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Piet De Vries & The Un-Free University

Earlier this week, Wesley J. Smith wrote of the expansion in Europe of animal slaughtering laws that effectively prevent meat from being kosher or halal [1] — this, as an example of religious liberty narrowing in Europe.

Today comes news from a reader in the Netherlands that the Free University (VU) is taking measures against Piet De Vries, a theologian there, for having signed a Dutch version of the Nashville Declaration — as did over 200 Dutch pastors and other Reformed Christians [2] — and compared the silence being forced on believers to Nazi oppression. From a Dutch newspaper account [3] (translated by Google):

De Vries, one of the initiators of the Nashville Declaration, said earlier to the AD that he believes sexuality is “for a man and woman who remain loyal to each other for life”. He stated that this view is under pressure due to “aspects such as cheating, divorces, sex before marriage and homosexual relationships”.

The Nashville Declaration says that marriage is only meant as a covenant between one man and one woman.

De Vries then made the comparison with the situation in the Second World War. “When the Nazi ideology was forced on, the churches were silent, now that gender ideology has begun, churches are silent too often, and we have to make ourselves heard,” De Vries told the newspaper.

These statements prompted the board of the VU to hold a strong talk with De Vries. In addition, the Amsterdam University will take “appropriate measures” against the former preacher of the Restored Reformed Church in Boven-Hardinxveld.

Although according to the VU, De Vries has regretted his comments, according to the VU board it is clear “that a limit has been exceeded”.

In addition, the board of the VU also clarifies the distance from the lecturer’s statements. “At the VU you can be who you are, say what you think and love who you love.” Because there seemed to be some doubt about this, we hoisted the rainbow flag yesterday and today (Monday and Tuesday, ed.) To say : ‘Be welcome at the VU.’ “

You can’t make this up! At the VU, you can say what you think … unless you criticize homosexuality, in which case your job may be on the line. The Netherlands reader who sent me this story says he personally opposes the Nashville Declaration, but strongly believes in freedom of speech, and is therefore worried about this.

Nope, nothing oppressive or totalitarian about that! Where on earth did Piet De Vries get that idea?

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Netherlands. I have, many times. I love that country and its people. But the idea that any LGBT person would feel even slightly unwelcome at a Dutch university is complete nonsense. Holland is extremely liberal on such matters, and long has been. The kind of Dutch students and professors who would need reassurances would be orthodox Christians and others who don’t fly the rainbow flag at every opportunity.

Now the city of Amsterdam is organizing the Mayor of Amsterdam will speak at a public protest against the Christians. [4] And, the Dutch public prosecutor is investigating [5] whether or not the Nashville Declaration constitutes criminal hate speech.

I wonder if The Benedict Option [6] could even be sold in the Netherlands, given that it advocates the orthodox Christian position on sex and sexuality.

38 Comments (Open | Close)

38 Comments To "Piet De Vries & The Un-Free University"

#1 Comment By Hal On January 9, 2019 @ 10:07 am

I kind of feel like you’re underselling the story on the last story there. For a university to take someone to the woodshed over LGBT issues has become a “dog bites man” story. For the government to consider prosecution over voicing of religious belief? That’s big. That it’s happening in Europe is really something.

Al Mohler pointed out this morning that the Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001, putting it about 15 years ahead as the vanguard of the revolution. If they go through with prosecuting these church leaders, that speaks darkly of what the future holds for orthodox Christian faith.

#2 Comment By MaxCon On January 9, 2019 @ 10:12 am

BenOp is on Dutch Amazon, fwiw:


#3 Comment By redbrick On January 9, 2019 @ 10:33 am

“We need a Nuremberg trial for Liberalism: the Last totalitarian political ideology” -Alexander Dugin

#4 Comment By The Right To An Intact Body On January 9, 2019 @ 11:17 am

I believe that religious liberty should be open to curtailment in the 21st century when it comes to sticking knives into the bodies of living beings, whether the targets of the religious believer’s knife be animal beings or human children.

We’ve seen the controversy over the Santiera ritual animal killings…


Horrific animal cruelty has been permitted to stand unregulated in the name of religious liberty.

