1 of 2
1
Irish Blasphemy Law Passes
Posted: 14 July 2009 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1183
Joined  2007-08-07

Yet another reason why we need to organize and stand up against theistic insanity (I know it’s in Ireland but I’ll bet some Senator will pick it up and ointroduce it here as well):

Ireland passes blasphemy law

July 11, 5:53 AM

On Friday July 11th, 2009, Ireland passed the Defamation Bill by one vote. One of the aspects of this bill would make it illegal to criticize religion… any religion under penalty of fines up to 25,000 Euros. That is the equivalent to nearly $35,000.

When I first heard this story on the internets, I was certain that it was a false story. I read the story, googled it, checked out legitimate Ireland news sites, and double checked more Ireland news sites. The story checks out. It seems that the Blasphemy Clause of the Defamation Bill was challenged in the legislature by an amendment which would delete such a clause. The amendment to delete the clause initially passed by one vote, but a request was made for a “walk-through vote.” During that time two more Senators came in and voted against the amendment to delete the clause. This meant that the clause would stay in the bill. The bill then passed by the same margin.

Here is an excerpt from the Blasphemy Clause:

Section 36

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter 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, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

This part of the bill makes it illegal to criticize any religion either verbally or in writing. Saying anything in which a “substantial number” of followers might find offensive would now be a crime in the Ireland. But the bill goes even further. Here is another excerpt:

Section 37

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 36, the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana.

The Garda Siochana is the Irish police who can now (under this law) break into people’s homes and confiscate copies of any book which might be critical of any religion. I keep trying to point out that any religious criticism is a crime, because many Christians are critical of differing religions. Atheists are not the only ones being targeted here. Simply claiming that the Pope is not infallible might be considered blasphemous to many Catholics. Claiming that the prophet Joseph Smith was not really visited by angels and given magic golden plates would be blasphemous to Mormons. Mentioning the prophet Mohammad without adding the phrase “peace be upon him” would be considered blasphemous to Muslims. And claiming that Scientology is a sham and that Tom Cruise is crazy would obviously be blasphemous to Scientologists.

What if a Christian claimed that if someone was not saved through Jesus Christ, he or she would spend eternity in Hell? An argument could be made that such a statement and even the Bible itself might be considered blasphemous to other religions. In fact, most religious are blasphemous to other religions. Maybe the Irish police will fine everyone.

Link here

[ Edited: 14 July 2009 01:05 PM by Keep The Reason]
 Signature 

Faith-free since 1985

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2009 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09

As someone who lived four happy years in Ireland, I find this terribly depressing.  What I find even more depressing is that the freedom of speech guarantee in the Irish constitution will probably not cause this law to be overturned, as that section (article 40.6.1.) requires that the publication of “blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter” be a criminal offence.

Giant step backward for freedom of speech in Ireland.

 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 July 2009 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  777
Joined  2007-09-16

That is depressing…I hope it doesn’t make its way over here either.  Unfortunately, that is the result of liberalism in this age.

 Signature 

“If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.” -Epictetus

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2009 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  363
Joined  2006-04-05

This is truly depressing, but not entirely surprising—Europe does not have the same free speech tradition we have.

 Signature 

“It isn’t paranoia- it’s a heightened awareness of reality.” —our resident conspiracy theorist takes a stand!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2009 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20

I’m suspicious.  I can’t find news stories about it outside of atheist blogs.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2009 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
Skipshot - 15 July 2009 12:18 PM

I’m suspicious.  I can’t find news stories about it outside of atheist blogs.

Google is your friend.

Ireland bucks trend with anti-blasphemy law

Father Ted creators back challenge to the blasphemy bill

Blasphemy law a return to middle ages - Dawkins

Blasphemy law is silly, dangerous and unjust

[ Edited: 15 July 2009 10:50 AM by Billy Shears]
 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1183
Joined  2007-08-07
Skipshot - 15 July 2009 12:18 PM

I’m suspicious.  I can’t find news stories about it outside of atheist blogs.

Interestingly, I can’t find anything on it on irishlaw.org:

http://www.irishlaw.org/

 Signature 

Faith-free since 1985

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 July 2009 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20

The best I’m able to gather is that the law already exists and is required under the 1961 state constitution and thus is being revised in some way.  Also, none of the stories I’ve found relate an instance of the law being enforced.  I’m still suspicious.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 July 2009 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
Skipshot - 16 July 2009 03:21 AM

The best I’m able to gather is that the law already exists and is required under the 1961 state constitution and thus is being revised in some way.  Also, none of the stories I’ve found relate an instance of the law being enforced.  I’m still suspicious.

Why?  I’ve given you links to mainstream news sites covering this.  It’s being reported in the Irish Times for pete’s sake—this is not a tabloid; it’s Ireland’s paper of record.  That means it IS a legitimate news story.

