Oneonine wrote:I meant emotional bias. If a judge is emotionally biased towards fundamentalist christian beliefs, he wont cite that as his reasoning, but it will affect his judgement, none the less.
OK thanks for clarifying that. But how does one determine that judges in the US have more of an emotional bias towards Christianity than do judges in the UK? And how is it relevant when comparing the treatment of pagans or other religious minorities under the two respective legal systems?
I'm a legally ordained minister under US law. If any judge in the US were to say that I am not authorized to conduct a legal pagan handfasting or a Humanist wedding ceremony, or that a pagan group can't purchase an old church building and establish a recognized religious congregation there, he or she would be breaking the laws of this country and the ruling would be overturned. If a judge in the UK made the same rulings he or she would be upholding the laws of that country, regardless of his or her personal feelings on the subject.
When Bush came here we got a taste of American freedom of speech.
Those were dark days indeed, I couldn't agree more.
The American press reports seemed strangely like a completely different parallel universe. In fact, the war as reported by America in general was so much different from how it was reported here, I had to keep checking it was, indeed, the same war.
It's always refreshing and enlightening to see how one's country is viewed elsewhere. For instance, in the human rights community over here, the UK is notorious for restricting freedom of expression - because of stuff like the Obscene Publications Act, the Christian blasphemy law finally repealed two years ago, the "guilty until proven innocent" libel laws, that six year long farce where Gerry Adams' voice was dubbed by actors on the BBC because the government made it illegal to hear him speak, and more recently the Terrorism Act and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act.
We have the right to freedom of speech here too - but not to incite religious hatred.
The way I see it, "you can say whatever you like unless someone takes offense" is not freedom of speech.
The right to be as bad as each other. Is that supposed to be a comfort?
The point (besides being a little dig about the blasphemy law ) is that the best way to confront misinformation is with the truth, not by forcing the misinformed to shut up under threat of imprisonment.
For those that refuse to stoop to such levels, they are left being victimised without recourse to the law, and you end up with a situation like the one under discussion. A humanitarian lawyer would be fighting to have international humanitarian laws acknowledged, at least.
Victimized? By an anti-Halloween pamphlet? Whose rights have been violated? And what right, exactly? The right not to be exposed to offensive stupidity?
Most of the Western world used to believe ridiculous things about non-Christians. They don't as much anymore. Not because governments stepped in and made it illegal to say such things, but because the truth became more widely known. Offended by a pamphlet full of lies? Then why not publish your own full of facts and let people decide for themselves? Let's see which perspective is more convincing in the open marketplace of ideas rather than employ the tools of fascism to silence our opponents because they hurt our feelings. Because we are all victimized when the State gets to decide what we can and can't talk about.
(In the spirit of self-censorship, if we want to continue this discussion let's do it elsewhere, ok? I don't want to clutter up Zylah's thread any further and the Druid Parenting forum is probably not the most appropriate place for this anyway. If the moderators want to move this post I am totally cool with that too. )