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Author Topic: Irish Blasphemy law  (Read 1152 times)

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Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Irish Blasphemy law
« on: January 02, 2010, 06:16:06 PM »
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/01/02/ireland.blasphemy.law/index.html

Quote
CNN) -- An Irish atheist group has published a series of quotations on religion in an attempt to challenge a blasphemy law that went into effect on New Year's Day.

The 25 "blasphemous" quotations include the words of Jesus, Mohammed, Mark Twain, Salman Rushdie and Bjork.

Atheist Ireland published the list on its Web site Friday. It says it aims to challenge the law, which makes blasphemy a crime punishable by a €25,000-($35,800) fine.

"Despite these quotes being abusive and insulting in relation to matters held sacred by various religions, we unreservedly support the right of these people to have published or uttered them," the group said on the site.

"We unreservedly support the right of any Irish citizen to make comparable statements about matters held sacred by any religion without fear of being criminalized, and without having to prove to a court that a reasonable person would find any particular value in the statement."

Lawmakers in staunchly Catholic Ireland passed the law in July, but it came into force January 1.

A person breaks the law by saying or publishing anything "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."

Those found guilty of breaking the blasphemy law may try to defend themselves by proving that a reasonable person would find literary, artistic, political, scientific or academic value in what they said or published, the law says.

Atheist Ireland called the law "silly and dangerous," because it provides an incentive for religious outrage.

"We believe in the golden rule: that we have a right to be treated justly, and that we have a responsibility to treat other people justly," the group said.

"Blasphemy laws are unjust: They silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilized society, people have a right to to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous."

The group urged the Irish government to repeal the law. It also asked lawmakers for a referendum on removing all references to God from the Irish constitution.

Interesting read. Basically you can't bad mouth (in anyway) another persons religion verbally now in Ireland (unless you can prove it's not to defame the religion).

I checked out some of the quotes the folks cited on their page. Pretty tame stuff. For the most part.

http://blog.atheist.ie/?p=104

Basically another example of PC BS eliminating anyone's need to learn to ignore things.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 06:17:57 PM by Callie Del Noire »

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Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 06:54:41 PM »
Yeah, its a stupid law, but it shows the politicians are Doing Something (TM)

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 07:02:32 PM »
Yeah, its a stupid law, but it shows the politicians are Doing Something (TM)

I find it ironic that the Irish Foreign Minister was all AGAINST the Iranian's pushing a law like this through the UN,then they do it themselves.

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Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 07:05:56 PM »
Standard politician.

"It's not wrong when we do it."

Offline Kotah

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 07:30:59 PM »
...

...


...


WTF?

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Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 03:16:28 PM »
Oi, Hairy! Tell us when the fingermen start showing up. >.>

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Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 03:27:10 PM »
Its a dumb law. By its very nature, you could find something in every belief system that another would consider blasphemous.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 03:34:45 PM »
Its a dumb law. By its very nature, you could find something in every belief system that another would consider blasphemous.

Well I find it Ironic the man who present the law for consideration made a statement that would be tagged under the law. :D


Offline Sure

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 03:50:40 PM »
For your pleasure, the 25 quotes, from a website sympathetic to the atheists;
Quote
List of 25 Blasphemous Quotes Published by Atheist Ireland

1. Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.

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. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.

3. Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.

4. Mark Twain, describing the Christian Bible in Letters from the Earth, 1909: “Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy – he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.” Twain’s book was published posthumously in 1939. His daughter, Clara Clemens, at first objected to it being published, but later changed her mind in 1960 when she believed that public opinion had grown more tolerant of the expression of such ideas. That was half a century before Fianna Fail and the Green Party imposed a new blasphemy law on the people of Ireland.

5. Tom Lehrer, The Vatican Rag, 1963: “Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional. There, the guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is, try playing it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer. Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!”

6. Randy Newman, God’s Song, 1972: “And the Lord said: I burn down your cities – how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind.”

7. James Kirkup, The Love That Dares to Speak its Name, 1976: “While they prepared the tomb I kept guard over him. His mother and the Magdalen had gone to fetch clean linen to shroud his nakedness. I was alone with him… I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft, still throbbed, anointed with death’s final ejaculation.” This extract is from a poem that led to the last successful blasphemy prosecution in Britain, when Denis Lemon was given a suspended prison sentence after he published it in the now-defunct magazine Gay News. In 2002, a public reading of the poem, on the steps of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, failed to lead to any prosecution. In 2008, the British Parliament abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.

8. Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979: “Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.”

9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”

10. Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1989: “In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.”

11. Frank Zappa, 1989: “If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”

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.

13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

14. Amanda Donohoe on her role in the Ken Russell movie Lair of the White Worm, 1995: “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”

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!”

16. Paul Woodfull as Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly, The Ballad of Jaysus Christ, 2000: “He said me ma’s a virgin and sure no one disagreed, Cause they knew a lad who walks on water’s handy with his feet… Jaysus oh Jaysus, as cool as bleedin’ ice, With all the scrubbers in Israel he could not be enticed, Jaysus oh Jaysus, it’s funny you never rode, Cause it’s you I do be shoutin’ for each time I shoot me load.”

17. Jesus Christ, in Jerry Springer The Opera, 2003: “Actually, I’m a bit gay.” In 2005, the Christian Institute tried to bring a prosecution against the BBC for screening Jerry Springer the Opera, but the UK courts refused to issue a summons.

18. Tim Minchin, Ten-foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins, 2005: “So you’re gonna live in paradise, With a ten-foot cock and a few hundred virgins, So you’re gonna sacrifice your life, For a shot at the greener grass, And when the Lord comes down with his shiny rod of judgment, He’s gonna kick my heathen ass.”

19. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, 2006: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In 2007 Turkish publisher Erol Karaaslan was charged with the crime of insulting believers for publishing a Turkish translation of The God Delusion. He was acquitted in 2008, but another charge was brought in 2009. Karaaslan told the court that “it is a right to criticise religions and beliefs as part of the freedom of thought and expression.”

20. Pope Benedict XVI quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor, 2006: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” This statement has already led to both outrage and condemnation of the outrage. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim body, said it was a “character assassination of the prophet Muhammad”. The Malaysian Prime Minister said that “the Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created.” Pakistan’s foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence”. The European Commission said that “reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable.”

21. Christopher Hitchens in God is not Great, 2007: “There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.”

22. PZ Myers, on the Roman Catholic communion host, 2008: “You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university… However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel.”

23. Ian O’Doherty, 2009: “(If defamation of religion was illegal) it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.”

24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent… we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.

25. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister for Justice, introducing his blasphemy law at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting, 2009, and referring to comments made about him personally: “They are blasphemous.” Deputy Pat Rabbitte replied: “Given the Minister’s self-image, it could very well be that we are blaspheming,” and Minister Ahern replied: “Deputy Rabbitte says that I am close to the baby Jesus, I am so pure.” So here we have an Irish Justice Minister joking about himself being blasphemed, at a parliamentary Justice Committee discussing his own blasphemy law, that could make his own jokes illegal.

Finally, as a bonus, Micheal Martin, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, opposing attempts by Islamic States to make defamation of religion a crime at UN level, 2009: “We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” Just months after Minister Martin made this comment, his colleague Dermot Ahern introduced Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

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Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 09:10:49 PM »
I'm amused that Tom Lehrer made the top 10.  I'm not surprised, but I am amused that he beat out Zappa and Carlin.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 09:54:49 PM »
I'm amused that Tom Lehrer made the top 10.  I'm not surprised, but I am amused that he beat out Zappa and Carlin.

I'm sorry.. they must have posted at random.. as good as his comment was.. you can't top George Carlin on that. :D

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Irish Blasphemy law
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 01:00:49 PM »
I've found the differences in free speech between some European countries and the US compelling. For example when Kurt Waldheim was elected in Austria, and he was a former Nazi intelligence officer. However Austria jailed David Irving for basically saying the Holocaust didn't happen. Now, that's an incredibly stupid and callous thing to say, however at least here in the US he should have the right to say it.

Penn and Teller also had that episode about the Vatican pressuring Italian officials to jail that Comidenne who's name escapes me, for saying the Pope would be sodomized by a big gay man in hell for his actions against gays. It didn't happen, but they sure tried.

I understand in the case of Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers, I do. However "free speech" protects even the speech we hate, and especially that speech. When you start saying "Well you can't say X" it sets a precedent for anything offensive or stupid to come under the gun. This doesn't include assault and things of that nature of course.