"Clearly the Party is always right." (Trotsky).
Ross Fallen (Whanganui Chronicle, May 9) does not question the right of governments to limit free speech. That, with respect, is irresponsible.
The strategies of the liberal left and UN globalists are Marxist and as such designed to subvert democracy. Saying that openly invites investigation on which you can accept or reject it based on your own judgement. But you need to think for yourself, which is something imposed ideologies actively discourage.
Better though to let someone express extreme views, or even hate, so it can be addressed. A society that cares will address it, but that means we are all responsible to care and to speak.
The Government's role is law and order. That does not include "marshalling of thought" like communists do.
When the ambition and agenda of the State removes the liberty of its citizens to exercise the freedom to speak out, then free nation status has been abandoned. Without participation and representation citizens become mere subjects for whom political theory is set and implemented regardless.
But here's the thing for me: Political correctness polices impose ideology and that denies my responsibility to police my own thoughts and actions. God holds me responsible to love my neighbour and to do unto him as I would have him do to me.
Asserting the right to speak as I like, when and how I like, is not essentially good or necessary.
Freedom of speech, recognised as being necessary to safeguard a society free at all levels, considers the responsibility of every citizen to speak what he should, when he should, how he should.
Love for God and neighbour requires liberty to speak against that which subverts, i.e. tyranny, unrighteousness and injustice.
We have too much emphasis on freedom to do what we want, and not enough on the responsibilities that being free require of us.
Free speech rights
Sonya Bateson informs us in her editorial that morality is different today from what it was in years gone by. Those who disagree with this supposed morality, she tells us, are out of step with society and society is free to judge them as deficient or lacking in morals. Those she is referring to as disagreeing are Christians and are part of the society she is subtly excluding them from.
Morality today, Ms Bateson tells us, is "acceptance and tolerance", but this "acceptance and tolerance" doesn't extend to accepting views she doesn't like (eg. Christian moral teaching) or tolerating a Christian's right to believe and enunciate their faith. To enunciate such beliefs, she tells us, is to subject "vulnerable groups of people" to "abuse and hate".
This is the epitome of the attack on free speech. Anyone you disagree with is involved in "abuse and hate", you simply label their views "hate-speech" and therefore not acceptable, not "worthy" of the right to speak. In this view an idea you dislike should be suppressed while direct calls to violence by your friends is quite acceptable speech, as we have seen many times recently.
Free speech allows the free exchange of ideas, your right to speak and your right to disagree or criticise. The current popularity of the suppression of free speech shows that many people have not learnt from history.
Support for End of Life bill
The law in any civilised and democratic country is constantly evolving, in response to the circumstances and mores of the time; governments can introduce new laws or change them, but dare not do so without a clear mandate from the people.
However carefully drafted, there never has been a law not subject to abuse and when this happens, the law is tightened or other steps taken to "plug the gaps".
If the possibility of misuse had prevented socially progressive laws, we would not have a national health service, unemployment and old age pensions or ACC. When anomalies come to light, they have to be dealt with, but would have to be widespread and major before there was a call to abandon them.
No doubt there have been unfortunate cases of abuse of voluntary euthanasia legislation in those 21 countries and states that have it, but there is absolutely no evidence of the majority of their people calling for the clock to be turned back.
Michelle Pereira (Whanganui Chronicle, May 13) correctly states that Roger Foley's lawyer has called for a moratorium on assisted deaths — "although obviously this has not happened".
How right she is - nor will it happen. The people of Canada are more than happy to have this option available to them, should they need it. Tells us something, surely?
I note that now the medical, nursing and hospice professions are withdrawing their opposition to VE, suddenly we have a doctor as the villain of the piece — a change from their being depicted as unwilling to be involved!
The vast majority of New Zealanders have indicated their support for our End of Life Choice Bill - our MPs know this and it will become law.
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