The following video shows the intervention read by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, at OSCE Warsaw on September 15, 2017, during Session 8, “Tolerance and non-discrimination II”.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:
Below is the prepared text for ESW’s intervention:
Don’t let ‘Intolerance’ infringe on our fundamental freedoms!
Pax Europa fully aligns itself with the statement made my Alliance Defending Freedom International.
One of the definitions of tolerance used today is “allowing others the opportunity to think and believe what they are told to think and believe.”
It is a perversion of tolerance when it is used as an excuse for censoring views which are deemed offensive. True tolerance means allowing anybody to express their views, however disagreeable — and being free to tell them what you think of them. For advocates of true tolerance, the solution is never censorship, but ideological combat.
Today, should anyone feel he has the license to disagree with the new arbiters if all that is right and good, that person is no longer merely someone with a different opinion. That person is evil and should be banished from polite society, his career ruined, perhaps even have his children taken away. No punishment is too severe for those who disagree.
One case in point involves a Sheffield University social work postgraduate student who was expelled from his course for posting on his Facebook page that homosexual activity is against the teaching of the Bible.
He was brought before a disciplinary board at the University after a fellow student reported the post. The “Fitness to Practise Committee” told him, after a hearing, that he had been “excluded from further study on a programme leading to a professional qualification” and was “no longer recognised as a University student.” This was because, as a result of his Facebook comments, he “may have caused offence to some individuals” and “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the Social Work profession.”
The answer to being assaulted by bad words is not to end speech or to lock up the speaker. It is more speech. In the age of phony tolerance, we have reached the point where those of us who champion free speech as a fundamental value of our civilization can be accused of “extremism”. If there is one thing we should not tolerate in silence it is the perversion of tolerance into an excuse for more self-defeating censorship.
Freedom of Expression is how people manifest their beliefs and freedom of religion and belief is a hollow platitude without the ability to express those beliefs.
Pax Europa calls on participating States to ensure that citizens are free to exercise these fundamental freedoms without being labeled as intolerant.
Pax Europa recommends to the OSCE that the terms ‘tolerant’ and ‘intolerant’ get precise legal definitions that do not in any way infringe on our fundamental freedoms.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.