Rise of the Thought Police
By Hal Lindsey
Britain’s Labor Party leader, Ed Miliband, lost the election last week to incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party. Mr. Miliband came close to being Prime Minister. That makes his ideas important. He represents a growing number of people in the U.K. (and U.S.) who believe that government should police, not just citizens’ speech (which is bad enough), but our very thoughts.
Hard to believe? Here’s what he told the British paper, Muslim News, shortly before the election. “We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime. We are going to change the law so we make it absolutely clear.”
A phobia is an irrational fear of something. But when do someone’s concerns go from legitimate to irrational? And who decides? Miliband and his ilk think that government should decide, especially if they run the government.
Does a person have Islamophobia if he spends several hours every day fretting over possible actions of radical Muslims? If so, then I hope Mr. Johnson has the “disease.” He’s the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
Islamophobia, under any definition, takes place within a person’s thoughts. An irrational fear of Islam could manifest itself into illegal actions. But making the thought itself against the law is a step too far. In anything resembling a free country, a person has a right to his own thoughts and concerns. What many call Islamophobia, many others call a legitimate concern with radical Islam.
Thought Police are a growing phenomenon. In 2013, Tony Miano, a former Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff visiting London, was arrested for giving a sermon on sexual morality. They held him for six hours. They spent most of that time questioning him about his beliefs and attitudes on various subjects. In other words, they were examining his thoughts.
He said, “As the questioning started, it became apparent that the interrogation was about more than the incident that took place in the street but what I believed and how I think. I was being interrogated about my thoughts . . . the basic definition of thought police.”
Bear in mind that the United Kingdom already places severe restrictions on religious and political speech. Say something the government considers offensive, and expect them to come down on you, and come down hard. Last year on The Hal Lindsey Report, I told about a U.K. politician being arrested in London for publicly quoting Winston Churchill. That’s right. His offense was in quoting a revered British leader. Why? Because Churchill wrote things that are thoughtfully critical of Islam.
There are enumerable such stories. Authorities want to close a small, private Christian school in Reading for not inviting an Imam to speak at their chapel service. British journalist and former CNN host, Piers Morgan, recently came out in favor of criminalizing what he calls offensive speech on Twitter.
Freedom of Speech in America remains a basic right, but its under fire here as well. And the Thought Police are also invading America. They thrive on university campuses. They have entered the justice system. They are using American criminal courts, our sacred halls of justice, to silence those with whom they disagree.
The United States and the United Kingdom have long been bastions of human rights and human dignity. England gave the world the Magna Carte and the King James Bible. The U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights have served as the model for self-government ever since they were written. In the twentieth century, America and Britain led the fight that kept fascism and then communism from sweeping the world.
But in recent days, darkness has begun to shroud these beacons of light.
Governments have always been oppressive to one degree or another — though generally less in the U.S. and U.K. But two things have changed. First, people are more afraid, which makes them more willing give up their rights in the name of safety. The other thing that has changed is the technology of oppression. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia didn’t have twenty-first century technology to aid in the subjugation of their citizens.
Thousands of years ago, Bible prophets foretold a coming totalitarianism that would far surpass anything that went before. What it described would need technology no one thought of until recently. Today, we see it taking shape before our eyes.
So when you hear a politician saying he will tell police to “root out” a certain kind of thought “as a hate crime,” understand the degree of control he’s proposing.
It still fascinates me that prophecy written in the Bible two thousand years ago describes our day better than professional futurists did just a decade ago. While the world heads down a dark and deadly path, we can be encouraged to know that God’s word is once again proving to be true. And if it’s true in the negative things, it’s also true about the good things.
God has promised a new and better world. Praise the LORD Jesus Christ is coming soon – real soon.