Monday, May 14, 2012

the cost of freedom

Free speech costs.

The conservative religious blogger who goes under the name of Archbishop Cranmer has been charged by the Advertising Standards Agency for promoting the Campaign4Marriage.

Regular readers know how much I dislike C4M.

However - I dislike anyone who rejects freedom of speech far, far more. We are a modern democracy, and our right to be different from each other whilst respecting each other all the while was won by men and women who died in battle. Tyrants in quangos, and people who think there is a "right to not be offended" on any side of any debate need to remember this and start valuing people as people.

There is no freedom if everyone - everyone - is not free. We win no battles if in the winning we make new slaves. Progress is not won by altering who loses. Christian faith is the ultimate humanism - it raises up all people. That is why we should be at the front of every equalities fight - but not at the cost of belittling somebody else.

The National Secular Society are supporting the Cranmer Blog. Good for them. They get this point in spades. Bravo. Here is a link to the Archbishop Cranmer blog about the incident & his current stance.

I oppose C4M - I find them not Christian enough; but I support their right to advertise, & also frankly to oppose me! I hope all of us would rather be wrong than only be able to be heard because those who disagree with us have been silenced. I don't want to live in a place where there is a prohibition on ideas, even if some ideas are uncomfortable; that's not the traditions of this country. We oppose violence and hatred, not disagreement and diversity.

ASA - shame on you. If you have caused this man to spend a penny on legal advice (and it seems you have) pay him back. I'd happily take C4M adverts on my site (and those of any other cause with which I disagree) in order to help pay his legal bill, because I'm a Christian, because I'm British, because I'm a human being.

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