The new tolerance

Calling all university lecturers – it appears that you must now be careful who you quote in your lectures.

It would seem that simply for quoting the words of a 14th Century Christian Emperor the Pope is in big trouble. According to the BBC his remarks have “angered clerics and commentators around the Muslim world”.

By a parallel process would a history lecturer quoting from a speech made by Hitler cause similar offence to the Jewish community?

Obviously the Pope is a high-profile public figure, but it is clear that his remarks were made in the context of a university lecture. Furthermore if you take the trouble to read the lecture [you can download his full lecture here] it is clear that the main thrust of his argument is to do with the link between faith and reason. If it was critical of anything, it was a critique of modern reason not an attack on other faiths.

It is no wonder that many commentators are nervous about passing laws relating to Religious Freedom. We seem to be heading towards a place where our only freedom is to say nothing lest we inadvertently offend someone.

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