Atheist Ireland welcomes police investigation into Stephen Fry for blasphemy
Atheist Ireland welcomes the police investigation into Stephen Fry for blasphemy.
It highlights a law that is silly, silencing, and dangerous.
It is a silly law because it suggests that the creator of the universe needs the Oireachtas to protect its feelings.
It is a silencing law because many Irish media outlets are self-censoring themselves to avoid the possibility of being prosecuted.
And it is a dangerous law because the Islamic States at the United Nations use western blasphemy laws to justify their own blasphemy laws, for which they execute people.
Indeed Pakistan, on behalf of the Islamic States, has asked the UN to use wording from the Irish blasphemy law to ban blasphemy internationally.
Asia Bibi is a Christian woman facing execution for blasphemy in Pakistan. Two politicians who spoke out on her behalf have been murdered, one by his own bodyguard.
Atheist Ireland published 25 blasphemous quotes on the day this law came into operation on 1st January 2010.
We challenged the Government to either prosecute us, in which case we would have challenged the constitutionality of the law, or else to acknowledge that the law was ineffective and therefore should be abolished.
The Government has since committed to holding a referendum to remove the law, but of course has not done so.
It remains part of the background noise of religious interference in Irish public life, along with the daily Angelus on RTE, and this weeks Dail vote to force TDs to stand for Christian prayer every day, asking ‘Christ Our Lord’ to direct their work.
It is no wonder that such a Parliament has given the Catholic Church control of most of our State-funded schools and hospitals, and now has plans to give it another €300 million National Maternity Hospital.
Wonderful news. This more than anything else might be the impetus needed to get the government to honour its committment for a referendum to remove this stupid and offensive law once and for all. It shames us when countries like Pakistan can quote it in its quest for an international blasphemy law.