Thursday, June 10, 2004

Political Correctness and the Coming Death of the First Amendment

Dr. James Hitchcock, a professor of history at St. Louis University, notes some scary trends here and in the rest of the West which bode ill for the survival of freedom of conscience and religion –at least for those whose consciences are religious in orientation.

In his weekly column, titled Religious Liberty for Whom?, Hitchcock cites some examples of how liberal government officials here and abroad have been increasingly trampling on the rights of Christians and other religious people who refuse to walk in lockstep with whatever guilt-and-envy-driven public policy comes down the pike. For example:

In England a crowd assaulted a street preacher who posted a sign saying, "Stop Homosexuality." The police arrived and made an arrest of — the preacher! He was convicted of insulting and harassing behavior. Also in England, an Anglican bishop was investigated by the police after he publicly suggested that homosexuals seek counseling.


Meanwhile the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has warned the Catholic Church of possible prosecution if it promulgates the Holy See’s official statement on "same sex unions.


In Canada a teacher has been suspended for writing a letter to a newspaper saying that homosexuality is immoral. The preacher was being deliberately offensive, and the teacher’s letter no doubt upset many homosexuals among his students.

As for the notion that This Could Never Happen Here in the Good Ol’ USA, don’t be so sure. Hitchcock warns, 

 “…where homosexuality is concerned, governments are prepared to abrogate civil liberties. The American tradition of free expression so far has resisted these measures, but there are no grounds for complacency. Just outside public view, in books and journals read only by scholars, there are influential American political and legal theorists who openly advocate the restriction of religious liberty, in order to prevent the ‘wrong’ ideas from being circulated. In particular these theorists bluntly insist that parents have no right to inculcate their own beliefs in their children.”

That humming you hear may not be coming from the cicada invasion. It may be Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave.

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