On Fascism and Homophobia
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sun, 2007-01-28 18:19
The court of Appeal in Douai [Dowaai in Dutch], in the French northern province of Flanders (adjacent to the Belgian Dutch-speaking region of Flanders), has convicted a member of the French Parliament for his views on homosexuality. Christian Vanneste, an MP of the ruling UMP party, had said that “heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality.” He also said that “homosexual behaviour endangers the survival of humanity.” This is a statement one is no longer allowed to make in France.
Last year a court of first instance in Lille [Rijsel in Dutch] sentenced Vanneste to a fine of €3,000 (almost $4,000) plus €3,000 in damages to each of the three homosexual activist organizations that had taken him to court. On Thursday the appeal court upheld the verdict, adding a further €500 to the sum which the politician has to pay to the three organizations.
The three organizations brought the politician to court under a 2004 law that criminalizes “homophobia.” The homosexual activist groups welcomed the court ruling, saying that it “aims to punish homophobic comments which should be fought because they inspire and legitimize verbal and physical attacks.” As former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky told us last year the introduction of “hate speech” laws in Europe are a clear sign of the end of freedom.
In addition to forbidding statements that European neo-Fascists, such as the French homosexual activists, regard as homophobic, French courts also prohibit the distribution of pork soup by private charities because that is deemed to be “islamophobic.”
Moral police - source AGAINST immorality
Submitted by Flanders Fields on Sat, 2007-02-03 15:07.
There is little difference between the prosecution of Vanneste by the leftists and the prosecution of this young girl by Shariaists. The consistencies are obvious and it may not be too long before the "justice" meted out is the same.
"The moral police said the locals had submitted a petition, describing her as a "source of immorality" and a "terrible influence on local schoolgirls"." The story about her is located here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5217424.stm, and here:
Submitted by Flanders Fields on Sat, 2007-02-03 07:03.
Mr. Vanneste has given the following statement about the circumstances of the passage of the law under which he was "convicted"(I prefer calling it what it is - persecuted).
"Thus the law voted in December 2004 was such a threat to freedom of expression that the Minister of Justice at the time, Mr. Perben, declared on March 7, 2004, to the French National Assembly: “this measure in no way threatens freedom of expression, nor does it threaten the ability of those legitimately engaged in debates on values to continue to express what they think about various life styles, sexual orientations, or any other subject.” My condemnation and the intellectual terrorism that followed have amply demonstrated that he was wrong."
He explains the reasons he holds the views and explains his reasoning:
"Being a professor of philosophy and an elected official of the Nation, I am only expressing one man’s opinion: I regard homosexual behavior as objectively disordered. There is no insult in this expression; in truth I criticize the behavior and not the men. It is essential to understand this distinction, to be able to respect the men, all men, with regard to their essence and not to their acts."
The original and translated texts appear here, along with links to his interview and other posts (hit the link at the top of the article to return to the front of View from the Right for more information): http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/007227.html
Submitted by marcfrans on Fri, 2007-02-02 18:08.
You are repeating the same opinions, but you are not addressing my points. You are also demonstrating (for the umpteenth time) that you do not believe in freedom of speech (in the sense of 'political speech'), and that you are willing (like most Europeans today) to abuse governmental power to SELECTIVELY criminalise certain opinions and not others. This is not "democracy" but "authocracy", and will inevitably lead again to 'worse', as it did in the past in Europe and elsewhere. This will be my last response under this thread.
1) It is pure sofistry to abuse terms the way you do. Vanneste expressed an opinion. He did not "abuse criminal law", unless he proposed to criminalise another opinion of someone else by law. Since he did not, it is ludicrous for you to claim that he "abused criminal law". He may have 'violated' ( a stupid, 'undemocratic' in the sense of unconstitutional law), but he did not "abuse" it, nor "use" it.
