Ireland Makes Blasphemy Illegal

Irish atheists are horrified by new legislation making blasphemy illegal, and punishable by a 25,000-Euro fine. Christians of all stripes should be, too.

As part of a revision to defamation legislation, the Dail (Irish Parliament) passed legislation creating a new crime of blasphemy. Update: The bill went to the Seanad on Friday, July 10, passing by a single vote. This attack on free speech, debated for several months in Europe, has gone largely unnoticed in the American press.

The text of the legislation is provided at the end of this post.

How does this impact free speech? Just don’t be rude.

  • Atheists can be prosecuted for saying that God is imaginary. That causes outrage.
  • Pagans can be prosecuted for saying they left Christianity because God is violent and bloodthirsty, promotes genocide, and permits slavery.
  • Christians can be prosecuted for saying that Allah is a moon god, or for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for saying that Islam is a violent religion which breeds terrorists.
  • Jews can be prosecuted for saying Jesus isn’t the Messiah.

Is it really THAT big a deal?

Ireland’s Blasphemy Bill not only criminalizes free speech, it also gives the police the authority to confiscate anything deemed “blasphemous”. They may enter and search any premises, with force if needed, upon “reasonable suspicion” that such materials are present.

Satirizing religion in any way, shape, or form, if it “causes outrage”, is now a prosecutable offense in Ireland. Saying anything negative about a religion, if it “causes outrage”, can now be prosecuted as a crime. Just like in Muslim countries.

Witness the return of the Dark Ages.

Update: The bill passed the Seanad on Friday, July 10, by a single vote. From the Irish Times:

Seanad deputy leader Dan Boyle (Green Party) indicated his party’s preference for a constitutional referendum in “the mid-term” on the issue of blasphemy. However, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said he would hazard a guess it was unlikely they would come back to this issue for some time.

The Minister rejected Mr Regan’s contention that the matter of blasphemy could be adequately dealt with by an amendment to the Incitement to Hatred Act, saying what was blasphemous did not necessarily constitute incitement to hatred.

During exchanges with Ivana Bacik, the Minister said he had never in his political career received so many e-mails expressing outrage as he had on this issue. Ms Bacik said under the proposed legislation, Fr Willie Russell from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, a critic of those in his parish who appeared to be worshipping a tree with the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, could be open to a charge of blasphemy because he had stated that no one could “worship a tree”.

Let’s see if he gets charged.

The text of the legislation:

36. Publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters 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 (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

37. Seizure of copies of blasphemous statements.

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 36, the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, © specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana.

(2) A member of the Garda Siochana may (a) enter and search any premises, (b) seize, remove and detain any copy of a statement to which an offence under section 36 relates found therein or in the possession of any person, in accordance with a warrant under subsection (1).

(3) Upon final judgment being given in proceedings for an offence under section 36, anything seized and removed under subsection (2) shall be disposed of in accordance with such directions as the court may give upon an application by a member of the Garda Siochana in that behalf.

This is the sort of thing I’d expect from Christian Dominionist Loren Cunningham, wouldn’t you?

Or how about the wacky City Council of Kissimmee, Florida, who wants to put “In God We Trust” on their city logo . . . to support CAPITALISM?

169 Responses to Ireland Makes Blasphemy Illegal

  1. So, public viewings of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” are right out then?

    • Life of Brian was banned for a long time in Ireland actually. Luckily the Gardaí are too useless to enforce something like this but still a ridiculous law.

    • Life of Brian is a film about blasphemy, not a blasphemous film. It satires organised religion in general. The majority of those who called for it to be banned hadn’t actually seen it… no change there then.

    • I have officially begun a boycott of Ireland. Please follow: boycottireland.org While it is not much right now, I will be launching a full fledged website in the days to come. -Jonathan

      • as soon as you do ill be one of the first to join on that seriously this is so messed up. What happened to free speech?

    • the life of brain was banned for years in Ireland lol I no because I remember when it was ligalized here lol

  2. how about muslims? same rules?

    • Same rules for everybody, and you can bet they’ll be the first to start crying foul.

    • Ireland actually has no muslims, only nice, God fearing Christian folk. All non-married women are virgins, married women revert to being virgins again immediately after giving birth to their last child, and every house has ‘The Crucifixion’ hanging in the living room. There is no such thing as blasphemy in Ireland, therefore this law will not change anything. Oh, and fish on Fridays.

      • Don’t even joke about this kind of crap, it’s bad enough that Americans think that Ireland has lepreacáin and that we all still live on farms amidst a potato famine.

        • It’s not like you guys are giving us much of a reason not to think that way….especially now :P

          • Seriously, I would never visit Ireland after reading this. Maybe they should worry about the hard-hitting issues instead, like alcoholism and melanoma. THERE IS NO GOD (Burden of proof is on Ireland to disprove this statement before their bullshit law has any meaning — good luck).

        • Don’t worry about it. We have our own brand of stupidity right here in Arizona USA. One state senator explains that the earth is only 6000 years old. I used to think it was only the “dumbing down” of America, but now I can see it’s worldwide.

          • We just need to start openly punching people in the face for saying or doing stupid things. Think of it as a sort of societal “tough love.” Hopefully they don’t outlaw that too…

          • I’m pretty sure punching people is frowned upon and stupid things are relative to the observer. We could just as easily be the recipients of said punches since, undoubtably, many people think we say and do stupid things as well. I guess my point is, that we should all live and let live, intervening only when actual harm is done (and by “harm”, I don’t mean the hurt little feelings of people who are outraged by mere words spoken against their invisible “friend”).

          • The joke I was trying to make was that the Irish drink heavily and often engage in fist-fights, as is a typical custom when meeting someone new or opening the door for a woman. Thankfully this only applies to women without child, so this is a rare occurrence.

          • Prove to me, without a shadow of a doubt that god is real. Then and ONLY then can there be a word made up to describe dissing it. So to me this problem does not exist.

          • But wouldn’t punching someone in the face be blasphemous to certain pacifist religious groups?

