CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Standing Up For Freedom

Jun 3, 2011

All around the Western world freedom is under threat. It is often at the hand of radical minority groups that these threats are coming. Militant Muslims, radical feminists, or activist homosexuals are some of the groups whittling away our freedoms. Sadly very few Westerners are standing up to these assaults.

Increasingly what once made the West great is being undermined. Faith, family and life are three such values all subject to ferocious attack. The trouble is many do not see the urgency of the hour, or the need to take a stand. Many do not know that we are heading towards the precipice as a culture.

The problem is these attacks come along bit by bit, and the cumulative effect is not always felt or understood. But as Thomas Sowell noted, “Dangers to a society may be mortal without being immediate”. Deadly viruses working their way through the system may be largely undetectable, but the bitter end will still be there.

Let me give a very ordinary and practical example. At my very rare trip to the dentist yesterday I was told that had I acted earlier, I could have saved a tooth. But by putting things off and ignoring the warning signals, it may now be too late. Because I did not see the warning signs and act sooner, I will now have to pay the price.

Societies are like that as well. We ignore the signs of decay all around us, and then all of a sudden discover that things are too late. We have far too few watchmen, and those we do have are mainly ignored or scoffed at. We all pay the price in the end for such indifference and neglect.

One watchman who has been speaking out loud and clear – and paying a price for it – is Dutch politician Geert Wilders. As many of you would know, he has been on trial in the Netherlands for warning about the Islamist assault on Holland and Europe. For speaking out he now has to pay the price.

Just two days ago he gave his final remarks at his trial. I here present a number of quotes from this important talk. We do well to heed his words. He says, “The Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.

“All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle. Islam is opposed to freedom. Renowned scholars of Islam from all parts of the world agree on this. My witness experts subscribe to my view. There are more Islam scholars whom the court did not allow me to call on to testify. All agree with my statements, they show that I speak the truth. That truth is on trial today.

“We must live in the truth, said the dissidents under Communist rule, because the truth will set us free. Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom. That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.”

He continues, “Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried. And about that I do complain.

“I consider this trial to be a political trial. The values of D66 [a Dutch leftist liberal party] and NRC Handelsblad [a Dutch leftist liberal party] will never be brought before a judge in this country. One of the complainants clearly indicated that his intentions are political. Even questions I have asked in parliament and cooperation with the SGP are being brought as allegations against me by Mr Rabbae of GroenLinks [the leftist Dutch Green Party]. Those on the Left like to tamper with the separation of powers. When they cannot win politically because the Dutch people have discerned their sinister agenda, they try to win through the courts.”

He concludes with these words: “Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation.

“Do not let that source go dry just to cosy up to a totalitarian ideology. ‘Freedom,’ said the American President Dwight Eisenhower, ‘has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.’

“Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom. I have spoken, I speak, and it is my duty – I cannot do otherwise – to continue to speak. Thank you.”

This is one man who is willing to speak out, even though it is very costly. Who else is willing to take a stand? Who else is willing to pay the price for faith, freedom, and the many values we take for granted in the West? Who else will say, “Enough is enough”.

www.hudson-ny.org/2165/geert-wilders-trial-remarks

[944 words]

23 Responses to Standing Up For Freedom

  • Keep up the prolific writing and speaking out Bill! You’ll never know how many have been awaken!
    Jeremy Wong

  • Hi Bill – Thanks for another good piece. Though I have some serious reservations about some things Geert Wilders says he has made some important points. As a long time resident of the Netherlands I know there are some things which may not be talked about in a public forum. One minor correction – you say the “NRC Handelsblad (is) a Dutch leftist liberal party.” I don’t know if that was a typo or a simple error, but it is a leftist, liberal newspaper, not political party. D66 is indeed a leftist/libertarian political party.
    Your friend,
    Ed Sherman, Holland

  • Thanks Ed

    Those remarks in brackets were in the article which I linked to below. But thanks for pointing out these corrections.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Bill,

    May I also add to Jeremy’s remarks that my own activism (small as it is) has been in large part spurred on by your ministry.

    Please keep up the good work.

    Mansel Rogerson

  • See also Mark Steyn’s piece in support of Andrew Bolt

    http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/4115/26/

    Damien Spillane

  • Very powerful post! Especially this sentence:

    ““All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam.”

