Wednesday, October 13, 2004

European Parliament rejects free thought 

Fun and games continue at the EU:
"The incoming European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, was on a collision course yesterday with [Members of European Parliament] as he backed Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian commissioner designate who described homosexuality as a 'sin'. .. On Monday, a key committee of the European Parliament voted by a narrow margin to reject Mr Buttiglione's candidature."
This is truly astounding and well into the "thought police" territory, since the European Parliament is denying an EU official the right to hold personal beliefs of religious nature. Buttiglione is thus likely to miss out on a European Commission position because the EP is now moving into business of deciding which moral positions are acceptable.

This is what Buttiglione said during his confirmation hearing:
"I may think that homosexuality is a sin; this has no effect on politics unless I say that homosexuality is a crime."
Buttiglione was nominated for the position of justice commissioner, and as such he would be overseeing civil liberties and minority rights within the European Union. What he said in effect was that his personal views will not influence the performance of his duties to enforce European laws which give protection and rights to various minority groups. But that's not good enough for the European Parliament, which doesn't seem to believe in freedom of conscience for the EU officials, unless they hold politically acceptable views. As Silvio Berlusconi commented:
"The very idea of disputing the freedom of conscience and opinion of a commissioner of Catholic faith, contesting his own secular distinction between morality and law, smells of fundamentalism if not obscurantism."
Now I'm waiting for the EP to reject the nomination for the tax commissioner because the nominee believes in cutting taxes.


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