Z Blog: A free society can’t be shut down
There are some things the Dutch, one of the planet’s most tolerant societies, won’t tolerate ” and they’re letting new immigrants know exactly what they won’t stand for.
Immigrants trying to enter the Netherlands are now shown a film that, among other scenes, shows nude sun-bathers and a gay couple kissing, according to the New York Times.
The point, the Times says, is to show newcomers ” particularly those from less-permissive cultures (which would be just about all of them) ” that Dutch society is full of freedoms that may violate the prevailing religious scripture in some parts of the world.
The Dutch are telling people they can practice their beliefs to their hearts’ content but their society isn’t going to change because someone doesn’t approve of women drivers, lesbians or dope smokers.
The Dutch are saying they won’t tolerate intolerance.
Some argue the film is an attack on Muslims, meant only to offend and dissuade them from relocating to Holland, the Times story says. But Christian fundamentalists and Orthodox Jews are disgusted by many of the same behaviors.
I’m not in favor of racial profiling or intimidating immigrants or telling people what they can or can’t worship, but if the free-thinking lifestyles shown in this “Welcome to Holland” film offend and outrage an emigrating zealot from Teheran, Tel Aviv or Colorado Springs, I think the movie has done the nation a real service.
Perhaps the film has kept out someone who was expecting the country’s open society to shut down because their holy book tells them they can’t press garlic on Saturdays or dress up as a cowboy when it’s snowing. Perhaps the film has kept out someone who was planning to get violent about their neighbors who are committing sacrilege by gluing squirrels to their heads.
The Dutch are telling newcomers “our society is tolerant and you’re the one who has to adjust ” even if you’re an uptight American!”
Hey, what would this country’s “entrance” movie look like? Well, it probably wouldn’t be as much fun as the Dutch film ” it would have high-school football and Fourth of July parades, maybe a beauty pageant, instead of gay sex and nude sun-bathers.
On those latter issues, the film ” narrated perhaps by someone nice and saccharine like Katie Couric ” would have to inform newcomers that, “Here in American we both accept and revile homosexuals. We’re quite comfortable with nudity except when we’re not.
“Our Constitution guarantees our right to speak our minds and live our lives without government interference ” except when Bill Frist or Hillary Clinton want some publicity.”
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