Here is the Hoffman quote I was thinking of, from an interview with Kourosh Ziabari.
"I am writing a book on freedom of conscience. One of the findings has been that during the European wars of religion when Protestants and Catholics murdered, censored and defamed one another, a martyr to freedom of conscience was only considered as such by Protestants if he or she was one of the Protestants; by the same standard, Catholics regarded a person who was censored or killed for their faith only a martyr if they were of the Catholic faith." This mentality of religious hatred which occluded objective judgment has a long history in the West.
It is Hoffman who occludes objective judgment. The objective i.e. factual judgment is that the Catholic Church is the true Church and the only one that can trace its origins to Christ. So there is a difference between Catholics punishing heretics, and Protestants -- who are involved in a heretical sect -- persecuting Catholics. Yet you would never pick up on such a distinction reading this interview.
Even though the people of Europe, for example, are today mostly agnostic or atheist, they seem to have inherited this old criterion from the European wars of religion. Consequently, a Muslim who quits the faith and turns against it and is persecuted, is a martyr in the eyes of the West, but a Judaic who does the same with regard to Judaism is not a martyr but a psychologically troubled person, a "self-hating Jew."
Intellectuals who challenge the claims of execution gas chambers in Auschwitz-Birkenau are not regarded as martyrs to freedom of conscience when they are arrested, fined, beaten or jailed. They are like Catholics in Anglican England or Huguenots in Catholic France; they are of the devil's party and therefore freedom of speech does not apply to them; neither are they martyrs to freedom; only criminals."
Here he is equalizing Catholic martyrs and Protestants who die in religious conflicts. He is making anyone who is attacked for "free speech" into a martyr, basically. The emphasis is never on Catholicism, always on free speech. Perhaps he doesn't know what the Catholic Church teaches about free speech?
In the United States freedom of speech is guaranteed in the public sphere by virtue of the Founding Fathers who forbade the fratricidal wars of religion on American soil and banned the establishment of a state religion. Without a heritage of religiously demonizing adversaries in the war of ideas, Americans refused to permit the jailing of heretics.
He says this as if it's a good thing. Heretics are enemies of social order and of civilization itself. Then again, the US as we know it was founded by Freemasons who didn't seem to care much that being a Freemason meant automatic excommunication.
"There have been some exceptions to this: President John Adams jailed Congressman Matthew Lyon for "sedition." Abraham Lincoln jailed his opponents and closed newspapers. President Woodrow Wilson's administration locked up war critics such as Eugene Debs. But the American people never approved of this repression, it was viewed as something foreign - the despotism of kings. George W. Bush tried to alter that perception after the 9/11 attacks, when he and Vice President Cheney attempted to enact king-like powers for the Executive branch of government. It remains to be seen if, in the name of "National Security," Americans will surrender their birthright of freedom.
In Britain and Europe the slogan of the state church was "error has no rights." They were certain that the state, either in the person of Queen Elizabeth I of England, the pope of Rome, the Bourbon kings of France, the Lutheran establishment in Germany or Calvin's theocracy in Geneva, had the competence to legally decide and declare what thoughts were true and what was error. Though Europe today would scorn Calvin and the pope, many Europeans are dutiful sons and daughters of this dictatorship over the mind. Hence, when France and Germany declare that those skeptics who question the homicidal gas chambers have no rights, they are acting on behalf of a European religious mentality, as did their ancestors, only in the modern instance the mentality is not Catholicism or Calvinism, it is Holocaustianity."
Make no mistake, he really is comparing the Pope ( and the Catholic kings of France ) to Elizabeth Tudor as a sort of tyrant. All of them are infringing on his precious liberty in one way or another, whether they be Catholic or Anglican.
Then again, when Chesterton can go around praising the most Satanic event in world history, the French Revolution, and still be treated like an uncanonized saint, it's no wonder this flies with certain people.