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I just noticed the following story about a law being considered in the UK, linked here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10327874/Labour-new-measures-to-make-insulting-military-personnel-a-criminal-offence.html

Basically, the summary of the story is that they want to make it specifically illegal to “attack” or “discriminate against” people because of their service in the armed forces, putting military service in the same category as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Admittedly, if behavioral choices like identifying as a homosexual are going to be specially protected by law, I guess choosing to be a murderer and to kill people overseas who were never any threat to you is a choice worthy of protection too.  

Now, let me be very clear, if “attack” referred to physical violence, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this.  Nobody should be killed because they are a soldier, or for that matter, because they identify as “gay” and sleep with people of the same gender.  That doesn’t make the behavior acceptable, however.  And I seriously doubt the article is referring to “attack” in that sense either, because it is already illegal, everywhere, to unilaterally decide to attack someone for any reason. 

But “discrimination” is another matter entirely, and whatever you may think of discriminating against anyone for any reason, doing so does not entail an “attack” on anyone.  And, if I am the owner of my property, I have the right to discriminate against anyone I want to.  I won’t even say I “should be allowed”.  I have that right, because the property belongs to me.  I don’t think I can make this any clearer, if you support anti-discrimination laws, you don’t believe in property rights.  This is a very simple, black and white issue.  And yes, this means that certain portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are incompatible with freedom. 

The article linked also refers to “verbal abuse.”  But, does such a thing really even exist?  Of course not.  The 1st amendment makes no exceptions, and rightfully so.  Once you start making exceptions to freedom of speech, you don’t really have freedom of speech anymore.  Even Stalin tolerated speech that he agreed with.   So did Hitler, Pol Pot, or any other dictator you can think of.  One of the marks of freedom (Although not the only one) is being able to say things that would make the average person cringe.  Picketing funerals like the Westboro Baptist Church is of course despicable.  Or holding up signs that say “God hates fags” is of course despicable.  And there are certain ways of condemning the military that don’t really accomplish anything, and may be despicable.  But all of these things, quite frankly, still fall under free speech.  And if you aren’t OK with that, you don’t deserve to have freedom of speech.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is coming to mind here.  You wouldn’t want anyone interfering with your freedom of speech, so don’t interfere with theirs. You wouldn’t want anyone else telling you you had to serve such an such a person if your conscience didn’t allow you to do so, so don’t do that to someone else.  Feel free to peacefully criticize those who say things or do things that you don’t like, but as long as they are being peaceful, you have no right to threaten them with the possibility of force if they do not comply.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”  (Romans 12:18, ESV)

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One thought on “Nonsense in the UK, will the US quickly follow?

  1. Pingback: Nonsense in the UK, will the US quickly follow? (Part 2) | Liberty and the Gospel

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