Saturday, January 02, 2010

Blasphemy

Don't even think of saying something that could be blasphemous in Ireland unless you intend to defend your statement to show that it has value. It could cost you a €25,000-($35,800) fine.

Ireland has passed a law, which took effect yesterday, making it illegal to make a statement, spoken or published, that is "grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion."

Sorry, but you no matter what you say and how you say it and what care you take to make sure you offend the least amount of people possible, you will offend people. Statements of personal opinions on matters as richly debated as religion have a high rate of causing offense.

And how are they to determine which statements to deem as blasphemous enough to be considered breaking this law? Will it be determined by the number of people it offends or will it be just a choice few officials who make the decision? How many people is a "substantial number" and who determines this as well? And how will they find out how many people it offends; by taking a poll? Come on.

I love that the Irish Atheists have published 25 blasphemous quotes from people such as Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI, Bjork, and Mark Twain thus breaking the new law.

What is the reasoning behind the law? Apparently, it is because of the influx of immigrants from all different backgrounds that has brought many beliefs and religions to Ireland. According to an article in the Guardian, a previous law only allowed protection to the Christian religion.

This law was supposed to add rights, then?

To say that you will be fined if you make blasphemous statements about any religion to protect a variety of beliefs seems a little twisted to me. Why not just say that all religions have the same protections and rights? Then, rights are being added rather then taken away.

3 comments:

Kaylynn said...

I am so glad you're back!

And that's a really stupid law. ;-)

It's rampant everywhere though. We had a recent incidence here in the States where a veteran had to remove a U.S. flag from the rear window of his parked car (at his apartment complex) because some residents found it offensive.

Dumb dumb dumb.

Kay

S. Nichole said...

Thanks Kay. :)

Anthony M. said...

Oppressors will never stop trying to impose their will on the masses. Free-thinkers have always been the target of nonsense like this. That's one of the reasons we as Americans need to continue fighting to keep this country secular in nature... church and state separate. If we allow those lines to be blurred even the slightest, it won't be long before we start seeing stuff like this here.

I know the post is over a year old, but it's still really good. My wife hosts a Pagan site as well.

http://www.theguardedpath.com

Take care and enjoy!