Law to be fair and just must be certain and clear. It cannot possibly be based on what numerous different individuals may "construe" in their minds about this or that. Let's take a simple example to illustrate the arbitrariness of it all. Every day numerous French citizens (including officials and politicians) express negative opinions, in the form of jokes, serious statements etc...about the pope or about 'conservative' or (worse) fundamentalist "christians". This could just as easily be "construed" in some people's minds as "considering them as lesser people...or engendering discrimination etc..". Vanneste should be just as entitled to express his opinion of homosexuals as catholic-bashers are to express theirs about catholics or conservatives or whoever.
Laws that create 'delits d'opinion' simply do not belong in a democratic political system. They are characteristic of undemocratic political systems, like those in the muslim world and elsewhere, because they will INEVITABLY be SELECTIVELY applied to enforce a ruling orthodoxy's opinions. And, it is utterly ludicrous that in today's France (and Belgium) an elected representative in parliament (or anyone else) can be prosecuted for expressing his opinions in parliament. What is parliament for? It is to express opinions FREELY, it is not there for parroting dogmas that have been 'enshrined' in law by temporary ruling majorities. Europeans are back in the 1930's and are applying unconstitutional and undemocratic methods to 'cement' a new orthodoxy.
2) I have already clearly dealt with the distinction betwen free political speech and 'violence'. It is you who are willing to 'shut up' those whose opinions you dislike. That means you are not a genuine 'democrat', and that you are no different from those muslim clerics who would also shut you up if they could. And they will in the future, copying European and muslim 'practice' of today.
3) I am not surprised you need and thus ask for a definition of "honesty". Maybe 'fairness' would be a better term that needs translating in French and Dutch. For one thing, putting in the constitution freedom of opinion for the individual, and then violating that SELECTIVELY against those you disagree with or dislike, is a good example of dishonesty.
4) Indeed, the French and the American constitutions differ. They were inspired by very different 'spirits'. That is why the French are in their 5th republic, and the Americans are still in their 1st.
I agree with you that both individualism and communitarianism have their limits. Apparently the communitarianism has not worked too well for the French, and they are well on the way to their 6th Republic. But above all, people, and particularly 'rulers/politicians' must be 'principled' and must display adherence to moral virtues, like honesty and courage. The Americans had to relearn the lesson about being "principled" the hard way at great cost in their civil war in mid-19th century. The French are not likely to become principled soon, and will not likely find it in their 6th Republic either. Their inability to respect the central value of the European Enlightenment, freedom of opinion/expression, is a good example of that. So they will continue to open the door to arbitrary (unprincipled) exercise of power.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Thu, 2007-02-01 09:01.
"How could speaking one's mind be 'using or abusing' criminal law?"
It is when the speaker in question is in a position of rational-legal authority and publicly incites others to commit crimes, namely discrimination and violence against homosexuals, and relegating them to second-class citizens. Those who are opposed to homosexuality could construe that they have government approval of sorts to violate the rights of homosexuals in France; for the average French citizen, if there is no punishment for these remarks, they could construe that the French government considers homosexuals as lesser citizens and a threat to national security. Similarly, if the senior vice president of a corporation declares that women do not belong in the workplace and that any woman aspiring to more than being a receptionist would threaten the corporation, one would expect gender discrimination if that executive is not publicly censured.
"If you want to tackle hate-spewing muslim clerics, then deport them....They are guests, and you (the host government) should determine the conditions under which you accept 'guests' to your 'abode'."
What if that cleric is homegrown? Allow him to incite others to commit crimes and then wait for the bombs (or I.E.D.s in the new lingo) to explode? The community has a right to preventively protect itself from an individual who is preparing to commit a crime as well as an individual who is inciting others to commit crimes. No community on Earth is in full compliance with Voltaire's axiom, nor does anarchy work, even if it is the libertarian variant.
It is unsympathetic opinions that need to be protected if one wants society to retain the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and undertake necessary change.
