The rainbow battering ram against freedom
No basic freedom is given once and for all. The gender and LGBT ideology is just another attempt to invent an emotional lockpick to weaken the guarantees of rights and freedoms, subjecting them to the dictates of political correctness
Mr. Peter and Mrs. Hazelmary Bull spent almost 30 years running a small guesthouse in Cornwall, with a stunning view of the bay and the island of St. Michael’s Mount. The guesthouse catered to Christians, and combined hotel services with community Bible reading and prayer. Not surprisingly, therefore, married rooms were not made available to informal couples, who could easily find a cozy spot in one of the dozens of other guesthouses around picturesque Marazion. The Bulls’ idyll came to an end in 2008 when a gay couple demanded to rent a marriage suite, refusing to check into a room with two separate beds. What followed was a public pillory of shame for the elderly couple. Condemned by almost every media outlet, overwhelmed with lawsuits, stripped of their good name and eventually found guilty of discrimination by the UK Supreme Court, they sold their house after six years and gave up their dream job. Peter Bull died two years later.
The Bulls’ story is a perfect example of the tactics used by LGBT activists to deform classic liberal rights and freedoms and replace them with an oppressive system of political correctness. Opposed to guarantees of personal independence, the right to political participation and to property, is the right of the individual to satisfy any whim – as long as they fit within the binding paradigm of “progress and modernity.”
American conservative doctrine calls this trend “expressive individualism.” Its basic error is to see the essence of humanity in the unfettered possibility of self-realization, regardless of natural social, cultural, and even biological limitations. Freedom to fulfill individual whims is given precedence over the freedom and rights of others. In contrast, the state is supposed to be the guarantor of the realization of personal choices. If I want to become a doctor, no university can cross me off the list of students. If I abhor work, I deserve a basic income. If I want to steal, then theft should be allowed and the police should abandon prosecution. If I want to be a woman, I am to be provided with appropriate treatments and therapies, and above all, everyone is to address me with the appropriate pronoun and accept that I have undergone a gender change. Those who do not understand this should be subjected to appropriate criminal repression.
Sound familiar? This is a brutal implementation of the assumptions of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School, postulating the destruction of all institutions and culture itself in order to liberate the individual from social structures that condemn man from childhood to reproduce patterns of enslavement. Exactly these demands, laced with accusations of systemic racism, recently resounded in a coherent package during the “Black Lives Matter” street riots in the US. The whole process of transition from human rights affirming natural law to human rights rejecting human nature in the name of satisfying the arbitrary fantasies of the individual is perfectly described by Grégor Puppinck in “Human Rights Distorted,” recently translated and published in Polish [Original title: Les droits de l’homme denature].
On the topic of the Frankfurt School and the destruction of culture, it is also worth drawing attention to Herbert Marcuse’s “repressive tolerance,” who explicitly defined it as “intolerance towards right-wing movements, and tolerance towards left-wing movements.” In order to more easily justify the repression of the spokesmen of the old order, the process of degeneration of human rights equips movements close to the radical left and their representatives – including mainly LGBT activists – with the power of unlimited creation of new human rights. They are supported in this by the powerful capital that invests in LGBT ideology as a vehicle for consumption, as well as by the entire, international network of NGOs, UN agencies, and committees for which the new ideology is a justification for development. With the help of new human rights, freedom of speech is being destroyed because it threatens the well-being of men who feel they are women. Academic freedom and science are collapsing under the blows of the same ideology, which must submit to political correctness and silence the biological truth about “who is a woman.”
Finally, no revolution has been victorious without the violation of property rights and the harnessing – voluntarily or coercively – of private property to implement ideological concepts at every level of social life. This is why such a powerful attack by the LGBT lobby has targeted entrepreneurs, from confectioners and hoteliers to pressmen, sports club owners, and newspaper publishers. Those who do not bow to the new ideology are not worthy to exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms.
The Bulls verdict is just the tip of the iceberg. The criminal proceedings conducted against Rev. Prof. Dariusz Oko and Rev. Prof. Johannes Stöhr should be treated in the same way. The two academic priests were responsible for publishing an article in the scholarly journal Theologisches that expressed criticism of the homosexual clique covering up for pedophiles within the ranks of the Catholic clergy. Although the article helped provide a diagnosis important for crime prevention and invoked similar assessments made by Benedict XVI and cardinals, the German prosecutor’s office considered it hate speech against homosexuals as a collective. Had it not been for the Polish legal intervention led by Ordo Iuris, the case might have ended in a conviction. And even so, in view of the awareness of the ideological viciousness of the German judiciary, the case managed to end with a mere settlement with the accuser. There are endless similar examples.
For now, Poland is taking a different path. Firmly rooted in the European cultural heritage, the Constitutional Tribunal’s jurisprudence has built a double wall against ideologies invading fundamental rights and freedoms over the years. In the first section, the freedom of entrepreneurs is protected by freedom of contract, and in the second, the doctrine of freedom of conscience and the related institution of the conscience clause, developed with particular pietism. Ahead of us is the construction of the third bulwark, consisting of specific statutory regulations.
