CultureWatch

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

Truth Telling Is Now Hate Speech

Oct 17, 2011

This site has provided one example after another of how in the modern Western world, the militant activists have all but destroyed democracy and freedom of speech. Countless examples of radicals running amok have been proffered here, and each new day brings new outrageous cases of this neo-fascism.

We have come into such eerie times that the revolutionaries have now managed to convince many that simply speaking the truth should be illegal. Truth is classified nowadays as “hate speech”. Yep, you heard me right: simply state the truth on any number of issues, and you will be shouted down for committing hate crimes.

A whole raft of lousy laws has brought us to this point. Various anti-discrimination laws, anti-vilification laws, and so on, are now being used as a ruthless enforcer of PC orthodoxy, and any dissent from the accepted line is now met with the heavy hand of the law.

In Victoria two Christian pastors were told in no uncertain terms that simply speaking the truth was not acceptable in a court of law. Some Muslims had complained about their seminars on Islam, which gave the message of Christ’s love for Muslims. When the defendants tried to read from the Koran in court, the prosecutors told them to stop, because such reading was vilifying Muslims! I kid you not.

This is the madness we have now come to that speaking the truth is gradually becoming illegal all over the Western world. It is only a matter of time before this website is shut down because the militant activists disagree with what I have to say. Free speech and democracy are slowly but surely being stripped away from us, and most people don’t seem to know about it, or care about it.

Consider yet another recent case of this. A Christian doctor in Queensland was asked to write a piece for a newspaper in defence of heterosexual marriage. For daring to do this, he was taken to task by the activists. Fortunately the case was ultimately thrown out. But it cost the doctor no end of grief.

That is what these laws are in effect designed to do. If they cannot directly get you to shut up, they will indirectly keep you trampled underfoot with plenty of time-consuming court cases and legal expenses. It is all part of the war against Christianity.

Fortunately some remaining voices of sanity are standing against this blatant anti-Christian bigotry. Two important opinion pieces in the past few days, along with a vital Senate speech, have sought to reinsert some common sense and reality into the debate. Let me begin with the words of Miranda Devine:

“With its intolerance and standover tactics, the more militant arm of the gay lobby is shooting itself in the foot. Saying anything that is not wholly supportive of the gay-rights agenda is the new taboo—with same-sex marriage and adoption the hottest of hot-button topics at the frontline of the culture wars….

“Personal vilification is the chief tactic of the activists, whether they are gay campaigners, militant libertarians or simply bystanders using the issue as a badge of identity. Opponents of same-sex marriage are being dragged before anti-discrimination tribunals with complaints that are, at times, withdrawn at the 11th hour. But mud sticks, and the time, expense and stress of the process can make defenders of traditional marriage inclined to keep their heads down in future.”

She continues, “Toowoomba physician David van Gend is their latest target, forced to attend a compulsory mediation on Thursday by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland over an article he wrote for Brisbane’s Courier Mail in June. ‘If you hold to the old-fashioned idea a baby deserves both a mother and a father, (Queensland ALP president) Andrew Dettmer calls your views “abominable”,’ wrote Dr Van Gend, a spokesman for the Family Council of Queensland.

“Echoing Dettmer, Van Gend wrote that what ‘approaches abominable’ was for IVF children of a gay couple to be ‘compelled to live their whole lives without a mother’. A member of Gay Dads NSW filed a complaint under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act, forcing Van Gend to mediation. The complaint was withdrawn but Van Gend is still irate. ‘I had to cancel a dozen patients to front up and it cost me thousands in legal advice,’ he says. ‘It cost him (the complainant) an email and a conference call.’ The complaint was ‘utterly worthless [but] the problem of these laws is they cost innocent people lots of money and time’.”

Devine cites others who have had to pay the price: “Anyone daring to assert that, generally, children are better off with a mother and a father, a fact supported by research, is vilified to their reputational grave. If you are worried about free speech, this is as serious a threat as any.

“For instance, IBM and the ANZ pulled advertising from the website On Line Opinion earlier this year because it ran a piece by the Australian Family Association’s Bill Muehlenberg opposing gay marriage. The website has run more columns in support of gay marriage than against it, according to editor Graham Young. But that doesn’t matter. Muehlenberg is an untouchable, and the big corporates bowed to bullying.”

Angela Shanahan also has written about the Queensland case: “That the complaint did not succeed in going further is neither here nor there. The mere fact the onus was on van Gend to prove his innocence of something that amounts to a person being offended by his point of view should be a warning against this law.

