The Corner

Blasphemy in the Land of the Magna Carta

The British street preacher’s arrest for expressing a forbidden idea — in this case that homosexual behavior is a sin right up there with (of all things) blasphemy — is telling. It shows what’s in store if European elites and the anti-blasphemy brigade at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (which has been trying to ban blasphemy under international law at the U.N.) get their way. Coming soon to a country near you.

It doesn’t matter what you think of homosexual behaviour — whether you agree with the cop or whether you agree with the “perp”; you have to worry, in a regime such as this, that your ideas might be next. One of the skills most necessary to life in a democracy is the ability to listen respectfully to ideas you vehemently disagree with and respond not with censorship but reasoned debate. One would think that the land of the Magna Carta would have gotten this by now. There’s a big difference between those who try to convince you that blasphemy is sinful and those who also want to lock you up for it.

Kevin J. Hasson is president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

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