    Christine Watson

  • Hello Bill,
    I echo Mansel’s comment that your ministry has aided me in the same way. I have learnt much from you on subjects that I was unaware of previously. Your ministry is a valuable source of lobbying information.
    May God bless you and your ministry.
    And may Christians’ voices never be silenced from speaking the truth.
    Paul de la Garde, Sydney

  • Deuteronomy 19: 17-19:
    then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

    If Geert Wilders is acquitted his accusers should be brought to trial for treason.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Not to mention having to kow-tow to atheists.
    Wil Gan, UK

  • Excellent articles, Bill. I’ve added your CultureWatch link to my website. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:12-13) May God bless your ministry, Bill. And may you continue to write “hard words” of truth.
    Monica Craver

  • Many thanks indeed Monica.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, I must echo what Jeremy, Mansel, Paul and others have said, your ministry is vital. Keep up the good work. I often send links to your articles to family and friends. Your ministry has prompted me on many occasions to write to politicians, newspapers, businesses, banks, schools and others. Just imagine if every Christian read your blog and just did a bit to influence our society for good.
    Our society more than ever needs a faithful watchman like you sounding a clear warning and calling the Church to action.
    Des Morris

  • Good essay. Thank you. I agree that in the West our freedom of speech is under attack.
    John Snowden

  • I require governments to wage war against evil-doers and protect our sovereignty and, if they have any time and money left over, build some bridges and roads and public transit systems. What I cannot abide is governments telling me what to believe, what to think and what to say!

    In my opinion the next big battles in Australia will be around: the recognition of homosexual “marriage”, the allowance of elements of Sharia law to prevail and the normalization of euthanasia. “Rights” laws will be increased and used to suppress criticism.
    Col Maynard, Sydney NSW

  • Geert Wilder should be acknowledged by Netherlands and the West as a Hero for FREEDOM!!!
    For those of us who know the TRUTH , the TRUTH which sets men free, we must continue to loudly and boldly preach it!!!
    As Geert said, “our silence is tyranny”!
    I choose, to stand up for TRUTH = JESUS!
    I will continue to speak out about the evil of the “hate filled ideology of Islam”, we must continue to expose it’s lies.
    I would encourage folk to email the Embassy of the Netherlands and protest.
    All Western democratically elected, Governments need to stand as a block and denounce the tyranny of Islam, and do so, as they did against Nazism and Communism.
    Barb Hoc

  • Regarding Islam, the Muslim Imams and Muslims generally, are becoming more and more emboldened for the promotion of the devil’s lies, which are leading people to an eternity in hell, and we should RISE UP and be emboldened for JESUS, “the way, the truth and the life”!
    Barb Hoc

  • Apart from writing to our Dutch embassies, how can we write to Mr. Wilder himself in order to encourage him?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Thanks Ursula

    Wilders is still an active politician in Holland, so this contact info can be used to find a direct email for him: http://netherlands.visahq.com/embassy/Australia/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thank you, Bill, for bringing Geert Wilders’ speech to the attention of your many appreciative readers. The Dutch, like many Europeans, have recent experience of the horror of brutal Nazi totalitarianism, and resisted the occupation of their country with considerable courage. In resisting this current ‘invasion by stealth’ the Dutch will require the same dedication to freedom of their stubborn, heroic forebears. God bless Geert and his valiant battle for freedom of speech — it is both the product of democracy and its guardian.

    I agree that he is indeed a hero. Under 24/7 protective guard, he surrendered his own freedom years ago for the sake of the freedom of his nation. May many follow where he is leading.

    Karen Bos

  • Karen,

    Wilders worries me because he represents the same kind of thinking that led to Nazi totalitarianism. What is the difference between demonising Jews and demonising Muslims?

    Frank Bernstein, Sydney

  • Thanks Frank

    Respectfully, let me ask, ‘What is the difference between fuzzy thinking and clear thinking?’ You might as well have asked, ‘What is the difference between demonising the Nazis and demonising the Allies?’ The truth is, there is a lot of difference.

    Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and is struggling to stay alive. The Muslim nations surrounding it have vowed to drive it into the sea. I am not aware of too many Israeli terrorists flying airplanes into buildings, or Israelis seeking to deliberately slaughter as many women, children and innocent people as possible.

    Your comment seems to be just another example of moral equivalence and moral mushiness.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Brilliant article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Warwick Marsh

  • Bill, like you, I’m very concerned about the inaction of our Christian brothers and sisters. In the last couple of weeks alone, I’ve been in conversations with friends who tut-tut about the state of the world, then caution not to get too involved in trying to change things.

    “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

    God bless you.

Leave a Reply