          • I can see in a certain sense as to why this bill is a cap on “free speech” (I highlight this because I want someone to define free)but only to the point of to put it plainly, being rude. i.e. you say to said religious person “God is a %$%$£& moron and you are too for believing in him. Something which we wouldn’t accept even if God wasn’t involved. That’s just going out of your way to offend people for the sake of it. I personally am an agnostic but strongly leaning towards atheism but I say if someone wants to believe in god that’s fine. It’s not hurting me personally. But if you look again at section 3 of 36 it says that in your defence you can make strong arguments against religion if it has academic, scientific etc merit. So basically you can say, I don’t believe in god because, and lay out your facts i.e. I don’t think the world is 6000 years old, or I don’t think I should be stoned because I worked the sabbath day and where did the dinosaurs come from so? just to name a few. Finally I want to add the point that while most atheists aren’t offended by peoples belief in religion, most religious people are offended by atheists non-belief in religion.

  3. Does that go for Rastafarianism too?

  4. From reading the actual legislation, it’s basically a cap on freedom of speech. It’s fucking ridiculous. You cannot say anything that might offend religions or religious people. Which is stupid! Jewish people believe that Jesus wasn’t the messiah, but they can’t say that under this new law, because that’s blasphemous against christians! Likewise with people who don’t believe in a god at all! Atheist now cannot say that they don’t think their is a god, or that there isn’t a god, because that’s offensive to pretty much all religions! Everyone has their own beliefs, and everyone has their own opinion, why should it be allowed for them to be capped or stemmed? I don’t care if what you’re saying is racist, or sexist. I don’t even care if it’s insulting to my dead Nan! You should be allowed to say it, whether or not it offends people.

    • Can you tell me where I can read the actual legislation? The article cited by this post doesn’t substantiate the claims made in this post, but maybe there’s some other document that does.

    • This article in the Irish Times by Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland will gives a more detailed overview of this embarrassing law and it’s causes. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0710/1224250387007.html The Irish Constituition states that blasphemy should be a crime, the Justice Minister wished to repeal the statute that includes the current anti-blasphemy law (which the courts have ruled unenforceable). His goal is to replace one unenforceable law with another one (as a law is required by the Constituition – section 36.3 should make this law unenforceable in practice, we just need someone with deep pockets to provoke a test case to set the precedent), rather than run the risk of holding a referendum on the issue (required to change the Constituition) which opens up the possibility of religious nut-jobs actually winning and forcing the government to implement an enforceable law. Obviously, there is always the risk that his unenforceable law will turn out to be enforceable (especially seeing as the Gaelic translation will have legal precedence over the English language original definition), but presumably he deems this a lower risk than an unpopular government running a religious referendum at this time. Anyway, welcome to Irish politics…

      • I think, if you preface any statment with “with due respect” – you have shown that your intent was not to cause offense. In U S courts, if you preface a statement with “I would say”, you can follow it with any insulting statement. By saying ‘I would say’ in effect you’re saying “I would say this, but I’m not gonna”. Hell – Jesus, Himself was killed for Blasphemy. It’s a somewhat honorable charge. Remember Jesus in the Temple ? He never like religion himself. Maybe it’s time for these zealots to try reading the Bible.

      • Ireland didn’t *just* make blasphemy illegal, it was in their constitution. This legislation is lowering the fine because they don’t think they can get a referendum to abolish it. Yes, it’s outrageous, yes this portion of law *should* be abolished, but they are taking steps forward – not backwards. Before you post a sensationalist article, do some real research first. This may help to explain the law better. http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009/07/10/trees-worshippers-and-irelands-new-blasphemy-law/ (And to everyone else: 1. Stop making racist comments towards the Irish or anyone, it feeds into stereotypes instead of progress for mankind. 2. Ireland is a beautiful country with an amazing culture. There are crazy laws on the books in your own countries. Get out there, visit different nations, meet new people, open your minds.)

        • I’ve seen quite a bit of nonsense about “making it unenforceable”. The problem is, the Irish constitution, as written, was so vague as to be unenforceable. So, they wrote new legislation to also be unenforceable, but which is actually far more enforceable. If blasphemy were a non-issue, then why is it instead of making the fine 25,000 Euros and giving the police authority to enter an author’s premises (or any place which reasonably may have copies of a statement deemed blasphemous in a court) to confiscate materials, did they not make the fine 1 Euro and deny police the authority to break down doors and confiscate materials? Hogwash! If the Dail wanted to make an unenforceable law, they could have. They chose to create this monstrosity, which I have no doubt whatsoever will be used by Muslims against non-Muslims within the next two months.

          • Ah, Pastor Mike, hate Islam much? As per usual you’re casting the first stone and judging others. Since when have Muslims persecuted in any way shape or form non-Muslims in Ireland? It’s pathetic. Maybe it’s time for you to stop denigrating other religions and step up against the “Christian” injustices in the Middle East, but then again the anglo-saxons have always had a long history of taking from others that which does not belong to them, notable in Ireland itself. Preach on Pastor.

          • To clarify, taking from the Irish.

          • Friend, your vulgar attacks against Mike are not serving to glorify Allah. Maybe you should take the Pakistani example! Here’s how they do it. http://www.palibandaily.com/2009/08/03/islamic-fundamentalists-burn-christian-village-gojra-over-desecrated-koran/

        • Just wanted to say you are very correct, it used to be a joke for us to look up US state laws and laugh cause some are sooo silly…to the point they even have laws banning oral sex and certain positions. How would they even enforce that?…have your ex testify that you gave him a BJ?…thats just a small example of crazy american laws. I’m in canada and i’m sure we have stupid laws too but i’m not sure what. I feel its very wrong because it takes away your right to believe what you want and voice your opinions…without free speech we are sheep following our government…

  5. Go forward and prosecute in my name. The Holy Ghost is invisible, but not imaginary. That would be my father! Is this published in Ireland. If so, I say: “Millions of people believe God and Allah to be imaginary beings.” Are you outraged?

  6. Since every religion’s basic doctrine blasphemes against at least one other religion, Irish atheists now just have to shut up until the theists have all locked each other away, and then there’ll be nobody left to be offended!

  7. oh jesus fucking christ

    • I know right. Incontestible proof that there is no god.

      • That’s it! You’re both under IRISH ARREST. (southern irish arrest) (i think)

      • haha. That’s funny. but seriously, this law seems to be detrimental because restrictions beyond those absolutely necessary tend to inhibit the pursuit of truth in favor of the preservation of the inoffensive falsehood.

