Towards A Good Samaritan World

Friday, November 19, 2004


An excellent post describing the erosion of tolerance by secular fundamentalists in Europe. A Swedish pastor got a month in jail for preaching a sermon against homosexuality. And Rocco Buttiglione recalls Alexander Hamilton's belief that agencies other than politics had to foster the civic virtue necessary to sustain a democratic republic. Rousseau, on the other hand, advocated a civil religion to which the churches were subordinated. Buttiglione was vetoed for the EU Commission based on his view that homosexuality was morally wrong.

I think the odds are about 1 in 4 that the EU will evolve into a variant of the (later) Soviet Union, with a stagnant socialistic economy, a censored and propagandistic press, repressive secularism, and a pseudo-democratic oligarchic constitution.

"German Blood Only for Oil" is another good post.


  • Thanks. I'm glad you saw the connection! I've been following the great debate you and Nato have been conducting for the last week, and I've made my feeble attempt to contribute on my blog.

    You are both inspirational.

    By Blogger MaxedOutMama, at 9:34 AM  

  • Unfortunately, nothing I've been able to find about the prosecution (persecution) of that pastor exonerates the law that put him in jail. I think what he said was highly offensive and motivated by the spirit of vengeance rather than love, but nonetheless, the state (even the Swedish state) has no place legistlating against holding unpleasant, even vengeful views. I feel relatively confident that if he had said something to truly "incite", the articles would have quoted that instead the rather banal words they did.

    So it's clear, unfrotunately for my side, that Sweden is being rather discriminatory toward an explicitly religious view, which by extension oppresses all religion.

    By Blogger Nato, at 1:20 PM  

  • Frankly, Nato, I did find some of his quoted comments to be offensive, and if I'd been a member of that church I would have called him on it. However, collating Bible verses is an unnerving point to be included in the prosecution's point. This and other incidents still point out at least the possibility that the fears of various religious people in this country are not totally unfounded. As a rationalist, you can see that.

    I have a difficulty with hate speech laws in general, because of the ways in which they can be applied. My point is that I want to preserve the marketplace of ideas that has served our country well, as well as the host of religions practiced here.

    By Blogger MaxedOutMama, at 5:58 PM  

  • I don't see how they could specifically target the use of religious justification for special opprobrium. It would be clearly unconstitutional in the US, of course, but the US Constitution has decidedly little legal currency in non-US countries. Still, I'd expect Sweded to have some sort of similar rules. The alternative, to me, seems unthinkable in a modern liberal democracy. Perhaps my Americocentrism (pardon my assault on the language) clouds my vision, but I can't imagine the prosecutors really meant it the way portrayed in the linked articles.

    The quotes of the gay-rights people talking about how offended they were was an eye-rolling experience. I hope they were taken at least a little out of context, but I'm reasonable enough to admit that many proponents of my general side of the issue really are not clear on the idea that one is not entitled to government protection from someone saying something that offends them.

    By Blogger Nato, at 8:37 PM  

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