And the law did not already exist.  That, for Dermot Ahern, was apparently the problem.  If you actually read some of the articles, you’ll find a reference to “blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter” being a criminal offense in the 1937 Irish constitution.  However there never was any law on the books defining what constituted blasphemy, so this provision being therefore unenforceable, never has been enforced in over seventy years.  Along comes Dermot Ahern, and decides that this is a void that apparently needed to be filled, despite the fact that no one in Ireland was demanding this “gap” in the law be rectified.

 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 July 2009 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20
Billy Shears - 16 July 2009 01:30 PM

And the law did not already exist.

From the third paragraph of your citation of the Guardian:

Under the Irish constitution, the state is obliged to have blasphemy laws. The bill going through the Dáil would amend the Defamation Act of 1961, which includes blasphemy as a crime.

Amending an existing law is not the same as creating a new one.  Try reading your own citations more closely.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 July 2009 11:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
Skipshot - 17 July 2009 02:49 AM
Billy Shears - 16 July 2009 01:30 PM

And the law did not already exist.

From the third paragraph of your citation of the Guardian:

Under the Irish constitution, the state is obliged to have blasphemy laws. The bill going through the Dáil would amend the Defamation Act of 1961, which includes blasphemy as a crime.

Amending an existing law is not the same as creating a new one.  Try reading your own citations more closely.

I did read it more closely.  And since I enforce laws for a living, I’m quite familiar with the difference between one existing and not existing.  You’re making the mistake of regarding the law as if it exists solely on paper.  It doesn’t.  It also exists in the real world where people have to apply it.

It doesn’t matter if the state is “obliged” to have blasphemy laws.  As long as no legal definition for blasphemy exists—and one didn’t before now—then there is no law.  In practical terms,  an unenforceable law is the same as no law.  There is no difference, de facto if not de jure.  If something is on the books for seventy years, and is never once enforced in all that time, because it’s legally impossible to enforce, then it is the same as not having any law on the matter at all.  It’s a dead letter.

Only now, it’s a dead letter no longer.  For the first time in more than seventy years, the necessary component for its enforcement—a legal definition of blasphemy and a specific code section under which warrants can be drawn up—has been provided.

[ Edited: 17 July 2009 07:14 AM by Billy Shears]
 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 July 2009 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20

Since you enforce the law you are aware that enforcement doesn’t mean conviction.  If blasphemy is a crime but not clearly defined then it is up to judges to determine if it is enforceable, not law enforcement.  That law enforcement chose to ignore a law doesn’t mean a law is unenforceable.  Blasphemy is already in Irish law (I gather from the stories), but whether it is clearly defined or not shouldn’t matter to law enforcement since they may interpret the law as they like until a judge or jury makes the final interpretation, and by making a clearer definition of blasphemy then a conviction is more likely.

The blasphemy law is being clarified, not created.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 July 2009 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
Skipshot - 17 July 2009 10:26 PM

Since you enforce the law you are aware that enforcement doesn’t mean conviction.  If blasphemy is a crime but not clearly defined then it is up to judges to determine if it is enforceable, not law enforcement.  That law enforcement chose to ignore a law doesn’t mean a law is unenforceable.  Blasphemy is already in Irish law (I gather from the stories), but whether it is clearly defined or not shouldn’t matter to law enforcement since they may interpret the law as they like until a judge or jury makes the final interpretation, and by making a clearer definition of blasphemy then a conviction is more likely.

Wrong.  To begin with, in order to make an arrest on any charge, you have to establish probable cause.  The Irish legal system works just like ours in this respect.  Without a definition of what the offense is, you CANNOT establish probable cause.  The most common definition of probable cause is “a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime”.  If you can’t even define what constitutes said crime, you CANNOT establish a reasonable belief that the crime has been committed—how can you if you can’t even establish just what the crime is?—and thus you cannot establish probable cause.  Without a definition of what the crime of blasphemy is, you wouldn’t even be able to convince a judge or a magistrate to issue the arrest warrant in the first place, never mind take the subject to court and try the case.

And furthermore, in order to charge somebody, there has to be an offense listed in criminal code, and the elements of the offense, the type of offense, and the penalties for the offense, all have to be spelled out.

Skipshot - 17 July 2009 10:26 PM

The blasphemy law is being clarified, not created.

Again, wrong.  Without a legal definition, which did not exist before now, the stipulation in the Irish constitution was almost meaningless.  Let us just say, for the sake of argument, that you could have found an officer of the court willing to issue the warrant (you couldn’t, for additional reasons I’ll spell out in the next paragraph, but just supposing you could), the case wouldn’t even survive beyond the preliminary hearing, let alone go to trial.  Now, it’s a whole different story.