I am an opponent of both female and male genital mutilation, and I hope to live to see the day at least one, probably European country, protects newborn baby boys from the religion-inspired, or ‘hygiene’ based horrific removal of 35% of their penile tissue, I speak of course of the knife-attack on babies known as circumcision, the most common surgery in America…



The normalization of slicing and dicing both animals and human babies in the name of religion, is very concerning.

If your faith commands you to pick up a knife and start slicing into a screaming animal or human being, that is savagery that should not be tolerated in the 21st century.

Just as transsexual surgery for children should not be tolerated, tattooing of children, or even something like the new religious movement Nxivm ‘branding’ people in upstate New York in the name of their movement/beliefs…


Religious people, it’s time to put down your knives and scalpels and just keep the slicing and dicing to consenting adults.

I’d be fine with parents facing prison for mutilating/circumcising little boys. Absolutely fine with it. I’d happily pay the taxes to prosecute and imprison these people who seem to believe their God made a mistake when it comes to the formation of the bodies of their young. Circumcision assaults markedly reduce, for life, irreversibly, the sensitivity of the glans, and deny the male child citizen the right to make that choice for themselves. It’s disgusting.

Religious people seem to be very “knife-happy” and it’s very sad that the government has to tell you what is humane and tell you to how it’s going to be from now on, but unfortunately you’re just too “knife-happy” to be trusted to slice and dice animals and kids without state interference.

Rest in Peace the many little boys murdered in genital mutilations, senseless foreskin amputations gone wrong.

#5 Comment By charles cosimano On January 9, 2019 @ 11:17 am

Well, given the career damage signing something like that would do, it would seem a symptom of profound mental illness requiring stay in a sheltered care facility.

Have these people learned nothing from the Soviets? They clearly need to be locked up for their own safety and that of others. You cannot have dangerous, crazy people running around loose, much teaching at a university.

Let me see. Sluggish schizophrenia would be the wrong diagnosis. I know. Religious Derangement Syndrome. That will do it. He’s clearly suffering from RDS. Fortunately a combination of medication and electro-convulsive therapy usually will work after a couple years of intense treatment.

Fear not, he is a very sick man, but he can be cured.

#6 Comment By DRK On January 9, 2019 @ 12:01 pm

The Amsterdam protest is being organized by the LBGT interest group COC, not by the city of Amsterdam. It says so in your own link, Rod. COC objects to the wording of the Dutch statement. Where the Nashville statement uses the word “immorality”, evidently the Dutch one refers to homosexual “uncleaness”. (“onreinheid” vs. “onzedelijkheid”, I think. I’d welcome elucidation of this from a Dutch speaker) It also implies you can be “healed of” homosexuality, which they take to be a reference to conversion therapy, which has been proven not to work and to be extremely harmful.

Was it criticizing homosexuality that De Vries was in trouble for, or was it for likening people that objected to his opinions to Nazis? The article is unclear.


#7 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 9, 2019 @ 12:22 pm

“Where the Nashville statement uses the word ‘immorality’, evidently the Dutch one refers to homosexual ‘uncleaness’. It also implies you can be ‘healed of’ homosexuality, which they take to be a reference to conversion therapy, which has been proven not to work and to be extremely harmful.”

Explain how you avoid mixing excrement, semen and blood in sodomy. These unnatural practices are the very definition of unclean, with so many medical conditions the sad consequence.

“Proven” and “harmful” are just fabulisms driven by obsessive desires that some people are caught up in, to a point of spectacular cognitive dissonance. In vain hope of avoiding that, not only one’s own conscience must be silenced, but the voice of anyone who might resurrect it be purged.

Through Christ the captives are freed:


#8 Comment By Dave Griffey On January 9, 2019 @ 12:33 pm

Looking back at the last 40 years or so, it’s not hard to see that this is the sleight of hand – or right bower – of the Left. To insist on two opposite, even contradictory, principles. In this case, freedom and diversity as long as you conform to the Left’s dogmas. I remember being taught in college in the 80s how we needed to get over our obsession with restricting speech based on taboos or antiquated morality. Only a completely free and open society unafraid of expressing itself would do. This while we were being told Native American, not Indian; African American, not Black; and forget the Male Pronoun – or Else! If you don’t admit the obvious, you can’t win against it. And so we have conformity in the name of diversity, right along with fighting racism by pointing out that you can always tell the racists by the color of their skin. And on and on. Because, so far, it’s worked like a charm.

