May’s “government” adds censorship to its fool’s repertoire
I should declare an interest, for I count Sir Roger as a friend from a day in 1985 when he was in danger of violence from a mob of the lumpen intelligentsia at York University who shouted him down and issued threats to his very existence. His address was about the importance of free speech! And twenty years later, when I was Rector of St Michael’s, Cornhill, Roger came by bicycle to deliver an inspiring sermon at the New Year City Service. I’m glad to report that his audience were not so aggressive as the York hooligans had been.
Today Sir Roger has been sacked by May’s “government” from his position as chairman of the Building Better. Building Beautiful Commission. His crime was to claim first that “Islamophobia” is “a propaganda word” and secondly to insist that “homosexuality is not normal.” Reporting these events, the Daily Telegraph describes Sir Roger as “one of England’s most controversial philosophers” – a phrase which suggests that the country is teeming with philosophers, controversial or otherwise. It isn’t. If the Telegraph had been doing its job properly, it would have added to the headline “Philosopher sacked” the information “for telling the truth.”
The first bit of truth spoken by Sir Roger was that “Islamophobia was invented by the Muslim Brotherhood to stop discussion of a major issue.” That is a fact and not at issue. Of course “Islamophobia” is a propaganda word and like all such words it is strictly meaningless. A phobia is a word borrowed from psychiatrists – who in turn borrowed it from the ancient Greek word phobos – which means “an irrational fear.” But there is nothing irrational about fearing the random slaughter, in the name of Islam, of countless thousands of innocent bystanders on four continents.
Sir Roger’s second bit of truth-telling was to say that homosexuality is not normal. As with his first statement, there is nothing controversial about this claim either. Normality in sexual relationships is between a man and a woman and it has been at least since the time of the first book in the Bible: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Of course, from the very beginning people have ordered their sexual preferences differently: there are accounts of homosexuality and incest in the Bible. Sir Roger did not say that homosexuals should be punished for their sexual practices. He simply stated the incontestable truth that homosexuality is not the norm – not normal. And for so saying he has been dismissed from his job. That is, a philosopher has been punished for using the English language correctly.
There is a precise word for what Sir Roger is suffering and this word is “persecution.” Subscribe