Blessed Are The Blasphemers

I suppose the temptation when confronted with a new crime of blasphemy would be to try and commit it, like selling consecrated hosts in Chicken Tikka sandwiches outside the Pro Cathedral. Or maybe we should phone the Gardai to report Jesus for wilfully infecting pigs with viruses. But that would be too easy and too much work at the same time.

The interesting thing about a crime of blasphemy from my perspective is the fact it covers Christian blasphemy. Yet as anyone who knows anything about the New Testament could choose to know, Jesus appeared before the Sanhedrin on the charge of blasphemy, which was a capital offence. So it seems to me that if the Christian churches are serious about following Jesus, they should be campaigning for the criminal offence of blasphemy to be dropped.

And as long as they fail to do so, we should campaign that they be charged with blasphemy.

5 Responses to “Blessed Are The Blasphemers”

  1. 1 Longman Oz April 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Blasphemous libel – the crime of openly and strongly disagreeing with what others think but cannot prove.

    While I can certainly see some merit in an incitement to religious hatred offence, that is not what is being proposed here at all.

  2. 2 Hugh Green April 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    The definition of ‘blasphemous matter’ to be used is ludicrous. I don’t know if this is old-fashioned Catholic authoritarianism or a fear of people provoking Muslims, or a combination of both. I do think that pious religiosity is making something of a comeback in depression-era Ireland, so the former may have something to do with it.

  3. 3 Longman Oz April 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    The definition of ‘blasphemous matter’ to be used is ludicrous.


    How does a judge measure “outrage”? Is it enough for him to read what David Quinn and John Waters had to say or should he stretch to listening to tapes from the Liveline debate on the matter as well?

    That done, how can he be satisfied that it is “a substantial number” that are duly outraged? Check if he has a majority of Opus Dei members complaining or simply take a straw poll of the mob who broke up the ethics debate in Cork recently?

    Finally, what is an “adherent”? Is buying hot cross buns on Good Friday enough to qualify or do you need to have voted for Dana as well?

    • 4 Hugh Green April 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm

      Yes, the matter of the ethics debate is relevant here. They were certainly outraged enough to call the man a Nazi and a murderer.

      BTW I am now 100% certain that Jesus would have been found guilty of the crime of blasphemous libel according to the definition used here.

  4. 5 Longman Oz April 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Just to make sure, though, they should add sedition to the Bill as well.

    One silver lining though is that we will be able to do drop this nonsense of intelligent design and get back to teaching our kids what to Adam & Eve about our origins.

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April 2009

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