The law states that any material that "incites violence or hatred" is ignoring the responsibilities of liberty/free speech and therefore should be banned. Unless it is religious. Then, of course, it is exempt from that law.

Think about this.

On the one hand, an individual could produce a leaflet that incites violence or hatred; only a few hundred people may get to see it, most of whom will dismiss it out of hand. The law argues that if there is a risk of even just one person taking it seriously, even though there are minimal examples of this, it is worth banning that material and prosecuting the distributor. Fair enough. Better to be safe than sorry.

On the other hand, there is the Bible and the Quran, both of which incite violence and hatred; these publications are read by millions, if not billions, most of whom see them as the word of God and ritually follow the instructions day by day. There are countless examples of people killing, persecuting and oppressing because of these books and yet, these books are exempt from the law and the distributors are free from prosecution.

How insane is this?

The privileges that religion enjoys must end. We should campaign for either the re-editing of the Bible and the Quran to get rid of the violence and hatred (they would both become pamphlets!) or the outright ban of them. I know the results are unlikely but it would bring awareness to the disparity.

Roll on 2010.

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Comment by Richard Francis on May 28, 2010 at 8:01am
Hi Justan (very funny),

No worries about using it, although I do agree with Ryan that people need to be educated about these ugly books. To ban them outright without explanation would bring an air of mysticism over them and would allow the religious to paint themselves as victims even more, something that they love doing anyway. However, the campaign really would be about showing people the hypocrisy and obscenities in these books. A point made very clearly in your video. Thanks.

Coming soon. A blog about the abolition of Faith Schools. That should put the cat amongst the pigeons!!!
Comment by Richard Francis on May 27, 2010 at 8:28pm
Notice that I say 'campaign' for the banning each time. I don't for one second think that we would actually get to ban them.

The campaign would do two things. It would raise the awareness of the hypocrisy within the law over the privileges that religion enjoys, and it would clearly point out that both books are as flawed and as fallible as the humans who wrote them.

There are people who still think that these books are divine (they probably haven't read them) and need to be reminded of what is actually in there.

By the way, if some nationalist party produced a publication that called for the death of black people, do you think that there shouldn't be any legal ramifications?
Comment by ryan cameron on May 26, 2010 at 9:09am
not banning something outright, you give it power and worthiness and add to its mystery. If you examine it and allow everyone to do the same, you can all discuss and agree it is wanting. The best way to kill religion is to hold it in the light, because it thrives on darkness and ignorance. I think the best path to atheism is to actually read the bible.
Comment by Richard Francis on May 26, 2010 at 5:29am
What better ridicule than to campaign for banning these violent, immoral books? The religious would hate it.
Comment by ryan cameron on May 25, 2010 at 10:27am
I'm more for the idea of ridiculing and debating rather than banning something. Hold the books up for scorn, but keep them in our "hall of shame" so we dont repeat the mistake of producing them.
Comment by Richard Francis on May 25, 2010 at 7:49am
Hi Tom,

Although censorship is a tricky subject, I accept John Stuart Mill's point about the responsibilities of liberty. It doesn't mean that we can do or say anything that we want, we must take others into consideration. Obviously, the balance of this can be abused but I draw the line at inciting violence and hatred, unlike the Bible and the Quran, both of which revel in it!!!
Comment by Tom Pandelaere on May 25, 2010 at 7:19am
Interesting thought, although in principle, I am opposed to any kind of censorship.
I would rather prefer critical or annotated editions of these books, alongside perhaps a ‘parental advisory’ kind of warning.
I have read the first book of Mein Kampf — and subsequently gave up because it is, frankly, exceedingly dull —, which I could only find on a dubious Nazi site. This I consider a spurious way of dealing with inflammatory literature. An edition counterpoised by explicit images of the ensuing atrocities would, methinks, constitute a less dictatorial way of exposing the vile filth that religion really is.

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