Friday, December 23, 2011

Will Austrian Christianity be Protected From “Excessive Opinion”?

The following editorial is from Kurier , which is a pro-EU, pro-immigration daily in Austria. Thus it is quite surprising that the editor-in-chief actually understands the implications of Tuesday’s verdict in the Vienna appeals court against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece:

A Verdict With Consequences

Islam defends itself against insults. Christian churches do not (yet).


December 21, 2011

Anyone who commits religious harassment against Islam must reckon with judicial condemnation. On Tuesday, the Regional Supreme Court of Vienna upheld a lower court conviction, according to which the presenter of an FPÖ seminar gave voice to an “excessive opinion.” In its decision, it referred to the European Court of an Rights, according to which freedom of expression does not mean that it is permissible to baselessly insult others. So far, so good.

This could also change dealings with Christian religions. We are right now in a historical phase when denigration of Christian symbols is a trivial offense. It is interesting that Islam may be what brings this development to an end. The most recent instances, such as piddling on a crucifix (in Munich) or a Madonna covered by a condom (in St. Pölten) clearly come under the blasphemy paragraphs in the law. But because no one — even bishops — wants to look like an art-hating fundamentalist, they are too cowardly to defend themselves. The Blues, who are the only ones who do battle against this, are unceremoniously dispatched (even by judges). Justice, however, is not expected to have a double standard. One could wonder whether the most recent judicial decision will also apply to Christians in the future.


For previous posts on the “hate speech” prosecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, see Elisabeth’s Voice: The Archives.

11 comments:

babs said...

It will only apply to Christians if Christians insist that it apply to them.
Cultural and religious suicide. That is what the west has engaged in for so long that it is now the norm. It is up to the Christian people to stop it. Certainly Islam won't. Things are going just fine for them.
I have seen scores of hate speech by Muslims over the last 10 years and it seems that no Christian body has the guts to meet the oppressor on their own terms.
We shall surely perish as a society and as a Christian-Judeo nation(s) if we don't fight back.
ESW has done us a great service, even though she lost her appeal (possibly because she lost her appeal) as it has brought attention to the rediculous double standard now in place in western nations.
These things tend to pile up until even left leaning media can no longer fail to report on them. People half asleep after working all day and having their dinner are finally being given a shred of truth about what is happening to their country's and their way of life.
It can only be held secret for so long.
Let me rephrase that; people can only continue to deny what is happening around them until it becomes so oppressive that the ordinary worker, tired at day's end, cannot any longer look the other way.

Anonymous said...

The article and comments in the Kurier are shocking: hardly anyone for freedom of speech, most for even more prosecutions for 'blasphemy'. If Christians start behaving like offended islamist 'victims' it will drive intelligent people away from Christianity, not towards it. This law must be changed, but I have little hope for Austria. If you don't like an offensive artwork, say so, pray for the artist etc, don't start behaving like a sulky brat.

It would be quite funny though to demonstrate how religions insult each other: what if Christians and Jews start making official complaints about the Quran's anti-christian and anti-semitic suras?

Susan

Anonymous said...

Btw, religious suicide will be if Christians start being offended brats running to the state too. The roots of Christianity are still deep in our culture and history, and will be strengthened by calmly, rationally demonstrating the contrasts between Christianity and Islam, Jesus and M. I say this as an agnostic who can fully appreciate Jesus as a great spiritual leader worthy of respect, vs. a certain child-raping warlord who owned slaves.

Susan

doxRaven said...

The notion that committing a crime by simply offending someone through criticising their belief system is insane - and, come to think of it, I am offended by the law itself.

One the one side the Enlightenment is celebrated for having challenged the non-scientific beliefs of the Church, but these post-enlightenment laws on blasphemy actually mean we are regressing, unwinding a key achievements of the Enlightenment.

And why should only religious ideologies have such protection from reason and truth. Why not all the crackpot pseudo-religious belief systems.

Such laws are creeping totalitarianism. They should not be supported just to avoid being offended or to abuse for political point scoring - unfortunately the Left, who supports these laws, is too opportunist for that.

Anonymous said...

Well, then let's play this game. Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Coran but according to the Islamic tradition but:
- he is not the God's son.
- he did not die on the Cross*.
- He did not resurrect.

(*) he made somebody eslse who resembeld him die in his place, which is truly outrageous.

All this should amounti to 'blasphemy' with good merit, and therefore ALL Muslims should be tried and condemned for “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion.”

Max

Anonymous said...

