The new era of State-imposed political correctness

Ronan Mullen tabled a lengthy series of amendments to the Civil Partnership Bill in the Seanad yesterday. An experienced political reporter told me that Silencedhe had never before witnessed any TD or senator being subjected to the level of interruptions, bullying and harassment that Mullen was subjected to by some of his fellow senators.

Senators John Hanafin, Labhras O Murchu and Jim Walsh tabled some amendments of their own but they weren’t subjected to anything like the bullying Mullen had to endure.

Among the prime offenders were David Norris, Lisa McDonald and Ivan Bacik. Lisa McDonald, a Fianna Fail senator from Wexford, described calls for a conscience clause as “dressed up bigotry”.

What we now have is the 1980s in the reverse. Back then conservatives would bully their liberal opponents. Now almost all the bullying is in the opposite direction. Back then anyone deemed soft on abortion was called a ‘murderer’ or a ‘baby-killer’. Now anyone deemed soft on gay rights is denounced as a ‘homophobe’ or a ‘bigot’. Insults are always a substitute for rational debate.

What I found extremely worrying about the Seanad debate on this matter, apart from the bullying of Ronan Mullen, was the fact that so many of our politicians now regard belief in traditional marriage and sexual morality as a form of bigotry, pure and simple.

Clearly they think there is no rational ground for belief in either. The implications of this are stunning. If belief in traditional marriage is simply a product of prejudice then that belief should be stamped out or at least actively discouraged.

This is happening already in other jurisdictions. In Sweden a pastor escaped prison by the skin of his teeth when he preached that homosexual conduct is sinful, as per the Bible.

In Spain a new and compulsory civics courses directly seeks to undermine belief in traditional sexual morality.

In Britain, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said faith-based schools should be forced to teach that homosexuality is normal, making the teaching of traditional sexual morality impossible.

In 2006, French politician Christian Vanneste was fined and forced to pay costs after he said homosexuality threatened civilisation. This was later quashed.

In Canada a pastor was fined and silenced for saying something similar although this too was lifted on appeal.

The question isn’t whether you agree with these statements or not, or whether they are offensive or not. The question is whether you believe people have a right to express them without being punished, and in the case of Spanish schools, whether the teaching of non-traditional sexual morality should be compulsory.

We are not yet at the point in Ireland where other countries already find themselves, but we are getting there. If it is unlawful ‘discrimination’ to refuse to rent out a church hall to a lesbian couple, then this logic surely propels us along the path being followed by Sweden, Spain, France, Canada etc?

An attempt is being made to bury traditional sexual morality alive. It is to be seen as form of bigotry, and nothing more. We are entering a new era of State-imposed political correctness. A new morality is abroad that will brook no rivals, and as Senator Ronan Mullen discovered yesterday, no dissent either.