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Christ on a Bike, it’s Blasphemy Day!

by Phil O'Kane on September 30th, 2012

Sure it’s easy to joke about religion — like, really easy — and while International Blasphemy Day isn’t a designated berate religions or offend people of faith, but rather a day to stand up for freedom of expression. The fact that in some parts of the world it is still illegal to criticise religious beliefs is ludicrous. In the US criticising religion may become a criminal offense, however, as the US Constitution demands separation of Church and state this would surely be unconstitutional — however Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania have laws against blasphemy.

In the UK, Blasphemy laws were abolished in 2008.

On the other hand, in 2009 Ireland moved to introduce blasphemy laws stating that “publishing or uttering blasphemous matter” may be punishable of up to €25,000.

In Northern Ireland blasphemy and blasphemous libel are still punishable by law. An amendment to the law was planned in 2009, but this was withdrawn.

“… this is not about any hostility to religion. On the contrary, the problem is that one person’s religion is another person’s blasphemy. The vice in the common law on blasphemy, which has never been used in Northern Ireland, is that it immediately leads to demands by, for example, Muslims that it be extended to their religion-something which has, extraordinarily, been done in the Republic. Thirdly, it is there to protect Christianity, which is regarded as divisive by non-Christians.” — Lord Lester of Herne Hill 5th Nov 2009

So the question now is, in this country, will we be arrested for stating that God is a big doo doo head? Why can we not be rude about a god, a belief system, or indeed simply criticise faith without the fear that we could potentially be arrested for doing so?

I’m not going to post any silly cartoons which may be considered extreme by some fools — we are a serious people — however, I will continue to question why it is that full freedom of expression is not granted to the people of this Island? Both north and south of the political border. We fully and completely condemn such a law which discourages free speech.

“Every great truth begins as a blasphemy.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“Blasphemy is an epithet bestowed by superstition upon common sense”
– Robert Green Ingersoll

Can we also see that those who do believe in God will stand up for the rights of those who do not?

Go now, to love and serve blaspheme to your heart’s content.

From → In the News

2 Comments
  1. Martin McCourt permalink

    Is that a typo in the last sentence? Surely, you condemn a law that discourages free speech. Other than that, I agree completely.

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