    • I whole heartedly agree!!! I am mortified that this was allowed to go through! What happened to all the blood that was spilled to make sure that our personal freedoms were protected? What pride is there in all suffering and wars that made it possible? Are those lives now meaningless in the face of this fist step back into the dark ages… and what is the next step… what about blasphemous acts… I can’t wait till they try to control sex outside the bonds of marriage!!!

  8. Whatever..but if any of you claim that there’s np flying spaghetti monster, I’ll have you arrested…

  9. That sounds like a really bad idea for everyone involved, whatever their religion or lack of one. I mean, the Bible should be considered blasphemous by Jews and probably Muslims, so it would potentially be banned. Freedom of speech is vitally important, people! I write this as a Christian, by the way.

  10. It has always been a crime, as required by the 1937 Constitution (article 40, 6.1.i). You can get your copy at http://www.constitution.ie/constitution-of-ireland/ in English or Irish.

    • It sounds like the situation isn’t as simple as I had thought: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0710/1224250387007.html Still, if you don’t want the Government swine to be able to hide behind the Constitution, that seems like the thing to get changed.

      • Thanks for the update, Paul! From your article:

        Here’s the background. The Constitution says that blasphemy is an offence that shall be punishable by law. That law currently resides in the 1961 Defamation Act. Because he was repealing this Act, Ahern said he had to pass a new blasphemy law to avoid leaving “a void”. But this “void” was already there. In 1999, the Supreme Court found that the 1961 law was unenforceable because it did not define blasphemy. In effect, we have never had an enforceable blasphemy law under the 1937 Constitution. After several retreats, Ahern claimed both that he had to propose this law in order to respect the Constitution, and also that he was amending it to “make it virtually impossible to get a successful prosecution”. How is that respecting the Constitution?

  11. This sounds like a needless and dangerous law that can easily be abused. It may contradict the human rights articles 2 and 18 (freedom of religion and thought) and article 19 in particular (freedom of expression). http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    • I have to ask… who gets to decide exactly what is blaspemous? Where are we going to find someone honest and stalwart enough to take on that onerous duty… hmmmm…. thats going to be a bit difficult! Trying to find someone with no agenda or personal beliefs according to their religion… after all blasphemy is all about interpretation…

  12. Is this some sort of joke? Seriously, who the fuck would think this asinine shit up but a mental reject? I am embarrassed of my Irish lineage at this point in time.

  13. can’t read the article. Obstructed by some stupid popup that follows the page around. Too bad. I’m sure the article was probably interesting too. I wanted to read it.

  14. Im a fat American. Junk food is my religion. Thus you you stick figures are no longer allowed to call junk food bad things because it is offensive to me.

  15. > The Close Window button doesn’t work? No, it’s being hidden by a youtube video. It is quite annoying, actually.

  16. Potato famine, british occupation, boom and bust, and now complete idiocy in the parliament. Hasn’t Ireland suffered enough?

  17. i really want to know what shane mcgowan has to say about this, the comprehensible parts of what he has to say at least

  18. Actually, not taking into account that it is a clear violation to the right of free speech, I can understand where they are going with this. If everyone would just keep their religion to themselves, and would not be allowed to disprove other religions a lot of violent outbreaks in the name of xfill in your belief herex would have been avoided. Especially considering the Irish history, this rational does not seem far fetched to me. If people would have the understanding to respect one another regardless of culture, religion or upbringing, we would not need measures like this. Sadly enough, we prove to each other every day that we as a species are not able to handle free speech.. I oppose the new law, but I clearly see the reasoning behind it. Take care, Kris

  19. Stupid paddies – going back to the 12th century just like their economy.

    • Thanks for the “stupid paddies” remark, it’s nice to see open and intellectual discussion. In Ireland we’ve been having quite a lot of discussion on this law (although not enough in my opinion), and the situation isn’t just “oh no, crazy Ireland wants to protect God”. Basically, the Irish constitution says that blasphemy is illegal, but nowhere in the law does it legally outline what exactly is blasphemy and what isn’t, so the choices the government had were 1- rewrite the constitution, which will require a national referendum on the matter or 2- quietly pass some pissy little law which outlines what blasphemy is and hope it’s never actually enforced. The law, as quoted in the original story here, says that if there’s any “literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates” then it doesn’t count. So, Life of Brian? Still good. Richard Dawkins? Perfectly safe. Drawings of Muhammad? Lovely pieces of art. This is only a gag on free speech in the same way that restrictions on hate speech are, and can only be used when the point of the blasphemous material is to grossly offend a huge amount of people, and nothing else. Having said all of that, I think it’s still a crap law and would have much preferred a referendum to remove the blasphemy clause, or at the very least reduced the fine from 100,000 euro to 100 euro, rather than 25,000, but it’s not a big a deal as it seems at first.

      • BTW I’m Irish, so I am entitled to say Stupid Paddies. Stupid country, stupid church, far from stupid people though. I am amazed anyone is still living in Ireland,we are all smarter than that.

        • I’m Irish and I take offence at the remark, though I believe anyone is entitled to say it. I also think you’re silly saying that you are amazed anyone is still living in Ireland.

          • Ireland really is a terribly behind country though. I moved out in 2008 and I actually don’t regret it. The education system and the rest is terrible. It’s so behind with the rest of Europe. I get homesick every so often and go back to visit family twice a year from Britain but that does it for me. I could probably deal with Dublin better than the Kildare I’m from.

  20. Great! Pastarafians can sue now for blasphemy against His Noodliness.

  21. Irish Stew in the name of the law!

  22. avatar Michael Nugent

    Senator Ivana Bacik will open the first Atheist Ireland AGM at 2 pm tomorrow, Saturday 11 July, in Wynns Hotel in Abbey Street Dublin. Members of the public are welcome to attend. The meeting will discuss a blasphemous statement to be published in response to the new blasphemy law passed yesterday in the Oireachtas. See opinion piece about this in today’s Irish Times: http://bit.ly/11i56G The meeting will also plan a long-term campaign to have the blasphemy law repealed, and to remove references to blasphemy and gods from the Irish Constitution. Atheist Ireland is an advocacy group that campaigns for an ethical and secular Ireland, where the State does not support or fund or give special treatment to any religion. As well as a secular Constitution, we want to see a secular education system. We are also launching a campaign encouraging people to read the Bible and other sacred books. Objectively reading the Bible is one of the strongest arguments for rejecting the idea of gods as intervening creators or moral guides.

