So attack on free speech is a sign of tolerance
Boris Johnson is a long-standing champion of sexual tolerance – at least that’s what he seems to expect from his poor wife. This time he has shifted his innermost convictions into the public arena by banning from London buses a Christian campaign aimed at reforming homosexuals.
‘London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance,’ he said. I agree. London is so tolerant it could be twinned with Sodom – or alternatively with our neighbourhood French villages called Orgy and Anus (I’m not joking, they are both next door to us).
True to his word, the good mayor found nothing wrong with the blatant propaganda of homosexuality launched earlier by Stonewall, the charity devoted to promoting homosexual agendas, such as same-sex marriage. The thrust of their campaign was the probably correct message that homosexuality is innate and therefore irreversible.
In response, Christian groups created a campaign typified by the ad saying ‘Some people are gay. Get over it.’ That’s where Mr Johnson drew the line on his tolerance.
‘It is clearly offensive,’ he thundered, ‘to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.'
Our erudite mayor is a writer, but he’s clearly not a reader. For anyone who actually read the ad would know it says nothing of the sort. Any reasonably educated person will be aware that homosexuality isn’t a disease. It is, however, an aberration.
Now before I’m tarred and feathered as yet another manifestation of the prevailing tolerance, I hasten to add that I use the word ‘aberration’ strictly in its dictionary definition: ‘a departure from what is normal or desirable’. Since only about one percent of us are that way inclined, homosexuality is obviously a departure from the norm. Surely, 99 percent are in a better position than one percent to judge what is normal? And, indulging in a bit of reductio ad absurdum, reversing that proportion would spell the end of the human race, which is clearly undesirable. So the dictionary definition applies in its entirety.
It may well be true that a propensity for homosexual, which is to say aberrant, behaviour is innate. And it’s indisputable that people ought not to be reproached, much less punished, for the way they are born. They can however be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies. A kleptomaniac only becomes reproachable when he actually steals. A man who’s violent by nature is on safe grounds until he commits a violent act. We aren’t responsible for where we begin in life. But we are responsible for where we finish.
The campaign that offended the Mayor enunciates the traditional Christian attitude to homosexuality. Rather than regarding homosexuality as a disease from which one could be cured, Christianity regards it as a sin from which one should abstain. It’s only in this sense that a homosexual can ‘get over it’.
Abstaining from sex for moral reasons is tantamount to heroism, and most people can’t be expected to be heroes. That’s why I don’t think homosexuality should be banned, or homosexuals in any way abused. But Christianity would be remiss in its mission if it didn’t call on them to adhere to the absolute moral standards stipulated by the founding religion of our civilisation.
And all of us, Christians or otherwise, ought to be wary of the systematic campaign to destroy everything our civilisation stands for. It’s not only our religion but also our constitution, our aesthetic sense, our education and our general morality that are being smashed by the battering ram of PC modernity.
That propaganda of homosexuality can be used in this capacity is beyond question. Witness the fact that the first European country that liberalised homosexuality was Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1934 – neither the time nor the place known for an all-consuming love of Western civilisation. In parallel, the Bolsheviks, who were almost as tolerant as Mayor Johnson, abolished marriage, and Lenin’s mistress Inessa Armand likened sex to drinking a glass of water. The Bolsheviks were aware of the destructive potential of sexual licentiousness in all its forms, and they were out to destroy.
Boris Johnson doesn’t want to destroy. He just wants to be re-elected – as a Conservative (!) candidate. To establish his conservative credentials, he is flaunting his moral relativism, what he calls intolerance of intolerance. In doing so he denies the right of free speech to a constructive campaign asking homosexuals to reform and suggesting it’s possible – while affording this freedom to a campaign that’s utterly deterministic and destructive, in effect if not in intent.
I’m willing to accept for the sake of argument (and only for its sake) that, rather than simply indulging in full-time electioneering, Mr Johnson really does disagree with the sentiment expressed in the ‘Get over it’ campaign. But that’s no reason to ban it. For freedom of speech to mean anything at all, it ought to cover the freedom to say things we don’t like. After all, allowing only those statements that please us involves no hardship at all.
Judging by his action, Boris Johnson is rather vague on our constitutional liberties, Western moral and intellectual tradition, and the boundaries of his remit as a politician. His response to what the ads actually say also betokens a need for a remedial reading class. An ideal future candidate for Prime Minister, I dare say.