Catholic journalist receives torture, death threats for pro-life letter in Liberal Holland

Lifesite news report that Mariska Orbán de Haas,  a Dutch Catholic pro-life journalist, has‘received hundreds of death threats and more than ten threats of torture. Her ‘crime’ against Dutch sensibilities was to write an open letter to pro-abortion parliamentarian Representative Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert.

Lifesite news report:

‘The letter, published on October 27, sparked outrage in the largely liberal, pro-abortion Netherlands.  Orbán soon offered a public apology, but that has not prevented her from receiving an avalanche of angry responses. French journalist Jeanne Smits reports that the letter has generated 350,000 tweets on Twitter, and various sites have created distorted pictures of her face, portraying her as a devil.’

Mariska Orbán had written an open letter to Hennis-Plasschaert because she had called a letter from Bishop Everard de Jong ‘disgusting’ for asking ‘representatives to stop the killing of the unborn in the face of impending budget restrictions, pointing out that defunding “bloody abortion clinics” would save money and help preserve future generations who could care for the elderly.’ Along with the letter the Bishop had also sent a plastic model of a fetal humanbeing.

Orbán wrote to the representive publicly, pointing out that both she and Hennis-Plasschaert have experienced the suffering of miscarriages, and that the fetal model she received from Bishop De Jong would resemble their lost children at the time of their deaths.

“In that light,” asked Orbán, “is it not ‘disgusting’ that our society permits us to abort more than thirty thousand babies in the Netherlands every year?” She noted that children who die by abortion are “exactly the same as the mysterious little lives that we expectantly carried within us.”

Mariska Orbán observes:’

“I’ve previously pushed the boundaries as a journalist, in various subjects, but I’ve never had this kind of reaction. If you write something about the Catholic faith, then people react so very strongly. I hear many liberals say that free speech is so important, but if you have Catholic views it’s obviously different.’

Protect the Pope comment:  Just as Pope Benedict is shouted down and receives death threats, other  Catholics who do likewise receive the same treatment at the hands of some extreme liberal secularists. The same rules of tolerance and free speech afforded to other religious and advocacy groups are often not extended to Catholics.

Why is this? Protect the Pope is convinced that its due to the fact that Pope Benedict and other Catholics fearlessly speak openly about a truth that is unacceptable to liberal secularists – pre-born children are human beings and are being murdered by abortion.

Mariska Orbán broke the secular taboo and as a result has been outrageously vilified on Face Book by 35,000 people, and appallingly received 100′s of death threats and even threats of torture. During the run up to Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK Catholics in this country saw the same intolerant face of extreme secularism from groups like Protest the Pope.

Protect the Pope supports  Mariska Orbán de Haas’ letter to Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert. If anyone can translate the letter from Dutch to English I’d be most grateful.

http://www.katholieknieuwsblad.nl/archief/Artikelen/2010/10/27/Open_brief_aan_Jeanine_Hennis

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/nov/10111511.html

32 comments to Catholic journalist receives torture, death threats for pro-life letter in Liberal Holland

  • Karla

    This is crazy!!!!!!! The Netherlands is what I call the sin capital of Europe so it it any wonder? What happened to free speech? Shouldn’t the Representative treat the letter with respect, even if she does not agree with it, but to call it disgusting? Someone who has taken the time to write to her? And why should Orban apologize?

    • Tim H

      The Dutch do have a certain unique kind of liberal tolerance, but it isn’t accurate to call it the sin capital of Europe. 30,000 Dutch abortions per year is far fewer than the 195,000 in the UK (2008 figures) even when their lower population is taken into account (16 millions versus 68 million). On many other measures including violent crime, teenage pregnancies and drug use they compare favourably with plenty of other countries including the UK. By some measures the Dutch are more religious than the British and Dutch people with no religion also in my experience tend to be more thoughtful, philosophical and “deeper” than many of their counterparts in the UK. Tolerance does not neccessarily lead to social breakdown.

      • louella

        It depends on what you are tolerant of. If a nations is tolerant of sin…and even equates that which is sinful with that which is virtuous…and call them both mere ‘choices’ of equal value…then that nation will not survive! As it says in the Holy Bible, the wages of sin is death!