  23. God is an drugaddict invention, jesus was a bastard, dalay lahma must die, ala is a fucking misogin and yahve is a sodomith. No god, no king, no country, no boss. Anarchy!

  24. one moment… but this law is a sin, cause only God can judge you amazing law from the middle ages, next one will be Inquisition and torture… now the earth is flat in Ireland you need freedom of speech if you like the freedom, otherwhise good luck with your fanatic country

    • Oi… How much longer till I am property again and get burned as a witch!!!After all according to some faiths, as a woman I can only commit sin without a father or a husband or a man period to curb my licentious ways!!!

      • oh dear……really?? I’m in so much trouble..I wonder when they’ll make all women wear a burka to cover their indecensies…..as we need our wicked ways to be curbed and hey i’ll take the rap for original sin…Adam had no freewill at all and could never say “No” to Eve…Gods, what fools religion makes of men..and women….oops hope i didn’t offend anyone….

  25. As one of the (seemingly few) Irish people that spoke out about this law over the past months, I was amazed how little people cared. I attended a few meetings, sent letters to politicans. I informed colleagues, friends and family about it, just so they were aware of what it was and why it was dangerous. And do you know what I found? The same thing that most liberal Americans found when their country was entering into an illegal war against Iraq. Complete fucking apathy. All you people out there! I’ll bet that your country has stupid laws too, and they pass new ones all the time. And while that’s going on 99% of you will sit watching with your mouth open, while the flies buzz around your empty heads. If you do bother to be informed about what is going on on your country (where YOU can actually try to do something about it) you’ll be amazed. For about a minute or so. But outrage takes time and energy, and it’s much easier to sigh, say “What CAN you do?”. And then it’s back to the latest episode of Lost. In Tennessee it’s legal to carry a gun into a bar In Thailand it’s illegal to chew gum whilst walking down the street In New York it is legal to shoot a Scotsman within the ‘old city walls’ if he is carrying a bow and arrow. In Indonesia, the punishment for masturbation is decapitation It is illegal to enter the English Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour It’s also illegal to die in the English Houses of Parliment

  26. Ofc Ireland is an ass-backwards country, always has been lets be honest. We should get some tugboats together and move it to Africa, theyll feel more at home there. If retarted legislation like this would ever make it to rest of europe, is the day when I give up my life and become a serial killer of politicians and religious freaks. Nuff said, gtfo

  27. The author of the article is misinterpreting the legal articles. I am not defending the bill because I think it’s ludicrous; however, it’s important to read it correctly. First, you would only be guilty of an offense if what you say or publish outrages or would outrage a “substantial number” of people belonging to that religion. Now, this can be interpreted differently by different judges, but the point is that it’s not the one-off, random comments they are after. It is targeting those people, likely to have access to a public audience, who say or publish things that are “grossly abusive or insulting” to aspects of one’s religion. Dawkins’ book would be defended under subsection 36(3), as it would be deemed by a reasonable person to have genuine academic value. Same would go for anything else that can be defended under that subsection. Second, contrary to what the author claims, the government *cannot* just enter your premises and confiscate any material it feels is blasphemous. You must first be convicted of blasphemy under section 36. Then they must secure a warrant, and they have the authority to seize the materials that relate to your offense. This article by Pastor Mike is not helpful. Yes, people need to know about such asinine laws and fight to have them removed, but it should be taken in context. Trying to scare people by misinterpreting the law is not any better.

    • On your first point, Vinny, demographics determine a “reasonable person”. Would a “reasonable person” find the Mohammad cartoons to have artistic or literary merit? Or are they intended to cause outrage? How about Mapplethorpe’s “Piss Christ”? On your second point, review the legislation more closely. Under subsection 2 of section 37, Once a person is convicted under subsection 1, the police may enter ANY premises to remove ANY copies of the “blasphemous materials” belonging to ANY person. NOT just the convicted person. They do need a warrant, but that’s it.

  28. do something about it.. i’m sick of athiests bitching about the rights that have been taken away from them. All they do is try to provoke believers of faiths with words but they dont lift a finger…big talkers…. they just cry… one day you will kick yourselves for not doing anything when christian’s have worse of a grip on you then they do now. no wonder a new thing to bitch about comes out every week in the blogosphere. because they never do anything about it but bitch on the internet. Keep bitching and keep doing nothing.. obviously it helps

    • I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can remember now and I wasn’t aware I had to attend any rallies or fight for any causes. If the religious would simply take a moment to consider that there may be people who don’t subscribe to their particular brand of faith, and every brand of faith did this, we wouldn’t have these issues. It’s the religious making the assumption that all those around them should agree with their bizarre views. Thankfully, there are enough brands of superstition to attack each other and new ones seem like they’re popping up every day, so you folks can all keep each other busy with your arguments about holidays. As for provocation, anyone trying to provoke anyone else that they don’t know is probably a dick, regardless of what they believe. The issue with this law isn’t that it’s a “don’t be a dick” law, it’s a “don’t offend the delicate sensibilities of the religious” law, and the religious have some of the most delicate sensibilities there are. Hell, they hate atheists and all we ever said was “God who?”

  29. I wouldn’t get to wound up over this. As pastor Mike acknowledges, Blasphemy has been an offence under the Irish Constitution since the constitution was first put in place. The purpose of the law is to repeal previous more strict law which actually “criminalised” blasphemy (you could go to jail for it). The the Bill seeks to (a). decriminalise it and (b) by providing the key legal defences at section 36 (2) make sure that all academic comment/ artistic expression ca NOT be viewed as blasphemy (which would inlde relisgious, theological debate or any of eth issues raised by pastor Mike above). It should be noted that, in the only significant case ever taken previously, the Judge said that as it was almost impossible for the Courts to determine what constitutes blasphemy, no conviction could be made. this position is not alwtered by the Bill. This is a storm in a teacup. Eventually, I am sure there will be a referendum to remove the relevant article from the constitution, but until there is, the State is bound to have legislation acting on it. As Pastor Mike acknowledges, the STATED purpose of this bill is to render unblasphemous anything bar a religious based hate crime in the eyes of secular law. there is no appetite (or demand) at this time for a constitutional amendment whichwould cost millions to run when we are closing hospital wards duue to eth economic crisis. However, perhaps this Bill will create the necessary demand and debate. The point is that, the resposne to the Bill is hysterical. re the points above Atheists can be prosecuted for saying that God is imaginary. That causes outrage. WRONG – both academic scientific debate exempted under the Act Pagans can be prosecuted for saying they left Christianity because God is violent and bloodthirsty, promotes genocide, and permits slavery. WRONG – academic and political debate exempted under the act Christians can be prosecuted for saying that Allah is a moon god, or for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for saying that Islam is a violent religion which breeds terrorists. – WRONG academic and artisic expression exempted under the Act (political if one were to consider, say eth Danish cartoons) Jews can be prosecuted for saying Jesus isn’t the Messiah – WRONG – the Act spefically defends all relisions – by the same logic Jews could seek a prosecution of someone who said Jesus IS the Messiah!!! Also theological debate is academic debate and therefore exempt.

