Losing our freedom of speech

It’s no news that our freedom of speech is in jeopardy, and has been for some years. But it seems that suddenly, with the news of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, we are under pressure to avoid ‘accusing’ Moslems, even though they are the suspects for good reason. After all, as I pointed out, a great many churches in France have been vandalized or set afire. And going back to 2016, an elderly priest was killed while saying Mass. The guilty parties? Guess.

There are reports that Fox News show hosts, namely Neil Cavuto and Shepard Smith, both interrupted guests who violated the taboo on criticizing, one of the guests being a French Deputy-Mayor. The quotes from Shepard Smith reveal that he was quite abrupt and rude in silencing his guest who mentioned possible Moslem involvement in the cathedral fire. Please notice, too, that the linked article refers to these mentions as ‘conspiracy theories.’ This Orwellian practice is a way of trying to stifle any mention of conspiracies, under the idiotic precept that conspiracies don’t exist, and never happen. Sadly much of the American population reacts the same way, jeering at anything they perceive to be a ‘conspiracy theory.’ Have people lost common sense? No wonder we are in such a predicament, we in the Western countries.

I’ve spent more time than usual reading blog discussions of the Notre Dame fire and there are quite a few people, even on ‘right’-leaning blogs, striking a superior pose by saying the usual thing: “we mustn’t jump to conclusions, we have no evidence, it could have been an accident, it could have been atheists or Satanists who did it” — well, we could just as well say Mrs. O’Leary’s cow could have caused it. So why are all these people leaning over backwards to appear ‘even-handed’ or fair?

Even Christian commentators are not immune to the urge to do this. One of the Christian commentators I follow made a great show of saying that we have to be fair. To me, this looks like a kind virtue-signalling: “I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, unlike you xenophobic bigots out there.”  So if he feels the need to strike such a pose, more power to his left elbow, but I don’t want to see it become a new restriction on our free speech.

People have always speculated about any kind of disaster or crime in which deliberate human action could be involved. People, at least in this country, have always reserved the right to voice their own personal theories or speculations about such things. But now, suddenly, we are expected to pretend that the cause of this is an utter mystery, or just a random accident? That insults our intelligence. So many incidents over the past few weeks and this incident is just a random one-off, unconnected? That stretches credulity.

I remember during the first Gulf War, in 1990-91. When talking about the subject, no one was expected to be politically correct or to hold their tongues lest they ”offend” somebody. But after innumerable ‘incidents’ there is, paradoxically, more pressure on us to be ‘tolerant’ — no, that’s not the right word. Tolerance was once the watchword, now we have to wholeheartedly embrace whatever agenda is being imposed. Now we are compelled to keep silent if we can’t convincingly adhere to the script, and say only the politically correct things that are inculcated by means of the media and the ‘educational’ system.   Remember when we were children we were told that ‘if you haven’t got any thing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ And some groups are protected from criticism or even scrutiny. Some are ‘more equal than others.’ Be politically correct, or be silent.

There’s a slow-motion purge of dissident right bloggers, with such political views coming closer to being defined as ‘criminal’, as in Europe. These things happen by degrees, and we become acclimated to our loss gradually.  Anybody on the ‘right’ who is promoting this ‘silence’ policy is a party to our loss of free speech.

Notre Dame Cathedral

I was shocked — though maybe I shouldn’t have been — to hear of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Without cable TV it’s possible to be out of the reach of the 24/7 news cycle for a while, and I missed the initial reports,  only learning of it online.

Over at the Reference Frame blog, there is a good piece about the incident, with blogger noting that the burning of the cathedral is symbolic of what’s happening to Western civilization now. Truly, that’s a good point. Also noted in the piece is the apparent reluctance of the controlled media to stray from the official line, that line being that the fire was nothing more than an unfortunate accident.

Even Fox News which some still persist in considering ‘conservative’, shut down any alternative explanations before they were fully voiced. That doesn’t surprise me, and now I am going to keep tabs on how many dissidents get de-platformed/banned for suggesting anything else.

Apparently some reactions to the fire amounted to cheering. This is disgusting, especially when it comes from Westerners, all of us who are heirs of Christendom. I did have a fleeting thought that maybe post-Christian Europe may not appreciate their heritage, because as of this moment, it’s considered de rigueur to regard Christianity and all its outward symbols as merely reminders of a dead and useless past, one which all ‘hip’ people find embarrassing and backward. Our ancestors were so bigoted and narrow you see, and we disown them, being too sophisticated to do otherwise. This attitude exists in all countries which were once Christian. This makes us ripe for being culturally conquered, open to capitulating to the ‘vibrant and diverse’ communities which have been planted in our midst. And few among us seem to see the incredible loss we are suffering by abandoning or being shamed out of our heritage.

So will the ‘news’ commissars try to stifle any further discussion of the causes of the fire? And can it really be a coincidence that the fire follows in the wake of so many vandalism incidents and fires, involving churches in France?  I have a feeling that the questions will not be welcome, so as not to offend the communities. So much the worse for free speech and freedom of thought in our former Christendom.

Meantime, what happened to Notre Dame saddens me in a way I can’t quite explain. It’s part of our past. Our ancestors labored to build these great cathedrals over the span of generations. Maybe many people don’t appreciate the effort, the labor, and the care that went into those cathedrals. Our ancestors built for the centuries, for the future, and to think that their work might so easily be destroyed by malice plus indifference is sad, beyond sad.