Norway has just passed a law making it illegal to criticise the LGBTQI movement in the privacy of one’s own home. Labelling it as ‘hate speech’ the Norwegian Parliament has established heavy fines and up to one year in jail for anyone found to have expressed opinions that are critical of the LGBTQI movement, even within the confines of their own private residence! How the government will discover such ‘subversive’ and ‘politically incorrect’ speech is a matter of conjecture – presumable via disgruntled family members or friends who overhear them and report them to the police. The new law further stipulates that a person who is caught expressing anti-LGBTQI sentiment outside their home, even in private conversation, can be jailed for up to three years.
Norway has become the leading advocate for the LGBTQI movement within Europe over recent years and this new legislation further undermines the rights of free speech.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, commented that the United States is moving toward a similar crackdown on free speech , outlawing the expression of opinions that are deemed to be politically incorrect. He states that the movement to criminalise some aspects of free speech has become “a core value of the Democratic Party” in the US.
On his blog, Turley recently wrote,
“Once a party that fought for free speech, the Democratic Party has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition Head for Agency Media Issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States.”
What is truly worrying about all this, is the ease and speed with which such oppressive censorship of free speech has infiltrated Western society. Many nations which were once founded on the principles of freedom of thought and the free expression of diverse ideas and opinions are rapidly degenerating into Orwellian-like mono-philosophies which aggressively enforce conformity to a narrow official paradigm. We are currently witnessing the evolution of a kind of compulsory group-think, the likes of which we once condemned in oppressive fascist regimes but which is now being blindly and even enthusiastically endorsed within the once free world.
What is at stake here is the very essence of what defines a free, democratic society. The kind of insidious speech criminalisation and thought control that is currently escalating, seeks to undermine the basic rights upon which our Western society was founded. And once those rights are eroded or removed, it will be a long, difficult road to reinstate them.
Where will it all end?
Be careful what you say in your loungeroom. Big Brother is listening.
Kevin Simington (B.Th. Dip. Min.) is a theologian, apologist and social commentator. He is the author of 12 books, and his latest, “7 Reasons to Believe”, is now available. Connect with Kevin on Facebook or his SmartFaith Blog.