Hey all, I'm a day or two late on this and I'm guessing someone will have a bunch of information to add to this. Feel free to read it and respond either here or at Good Reason News
It's difficult to make heads or tales of this Irish Blasphemy Law. The law calls for a €25,000 fine for anyone caught 'uttering' blasphemy in public. Which sounds like it means if I were to go to an Irish coffee shop with a laptop and start reading this very site, I wouldn't get too far in without being slapped with this fine (especially this entry). Of course, besides the fact that blasphemy is an absurdly superstitious offense, even for those who are religious, the most troubling aspect of this law is that it doesn't define blasphemy very well. In that regard, it's like a European version of the Patriot Act, but with a religious twist to it. Both are vague laws that look suspiciously like they can be used to justify a great number of civil/human rights offenses.
There's not much out there on this topic yet, but from what I can gather, one side is saying this is awful, that it hampers education and clearly impedes on freedom. And they're right. It's the Irish leaning towards fascism.
There's a second side backing this nonsense saying it'll prevent the sort of outrage we saw from the Muslim community following the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy . If that's the case, then the Irish government are cowards.
It's no secret that Ireland's government is closely tied to the Catholic Church, and maybe the Irish don't have a huge problem with it. But by dusting the cobwebs off this ridiculous, childish bullshit of a law, and dragging it into the spotlight, Ireland spat in the face of all who wish to be free. Let us all, when we mention the theocratic oppression of Iran and Afghanistan, remember to include Ireland in that Axis of Ignorance.
Oh, also blasphemy is impossible to either define or impose. I'll let Matt and Jeff explain why.
p.p.s. Isn't there an Irish-themed breakfast cereal mascot that worships a collection of pagan imagery? Is that blasphemy?