Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

‘Tis a Sad Day in The Old Country

Posted by honestpoet on January 2, 2010

A lot of my ancestors come from Ireland, so I’m sad to report this tidbit: starting January 1, 2010, blasphemy is now illegal there, punishable by a sizable fine. So Atheist Ireland has published a list of banned quotes in their attempts to draw attention to this travesty of jurisprudence (they rightfully assert that the law should be protecting people, not ideas) and get it reversed.

I’m sure, at some level, the good members of the Oireachtas are hoping to protect people…probably hoping to prevent incidents of retaliation, like when Muslims kill people when they get their panties in a bunch (their religious feelings being, apparently, more important than someone else’s life) like with the Danish cartoons, or that documentary, the maker of which (Theo van Gogh) ended up assassinated in the street in Amsterdam (if you haven’t watched it yet, you really should check out Religulous, which we watched again this Christmas). Who knows, maybe the Catholic extremists have been inspired, or at least someone fears they have. Maybe some folks miss the violence of the Troubles.

Sigh. But we don’t protect people from violent religious nutbars by silencing criticism of religion. We do it by talking about religions in a reasonable manner. ALL religions that have lasted on this planet have learned to tolerate dissent. It’s how they adapt and evolve. Yikes, my Irish brethren! Get your heads out of your arses! If instead the Irish Catholic Church has been inspired by the Taliban, I’d say they’re headed for trouble, for sure.

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5 Responses to “‘Tis a Sad Day in The Old Country”

  1. majutsu said

    what i wrote to atheistireland@gmail.com

    I am from America. I am a physician in the United States, married with two
    children. I and my wife were raised Catholic. For some years, we were
    Buddhist, but about from 25-38 years of age we were strict atheists and secular
    humanists. I am 40 now, and my wife 42, and although we are somewhat agnostic
    now, we are pretty sure Bronze Age myths are rather unlikely in the extreme.
    The point of this is that we have enjoyed our spiritual journey and right to
    freedom of thought, which is not always as easily actualized in America as it is
    advertised to be. Most importantly, especially in regards to the events of
    January 1st and the anti-blasphemy law, you have our full support and
    furthermore the support of millions of people around the globe. The Republic of
    Ireland has made a tragic mistake in passing such backwards legislation. They
    will now join fundamentalist protestants, jihadist Muslims, and nazism as
    examples of extreme intolerance dangerous to a better future. They appear as
    hardly fit to hold the reins of what should be a rational republic. I could not
    help but note the irony of BBC’s glee in reporting such stupidity, as though it’s
    very stupidity proved the oft-implied justification of past British rule that Ireland was so
    childish and backward as to need a guiding hand of colonialism. I wanted to
    make a sad day for you less sad by letting you know that you have millions of
    supporters of religious freedom around the globe, and such action will not go
    un-criticized, most likely not even by our own President Obama.

    Sincerely,

  2. Few have been more critical of religious organizations over the years than Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet they are universally recognized as a nonviolent people. They’re ‘weapons’ are words only.

    Would that all followed that example. Then you could have groups of uncompromising principles existing side by side with like groups espousing different principles. And you wouldn’t need laws such as this one, which carry so much potential for abuse.

    It’s the only practical way in a pluralistic society. As EiE says, we’re all in this together.

    • honestpoet said

      It’d be great if everyone could learn to value unity in diversity.

      I think all organized religions earn some criticism, but they also, mostly, have some good to offer to some. Freedom of speech, though, is a basic tenet of human rights, and it saddens me to see Ireland making this mistake.

  3. I thought this was going to be another long boring blog post, but I was pleasantly suprised. I will be posting a backlink on my blog, as I am quite sure my readers will find this more than interesting.

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