Ijust happened across this and thought it was pretty shocking! Basically the new law prohibits blasphemy againt any religion thereby curtailing freedom of speech!
Any Irish atheists battling this? and any ideas from the think atheist community on what can be done here?
Maybe atheists in Ireland should take advantage of the fact that theists keep insisting that atheism is a religion.
Just kidding. But really, this is horrible.
We have such a law on the books in Canada, but I don't know if it's been enforced inside of a century. Given some of the stupid nonsense Parliament pisses away time on, they might as well take a moment to scrap this:
(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 260.
That said, having an antiquated law rotting away in the books is not really comparable to the introduction of a new law. I had heard of this blasphemy law before, but I didn't think anything so stupid would actually go through.
Living beings deserve protection from undue harm, certainly, but outrage doesn't count as undue harm nor do religious ideas count as living beings.
publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.
Such laws will bite themselves eventually. We just have to wait for the first Christian to sue muslims for blasphemously calling god allah, etc. Because religions don't agree, and contradict each other on many-many points, they practically 'blaspheme' one another. Or, atheists could sue religions for blaspheming against Mother Nature, stating false things about Her.
If they decide to give credit to whatever stupidity people can come up with, then they must also give credit to our stupidity.
The reason why such legal initiatives gain traction is not despite inter-religious criticism it's because of it. The inter-religious "debates" are quite rarely as friendly, civilized and laid back as those between "militant" atheists and religious apologists. It was only yesterday that it was considered a reasonable position that maybe tones of debate can create atmospheres that really cause people with a marginal sense of reality to do really terrible things.
It is unworkable, but the in fact in many countries, like Kris Feenstra remarked it is already law. Though it is never used because other principles or laws or jurisprudence supersede them. In my country Holland this is also the case. There has been a serious argument after the murder on Theo van Gogh between sides (Christian-Democrats) who wanted to reintroduce the article and widen it and promote active application and those who wanted to officially scrap the article. No action has been taken yet.
Also some American states have laws against blasphemy. And the UN accepted an anti-blasphemy resolution in 2009. I don't know, but I do suspect because of their inapplicability: the inevitable inconsistencies they would lead to not only with the foundations of Western law and the underlying most important principles, but indeed also with respect to inter-religious blasphemy and insults, that these laws are mainly meant to be symbolic, a bid to try to regulate the tone of the debate. I think it has a shelf-life that strongly depends on it not being actually used. If so it would only lead to tragedy.
I live in Dublin. I am doing my best to get arrested. Any useful suggestions will be taken on board. I have some journalists ready to follow my case. I wear blashemy designed tshirts. I look foward to not swearing on the bible in court. Bring it on. Fuck them all. I will wear what I like. I will soon have to resort to wearing Jesus shags a sheep - one of his fucking flock tshirts- ha. Watch this space. I have ZERO respect for this law.
I heart this post. :)
Get those journalists involved. But I thought this law was really meant to keep the Muslims from acting like spoiled brats? Or do you think the Jesus freaks will be offended as well?
I was going suggest that you could burn Christ in effigy, but I'm not 100% certain this law takes issue with that. Also, you'd probably need a permit, and who wants to fill out paper work?
Back to the drawing board I guess.