Sunday, July 16, 2006


There seems to be some confusion in the minds of many Christians in the west about what exactly democracy is. A confusion that has led them to threaten the very nature of democracy itself.

Hand in hand with democarcy is the concept of free speech. Without the open exchange of ideas and the value of debating competing ideologies democracy simply does not work. In my opinion all ideas have a right to be heard in a democracy. Not only heard but debated and vigoursly criticised, adapted and defended.

The hallmark of a free society is the right of citizens to hold differing views. Having said that this does not protect any view from criticism and condemnation. There was a time not so long ago when western democracies clearly held racist views, whilst some may still hold those views the overwhelming number of citizens have supported the enactment of laws to prevent racism.

The press plays a vital role in informing citizens of differing viewpoints. Again however whilst press reports should consider a variety of views they must in the end reach a conclusion. Remembering that any view not covered in one report, can easily be presented in another or in a different publication.

A democracy does not offer to protect your views from criticism or intellectual attack, it offers a vital marketplace of ideas with rigorus debate. If you don't want your views discussed keep them to yourself in private and enjoy the freedom to hold your own views religious or otherwise. This is the other grest offering of democracy.


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