July 24th, 2009
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The Guiness has always been great. I thought they had a saint that protects fools? Why would they need a law?
There’s actually a Constitutional requirement that there be a law against blasphemy. So there always has been a law against blasphemy in Ireland. It’s just that the previous one was completely unworkable. And everyone was happy with that.
And now the legislation of which the previous blasphemy law was a part has been struck down, so the government is Constitutionally required to bring in a new blasphemy law. Unfortunately, this one may not be unworkable. We’re not sure. It probably is unworkable under the European Human Rights Acts.
We need a new Constitution.
How do they get round the defencive argument that one can only blaspheme if one believes?
I really would like that ‘edit’ facility back you know….
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@Maggs – And you weren’t the only one.
So does this law only prohibit blasphemy against christianity or does it cover all religions? Because if the latter, I imagine the muslims would consider it blasphemy when the christians say that Jesus is the one true god.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Perhaps this is a good thing — no one would be able to say anything about their beliefs since whatever they believe is bound to be blasphemous to some other nitwit. This could be the end of religion in Ireland! Woohoo!
When the bill regarding a ban on promoting religious hatred was being discussed in the UK (a kind of blasphemy law in disguise) I actually posted a Bible to the relevant government department with bookmarks and references to all the people that the Bible promotes religious hatred against. Basically everybody. I was prepared to walk into a Christian bookshop, buy a Bible and go to the nearest police station demanding that the shop selling it be prosecuted.
As it turned out, due to the hard work done by the NSS and a cock up by a labour whip, only a very diluted version of the bill was passed.
I am pretty sure that if the new Irish law is actually put to the test it will be exposed as the contemptable piece of idiotic garbage that it is.
Stonyground is right. Almost every religious book promotes religious hate… by definition. Religions pretend to be true and they try to convert people… However, major religions today survive thanks to being embedded in “national” identities (e.g. Irish are “Catholics”, Iranians are “Twelfer Shiites”, Romanians are “Orthodox”, etc.). A law against blasphemy is a thing that to me sounds very much like 1830s France. I’m afraid we are living in Europe a situation very much like 1820s-1830s: reaction, government oppression of personal freedoms, hyperprotection of religions against free-thinking, etc.
What a ridiculous law – if the heathens aren’t allowed to blaspheme, how are they going to assure that their filthy souls go straight to hell??
I just found out yesterday that we have a blasphemy law here in Massachusetts. (M.G.L. Ch. 272 Section 36) I am not amused.
…muslims would consider it blasphemy when the christians say that Jesus is the one true god.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Perhaps this is a good thing — no one would be able to say anything about their beliefs since whatever they believe is bound to be blasphemous to some other nitwit. This could be the end of religion in Ireland!
Indeed. However, what you are doing there of course, is applying logic to religion. Therein lies the fatal flaw.
[…] Testing The Irish Blasphemy Law In response to Ireland’s recent decision to outlaw blasphemy, a commenter at jesusandmo.net offers this suggestion for how to test the law’s fair applicability: Stonyground says: July 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm […]
Logic however, is what courts are all about. If the law as passed can be argued to allow protection for any and all religions, then Uncle Roger’s dream potentially could come true.
Actually, I think any attempt to enforce this law would end up being an embarrassment to the faithful even if they were wise enough not to go after one another.
Any Irish atheists interested in getting one of those BLASPHEMER t-shirts? I’d certainly be tempted if I lived there.
[…] as always, we have Jesus and Mo to set us right. Never mind “God is great”, the Guinness is indeed […]
I foresee this law becoming quite hilarious rather shortly.
What if someone blasphemes against Guinness?
They better not. Not if they know what’s good for them. I’m thinking shillelaghs. Might accept a defence of extreme drunkenness, though. 0.o
I demand a law forbidding religious believers to outrage atheists.
Blasphemy. Where would religions be without it?
When rational debate and logic is just too hard.
When it begins to dawn on you that your opponents may just have a point.
When your rickety system of belief starts to crumble before your blinkered eyes.
That’s the time to declare … Blasphemy!
Who’s for a game of Blasphemy-Bingo?
Each person gets a grid with words like evolution, Darwin, heliocentric, big bang and so on. You cross them out when they come up in conversation. First person to get a complete line or diagonal shouts “Blasphemy”
@Grouchy-one … I suppose Bingo could work as a starter for 10 … experienced players could move on to Xtremist, the explosive new board game which comes with its own build-your-own effigy kit, matches, box-cutters, strap-on explosive belts and derogatory epithet / fatwa cards.
PLUS an extension kit including model Bali nightclub, London subway and World Trade Centre … while stocks last!
Time for Church of Atheism to be found.
Remember how theist love to argue that atheism is a faith too? So be it! Make a creed (“we believe all gods are made up by humans…”). Register new religion. Take IPU as Holy Sign. Claim state benefits. And, most of all… PERSECUTE BLASPHEMERS!
I had that idea for my own country. We don’t have “blasphemy law”, but sort of fuzzy act of protection of “religious precious feelings”. In literal meaning it’s redundand with anti vandalism law, but is often interpreted in wider extent.
And don’t forget http://www.blasphemyday.com/
I suggest a cheesecake with a communion wafer base. Or an animatronic Mohammed directing air traffic.
Guiness being labeled under the veil (spirits) should ascertain its own right to be a religious figurehead with full rights therein. Then it should become its own religion called oh I don’t know Spiritology. Then perhaps some states would have to make it available even on Sundays.
I’d be the first to be sceptical about a politician’s promises, but this appeared in the Irish Times on July 2nd:
“MINISTER FOR Justice Dermot Ahern is to cut proposed fines for blasphemy from €100,000 to €25,000, under changes to be made to the Defamation Act next week.
Mr Ahern said the legislation, which passed its committee stage in the Dáil yesterday, has been drafted to “make it virtually impossible to get a successful prosecution [for blasphemy] out of it”.”
[Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0702/1224249909022.html ]
I agree that it is (i) backward and (ii) probably counter-productive for the religious.
And of course, whether something is blasphemous is entirely subjective.
I see that the Edit function has been resurrected, hurrah!