The West Is Becoming A Cut-Flower Culture As Its Principles Wither Away

The entire West has decided the First Amendment and free speech principles not only are in play, but absolutely should also be thrown out in favor of the sensitivities of “victimized groups.”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - APRIL 01: Protesters demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament as Scotland’s Hate Crime Law comes into force on April 01, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The hate crime bill, introduced today, criminalises 'threatening or abusive behaviour' intended to stir up hatred against someone's identity. It extends protection to groups including religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity, and applies in people's private homes and online. Despite being passed three years ago, its implementation was postponed due to concerns regarding enforcement. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Bad ideas that start in Europe eventually end up in the United States. The most recent bad idea in Europe is that hate speech should be criminalized.

The European Union has pushed this, and now, Scotland is pushing it. Scotland has a brand new hate crime law which has come into force.

The BBC reported on this, saying:

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 creates a new crime of “stirring up hatred” relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex. … The maximum penalty under the new act in Scotland is a jail sentence of seven years. A person commits an offence if they communicate material, or behave in a manner, “that a reasonable person would consider to be threatening or abusive,” with the intention of stirring up hatred based on protected characteristics.

The claim of the Scottish government is that this does not infringe on free speech because Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects ideas that offend, shock, or disturb.

Proponents of the law say, “You have to be really threatening and really abusive, and there has to be a reasonable assumption from others that that is the case.”

The problem is that when it comes to things like gender identity, the entire case advocates make for transgender nonsense is that simply saying “a man is not a woman” is not only harassment, but deadly harassment. It is a threat, a form of abuse, because that transgender person is going to kill themselves if that person is called by their original sex or their original name.

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This is obviously incredibly dangerous. The fact that Scotland has gone forth in this manner is astonishing.

The oversensitivity and desire for victimhood is so strong these days that, obviously, anybody could use this law and file a police report.

And that is the problem: All of this becomes discretionary when a law or the terms of a law are so broadly defined that they are basically at the discretion of the government. You have no protections in terms of rights at all.

Why should we be worried about this coming across the border to the United States? After all, we have a First Amendment, don’t we?

The answer is that if there were a Left-wing majority on the Supreme Court, there is very little doubt that “anti-discrimination” law, which applies in a wide variety of jurisdictions across the United States, would be applied to crack down on free speech.

It would not be considered free speech to engage in “discrimination” in a place of business. And by “discrimination,” that might mean you said a man was a man. That would be verboten under anti-discrimination law in places like New York and California.

The Supreme Court currently has a majority of conservatives. But if there were an activist Supreme Court Left-wing majority, they would undoubtedly curb the First Amendment so as to mirror the law in places not only like Scotland, but also in places like Canada. The entire West has decided the First Amendment and free speech principles not only are in play, but absolutely should also be thrown out in favor of the sensitivities of “victimized groups.”

All of this is the wages of a new paganism, of a new pagan ideology, that has decided basic Western values — like free speech, freedom of religion, property rights, all things the West has been characterized by for centuries — are inherently bad and discriminatory, and that pagan ideology has gained root.

Why? Because free speech and freedom of religion are rooted originally in Judeo-Christian values. The idea of freedom of religion is rooted in the Peace of Westphalia, which arose from conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholics during the Thirty Years’ War. The idea of freedom of speech is an Enlightenment concept that relies on the idea of freedom of mind, which is reliant on a notion that as human beings, we have a core obligation to seek a higher truth.

That core obligation to seek a higher truth requires us to have discussions with one another, to investigate and to pursue. That is a religious concept, and all of these things are outgrowths of Judeo-Christianity.

The problem is that the West has cut itself off from the roots of its own ideology. A philosopher named Will Herberg wrote about Judaism (and his words also apply to Christianity) in a book titled, “Judaism and Modern Man.” This is what he wrote:

The attempt made in recent decades by secularist thinkers to disengage the moral principles of Western civilization from their scripturally based religious context, in the assurance that they could live a life of their own as “humanistic” ethics, has resulted in our “cut flower culture.” Cut flowers retain their original beauty and fragrance, but only so long as they retain the vitality that they have drawn from their now-severed roots; after that is exhausted, they wither and die.

So with freedom, brotherhood, justice, and personal dignity — the values that form the moral foundation of our civilization. Without the life-giving power of the faith out of which they have sprung, they possess neither meaning nor vitality.

This is exactly right. We live in a cut-flower culture. We live in a culture that is living off of the exhaust of the fumes that are left in the tank from millennia of Christian civilization, and before that, Judaic civilization.

As we have cut ourselves off from those roots, we are flowers that are still in the vase, but the flowers are withering.

And they are withering quite quickly.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  The West Is Becoming A Cut-Flower Culture As Its Principles Wither Away