And aside from the issue of PC, there’s another reason you could never have been charged before this.  If you, as a complainant wanting to swear out a warrant, had come to a judge and said “your honor, I’d like to charge this subject with blasphemy,” the judge would have said “that’s nice, what section of the criminal code do I cite?  For the life of me, I can’t find the offense of blasphemy listed anywhere in there.  Help me out here, where is it?  Is this a felony or a misdemeanor?  Is it a jailable offense?  If so, what’s the maximum penalty?  Six months?  Five years?  What?  Or is is punishable via fine?  If so, again, what’s the maximum fine?  50 Euros?  100?  1,000?  10,000?  What?  Is there a minimum imposed penalty?  I need to no these things before I can charge anybody.”

Judges can’t just make this shit up.  They can’t create laws ( and before you say “yes they can, it’s called case law,” case law—which is what judges’ rulings are, are only interpretations of existing laws, which clarify ambiguities in existing law; it’s not newly created law).  Only the legislature can do that.  It has to be in the criminal code before you can charge anybody with the crime.  And to get there, it has to be enacted by the legislature.  Again, it never was before now.

So while it was required to be a criminal offense, according to the constitution, none of the specific information to make a blasphemy law an enforceable law was ever provided before now, and thus the offense was heretofore totally unenforceable.

[ Edited: 18 July 2009 08:09 AM by Billy Shears]
 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 July 2009 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  12
Joined  2008-12-28

Is that 25,000 euros, (~$35,000 USD) per offense?


If so, then 40 offenses should equal a fine of 1 million euros.


Hahahahaha.  The stupidy of this law is staggering.

It seems to me that some fool of a politician just wanted to stir up a media storm, in order to gain some attention for himself/herself.

 Signature 

Mathematics says:

If Church ? State ? ø , then we are all f(k) = d.


“If the intersection of Church and State does not equal the null set, then we are all fucked.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 July 2009 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20

Deliberately avoiding my point doesn’t make yours valid, Billy.  The Defamation Act of 1961 put an undefined law on the books, which we agree cannot be enforced in court, but it doesn’t mean a cop can’t arrest someone on a blasphemy charge even if the cop knows it won’t be upheld.  Nor is a court order necessary to arrest someone.  As for “probable cause” you know darn well that is as broad and subjective a statement as can be in law and can be used or abused by enforcement very effectively.

Cop: “Your honor, I was going door to door selling tickets to the Policemen’s Ball” when I noticed multiple blasphemous books by well known atheist authors on the defendant’s book shelf just beyond the doorway.  So I arrested the defendant for blasphemy.”  (Under the cop’s breath):  “Don’t blame me if you judges and politicians haven’t figured out how to prosecute someone under a vague law I didn’t put on the books.  This is for you to figure out.”

What is happening now is, and I’ll repeat it again since your selective reading ignores it, ‘blasphemy’ is now being more clearly defined (in accordance with the Irish constitution) so that the law can be enforced to all the way to a conviction, and, in a general sense, there is nothing wrong with this.

Here’s a concise explanation of the events leading up to the current issue from the US State Department (source:

The Constitution provides that “publication or utterance” of “blasphemous matter” is an offense punishable in accordance with law, but it does not define blasphemy. Accordingly, the Defamation Bill 2006 was initiated in the Seanad (Upper House of Parliament) and passed by that body on March 11, 2008. However, at the end of the period covered by this report, the bill was still in committee phase at the Dail (Lower House of Parliament). The intent is to amend the bill during this phase to take account of the constitutional considerations in relation to blasphemy. The Defamation Act of 1961 provides that a person convicted of blasphemous libel is liable to a fine not exceeding approximately $900 (€600) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both, or to penal servitude of not more than seven years. Under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act of 1989, publishing material that stirs up hatred against a religious group is a violation; however, the 1991 Law Reform Commission stated that laws on blasphemy were incompatible in a society that respects freedom of speech. To avoid a referendum on the Constitution, the Commission recommended creating a new statute against matter done solely for the purpose of outraging large numbers of adherents. The Commission’s recommendation of creating a new statute is being examined in the context of addressing the provisions relating to blasphemy in the Defamation Bill 2006. In the absence of legislation and in the present uncertain state of the law, the Court has not prosecuted anyone for blasphemy recently; the lone blasphemy case, which was heard in 1999, did not result in a conviction.

I believe the blasphemy law is incompatible with free speech just as much as you, and believe the law (as it was formerly written) is unenforceable.  Because it is unenforceable it opens the possibility of some religious clown to seek to strengthen the law as the Irish constitution permits.  The Irish are trying to balance the two incompatible conditions without resorting to amending the constitution to remove either blasphemy or free speech.  Politicians, being the slippery jellyfish they are, don’t want to have to take sides on such a volatile subject until they are forced to, which is now happening because of a religious fuckwit.

So the real problem isn’t that the blasphemy law is being strengthened but that the constitution allows it to exist in the first place.