Certainly Mr. Vanneste was unsympathetic towards homosexuals and Mr. Gibson was clearly unsympathetic towards Jewry; both were penalized, one by public and one by private means. How is a fine worse that being ostracized by one's professional colleagues?
"Adult and honest people have no difficulty in making a distinction between 'free speech' and 'forbidden actions/deeds'."
Firstly, "adult" is singular and should be plural. Secondly, define "honest people": who are they, what are their names?
"Your fourth point is a rehashing of your usual 'racist' claptrap, i.e. your failure to make a proper distinction between culture and race or ethnicity."
Interesting to hear someone so vehemently opposed to Muslim immigration reverting to politically correct centre-left b.s. Culture is derived from a variety of sources, nationality or ethnicity included, which is derived from physical characteristics i.e. race, phenotype. Nevertheless, the United States is not a nation in the ethnic sense, for it is multicultural, multinational and multiracial; it remains a colony in the sense that its culture at any given time is a fusion of the foreign cultures of its inhabitants, be they European, African or Latin American. American culture will change as American demographics change. Ultimately, pure liberals and pure socialists are both anti-nationalistic in the sense that they negate the existence and role of the nation, the former viewing humanity as mere individuals, the latter as socio-economic classes.
"There is considerably more trust between the state and the individual citizen in the USA than, for instance, in Belgium."
This is because Belgium is not a nation either, rather it is a multinational state composed of the Flemings and Walloons, which have different cultures - Germanic and Gallo-Roman (Romantic), respectively, different languages, and each of whom jockey for control over what is an artificial state, in the sense that is not a nation-state. However, you are making assumptions which only exhaustive research could uphold or refute.
"The relationship between the individual and the state is not inherently adversarial. However, it does become so when the powerful trample on constitutional protections of citizens."
Evidently, the French and American constitutions differ. Europe is composed of nations and therefore not surprisingly is more communitarian than the United States, which has always been individualistic. What works for Europe does not work for the United States and visa versa. Furthermore, the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are the exceptions not the norms in terms of individual liberties, precisely because aside from European majorities, they are not ethnic nations. If communitarianism, as you point out, has its limits, so too does individualism.
Submitted by marcfrans on Tue, 2007-01-30 17:47.
1) Speaking once's mind is NOT an "abuse of one's legal-rational position of authority". In fact it is a 'normal' activity of a FREE person. The fact that Mr Vanneste expressed an opinion on a particular subject (homosexuality) is NOT "an abuse of criminal law". How could speaking one's mind be 'using or abusing' criminal law? Did Mr Vanneste propose a new law which would criminalise anyone else's opinion on the subject of homosexuality? As far as I know he did not, so you are talking nonsense. "Abusing criminal law" means using legislation to criminalise someone else's opinions on anything.
2) I cannot give you an exhaustive list of criminal codes of western countries. The biggest western country is the USA and there is a First Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees free speech. And American courts uphold that constitutional right for citizens. There is an extensive jurisprudence which clarifies that free speech means 'political speech'. Free speech does not mean that I can come and harrass you every morning by shouting at your front door, etc... That would be an harrassing ACTION, and not expressing an opinion. Free speech means that I can express my opinions on ANY subject in a 'reasonable' setting, like a book, an article, a speech, a lecture, an interview, etc.... Any anti-hate legislation that has ever had any chance of passing in the US Congress is always linked to specific ACTIONS, not words. It represents 'regression', because it links more severe punishment to hate-actions than to other punishable actions, i.e. it arbitrarily picks and chooses among different motivations for criminal actions. This represents a ridiculous form of naive-left thinking, but it is not (at least not in the USA) an abridgment of free political speech.
The case of 'McVeigh' has absolutely nothing to do with free speech. He was a bombmaker and a murderer. These are actions, not 'speech'. In a constitutional democracy, noncitizens do not have the same constitutional rights as citizens. If you want to tackle hate-spewing muslim clerics, then deport them....They are guests, and you (the host government) should determine the conditions under which you accept 'guests' to your 'abode'. But, do not touch the constitutional individual rights of your own citizens or ....you will eventualy lose your democracy (because not all your 'governors' will always be angels in the future).
