Conservatives Canceled in Brussels

After being turned down by two other venues, the National Conservatism Conference in Brussels, Belgium, found itself being confronted by police who refused to let any more guests enter the building and also stopped food and beverage deliveries. This was to enforce an order delivered by the socialist mayor of the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode district where the event was to take place.

The mayor’s justification was that this gathering consisted of European thinkers and politicians of a variety he didn’t like. Among his objections:

That vision is not only ethically conservative (e.g. hostility to legalized abortion, same-sex unions, etc.) but also focused on the defense of “national sovereignty”, which implies, among other things, an “Eurosceptic” attitude.

To put it in the clearest terms possible, a bureaucrat in Belgium decreed that an event where viewpoints he did not like—but are nonetheless within the pale of reasonable opinions to hold— should be shut down.

The action was condemned by the prime minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo:

What happened at the Claridge today is unacceptable. Municipal autonomy is a cornerstone of our democracy but can never overrule the Belgian constitution guaranteeing the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly since 1830. Banning political meetings is unconstitutional. Full stop.

Click Here To Read More (Originally Published at World Opinions)

Daniel Darling is director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His forthcoming book is Agents of Grace. He is also a bestselling author of several other books, including The Original Jesus, The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas, The Characters of Easter, and A Way With Words and the host of a popular weekly podcast, The Way Home. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College, has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children.