#9 Comment By J On January 9, 2019 @ 12:37 pm

He should tell them he is now a Muslim. They will immediately back off.

#10 Comment By J On January 9, 2019 @ 12:40 pm

The Right, given that atheists murdered over 150 MILLION people in the last century you don’t have much to stand on. But I do appreciate it when someone like yourself admits that you hate us and want to persecute us. I prefer bigots to be open about it.

#11 Comment By William Murphy On January 9, 2019 @ 12:48 pm


The English Anglican theologian Alastair Roberts has something thoughtful and carefully considered to say on many topics, not least the Nashville statement. He is not a person to rush to hasty judgement on any subject. He signed the Nashville statement, but spells out his reservations about the wording and the theology of many of the people behind the document.

So far, I don’t think he has been drummed out of English academia or the Anglican Church, despite the weird noises on gender ideology coming from some Anglicans.


#12 Comment By Jackie Treehorn On January 9, 2019 @ 12:56 pm

Fran Macadam must not be aware of these marvelous latex sheaths known as condoms. Used correctly, they are very effective in reducing the transmission of disease. Blue Raspberry is the best flavor.

Over here in the adult film industry, performers are regularly tested for infections.
In fact, having sex on a professional movie set is some of the safest possible sex one can have and is absolutely safer than a drunken Tindr hookup.

The argument from ‘uncleanness’ has never been less convincing. Until the modern age, childbirth was horribly unclean and gave rise to innumerable medical conditions, surely moreso than sodomy.

#13 Comment By Petrus On January 9, 2019 @ 1:19 pm

It appears that in The Netherlands, Sweden and other so called multiculturalist and enlightened liberal NW European countries, thought-controller wannabe dictator extremists and their servile academician pawns claim to determine the meanings of words. Orwell will turn out to have been far too optimistic in 1984. Shame.

#14 Comment By Lance On January 9, 2019 @ 1:20 pm

Rod, again, have you checked the latest fate for the liberal profs at liberal universities who showed the threadbareness of various scholarly journals of liberal bent via faux submissions?

It is getting ugly for them.

It is true.

They eat their own.

#15 Comment By Fr Martin Fox On January 9, 2019 @ 1:35 pm

Attention all subscribers to the party line, please synchronize your watches. The switchover from “it’ll never happen, you’re paranoid!” to, “well, you had it coming, bigot!” will occur in seven, six, five, four…

#16 Comment By DEC01 On January 9, 2019 @ 1:38 pm

“BenOp is on Dutch Amazon, fwiw:


This just raises another question. If this man is prosecuted and convicted, would Rod step foot in the Netherlands because the Benedict Option almost certainly violates the same law?

[NFR: Well, so does the Holy Bible. Of course I would go to the Netherlands. I’m not going to haul ass to Jakarta to eat rijsttafel, am I? — RD]

#17 Comment By Jan On January 9, 2019 @ 2:34 pm

A few remarks as a Dutchman.

First, ‘onreinheid’ is an archaic word that is really only used in religious contexts. So yes it can be translated as unclean, but with a clear religious connotation.

Second, the check by the public prosecutor does not in any way mean that it will come to a real prosecution. It is rather a signal by the judiciary that they are checking to see if there is something illegal here. It is more a way of avoiding further outcry as well as people fling complaints.
Most people I have spoken to, and note I am an academic working at a major university in the Netherlands, expect that nothing will come of it.

Three, although the declaration has blown up in the media, it in reality primarily reveals ongoing infighting amongst different orthodox protest denominations on how to deal with a range of questions on relationships, gender, and gay marriage. See also the rather strong worded commentary in one of the two main news papers read by orthodox Christians in the Netherlands: [15] (In Ducht, and requires an account, happy to translate if needed)

Four, the real public debate is on the suggested possibly of curing gay people. The rest is for must Dutch not really newsworthy. Opposition to gay marriage from orthodox Christians is well known.

#18 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 9, 2019 @ 3:14 pm

“Over here in the adult film industry, performers are regularly tested for infections.”