3) Your third point is pure sofistry and dishonest. Freedom of speech simply means that people have to tolerate other opinions, i.e. opinions diverging from their own. It becomes only relevant in the case of 'unsympathetic' opinions, relative to the prevailing opinions of the ruling orthodoxy. Sympathetic opinions do not need to be protected in a Constitution, because human nature being what it is.... It is unsympathetic opinions that need to be protected if one wants society to retain the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and undertake necessary change.
Adult and honest people have no difficulty in making a distinction between 'free speech' and 'forbidden actions/deeds'.
4) Your fourth point is a rehashing of your usual 'racist' claptrap, i.e. your failure to make a proper distinction between culture and race or ethnicity. There is considerably more trust between the state and the individual citizen in the USA than, for instance, in Belgium. Certainly, in terms of the public dealing with civil servants in post offices, tax administration and the like, regardless of the racial features of the civil servant in question.
The relationship between the individual and the state is not inherently adversarial. However, it does become so when the powerful trample on constitutional protections of citizens.
Selective Response to MarcFrans
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Tue, 2007-01-30 09:15.
"It is only in unfree societies that the powerful will enforce any particular belief (about anything) down other people's throats through abuse of 'criminal law'."
How is the "abuse of criminal law" different from the abuse of one's legal-rational position of authority? Mr. Vanneste was "powerful" relative to the average French citizen, and was ramming his "particular belief..down other people's throats," namely homosexuals, and inciting his audience to "abuse" criminal law through negative discrimination, violence, or both.
"In a democratic society, criminal law is exclusively concerned with ACTIONS or deeds, not with OPINIONS."
Firstly, I know of no Western legal code that does not criminalize (some combination of) the public utterance of hate and treasonous speech, and speech that incites others to commit crime(s). Secondly, such speech is criminalized particularly because individuals such as Hitler, McVeigh, and countless others followed through on their words with actions.
"In very limited circumstances, this may include specific speech in circumstance of actual or imminent violence (good examples can be found in speech at certain (violent) trade union demonstrations/actions and in violent so-called anti-globalisation protests)."
So freedom of speech can be limited for the common good? This contravenes your earlier points; either you believe in total freedom of speech, which I would respect, or a double standard skewed against leftist activists.
"Do not count on ambitious politicians to restrain their personal appetites for more power. The purpose of a democratic Constitution is precisely to protect the individual citizen from abuse by the 'powerful'."
This assumes that the relationship between the individual and the state is inherently adversarial, and this claim is quite common in the United States. It ignores that individuals are embedded to some degree in communities and have relationships with groups, such as families, extended families, and nations; the state is not an abstract entity, it is the organisational structure of the national community to which the individual in question belongs. Because the United States is not a nation in the true ethnic sense, White nationalism aside, there is not the same basis for trust between the individual and the state as there is in say Sweden or England, both of which have long histories of stable and (relatively) trustworthy governments. Ultimately, the political culture of a given society determines the nature of its government, irrespective of structural arrangements. In spite of its checks and balances, the United States federal government is trusted far less than many governments which have far fewer checks and balances on power e.g. Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.
Cobwebs and strawmen
Submitted by marcfrans on Tue, 2007-01-30 05:35.
@ Kapitein A
Firstly, in a free society anyone is allowed to believe whatever he or she wants to believe about the 'causes' of homosexuality. It is only in unfree societies that the powerful will enforce any particular belief (about anything) down other people's throats through abuse of 'criminal law'. In a democratic society, criminal law is exclusively concerned with ACTIONS or deeds, not with OPINIONS.
