LA News Release, "Politically correct Justice Denies Freedom of Speech and Worship" (August 2004)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: 9th August 2004
Release Time: Immediate
Contact Details: Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, email@example.com
Chris R. Tame, 07957 644 519, firstname.lastname@example.org
"POLITICALLY CORRECT JUSTICE DENIES FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND WORSHIP", SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK
The imprisonment of A Christian preacher in Sweden for offending homosexuals is a sinister attack on freedom of speech and freedom of worship, says the Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties think tank and pressure group.
Ake Green is pastor of a Pentecostal congregation in Sweden. In 2003, he preached a sermon during which he referred to homosexuality as "abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumour in the body of society." He also quoted some of the standard biblical injunctions against homosexuality. He was denounced to the authorities and charged under a 2002 law which makes it a criminal offence to say rude things about any of the usual privileged groups - that is, women, non-whites, non-Christians, homosexuals and so forth. He stood trial on the 15th June this year, and was at the end of July sentenced to imprisonment for one month. He remains at liberty pending appeals into higher courts.
Libertarian Alliance Director of Communications, Dr Sean Gabb commented:
"We believe in the right to freedom of speech. This includes, though is not limited to, the right to say anything about public policy or alleged matters of fact. If someone wants to say that homosexuals are the spawn of Satan, or that black people are morally or genetically inferior to whites, or that the holocaust did not happen (but should have), or that the Prophet Mohammed was a demon-possessed, epileptic paedophile, that is his right. If he causes offence, hard luck on those offended. They have no right to legal protection against such views.
"The libertarian position of homosexuality is equally predicable. We believe that consenting adults have the right to do as they please without intervention by the law. Speaking personally, I was an advocate at school in the 1970s of abolishing all the laws against homosexual activity. In 1991, I wrote the first account of the "Spanner" case - in which 15 men were prosecuted for consensual sado-masochism: one of them was convicted of "aiding and abetting an assault on himself"!. This has also been called the best account of the case. But freedom for homosexuals does not mean legal privilege against the hatred and contempt that others - however unjustly - may feel for them."
The Swedish authorities tried to defend this act of persecution on the grounds that Pastor Green had committed the crime of "hate speech". Dr Gabb added:
"'Hate speech' means any statement that gives offence to the Establishment - that is, to the network of politicians, bureaucrats, educators, together with their friends and clients in the media and big business, who gain wealth, power and status from an enlarged, activist state. Officially, Europe is an area within which the traditional freedoms of thought and belief and speech and association are solidly protected. The various human rights groups generally feel obliged to look to other parts of the world for gross abuses of right. Otherwise, they tend to complain about petty discrimination against non-whites. Here is as gross an abuse of the right to free expression as can be imagined. A man is sent to prison for stating what is the orthodox position of all Christian churches, and for quoting from The Bible. And this happens in what amounts to a media blackout. But it was not really censorship or persecution, the answer will come back. This was really just "hate speech". Freedom of speech is only violated when someone is attacked for saying things with which the Establishment agrees. Anything else is fair game for the police."
The Libertarian Alliance advocates the following with regard to freedom of speech:
- No controls of any kind on the expression of opinion on matters of public policy;
- The repeal of all laws that make it illegal to express opinions on matters of race, religion, sexuality, or any similar matter;
- The repeal of all laws against discrimination and incitement to discrimination on any grounds whatever;
- The abolition of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission, and all similar bodies;
- The cutting off of all tax-payer funding for any group that disagrees with the above.
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