Yeah, nothing wrong with any of that:


I feel sorry for those still caught up in this.

As mentioned in one thread, now antivirals are being given as a prophylactic to those who engage in behavior at high risk for disease. At a cost of continuing thousands and with who knows what long term effects. And surely you must know, that many eschew the use of condoms due to their impairment of sensation. Nothing must interfere with pleasure, ya know! And the sickness is so great, that even The Advocate published that phenomenon where people willingly contract HIV, as it is seen as a rite of gay spiritual passage and martyrdom. Others knowingly infect others.

Don’t forget, one of the charges against Julian Assange in Sweden was that although a condom broke during sex, he left the country without undergoing an HIV test.

To compare childbirth to sodomy… well what can you expect from quarters which have contempt for “breeders”… in any case, no excrement is mixed into the birth canal.

#19 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 9, 2019 @ 3:18 pm

“Fran Macadam must not be aware of these marvelous latex sheaths known as condoms.”

It does not prevent developing permanent incontinence, nor infections from feces in the person not wearing the condom.

I realize all this is too graphical for many, but the realities after some years of this lifestyle are not the carefree “gay” lifestyle of no consequences that is easy to portray in fiction and propaganda.

#20 Comment By Jan de Hollander On January 9, 2019 @ 3:38 pm

As a Dutchman, I feel inclined to add some nuance:

First of all, measures by the VU are being considered for drawing a comparison between “genderideology” and nazi ideology. Not for signing the Nashville statement. Important difference.
In a country that actually has been occupied by nazi’s, this can still trigger some fierce responses.

Free speech is not absolute, not in The Netherlands and not in the US.

The Vrije Universiteit is a public university funded mainly by the government. Employees of the VU are therefore also paid by all Dutch taxpayers.
(btw, tuition for a full year of University in The Netherlands is about 2000 euro’s. Yey!). One could argue that, as a public servant, Mr. De Vries should not make statements as mentioned above.

Looking at the website of the VU, on its page about the profile and mission the VU states they are “vrij van kerk, staat en commercie.” (free from church, the state and commercial intrest). Even as a theologian, maybe he should adhere by that vision?

Btw I am not in favor of prosecuting him. I guess a public statement by the VU in which they distance themselves from his remarks (and from the Nashville statement) would suffice. Then again, measures being taken could also constitute free speech.

#21 Comment By JohnInCA On January 9, 2019 @ 4:24 pm

@Fran Macadam

Explain how you avoid mixing excrement, semen and blood in sodomy.

Douches, “pulling out”, and condoms.

That said, not all gay men practice sodomy, more straight people practice it then gay people exist, and of course, we have lesbians who are much less likely to practice any sort of penetrative sex.

And it’s not like vaginal sex is that much “cleaner”. You have heard of “period sex”, right?

#22 Comment By Mark B. On January 9, 2019 @ 4:33 pm

As I have understood, it was the comparison of gender ideology with nazi ideology that caused most if not all of the consternation at the VU. I do wonder why he said this, because in the Netherlands, everybody knows you better only talk about nazism and nazi’s when you talk about the real nazism and nazi’s that once were here and if not, you are in trouble. Even comparising communists like Pol Pot with nazi’s is a very bad idea. A politician once did that and he could go.

There is no chance anyone who signed the Nashville declaration will be prosecuted let alone be convicted on the grounds of criminal hate-speech. Including Piet de Vries. The Dutch Public Prosecution Office (Openbaar Ministerie) is very good in applying this kind of symbolic “politics” and is firmly run by SJW style liberals when it comes to issues on immigration, Islam, race and gender. This is indeed very bad in general and very bad for freedom of speech in particular. In this case they will ‘investigate’ and conclude something like ‘immoral bias and prejudice, unwelcome in society and very wrong, but technically not hate-speech according to the law’ and then they will let it go. It happens often. It is intimidation and harrassment. They are too clever to go too far for they will know it could and will propably backfire, like there is always the European Court of Justice (ECJ) somebody who is convicted could go to. Too dangerous for them.

What can I say as a Dutchman, SJW-scum with their tactics are also here and hollowing out free speech as well.

