By Scott Tibbs, December 1, 2005
World Net Daily reports that "The Swedish Supreme Court has acquitted a Pentecostal minister of charges he violated the nation's hate-speech laws when he labeled homosexuality a 'deep cancer tumor' on society during a sermon two years ago."
While it is certainly good news that Pastor Green has won this battle with the Swedish government, the fact that Sweden has these laws in the first place is disturbing. Even with Green's victory, these laws have a chilling effect on those who would express unapproved opinions. How many people would simply be quiet rather than face the government's wrath?
While one might think that we are safe from such totalitarian restrictions on free speech in America, we are not. Our neighbor to the north has "hate speech" laws on the books already, and some would like to see the U.S. move in that direction. "Hate crime" laws already punish some people more harshly than others who have committed identical crimes if those crimes were motivated by "hate". In other words, we are criminalizing thought. (See previous writings on "hate crimes" here, here, here, here, and here.)
It is chilling to think of where hate crime laws might lead. After the murder of Matthew Shepherd, some on the Left were blaming organizations like Focus on the Family for the killing. When an abortion clinic is attacked by terrorists, some Leftists are quick to blame "incendiary" rhetoric by pro-life activists. Could "hate crime" laws be a step in the direction of restrictions on the content of speech? Could government decide that "hate speech" be restricted so as not to motivate thugs and degenerates to commit crime?
University campuses have become infamous for restricting freedoms in the name of "political correctness". Indiana University business professor Eric Rasmusen discovered this when Leftist crybabies sought to have his blog censored by the University because of "offensive" statements he posted there. (See previous writings here, here, here, here, and here.)
The Left's attack on Rasmusen's liberty is not even as outrageous as a recent Leftist fatwa at University of Wisconsin -- Eau Claire. David Limbaugh reports that UWEC has forbidden resident assistants from leading Bible studies in their dorm rooms "because students might conclude that such RAs were not 'approachable'." College students are adults; if they are unable to approach an RA because he or she (gasp) leads a Bible study, the problem is a lack of maturity on the student's part, not with an RA.
What is most disturbing about the censorship is not the earthly limitations on freedom, but the eternal implications such policies have. If people are discouraged from exposing sin, unregenerated people will not have a reminder that they are in need of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. While I am sure some Leftists only want to protect people's feelings, in this case the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.
Censorship of Christian teaching is not a surprise. No one likes to be reminded of his or her sin, so they seek to escape or silence the witness they so desperately need. God's Word explains: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:19-20.