Second, I doubt very much that the Brussels Journal is concerned with the opinions of Mr Vanneste. The purpose was clearly to expose the intolerance of current French criminal law w.r.t. 'unorthodox' opinions. No mature democracy can base its laws on "feelings" of particular 'groups', nor on "assumptions" (whether they be realistic or not) of said groups. Its fundamental law (Constitution) must be based on solid principles which can be uniformly and equally applied to all. There are presently numerous "fascist" and "communist" members in western legislatures. One can recognise them best by the ease with which they are willing to take away the freedom of 'political speech' of others who question current 'orthodoxy'. It has always been so throughout history. "La tentation totalitaire" is the tendency of ruling 'groups' to impose their views by violating basic democratic principles through abuse of 'temporary majorities'. You certainly should allow muslem MP's to speak their mind, if you care about the future of your country. Otherwise, how are others going to know what is truly in the mind of those MP's? How can a society adjust in a timely fashion to new circumstances (and, for instance, adjust its immigration policies) when reality is hidden by artificial and selective 'speech codes'? So yes, you should let muslims and everyone else 'speak', but you should be very firm when it comes to punishing illegal ACTIONS (like violence against persons and property). In very limited circumstances, this may include specific speech in circumstance of actual or imminent violence (good examples can be found in speech at certain (violent) trade union demonstrations/actions and in violent so-called anti-globalisation protests).
Your third point is nonsense and pure conjecture. Democratic governments can and will only "enforce specific moral values" IN TERMS OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS, not opinions. And these 'action-values' should be translated in 'normal' (and thus revocable) legislation, subject to adherence of constitutional individual freedoms (which cannot be revoked by temporary ruling 'majorities'). Freedom of opinion/expression is the most fundamental of these values from the (now fading) European 'Enlightenment'. Also, contrary to what you seem to think, there are few 'values' which are more frequently constrained or limited in typical western legislatures than those of the "free market" and of "property". I have no fundamental problem with that, as long as democratic procedures are adhered to and freedom of speech (disagreement with these legislative 'violations') is preserved.
Finally, yes in western representative democracy the people 'delegate' to politicians the role of political decision-making or governance, i.e. to make 'normal legislation' and implementation thereof. But they do that SUBJECT to those politicians respecting the fundamental individual liberties contained in the Constitution (and in traditional 'constitutional practice' in the case of Britain). Indeed, it is an essential role of the judiciary to act as a watchdog with regard to the 'constitutionality' of 'normal legislation'. If the judiciary fails to do its job, its part of 'checks and balances', then democracy flounders. Do not count on ambitious politicians to restrain their personal appetites for more power. The purpose of a democratic Constitution is precisely to protect the individual citizen from abuse by the 'powerful'. It cannot reasonably be to preserve or 'cement' any particular temporary ruling orthodoxy.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Tue, 2007-01-30 02:52.
Firstly, for the sake of argument, I will consider that the homosexual orientation is derived majorily from one's free will to choose. However, even with this assumption comes two caveats, namely that: (a) homosexuality occurs irrespective of a society's level of tolerance, and (b) it is a choice in opposition to one's natural instincts to reproduce heterosexually. Of course, this leads me to the conclusion that there must be a significant natural and non-hereditary tendency towards homosexuality in a certain fraction of the human population, a tendency that will reoccur despite all the efforts of socialization and eugenics to prevent its reoccurence.
Secondly, I fail to see why anyone is turning this issue into one of free speech. Mr. Vanneste's comments, as I indicated earlier are clearly an incitement to hatred. Many here see Vanneste's conviction as a conspiracy against individual liberties by the French state, however, how do you think French homosexuals feel? They probably assume that Mr. Vanneste's words if unchallenged will invariably lead to action either by the government of which he is a member or French citizens acting on his incitement. Should a Muslim MP in Europe be allowed to call for Jihad against non-Muslims in his state? Should National Socialist and Fascist politicians be allowed entry into the legislatures of the West to publicise their hatred of non-Whites and Jewry? Are we to assume that these are just opinions which they do not want acted upon and will not act upon, or are they warning signs, like Mein Kampf?