    • iC – In response to your response: Atheists: Is saying, “Your God isn’t real” an academic or scientific debate? I think not. Pagans: Is saying, “Your God is a monster” an academic or scientific debate? I think not. Christians: Is the work of Geert Wilders (Fitna) an academic debate, or have artistic merit? Doubtful! Jews: How is the preaching of a rabbi about Jesus an “academic debate” any more than the rantings of a Christian pastor saying that the Bible commands us to stone homosexuals to death?

      • To say “There is no empirical evidence to support the existence of god.” is an acceptable academic statement. To say “There is no empirical evidence to support the existence of Santa Claus” is also an acceptable academic statement. To say “There is an equal amount of empirical evidence to support the existence of god as there is to support the existence of Santa Claus — none.” is also acceptable, because this is a true statement, not an opinion. Would it be illegal to then state that Santa Claus is imaginary, after having stated that both Santa Claus and god both have an equal amount of supporting evidence (big fat zero)? What if someone actually believes in Santa? How does the government distinguish between the validity of a view such as the belief in Santa Claus and the belief in god? The problem is they cannot have it both ways. Either they must make it illegal to be offensive toward ANY belief with no basis in reality, or none at all.

  30. Academic, artistic, scientific, and literary value are defenses against blasphemy charges. I would love to see that play out in court, especially with an atheist defendant.

  31. What about the Jedi? Can one blaspheme against the Jedi? What if I was to say that Luke Skywalker is b_tch!!! Could I be prosecuted for that? C’mon! Seriously, I don’t know how the law-making process works in Ireland, but if the people can allow this legislation to pass, then there is something seriously wrong with the process there.

  32. Dear Dail members, fuck you and your tiny little gawd too. Your genocidal skydaddy and his pedo priest minions can all eat shit and die in a fucking fire. Is this blasphemy yet?

    • I think the priests putting their erect penises into the anal sphincters of young male children is far more blasphemous than anything an atheist could ever say.

      • Wait, hold on, I forgot about the churches covering up gay rape in and moving priests around rather than taking disciplinary action against them. That’s much more blasphemous even than even one individual act of gay male rape pedophile itself, since it’s on a macro level. Macro-gay-pedo-rape.

  33. This is scarey. Guess Ireland is now off the list of possible vacation spots!

  34. From the regulation: “(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters 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 (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.” “(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.” I think there are a couple of problems here with some of the erlier statements. First, the wording of clause 2a says “adherents of that religion”. It does NOT say “Irish adherents”, “reasonable adherents”, nor any other qualification which might prevent a finding based upon a group of priests, mullahs, shamans, disciples, or whoever else might be sitting in a temple in the middle of Antartica, if that is where the religion in question is locally dominant. Hence “The Satanic Verses” is now again in play. Second is the reliance upon “a reasonable person”. One of the first things taqught in law school is that the “reasonable person” is the great fiction of law. There is no such thing as a reasonable person, just how a judge might decide to interpret that on a given day. If it was so obvious what a reasonable person might think we would not have so much trouble with little things like defining pornography, what is valid political speech, what constitutes reasonable serach and seizure, and the like. Don’t count upon “a reasonable person” to keep you safe. As they also say in most law schools, the law is what the judge will do the day you are in court. If you think all judges are always reasonable, then you can sleep peacefully tonight with this law on the books. That is, until the thought police kick in your door and drag your compouter (yes, the one on which you are reading this) out b ecause there is a temporary file listing this discussion, and someone, somewhere, has taken offence at something in this stream of responses, and that temporary file is a copy, and you participated by posting to this stream, and (to return to the regulation): …the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, © specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana. (2) A member of the Garda Siochana may (a) enter and search any premises, (b) seize, remove and detain any copy of a statement to which an offence under section 36 relates found therein or in the possession of any person, in accordance with a warrant under subsection (1).

  35. Well, I won’t be revisiting Ireland any time soon, then. Pity, because I’d been looking forward to it.

  36. This is not a joking matter in the least. It’s a very dangerous and horrific occurrence. I’m having a hard time believing it’s true. If that happened where I live, I would do whatever I had to to leave the country.

    • The funny part is that in making such a ridiculous decision, they’re probably opening the floodgates for a whole new wave of anti-Irish stereotypical jokes. Thankfully, they’re all drunk so they don’t even know we’re making fun of them.

  37. I suggest we start flooding the Ireland Government with blasphemous emails and show them just how much the world is outraged at their stupid law. What are they going to do, subpoena me via some extradition order? Hell, the canadian government won’t allow me out of the country for a vacation let alone to be tried under something this stupid. BTW, I’m an atheist…

    • I am also an atheist and I think the law is not only absurd but extremely unjust and dangerous. How can they be so stupid? I don’t know that flooding them with blasphemous emails would help the cause of the people. If anything, it may just fuel their fire. You have to consider the mentality of the idiots who made the laws. If they were logical people it might work, but it’s likely to cause them to clamp down even harder and to fear non-theism even more. People like that can’t be persuaded by such methods.

    • Perhaps someone should let the Irish know their first religion was druidry…similar to the rest of europe….so these christian and muslims should all just close their mouths and realize they have been blaspheming aganst the world oldest religions for years ……makes you think……

      • Religion is like fashion, arbitrary, ugly, and ever-changing. What’s “in” one moment is out the next. Religious leaders are like fashion media, always insisting what they say is correct, as if they somehow know the rules, which, we all know they make up as they go along.