        Quite!

        • Tim H

          I am not in any way defending sin, Dutch or otherwise. I am just pointing out that by certain measures the Netherlands is a more civilised and less sinful (and certainly more open and less hypocritical) place than the UK. It is therefore wrong to call it the “sin capital” when at least my some measures the UK deserves the title (motes, beams and all that) or to suggest that a tolerant liberal society is necessarily one in which sin will florish.

          In my limited experience the Netherlands is an example of a society that is simultaniously more tolerant and more liberal than the UK and at the same time, in many places more and more deeply religious. The fact that 27% of the Dutch describe themselves as atheist (cf 18% in UK, Eurobarometer 2005) and yet they have almost half the abortion rate of the UK suggest to me that there is not a straightforward relationship between liberalism, disbelieve, tolerance and sin.

          I am hoping to have a holiday in Leiden next summer, so I’ll let you know if my impressions are born out.

      • Karla

        I was referring to the fact that the Netherlands has legal euthanasia, legal incest over the age of 18, legal bestiality, legal drugs, legal prostitution. Not only abortion. Of course the country, the Netherlands, would have less abortions than in the UK, because the population is smaller.

        • Tim H

          “Of course the country, the Netherlands, would have less abortions than in the UK, because the population is smaller.”

          The Netherlands has a lower rate of abortions than the UK even when you take into account its smaller population (Netherlands has 1.9 abortions per thousand people, Uk has 3.2 abortions per thousand people – almost twice the rate).

          You seem to be assuming that just because certain things are legal in the Netherlands (drugs, bestiality, incest, prostitution etc*) that automatically means that more of those things happen in the Netherlands than elsewhere. That is not born out by the facts. Cannabis is bad, but I’d rather live in a country where cannabis was tolerated and 9.5% of people used it (the Netherlands) than a country where it is illegal and 13.8% of people use it (the UK) because the 13.8% means more harm than 9.5%. Apparently 13.5% of Dutch men have paid for sex (where it is legal) compared with 10% in the Uk (where it is partly legal) and 16% in the USA (where it is illegal except in parts of Nevada). The legal status does not seem to have any effect on its prevelance.

          I think that we both agree that incest is bad, but unless there is evidence that banning it will actually make it less likely to happen then banning it achieves absolutely nothing other than making us feel smug.

          The Netherlands is far from perfect, but I don’t think that it can be cited as evidence that tolerating sin actually results in more sin. Seems to me that people are sinful the world over (and that sometimes the best that the law can do is try and mitigate the harm).

          Seems to me if you really want to try and identify the “sin capital” of the world you need to look at the actual incence of sinful behaviour in each country rather than the countries’ laws

          *in fact these things are not all as legal in Holland as you assume. Drugs are NOT legal in Holland (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands ) although it is true that small amounts of cannabis are tolerated. Prostitution is legal although highly regulated (cf the UK where some prostitution is legal and none of it is regulated). Bestiality is currently legal, but will shortly become illegal under article 254 of the Dutch legal code. Euthanasia is technically illegal although doctors who act in accordance with guidelines are not prosecuted.

          • Karla

            Where are statistics from? And why are you comparing the Netherlands to Britain? Britain has a much bigger population. You can not compare the two countries. I did not mean all drugs are legal, I know cannabis is legal there, you have the cafes everywhere. What does highly regulated mean? Aren’t a lot of the women trafficked in? The Netherlands is listed by the UNODC as a top destination for human trafficking. Women are being used and abused and they should not have to sell their bodies for sex. You have to wonder if that has something to do with the fact that prostitution is legal there, the traffickers know they can make money from trafficking women in and because prostitution is legal they have a very slim chance of being caught or reprimanded for it. Legalizing prostitution has not stopped this from happening.

            I never assumed that because they are legal they happen more. I am wondering about the morality of people in government I suppose, that would legalize such things, in correlation with this Pro Life woman receiving threats.

            The Netherlands may have legalized cannabis use, but it has its own problems with gang violence associated with the drug and corrupt organized gangs also involved with shipping heroin and people. Shows you that legalizing drugs is not the answer to solving the crime that surrounds it.

