Thanks for the honesty, anyway

French socialists — still pretty weird:

A French cabinet member announced that the government will monitor certain groups for “religious pathology,” including a traditionalist Catholic organization, and will shut them down if it is discovered.

“The objective is to identify when it’s suitable to intervene to treat what has become a religious pathology,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls told a conference on the official policy of secularism, according to Reuters.

“The aim is not to combat opinions by force, but to detect and understand when an opinion turns into a potentially violent and criminal excess,” he said at the Dec. 11 conference.

Valls’ remarks come in the wake of President Francois Hollande’s announcement Dec. 9 that he would create the “National Observatory of Secularism” to promote France’s policy and to “formulate propositions for the transmission of ‘public morality,’ giving it a dignified place in schools.”

According to Reuters, Valls offered radicals Islamists, traditionalist Catholics, and ultra-orthodox Jews “who want to live separately from the modern world” as examples of religious extremists.

My favorite part:

“Secularism is not about simple tolerance … it is a set of values that we have to share.”

If only someone had warned us years ago!

19 thoughts on “Thanks for the honesty, anyway

  1. It’s funny how when conservatives and reactionaries raise concerns about liberalism’s cause du jour, they liberals always say “We would never make you do that” and then 10 years later they say “We have to make you do that.”

    • I know. The smarter ones know it too. I just find it frustrating when the dumb ones get all upset when we call out their lies. “it’s not true, it’s not true” they say… when EVERY PREVIOUS LIBERAL CAUSE DID THE SAME THING..


      • I like it when a leftist has to patiently explain to the stupider one that deconstructionism is only something that you use against the enemies of the left, not against fellow leftists.

    • I just assume they’re all lying all the time. I save my limited shocked emotions to the times they tell the truth. Yes, they’ll even tell the truth if it advances their cause.

  2. These people aren’t actually liberals. They’re leftists. I wish we would stop dignifying the left by associating them with anything other than totalitarianism.

    But, as for the article: Nothing to see here. Move along now, folks.

  3. To be honest, I expect the “Observatory of Secularism*” will spend most of its time keeping track of Muslims, but they will have to harass Catholics at the same time to forestall charges of prejudice. What I find most interesting, though, is the reminder of how one becomes an “extremist” in our left-trending world. One simply stands still. If everyone else “progresses” into the world of casual abortions, ubiquitous pornography, carnage as entertainment, normalized perversion, shattered families, etc, but you stand still, it won’t be long before you are the eccentric. What we can learn from this, I think, is that there is only one “secular value,” and that is to maintain statistically normal attitudes no matter where public opinion goes.

    * Those of you familiar with leftist thought will remember Michele Foucault’s notion of the “panopticon,” a terrible reactionary device. Wonderful irony here.

      • Bentham coined the term, yes. He thought the panopticon was a good idea. Foucault thought it was a bad idea–unavoidable, but bad.

      • He thought it could be prevented through some as yet unknown method, but he never got there.

        Foucault could have been a great reactionary, if he hadn’t been an atheistic leftist.

    • Those of you familiar with leftist thought will remember Michele Foucault’s notion of the “panopticon,” a terrible reactionary device. Wonderful irony here.

      There’s no irony here; those Foucault identified most with the growth of Panopticon are precisely those you think of as your enemies (or, rather, since there’s no agency in Foucault’s narrative, the growth of Panopticon is linked to the growth of your enemies’ triumph more generally.) The original, unironic Panopticon proposal from which Foucault took the term was by Jeremy Bentham, perhaps a “reactionary” as we employ the term but hardly as you do.

      • I wouldn’t call utilitarians reactionaries. We reactionaries are into absolute values. Utilitarians like Bentham are all about haaaapyness.

  4. “Valls offered radicals Islamists, traditionalist Catholics, and ultra-orthodox Jews “who want to live separately from the modern world” as examples of religious extremists.”

    Hmmmm, sounds like Orthosphere readers will make the list!

    A very clear statement of the aggressive, relentless nature of PC ideology.

    How long before any form of “cultural secession” will be regarded as extremism and suitable grounds for government surveillance in the USA?

  5. Anne Morelli, a Belgian far-left atheist and historian, has written about the “cult of the anti-cultists”, where she states basically that we must look beyond the distinction of legal and restricted religions and explained that Catholic monasteries can be compared with totalitarian cults, that both religions and cults control the sexuality of members, and that today’s legal limits on some religions are unfair. She also said that the word “religion” is accorded respect, while the word “cult” (in Fr. “secte”) is seen negative, but that all this is prejudice.She concluded one of her works by declaring that she doesn’t see why a religion wouldn’t be the same as a cult, and pleaded for full religious tolerance.

    In the context of France, there too is a separation of religions vs. cults, at least culturally if not legally.

    For those interested: (in French). The website also talks about “spiritual minorities”, and that they are the manifestation of what’s natural in man.

  6. There is nothing wrong per se in what the French State is attempting. It is an illiberal step but it is our Enlightenment heritage that sees it objectionable and indeed beyond the pale.

    See GK Chesterton’s The Man who was Thursday–“it is the Scientists and the Artists who are the greatest criminals of the day. ”
    And it is the job of the Police to root out heresy before it breaks out in crime, murder and revolution.

    Why should we join Libertarians in tying ourselves to the non-aggression principle. They invented this principle to save themselves, why should we help them?


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