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Double standards over Pastor's case

Published 12/01/2016

FOR a freethinker and a humanist, it is truly heartwarming to hear all this effusion of joy at the victory of free speech in the Pastor McConnell case.

Since his acquittal, Christian clergymen and members of the DUP, including Sammy Wilson, have been prominent defenders of this fundamental principle of a pluralist liberal democracy.

I, therefore, look forward in the future to hearing these same voices stoutly defending artists and playwrights who have recently been victims of attempts by DUP members and Christian clergymen to censor their work on similar grounds to the charges levelled at Pastor McConnell.

It is all very well to claim liberty of conscience when it is one of "yours" who is being traduced. But the true test of your commitment to the principle is that you uphold it for those with whom you disagree.

As George Orwell put it: "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

BRIAN MCCLINTON

Editor, Humanism Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

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