Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Having it both ways

Rob Breakenridge of the Calgary Herald is a little taken aback to discover what most of us have known all along, that the religious right isn't quite as committed to "free speech" as they like to pretend they are. Sure, they talk the "free speecher" talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, they have been weighed, they have been measured, and they have been found wanting:
"Given the number of instances where conservative Christians have been called to task and even prosecuted for their words -- Bishop Fred Henry, Rev. Stephen Boissoin, Hugh Owens, Catholic Insight magazine, the Christian Heritage Party -- it's not surprising to see the so-called "religious right" mobilize in support of freedom of expression." [...]

"However, the religious right needs to decide just how committed it is to freedom of expression. If you haven't the stomach for the fight, best to sit it out.

Last week, the aforementioned Canada Family Action Coalition demanded that the federal government step in and revoke the broadcast license of a new Canadian adult film channel. CFAC president Charles McVety describes the existence of Northern Peaks as being "to the public detriment" and fears the adult channel will "corrupt minds."

In other words, the approach of the CFAC on this issue of "offensive content" is really no different from the approach of the pro-censorship crowd on other matters of "offensive content."

Whereas supporters of human rights commissions believe we can engineer a society devoid of "hate," the anti-porn moralizers believe we can engineer a society devoid of "immorality.""

Hypocrisy: it's what's for dinner.