            Regarding the Euthanasia look what has happened since not criminalizing doctors who perform it and having a more liberal attitude towards it:

            In February 2010 a citizens’ initiative called Out of Free Will further demanded that all Dutch people over 16 who feel tired of life should have the right to professional help in ending it. The organization started collecting signatures in support of this proposed change in Dutch legislation. A number of prominent Dutch citizens supported the initiative, including former ministers and artists, legal scholars and physicians. Under current Dutch law, euthanasia by doctors is only legal in cases of “hopeless and unbearable” suffering. In practice this means that it is limited to those suffering from serious medical conditions and in considerable pain. Helping somebody to commit suicide without meeting the qualifications of the current Dutch euthanasia law is illegal [3] [4].

            http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/right-die-elderly-back-centre-dutch-debate

            http://www.nrc.nl/international/Features/article2478619.ece/Citizens_group_argues_right_to_die

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_in_the_Netherlands#Further_developments

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_in_the_Netherlands

          • Tim H

            Karla,

            My UK abortion statistics are from the UK Office of National Statistics for 2008 (the most recent year I could find). The 30,000 statistic for the Netherlands is from Orban’s own letter (I haven’t checked it for accurancy but I am trusting Orban as an expert and a professional journalist). The population figures are as posted up here by Deacon Nick. If you divide the number of abortions by the population you get the number of abortions per year per person. I have then multiplied those numbers by 1000 to get rid of the decimals and express the result as per 1000 people per year. (the rate per woman per year would of course be twice as much and per fertile woman per year or per sexualy active woman per year would be higher still).

            You can’t dismiss a comparison because The Netherlands has a smaller population than the UK. The stats I quote take that into account.

            As I said before I am not uncritical of the Netherlands. Just if you want to call it “sin capital” surely you need evidence that it has a bigger problem with “sin” (and I have tried to take your examples of sin – abortion, drugs, prostitution etc) than other countries. A comparison between the Netherlands and the UK appears to show the Netherlands no worse and perhaps slightly better than the UK. The problem with thinking that the Netherlands is a pit of moral depravity is that it might end up drawing attention away from problems we have closer to home.

          • Serge

            Tim,
            I’d first rephrase Karla’s statement from ‘The Netherlands is what I call the sin capital of Europe’ to ‘The Netherlands is what I call the most immoral capital of Europe’ (according to my limited knowledge) because from my perspective this blog post thread is all about morality, even though it started up with one type of immorality: abortion, and the upsurge of violent reactions by the defenders of such immorality.

            Now, you wrote:
            “You seem to be assuming that just because certain things are legal in the Netherlands (drugs, bestiality, incest, prostitution etc*) that automatically means that more of those things happen in the Netherlands than elsewhere. That is not born out by the facts. Cannabis is bad, but I’d rather live in a country where cannabis was tolerated and 9.5% of people used it (the Netherlands) than a country where it is illegal and 13.8% of people use it (the UK) because the 13.8% means more harm than 9.5%. Apparently 13.5% of Dutch men have paid for sex (where it is legal) compared with 10% in the Uk (where it is partly legal) and 16% in the USA (where it is illegal except in parts of Nevada). The legal status does not seem to have any effect on its prevelance.”

            Do you realize the extent of your statement, ‘The legal status does not seem to have any effect on its prevalence’? … so let’s decriminalize everything! Right? People will probably then feel obliged that because there is no law they should behave better right? On which basis, does not really matter, right? We’ll find out by ourselves. Out of limbo…

            But what is really at stake here is morality. The basis of what makes an act good or bad. And the perpetrators of those acts better of worse persons. You can’t have a society that deserves the name of ‘society’ if it is immoral. As a matter of fact one of the main purposes of society is to protect, uphold and ease the life of its indiiduals, based on what is good and what is bad. You can’t say that a society that decriminalizes acts such as abortion, euthanasia, bestiality, incest, prostitution, etc… is defending the dignity of its individuals.

            And as a matter of fact also it is really absurd to have a society without morality. Every one needs to tend towards a better situation as opposed to a worse situation, to evolve, emancipate. And that ‘better’ or ‘worse’ must be known on a firm basis, not one that changes with time, opinions, external conditions. In other words it must be based on natural law. You can’t really live ‘well’ without it.

