A few prefatory words: I was invited to give a talk in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday, September 29, as part of an “Alternative Book Fair.” The Gothenburg Book Fair was being held that weekend, and the point of the alternative event was to highlight books – mostly about Islam, I gathered – that the official fair had rejected. I was asked to talk about freedom of speech, a freedom that is in increasingly short supply in Sweden, as elsewhere in Western Europe. As if to prove the point, civic officials – at the urging of police, who were spooked by Antifa threats – banned the “Alternative Book Fair.”
When I was twenty years old, there was a famous free-speech case in the state of Illinois. Nazis wanted to march in a Chicago suburb called Skokie, which had a large population of Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors. Skokie sued successfully in county court to prevent the march. The Nazis, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, took the case to the state appellate court and the Illinois Supreme Court. Long story short, after the case had gone to the United States Supreme Court, the Nazis were allowed to march.
The Supreme Court's decision filled me with admiration. Not because I liked Nazis, but because that ruling demonstrated that in the United States of America, even the most reprehensible expression was protected. Innocuous speech doesn't need protection. What requires protection is controversial speech, extremist speech…. Without such protections, anydissentfrom received opinion is in danger of being shut down. It's a simple point but a crucial one. Without absolute freedom of speech, freedom itself – all freedom, every freedom – is threatened, period.
The walls are closing in.
And it's not just about Islam. More and more, it's being demanded of us that we embrace certain claims as true, whether or not they are true.We're expected to agree that Caitlin Jenner is not just a woman – she's “Woman of the Year.” We're expected to accept that Linda Sarsour, a vile anti-Semite in a hijab who is a supporter of jihad, is not just a feminist – she's a feminist heroine. Try questioning the so-called consensus on global warming. Try criticizing socialism. If you dissent in any way from the party line, you'll be accused of committing “hate speech.” If you do it on the campus of an American university, you'll be charged with violating somebody's “safe space.” If you react to some outrageous but officially endorsed lie with so much as a grimace, you'll be told that you've committed a “microaggression.”
Ugly words that used to mean something, labels that you would never attach to anyone's name except on the most serious of grounds, are now pasted reflexively on anyone who dissents from establishment orthodoxy.
[In September], at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a speaker explained that if a journalist reports on Palestinian terrorism, he's an Islamophobe. At around the same time, a British newspaper columnist explained that if you're a journalist who pays too much attention to Muslim rape gangs in the UK, that's Islamophobic, too. Also this month, the Speaker of the British House of Commons refused to let the Members of Parliament investigate and discuss the case of a convicted male pedophile rapist who, because he says he identifies as a woman, was incarcerated in a women's prison, where he raped several of hisfellow inmates. Think of it: this man's claim to be a female is so sacred in the eyes of the Speaker of the British House of Commons that he would not allow the elected representatives of the British public to even talk about it.
Diversity of opinion used to be viewed as positive. Now they don't talk about diversity of opinion. They call you “divisive,” which of course is negative. Divisive: this is how they used to talk behind the Iron Curtain and in Mao's China.
(Bruce Bawer, “The Speech I Never Gave,”FrontPageMag Online, 10/3/18).
[TBC: Dave Hunt in the October 1990 issue of the newsletter warned, "Church leaders, both Protestant and Catholic, are jumping on the "one world" bandwagon, which can only be held together by tolerance for all beliefs. As early as 1970 the Lutheran Church in America adopted an official statement titled "World Community - Ethical Imperatives in an age of interdependence." Under the heading "Toward a Global Civil Order," it advocated the establishment of "world and regional institutions" to implement a new world order. It declared that "a church body has the God-given responsibility of generatingsupport for... a world community.” …The establishment of a politically and religiously united and thus, presumably, peaceful and prosperous world being pursued by world leaders makes good sense if one knows nothing of Bible prophecy. The "miry clay" of democracy emerging out of communist dictatorships to form the new international socialism adds an element of persuasion that plays an important part in the deception.
"Yet the Bible declares that no one but the coming Antichristian rule over such a world—and that he will be the worshiped head of its humanistic universal religion. Those who attempt to establish a peace that is not based upon submission to Christ as Lord are necessarily working to install the Antichrist's world government, whether they realize it or not."]