Church fears holding Catholic beliefs may soon be a ‘hate crime’

Source: CT

Glasgow

A “climate of heightened sensitivity” and increasingly broad definitions of ‘hate crime’ are putting freedom of speech and belief at risk, the Catholic Church in Scotland has warned.

The Church said there needed to be “room for debate and a robust exchange of views” as it warned that holding to Catholic beliefs, particularly on marriage or sexuality, may soon be deemed “an attempt to stir up hatred”.

The warning was made in a submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation on hate crimes following a review last year by Lord Bracadale.

The consultation, which closed last month, asked members of the public for their responses to Lord Bracadale’s report on hate crimes in Scotland in which he recommended that a protection of freedom of expression provision be included in any new legislation relating to stirring up offences.

The Church welcomed the proposed protection for freedom of expression but said it was concerned that the definition of hate was becoming “contentious and open to misuse”.

“Care must be taken to allow room for debate and a robust exchange of views, ensuring that ‘hate’ doesn’t include the kind of ordinary discourse where people reasonably hold divergent views,” the submission states.

“The fundamental right to freedom of expression, and the right of an individual to hold and express opinions, even if they are considered by some to be controversial or unwelcome must be upheld.”

The Church further warned that changes to hate crime laws may hinder, rather than help, community relations.  This was a particular risk, it said, in communities where sectarianism is an issue.

Catholic Parliamentary Office Director Anthony Horan said: “We do not believe there is a need for sectarianism to be specifically addressed and defined in hate crime legislation. Existing legislation, including existing statutory aggravations, are adequate.”

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2 replies

  1. Isn’t them just labelling traditions as hate stirring up hate?

    Because what will those people feel like inside who value those traditions?

    I am sure they will hate it.

    So who is truly stirring up hate at that point?

    Anyone attacking anyones traditions for their own personal agenda.

    I don’t agree with some traditions in other religions but guess what?

    If the people who enjoy them continue to do them because they personally do not mind on their end?

    Then all the power to them.

    Who am I to say that they are stirring up hate by sitting women in the back of mosques like white people used to do with black people on busses?

    If the people on one end are happy then it obviously works for them in some way.

    The same goes for people on the other end, just because the two ends are different does not make each end wrong.

    Sometimes the rope looks the same on both ends and sometimes one end is shredded a bit but the point is that it’s still a usable rope if people are willing to grip it on each end.

  2. In this context most candid view point comes from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This is based entirely on the teachings of Holy Quran, “No compulsion in religion”. Ahmadiyya Islam explicitly announces respect and dignity for each messenger of God. Again this is according to the teachings of Holy Quran not to disrespect or degrade any holy person of any religion or belief as rebuttal can come to degrade or to disrespect to any of the Holy personality of Islam.
    It is a learnt world and followers of various beliefs know the sensitive areas. Problem mostly arises from non-Muslims. Never ever any Muslim has disrespected any holy personality of any religion. So the ball is in the court of non Muslims who have to agree to the parameters of freedom of expression not aimed to denounce any holy personality of Islam.With in a specific belief tolerance and accommodation has to be granted. Any one can have ideas, notions and arguments. As long it is not harming and injuring the sensitive areas it should not be a problem

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