michelangelo god sistine chapel blasphemyMonths ago when the new and controversial Irish anti-blasphemy law was being passed, it made headlines around the world. Now that it has gone into effect, the fracas has really begun, with a group of Irish atheists immediately putting up a challenge. The atheists claim the law is unenforceable and have posted “25 blasphemous quotations” on their website in order to test it. These quotations are, for the most part, relatively tame, but they do demonstrate the ridiculousness of such laws in countries where there exists a multiplicity of faiths. In a nation or area run by a religious tyranny, such as occurred under Christianity in parts of Europe during the Dark Ages and Inquisition, or as in brutal Muslim-dominated countries to this day, such a law could be carried out, because it necessitates a monolithic religious structure that excludes all others.

In free, democratic nations, however, such a law is the height of absurdity – and those who passed it in Ireland evidently knew that fact, because they claimed, if I understand their position correctly, that they were essentially only doing it in order to fend off something worse.  What could be worse and coming down the pike at them? Perhaps what is happening in other parts of Great Britain, to wit Islamization? One look at this law may indicate which “religion of perpetual outrage” is being appeased once more:

Under the law, which went into effect Friday, a person can be found guilty of blasphemy if “he or she publishes or utters matter that is 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.”

The point in challenging this law is that what is defined as “blasphemy” to one individual, group or culture within a multifaith and multicultural land may not be blasphemous at all to others – so how will these determinations be made? Here are a few examples of what is blasphemous to me personally:

  • It is blasphemous to me to insist that there is a giant, usually male god person somewhere “out there” separate and apart from creation who is angry, vengeful and wrathful.
  • It is blasphemous to me to discuss this god person using the sexist terms of “he,” “him” and “his,” in whatever language.
  • It is blasphemous to me to suggest that this god person is so petty and obsessed with women’s hair and skin that “he” must have them cover themselves up under threat of rape and brutality.
  • It is blasphemous to me to say that the quality of divinity has occurred only once in history in a particular individual of a certain ethnicity some 2,000 years ago.
  • It is blasphemous to me to coerce people into believing without any credible, scientific evidence illogical and supernatural events, such as a man being born of a virgin, walking on water, raising people from the dead and flying off into heaven.
  • It is blasphemous to me to state that there has only been a handful of “prophets of God” from a particular part of the world and that the last one for all eternity existed some 1,400 years ago.
  • It is blasphemous to me to claim that a warrior who married a six-year-old girl and consummated the “marriage” when she was nine is called a “prophet of God.”
  • It is blasphemous to me to assert that another warrior who ordered the slaughter of tens of thousands and the rape of kidnapped virgin girls by “chosen people” is also called a “prophet of God” and his exploits are “godly.
  • It is blasphemous to me to raise up writings as “holy” that consist largely of blood and gore, as well as calls for the hatred, mistreatment, enslavement and murder of nonbelievers and infidels.
  • It is blasphemous to me to treat human beings like born-in-sin pieces of garbage in the face of an all-glorious god who deserves all the praise but none of the blame for the world’s ills.
  • It is blasphemous to me to attempt to overthrow the democratic rule based on my holy scripture, which is the American Constitution.

And so on.

Moreover, by looking at the news I am insulted on a daily basis in matters that I hold sacred, such as the right of women to keep their hair and face uncovered in public, as well their genitals intact, along with so many other atrocities committed regularly in the name of God, religion, holy books, prophets, sons of God, etc., ad nauseam.

Now, who is going to arrest and try all the hundreds of millions globally whose beliefs blaspheme my religion?

Further Reading

Atheists challenge Ireland’s new blasphemy law with online postings