Why is it okay to censor Christians?

Feb 13, 2018 by

by Luke Gittos, spiked:

One of the UK’s largest cinema chains, Vue, refused to screen a film premiere at one of its outlets last week. The film, called Voices of the Silenced, was produced by the Core Issues Trust, and explores the extent to which Christians feel under severe pressure to conform to contemporary morality, in particular the demand to approve of homosexuality. Vue cancelled the screening following complaints from gay-rights charity Stonewall, which said the film promotes gay-cure therapy.

Big deal, you might think. Gay-conversion therapy is nuts and, judging by the trailer for the film, the documentary is a bit nuts, too. What can be good about showing a film that promotes a practice born of homophobia and hatred?

Those supporting the move by Vue claim it was not censorship. They argue that this was a case of a private organisation simply refusing to offer services to a group with which it disagrees. In truth, this was unquestionably an act of censorship. Vue was not withholding its services based on anything other than a judgement about the content of the film. Pulling the film was a way for Vue to express its moral objection to the film’s content and to prevent people from accessing it. That is censorship, pure and simple.

It was a move that also demonstrated a deep intolerance of traditional religious beliefs. The message of the film is that Christians are under pressure to accept contemporary standards of sexual morality, and that any challenge to the dominant sexual morality is treated with hatred and disdain. The censorship of the film proves the filmmakers’ point. We in the West are so unsure of the case for liberated sexuality, so nervous about robustly putting the case for sexual freedom, that instead we have to rely on shutting contrary ideas down rather than taking them on. Furthermore, this case raises serious questions about our equality laws. Anyone remember the gay-cake case? Why do Christian bakers get punished for refusing to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage, while others, like Vue, are championed as progressive for refusing services to Christians?

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