BTW: I believe there is no such thing as rijsttafel in Jakarta. Rijsttafel was invented by the oppressed Indonesians in the colonial time for their Dutch masters. It actually is therefore a very ‘wrong’ dish, political very very very incorrect. Love it myself too.

#23 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 9, 2019 @ 4:56 pm

“That said, not all gay men practice sodomy, more straight people practice it then gay people exist, and of course, we have lesbians who are much less likely to practice any sort of penetrative sex.”

Nothing like internet trolls. You’re either disingenuous, uninformed or misinformed. Sodomy is an unhealthy and even dangerous practice, whether men or women are involved. With women, of course, there is an alternative.

Lesbians are not chaste old lady friends; the sex acts would astonish you, which can involve BDSM, polyamory and certainly using inanimate objects. It’s disordered sexuality. The old Craigslist personals were a window into what goes on. Now I know more than one couple who were into such consensual behavior that ambulances had to be called on more than one occasion. You wouldn’t think bones could be broken that easily.

Those obsessed with unnatural sex aren’t always content with what becomes normal practice for them.

But folks already know this; they just don’t want to stop or no longer remember how.

#24 Comment By cka2nd On January 9, 2019 @ 6:02 pm

The comparison between Nazi ideology and gender ideology was also what stood out for me. Only as an ill-considered phrase deserving of criticism, I would add, but certainly NOT as something that would require any disciplinary action or re-education camps (sorry, diversity training), let alone any legal action.

#25 Comment By cka2nd On January 9, 2019 @ 6:13 pm

I’m glad you linked to Smith’s piece on Belgium’s closing of the exception for halal and kosher animal slaughtering practices, Rod. Another terrible decision, not that I have anything against animals, but in raising a frankly rather minor case of animal cruelty to such a level that religious liberty – over which “Wars have been fought!” I want to shout at my fellow atheists – is again abridged. Smith notes that infant male circumcision is also in the crosshairs, and that’s another ridiculously minor issue on which to spend so much time and energy. Both of these issues remind me of the criticism that some socialists and communists used to have about the British aristocracy, that they were more likely to be moved to tears by the sight of a single beaten dog than by a mine collapse or mill fire killing dozens or hundreds of workers.

#26 Comment By BF On January 9, 2019 @ 7:27 pm

I know enough about the Netherlands, and the Dutch, to know that I don’t know a lot.

English people and Americans have a hugely different take on so many things that I’d want an explanation from a Dutch person before I blew any fuses about doings in the Netherlands. Fortunately two Dutchmen have already posted here, and their posts make it clear that, as I suspected, the rest of us have pretty much misunderstood the whole controversy.

I’m content for now to let the Dutch sort this thing out. We have troubles of our own over here.

#27 Comment By Marie in Vermont On January 9, 2019 @ 8:11 pm

I agree completely with commenter The Right to an Intact Body. The pain and terror caused to an animal is far and away more important than any religious belief. There is no excuse for causing unnecessary suffering to any sentient being.

#28 Comment By OMM 0910 On January 9, 2019 @ 9:33 pm

“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.”

#29 Comment By Ken’ichi On January 9, 2019 @ 9:39 pm

At the VU, you can say what you think … unless you criticize homosexuality, in which case your job may be on the line.

When has ‘you can say what you think… unless it is blasphemous or heretical to the Official Religion’ not been the actual rule of every society for human history. Even in “freedom of speech, freedom of religion” America, consider how secure employment would have been for an open atheist even into 20th century. Or look at Joseph Smith and early Mormons for how First Amendment protected right to heresy in practice. No difference, except that Official Religion is different.


If they go through with prosecuting these church leaders, that speaks darkly of what the future holds for orthodox Christian faith.

Perhaps similar to that for “Pagan” faiths back when Christianity was the new, growing religion of ruling elites? Just wait until Wokeness gets its Theodosius I, Charleagne at Verden, Vladimir the Great, Innocent III, [17], Torquemada. You haven’t seen anything yet.

#30 Comment By John On January 9, 2019 @ 10:29 pm

No institution of higher learning that censors speech, no matter how offensive it might be to its detractors (right, left, center, or something else), deserves to call itself an institution of higher learning.

