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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Kindly Inquisitors

In a characteristically incisive piece on the cartoons, Oliver Kamm refers to a book called 'Kindly Inquisitors'. What a brilliant title, and what a perfect description for this bunch of, as it happens, Roman Catholics.

'[T]here are dangers in championing free speech to the point where it approaches the affirmation of a right to hate. Moreover, current laws which punish violence, after the fact, are little help to the victims and may or may not deter further violence. We need to create a society where the hatred, which breeds violence and division, is unacceptable even if it is not always illegal, and where no group or institution is exempt from the ethic of mutual respect.'

Don't you worry about freedom of speech, we know exactly what ought to be said and what ought not to be said. And what ought not to be said should not be legal to say. It's not enough to make it illegal to do bad things, in our brave new world it would be illegal to think bad things or have bad emotions (OK, OK, we said not always, we're being realistic here).

So, having driven a coach and horses through orthodox Christian theology (original sin? nothing that a few good laws can't fix) let's all practice the ethic of mutual respect on (a) the folk who burned down the embassies over the weekend and (b) the British National Party.

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