Important commentaries on proposed hate speech laws

Muriel Newman
https://www.nzcpr.com/muzzling-free-speech/
“…What the Prime Minister doesn’t seem to understand is that threatening people so they are afraid to speak up will not create the socialist utopia she is planning for New Zealand. Instead, by imposing State control over free speech she is practicing totalitarianism. In his prophetic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell warned, ‘If you control the language, you control the mind’. The very last thing New Zealand needs is the chilling effect of hate speech police stifling our thoughts and monitoring our every utterance. Yet, if the law changes go ahead, the result will be that fewer Kiwis will openly speak their mind for fear the Police will come knocking on their door. It will indeed be an ominous day for New Zealand if the Police become the enforcement unit of ruling politicians and their activist allies against free citizens expressing contrary opinions…”

Karl du Fresne
https://www.nzcpr.com/a-few-thoughts-on-hate-speech/
“….The people who risk being silenced under tougher “hate speech” laws are not those who advocate violence and mayhem (which is a crime already), but those whose opinions and ideas are merely unfashionable or unpopular with the arbiters of ideological correctness. In other words, this proposed law change is not so much about preventing another atrocity as it is about controlling public debate and confining it within parameters that government ideologues regard as acceptable…” 

Ewen McQueen
https://renewnz.org/2021/07/02/hate-speech-law-intimidation-legalised/
“…In the same week that the New Zealand Olympic Committee selected a man to compete against women, our Government outlined its plans to criminalise anyone who dares to publicly question such absurdity. Do so, and you risk three years in jail, or a $50,000 fine… And when it comes to feeling offended and insulted we all know who will be lining up to air their hurt feelings. It won’t be those of a socially conservative persuasion. Such citizens (especially Christians) have been mocked and vilified in our media for years. But they don’t complain. No, the weaponising of offence will come from elsewhere. It will be the activists of wokeism who will be seeking targets on whom to unleash these laws. Those pushing the deluded ideology of gender fluidity will be especially pleased. Their cause is singled out for special treatment in the Government’s proposals. Under the law, so called gender expression and identity will become a specifically protected group characteristic…”

Mark Maney – NZ Christian Network
https://nzchristiannetwork.org.nz/hate-speech-law-a-slippery-and-dangerous-proposal/
“…Why is this so important for Christians? Because by its very nature the Christian gospel is going to be offensive to some people. It just is! (and anything else important will likewise often be offensive to those who have different beliefs). If we as Christians value our freedom to share and live the Gospel, we need to make our voices heard against this slippery and dangerous government proposal. Two things can be true at once. On the one hand we condemn in the strongest possible terms the atrocity that happened in Christchurch on 15 March 2019, and absolutely say no to violence and to all incitement of violence. And on the other hand we can still vigorously uphold the principles of free speech in our free society, even though we often disagree with other people’s opinions and sometimes find them deeply offensive.” 

John Roughan: The distinction between hating a belief and an individual is a difficult one
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/john-roughan-the-distinction-between-hating-a-belief-and-an-individual-is-a-difficult-one/WBBNCAYPUSHZR2OHKYMKRWZDOU/
“…Prejudice against religion, or at least Christianity, is most evident these days in the people who profess identity politics. You see this in debates on subjects such as abortion and euthanasia. To hold human life sacred is not something I would have thought peculiar to religion. I’m sure it is a fundamental human value. Yet whenever a known Christian argues for the sanctity of life, you can bet someone on the other side of the debate will cite the religion as reason to dismiss their view… You see it when a conservative Christian contributes a newspaper article on any social issue. Their religious affiliation usually has to be footnoted, like a health warning. And indeed, religion in extreme forms can be a communicable disease, particularly for people who were not inoculated with milder forms in childhood. The point is, people should be allowed to hate a religion and say so. Religions do cause wars, they can be intolerant, adherents do not always live up to their moral codes, which can be stifling. But people who hate religion have probably had no familiarity with it.” 

Chris Trotter: I understand why you want to do it, Jacinda – but don’t.
http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/07/i-understand-why-you-want-to-do-it.html
“…Restricting the extension of the existing law to cover religion was not deemed to be sufficient. The strengthening of New Zealand’s social cohesion would require the creation of a whole swathe of new “protected groups”. To bring the country together, the Royal Commission [of Inquiry Into The Christchurch Mosque Attacks] – and now, seemingly, the Labour Government – is intent on empowering the citizenry to send their neighbours to jail for up to three years for the “crime” of p**sing them off. One can only feel desperately sorry for the Police as women turn on men, Trans on TERFs, Maori on Pakeha, Christians on atheists, supporters of Palestine on supporters of Israel, Baby Boomers on Millennials, and Neoliberals on Marxists. The courts will be filled with angry and bitter complainants and defendants. Juries will be asked to solve problems philosophers have struggled with for centuries. Vast sums of money will be expended on lawyers. No one will emerge from the process emotionally unscathed. And all in the name of strengthening New Zealand’s social cohesion! It won’t work, Jacinda. No matter how much you’d like it to.”

Martyn Bradbury: The intellectual bankruptcy of the NZ Left’s Hate Speech legislation
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/04/21/the-intellectual-bankruptcy-of-the-nz-lefts-hate-speech-legislation/
“… the solutions of criminalising hate speech are all identity politic based intersectionist roulette virtue signals that will obscenely use the terror attack to justify gagging speech that the woke can’t tolerate while not protecting us from another white supremacist terror attack! I read the terrorist’s manifesto and I don’t recall him referring to Trans Allies or gender identity…”

Opinion: Jacinda Ardern knows she’s in trouble over proposed hate speech laws
NZ Herald 6 July 2021 – Graham Adams
On the campaign trail last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised eyebrows when she blithely told journalists she expected “wide support” for expanding existing hate-speech laws to include religion.

When asked whether sexual orientation, age or disability could be included, she said, “Yeah.”

The PM, who had just unveiled a memorial plaque at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque, added that she couldn’t understand why there would be resistance from other political parties. “I don’t see why there should be, and so that’s probably a question for every political party, but that’s certainly our view.”

After a firestorm erupted last week with the announcement of a new hate speech offence to be included in the Crimes Act that carries a maximum penalty of three years’ jail and a $50,000 fine, her display of confidence last September seems not so much naive as completely deluded.

The fiery reaction was entirely predictable for anyone who understands New Zealanders’ passive-aggressive relationship with authority. While most will tolerate stringent restrictions on their freedom in times of emergency — such as during war or at the height of a pandemic — a marked hostility to being told what we can say or how to behave lurks not far beneath.

The furious opposition to Helen Clark’s anti-smacking law in 2007 should have given Ardern at least a tiny clue as to how her hate-speech proposals might be received.

Firm opposition to the proposed changes — which would expand the list of protected groups to include not only religion but possibly also sexuality, gender, age, disability and employment status — has come from across the political spectrum, ranging from John Minto on the left to Richard Prebble and Family First on the right and numerous other critics in between.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/opinion-jacinda-ardern-knows-shes-in-trouble-over-proposed-hate-speech-laws/KIJLOTPLZCDOCRWHJCY6OZGSNY/

 

 

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