AT long last, officials in Berlin are taking action against a rising tide of homophobia. With a record number of anti-LGBT attacks recorded in the German capital last year, authorities can no longer stand idly by.
Like a truffle pig seeking out hate crimes, the powers-that-be have uncovered a person so heinously intolerant that they must be made an example of: die Schande von Schöneberg (‘the disgrace of Schöneberg’).
Anyone warranting such a moniker must surely be a true abomination, a homophobe of Hitlerian proportions. Enter Park Young-ai, 71-year-old South Korean immigrant, restaurant owner in the city’s Schöneberg district, and – most damning of all – devout Christian.
With the Tiergarten district court ordering her premises to be searched last month and the recent announcement that she stands accused of Volksverhetzung(incitement of the people), one can only assume that she has commited a grievous crime.
So what does she stand accused of? She has not, unlike in some other now-infamous incidents, refused anyone custom due to their sexual orientation. Instead, her offence is far greater: Thoughtcrime. She stands accused of quoting the Bible.
The walls of the restaurant are adorned with quotes from Scripture. One such passage is Leviticus 18:22, which reads: ‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.’
One is free to disagree with this unfashionable claim. If you find it grossly offensive, you are not obliged to sit in a restaurant decorated with such words. It is, after all, a private business, and one which will suffer if boycotted due to its overt Christianity.
Yet, such libertarian arguments aside (arguments, which of course, only need to be brought up to defend business owners with certain beliefs), it is worth noting the incident’s implications.
Today, in Deutschland, merely quoting from the one of the foundational texts of Western civilisation is now a crime warranting full legal proceedings from the state. There is zero accusation that Park stands accused of any other misdeed or crime.
Given the zeal with which Germany has recently encouraged mass immigration – notably from countries whose attitudes to homosexuality could be generously described as ‘less than positive’ – one might think the authorities would be eager for immigrants of Park’s calibre. She speaks fluent German and clearly has entrepreneurial flair.
Such positive traits, however, are negated by her faith. In modern Germany, overt Christianity is not to be encouraged. Any thought that is not in line with the hollow post-modernism of Derrida or Foucault, or which does not come straight from the Koran or Hadith, is verboten.
It is increasingly clear that our freedom of conscience, supposedly a central tenet of the modern West, is bunkum.
The state and institutions throughout society having relentlessly undermined the intellectual foundations upon which Western civilisation is built. Those who have the temerity to resist are guilty of thoughtcrime, as narrowly defined by cultural totalitarians.
As a consequence, it is now Park, who, being of the wrong race (who would stand up for an East Asian, so lowly is their position on the totem pole of oppression?) and of the wrong faith, now finds herself in the crosshairs of officialdom.
This case is, of course, just one in a series of such incidents across the Western world. Tackling the actual reasons for growing homophobia – a problem that was until recently all but vanishing from our societies – would of course be unfeasible for the powers-that-be.
Such a course of action may upset certain vibrant groups in society. Instead, it is much easier to go after a Christian, South Korean restaurateur of retirement age, expressing her now unpopular opinions in her private business.
How stunningly brave, and how predictably progressive.