The Calls for Me to Be Killed This Week Prove the Bedrock Values of Our Society Are in Grave Danger

Article excerpt

Byline: THE Melanie Phillips COLUMN

ONE week ago, I suggested on this page that some gay people were in danger of turning into the new McCarthyites by demonising and attempting to silence all who disagreed with the gay rights agenda.

Given the point I was making, it followed that I was expecting a reaction which would amply bear out the truth of what I had written. The response, however, exceeded even my expectations.

For during the past seven days, I have been subjected to an extraordinarily vicious outpouring of hate and incitement to violence, via email, the internet and in the mainstream media, and much worse besides.

In my article, I expressed concern that attempting to bar a Christian GP from the government's advisory council on drugs because of his views on homosexuality, bombarding the school curriculum with irrelevant gay references, and prosecuting Christian hoteliers for refusing to accommodate gay men in the same bedroom were examples of a frightening intolerance.

The response to this warning against an attempt by the gay lobby to silence dissent? An eruption of tweets on Twitter suggesting that I should be killed. Yes, really.

Obscene

Apologies if the hideous and obscene language shocks some readers, but examples of such tweets included: 'Someone just kill Melanie Phillips please'; 'your homophobic rant equals that which comes out of a dog's rectum. Kill yourself you ****'; and 'throw her in the Thames'.

And emails to me included such epithets as 'vile, poisonous, horrible old woman', and 'people like you should be silenced as you insight (sic) bigotry and fear. Go and suck a tail pipe, get cancer, GET RAN OVER BY A TRAIN. I hope your ******* house burns down'.

All this because, having acknowledged the legitimacy of trying to protect gay people from true prejudice and discrimination, I suggested that Christians should not face discrimination against their beliefs!

If the gay lobby had set about trying to prove my point, it could hardly have done a better job. Indeed, the total inability of those who subjected me to such abuse to realise that they are, in fact, spewing out the very hatred, intolerance and incitement to violence of which they are accusing others would be hilarious were it not so terrifying.

For this is nothing less than a totalitarian mindset which turns truth, justice and rationality inside out. In the Independent, gay columnist Johann Hari furiously demanded why I thought it was 'wrong to protect gay children' from bullying. Eh? What on earth was he talking about?

What I actually wrote about was the grossly inappropriate flooding of school subjects such as maths or science with irrelevant gay references. Yet he accused me, in effect, not only of being indifferent to the bullying of gay children but of fomenting attitudes which cause them to be bullied.

But there is nothing to suggest that anything I have ever written has had anything to do with the victimisation of a gay child - let alone other supposed crimes Hari hurled my way (if he'd had a kitchen sink to hand, doubtless he'd have hurled that, too).

If anything incites hatred, this vicious attack is surely it - a graphic advertisement of the totalitarianism of which I was warning. For such libellous and Orwellian distortions help create the witch-hunt atmosphere (indeed, in several messages I was actually called a 'witch') that leads directly to the open incitement to violence and murder on such appalling display during the past week.

The key distinction I have always made is between gay people - against whom I have no harsh feelings - and the gay political agenda. (And I seem to recall that once upon a time Hari himself paid tribute to me for making just such a distinction.) I am firmly against all bullying and prejudice. It has always seemed to me quite wrong that people should become targets of prejudice or discrimination on account of their private sexual behaviour. …