Thirdly, it is clear that many here would not stand up to a government that enforces specific moral values over a citizenry that many not entirely share them, so long as that government enforces their values and upholds the free market and private property.
Lastly, Western democracies are majorily representative in nature, meaning that the people leave political decision-making to politicians and bureaucrats who supposedly know better; in this respect the United States is no different, as the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, not Rousseau's all-encompassing "sovereign." If direct democracy prevailed, the southern United States would still have segregation and Canada would continue to have capital punishment. If our leaders cannot lead all of us, they are not leaders; a member of the government must think and express what he believes is best for everyone, not just his own personal views, as any idiot off the street - whose governing abilities we remain suspicious of as aforementioned - is capable of that.
Response #2: flabbergasted
Submitted by marcfrans on Mon, 2007-01-29 17:32.
@ Kapitein Andre
So, I did read you correctly. You actually believe that a parliamentarian should not be allowed to express his "private opinions publicly". Thus, in your view 'democracy' is a political system where everyone has to parrot "official policy"? Sounds more like Chinese communism to me than 'enlightened' European democracy.
To translate for American readers of TBJ. In the contemporary naive-left European worldview, Republican Senator Hagel should not be allowed to criticise the 'Irak war' because that is "official policy". Neither should Democratic politicians be allowed to attack abortion (against official policy of the Democratic Party) and a Republican politician should not be allowed to defend a specific tax increase (against party policy), etc.... How long do you think that genuine democracy could survive such conformity imposition?
The real problem with Monsieur Vanneste in France is not that he expressed his (in my view rather reprehensible) opinions on homosexuality, but that he can actually be convicted (and punished) in a French court for expressing his opinions! The French seem to have culturally regressed back to the days of before Voltaire. The same intolerance, class warfare, and muzzling of 'unorthodox' opinions.
A statement one is no longer allowed to make in France.....
Submitted by oiznop on Mon, 2007-01-29 14:31.
.....A yes, the wheels of supression of free speech are in full motion.....France is well on it's way to full blown Socialism.....Unless Nicholas Sarkozy gets elected........Good Luck France, you're going to need it....Cause the USA has had it with you!.......
Armor and Leo
Submitted by Flanders Fields on Mon, 2007-01-29 12:08.
I think you are entirely correct, Armor. The people at "ground level" in all our societies are the ones who should be ruling. There was once little difference between the people's views and that of their leaders. The people instituting these measures have been able to insulate themselves from the people with layers of bureaucracy while they impose measures to take away freedoms, rights and to steal the resources of the public.
It is not only government. It is business, education, religion, and all facets of society are experiencing this top down imposed containment and indoctrination. The US is following in European footsteps and being attacked in each area where traditional freedoms are afforded protection. As in Europe, many are not only accepting but embracing that which can only enslave and abuse all.
Some recognize what is happening and who is responsible, but in this era of controlled media and communications too many cannot grasp the overall view. Citizens are being "educated" into dumbness in schools and in propogandized society.
Submitted by Flanders Fields on Mon, 2007-01-29 11:38.
Kapitien, you begin with an irrational acceptance of the right of government to transcend free speech rights of it's citizens, public or private, and then attempt to justify your position with theories that are conjecture rather than fact. You really are caught in the collective haze if you cannot see through this for what it really is. I would have thought that you could recognize that such repression by government is dangerous and unacceptable.
The MP is expressing a view that is widely held in our societies, including I'm sure, Europe where PC and multiculti indoctrination has prevailed for years. Many homosexuals themselves acknowledge that their orientation is "queer" in relation to general society and seek to understand an orientation that causes danger and unhappiness for many of its practioners.
There have been several studies of identical twins and the innateness of the origin is placed highly in doubt. The correlation would expect both to be homosexual where one is, but there is only a slight correlation. The fact is that the answer is not known to science and is not known to government and judges who attempt to judge science and use marxian techniques to behaviourly control society.
