The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), comprising former heads of state and government leaders, has requested that the EU establishes national surveillance units to monitor citizens suspected of “intolerance”. The ECTR called its proposal the ‘Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance’.
European Dignity Watch, a civil rights watchdog group based in Brussels, has warned that this directive “aims to impose governmental control over the social and economic behavior of citizens in the widest possible sense.” The group says that the ECTR Framework’s basic principles are flawed and that it “interferes in an unprecedented manner with citizens’ freedom and rights” and “distorts the concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘equality’.” Through “a reversal of the burden of proof,” the proposal “encourages frivolous litigation” and will lead to “institutionalized public control” of private opinion and thought. Sophia Kuby, spokesman for European Dignity Watch said:
“Faith-based groups and schools, adherents of a particular religion or even just parents who want to teach their children certain moral values would all be put under general suspicion of being intolerant.” “Even worse,” she said, this language “could lead to the possibility that charges are brought on unclear or even without legal grounds.” She said it would “be a significant step backward,” and “would certainly be a dark day for European democracy.”
The surveillance proposals include the following chilling statements:
- There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant especially as far as freedom of expression is concerned.
- “Members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups” it adds, “are entitled to a special protection” in addition to the normal legal protections afforded by the state. This “special protection…may imply a preferential treatment” for those identified as “vulnerable”.
“It is important to stress that tolerance must be practised not only by Governmental bodies but equally by individuals, including members of one group vis-à-vis another.” It adds that the “guarantee of tolerance must be understood not only as a vertical relationship (Government-to-individuals) but also as a horizontal relationship (group-to-group and person-to-person).
It is the obligation of the Government to ensure that intolerance is not practised either in vertical or in horizontal relationships.”
Protect the Pope comment: This sinister proposal to establish national surveillance units to monitor citizens suspected of “intolerance” has to be considered a serious threat to our freedom of religion and freedom of expression because it comes from former heads of state and government leaders and not some fringe extremist group of gay and secular lobbyists. If these proposals become law in the European Union then Catholics who uphold the teachings of the Church about the family and sexuality would be unjustly branded as ‘intolerant’ and subject to surveillance and punitive action by the state. Protect the Pope looks forward to reading the Conference of European Bishops response to this unprecedented threat to the Faith in Europe.