I believe in Freedom of Speech. Especially the freedom to say something that somebody else may not like, and especially if they get viscerally offended and outraged. As long as you aren’t directly inciting hatred (you know, like how it’s outlined in our laws), then I say go for it. Hell, you might as well go on and define my love of freedom of speech to be a religious tenet.
So, when the Irish Parliament bans blasphemy, which they define as:
- [Publishing work] 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.
- [Intending], by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.
you begin to see the problem. What the Irish have gone and done, is effectively make the act of outraging people, who happen to share a religion, illegal, on pain of 25000 euro (37223.52 CAD, according to google).
This becomes particularly troublesome as this passed on the heels of the Murphy Report, the result of an inquiry into alleged Priest’s repeated rape of children , and more appallingly, the churches actions to hide their tracks with payoffs and insurance. Point is, if people get offended but these truths, they now have a recourse to shut up those making the terrible comments.
Before you think I just have the hate-on for the Catholics (who are no saints), some of the islamic responses to that one cartoon, going as far as to attempt to kill the cartoonist and his family in his own home (!?), or the Orthodox Jew response to those F*ing hipsters, or Scientology (which is definitely a religion, haters) buying the Cult Awareness Network to stifle any investigation, or even those DAMN ATHEISTS trying to put this sign dissing all religious folk up BESIDE THE BABY JESUS that all represent similar problems. The horror, I know. My point is, enough people in each and every one of these religious situations to certainly qualify for the “holding sacred” situations, and therefore for the 25000 bones.
There’s a solution, and it doesn’t involve punishing thoughts (That is the job of Religion :P). Let’s build a wall between the dumbass state, and the stupid churches, so that their respective stupidity doesn’t contaminate each other. At least, we shouldn’t make ideas illegal to even express. Some folk in Ireland are trying to provoke a response to challenge the government on their bullshit, so they’ve come up with a list of 25 blasphemous quotes. Some of my favorite ones are:
2. Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism.
12. Salman Rushdie, 1990: “The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – uncertainty, progress, change – into crimes.” In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because of blasphemous passages in Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.
and my favorite of all:
15. George Carlin, 1999: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”
Now, go check them all out, and get offended, and best of all, enjoy your right to piss other people off with what you believe in turn! Ireland no longer has that luxury, so we have to make up for it!