Irish government: Fascists or just cowards?

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.

And finally, there's the party that says, this is actually a reduction of an older, stricter blasphemy laws. If this is the case, than the Irish government are both fascists for having this on the books and cowards for not dismissing it now that they've had the chance.

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?

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Comment by Billy Deaton on July 12, 2009 at 4:30pm
Méabh — I knew about, i figured the video covered it, unless I got the wrong episode. But, I guess what I meant was, I'm not seeing the NY Times, CNN or USA Today article on it. Obviously, those are U.S. sources, but it's strange that it hasn't been widely covered. Also, even though Lucky charms isn't sold in Ireland, I wonder if it would count as blasphemy as much of the 'stage Irish bullshit' imagery does, in fact, refer to a godless society. The point is, there's no clear cut distinction between innocent goofiness and punishable blasphemy. Can I read the God Delusion, can I read ancient myths, cereal boxes? Where does it end?

Amer, here's the wiki on Ireland's ties to the Catholic Church — this law was adopted a long time ago, but has been ignored mostly. The question is, now that they've had the chance to toss it, why didn't they?

I say, cause they're cowards.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on July 12, 2009 at 2:18am

Watch S03E01 Are You Right There, Father Ted? in Comedy  |  View More Free Videos Online at The pertinent part starts around 21:10.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on July 12, 2009 at 1:38am
There's not much out there on this topic yet

Really? I remember seeing a few posts in the forums (and maybe some in the groups) here on AN way before the law was passed from a couple of Irish atheists asking for help.

A prime resource has been (and will probably continue to be)

p.p.s. Isn't there an Irish-themed breakfast cereal mascot that worships a collection of pagan imagery? Is that blasphemy?

No. That crap isn't sold in Ireland. It's the sort of thing that Murkans "think" is Irish. It's stage Irish bullshit, a couple of generations removed.
Comment by Louis on July 12, 2009 at 12:06am
On the primary question: Are they Fascists or cowards -- they're Catholics.

I'll be honest, I can't wait to see this start being enforced. Nothing makes stupid laws look as stupid as when they're enforced.



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