Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Witch Trials, Redux: History Repeated With a New Vocabulary

The following is an excerpt from Paul Belien’s post at Brussels Journal. His essay in its entirety is here.

The charges which Mr. Belien outlines below are being echoed in a number of venues; such charges are both deadly and highly questionable. Unfortunately for their targets, disproving a negative is a difficult, if not impossible, position. Should you be charged with such a “crime” how would you “prove” you were not a witch? Simply stating that the charges are not true wouldn’t work, would it? Once people have passed judgment on you, they cross over a line from which there is no retreat. Their minds snap shut and in their eyes you are what they have decided you are.

Goya’s “Lunatic” That is the function of a scapegoat: to carry the weight of ideas or transgressions which others fear. If they can assign them, embody them in particular individuals, then it gives them an “enemy” to destroy. And so they derive some precarious sense of security…until the need for a scapegoat arises again.

Accusations which attack a person’s character are serious and inevitably damaging. In moral theology class, my professor would offer the analogy of the person who opened a feather pillow and let its contents fly into the wind. How would one gather back all those scattered feathers? It can’t be done.

Justice is one of our primary needs. When it is denied by individuals or the state, people suffer and wither. Ask the black population in this country about that experience. After Reconstruction, the Democrat party worked mightily to rescind the practical effects of Lincoln’s Emancipation. They succeeded partially by setting up the fiction of “separate but equal” facilities for black people.

The scars from that sham still remain; the damage to the body politic of this country has never quite recovered. Such enormous injustice heals, but it does so in geological time: imperceptibly slowly. Even the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by the Republicans did not - could not - undo the damage caused by centuries of projected hatred and scapegoating.

Yet look at what transpired in a generation: the Democrats took on the cause of civil rights in this country whole-heartedly, making it their own.

From Brussels Journal - please read it carefully…

As the British conservative philosopher and author Roger Scruton said in a speech in Antwerp last year, the charge of racism and xenophobia in the EU countries “has become the equivalent of a charge of heresy in medieval Europe, of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts, or of ‘deviationism” in the Stalinist state.” However, as Mr. Scruton pointed out, “we have a duty to brave the charge of ‘racism and xenophobia’, and to discuss every aspect of immigration.”

- - - - - - - - -
Mr. Scruton made his remarks in a speech to the Vlaams Belang party - a party which has been accused of racism and xenophobia by the Belgian authorities. “There are many people in this country,” Mr. Scruton added, “who believe that I should not talk to you at all, and that by doing so I become tainted with the very charge that has been leveled at you: the charge of racism and xenophobia. By talking about this charge, I hope to deflect it. I am neither racist nor xenophobic; I am in the habit of assuming that the same is true of others, until they have shown evidence to the contrary; and I am glad that a Party exists that is willing to brave this charge, in order to discuss the problem that is in the minds of all ordinary Europeans today.”

When the EP Resolution of January 25, 2005, came before the European Parliament it was almost unanimously approved with 617 votes to 0 with 10 abstentions. Among the ten abstentions were the three Vlaams Belang members of the EP. One of the latter, Frank Vanhecke, the VB chairman, said he feared that the resolution would be used against parties who “fight for European values and European peoples.” Mr. Vanhecke was right. Today we see how this resolution exploits the Holocaust in order to introduce support for legislation silencing the peoples of Europe and submitting them to radical Islamist ideologies that are paving the way for new Holocaust.

The Egyptian-born Jewish author Bat Ye’or (a pseudonym meaning “daughter of the Nile”) and her family were expelled from Egypt in the 1950s because they were Jewish. She, too, is worried about the trivialization of the Holocaust by the left and the far-left for the advancement of its own political aims. When recently she expressed her worries at a public meeting she was insulted and called… a racist. A lawyer who was present says that though Bat Ye’or was treated most disgracefully “few people reacted. People are not ready to fight the new anti-Semitism.” The Europeans did not fight the previous anti-Semitism in the 1930s, and they are not fighting the present one. Europe did not prevent the previous holocaust. It does not seem able to prevent the coming holocaust either. And maybe, paradoxically, feelings of guilt for the horrors of the past are preventing some people from doing so.

As Roger Scruton says it needs courage to brave the charges of racism, xenophobia or neo-Nazism in order to speak out. This courage is what Europe lacks.

It is a courage Americans have lacked in the past, too. None of us is without sin - if that word is permitted any more in our politically correct world where the only sinners are those who fail to express their true belief in whatever form the multi-cultic gospel takes on in its mission to suppress speech and thought.

For another perspective on this conflict, see KGS’ post on Tundra Tabloid.


Homophobic Horse said...

The only people who feel guilty about the past are those who feel implicated in the crimes of the past. They feel implicated because they still hold the views that led to those events.

We do not feel implicated in these crimes, our conscience is clear.


A little drama:

It is the year 2012, a dark tuesday evening. You are on your way home when suddenly are accosted by some AFA thugs demanding your "identification" card.

You produce your card and say, "9/11 was an inside job and a legitmate response to American imperialism. The nuking of Israel was also done in self-defence."

The AFA goons smile and nod in a most condescending manner, and leave with smug satisfaction.

atheling2 said...

"The only people who feel guilty about the past are those who feel implicated in the crimes of the past. They feel implicated because they still hold the views that led to those events."

Those who repudiate the Christian themes of guilt, redemption and hope are doomed to carry guilt for their past forever.

Europe has thrown away their Christian heritage, hence their inability to get past their collective guilt.

eatyourbeans said...

OK I'll say it:

If by racist you mean somebody proud of his Western roots, hating nobody but preferring his own, then I am a racist. To anybody who has a problem with that, all I have to say is, Go piss up a rope.

Henrik R Clausen said...

"Europe has thrown away their Christian heritage, hence their inability to get past their collective guilt."

Actually, I disagree, and strongly. The only reason this has become a problem is that we've forgotten just how much good Christianity has done for Europe, and for the world at large.

If we were fully aware of this (and people like Robert Spencer are), the tiny issues of guilt and redemption would evaporate like a trace of fog on a sunny day.

Reading up on European history, like Rodney Starks' little book "Victory of Reason" is highly recommended. It sets things into perspective.

atheling2 said...


I don't understand your comment. You say you "disagree", then you go on to restate exactly what I said!

Hmmm, is there a language barrier here?