IF YOU ARE NOT A HERETIC, YOU DON'T NOTICE HERESY LAWS | 2002-03-16
Lately China's ruler assured President Bush that no one was imprisoned in Communist China for being a Christian or for advocating Christianity. All those thousands of Christians in prison over there, he told Bush, are there for secular crimes.
He believes it.
I remember being told by Communists two decades ago that they had freedom of speech behind the Iron Curtain. It was guaranteed in the Soviet Constitution written by Joseph Stalin.
What these good Communists were saying was that they could say anything THEY wanted to say in Communist countries. In Europe today, as in Stalin's Soviet Union, if you aren't saying anything the ruling leftists don't like, you can say whatever you want to.
In Europe under the earlier Inquisition - the religious one - if you got caught saying something the ruling religion didn't like - the earlier version of Political Correctness - you were not punished very severely. In both Inquisitions, if you did what Brigitte Bardotte did and went through the usual public self-flagellation, the punishment for heresy was minimal.
Jane Fonda was never even required to apologize for her treason, of course, because her offense was not against the established political faith.
Respectable conservatives here do the same thing. If one of them says something that violates orthodoxy on race, they hit the floor groveling, and they are forgiven. So they say they have full freedom of speech.
In Europe today as in Europe in the earlier age of religious bigotry, it is PERSISTENT heresy that merits the harshest penalties. Only those who did not recant were burned alive, and only those who do not publicly recant today go to prison.
So a good European will, like my Communist buddies, look you straight in the eye and tell you they have perfect freedom of speech over there.