      • Makes me think about naked dudes shapeshifting into bears.

  38. Time to start filing complaints against the Christians for claiming that Satan/Lucifer is “evil”!

    • Now that’s funny as hell! It really hurts my feelings and causes me to feel outraged that people in the world believe that our Esteemed Prince of Darkness is an evil guy… I mean seriously, I don’t run around saying God is good, or Allah is just… For crying out loud, prove to me that God or Allah or some other stupid concept of an all-powerful Creator exists and I will consider being nice to religions as wholes; there are too many religions, all claiming to be the right one, but they can’t all be right now can they?

      • I think if you could definitively prove that any deity exists, there would be no more atheists. Or they could always just make being atheist illegal, whichever one is easier.

  39. Ok so now we’re on the global scope of stupidity…..People the world over will wonder at how it affects them and say ” It’ll never come here” or ‘ it won’t affect me” but it does. they are saying religion which means that according to my understanding any religion can claim blasphemy according to it’s doctrine and dogma….. watch out world.. first we can’t smoke now we can’t believe what we want to cause it may offend someone…..be well….enhance your calm…and be ready to eat grass like the rest of the world wide sheep who let these travesties against personal freedoms get passed by governments no longer making rules for the people, but to control them.

    • Exactly. Stupidity like this spreads like the plague. It could spread if unchecked. We live in a society dominated by religious lemmings who live without personal accountability. There are, however, a growing number of us who are waking up, beginning to think for ourselves, and who are not content to be herded like sheep. I think that’s what the Irish government sees happening so they are making a pathetic attempt to shut it down before they lose that chokehold. It’s too little, too late. They are going to have to control their citizen’s access to the internet if they want to make it stick.

      • We just need to invent weaponry that’s too advanced for them to operate. Then we’ve won the war.

        • If you consider the oubt around what a nuclear weapon exchange would actually cause, which implies we haven’t a clue what will happen if we ever launch those things, I believe (and as an agnostic I don’t believe in much, e ven in the non-existence of God) that we have met your threshold, and we now have weapons too advanced for any of us to operate. And of course, many consider the existence of nukes as proof that mankind is basicaly blasphemoues, since we seem intent on wiping out whatever it is that whatever it is or was has created (if you believe in that creation sort of thing). So I will submit, it is blasphemous for nuclear weapons to exist, and Ireland under their new law should follow the lead of certain other countries and refuse to allow any nuclear weapons, or any ships or planes carrying nuclear weapons, to enter their country, airspace or seaspace. Maybe they shoul even boycott any ships or planes or travellers or products flagged from countries which maintain nuclear weapons, since preparing to blow up God’s world should surely be considered blasphmous intent. That should get some feathers ruffled.

  40. avatar Richard Headley

    I’m shocked and puzzled by this legislation. I never imagined that the Irish would spell the word “utters” the same way that we do in the civilized world. For years I thought it was spelled “ooters” in Ireland. I guess I must have read Ulysses one time too many. This reminds me, I heard a pretty good Irish joke recently. A man walks into the bathroom in an Irish pub and sees a blond-haired fellow standing only 3 feet tall. The blond guy says, in a high pitched voice, I’m a leprechaun and, because I like you, I’ll grant you three wishes. The man thinks for a minute, then tells the leprechaun, “I’d like to have a large, beautiful house.” The leprechaun responded, “Done! When you go home tonight, it will be to the largest, most beautiful house in Ireland. Now, for your second wish?” The man ponders for a few minutes what to ask for with his second wish, then tells the leprechaun, “I’d like to have a beautiful wife.” The leprechaun responds, “Done! When you go home to your mansion tonight, the most beautiful woman in all of Ireland will be in your bed waiting for you. And your final wish?” The man thinks some more, knowing that he has only one wish remaining, then finally says, “I’d like to have a huge penis.” The leprechaun rubbed his chin, then said, “I can do that for you, but you’ll have to let me screw you in the butt.” The man didn’t want to be screwed in his butt, but he also really wanted a large penis, so he finally agreed. While the leprechaun was screwing the man in the butt, the man said, “I can’t believe I’m letting you screw me in the butt.” The leprechaun responded, “I can’t believe you think I’m a leprechaun.”

    • The Irishman later contracted AIDS and, due to his pre-existing liver condition (as a result of years of heavy drinking), his health deteriorated rapidly until he died weighing under 90 lbs. on his mattress without a box spring, alone in his studio apartment. Unfortunately, because he engaged in homosexual behavior, his all-knowing and all-loving god sent him to hell to gnash teeth and live in torment and agony for all eternity. The End.

  41. What if you say it in the form of a joke like God exists… NOT!

  42. “It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.” Doesn’t that clause basically make the entire bill useless? If I draw Mohammad that is genuine artistic value. If I say “There is no God because there is not concrete evidence of a God” then isn’t that of genuine scientific and academic value? Every case of blasphemy has some literary, artistic, political, scientific or academic value. When the blasphemy goes to court and a “reasonable” person would have to decide–then doesn’t that mean they could not be under the delusion of religion? A reasonable person by the definition of “reason” is by nature not religious. This is a major conflict in this bill. I am right? Please tell me how that is not a serious conflict that makes the entire bill pointless.

    • That’s exactly the point of the bill: that there will never, ever be a conviction under this law. People are just having a knee-jerk reaction and thinking “stupid irish” without actually looking at the law. This wasn’t a law that was brought in to punish people who blaspheme, it was brought in because the Irish constitution had a reference to a blasphemy law that doesn’t exist, and bringing in a new law that will never be used is easier than holding a nation-wide referendum to change the constitution. It’s stupidity and it’s laziness on the part of the government, but it isn’t an attack on free speech or religious debate.

      • Oh yes it is an attack on free speech, it is an attempt to shut down all criticism of Islam in Ireland. Actually, it is even even more than an attack on free speech, it is an act of War against the Irish Republic, since the objective is by making criticism of Islam a no go area, whilst Islamofascists and Islamonazis are free to spew forth a torrent of abuse against Irish society, to demoralize and disintegrate Ireland as a progressive democratic society, to pave the way for the introduction of Sharia law and Muslim Arab rule in Ireland. Best and Warm Regards Adrian Wainer

        • Why would they need to impose Sharia? This sort of law is a huge step down the path to a native Irish version of Sharia. Why defeat your enemy when you can coopt and convert them into something so like you that the difference is unimportant. Fear of Islam has already brought out the religious fanatics in the US and given us maniacs like Cheney and Bush in charge. Islamic militants and Irish militants have been cooperating with with each other for years. It isn’t about religion, it is about power and money. Follow the money.