The first line of defense of freedom was forged in the dispute over the right of a Lodz pressman to refuse an order from a client. In doing so, the entrepreneur’s freedom to shape his client portfolio was attacked by an unusually characteristic alliance of old and new Marxism. Co-opted LGBT activists and then-Ombudsman Adam Bodnar reached for a provision of the Misdemeanor Code from the days of deep communist Poland and the non-market economy, which forbade the refusal of services without a legitimate reason. After a court battle lasting several years, the pressman who refused to produce promotional materials for an LGBT organization was acquitted. However, this only became possible when, at the request of the Prosecutor General, the Constitutional Tribunal repealed the communist provision and reaffirmed the market principle of freedom of selection of contractors. Today, there is no longer any doubt that the first line of defense against the “new laws” created by LGBT ideologues is the classic freedom to refuse to print pamphlets and manifestos, to refuse to rent meeting rooms or to grant air time. In Poland, Mr. and Mrs. Bull could still run their guesthouse for a long time.
The second line of protective walls against ideologies is conscientious objection, carefully refined in Europe as a response to the nightmare of Nazi “statutory lawlessness.” Thus, it so happens that since the dawn of time, the “conscience clause” has served to oppose an ideology that, in the name of an irrational vision of man, wants to use the force of legal coercion to force an individual into moral evil. Thanks to the system of human rights and the priority of freedom of conscience, an individual subjected to such ideological pressure can appeal to the supreme authority of human rights and refuse to participate in a legally permitted or even mandated crime.
Contrary to the allegations of the radical left, conscience is neither a whim nor a subjective feeling under the law. Nor is it arbitrary. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights linked freedom of conscience to human dignity and reason in its very first article. Conscience, deeply rooted in European Christian philosophy and theology, remains a cognitive function of reason. As the Constitutional Tribunal emphasized in 2015, conscience is “the ability to intellectually evaluate one’s own acts as either good or bad.” The concept of conscience is thus a challenge thrown to modern relativism. Like the preamble to the Polish Constitution, it affirms the existence of truth, justice, goodness, and beauty. A well, rationally formed conscience correctly identifies moral evil and allows it to be avoided. Freedom of conscience understood in this way is confirmed by the entire history of human rights development and the unequivocal provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Understood in this way, freedom of conscience and the right to resist injustice is a distinctive and unique feature of the legal culture of European civilization. As early as the 15th century, the famous Polish jurist Pawel Wlodkowic stressed that a knight should refuse to participate in an unjust war. After World War II, the Nuremberg Tribunal rejected the principle of “blind bayonets” when defenders of German war criminals demanded exclusion of responsibility for acts in accordance with the laws of the Third Reich and the orders of commanders. In the post-war years, the principle of law proclaiming that a legal norm that blatantly violates the moral law is not valid, constituting “statutory lawlessness” was widely accepted. In the acceptance of this principle, the European legal tradition sees protection against the return of totalitarian ideologies that would like to reign over human consciences.
A firm confirmation of the role of conscientious objection in the Polish legal order is the October 2015 judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in a case brought by the Supreme Chamber of Physicians. The Court, ruling in its full and as yet unchallenged composition, not only strengthened the medical conscience clause, but also confirmed that everyone has the right to it. Regardless of one’s profession, form of employment or activity.
Of course, conscientious objection comes into play only when an already incumbent duty would lead to an unequivocal moral wrong. A teacher who would be obliged by a sex education program to show vulgar pornography to children. A corporate employee who was ordered to appear on the company platform during an LGBT Parade. A furniture salesman whose employer calls it a duty to come out in active affirmation of the same-sex couples he encounters at work. A pharmacist who is ordered by his employer to dispense early-abortifacients. A cab driver who is delegated to drive customers of an escort agency. A doctor who, to the best of his knowledge, cannot give a patient a substance that will do more harm than good.
FREEDOM MUST BE CONSTANTLY ACQUIRED
We have before us the serious task of erecting a third layer of walls of defense, which will be the legislative actions of the government and Parliament, strengthening the guarantees of freedom against specific threats from irrational ideologies. The first of these important areas was the 2021 law ruling out disciplinary proceedings against academics expressing religious, worldview, or philosophical beliefs. One of the first beneficiaries of the change was Professor Ewa Budzynska, previously convicted at the University of Silesia in an extremely controversial disciplinary proceeding for her lecture on the origins of the institution of the family in European culture. Her unequivocal innocence as well as her scholarly and didactic achievements were no obstacle to subjecting her to a show-cause exclusion in close collaboration between a radical group of students and the university staff who inspired them. Exactly along the lines of Marxist revolts or contemporary “cancel culture” practices. Thanks to the change in the law, not only Prof. Ewa Budzynska, but also all other scientists can enjoy real freedom.
However, none of the three shanties will offer protection if those concerned themselves – employees, entrepreneurs, scientists, and doctors – do not have sufficient knowledge of their rights and effective means of protecting them. Providing this knowledge, along with practical examples and even specific model letters, is the recently released guidebook of the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture “Freedom of Speech, Conscience, and Religion in the Workplace.”
None of the fundamental freedoms is given once and for all. The gender and LGBT ideologies are just another attempt to invent an emotional pickpocket with which to weaken the guarantees of rights and freedoms, subjecting them to the dictates of political correctness. By building more strongholds against the influence of LGBT ideology, we are strengthening democracy and the rule of law, securing true freedom also for those who today serve totalistic ideologies. We are discovering the meaning of the universal words spoken by Pope John Paul II to the pilgrims from Belarus, “freedom cannot only be possessed, but must be constantly acquired, created.”
This article was published in March 2023 in “Do Rzeczy” magazine