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Spanish Left: ‘Burn The Priest’

From the 'Burn The Priests' advocates on Spanish Twitter

In Spain, seems like 1931 all over again:

Despite restrictions on hate speech on social media in Spain, a trending hashtag calling for Catholic priests to be burned alive was not removed for violating rules against posting calls for violence.

The invitation to #FuegoAlClero, or set fire to the clergy, was first issued by several pro-Marxist accounts, originally in defense of a bill to reform Spain’s education system that would put the state in control of religious instruction in public schools and limit support for thousands of Catholic schools, which could lead to their closure.

However, the trending topic was accompanied by calls to burn down churches because “the only church that illuminates is the one that is in flames,” signed by “the daughters of the witches you couldn’t burn.”

By Tuesday evening, Twitter had done nothing about the tweets, despite thousands of users complaining the hashtag was inciting hatred and a direct violation of the company’s rules against “violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior.”

This is all happening in context of the left-wing coalition government’s proposal to reform the Spanish education system to punish the Catholic Church:

The “Celaa Law” – the bill to reform Spain’s education system named for the Spanish minister of education, Isabel Celaa – passed its first hurdle last week, and is expected to become a law despite the lack of support from education institutions.

In addition to its effect on religious education, the proposed law also calls for the closure of specialist schools that serve children with physical or mental disabilities in order to “mainstream” them at the schools that serve the general population, despite strong opposition from experts and the parents of special needs children.

The bishops are not the only ones to oppose the Celaa Law: Employers, unions and parents came together to form “Mas Plurales,” a platform that calls for real plurality in the Spanish educational system.

Hundreds of thousand rallied last Sunday against the proposed law, yet the Socialist government argues that those who defend mostly Catholic private education – that serves two million children and that has thousands of institutions – are actually defending a state-financed educational system marked by “segregating elitism and privilege.”

Read it all. 

I wrote to a friend in Madrid to ask him what was happening. He responded:

This is an extremely offensive Twitter hashtag to Spaniards, given that in the 1930s Marxists actually did literally burn Catholic clerics, monks and nuns.
The change in the law in Spain, from guaranteeing public or concerted education to now just guaranteeing public education, is purely motivated by the Socialist government’s desire to control the ideology that is inculcated in schools. Parochial schools in Spain that receive government support—the so called “concerted” schools—produced better results and at lower cost than their state school counterparts. So economically, this law is asinine and will leave perhaps millions of Spanish kids worse off.
But no matter to the Socialists. Their goal, like those of their Communist brothers in coalition, is to create a “new man”, liberated from religion.

As of this writing, Spanish Twitter is still permitting posts under the #FuegoAlClero hashtag. For example, this Marx quote, “Religion is the opium of the people.”:

Another reader e-mailed to say it’s a good thing that Live Not By Lies is being translated now into Spanish, for 2021 publication in Spain. This short bit from my book speaks directly to this #FuegoAlClero news:

If a corporation with access to private data decides that progress requires suppressing dissenting opinions, it will be easy to identify the dissidents, even if they have said not one word publicly.

In fact, they may have their public voices muted. British writer Douglas Murray documented how Google quietly weights its search results to return more “diverse” findings. Though Google presents its search results as disinterested, Murray shows that “what is revealed is not a ‘fair’ view of things, but a view which severely skews history and presents it with a bias from the present.”

Result: for the search engine preferred by 90 percent of the global internet users, “progress”—as defined by left-wing Westerners living in Silicon Valley—is presented as normative.

In another all-too-common example, the populist Vox party in Spain had its Twitter access temporarily suspended when, in January 2020, a politician in the Socialist Party accused the Vox party of “hate speech,” for opposing the Socialist-led government’s plan to force schoolchildren to study gender ideology, even if parents did not consent.

Take a look at what I wrote about that on this blog back in January. The Spanish Left is quite radical — and the media go along with them, labeling as “far right” objection to the Left’s program. These Leftists want civil war. It did not go so well for them last time.
If you want to know what side of these questions the tech giants are on, well, here’s your answer.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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