Secular campaigners in the Irish Republic defied a strict new blasphemy law which came into force today by publishing a series of anti-religious quotations online and promising to fight the legislation in court.
Atheists, Secularists, and other reasonable people are challenging Ireland's Blasphemy Law that was enacted for New Years.
Blasphemy is irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs, according to Wikipedia. But Blasphemy can also be an irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.: He uttered blasphemies against life itself.
I am all for reverence and respect. But sometimes there needs to be a
little irreverence given to beliefs and/or behaviors that are promoted
by religion and other societal institutions that harm, abuse, or attack
human rights and human dignity.
So for me and many other clear thinking people, anyone or any country that would create a law to stop blasphemy is attacking the deep rooted cultural and societal Democratic principles of the Enlightenment established in much of the Western World.
In fact, a blasphemy law is blasphemous to the
wonderful ideas and ideals that arose during the Enlightenment and
blasphemous to the democratic tradition and principles proclaimed (but
not practiced much) here in the West.
So who are some of the notable people that could be prosecuted under Ireland's new Blasphemous Law?
Well Atheist Ireland has published some of those people and their past Blasphemous words and actions:
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."
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."
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."
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 sh*t!"
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.
Atheist Ireland published "25 Blasphemous Quotes" and hopes to get prosecuted for it so they can challenge Ireland's Blasphemous Law against civilized society.
Countries, like Ireland, enact these restrictive and oppressive laws to appeal to and pacify the ignorant in the country. The idea is to make the primitive in the country happy by having the political leadership pretend to stand for conservative principles while society is changing and rapidly embracing radical globalization and commercialization.