            So, your statistics are just pointless. Again, there is no society that deserves the title of ‘society’ if it is immoral in such a way that it ‘legalizes’ what is immoral.

            Those moral values have been, in general, throughout the ages, upheld by most civilizations. Why is it then that in a few decades, those have loss the worth of being defended by law? What happened? Maybe because people started to think that mankind should erase its memory and reinvent itself, from scratch, starting up again with the most barbarian values, and then re-evolve, if it wishes to do so, or remain like that.

            When the law of auto-determination of the last few decades comes before everyone else’s, we can’t expect to have any gratitude for the centuries of ancestors that did follow moral ‘standards’. They were so stupid and archaïc, right? Why should we respect natural law? It is not a modern enough concept right? It’s outdated.

            My last two paragraphs are intentionally ironical.

        • louella

          Oh my gosh…..what a nation! Is liberalism and tolerance another name for legalised depravity?!

          And isn’t euthanasia legal in the Netherlands for children as young as 12 for even depression?!! Lord save us!!

          • Karla

            In February 2010 a citizens’ initiative called Out of Free Will further demanded that all Dutch people over 16 who feel tired of life should have the right to professional help in ending it. The organization started collecting signatures in support of this proposed change in Dutch legislation. A number of prominent Dutch citizens supported the initiative, including former ministers and artists, legal scholars and physicians. Under current Dutch law, euthanasia by doctors is only legal in cases of “hopeless and unbearable” suffering. In practice this means that it is limited to those suffering from serious medical conditions and in considerable pain. Helping somebody to commit suicide without meeting the qualifications of the current Dutch euthanasia law is illegal [3] [4].

            http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/right-die-elderly-back-centre-dutch-debate

            http://www.nrc.nl/international/Features/article2478619.ece/Citizens_group_argues_right_to_die

            They are proposing that if you are over 16 you can say I am tired of life and you can legally commit suicide or get someone else to help you. Supported by many scholars in the Netherlands.

            In the Netherlands, the law on euthanasia:

            Children between 12 and 16 must normally have their parents’ consent before they may request euthanasia. However, in ‘exceptional’ cases — those involving serious and incurable disease or intolerable and unrelenting suffering — a doctor may agree to such a child’s request even without parental request. Requests by children aged 16 -17 do not require parental consent, though parents should be involved in decision making.

            http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/euthanasia/eu0021.html

    • Tim H

      “What happened to free speech? Shouldn’t the Representative treat the letter with respect, even if she does not agree with it, but to call it disgusting?”

      Free speach means that Mrs Orban and the Bishop ought to be free to express their views without fear of violence (death threats for simply saying something are ALWAYS wrong and I hope that those responsible for the treats are found, tried and punished), but it also means that Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert is free to call the Bishop’s letter “disgusting”.

      Free speach is meaningless if we are only prepared to grant it to people or opinions that we agree with. Neither opinions that go against a polical ideology (for example liberalism) or a religious opinion should be surpressed. Free speach is for everyone without exceptions or else it isn’t really free speach. You can’t claim it for liberals and then deny it to Catholics and you can’t claim it for catholics and then deny it to liberals.

      • Deacon Nick

        Tim H, yes Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert is free to call the Bishop’s letter “disgusting” and we’re free to challenge her use of the word ‘disgusting’ in this context. No one on this site is advocating banning her freedom to think and say that the Bishop’s letter is ‘disgusting’. I, too, share the same understanding of the universality of free speech.

      • Karla

        I never said anybody should be denied free speech, regardless of their political persuasions or religion.

  • louella

    Well done Ms Orban. We now see the demonic ugly face of the proaborts and of course their depraved nation does not have a future without their young ones.

    May God protect you and give you strenght. And please if possible do not stop but continue to expose the truth.

  • John

    Funning how liberals always claim the mantle of tolerance and enlightenment, yet when one dares to disagree with them, tolerance and enlightenment are the last things you associate with them.

  • James H

    Mev. de Haas is a heroine! The haters lose their masks when confronted with the truth.

