Atheist Ireland is campaigning for the repeal of the Irish blasphemy law.

For up-to-date details of this campaign, see our campaign website at Blasphemy.ie and our Blasphemy Facebook Page.

Here is a quick overview of the blasphemy law and its impact on society.

The Defamation Act 2009 makes blasphemy a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine. Blasphemy is defined as “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” with safeguards to make it harder to prosecute.

Regardless of the detail, it is wrong in principle for a modern democratic republic to have any type of blasphemy law. Theological thought-crimes belong in the past. Religious and nonreligious people alike should be protected from harm and incitement to harm, but religious and nonreligious ideas alike should be open to any criticism. That is how human knowledge progresses. Blasphemy laws discriminate against nonreligious citizens, by protecting the fundamental beliefs of religious citizens only.

This law also has serious international impacts. Irish citizens could face blasphemy charges elsewhere under the European Arrest Warrant. Also, Islamic States are lobbying at the UN to make defamation of religion a crime internationally. Ireland has voted along with the other EU States against this, because Islamic States can use these laws to justify religious persecution. These Islamic States can now point to a modern pluralist Western State passing a new blasphemy law in the 21st century.

Sign our petition to Hold a referendum to repeal Ireland’s Blasphemy Laws.

11 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Soizick February 05, 2015

    Just dicovering that Ireland is now under an “antiblasphemy” law. As a Christian i vote for the repelling of a regulation both archaic, anti-right to think and anti-God. Without the right to criticise and not believe, there is no true faith !

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Rachel O'Brien February 13, 2015

    Religious laws should only apply to religious people wonder how long they would last then :/..

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Jim February 20, 2015

    Shocked to know that such a law exists in any form in my home country, but hopeful this absurdity will be stamped out from our constitution. It is embarrassing however that stagnant theocracies in the Islamic world look to Ireland for inspiration for their own demented revelations.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    charmed February 25, 2015

    shocking

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Linda Hennessey February 25, 2015

    This is such a bad law

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Derek Hayden May 06, 2015

    could the church then challenge the results of the referendum on marriage equality, if these laws are still in place?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Andrew Doyle May 06, 2015

      Hi Derek – not sure what you mean. Are you asking if the marriage equality referendum could be considered blasphemy? The offence of blasphemy needs to be committed by a person who can then be prosecuted -so the short answer to your queston would be no.

      Reply
  7. Avatar
    David Durand April 19, 2016

    Is burning in Hell for all eternity not enough? 😛

    Reply

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