 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 July 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

Deliberately avoiding my point doesn’t make yours valid, Billy.  The Defamation Act of 1961 put an undefined law on the books, which we agree cannot be enforced in court, but it doesn’t mean a cop can’t arrest someone on a blasphemy charge even if the cop knows it won’t be upheld.

Wrong again.  It absolutely does mean that if the magistrate or judge isn’t even willing or able to issue the warrant. 

Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

Nor is a court order necessary to arrest someone.  As for “probable cause” you know darn well that is as broad and subjective a statement as can be in law and can be used or abused by enforcement very effectively.

It’s not as easy as you seem to think.  If you can’t articulate probable cause to the officer of the court issuing the warrant, you won’t get the warrant.  Period.

Of course, the officer seeking the warrant can always lie, but that can be done on any charge, and if they catch you, you go to jail for perjury.  We just had two Norfolk Police officers indicted for that quite recently.  As soon as it became evident they were lying, they were suspended from duty, and then charged once investigation proved they were lying.  Despite what many think, and despite the undeniable fact that there are exceptions, most departments don’t tolerate that sort of dishonesty.

Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

Cop: “Your honor, I was going door to door selling tickets to the Policemen’s Ball” when I noticed multiple blasphemous books by well known atheist authors on the defendant’s book shelf just beyond the doorway.  So I arrested the defendant for blasphemy.”  (Under the cop’s breath):  “Don’t blame me if you judges and politicians haven’t figured out how to prosecute someone under a vague law I didn’t put on the books.  This is for you to figure out.”

grin If you seriously imagine any cop could address a judge or magistrate in such a fashion, and actually have the warrant issued it only proves you’ve never stood before a judge or magistrate and actually tried to get one.  Let me make it clear to you: they don’t take orders from cops.  Even a hint of attitude on the part of the officer will not go unnoticed. 

And once again, if the law isn’t clearly defined, if it isn’t even defined whether or not it’s a felony or misdemeanor offense, if the penalties are not defined, if there is no specific code section that could be cited, the magistrate will not issue the warrant.

Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

What is happening now is, and I’ll repeat it again since your selective reading ignores it, ‘blasphemy’ is now being more clearly defined (in accordance with the Irish constitution) so that the law can be enforced to all the way to a conviction, and, in a general sense, there is nothing wrong with this.

Exactly, it makes a law that was previously a vague, ill-defined, unenforceable dead letter, into a law that is now capable of being enforced.  You seem to think nothing has changed, and that is not the case.

Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

Here’s a concise explanation of the events leading up to the current issue from the US State Department (source:

The Constitution provides that “publication or utterance” of “blasphemous matter” is an offense punishable in accordance with law, but it does not define blasphemy. Accordingly, the Defamation Bill 2006 was initiated in the Seanad (Upper House of Parliament) and passed by that body on March 11, 2008. However, at the end of the period covered by this report, the bill was still in committee phase at the Dail (Lower House of Parliament). The intent is to amend the bill during this phase to take account of the constitutional considerations in relation to blasphemy. The Defamation Act of 1961 provides that a person convicted of blasphemous libel is liable to a fine not exceeding approximately $900 (€600) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both, or to penal servitude of not more than seven years. Under the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act of 1989, publishing material that stirs up hatred against a religious group is a violation; however, the 1991 Law Reform Commission stated that laws on blasphemy were incompatible in a society that respects freedom of speech. To avoid a referendum on the Constitution, the Commission recommended creating a new statute against matter done solely for the purpose of outraging large numbers of adherents. The Commission’s recommendation of creating a new statute is being examined in the context of addressing the provisions relating to blasphemy in the Defamation Bill 2006. In the absence of legislation and in the present uncertain state of the law, the Court has not prosecuted anyone for blasphemy recently; the lone blasphemy case, which was heard in 1999, did not result in a conviction.

I believe the blasphemy law is incompatible with free speech just as much as you, and believe the law (as it was formerly written) is unenforceable.

One would not get that impression from reading your posts.  You seem to have been arguing that not much has changed. 

Skipshot - 19 July 2009 03:56 PM

Because it is unenforceable it opens the possibility of some religious clown to seek to strengthen the law as the Irish constitution permits.  The Irish are trying to balance the two incompatible conditions without resorting to amending the constitution to remove either blasphemy or free speech.  Politicians, being the slippery jellyfish they are, don’t want to have to take sides on such a volatile subject until they are forced to, which is now happening because of a religious fuckwit.

So the real problem isn’t that the blasphemy law is being strengthened but that the constitution allows it to exist in the first place.

What do expect.  The constitution was written in the 1930s in an overwhelmingly devoutly catholic country.  The blasphemy provision is a relic of that reality.  But rather than change the constitution to reflect the more secular nature of today’s society, they have chosen to take a retrograde step—that of strengthening the the blasphemy provision.

 Signature 

I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed