16 April 2010

Bishop Williamson Convicted of "Holocaust Denial"

In further evidence that free speech does not exist, Bishop Williamson of the SSPX was convicted in Germany today of the crime of thinking wrong thoughts.

Like I have said before, regardless of the facts of the underlying subject matter, or of the rectitude or lack of rectitude of his opinion, or the prudence or lack thereof of anyone involved, it is unconscionable to make a person a criminal for having an opinion about an historical event.

Hate crimes laws in this country follow the same diabolical logic. If you think thoughts the regime doesn't like, you get punished.


Guilty until proven innocent.

One might remark this seems worthy of Nazi Germany...

Bishop convicted for denying Holocaust


By VERENA SCHMITT-ROSCHMANN (AP)

BERLIN — A German court convicted ultraconservative British Bishop Richard Williamson on Friday of denying the Holocaust in a television interview.

A court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg found Williamson guilty of incitement for saying in a 2008 interview with Swedish television that he did not believe Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War II.

The court ordered Williamson to pay a fine of euro10,000 ($13,544).

The Roman Catholic bishop was barred by his order from attending Friday's proceedings or making statements to the media.

His lawyer, Matthias Lossmann, told The Associated Press after the court ruling that Williamson has yet to decide whether he would appeal.

Denying the Holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany. [...]

10 comments:

Brandon said...

I think you may be taking this the wrong way, it's not so much that his thoughts have lead to his conviction but a person in a place of power needs to take into account the fact that what he says could have a negative impact on other people. I'm not just talking hurt feelings of those who were killed, I'm talking hatred caused by telling people that millions of people were liars.

He was charged with incitement, which would mean he risked inciting hatred. His followers may well take his comments far to seriously and hurt others over it, that's the issue, not his thoughts themselves.

thetimman said...

Brandon, I disagree, because the speech is the vocal expression of the thoughts. "Inciting hate" is a politically correct way of saying "offending", or "hurting feelings". Nothing more.

To punish anyone for such speech means that the government gets to pick and choose who gets a voice in the public arena. And that is a means of control.

And the charge that his followers may take his words and hurt others is not credible. Show me any SSPX member or layman who has done such a thing in the many long years Williamson has expressed his opinions.

I'll wait.

Alison said...

While I do not believe that the Society of Pius X endorses many of these policies some publications of SSPX have given platform for the people that I will only briefly describe. I am also not endorsing Holocaust denying laws. There are many problems associated with such laws. Still, in response to your question, the Society officials have been warned of the following and not taken any action.

Robert Fiore described as a "pillar of his Parish" is founder or Forza Nuova. Lately, he has discussed training a military for the revolution. Last, I read he was in Hungary along with Gabor Vona and Nick Griffin for the latest election involving the Jobbik Party.
Derek Holland and John Sharpe have founded the International Third Position (ITP) which is a Fascist organization. Mr. Sharpe is promoted by Dr. Peter Chojnowski who teaches at a SSPX school. Hugh Atkins and Thomas Gabriel authored a book called "Modern Wars in Light of Catholic Teaching." This is one sample quote from the book, "This fight is NOT all about abortion,... its all about Jewish hegemony and Zionist world supremacy....Did Our Lady of Fatima not try and warn the world about Russia spreading its errors around the world-the two most lethal errors being Bolshevism and Zionism?"
Thomas Gabriele is a parish coordinator for the SSPX. Mr. Atkins is a Holy Mass attendee there and also has a Christian fraternal organization which he claims is associated with the SSPX.

I've really only given a few names and anyone who wants to find out more can. There could be a "chicken and egg" argument here. Still, if the SSPX wants to gain credibility with Rome, they need to address this.

StGuyFawkes said...

An anthropological survey of cultures primitive and modern shows that every culture erects it's totems and enforces its taboos as a means of social solidarity and survival.

That nation which created the heresy of Nazi blood paganism has decided, after reflecting on the millions of deaths caused by Nazism, that some ideas, or at least one, are too dangerous to allow back into the marketplace of ideas.

Germany, has made Nazism a heresy of a secular kind. The Germans obviously need this kind of law to face themselves and believe they can move on as a people.

Looking at this as a free speech issue misses the point.

Free speech is a liberal luxury which we indulge in until the moment when a truly dangerous set of ideas comes to the brink of actually changing society.

I'm surprised that an orthodox Catholic is so uncomfortable with the idea that some heresies are worth supressing at the cost of dainty ideas like "free speech".

I'm perfectly happy that the Gnostic heresy was suppressed since it taught that humans have no bodies. I'm delighted that Mayan blood sacrifice was supressed since I don't believe in the murder of innocents or abortion.

Why are we so timid about the supression of death dealing idiocies? Aren't we Catholic enough to believe truth matters and that it is a life and death matter?

thetimman said...

StGuy, your comment is an extended non sequitur. Heresy is a term with an exact definition, as you know. A secular government punishing a person's opinion about a question of history is not the same, and not really analogous, to the one Church of Christ addressing heresy.

Mayan blood sacrifice is not the verbal expression of an opinion. Please.

Bishop Williamson's statement of his opinion, however off the mark, did not "deal death". Can we all step away from the ledge here?

But I am glad to know so many people are so glad to jettison dainty freedoms to serve the modern state. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy about the future.

Anonymous said...

I'm horried to see that people are worse than I already think they are with their "PC" thoughts. The branwashing has been a success.

Meanwhile, how many were killed under Stalin? What? No peep about them?

And as for what Allison is trying to allude, perhaps she should look in her own backyard to see what fellow parishioners are up to these days. She may be surprised to find out there are more than a few supporting communist regimes and baby killing, just to mention a couple of things, not to mention a revolution of their own.

For the record, I do not go to the SSPX.

X said...

"Some ideas, or at least one, are too dangerous to allow back into the marketplace of ideas."

Is that you Caiphus?

StGuyFawkes said...

Tim,

Let me see if I can express better what you call my “running non-sequitur.”

What I am saying is this. You are betraying a youthful idealism about the actual life of free speech.

Germany is a modern liberal state. In the absence of right religion governments, like Germany, which enshrine "Separation of Church and State". as a dogma. always end up making catechism lessons out of their national obsessions. That’s something Belloc and Chesterton wrote about repeatedly. The opposite of their politically correct doctrines become much like heresies. Political heresies. .
My point about Williamson is not that he should be punished but that we should not be surprised that liberal atheist state will punish him for his thoughts. This might better be understood by treating it as a matter of anthropology. A survey of primitive and modern societies will prove that ANY society, when at the end of its tether, will defend its central. if ridiculous, beliefs with the passion of a Shaka Zulu. Germany has made "Holocaust Affirmation" and anti-Nazism a winged figure on the top of their totem pole. As a community the central premise of their social contract is the rejection of Hitlerism and “holocaust denial”. So they are going to shake their spear at Bishop Williamson. Shake, shake, shake.

Any nation, or organization when it feels that her central and core beliefs, especially when they are forged in a terrible history, will react in a repressive manner.

I would like you to consider your blog as a micro-polity and ask how many times you have had to suppress a post, not for irreverence, or lack of charity, or vulgarity, but because some core issue which allows your blog to prosper would be threatened if you published another Catholic’s otherwise harmless “opinion”.

You see my point. Freedom of speech is dainty in the burly tumble of the world. Most of us can’t allow it completely even in the close surroundings of amity.
Why the hell do you think the inventor nation of Nazism would do any better.

St. Guy

Alison said...

Anon,

I specifically said that I did not endorse holocaust denying laws. As for anyone else, I think that we can have a talk without getting ascerbic and making assumptions that they are the "speech police." Which by the way, on what I stated above, the question was not asked about the flock where I attend but the question was asked about Bishop Williamson's flock. Quite frankly, I gave a pretty surface description and left it up to anyone who wanted to know where this type of talk could lead or perhaps is leading.

Methodist Jim said...

"Hate crimes laws in this country follow the same diabolical logic. If you think thought the regime doesn't like, you get punished."

I'm on your side on the Williamson case my friend. And, I'm with you on the sentiment about so-called "hate crimes." And if the second sentence that I quote above is true, I'm with you entirely. And you may be. But, I ask, to what law(s) are you referring where anti-regime thoughts get you punished?