Evangelism threatened by counter-extremism measures

Aug 28, 2015 by

By Archbishop Cranmer: The Evangelical Alliance has been surveying Evangelicals. 1,730 of them, to be precise. And it transpires that four out of five of them think government policies to tackle extremism may make it harder for them to share their faith. Perhaps the other 20% is either not paying attention to sinister developments, or doesn’t grasp the essential Christian mission. Two thirds of respondents to theAlliance’s survey on ‘British values’ felt that the current attempt to define those values was “a reflection of the country’s identity crisis”, and three quarters agreed that “freedom of speech needs greater protection”. The glass is almost full.. but is it not astonishing that 25% of Evangelicals believe the state of our freedom of speech is just fine and dandy? It is now apparently a public order offence to quote Leviticus; it is a crime to criticise Islam via electronic media; and an offence not to bake a cake bearing a slogan one considers to be immoral. In fact, it is increasingly difficult to express any orthodox view on sexual morality or the uniqueness of Christ for salvation without being stoned with ‘-phobe’, ‘hate’ or ‘bigot’. Are these 25% asleep in the light? Evangelicals are broadly supportive of government plans to define and promote British values (71%), and, although they consider it a reasonable response to extremism (57%), there is widespread concern about its unintended consequences. Read here...

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Political correctness is killing freedom of speech

Aug 27, 2015 by

By Brendan O’Neill: There are two reasons you should be freaked out by political correctness. The first is that it prevents people from saying what they want to say, from expressing what they believe to be true. And it is fundamentally illiberal to stop people from expressing their beliefs and their ideas. And the second is that it prevents the rest of us from hearing those ideas and deciding for ourselves if they are good or bad. It infantilises all of us through denying us the right to weigh things up, to argue over them, to be the arbiters of what is right and what is wrong. Instead it gives that role to a dictatorship of do-gooders, who decide on our behalf what words and thoughts are fit for public consumption. On the first point, the stifling of non-mainstream thought. One of the great fallacies of PC is that it’s just about being polite. They call it “institutionalised politeness”. It’s about eradicating ugly terms and ethnic slurs, so what’s the beef? Who could be against that, except racists and misogynists? This is disingenuous in the extreme. PC doesn’t only prevent the use of shocking words; it strangles the expression of ideas, ideologies, moral beliefs, and religious convictions. Like every form of censorship in history, it curtails the expression of beliefs that an elitist group of people have judged to be wicked or foul. Let me give you some examples of campus clampdowns on un-PC speech which are actually assaults on the expression of moral convictions. Read here Read also:  The new PC is harming the people it’s supposed to protect by Peter Franklin, Conservative...

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Free speech deficit in ‘frightened’ Britain

Aug 18, 2015 by

by Anne Marie Waters, Breitbart:

It’s an odd feeling sitting down to write this, it’s a mixture of relief and foreboding. The Mohammed Cartoon exhibit that I and others had planned for September in London has been cancelled, and the fact that this has brought relief should offer some clues as to why.

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Belfast Pastor on Trial for Offending Islam

Aug 18, 2015 by

By Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute:

An evangelical Christian pastor in Northern Ireland has made his first court appearance after he was charged with making “grossly offensive” remarks about Islam.
James McConnell, 78, appeared at Laganside Magistrates Court in Belfast on August 6, after local Muslims complained that he delivered a sermon in which he described Islam as “heathen” and “satanic.”

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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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Christian student reinstated after gay marriage row

Aug 14, 2015 by

From The Christian Institute: A Christian student in South Africa who was expelled from her university’s student council for disagreeing with gay marriage on Facebook has been reinstated as vice-president. Zizipho Pae was voted off the University of Cape Town’s Student Representative Council (SRC) for her reaction to the US Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage in every state. On her personal Facebook page, she had posted: “We are institutionalising and normalising sin! Sin. May God have mercy on us.” Threats Her office was vandalised, homosexual pornography was posted on her Facebook page and she received threats to her safety. Vice-Chancellor Max Price has now written to Pae to say that the decision to expel her was invalid, following an investigation and after he received legal advice. As a consequence, the SRC has now reinstated her to the position of vice-president. Read here...

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