Bill Muehlenberg

Censorship and the Secular Left

Liberal or leftist secularism is the reigning ideology amongst our Western intelligentsia and elites. It certainly has a stranglehold on our educational system. It can be very difficult to get in alternative points of view. Most attempts to penetrate this ideological hegemony are usually met with stiff opposition, animosity, and censorship.

In 2007 Jonah Goldberg penned an important volume entitled Liberal Fascism. In it he sought to document – in nearly 500 pages – the totalitarian tendencies of the left. I here offer just one paragraph from the book. It sets the tone for the rest of the work:

“Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy. I will argue that contemporary American liberalism embodies all of these aspects of fascism.”

Readers are encouraged to get a copy of this book and read for themselves the case which Goldberg makes. Here however I simply wish to highlight two recent examples of this liberal fascism. Both took place in North America and both illustrate how censorship and hostility tend to be the ways in which the secular left responds to opposing points of view.

The first example concerns a student at Los Angeles Community College. Late last year the student attempted to give a speech about marriage in a speech class. He sought to defend heterosexual marriage, and he mentioned briefly his own Christian faith. This was simply too much for his liberal, secular professor.

When the student, Jonathan Lopez was in the middle of his speech, reading the dictionary definition of marriage and reciting several Bible verses, his enraged professor, John Matteson, interrupted his speech, calling Lopez a "fascist". He was not allowed to finish his presentation.

The professor told the other students they could leave if they were offended. When no one left, he dismissed the class.  Matteson refused to grade the student’s assigned speech, and he wrote on Lopez’s evaluation, "Ask God what your grade is."

Fortunately this outrageous case of liberal intolerance and fascism did not go unchallenged. The Alliance Defense Fund has just sued the Los Angeles Community College District. I will keep readers posted on how this case develops.

The second example has to do with a 12-year-old Toronto school girl. This case also involves a speech and liberal intolerance. Her five minute speech was on abortion, presenting the pro-life case. It was part of a school competition. LifeSiteNews picks up the story here:

“At the schoolwide competition, the mom said one pro-choice teacher on the judge’s panel ‘didn’t even want to hear’ the speech, and stepped down from the panel before Lia began.  After the speech, which Lia’s family said was well-received by both students and teachers, the judges initially told Lia she had indeed been disqualified.  But controversy among the judges eventually led to a reversal, and Lia’s family learned the next day that the panel agreed the girl deserved to win the competition.”

The parents volunteered to step down, given the big stink that ensued, but her teacher insisted that she remain in the competition. Thus the story has ended with a happy outcome. But there is more to the story. The speech was such a powerful and moving affair, that is has been posted on Youtube and seen 120,000 times.

But more secular left ugliness has marred this presentation as well. Comments to the speech – numbering over 400 – have had to be stopped, because of ugly hate-filled comments and threats to Lia. Youtube has had to apologise but it insists that no new comments can be posted, given the negative reaction.

Some commentators snidely suggested that Lia’s mother forced her to give the speech. Not so. She wanted Lia to pick another topic. “But she was just really passionate about it, and she has her research on it," said the mother.  "I really believe it’s just something that God put in her heart." 

The good news is, people can still see the inspiring speech on Youtube.

These are just two examples of how illiberal many Western liberals really are. Thousands more such examples have been documented over recent years. Everyday new examples come to light. This is the nature of liberal fascism which Goldberg warns about. And the problem is, it will only get worse, unless concerned citizens start to stand up and be counted.

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