  • [...] may be more to this story than what I can read here, but still. What on earth is going on? How do people get from disagreeing with your pro-life [...]

  • Lionel

    She is a heroine and she has all my support. The only liberty they show is to kill their own babies and persecute those who defend life…
    IT IS APPALING!!!

  • Karla

    Tim H, I am not saying Britain is so much better than the Netherlands, but the Netherlands and its legalization of cannabis, prostitution etc. is much worse to me. As for abortions, Britain is no bastion of protecting life so once again, I am not saying Britain is so much better.

  • Tim H

    Serge, I am not saying we should legalise everything. Simply that we shouldn’t ban everything that we don’t like if there is no evidence that a ban will actually make anything better. If you pass an law banning something bad and the ban is ineffective, all you have done is make yourself feel better rather than actuatly reducing suffering in the world. I actually think that is dangerous because it can mean that you end up denying that there is a problem. It is certainly harder for the Dutch to ignor their Prostitution problem than it is in most countries. The crime, sin, suffering, call it what you will, is on display for all to see.

    Obviously it varies for case to case. Some bans will work others will not, It needs to be decided on the evidence which is my point. If the evidence improves you change the law.

    • Serge

      Tim I find your arguments (not you personally) not convincing at all, and actually really against both: reason (logic) and morality. Your arguments: ‘unless there is evidence that banning [something immoral, damaging for the physical or moral wellfare of either individuals or society] it will actually make it less likely to happen then banning it achieves absolutely nothing other than making us feel smug’… and ‘Serge, I am not saying we should legalise everything. Simply that we shouldn’t ban everything that we don’t like if there is no evidence that a ban will actually make anything better.’

      You are ignoring centuries of evolution of morality and law making that built democracy (which btw has been greatly influenced and inspired by christianity), and demand ‘evidence’ of efficiency of banning certain categories of acts that have been recognized as damaging since so many centuries! And it is those bans that made up society and defended it against auto-destruction. Now, for some obscure reason, you are turning things upside down! And here, on this post, no one is talking about banning ‘everything that we don’t like’. It is not a matter of personal taste or opinion, it is matter of what is fondamentaly good or bad, and when it comes to banning certain categories of acts, we are talking about acts that are damaging, in different aspects of life. The fact that laws never were able to totally eradicate those banned categories of acts from being perpetrated does not invalidate the usefullness of banning them. Actually it is not as much is usefullness, statistically speaking, as it is its necessity because it speaks out that a society is for life and not for death, for true evolution of its individuals and the whole society, and against degrading, corrupting behaviors that eventually lead to the destruction of both the individuals and the society. It is a contract between the whole and the parts. The parts expect protection from the whole. A society that deserves to be named as such must stand for positive values, and ban negative values (at least the most damaging ones).

      You are comparing the UK and the Netherlands, but you are comparing on a very short period of time, when we consider that mankind has been there for thousands of years, and that morality has started to really slip out of occidental nations since only a few decades. So you may not see the full extent of what dropping morality, by removing bans, can do to society. You cannot see by ‘evidence of numbers’ yet. But you should see it quite evidently if you’d apply the basic moral rules of life. We do currently see it by the upsurge of totally crazy violence against Mariska. This is the fruit of removing all bans that prevent a society from falling into barbarism.

      I have to finish writing this up soon now. But I want to add one last thing. Your are debating the efficiency of bans, arguing that numbers in the Netherlands which removed bans are lower than in the UK which maintains some bans. But behind those numbers, Tim, there are human beings living real blood and flesh dramas. There are innocent people have been hypocritically (in the name of ‘sensitivity’ and of so called ‘understanding’ of women, and ‘compassion’) assassinated by millions in the last few decades, and in increasing numbers, as the ban on abortion has been removed. And more and more laws are made, instead of banning, to facilitate abortion. Your theory is collapsing here because if our so lovely, so human ‘modern’ societies had not left the ban of abortion there would have been definitely much more human beings entitled to live, being living right now and contribute to build up a better world. And the removal of the ban lead, paved the way to pass new ‘laws’ that facilitated abortions, and induced also new laws permitting researches using embryos, and there are increasing attempts to ‘discriminate’ human beings in gestation that are ‘entitled’ to live from those that aren’t… (It is strange, btw, that those societies who are so eager and precipitate into removing bans, are now trying to ban religion from the social/political life, probably because real religious people do fight for life and real values).