  43. Lawmakers can’t be so stupid. So the only reasonable explanation is that they do it on purpose.

  44. As a Christian, I think this law is ridiculous. Belief systems conflict, to the point that a fundamental tenet of one system may be blasphemy to another (i.e. the Christian belief that Jesus = God is blasphemy to the Muslims, and saying Jesus =/= God is blasphemy to Christians). What the fuck Ireland. What the fuck.

  45. avatar nader paul kucinich gravel

    InfoWars on a PrisonPlanet

  46. I knew the place was going to backslide into a nunnery once the money ran out but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly and thoroughly.

  47. Farenhiet 451 and 1984 are here.

  48. This’ll be over quickly once they realize that Christians can’t say Jesus was the messiah since it’ll offend Jews, etc.

  49. I shat on Mohammed’s face today.

  50. This is amazing. This is archaic thinking. This is dangerous.

  51. Have you people thought about iconoclasms ?

  52. On a lighter note, I hope nobody gets fined for blasphemy for decrying the Virgin Mary Stump in Limerick!

  53. Blasphemy is an instant ticket to hell anyway. Is the Irish Gov saying that gods punishment isn’t good enough? This surely must be blasphemous in itself? A 25,000 euro fine on the Irish Gov.

  54. This was brought in to protect MUSLIMS, and nobody else. It was brought in so that the ongoing INVASION of every white country on Earth, by third worlders, can continue as planned, clearly against the will of the majority of the population of every white country on Earth. This is not a joke – it is going to turn all of Europe into a battlefield. Clearly muslims do not want to ‘assimilate’, they have made their goal very clear – to take over OUR countries, since they have ruined their own… Islam is a wicked and evil ‘faith’. The ‘prophet’ of Islam was a mass murderer, multiple rapist, and a paedophile. Do some research. This bill is all about protecting Islam from anybody pointing out how evil and sick it is, and that is all. http://www.prophetofdoom.net

  55. If you look on youtube for a guy called alex jones you will find out why this bullshit is being passed,the truth about 9/11,7/7 bombings, aspartame in coke chewinggum,flouride in the water,mercury in vacines,swine flu,and many many other unbelievable things,our politicians are corrupt scumbags that need to be stopped.

  56. So, as a metalhead with a hard drive full of “pagan music”, I’m now an outlaw. Great. You now, this is the kind of law that actually makes me want to pump up the volume so all the neighbors can hear. Can I get a fine for wearing a Judas Priest TShirt ? Meaning, if there’s one priest per church in Ireland, that’s offensive to a lot of people.

  57. Well, I guess the Enlightenment was a waste of time then. Being an intelligent Atheist in Ireland is like being a human on the planet of the apes. Take your stupid religion and your blasphemy laws and bang them up your **se.

  58. Re: The various people here no longer wishing to visit Ireland, believing that all religious discourse has been cut off in Ireland and that various works of satire are now banned in Ireland … Oh, and it being duly noted that you exist in a position of great expertise not living in the jurisdiction … A suggested remedial step for you: engage senior counsel called to the Bar of Ireland and eh, get them to go through the law with you. If you can get your barrister to slowly mouth each syllable so you digest it all better, then bully you. But before then; have a nice hot cup of ‘Shut the F**k Up.’ Really, it’s actually tiresome watching you lot build up strawmen and then tearing them down with such aplomb. Such laziness – can’t you people actually engage with this legislation meaningfully? Regards, Those of us who can read law. And it’s an unwelcome law, but there’s no way in hell that it’s the same law you lot are talking about. PS: If you want a repugnant law to cite that should make Ireland a pariah state amongst the community of nations I present to you: The Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009 http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2009/4509/b4509d.pdf

    • Wow. More strawmen actually got erected while I was writing that. I weep. Yeah, you’re an outlaw now for your Pagan music collection. Call me a Roflcopter folks. This sh*t is bananas.

      • Finally! Some should know better than to get on their high horse. Who here is from the United Kingdom? Are you aware of the common law crime of … blasphemous libel? It existed as an offence up until, well, 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemous_libel So, er, Monty Python. Yeah. It was produced … when? Before 2008, I believe.

  59. Well, God Damn. Oops: I guess that means I cannot travel to Ireland. Oh well, I did not really plan to go there anyway.

  60. Anyone could have seen this coming. In all of Europe, the place that has the littlest genetic matter from beautiful inland peoples, particularly the proto-indo-european people and to a lesser extent the proto-uralic people, is Ireland. Only during the celtic migration did some of the PIEs enter the island, settling mainly in the eastern part. The indigenous inhabitants of Ireland are, for the most part, vulgar-looking and have theocratic temperament, theocracy being a vulgar ideal. Ireland was therefore predisposed to theocracy from the start. In more recent years, theocrats in many places have taken to breeding at a high rate, whereas comparatively rational people have been more negligent to breeding than they were in the past. This is true not only of Ireland, but of pretty much all places in the world at the current time. It was therefore only a matter of time in Ireland before the fanatics’ evil seed reached voting age and put their own kind into the majority of legislative seats. Ireland is just the beginning. This will happen in other jurisdictions as well if the secularists continue to make so few offspring.

  61. I thought blasphemy was a victimles crime….

  62. This is a classic, the EX prime minister is obviously seeking attention. He’s has already expressed very publicly that he’s totally bored with his now far diminished role after the glory days when the economy was overinflated. So I guess it wasn’t enough to act like a stereotypical compulsive horse racing gambler and totally overinflate the economy sending us in to the most extreme boom and bust in the world. Now he has to cement our already abissmal diplomatic image by regurgitating an ancient emotive debate. Of course this all serves to successfully distracting the general public from the truly critical issue of the the day, the LISBON TREATY REFERENDUM!! We are the only country in Europe who get to vote, and it’s today!! You see, there are some good things about our constitution …

  63. http://blasphemy.ie/

  64. Hmmm.. What’s next? All dyslexic’s be very afraid, for if you mistakenly say you worship Dog, the Inquisition will find you. Could it be a blasphemy for a Spanish speaking person to say “hey zeus” ? Finally, pity the anthropologist who works for National Geographic, who writes about the evolution of the Easter Bunny! He will be marked for death!

