The Observatory on Theocracy

Sigmund keeps an eye on the Iona Institute, and he alerted me to its report on a report by a Christian panic-group about “attacks on Christians.” The report on the report is indeed risible.

Christians are the victims in 85pc of ‘hate crimes’ in Europe according to a new report published yesterday.

The report, published by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe, a European body established to record instances of anti-Christian bias, provides a series of examples of attacks on Christians in 2011.

Spoiler alert: the “attacks” are not “attacks.”

Among the examples cited in the report were:

  • In Spain, students were prevented from attending weekly Mass on a Wednesday because of a protest by secular students until the university could guarantee the safety of the Mass-going students
  • In Germany, a mother of 12 children, Irene Wiens, was jailed for 43 days for refusing to enroll her children in a State-run sex education class which she deemed to be too permissive
  • In the UK, a Conservative MP, Mike Weatherley, has called for a ban on marriages in Christian churches if they continue to refuse to perform same-sex marriages
  • In Jersey, postal workers refused to distribute CD copies of St Mark’s Gospel after deeming it offensive material
  • In Spain, a Catholic GP was forced to refer women for abortions by a court in Malaga
  • New guidelines in the Netherlands say that doctors who have ethical objections to euthanasia must refer patients to doctors who will carry out euthanasia

It’s a very theocratic mind that sees any of that as “attacks on Christians.”  It’s a very theocratic mind that pretends to see any of that as “attacks on Christians” for the purposes of bullying secularists.

Launching the report, Dr Gudrun Kugler, the director of the Observatory, referred to research showing that “85pc of hate crimes in Europe are directed against Christians”…She said that her organisation had also noticed increasing examples of professionial restrictions for Christians: “a restrictive application of freedom of conscience leads to professions such as magistrates, doctors, nurses and midwives as well as pharmacists”.

See? Theocratic. Dr Kugler thinks magistrates, doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists should be able to refuse to do their jobs on religious grounds, while sane people think that people shouldn’t take jobs they’re going to refuse to do on religious grounds.


  1. lordshipmayhem says

    Of course they can refuse to do their jobs under religious grounds. There’s an easy way to do so: Quit, and get another job doing something that doesn’t offend their religious sensibilities.

    They shouldn’t have a problem being a tail gunner on a garbage truck, for example.

  2. says

    But God has both called them to do those jobs, and forbidden components of the work. So their refusal to comply with the bothersome earthly job requirements is simply a case of them honouring God’s authority instead of man’s.

  3. Robert B. says

    It seems the Jersey postal workers were also refusing to do their jobs on religious grounds. Unless England (this is old Jersey, not New Jersey, yes?) has a law against mass-mailing religious propaganda or something. And I’m troubled by the thing in Spain. It might be overblown (“Oh, no, look! Atheists! Surely they will kill us all! Help, help!”) but if a secular demonstration is threatening people who are trying to walk to church, that is in fact an attack or the next best thing.

    But the Weatherley thing – if Christianity wants to make itself the state religion, and then tries to complain that the government is interfering with religion, I have no sympathy at all. Rather, I will point and laugh, like this: ⟨nelsonmuntz⟩HA HA!⟨/nelsonmuntz⟩ And the rest are just people thinking God makes them immune to the law. Making Christians follow the same rules as everyone else is the exact opposite of “bias.”

    And it’s not like atheists (and other religions, for that matter) aren’t getting attacked, and “attacked,” right back. Seems like they went out looking for attacks on Christians to report, and by God they were going to find them or else. Typical religious epistemology, picking evidence that fits (or can be claimed to fit) the orthodox conclusion rather than the reverse.

  4. Brigadista says

    Those US Republicans seem to love quoting made-up European statistics. Here’s Santorum lying about euthanasia in the Netherlands:

    See what he did there? Leaping nimbly between Euthanasia to abortion to Obamacare. You’re all going to end up being sent to camps like the ones run by those commie pinkos throughout Europe, just you wait and see!

  5. Robert B. says

    @ Brigadista:

    You mean the ones where they chop off your balls because getting raped by a priest makes you gay?

    Catholics don’t get to complain about medical ethics this week.

  6. Stewart says

    “… sane people think that people shouldn’t take jobs they’re going to refuse to do on religious grounds.”

    And there isn’t even a theoretical way to be even-handed about this across the board. You’ll never get someone refusing to do their job as an imam, priest or rabbi on the grounds that it conflicts with their atheism. Jobs that are secular are open to all, including those who happen to be religious believers. Jobs of a religious nature are restricted in advance so as to exclude non-line-toers, and this can of course extend as far as relatively unimportant jobs in organisations run by the religious. Wasn’t there just some case in the headlines again about someone being fired from a Catholic-financed job that had nothing directly to do with religion because she got divorced?

  7. Stewart says

    Thanks, Theo. That definitely deserves to be mentioned in this context. I don’t suppose there are similar semi-clandestine support groups for “magistrates, doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists” who continue to do their jobs even though it brings them into conflict with their faith.

    And that is because… it is always the possession of faith (or religious convictions), and never the lack of same, that has trump card status in society.

  8. says

    The whole report, which I have had the misfortune to read, is a tissue of intellectual dishonesty, page after its 32 dreary pages. The excellent post by Ophelia just begins to scratch the surface. So appalled was I that I felt I had to take the whole thing apart lunacy by lunacy – see my blog “”.

    But this shows the level of delusional thinking that these people display which makes one doubt the capacity to have any kind of meaningful dialogue. Sad really.

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