This professor should not be charged for a crime and he should not be fired and the fact that this matter can be investigated is unfortunate. I strongly disagree with his views on sexuality and “ natural law” and reject Christian Orthodoxy but I do value freedom of speech and believe that a state that can censor some speech is a state that can censor all speech.

Booing this professor when he was done, asking critical questions during any allotted Q&A, submiting an op-ed with counterarguments in the paper of record, and issuing press releases are entirely appropriate responses one can as an individual or group make when they disagree with the speaker and/or his message.

I would note however that anyone who makes a Nazi or communist comparison has already lost the argument. Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot are in a category unto themselves. The murderous mayhem they caused has not been matched by anyone of recent memory, and comparing snowflake pajama boys to them is just ridiculous.

#31 Comment By Philly guy On January 10, 2019 @ 8:49 am

OMM 0910- A Mentat/Assassin, sold to the Tleilaxu as a child.

#32 Comment By Thomas On January 10, 2019 @ 11:30 am

In many ways the orthodox Protestants in the Netherlands have already pursued something like your Benedict option, Rod. If you’ve had an opportunity to visit some of the small towns in the Bijbelgordel it is immediately obvious just how detached they are from the secular country around them – like stepping back in time 50 years. Huge churches on every corner, women in long skirts, everything closed on Sunday, etc.

I’m of Dutch heritage, but live in Canada, where our oldest churches are not even 100 years old, so the experience of worshiping in an almost eight hundred year old church with a congregation of faithful, orthodox Reformed believers was an incredible one. Rod, next time you’re in the Netherlands I highly recommend visiting the Sint-Joriskerk in Amersfoort on a Sunday – they have an English translation of their service so you will be able to follow along.

For those readers unfamiliar with the religious landscape of the Netherlands, the Dutch society became “pillarized” in the late 1800s, with Catholics, Protestants, socialists, and conservative Protestants developing parallel societies with their own schools, churches, hospitals, trade unions, sports leagues, and political parties. Most of this was broken down in the 1960s as the mainstream Dutch culture secularized. However, the conservative protestants have more or less maintained their pillars and therefore have quite successfully resisted secularization up until now.

I say up until now because the more liberal wing of the orthodox Protestants has begun to cave in to societal pressures more and more in recent times (the infighting referenced in Jan’s comment above).

American readers are probably familiar with the Dutch Reformed churches mainly through the Christian Reformed church. This is now a fairly liberal denomination in North America (ordaining women, etc) but its Dutch mother church has gone much farther, with gay marriages and clergy, and in fact technically no longer exists, having merged with the Lutherans and mainline Reformed church.

There was a schism in the 1940s in which a conservative element of this church separated (calling themselves the Liberated church). Today this portion of the Dutch Reformed church is really only represented in North America in Canada, where the Dutch Reformed churches tend to be much more conservative than in the US, and the Canadian daughter church (known as the Canadian Reformed Church) is still a thoroughly orthodox denomination.

However, it has had to break fellowship with its mother church, the Liberated church in the Netherlands, due to a sharp liberal turn in recent years, including some very questionable seminary professors and now most recently the ordination of women. It is really very sad to see a Reformed denomination which has resisted so long the pressures of secular society now surrender the fight. (It is this denomination that publishes the paper linked to by Jan, critical of the Nashville Declaration. It should also be noted that this denomination’s political party’s leader has refused to endorse the declaration.)

There are still some Reformed denominations (the “bevindelijk” or experiential Reformed) which are fully orthodox in the Netherlands, and it is these that have provided the main backing for this declaration, including an endorsement by the leader of their political party. Professor DeVries is a member of one of these churches, the Restored Reformed church. It’s only North American presence is a single congregation in Canada, so I imagine most readers will not be familiar with it. This denomination originated from a faithful remnant within the Dutch state church (hervormd) and has quite a distinct heritage from the Christian Reformed church and related denominations.

#33 Comment By JohnInCA On January 10, 2019 @ 12:49 pm

@Fran Macadam

Nothing like internet trolls.

If treating your question seriously and literally is “trolling”, I think that says a lot more about your question then it says about the responses.

#34 Comment By John Spragge On January 10, 2019 @ 1:18 pm

The Nazi comparison is offensive.

