THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
What kind of country has Britain become? (Part II)
The Boy King's Speech

Not 'Christian rights' but 'human rights'

Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death: Nadarkhani Refuses to Convert - International Business Times.

Why does this story gain so little traction in the media? Why do only 'Christian rights' groups seem interested in the plight of a pastor who will not - even to save his life - renounce his beliefs? I can understand why libertarians are silent. We don't like it of course, but it's in Iran and therefore a matter for the Iranian people. But where are all the bloodthirsty statists who usually call for our soldiers to be used as armed educators?

I don't believe opinion or its expression (by anything other than deeds having serious adverse impact on others) should ever be punishable by law. I have heard many a leftist call for bloody revolution in my time. So what? Unless and until he actually starts to kill those who disagree with his views on control of the means of production, he's no problem. At least he's forewarned us of his predilection for violence. If someone calls for violence against Jews, immigrants or climate change deniers that's equally fine by me. As long as he doesn't act on it.

I wouldn't invite such nut jobs to dinner, you understand. I would be very concerned if one wanted to marry one of my daughters. But I have no desire to strike them with with that blunt instrument known as 'law'. There was a time when that was the typical British view of such matters. The last government's obsession with 'hate speech' however, and the Coalition's failure to repeal any of their stupid laws, has knocked us off that moral high ground. Perhaps that explains the silence of the usual suspects? It's not as if something important like this chap's 'right to work' is being threatened. Or his 'right' to an alternative sexuality. It's only his freedom of thought (and his thoughts are not like ours) so don't worry.

This story also strengthens my suspicion of all who preface the word 'rights' with any qualifier but 'human'. There are not nearly as many 'human rights' as are claimed, but one characteristic of a real one is that it is for everyone. For example, the 'right to life' or, more precisely, the right not to be wilfully killed by another human should apply equally to all. If any so-called 'right' is expressed as specific to a particular group, you will usually find that group (or someone seeking some benefit from that group) is on the make.

So I am disappointed (but not surprised) that few rights activists and advocates have had anything to say about Pastor Nadarkhani's imminent demise. A fellow-human is going to be killed for standing (rather impressively) by his beliefs. If that does not concern us, do we really care about 'human rights' or are we just hypocrites waving that flag in to obtain more privileges for our own favoured group?

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