My distinguished fellow WND columnist Jack Cashill has written a superb book, “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism Exposed.”Buy it and read it now, while you still have the freedom to do so.

You can get the book at the WND bookstore. And you should get it. For it addresses head-on a subject that all lovers of life, love, liberty and laughter should be as worried about as I am: the abandonment by the soi-disant “liberal” left of any semblance of liberality. “Liberals” are not liberal; “progressives” are not progressive; “Democrats” are no longer democratic.

As the debates on climate change, homosexuality, abortion, Islam and a host of other subjects show all too clearly, the totalitarian faction increasingly insists that only one point of view – let us call it the fasmunist opinion – is to be permitted, and any opinions that run counter to the party line are to be punished, even by death.

The Nazis, the Communists, the canting environmentalists and today’s viciously intolerant “Democrats” have a great deal in common. But the strongest bond that unites these horrid creatures is their determination that the right of free speech that your Founding Fathers held dear is to be taken away forever.

Just weeks ago, the unspeakable Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., added his whining voice to the fasmunist chorus clamoring for the trial, imprisonment and even execution of those of us who question the party line on the climate.

He was supported in a transparently choreographed move by a pseudo-academic, one Shukla, who gathered 20 of his fellow climate-extremists as signatories on a letter demanding, as Whitehouse had done, that the RICO statute should be used as a method of silencing skeptical researchers.

The ridiculously pompous fatheads of the “supreme” court in London also held a one-sided and profoundly prejudiced conference at which one of the justices spoke with approval of a lecture by a fasmunist law professor demanding that the “claims” of legitimate, scientifically qualified, knowledgeable climate-skeptical researchers, published in the learned journals, should be “scotched” by the national and international courts.

This week – just hours ago as I write – the Eosjournal of the American Geophysical Union, a pseudo-science cargo cult, has carried an opinion article by a cult member deliberately comparing climate skeptics to Holocaust deniers by using the hate-speech term “denialists.”

From this terminology alone, one may legitimately deduce that the cultist has abandoned hard science for the hard left. After producing a hilariously inept “proof” that nearly all of the global warming of the past century was manmade – a pathetic attempt that no true  journal of science would ever have accepted – he asserts without a hint of irony that “the scientific debate is now over; the moment of closure has arrived.”

Climate communists have been making that assertion continuously, and with increasing desperation, for at least two decades. Yet, in defiance of their specious claim that the science is settled, the debate not merely continues but, like Topsy, grows. Freedom of speech has not yet been stamped out altogether.

But let us not be lulled into a false sense of security. The clear intention of the fasmunists is to end freedom of speech altogether. And, in places where it matters, such as academia, they have almost entirely succeeded.

When I preached last week in the chapel of Churchill College, Cambridge, reminding the undergraduate congregation that freedom of speech and of academic enquiry were under threat from the “politically correct” viewpoint, they were horrified and even hostile.

For I had dared to suggest that there was more than one scientifically acceptable and academically legitimate viewpoint on all of the subjects on which the “politically correct” (a.k.a. hard left) movement has decreed that only its own viewpoint is to be uttered, on pain of ostracism or even expulsion.

I did not even invite the undergraduates to accept the alternative viewpoints on these subjects: merely to accept that more than one viewpoint was justifiable, and that it was their duty not to exclude those who did not subscribe to the hard-left party line.

The churches are in no small part to blame for the failure on the part of young people to realize that opinions other than those of the hard left are rational and acceptable, and perhaps even right.

It is not so much that the churches have not spoken out against the intolerant left on questions such as homosexual “marriage” and abortion. Some – the Catholics, the Orthodox and the Pentecostals among them – have been commendably outspoken.

The problem is that they have not put across the message in the right way. The left has craftily suggested that to oppose “gay” “marriage” is to hate homosexuals, or that to propose that children who are to be aborted should first be anesthetized is to hate their mothers, or that to suggest that man’s influence on climate may prove small is to hate the planet.

The churches have not been skillful in deflecting this suggestion that the driving force of their teachings is not love but hate. They should raise their intellectual game, as the Holy See is now trying to do as its synod on the family concludes.

The synod fathers successfully resisted attempts by the pope (a Peron communist who is now openly putting communism before Christianity on many subjects) to push the Synod into abandoning some of the Catholic Church’s more difficult moral teachings.

But one point that has emerged, and clearly, is that the church needs to explain her teachings more thoroughly, and needs to declare repeatedly that she does not hate homosexuals or mothers of aborted children or climate extremists.

As I told the undergraduates at Churchill College, the Church has a role in public debate on questions such as these. On purely scientific questions such as the climate, it is not her place to take sides, which is why Pope Francis made himself widely unpopular by getting all seven of his “facts” about the climate plumb wrong in his recent and otherwise largely blameless (if not particularly novel) encyclical on the environment. Half a millennium previously his name-saint had already said much of what he regurgitated, and had said it more trenchantly.

But it is the duty of the churches to stand together in the face of totalitarian intolerance and make it plain, as Pope Francis’ distinguished predecessor did, that the right of free speech and of free academic enquiry is a moral right that no narrow, intolerant faction has any right to circumscribe or trammel.

Free speech is dying – dying not so much because the narrow-minded hard left opposes it as because those who ought to exercise it and to defend its exercise have fallen cravenly silent under the onslaught of odious scorn from the haters of freedom.

We must find the courage to stand fast in the cause of freedom of speech, of thought, and of research, or what John Buchan called “the blanket of the dark” will descend once more, the Age of Enlightenment will pass away, and a new and terrible Dark Age will be upon us.

You can take the first step by buying Cashill’s book. Read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and then, if you have the courage, speak out. Freedom of speech is – for now – your right. Use it or lose it.

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