In its drive to counter terrorism, the Government’s yet to be introduced Counter-Extremism Bill will, if and when passed, bring into law Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs), primarily aimed (we are told) at combatting hate preaching by radical Islamists. Of which, in the UK, we presumably have a great number.
Any measures to combat Islamic terrorism are of course to be welcomed, but the proposed plans specifically include any views deemed to go against our newly defined British values – even if non-violent and legal. This would clearly target not just radical Islamists, but also much mainstream Christian teaching. A sermon, for example, on the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman would be prohibited – as might also affirmation of the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, which could be deemed offensive to other religions.
Even with our current safeguards for free speech, we’ve already seen street preachers – quoting Leviticus – arrested for homophobia and hate crimes, but without a doubt the situation could be infinitely worse if these banning orders ever become law. Imagine … peaceful pro-life prayer vigils outside abortion clinics – banned. Mention of clearly documented medical risks attached to homosexual sex – banned. Reference to DNA identification of gender – banned. You name it … the Government will ban it.
This is a clear attack on free speech. It goes against everything our nation holds dear, and the real values on which our society is founded. And why? After all, when was the last time suicide-bombing Christians ran amok down Oxford Street? When did the Jewish community of Golders Green last send out vigilante groups to police the area round the local synagogue, assaulting men not wearing a yarmulke (that’s a skull cap, by the way)?
Yet it appears the Government remains adamant. Only a few days ago, on the Parliamentary website, an update on plans for the Bill stated:
‘…the Government remains determined to confront both violent and non-violent forms of extremism in its fight against terrorism.’
What madness is this? Does David Cameron really believe that a Bible-toting Christian quoting from Genesis, and declaring that marriage can only be between one man and one woman, is a terrorist? Or is there another agenda altogether at work here? An agenda that wants to drive Christianity from the public space and force mass compliance with our ‘new’ values? Our new religion, as perhaps we should more accurately describe it.
Wise up, Mr Cameron! If we criminalise those who uphold our society – who really do put the ‘Great’ into Britain – then we’re lost. So please, abandon this lunacy now. Before it’s too late. Deal with the terrorists …. PLEASE! But don’t destroy the values on which our nation is founded.
David Cameron, uphold the UK’s Christian heritage. Protect freedom of speech and belief.