Freedom of speech

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of noise in comments about left-wing activists being just as bad as the right-wing zealots.  Really?  Really.  Their theory seems to be that by complaining about the bilge the (predominantly Christian) zealots spew freely out, we are therefore denying them the right of free speech, which they think means we are oppressing them.

Lying awake here tonight I was thinking about this. I saw more examples of this phenomenon on twitter this evening following Q and A with that stellar specimen of humanity, Jim Wallace.  I didn’t actually watch the show tonight for fear of high blood pressure and nightmares at being subjected to Wallace and his Australian Christian Lobby prejudice.  I didn’t even follow the hashtag, it was enough to watch the developments in my own feed.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those people are full of shit.  Freedom of speech should not equate to freedom of hate or freedom of discrimination.  Those on the left don’t go around complaining about Christians practicing their religion or living their lives, they only arc up when those people start using their religion as an excuse to segregate, to discriminate, to hurt people in the name of god.  And they do hurt people.  They may not be out there physically assaulting gays (but there are those who do, let’s all remember Matthew Shepard) but every time someone like Jim Wallace gets on national tv and says gays should not marry, gays will never be good parents…  that hurts people.  That even kills people.  Because young gay kids hear this at school, hear it in their communities and even in their own homes, and when it all seems too much they are so much more likely to commit suicide.

So I say to you it is bullshit.  I allow no freedom to your speech if your speech is hateful and hurtful.  I believe all people should be allowed to live equally and freely, just as it states in the Human Rights Charter.  In Liss’ perfect utopian bubble world nobody starves, nobody dies from lack of medical attention and everybody is free to live their life and practice their religion as long as they do not harm anyone or foist their beliefs on anyone.  Live and let live.  Keep it simple, stupid.  I will not tell you how to live your life if you do not interfere with mine or my family’s.

Respect seems to be such a precious commodity these days, in extremely short supply.

Tolerance/intolerance

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There’s a video that’s up on youtube that Jeremy Sear posted about yesterday.  It’s been published by an American group called Focus on the Family, and it is an impressive package of bigotry in the guise of victimisation.  The main thrust of the video is that children are being brainwashed into homosexuality in schools, and that this organisation is able to provide support for those parents who object to this.  If you can stomach it, the video is here:

The amount of naked homophobia and gross misinformation is truly astounding.  And the thing that sickens me the most is exactly how many people (in Australia as well as the US) would wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment behind this despicable anti-gay propaganda.  Yes, those of us with a modicum of intelligence, a semi-decent education and the ability to think somewhat critically can see it for the vile hate-mongering that it truly is.  But this is exactly the kind of organisation that appeals to people without the time, energy or ability to think critically or even think for themselves at all.

This is exactly the sort of thing that scares the living daylights out of me.  Because these organisations are on the rise.  Everywhere.