It has become axiomatic that when people of a conservative disposition – that is, politically, philosophically, religiously or socially of ‘the right’ – open their mouths, they are, according to their opponents, swivel-eyed, intolerant, hateful, nasty bigots.
Thus, if you believe (and argue) that marriage should be between one man and one woman, you are ‘homophobic’. If you believe Christian ministry should be exercised by heterosexual men, you are a ‘bigot’. Last week, His Grace highlighted the undue influence exerted by ousted LibDem MP Dr Evan Harris upon the democratic process and his proclivity for all things pro-death (legalised euthanasia, liberalised abortion), and it was assumed His Grace’s motivation for doing so was ‘hatred’. Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome reminded us in The Telegraph of Evan Harris’ ‘Dr Death’ moniker. By way of riposte, Dr Harris (who habitually criticises others for their ad hominem) accused Mr Montgomerie of being anti-Semitic.
It appears that if you dare to attack the political or social policies of a LibDem Jew, it must be because of latent anti-Semitism; not an aversion either to the individual or his beliefs. Malevolence is the presumption. Melanie Phillips has also observed the strategy:
...this demonstrates once again the power of the campaigns of instantaneous demonisation and denunciation now employed to silence those who uphold a socially conservative position by tarring and feathering them as swivel-eyed bigots.Three years ago, His Grace observed the effects of this upon the expression of orthodox Christian beliefs:
When Christians dare to be convicted, they are portrayed as bigots. When they articulate a view with which others may disagree, they are dogmatic. When they fall short of perfection, they are pilloried and cast as hypocrites. When they defend the unborn, they are unenlightened. When they oppose animal-human embryos, they are anti-science. When they express concern over the fatherless, they are homophobic. When they speak up for the poor, they are wishy-washy liberals. When they defend faith-based education, they are intolerant. When they seek to uphold marriage, they are ‘right wing’ reactionaries.And just over a year ago, he observed the censorious effect of such ad hominem comment upon rational discourse for reasons of distraction and diversion. Should you dare to raise the thorny subject of limiting immigration, you are ‘racist’; if you juxtapose homosexuality with sin, you are ‘homophobic’; if you argue for the Protestant foundations of the British Constitution, you are a ‘bigot’; if you expresses theological concerns over Islam or utter a word in defence of Israel, you are is ‘Islamophobic’; if you are sceptical about man-made global warming, you are a ‘denier’; if you reason from Scripture and seek to uphold traditional morality, you are ‘intolerant’; and should you ever dare to question any precept or directive of the ‘ever closer’ European Union, you are a not only ‘xenophobic’, but a ‘swivel-eyed, right-wing loon’.
Thus is the level of political discourse in modern Britain: every contentious issue, no matter how worthy of scrutiny or debate, is swiftly closed down with threats of a fatwa or observable character assassination. In this age of hyper-sensitivity to offending anyone on any matter, discussion is suppressed and liberties are surrendered, not least because those who are known to hold such views are likely to be barred by the main parties from standing for Parliament.
In fulfilment of the Orwellian prophecy, the prevailing political narrative has given rise to deviant definitions. ‘Bigotry’ has ceased to mean the obstinate and blind, often nasty and hypocritical, attachment to a particular creed. ‘Hatred’ has ceased to mean intense dislike or loathing. ‘Phobic’ has ceased to mean morbid fear or aversion. Each of these terms is now routinely applied to those who simply possess a contrary view or articulate an opposing opinion to the ubiquitous liberal-left worldview and social orthodoxy, and especially to those whose observations are irrefutable and arguments unanswerable.
And so, following the laws of Godwin and Hannan, today His Grace promulgates ‘Cranmer’s Law’, in honour of the memory of the one who was ‘an heretick’ no matter what he wrote, recanted, preached or proclaimed. He dared to articulate a view contrary to the state’s received orthodoxy, and duly paid the price. ‘Heretic’ has today simply been supplanted with ‘bigot’; ‘heresy’ with ‘hate speech’. But it is the same spirit of blind intolerance which is seen to possess even the most intelligent of commentators.
CRANMER’S LAW: “No matter how decent, intelligent or thoughtful the reasoning of a conservative may be, as an argument with a liberal is advanced, the probability of being accused of ‘bigotry’, ‘hatred’ or ‘intolerance’ approaches 1 (100%).”Observe, declare and disseminate far and wide.