The funny thing about this loony UKIP councillor story (and I do not share the councillor’s views on same-sex marriage or religion) is how the media and public have rounded on this guy and he’s ridiculed for beliefs which are deeply held religious beliefs.
At the risk of sounding like I’m defending the guy (I’m not – I think my own views on deeply held religious beliefs are pretty well established and I’ll call bullshit bullshit no matter who produces it, even if I share common beliefs with this bloke about Britain leaving the EU), what makes this guy’s noxious beliefs any different from any other religious beliefs?
The thing that tickles me about this story and its portrayal, are the huge numbers of people rounding on this guy who stay remarkably silent when it’s not an old Christian bloke making these kind of comments.
To quote a UKIP spokesman…
“If the media are expecting UKIP to either condemn or condone someone’s personal religious views they will get absolutely no response. Whether Jain or Sikh or Buddhist or Sufi or Zoroastrian or Jewish or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu or Catholic or Baha’i or Animist or any other mainstream or minor religion or movement, we are taught as a tolerant society to accept a diversity of ideologies.
Freedom to individual thought and expression is a central tenet of any open-minded and democratic country. It is quite evident that this is not the party’s belief but the councillor’s own and he is more than entitled to express independent thought despite whether or not other people may deem it standard or correct.”
So, what I’m not clear on is why this guy’s views are more odious than the many Muslims (not just the odd individuals) who have openly called for the death of homosexuals on British streets. This old fruitcake is not advocating imposition of the death sentence for homosexuality; he’s stated that he is opposed to gay marriage and his profoundly held religious belief is that his god is against it too.
I utterly disagree with him on the issue of gay marriage, but what makes his beliefs any more particularly batshit crazy than the immaculate conception, resurrection, the Noah story, the moon splitting in two, the creation myths of all religions, winged horses, all of which are beliefs sincerely held by millions of people across the world?
Are they particularly odious because he is seeking to curtail the rights of others? He’s hardly unique there. Abortion laws in many Christian countries anyone? Women stoned for being raped in Islamic nations? I could go on and on about examples of religious powers curtailing the rights of others. There are literally whole books and thousands of news articles on the subject, and laws all around the world which curtail the rights of others.
Is the guy fair game because he’s a clearly a capitalist Christian? No religion has complete agreement of beliefs across its adherents and this bloke is hardly unique in his religion. I have personally encountered many illiberal Christians who are illiberal because of their faith and we see regular examples of religious bigotry across the world.
Given that there is precedent in all the Abrahamic religions, the ‘desert dogmas’, for God flooding the Earth due to man’s sin, what makes his beliefs particularly ridiculous?
Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, India, Iran, all Islamic theocracies, and countless other nations have religious-inspired laws which contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which countries subscribe when they join the UN, and yet the UN dedicates its time to condemn the one secular liberal democracy in the Middle East where homosexuals won’t be threatened with prison. violence, or death – Israel. It’d be funny if it weren’t so disgusting. Many of the people lining up to kick this guy are the same who defend Palestinians, who do a nice line in religious intolerance themselves, especially when it comes to teaching their children from birth and in their schools about the ‘flithy, stinking, Jew’ and promoting the murder of the latter in school textbooks. Right on!
Yesterday, liberal Muslim Maajid Nawaz received several death threats from Muslims for saying that he was not offended by the Jesus and Mo cartoons. Take a look at his Twitter feed.
Fortunately, only 68% of British adherents to the religion of peace support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam, only one third of British Muslim students believe that those who leave the faith should be killed or support killing in the name of Islam, and, relative to this news item, a tiny number, a mere 61% of British Muslims want homosexuality punished.
Ironically, Nawaz was defended by people like the former head of the EDL, Tommy Robinson, along with other liberal Muslims and people who appear to know more about Islam’s real history than many of that religion’s current adherents.
Where were the true liberals while Nawaz was being threatened? Rounding on an old duffer with deeply held religious views who hadn’t called for the death of anyone.
Still, when it comes to those who hold views incompatible with a liberal democracy, we all know who the real enemy within is, don’t we folks! A bloke who represents a fairly standard conservative view of Christianity that God is against gay people getting married, as opposed to the huge numbers who would happily kill gay people themselves, if the laws of the land would only be tolerant and multiculturally aware enough to sanction it.
Right, let me get back to bravely sticking the boot into an old, former Tory bloke I know won’t threaten me.