Is the world headed into a new Dark Ages, where the Holy Bible becomes a banned book because of the scientific realities – e.g. the immutability of gender and the necessity of males and females to human reproduction – it affirms?
Heraldscotland.com reports that Scotland’s Catholic bishops have raised concerns that controversial new hate crime legislation could have just this effect, redefining “truth” to the point that sacred books are banned. The Catholic Church voiced fears its “understanding of the human person, including the belief that sex and gender are not fluid and changeable” could become a criminal offense.
And the church is only the latest organization to voice concerns over the planned reforms.
The Scottish Police Federation has said that the legislation could “paralyse freedom of speech” and “devastate” the relationship between the public and the police.
The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill will, if it is passed and enacted, create a new criminal offense of “stirring up hatred” against a protected group, expanding on existing laws protecting racial groups.
Some Americans will recognize that “stirring up hatred” is a form of free speech, is very loosely definable, and protected by the First Amendment.
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland similarly warned of “how hatred is defined is not clear which leaves it open to wide interpretation”.
It said this “could lead to vexatious claims having to be dealt with by police”.
In a submission to Holyrood’s Justice Committee, which is examining the legislation, it said: “We are also concerned that section 5 of the Bill creates an offence of possessing inflammatory material which, if taken with the low threshold contained therein, could render material such as the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other texts such as Bishops’ Conference of Scotland submissions to government consultations, as being inflammatory under the new provision.
“For example, in a recent submission to the Scottish Government on proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland stated the Catholic Church’s understanding of the human person, including the belief that sex and gender are not fluid and changeable, and that male and female are complementary and ordered towards the creation of new life.
“Such pronouncements, which are widely held, might be perceived by others as an abuse of their own, personal worldview and likely to stir up hatred.”