Paul Belien authored an article that should be alarming to those of us on both sides of the Atlantic who treasure freedom, particularly freedom of speech. It is noted that holocaust denial (a hideous lie) is the actual reason for the imprisonment of the individual referenced in the captioned quote. The article however, raises a broader issue namely, inhibition of free expression through legal sanctions aimed at particular groups. From the article:
Last week, a German court sentenced a 55-year old Lutheran pastor to one year in jail for "Volksverhetzung" (incitement of the people) because he compared the killing of the unborn in contemporary Germany to the holocaust. Next week, the Council of Europe is going to vote on a resolution imposing Darwinism as Europe's official ideology. The European governments are asked to fight the expression of creationist opinions, such as young earth and intelligent design theories. According to the Council of Europe these theories are "undemocratic" and "a threat to human rights."
Now there's a case study in projection. Take action to curtail the rights of specific groups of people based on the assertion that they threaten democracy. Before Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Communists and German opponents of Hitler were sent to concentration camps by the millions, a clever propagandist named Josef Goebbels neutered sympathy for them by linking them to threats to the Reich. How did Germany lose WWI? It was stabbed in the back and Juden Angst was on its way. More:
Volksverhetzung is a crime which the Nazis often invoked against their enemies and which contemporary Germany also uses to intimidate homeschoolers. Soon, the German authorities will be able to use the same charge against people who question Darwin's evolution theory.
But of course. Put the weapon to use and merely expand the targets. This is not new to history either.
According to a report of the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, creationists are dangerous "religious fundamentalists" who propagate "forms of religious extremism" and "could become a threat to human rights." The report adds that the acceptance of the science of evolutionism "is crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies."
Note the demonization. Goebels would be proud. The defense of science mantra is a canard intended to cloak baser instincts.
The article quotes a passage from an official report. Here is a part:
"Today creationist theories are tending to find their way into Europe and their spread is affecting quite a few Council of Europe member states. ["¦] [T]his is liable to encourage the development of all manner of fundamentalism and extremism, synonymous with attacks of utmost virulence on human rights. The total rejection of science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights. ["¦] The war on the theory of evolution and on its proponents most often originates in forms of religious extremism which are closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements.
Let's note yet another propaganda ploy. Critics of Darwinism are equated with opposition to evolution and more generally with opposition to science. Sure, the author used the word creationist. Good propagandists do this while fashioning laws that would encompass those who argue for teleology within an evolutionary paradigm. But let me not leave the impression that creationists should be equated with criminals. That should be the lot of authoritarians. More from the article:
In the voting booth people are free to do what they like, whilst in contemporary Europe people are no longer free to publicly voice their own, deeply felt opinions in public.
In Germany, believing abortion to be as murderous as the holocaust is a crime, and educating your own children is a crime too. In France, saying that "homosexual behaviour endangers the survival of humanity" is a crime, and so is the distribution of pork soup to the poor. In Belgium, speaking out against immigration is a crime.
And as viewpoints become increasingly criminalized European democracies will become increasingly marginalized.