Enforced conformity of individuals to a public speech norm is not freedom and is not democracy. It is totalitarian as well as marxist. Where an individual is adjudged a criminal for expressing his views, publicly or privately, without having made overt acts which are dangerous or harmful, it is the state which is the tyrant. If you accept the rationale imposed on this MP, then you really do live in a world where the state will dictate all your decisions and rights.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Mon, 2007-01-29 05:10.
"If I understand you correctly, an elected official is not allowed to express an 'unorthodox' opinion?"
I never stated that he could not express his personal opinions privately (see the last paragraph), I stated that he could not express his personal opinions publicly because of his position, because these opinions contravened those of his party, government and French society, and because these opinions were incitements to discriminate and/or commit violence against homosexuals. Furthermore, he stated these opinions in the media and National Assembly.
Submitted by marcfrans on Mon, 2007-01-29 02:53.
@ Kapitein Andre
If I understand you correctly, an elected official is not allowed to express an 'unorthodox' opinion? He can only state what is "official policy"? This is remarkable. And you really think that you still live in a democracy with (constitutional) "rule of law", instead of "rule of men" (i.e. the official policy)? You got your head in the collective sand.
the chasm between America and Europe
Submitted by Armor on Mon, 2007-01-29 02:51.
Frank Lee wrote: There is a wider chasm between America and Europe that we like to admit.
I think the chasm is between normal European people and the loony-left power-holding minority.
In the United States too, I think leftism is taking over society.
Here is what John Leo wrote last year:
"We are very lucky to have the First Amendment. Without it, our chattering classes would be falling all over themselves to ban speech that offends sensitive groups, just like many Eurochatterers are doing now. We know this because our campus speech codes, the models for the disastrous hate-speech laws in Europe, Canada and Australia, were the inventions of our own elites. Without a First Amendment, the distortions and suppressions of campus life would likely have gone national."
In an older article (2004), he wrote that the new left-wing morality has taken over "the bureaucracies, the schools, the universities, the big-time media, most legal judgment, Hollywood, and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Traditional morality still holds sway in most of the churches, small-town media, the working class, talk radio, police and firefighters, and much of the Republican Party."
In the United States, as in Europe, leftism is attacking democracy. But it is easier for you to resist because democracy is enshrined in your institutions (the bill of rights, the system of checks and balances with a congress and a senate in each state...), and you also have a decentralized media system, with many local radios.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Mon, 2007-01-29 02:16.
Firstly, Mr. Vanneste was an elected political representative, and as such, the opinions he expressed could be construed as official government policy. While NGOs and private citizens should be free to express whatever opinions they hold both privately and publicly, members of the government cannot, unless it is prepared to act on those opinions of its bureaucrats and politicians.
Secondly, by referring to homosexuals as morally inferior and as a danger to human survival, he laid down premises from which French citizens could conclude that homosexuals were second-class citizens and that the threat they pose should be eliminated. If the French nation-state is determined to purge its homosexual population, than Mr. Vanneste's comments pose no problem; if the French state is taking this action, than we are talking about authoritarianism; finally, if Mr. Vanneste's comments grievously oppose both the French nation and state, than he must be relieved of his public role.
Thirdly, Mr. Vanneste used an unnamed moral standard to justify "moral" inequality, which whether transcendental or temporal in source, is not the same one employed by the government of France and many if not most of its citizenry.
Fourthly, Mr. Vanneste stated assumptions about the impact of homosexuality on heterosexual reproduction, implying that homosexuality was an immoral lifestyle choice that would prevent the continuity of the human race. These views are not supported by the world scientific community.
Mr. Vanneste was not sacked because he criticized immigration policy, but because he in an official public role, denounced homosexuality (which cannot be eliminated from any population)and incited discrimination and/or violence on dubious grounds. What happens when Mr. Vanneste decides that blond hair and blue eyes are unnatural and a threat to French Mediterranean looks?
