Tag Archives: blasphemy

Blasphemy In Ireland-Dumb Law Of Decade?

Every so often a group of humans passes a law or expresses an idea which is so ludicrous as to deserve some sort of award for stupidity. The Irish government has passed a “blasphemy law” which makes it a crime to tell a member of a religion that his ideas are weird or lacking in truth. According to the law, blasphemy is defined as: “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting related to matter sacred by any religion thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion.” As Nicholas Nugent of Ireland Atheist notes, this is simply a “silly and dangerous” law.

For example:
define: “Grossly abusive.”
define: “insulting.
define: “sacred”
define: “intentionally”
define: “outrage”
define: “substantial number.”

Can Blasphemy Exist In A Democratic Society?

The Indonesian Constitutional Court has upset many government and religious leaders in the country by having a review of the nation’s blasphemy law which allows those who allegedly insult the Muslim religion to be sentenced to jail. The hearing, in effect, will be a week long forum at which clerics, dissidents, human rights activists and even artists will express their opinions as to whether a modern democratic society can allow a law which terms blasphemy to be a crime. The anti Blasphemy Law was passed in 1965 and enjoys support from conservative clerics.

The problem with any blasphemy law is the denial of those in a religion to argue for changes in religious practices because opponents can readily claim they are guilty of blasphemy. I assume Jesus was guilty of blasphemy two thousand years ago.

Is It Blasphemous To Be For God?

A new strict blasphemy law in Ireland makes it a serious crime punishable by a fine of up to $44,000 for anyone who has the audacity to deny the existence of the Almighty. The law defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation o matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents to that religioin with some defenses permitted.” In response to this insult to free speech, Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland, commented: “this law is both silly and ridiculous and dangerous.” It is silly because in a secular society the right of free speech can not be silenced by denial of being contrary to other views.

I do not have any pipeline to whoever or whatever resides in the sky. But, then again, since no one has ever seen the Old Man in the sky, and no one has proof they have spoken with it or him or whatever or whoever, how can those who deny there is someone in the sky be compelled to pay for having such views. Frankly, the only blasphemy is denying the right to express a religious or non-religious viewpoint.

I assume members of the Irish legislature which passed this law grasp they have now empowered fundamentalist Muslims and Jews and Hindus to take people to court for opposing their ridiculous ideas

Is It Blasphemy To Mock Religion?

Many Muslim nations still have not gotten over the publication of some cartoons they believe mocked the Prophet Muhammad. Nations like Algeria and Pakistan have undertaken a campaign to have the UN General Assembly pass a treaty that would not allow religions to be mocked or satirized. They want an international protocol governing what can be published or –what can be said about religion. Under the Pakistan proposal, nations would “prohibit by law the uttering of maters that are grossly abusive or insulting to matters held sacred by any religion.” Of course, it is not clear who decides what is or is not “grossly abusive.” I assume Muslims would turn this decision over to some nice Muslim clerics and I assume the penalty would be a stoning to death.

There is one problem that apparently has escaped the eyes of those proposing this law. Go to any newstand in any Muslim nation and there are bound to be daily newspaper and magazines which depict Judaism as a horrible religion. Does this mean we will have daily stoning to death of Muslim clerics?

On second thought it might be more beneficial for Muslims to live with the cartoons.

Is It For These Men Our Soldiers Die??

American and European soldiers are fighting to defend the “freedom” of Afghanistan, but after reviewing what passes for “democracy” in the Afghanistan parliament one is left wondering whether it would be just as bad if the Taliban were back in power. After nations throughout the world condemned the unfair conviction of a young reporter whose crime consisted of downloading information concerning women rights, President Karzai bowed to the furor and granted him a pardon. Afghanistan’s upper house responded by exploding in anger at the pardon. It demanded that Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh finish out the 20 year term.

The upper house expressed “its strongest concerns and annoyance and considers this decision contrary to the Islamic values and the laws in place in this country.” OK, so how is this demand any different from that which would come from the Taliban? Why are we fighting to defend a group of backward, vicious men who want power to suppress the rights of women– just like the Taliban!

Saudi Arabia Urged To Suspend Blasphemy Setence

Human Rights Watch asked the government of Saudi Arabia to dismiss a death sentence against a Turkish barber who was convicted of “cursing the name of God” while engaged in an angry argument with a man he thought was his friend. Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director, said: “The charges, conviction, and sentence against Bogday show the dangers of criminalizing speech on the grounds that it is offensive.” The Turkish government has also called upon King Abdullah to revoke the death sentence and allow the Turkish man to return home.

The main testimony against Sabri Bogday was from his Egyptian “friend” who testified and then fled the country. Saudi Arabia imposes a strict version of Islamic law but has no written penal code and judges have wide discretionary powers in sentencing.

Human Rights Watch also asked that charges be dropped against Raf Badawi, a Saudi man wo used his Web site to criticize the religious police, who impose strict Islamic rules in Saudi Arabia. Badawi hurriedly left his home land to avoid a prison sentence.