Efforts are currently underway in Spain to criminally prosecute Catholic Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plà of the diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It seems he had the audacity to deliver a homily from the Bible during a Good Friday mass extolling the virtues of the sinless life.
And as bad as this was—reading aloud from the Bible on Good Friday and all—everything he did was acceptable until he included “homosexual behavior” as one of the sins to be avoided. This brought out the ever-predictable torches-in-hand witch-hunters promoting, above all else, the notion that any and all of criticism of homosexual behavior must be harshly stamped out, and those uttering such blasphemies must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Appealing to the force of law to ban politically incorrect ideas and censor the words that shape them is, of course, nothing new. We need glance no further than to our old friend George Orwell’s prophetic look into the future, 1984. Recall that Big Brother sought to control not only all thoughts but all language used to form thoughts, and the totalitarian regime Orwell described made any alternative thinking a “thought crime”—or, in the vernacular of the book, a “crime think.”
Orwell’s point was that if something can’t be said—because the words have been criminalized, banned, or no longer exist—then it is far more difficult to think it.
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