Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who will be Left to Object?

Do we not have an obligation to speak against violence and intimidation? And if we have an obligation to speak out against victimization in far-off Myanmar, North Korea and Darfur, don’t we also have an obligation to speak out against the victimization on our own doorstep, against our own community?

Gudrun Kugler runs a Vienna-based human rights group called the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which monitors and reports on what some call “Christianophobia.” Professor Joseph Weiler of New York University School of Law coined the term after Rocco Buttiglione was rejected in 2004 for a high-ranking position in the European Commission for his Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

• Discrimination against Christians for their beliefs is on the rise all over the world, including in what some consider to be tolerant Europe. A few months ago a Christian couple were told they could no longer act as foster parents because they held the Christian view of homosexuality. A state electrician in the United Kingdom recently faced dismissal for showing a crucifix on the dashboard of his company van. A crowd in Belgium cheered when an archbishop was attacked with cream pies.

Kugler also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Agency’s Fundamental Rights Platform, a gathering of non-governmental organizations concerned with human rights. At their conference she suggested that,

• …holding a “kiss-in” at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was not respectful of Christians. She said anti-Christian images at homosexual parades, including mock-crucifixions, was likewise not respectful. Kugler suggested, “no one should go to prison for respectfully stating an opinion which does not advocate violence.” The human rights crowd shouted “No!” Someone responded, “People should go to prison for what they say if it is a negative comment against a vulnerable minority group…” Kugler said a staff member of the Fundamental Rights Agency nodded in agreement.
Christians have not only become subjected to intense discrimination within the “tolerant” and “non-judgmental” West, they have also become the targets of violence:

• Kugler also reported to the group how a Berlin pharmacy was vandalized for refusing to sell the sometimes-abortifacient morning after pill. The pharmacist’s windows were smashed and his pharmacy wrecked. One participant shouted, “Quite right!”

It has become “quite right” to threaten and destroy businesses when their owners have a different religion or worldview. Could this represent the beginning of the end of the democratic process and human rights of the politically incorrect? Violence happens, but it’s quite another thing when it’s institutionally sanctioned!

Where will all of this lead, and what should be done about it? Pastor Martin Niemoller had become one of the leaders of the “Confessing Church” during the Nazi insanity that had taken captive perhaps the most educated nation of the world at that time. He opposed Adolph Hitler and was consequently sent to jail in 1937 and then to a concentration camp for the remainder of the war. Later, Niemoller famously lamented,

First the Nazis went after the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not object. Then they went after the trade-unionists, but I was not a trade-unionist so I did not object. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object.

No comments:

Post a Comment