      Tim, underlying your statements is some kind of defeatism, some kind of attitude that ‘why fight for those values if they still exist’, ‘we can’t change that’ so let’s remove the ban, let’s make it ‘moral’, otherwise it makes feel us bad. Right? Well in a sense you are a little (little) right. No one is able to live perfectly moraly, but we are all obliged to struggle our best. After all it is an evidence that we are going to die some day, right? So what, should we then stop living right now? Should we give up living now because we know we are going to die ‘soon’. Because we can’t be perfect moraly we should stop and give living moraly? And since we’re living in society, why should society live morally if it is impossible? I am convinced, Tim, that every individual must do his best, individually and socially, to live a better life, and in society there must be laws that encourage virtues and condemn vices. It’s for the welfare of all. Albert Camus, an atheist wrote ‘La peste’. It depicts the struggle of a doctor who does not believe but lives in solidarity with men and women, and does his best for the good. And in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 verses 66-69 it is written: As a result of this [Jesus words on the eucharist], many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” Both those examples show from the perspectives of the atheists and the believers how their consciousness of right and wrong move them into life, make them figth for life, defend life. And as a matter of fact, if you don’t listen to your consciousness and you don’t live according to it, you simply cease to be a human being. You cease to be. You may look like you live. People will see you moving, working, apparently enjoying life, but you will be dead. And the same for society.

      • Tim H

        Thanks Serge for a good and thoughtful post.

        I do agree with you on almost all of your points. Please don’t think that I am arguing for anarchy or complete tolerance of everything however wrong. My original posts were simply an attempt to argue that “sin capital” was an unfair label to apply to the Netherlands because there is no evidence that there is more sin in that country than the UK or other places. Looking simply at the laws is not the point. You need to look at the behaviours.

        I guess where we differ (and from Louella’s comment) is that I am not convinced that if you fail to ban something you are actually condoning it. I think it is perfectly possible and logical to take the position that prostitution is bad, but if we are unable to eliminate it we should at least attempt to minimise the harm it causes by trying to take the worst forms of exploitation and disease out of the equation. Or that drugs are bad but if we legalise them we might be able to take the criminal element out of the equation and actually reduce the harm that they cause. I don’t see how this is any different from the Pope’s position that condoms are bad but if people are genuinely unable to protect themselves from disease through marriage and faithfulness then they might be important in reducing harm. On a trivial point everyone knows that cigarettes are bad and that message can be conveyed by society without having to ban them.

        I can see why you characterise my attitude as “defeatist” and I admit that that is a real danger that anyone taking my attitude has to be careful to aviod. But, I think that there is an equal danger that if you just ban everything as a knee-jerk reaction you end up thinking that you have solved the problem and whereas in fact the problem continues underground and ignored and harm still results.

    • louella

      Actually bans do work….though of course you have to be judicious. If you don’t ban some evil…it is as if you are condoning it or putting it on a par with that which is good. You can’t ban every sin and sometimes you just regulate and limit that which has the potential to be destructive. ie gambling and alcohol. These are not sins …but excess cause great harm. Many sins while not banned are socially unacceptable and socially regulated in religious societies without recourse to the law. But in an atheist society almost all sins are acceptable.

      However if sin is left to grow and become acceptable it will eventually destroy your society and culture.

      • Tim H

        “Many sins while not banned are socially unacceptable and socially regulated in religious societies without recourse to the law. But in an atheist society almost all sins are acceptable. ”

        Sorry that simply doesn’t ring true to me. If you think about a few harmful things that have recently become socially unacceptable in the UK – smoking in public, drink driving, driving without a seatbelt, sexism and homophobia – some of these things are legal and some not, but all of them are regulated more by social pressure than by law and as far as I can tell that social pressure has nothing much to do with religion and extends to both belivers and atheists.

