The problem of ‘tolerance’

Here is a link to an interesting article in the UK centre-left magazine, Prospect. The author, Christopher Caldwell, points out what he sees as some of the difficulties with Europe’s ethos of political correctness. 

Caldwell points to a number examples of how this agenda can produce ridiculous results, such as clamping down on the celebration of Christmas for fear of “offending minorities”. 

But from the Iona Institute’s point of view, here is the most interesting paragraph: “In 2006, a husband-and-wife team of Christian evangelists in Britain were interrogated for 80 minutes by police on the suspicion that the literature they were distributing showed ‘potentially homophobic attitudes’; a 63-year-old Lutheran preacher in Sweden was condemned to a month of prison for citing the Bible’s disapproval of homosexuality; and Christian Vanneste, a member of the French National Assembly who had said he found ‘‘heterosexuality superior to homosexuality on the moral level,’’ became the ?rst Frenchman convicted of homophobia. What had been a consensus opinion of humanity, from the dawn of civilisation until the tail end of the 20th century, was suddenly, at the start of the 21st, a crime.”

For a magazine of the centre-left to print an article acknowledging that there is a problem in how Europe implements its multicultural “tolerance” agenda makes a refreshing change. It would be nice to think that others would follow this example, and acknowledge that the “equality absolutism” which animates these policies, causes some serious problems for other liberties, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and most of all, freedom of religion.