The calls for me to be killed this week prove the bedrock values of our society are in grave danger
By Melanie Phillips
Last updated at 1:42 PM on 1st February 2011
One week ago, I suggested on this page that some gay people were in danger of turning into the new McCarthyites by demonising and attempting to silence all who disagreed with the gay rights agenda.
Given the point I was making, it followed that I was expecting a reaction which would amply bear out the truth of what I had written. The response, however, exceeded even my expectations.
For during the past seven days, I have been subjected to an extraordinarily vicious outpouring of hate and incitement to violence, via email, the internet and in the mainstream media, and much worse besides.
In my article, I expressed concern that attempting to bar a Christian GP from the government’s advisory council on drugs because of his views on homosexuality, bombarding the school curriculum with irrelevant gay references, and prosecuting Christian hoteliers for refusing to accommodate gay men in the same bedroom were examples of a frightening intolerance.
The response to this warning against an attempt by the gay lobby to silence dissent? An eruption of tweets on Twitter suggesting that I should be killed. Yes, really.
Apologies if the hideous and obscene language shocks some readers, but examples of such tweets included: ‘Someone just kill Melanie
- MELANIE PHILLIPS: Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites
And emails to me included such epithets as ‘vile, poisonous, horrible old woman’, and ‘people like you should be silenced as you insight (sic) bigotry and fear. Go and suck a tail pipe, get cancer, GET RAN OVER BY A TRAIN. I hope your ******* house burns down’.
All this because, having acknowledged the legitimacy of trying to protect gay people from true prejudice and discrimination, I suggested that Christians should not face discrimination against their beliefs!
If the gay lobby had set about trying to prove my point, it could hardly have done a better job. Indeed, the total inability of those who subjected me to such abuse to realise that they are, in fact, spewing out the very hatred, intolerance and incitement to violence of which they are accusing others would be hilarious were it not so terrifying.
For this is nothing less than a totalitarian mindset which turns truth, justice and rationality inside out. In the Independent, gay columnist Johann Hari furiously demanded why I thought it was ‘wrong to protect gay children’ from bullying. Eh? What on earth was he talking about?
What I actually wrote about was the grossly inappropriate flooding of school subjects such as maths or science with irrelevant gay references. Yet he accused me, in effect, not only of being indifferent to the bullying of gay children but of fomenting attitudes which cause them to be bullied.
But there is nothing to suggest that anything I have ever written has had anything to do with the victimisation of a gay child — let alone other supposed crimes Hari hurled my way (if he’d had a kitchen sink to hand, doubtless he’d have hurled that, too).
If anything incites hatred, this vicious attack is surely it — a graphic advertisement of the totalitarianism of which I was warning. For such libellous and Orwellian distortions help create the witch-hunt atmosphere (indeed, in several messages I was actually called a ‘witch’) that leads directly to the open incitement to violence and murder on such appalling display during the past week.
The key distinction I have always made is between gay people — against whom I have no harsh feelings — and the gay political agenda. (And I seem to recall that once upon a time Hari himself paid tribute to me for making just such a distinction.)
I am firmly against all bullying and prejudice. It has always seemed to me quite wrong that people should become targets of prejudice or discrimination on account of their private sexual behaviour.
After all, it is the essence of a liberal society that people can behave as they wish in private — so long as others are not hurt by it. The key word, however, is ‘private’. And the problem with the gay agenda, it has always seemed to me, is that it has sought instead to commandeer the public sphere by dictating a profound change in the moral norms of our society — indeed, to destroy the very idea of moral norms at all.
It is this view that has produced the foaming hysteria. ‘How dare you say we are trying to destroy the idea that heterosexuality is normal — of course, gays are just as normal,’ goes the cry.
But, of course, once again they are merely making my point for me. What they also fail to acknowledge is that I have exactly the same concern about other aspects of ‘victim culture’, such as family lifestyle choices, multiculturalism or militant feminism.
Whether it is dealing with lone parents, women or gays, ‘victim culture’ holds that all these groups are entitled to exactly the same outcomes in life — children, promotion, equal pay or marriage benefits — as anyone else, regardless of the fact that their circumstances may be very different.
Because this thinking starts from the premise that such groups are the victims of those with power — whether these are men or heterosexuals — their members are therefore deemed to do no wrong, while the so-called ‘victimisers’ can do no right.
By definition, therefore, victim culture and the ‘rights agenda’ that fuels it turns truth and lies, victim and aggressor, fairness and injustice upside down.
To oppose the gay rights agenda no more means that one is anti-gay than to oppose multiculturalism or extreme feminism means one is anti-black or anti-woman.
What really alarms me, and the reason why I bang on about the dangers of these different rights agendas, is that they are eroding the bedrock values that underpin our free, tolerant and liberal society.
By overturning moral norms and hijacking language in this way, they are hollowing out our culture.
More frightening still, as has been so graphically demonstrated by the reaction to my article, they are also rendering people increasingly incapable of rational thought.
And that makes our society intensely vulnerable to the radical Islamists whose inroads, for very similar reasons, we are also not allowed to discuss without being tarred and feathered as ‘Islamophobes’.
But here’s the really awful irony in all this. Gay people are dreadfully persecuted under fundamentalist Islam, which dictates that they should be killed.
Arguably more than any other British journalist, I have repeatedly warned against the lethal threat that radical Islam poses to the life and liberty of gay people, among many others.
The tragic fact is that, through their undermining of the moral codes of Western society, the gay lobby is making it more likely that this society will not have the wherewithal to defend itself against Islamisation — and if that becomes the case, the likes of Hari and the Twitter mob would finally understand what true anti-gay bigotry looks like.
Gratifyingly, I also received in the past week many messages of support. Clearly, there remain millions of tolerant folk who have not severed their links with reality — and who are sickened by having their fair-mindedness thrown in their own faces as ‘bigotry’.
Well, I have news for the bullies of the victim culture. Their attempts to silence those who defend truth, justice and decency will not succeed.
The more they attempt to do so, the more they open everyone else’s eyes to what they actually are — the West’s new cultural totalitarians.