        There are some differences between what is socially acceptable in a religious society versus what it socially acceptable in an atheist society, but I can’t think of a significant difference that does not concern sex in some way or another – that one area of human life is more heavily regulated in religious societies for sure, but most other moral issues seem to be treated more of less the same whether or not you are a beliver. For example, whilst less religious societies may have more illigitimacy and more divorce (although on the flip side I would say that they might have less hypocracy, fewer unhappy abusive marriages and less stigmatisation of the innocent), there is absolutely no evidence that they have more theft, more fraud, more murder, more corruption, more violence or more cruelity.

        It is simply not true to say that in an athiest society almost all sins are acceptable.

        If this country becomes less religious and more “secular”, religious codes of sexual morality will be replaced with other codes of sexual morality, but I can’t see other moral codes changing very much. People will still, by and large keep their promises, pay their debts and support their children and take reasonable care of their neighbours (and a minority will behave badly). We won’t all be reduced to murdering people and stealing left right and centre and the moral restraint shown by people will only slightly be because of laws. I would not hold myself up as a moral exemplar, but I do usually try and do the right thing (and even when I do the wrong thing, I still know what the right think was). As a non-believer I find it rather insulting the idea that I am only reasonably well behavied because of God.

  • Karla

    Serge good post. The most immoral capital of Europe is probably better. I call the Netherlands the sin capital because of its legalization of things that I consider to be immoral, that is illegal elsewhere in the world.

  • SpeSalvi23

    To ban, or not to ban?

    From a mother’s point of view:

    certain things have to be experienced by children – even if those things are dangerous and might hurt the children physically or emotionally – it’s just a part of growing up and of forming personalities and self confidence.
    Other things MUST be banned clearly and consistently by parents. Even if the children still might attempt to do those things. The important point is to clearly draw lines and to ban harmful practices and ‘things’.

    It’s important to make children understand that certain things are simply not right, even if they seem interesting and possibly become even more intriguing to them after they are forbidden.
    Letting kids loose on a ‘personality finding mission’ without telling them clearly what’s wrong and right will not turn them into stable individuals, which is now quite evident – considering what kind of a mess all those anti-authority parenting / teaching years have produced.

    Surely children are always going to try out some of the forbidden things… but at least they KNOW that they’re doing something wrong!

    The same applies to a nation. You can’t just legalize nearly everything and believe that people will have enough discipline to actually restrain themselves form indulging? Especially considering our sexed up, fun praising, short lived, de-valued western world, where self-discipline (and discipline in general) has been turned from a virtue to a vice.

    Sorry, nobody can even attempt to argue that prostitution, drug consumption, abortion and assisted suicide are good for anybody. Not even if you don’t believe in God.

    • Tim H

      I kinda agree with you, although in a parenting context things can be banned by a parent or banned by the law.

      Underage sex is one of those areas which I think can be used to illustrate my point. It is wrong and I would like my children not to do it and when they are old enough I will make that view clear to them and discuss the whole area thoughly and symapthetically listing to their views but also making my own position clear.

      But just suppose, I then discover that my 15 year old son has been having sex with a 15 year old girl in his class. What do I do? Well I’d need to think about that carefully and talk to my wife and perhaps teh other parents but I think we would need to speak to him and her about it (it would be wrong to ignore it or pretend it was acceptable). On the other hand, I would think it wrong for him to go to jail for his actions or to get a criminal record for it so I would be in favour of the law tolerating his criminal behaviour.

      I think that this illustrates that just because the law of the land tolerates a sin (or even permit it – some country of course have 14 as the age of consent) does not mean that the message that a certain behavour is wrong cannot be made still.

  • Tim H

    I’ve been doing a bit of research and it appears that contrary to being capital of sin, abortion rates in the Netherlands are very low compared to other countries (including countries where abortion is illegal but where women havethem illegally or travel abroad for them.

    Two groups in the Netherlands do have high abortion rates though – recent immigrants (who are mainly muslim) and small rural (protestant) Christian fundamentalist communities.

    Of course a single abortion is one to many, but it does appear that the Dutch appreciate that they have a problem and are doing more to tackle it and more suggessfully than most other places.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TBC-4C00PJ8-2N&_user=4620783&_coverDate=07%2F31%2F1994&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1553975754&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=4620783&md5=ac1aa04e95a01b154f50624cab7c054e&searchtype=a

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