sex, and which further defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Trinity Western is contesting the law society’s move, and that is an important court case to watch. If Trinity Western loses, that will not bode well for our religious freedoms. The state as the arbiter of parenthood is a change that came about the result of legalization of same sex marriage. Natural parent was replaced by legal parent, and that broadens the mandate of the state beyond what should be their jurisdiction, thereby curtailing our freedoms. (Generally speaking, this is true of the many forms of conception by IVF involving multiple parties, whether those parties are heterosexual or homosexual.) Freedom of speech is not legally curtailed in Canada but political correctness means if you want to defend a gendered definition of marriage, your private employer may have no stomach for it. A sports broadcaster did lose his job here for being in favour of man-woman marriage. This is not unlike the case of the Mozilla CEO in California being let go. Political correctness has a stranglehold on us. (This existed before SSM was legalized as well.) Obviously, losing your job if you have a family to feed is itself a pretty severe threat. So our choices around what we say are curtailed. Read here Read also:  Public life after same-sex marriage: United Kingdom by Kathy Gyngell Public life after same-sex marriage: New Zealand by Carolyn Moynihan  ...

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