Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Dumb and Dumbest
This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a while, and I live in a country with the likes of Coulter and Palin.
In Ireland they have just narrowly passed legislation that makes it illegal to blaspheme. They have defined blasphemy as any statement, written or spoken, that offends a substantial number of adherents of any particular religion. The fine for such behavior is 25,000 euros.
Naturally they have a good reason to want to suppress religious hate speech as they try to put their past behind them. But their writing of the law is so vague that it is completely open to question what sorts of speech-----or books!-----would be considered criminal. Would a book of philosophy that includes essays about the existence or nature of God be criminal? What about a book about evolution? Many Christians find that offensive.
The ironic thing here is that they seem to think that they are protecting religions from blasphemers. But really, all religious claims are in effect blasphemous to other traditions. Can a pastor say that only through accepting the sacrifice of Jesus can one attain salvation without offending Muslims, Hindus or Jews? Can priests say that Protestants are doomed to Hell without committing blasphemy according to this new definition? Can anyone in Ireland object to the practice of stoning adulterers (rape victims?) to death without offending Muslim traditionalists?
According to the new law in Ireland, police can forcibly enter your home and confiscate materials (books?) that have 'offensive' material in them.
I see a book burning coming on. I hope they can tap that energy source for cap-and-trade tax benefits, or nothing good will have come of this.