Let’s do what we can today to neutralize the Twitter campaign of hatred which has been going on under the tag of #philippastroud. I think that most reasonable people of all political persuasions find dogmatism, hatred and prejudice totally unacceptable. The truth is, however, that tolerance must work both ways. Irrespective of the facts of this case, which have clearly been disputed by Philippa, it seems very clear that there has been an incredible outpouring of hatred and intolerance towards her. In my view, this has happened purely because she is a Christian. How ironic that increasingly the Christian is treated as the new homosexual in UK society. We are now the ones on the receiving end of such abuse that all decent people should agree should not be hurled at anyone. We are the ones seen as a minority that can be readily oppressed. We must stand up for a truly tolerant society.
It is good to see that some people online who are not Christians, not conservatives, and some who are themselves homosexual, have stood up for Philippa. More decent tolerant people should do so today. It is not just the liberal hatchet people who can tweet. Let’s fill Twitter with posts supporting her today. I have not spoken with Philippa since all this began, but I am sure that her and her team would appreciate such support.
I am really glad that both William Hague and David Cameron have supported my friend in her continued candidacy as a prospective MP tomorrow. I have been shocked by the rabid hatred that has been poured out towards her over the last couple of days in some sections of the press, and on twitter (including by some apparently official Labour Twitter sources). Certain allegations were made, a statement was made in reply, but that just does not seem to be the end of it.
There are forces at work in our nation that would like to hound all committed Christians out of public life, irrespective of the facts about an individual’s views on any matters, or their suitability for a given role. I strongly believe that as we vote we should make a stand tomorrow for the right to continue to live in a country where the Christian, the Muslim, the atheist, and the homosexual, and people of other creeds and convictions are free from persecution, discrimination, and hatred. I genuinely believe in equality.
Imagine the outrage if a Christian was to argue that an atheist should not be allowed to stand for parliament? Yet that is exactly in reverse the root of much of the anger we have seen. I fully support a secular state that does not interfere in the private beliefs nor the actions behind closed doors between consenting adults of it’s citizens. But such an absence of interference must continue to be applied to all groups. Why should a Christian increasingly feel afraid of “coming out” for fear of losing their job, or of unleashing the forces of the rabid press or twitterati against them? The vast majority of Christians I know do not hate other groups of people. Far from that, many of them, like Philippa herself, spend their lives on behalf of others who are less advantaged. Why should a woman who has spent 20 years helping the poor become the victim of such a vicious campaign?
I somehow suspect that a vote for Philippa Stroud tomorrow, indeed a vote for any Conservative, is a vote for a truly tolerant nation. A vote for a nation where no one group is allowed to trample over and abuse another. A vote for a nation where you do not have to be afraid that if someone discovers your private religious or political beliefs, or indeed your sexual orientation, you will become the latest victim of what is rapidly becoming a police state. A vote for true freedom and respect of one another. I have my beliefs. I categorically do NOT want them to be imposed on anybody. I do not want anybody to impose their beliefs on me either.
As I showed in a series of posts, we can expect more of this aggressive secularization of our country and intolerance of Christians from a renewed Labour government. Although many decent Labour supporters would disagree with such an action, Labour have made a manifesto commitment to remove a certain free speech provision, which could make any kind of speaking about sexual morality illegal. We can expect much more of this kind of thinking in the future under the new “illiberal liberals.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.