“As for van Gend, he is left wondering what next for other individuals with an opinion, even newspaper letter writers: ‘I had nothing to “conciliate”. I resent being compelled to allocate patient consultation time to converse with this Sydney homosexual activist, as I consider that to be rewarding political harassment . . . at the personal cost of some thousands in legal advice and time off work, and the wearing of a defamatory accusation of being a hate-speaker and vilifier. [What of] the next complaint that any activist cares to lodge with the commission? I have to go through the same disgusting process’.”

And last Wednesday Queensland National party Senator Ron Boswell gave an important speech on this case in particular and freedom of speech in general. He said in part, “I did not think that we lived in an Australia where a disagreement of opinion can result in hauling someone before an anti-discrimination board. This is a country where we agree to disagree. This is a country where a two-sided debate can exist. This is a country where people are not intimidated from sharing their point of view. Or is it? First Andrew Bolt, now David van Gend.

“I know many people do not agree with their views and I know many who do. It seems that tolerance for the views of others goes out the window if you are from the Left and you do not like to hear an opposing argument. These are the same people who preach tolerance on everything, yet in fact they are the least tolerant when it comes to open debate. Dr van Gend expressed his views that, essentially, a child deserves a mother and that compelling a child to live his life without a mother approaches the abominable. Is that really a sentiment, which was expressed by a caring, mature, educated, medical doctor that can trigger a compulsory action under anti-discrimination law?

“The case of Dr van Gend makes a mockery of the antidiscrimination law. It lowers the value of free speech in Australia. If people like Dr van Gend are forced to appear before the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland that is a threat to one of Australia’s greatest freedoms: the right to free speech. It is a major disincentive to people making a contribution to debate across Australia. Tomorrow will be a sad day for free speech in Australia. How has a country like Australia come to this? Anti-discrimination bodies should not be used as star chambers by those who simply do not like what someone else says.”

Quite right. All over Australia these draconian and anti-democratic laws are being used to silence dissent, squash alternative points of view, and promote a ruthless PC agenda. Today it is Andrew Bolt, David van Gend, and Graham Young. Tomorrow it will be you and me.

Unless we stand up and speak out against this new fascism that is. Ronald Reagan put it well when he said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

This is certainly true of Australia as well. Either we stand up and be counted now, or we will quickly lose it all. The choice is fully ours.

blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/mirandadevine/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/call_off_the_thought_police
www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/discrimination-police-indulging-in-gay-abandon/story-e6frg6zo-1226167016741
www.ronboswell.com/speeches/3917-matter-of-public-importance-freedom-of-speech-senate-hansard-12th-october-2011

[1505 words]

24 Responses to Truth Telling Is Now Hate Speech

  • There is only one solution to the problem. Pressure must be put on the Liberal government to repeal these nonsensical anti-discrimination laws when it is voted back into government. This must be their first priority. Organizations like AFA (Australian Family Association) and ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) are brilliant for putting wheels into motion.
    Jane Petridge

  • Yes quite right Jane – these laws gotta go.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Jane, Bill, we have the stated intention of Senator Brandis to abolish the federal provision under which Andrew Bolt was ‘convicted’ (see link below) and I will be moving at the upcoming State Council of the LNP to have the Qld equivalent repealed (s.124A of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991) – “in order to prevent it being misused for political harasssment”. We all have to be fierce in defending the right to ‘free argument’ about any and every issue that matters to us. These ‘vilification’ laws are an invention of the left to intimidate conservative and Christian opinion. They are an offense to any free self-governing society, and under any Coalition govt state or federal they must be either repealed or massively amended.

    Brandis and Boswell links at the Bolt site: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/brandis_and_boswell_on_the_losing_of_our_right_to_speak_freely/

    David van Gend

  • Many thanks David

    Keep fighting the good fight – we are with you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Is there no law against wasting the time of the police and courts and what about Deuteronomy 19:15-21?

    ‘One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.’

    These delinquents must not be allowed to believe that they can bring malicious accusations against people without cost, or serious consequences to themselves, rather than to others.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Thanks David

    But sadly that is how these lousy laws work. Anyone can make a complaint for any reason. They can remain anonymous; they will get all the government help they need; they don’t have to pay a cent, etc. But the person accused has to pay his way; he gets his name splashed in public; and he is basically guilty until proven innocent. These are truly diabolical laws.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Then maybe we need to lobby government to draft legislation along the lines of Jewish Law that seems the very model of enlightenment. I have seen enough examples in Britain where wicked children and their parents have brought false allegations against teachers and been allowed to just walk away after it was found to have been just a pack of lies. They have been encouraged to believe that it is their right subvert and challenge authority with impunity.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Maybe it is the corrupt magistrates / judges / tribunals who are just as much to blame. Some of the OT prophets (eg, Habakkuk 1:1-4 are looking very modern, and the judgment they foresee is surely coming.
    Lindsay Smail

  • David and Bill,
    I agree with what you both say, and the common-sense and justice expressed in the Deuteronomy passage is beautiful to behold, especially in our current moral climate. I wish that truth was legally operative in our country. My thoughts are as follows. With my limited understanding of law, it seems to me that there is a totally different basis for Deuteronomic (?) law and “PC law’. On the one hand, the OT passage indicates that the “malice” and “false testimony” (lying) spoken of is intrinsically wrong, and being evil, will always be so.

