Socially conservative religious believers with community-minded values are being sneered at and mocked like never before, a newspaper commentator has warned.
Janet Daley said today’s ruling cultural classes believe they are “unquestionably morally righteous”.
The effect is that those who hold contrasting views are left insulted, mocked and ridiculed, she wrote.
‘Opponents not even heard’
In an article for The Telegraph, Daley said in previous times a “privileged social caste” would not have dared to attack those different to themselves, instead showing a level of “consideration” for them.
But now that has changed, she said, giving the example of a conference speaker who said “progressive ideas” would have to be promoted in society “‘one funeral at a time’”.
“This is not argument. It does not attempt to convert or persuade or to enlighten the supposedly benighted.
“It is a vendetta: a bald, unambiguous assertion that people with whom you disagree barely have a right to live, let alone to be heard.”
Such thinkers consider their beliefs as independently formed, “even if their views are remarkably conformist”, Daly said.
The commentator gave another example of an academic who “described the acceptable world view as ‘internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism’.
“This seems to make it explicitly opposed to national pride, religious faith, cultural identity, communal cohesion and any form of social conservatism”, she said.
But Daley warned that disregarding so many people – indeed much of the world – is short sighted: “They may have grown used to being ignored but they were not accustomed to being deliberately insulted.”
Now people are using their freedoms to speak out against such maligning, Daley said, with the cultural leaders set to ‘pay the price’ for their actions.
Her comments echo those of Trevor Phillips who said that Britain needs to rethink its “identity politics” and learn to live with those who have traditional views on marriage and gender.
Phillips, a former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, made the comments on Channel 4 as he cautioned that Britain was at risk of ‘failing the acid test of a democracy’.