From FiveFeetOfFury I learn of this report. It seems that a UN “human rights council” has passed a resolution “urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.” Of course they have one particular religion in mind here: yes, they want to ensure that if Osama bin Laden blows up your home in the name of Allah, and, emerging from the wreckage you utter some contemptuous phrase about him and his god, then the police will arrest you. Nice!
I’m a Christian. I don’t want laws that treat ideas as if they were people, and endow them with “rights”. Such laws are always used to persecute real people. It was in the name of “diversity” that the student union, backed by the university, orchestrated a ban on Exeter Christian Union, seized its assets, and attempted to distribute them to the donors, set up a mock “trial” with a tame QC, in order to try to drown them in legal bills, and so on. Only widespread publicity defeated the nasty little game, and as far as I know the perpetrators were never brought to justice. Similar attacks have taken place on Catholic societies. What happens in our universities today happens in society tomorrow.
So imagine how this new idea would work. Would I myself end up getting arrested for posting Isidore of Pelusium’s letters about the sleazebag bishop Eusebius? After all, who’s to say that this wouldn’t amount to “criticism”? Would large and rather corrupt church denominations like the Episcopal Church of America start employing lawyers to sue any church member who dared to object to their policies? (They do already, but only to seize property). “Calculated to incite hatred of the <insert name here> church”, or some such charge? The effect would be to chill discussion, for fear of the consequences.
Do we care what the UN says? Not much; but it shows how the wind blows. We need to fight for freedom of speech, and we need to do it now.