    On the other hand, “creating” offence is not intrinsically wrong, but relative to the hearer. In PC speak, something is “wrong” because I am hurt/offended, not because of the comment/statement/content being intrinsically wrong or evil. I can well imagine a thief being highly offended when caught, or a liar when he or she is caught out, but is it then wrong to apprehend them? Such a response has no relevance to truth or goodness at all, but rests entirely upon the morality or immorality of the “offended” one.

    Feelings of offence can spring from a vile heart just as much as a clean one, and for that reason, being “offended” should have no legal validity. Concepts of right and wrong have to be, I think, eternal, to give spiritual, psychological, emotional, and social security and cohesiveness to individuals and societies.

    The “offending is wrong” dogma takes us back to an “everyman did what was right in his own eyes” social situation, which effectively isolates persons, and shatters community, apart from militating against having a common “meta-narrative” e.g. God’s Word, which unifies society.

    However, as humans can’t live without an overarching moral code, and having dispensed with the Person of Christ, the new and substituted “meta-narrative” is Political Correctness, but being against reality, cannot cohere society.

    Thank you both for continuing to be faithful to the Saviour who keeps you.
    Robert Greggery.

  • They aren’t called the gaystapo for nothing.
    John Harris

  • Many Thanks David van Gend and Bill

    If Gay marriage becomes law under the Labor/Greens alliance things will go from bad to worse.

    Deeply concerned
    Phil Browne

  • Great article Bill.

    I read Miranda Devine’s article yesterday.

    I too, have to wonder where our society is headed because of these anti vilification laws.

    Scott McPhee

  • Can anyone name one beneficial trend in society due to the various anti-discrimination laws? I think not. Time to repeal the lot!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • Thanks Bill – another great article.
    I hope that the NSW Attorney General reads this blog and considers his comment to me, that the vilification laws have not been ‘significant’ and therefore sees no need for them to be repealed.
    Annette Williams

  • Thanks Annette

    It is unlikely that he will read this, unless we make it happen. Why not copy and paste it into an email and include it as a reply to him? We have to hold these MPs to account, and not let them get away with such weak and unhelpful responses. Keep me posted on the results!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • To be accused of hate speech when stating facts supported by reputable research is certainly vilification. Anyone vilified in this fashion should bring the matter to court. I would gladly contribute to a fighting fund for this purpose if there is anyone out there with sufficient legal expertise to organise such a project. The time may have arrived to borrow from the strategies of other groups which appear to exert far greater power than their numbers warrant.
    Anna Cook

  • While it is admirable to concentrate on politicians in order to repeal unjut laws, there is another dimension to the problem. Repeal of laws means that there is inevitably a bureaucracy to dismantle (think of the Carbon Tax and the Department of Climate Change).
    Bureaucrats have a habit of guarding their fiefdoms fiercely.
    Most politicians haven’t the intestinal fortitude to stand up to them.

    Dunstan Hartley

  • Yes quite right Dunstan.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, don’t be discouraged by this madness. Your prophetic ministry is badly needed. The church needs to again believe that God has actually spoken, and what he spoken is true and universal. Then we might stand up for his truth in all spheres.

    Simon Kennedy

  • Done – I’ll keep you informed.
    Annette Williams

  • Well done indeed Annette . You are a champion.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Everyone,

    Sign the following petition and send on to as many friends as possible!

    http://australianmarriage.org/petition/

    Thanks for your response David. I am upset that you had to miss contact time with your patients over such rubbish. I mean….that is disgusting! To hold up the valuable work of a person like you because….let’s see now…..someone in Sydney doesn’t like your opinion. And our laws allow this to happen. Time for a change!

    Jane Petridge

  • Thanks to you Bill, and Dr David and Andrew Bolt and others who are fighting the good fight of faith!
    A fighting fund to take the activists to court would be a great fight back! That is mount a counter attack!
    Greater is He who lives in us, than he that is in the world!!!
    A friend of mine who is studying law, has stated that in the university through which they are studying, the powers that be openly admit the deliberate actions of activists to go after Christians and have them financially tied up and unable to then be effective.
    Barb Hoc

  • I hope a few more have written to encourage Senator Boswell for having the courage to speak out. He may have some protection in parliament but he is obviously willing to stick his neck out for sanity.

    Katherine Fishley

Leave a Reply