The illiberalism of the liberal?

Forget extremist Islamic groups, four student unions have found a greater threat from within. To tackle this danger they have frozen accounts, denied facilities and even banned the groups. Complacency is not an option as these tightly knit groups operate in nearly every University in the UK. Will the other British universities follow the lead of Edinburgh, Exeter, Heriot-Watt and Birminghan and tackle the menace that is, Christian Unions?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Soooooo… the loonies are finally in charge of the asylums.

  • Ziznivy

    It’s easy to underestimate the threat these groups pose.

    They try and sober you up with their fiendish cups of coffee and biscuits as you stumble about the student’s union. They attempt to poach and convert the vulnerable young girls before you can have your wicked way with them. You could be within earshot of one of their godawful praise groups.

    I for one support the feeding of these christians to the lions.

  • Garibaldy

    About time

  • Bemus e d

    Hear, Hear. Fucki n g vermin should be run off campus.

  • Bemu s ed

    Jesus! The prissiness of Slugger knows no bounds. Try to post ‘v erm in’ and it comes up as ‘unpleasant’. You couldn’t make it up.

  • Newton Emerson

    This has brought back a guilty memory from my student days in York, when the university’s Gay & Lesbian (& Bisexual & Homersexual) Society invaded our college snack-bar one lunchtime, surrounded the kids from the campus CU who were having their usual exclusive say-grace-first repast, and proceeded to attack them with a bunch of stuffed animal toys they’d obtained from slot-machines in Scarborough expressly for this purpose.

    The point of the exercise, inevitably, was: “To throw lions to the Christians”. My how we all laughed. No, really. We did laugh. I feel thorougly ashamed of myself.

    The NUS has now achieved the impossible: After a lifetime of atheism, I strongly sympathise with obnoxious sweater-wearing God-botherers. For such a crime, only Jesus can forgive them.

  • james orr

    How long before you lot get the stakes and kindling out?

  • DC

    There seems to be more here than meets the eye from this (sole) linked article in The Times.

    It’s odd – I remember the Christian Union in Trinity as a fairly open-minded crowd – certainly the members I knew tended to be of the mellow, occasionally dope-smoking, non-dogmatic spiritual type. Good folk for an interesting chat.

    The mainland CU members quoted in the linked article seem to be a different kettle of fish, and pursuing an anti-LGB rights agenda strongly reminiscent of the US Christian Right.

    College funding of student bodies is basically public funding – and certainly public funding should not be given to organizations who would refuse membership on the grounds of race or orientation.

    There should certainly be no public funding for the dissemination of hate speech. If you talk of “cured” homosexuals, you are basically saying homosexuality is a disease. You may be wrapping it up in nice words, but that is Hate Speech and I sure don’t want my taxes going towards funding it.

  • Newton Emerson

    The mainland CU are a different breed – much more hardcore, for the simple reason that active Christianity is far less mainstream in GB.
    My own SU threw them out in 1989 (as far as I recall) because they didn’t elect a president, as the rules required. They just sat around praying until God told them all to pick the bloke with the neatest comb-over. And the women, dear christ, what a shower of stuck-up fúcked-up judgemental condescending anorexic … none of them would sleep with me.

    But none of this justifies treating them differently to other religious groups who are clearly just as bad. How any SU can fawn over an Islamic society while expelling the CU for ‘homophobia’ beggars belief. The only principle being exercised here is cringing right-on deference to the cult of minority victimhood (and even then it doesn’t apply to the Christian minority, because they are ‘majority-derived’).
    Where is the consistency here?

    ‘Hate speech’ is also a poor argument. Free speech means nothing if it doesn’t extend to speech some people would like to curtail. The jury in the BNP trail realised this, as the British public always have, and the reaction of the government is much more alarming than anything some glass-eyed fascist freak might tell a mob of skin-head mummy’s boys in the back of a pub.

    I reckon the worst thing of all about the NUS stance on this issue is its sheer lazy, cowardly conformity. Where is the courage or radicalism you might naively hope for from the young? They are simply recycling a scattergun set of hand-me-down political fashions from their parents’ generation.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DC: “It’s odd – I remember the Christian Union in Trinity as a fairly open-minded crowd – certainly the members I knew tended to be of the mellow, occasionally dope-smoking, non-dogmatic spiritual type. Good folk for an interesting chat. ”

    Given the C of E’s recent pronouncement on the euthanizing of disabled children and the Episcopal faith’s flirtation with gay Bishops, I doubt very much has changed, at least with the Christian Union.

    DC: “College funding of student bodies is basically public funding – and certainly public funding should not be given to organizations who would refuse membership on the grounds of race or orientation. ”

    Seeing as religion, per se, does not discriminate on either of these grounds — a neat point summed up “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” I fair to see what your point is.

