from my site, www.thegoodatheist.net
Alright, you guys in Ireland need to get your shit together. When reading this article on a proposed “Defamation Bill“, I had failed to realize that it was already a crime to defame religion in your Republic. The problem is, of course, that the very concept of “freedom of speech” conflicts with any special provisions meant to protect religion. Apparently, having +90% of your population actual believers isn’t enough. These religious institutions need to be protected from slander too! Here’s part of article 40 of their Constitution:
“(6.1) The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality:–
(i) The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.
The education of public opinion being, however, a matter of such grave import to the common good, the State shall endeavor to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State. The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.
I guess the problem is that no one uses this law, since their own Supreme Court can’t seem to decide what constitutes as blasphemy under the umbrella of free speech. What a surprise! Who knew that curbing free speech could be so difficult? Well, now the government wants to move to plan B, which is to make offending religion a crime that you have to pay money for if you get caught. It’s usually a lot easier to get convictions, and I’m sure those religious nut jobs love the idea of blasphemers becoming financially bankrupt for daring to say that Catholicism sucks ass. The wording of the Bill lays it out to make everything crystal clear:
Blasphemous matter” is defined as 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; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”
Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court may issue a warrant authorising the Garda Síochána [their police force] to enter, if necessary using reasonable force, a premises where the member of the force has reasonable grounds for believing there are copies of the blasphemous statements in order to seize them.
Great. That’s not scary at all! Would that make my fans in Ireland (i think I have 2 or three over there) get fined for downloading my show? Guys, you gotta get your asses and gear and defeat this horrible Bill, please!