If you think the Western Left cares one iota about discrimination and double standards held against White Europeans, Christians, White Males...you are delusional.

They are the self avowed enemy of Western Peoples, Culture, and Civilization, full stop.

They are interested in empowering and promoting all "Others" in pursuit of radical egalitarianism. Conversely, the disempowerment of Whtie Europeans, Christians, White Males.

This is what Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, Double Standards, Legal so called Positive Discrimination/Affirmative Action....is all about.


EV

doxRaven said...

Exactly right EV.

How does the Western Left do it? Its extraordinary in its breath and depth that it has dangerously taken on a life of its own.. How do 'they' maintain such control over all societal levers - especially language and media (guilt), legal development (fear), and educational indoctrination (identity, good vs evil).

Controlling all levers leads to also being able to control the wholesale rewriting of history, and to the fiction of the 'Left' holding the moral high ground.

Even 'our' inability to redefine the 'other' outside of the trap of Left-vs-Right is working against addressing this dangerous loss of reason, diversity and fairness. Any reaction is 'Right' which, in turn, automatically becomes labelled as 'Right Extremism'. And then 'Right Extremism' is mapped to racism, hate and inequality, creating perfect cover for the attrocities of the of the 'Left'.
The reaction movement is stuck in extraordinary doubt and loss of self confidence - trapped in just defending against charges rather than defining - this is Stockholm syndrome at a level of a whole society.

On the bright side, I do think that, despite all the levers, more and more people see the problem, unfortunately we have not seen , excepting maybe Geert Wilders, any leadership that has the right stuff. One 'Geert' is not enough. Both Germany and England (with the US well on the way) are particularly wasteland in respect to this type of leadership. Their native people have been impecably programed to self-dissolve. So much for diversity.

Anonymous said...

It's not a case of Christians acting like "offended brats" any more than anyone would care about an "offended brat" of the Islamic faith bleating about someone drawing a picture of his "prophet" or saying something less-than-glowing about him.

It's a case of some people using the law as a political weapon - lawfare - in order to silence their political opponents.

The message here is: two can play at that game!

Anonymous said...

For example: Islam denies the crucifixion. It wouldn't be too difficult to get a prominent Muslim talking, move on to that particular subject & get him to say something "denigrating" about Jesus (in the eyes of believing Christians.)

Next stop: court.

Chiu said...

I have to say that there is no adequate historical evidence that "Christianity" would lose social influence in raw terms of professing adherents and legislative influence by resorting to terrorism against non-christians and blasphemers.

But, there is plenty of evidence that this would be a catastrophe for those who truly wish to follow Christ's teachings and example. Since it is the teachings of Christ that I regard as essential to the success (both past and future) of Western Civilization more than the mere name of "Christianity", I am inclined to agree with the spirit of the statement that, "If Christians start behaving like offended islamist 'victims' it will drive intelligent people away from Christianity, not towards it." Which is to say, if "intelligent" is taken to mean such fine things as courage and moral insight (which it is not always defined as encompassing), then the statement becomes a good deal more true.

On a more immediate note, the cornerstone of equality before the law is simply incompatible with these kinds of laws that protect certain opinions from being criticized. There is no need to risk enlisting the support of good-hearted but possibly not-very-bright-witted Christians in supporting these laws. It would be better to 'decry' the unfairness to silly ideas. As doxRaven puts it, "And why should only religious ideologies have such protection from reason and truth. Why not all the crackpot pseudo-religious belief systems."

A campaign to have people (particularly Christians rather than Muslims, perhaps) prosecuted for challenging the belief that the world is flat, or that pink unicorns bring babies to fat women, or that Zeus was an exemplar of marital fidelity and reasonable judgment...such a campaign would highlight the injustice of the current protection of Muslim sensibilities without any danger of arousing sympathy for it.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

P.S. I volunteer to be accused of ridiculing all these beliefs, and more.

Anonymous said...

"They are interested in empowering and promoting all "Others" in pursuit of radical egalitarianism."

Agreed with EV in full. Would like to reiterate in addition that egalitarianism is an ideological front. "Equality" conceptually is a front. With the inertia of precedent and the power its proponents have amassed to date, it has arguably gone past what could be called the pursuit of Egalitarianism and now resembles persecution of a second-class citizenry that is not afforded equal rights. Their rights were diminished to promote equality of "Other", but once equality is reached yet those double standards remain unreformed b/c reform is needed to retain equality at this point, now it's culturally biased persecution that refuses to acknowledge where "equality with Other" has long since been accomplished. RoR