    DC: “There should certainly be no public funding for the dissemination of hate speech. If you talk of “cured” homosexuals, you are basically saying homosexuality is a disease. You may be wrapping it up in nice words, but that is Hate Speech and I sure don’t want my taxes going towards funding it. ”

    You must live quite the sheltered life if a discussion involving the awkward intersection of religious dogma and the less “normal” aspects of human sexuality constitutes “hate speech.” Political correctness used to be discussion without debate — apparently there are those who cannot even handle the discussion.

    I would also point out that homosexuality *was* considered a disease, specifically a mental disorder, complete with it own entry in the diagnostic manuals of the time. Its dis-inclusion was more a matter of political correctness than substantive change in information at the time of its removal from the DSM-IV, although more recent determinations in the field of genetics suggest that it was the proper move, regardless of the lack of basis at the time of its removal.

    As I said before, the loons have finally overrun the asylum — Islamic radicals threatening to blow things up and y’all worry about the hymn and psalm set.

  • DC

    Hi Newt – my point wasn’t against free speech at all – as far as I’m concerned everybody must have absolute right to free speech.

    As a pacifist and a socialist I’d happily defend, any day of the week, the BNPs right to Free Speech even if its Hate Speech. They should have that right alongside everybody else.

    If Jim Bloggs wants to advocate slaughtering every first born, or every left-handed person, or nuking the Palace of Westminster, or whatever – that’s free speech, it doesn’t matter if Joe is a loony Christian or a loony Muslim.

    I would disagree all I could but I accept that he should have the right, in a democratic society, to make his point.

    I do have a Big Problem with my taxes going to support such hate groups. The issue is not whether we allow hate speech, as whether we publicly fund hate speech.

    The article didn’t mention an Islamic society in Birmingham – are you sure the SU there are ‘fawning’ over them?

    I would not be in favour of publicly funding an Islamic student society’s hate speech any more than a Christian student society’s hate speech.

  • Fair Deal

    DC

    In terms of hate speech it wasn’t CU members who called others “gutter-crawling scum”.

  • moochin photoman

    “Throw em to the lions”

    It appears that this can be achieved at the Ramada………..

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23386031@N00/302862834/

    Lions

    Liberty, Intelligence,Our Nation’s Safety

    http://www.lions.org/

  • DC

    FD

    Well if someone suggested that I was a disease needing to be ‘cured’, I must say that I would find that fairly unpleasant.

    “Gutter-crawlingly unpleasant” – well, I would say “contemptibly unpleasant”, but each to his own.

    I don’t want my tax money funding these extremists!

  • Shuggie McSporran

    Newton Emerson

    “Free speech means nothing if it doesn’t extend to speech some people would like to curtail. The jury in the BNP trail realised this, as the British public always have…”

    You err in fact…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2446920,00.html

    “A website designer (Mizanur Rahman of Palmers Green North London) was convicted yesterday (November 9th 2006, at the Old Bailey) of stirring up racial hatred during a protest by Muslims over cartoons of the prophet Muhammad…”

    I’m pretty sure that the jury who convicted him were members of the British public.

    DC

    “I would disagree all I could but I accept that he should have the right, in a democratic society, to make his point.”

    As far as I know the UK is a democratic society, but it is also obvious, from the above example, that people in the UK are not free to say just whatever they want.

  • dc

    That is true, we UK citizens are not currently free to say what we want.

    The fact that we are not is a lamentable corruption of our democracy.

    Our fellow citizens on the mainland have been scared into abandoning our traditional freedoms out of Fear – out of the 700, or 3969 or 700 million or however many dastardly plots the Duchess of Fear, head of MI5, was spinning to the media the other day.

    We must have a proper UK Bill of Rights – like Canada’s Charter Of Rights And Freedoms – which guarantees our fundamental British freedoms, particularly those of Free Speech and Privacy.

    Are we a free country or are we not?

  • kensei

    You have the human rights act, which guarantees pretty much anything you could think of in a UK Bill of Rights. In any case a Bill of Rights could still be repealed or amended by Parliament at any time with a simple majority. What you need a is a written constitution. Or you know, just dump the state and join up with your neighbours that already have such a thing ;).

    And bless my little Republican heart if the repeated use of the term “mainland” in this thread isn’t making want to throw things at the screen.

  • fair_deal

    DC

    Extremity is in the eye of the beholder

  • Rory

    I have to admit that there is a petty, vindictive, spiteful little part of myself that rejoices when I see these smug, complacent, self-righteous Christian groups discomfited. But I also need to admit to myself that it is wrong and needs be suppressed.

    It is tactically wrong because it plays straight into the hands of those who already rejoice in the curtailment of civil liberties and further, as Sir Thomas More said in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, “I would give the Devil benefit of law for mine own safety’s sake”.

    The American Civil Liberties Union, that bastion of Jewish, Irish and African-American liberal lawyers, provide the legal support for the American Nazi Party to challenge any legal attempts to suppress their right to march and they do so for the very reasons that Bolt had Sir Thomas espouse in his play.

    I realise that this may put me in the dread position of agreeing with Newton Emerson and Dread Cthulu but so be it, I expect that on a very wet day we can also agree that it is raining.