While Voltaire's axiom applies to private citizens, NGOs, and anyone expressing their opinions privately, it cannot be applied to public officials unless of course it is official policy...
Submitted by Uranium on Mon, 2007-01-29 00:20.
Actually KA I am not sure that homosexuality is inate. For one thing it is statistically significant that those who have been sexually abused as children are far more likely to become homosexual.This suggests Homosexuality may be the result of sexual perversion or confusion(oops was that sacrilage?). Also, the number of homosexuals has been steadily on the increase for the past few decades suggesting that the cultural environment is also a factor.
I prefer to err on the side of free speech in matters such as this. To regulate public speech in such a manner can only yield negative results and stifle discussion. Shutting down discussion is a primitive manner of dealing with disagreements whether done through the law or violence. It says something about the weak mentality of our societies that we allow the Govt. to regulate down to this level of detail. Big Govt. usually becomes a monster.
And to all those people who say that this kind of speech provokes hatred: give me a break. Does it really provoke hatred? If you stop and think about it you will realise that questioning a social trend does not amount to vicious hatred.
Submitted by JizzyPie on Mon, 2007-01-29 00:07.
Even as a "public representative", Mr Vanneste should be allowed to say whatever he wants. He may or not be a Christian, but he is perfectly entitled to his views. I also uphold the traditional Christian position on sexual morality, and I believe that homosexuality is morally reprehensible. Is it not my right to express those views without having the thought police come along and prosecute me? Many Atheists attack Christianity all the time. I support their right to do so, even though I don't agree with them. Whatever happened to that old attitude: 'I may not agree with you, but I'll die for your right to say it'.
This same thing happened in Ireland not so long ago, when Catholic priests were threatened with 6 months imprisonment if they circulated or quoted from a Vatican encyclical denouncing so-called gay 'marriage' or adoption.
Au Contraire Dog
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Sun, 2007-01-28 23:53.
Elected politicians represent their entire constituencies and are accountable to these, the national public, and to those connected in any way to their portfolios, if they have such responsibilities. Mr. Vanneste was speaking as a public officer and not a private citizen and was engaging in what can only be called hate mongering with very dubious premises.
Innate? Where's that gene?
Submitted by joeu on Mon, 2007-01-29 00:45.
Has KA found the so-called 'gay gene'? I think not but assuming there is one does not mean that the majority of the populace should be forced to accept social behavior it finds offensive.
Truth is not offensive. Hate speech laws are.
What about Sparta?
Submitted by Baciagaluppo on Mon, 2007-01-29 17:36.
Males in ancient Sparta were required to do it BOTH ways. Homosexual alliances between soldiers were compulsory. Boys were trained for it by older men (it was supposed to create greater loyalty between comrades-in-arms). At the same time, at age 28 they were required to marry a female, and beget children. Innate? Some men can just stick it anywhere.
Submitted by Dog of Flanders on Sun, 2007-01-28 21:24.
Elected politicians represent the persons who voted for them, not the public in general.
Homosexual activists are Neo-Fascists?
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Sun, 2007-01-28 20:31.
I am actually pleased that Mr. Vanneste was convicted. This is why:
While there are cases of people drifting from one sexual orientation to another, the vast majority of homosexuals are born with this orientation, and unless they are forced into having families (as was the case before), they are merely non-participants in reproduction, not unlike asexuals, etc.
A wide chasm
Submitted by Frank Lee on Sun, 2007-01-28 20:15.
For those who insist that Europe and the United States share basic principles and a commitment to Englightenment values, I have to point out that these kinds of "hate speech" laws have little chance of being enacted by an American legislature, unless you count the fascist fiefdoms of academia. And I can only imagine that the European legislators who pass such laws look down their noses at Americans for not curbing hate speech. Nutty stuff. There is a wider chasm between American and Europe that we like to admit.