Like it or not, universities have multiple functions, which include educating young people, teaching them to think and function in various professions, and that, in turn, involves evaluation. In some cases, that evaluation involves serious economic and professional stakes, and it is essential it be fair and seen to be fair. As a result, the free speech of professors must be balanced against the rights of students to expect fair assessments. If you publicly equate an appeal by a particular group of people for the rights most of us take for granted with genocide via industrial scale mass murder, it is reasonable for anyone in that group to wonder if you will evaluate them fairly.

#35 Comment By Jan On January 10, 2019 @ 3:15 pm

The history of Dutch protests churches over last 2 centuries is indeed a bit of mess. Thomas does gives an overview which is roughly right. For a visual depiction with the Dutch names, see also [18] .

Some of the churches that emerged over the last two centuries tried to develop their own pilar, even while the pillarization was breaking down in the rest of Dutch society. The most notable example of this are the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) (i.e. what Thomas calls the Liberated Church). They had their own union, newspaper (alluded to above), political party, as well as their own primary schools, high schools, and higher professional education school (roughly equivalent to an BSc in applied sciences), as well as their own theological university.

This system has been coming apart over the last 2 decades. The newspaper is no longer just read by this denomination. It is focussed more broadly on orthodox protestants as well as orthodox evangelicals. The political party joint with another small more evangelical political party. Interestingly, this party is currently part of the coalition that is in power. Most members of this church no longer send their children to the church related primary schools who thus have to become more broadly open to orthodox christians. The same starts to happen at the high school level. The theological university is exploring merges as well.

If you want an interesting real world case study of a Ben Op style protestant world, its dark sides, and its undoing, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) is ideal.

However, it also requires a thorough understanding of the ways in which the separation between church and state has become institutionalised in the Netherlands. Something that from experience is very hard to explain to US citizens. For example, religiously inspired primary schools are state funded, and the same applies to high schools.

Regarding the Nashville declaration a few more remarks. As indicated, de statements that got Piet de Vries in trouble are not his signature below the declaration. Rather, it his likening of the current social justice warriors / gender idealogy to Nazis. Something that raised my eyebrows as well when I first read it. The debate here in the Netherlands is nowhere near close to the level of insanity I read about on this blog and have experienced when visiting the USA. For example, just the other day over lunch one of my academic colleagues, a left leaning neoliberal and convinced atheist was demolishing the nonsense of rapid onset gender disphoria.

Also, by an large most people do not object to the rejection of gay mariage. This is to them nothing new. What got the public opinion upset was the suggestion that being gay is cureable.

#36 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On January 11, 2019 @ 6:42 am

Recently an Italian writer and physician was tried for libel because of her public assertions about homosexuality.
She was acquitted for of saying (and explaining in detail) why sodomy is unhealthy, while she got a small fine (about 2,000 euros) for saying that the LGBT movement has been know for promoting pedophilia in the past (she’s appealing this second conviction, since this is actually the case).

Here is her position about sodomy (through Google translate). Warning, it contains graphic language.


#37 Comment By Stefan On January 17, 2019 @ 1:40 pm

Oh it can get much worse than this. In 2012 Belgium’s oldest and largest university, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (note: no one in Belgium chooses to go to a Catholic university for the religious aspect) fired someone essentially for being a low church Christian.


Excerpt, money quote in last paragraph:

What happened was the Catholic University’s great displeasure with Fernando’s ministry website, Powerthroughlove.be that included testimonies of people healed through the power of God.

Pauwels said, “The University saw some of these movie clips of people being healed and giving their testimonies, and called them ‘unscientific.'”

The university, which declined our interview request, told CBN News in a statement that “when a researcher working on matters of a scientific or medical nature allows religion to take the place of science, he compromises the scientific reputation of the university and breaks the bonds of trust with the university.”

#38 Comment By Stefan On January 17, 2019 @ 2:14 pm

Ken’Ichi are you some sort of alt-right Rain Man? In each of your abstruse diatribelets you namedrop at least four of five historical figures or peoples, yet across all your epistolary output on this comment section you fail to make more than one point, which in essence comes down to a cynical restatement of the harsh facticity and immutable nature of social hierarchy.