  65. “Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Life_of_Brian

  66. I think I shall become a vegetareist who worships only leeks. The bible does say “the leek shall inherit the earth. Would I be prosecuted in Ireland for public leeking?

  67. This is grounds for a violent revolt. People in Ireland should forcible enter the houses of legislators that pass this bill, cease their entire families, and burn them at the stake.

  68. I cannot believe this is happening today anywhere, much less in an area so close to many of the countries we deem to be among the most liberal. It’s just surreal. I think it’s an abomination, and disgusting. How dare they deem that anyone’s beliefs or rights are more respectable than others’ are? That is the core point, and that’s what makes it abhorrent all on its own. But then when you consider that it’s actually ILLEGAL to say that there’s no magic being controlling and watching over everything, and that a human didn’t magically spring from a virgin, able to raise the dead and break other fundamental laws of nature…it’s absurd. I’m at a loss for anything to say right now.

  69. The Irish Republic is effectively still being run by the Catholic church, this is the same country that remained neutral in WW2, the same country that even recently refused to apply the rule of law to its numerous pedo priests and abusive nuns; the 12% of the country that were protestant when the country was founded have now been driven out too, less than 1% remain now. I am from Northern Ireland, we have plenty of problems here but the Republic of Ireland is and always has been ruled by Rome and as such no-one should be surprised by archaic and twisted laws like this one, which are designed to increase and perpetuate the power of catholicism. It is not a secular state, it is an extreme example of what can happen when a ridiculous religion is placed at the center of a constitution and basically made compulsory for its oppressed citizens.

  70. I’m from Ireland and think this is unbelievable! This law is not new, by the way! Just that the fine was recently reduced from €100,000 to €25,000. It is a joke! It takes away free speak of religion! The government here are COMPLETE idiots. I hate here. ha!

  71. avatar ShredderFeeder

    Ok – first of, scrapping my plans for an Irish holiday, as my kin have clearly lost their bloody minds. The Irish Tourism Ministry should take note of this… Secondly, the law cancels itself out. Under Section 2: “(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters 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 (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.” The key words being ANY religion. Since all religions basically blaspheme all other religions, the point is moot. I’ve always known that the irish are a bunch of religious zealots, that’s pretty plain. The fact that they’re legislating their particular brand of zealotry is beyond stupid, it’s suicidal.

  72. I was curious about seeing Ireland on my worldly trips, but now ?, if this is true and correct, I am now never going to Ireland, purely on principle, or if this ridiculous law is changed. also I think I will heckle any Irish folk I meet, until they get their country to change the law. I’m with Jonathan boycottireland.org 1984, V for vendetta, equilibrium, this is the start of everything horrible, fascist and dystopian in fiction. where does it begin? where does it end? which is the religion that isn’t considered blasphemy?… argh! its making me mad now, the very idea of it.

  73. If this law were enforced(after of course defining blasphemy);then judging from the number of death threats I’ve had from deriding Islam, my whole pension would go down the toilet. Blasphemy has no place in the 21st century. I’m taking investors for my “Life of Mo cartoon”

    • Snackie, if you’re serious, please keep us informed on your project . . . we’d be happy to feature your drawings, or even serialize your storyboards for you. Or, simply register on this site (CLICK HERE). You’ll immediately have “Contributor” status, which means you can write posts and submit them for review. After a Moderator or Administrator approves them, they’ll be live on the site for all to see!

  74. Who thinks the Fianna Fail front bench today are a disgrace and should have tendered their resignations rather than be associated with Dermot Ahern’s blasphemy legislation? There is one reason and one reason only that such legislation is being pursued by Fianna Fail and that is to gofer for vicious tyrants that want people who criticize Islam killed and gays and lesbians thrown off mountains. Well nice one Dermot, you have proved modern Fianna Fail has precisely no connection with Irish Republicanism. Please join http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=59673946769&ref=ts Viewer Advisory Caution, actual torture scenes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVrAaiQABjE Best and Warm Regards Adrian Wainer

  75. Gees, what are you people so worried about. Blaspheme against God, right than prove it is actually blasphemy but getting God to testify in court that it is blasphemy. My beliefs, your beliefs, their beliefs, which are the truths, which are the legal factual truths that can be stated as being infringed, only the Gods of each religion, can legally state what does or does not constitute blasphemy, everything else is just differences in opinion.

  76. avatar Dr John Michael Nahay

    I encourage anyone: ignore this law. Say whatever you want about non-existent “god” garbage or “christian” fantasy garbage. Let’s see if they would really use deadly force. Any Irish police officer or judge who would use deadly force to kidnap you and throw you in prison would deserve to be tortured, bombed, and exterminated. If their cause is to outlaw speech they disagree with, then they deserve to suffer and die for it. Anyone who would try to force this political opinion down anyone’s throat has no right to complain about “war” or “terrorism” or any of that frivolous imaginary garbage. There is no such thing as “terrorism”, either. Everyone is a soldier. Some of us, such as atheists, fight for the right side. This is why the Irish Republican Army are heroes. Putting a bomb in a bar and blowing the limbs off some christian is insignificant, because christians cannot compute cause and effect. They enjoy getting their limbs blown off. That’s very funny to me. They do not have the mental capacity to comprehend that the free speech consequences of talking about god not existing are the same as talking about god existing. I have the legal right to support nuking Ireland if anyone tried to kidnap people over frivolous “blasphemy” charges. That is *my* United States First Amendment legal right to speak any of MY political opinions, such as this.

    • May I suggest a more constructive approach? Why not join the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, or, if you are so inclined, American Atheists? Oh, and subscribe to our RSS feed. But I don’t really have to say that part, do I? :)

  77. Shame on you Ireland! Non-theists, such as Buddhists, are also in danger here.

  78. avatar Mark the blasphemer

    … and in related news, “Cead Mille Failté” will now be replaced with “Níl a fhios ag aon duine na Éireann Coimisiún Fiosrúcháin!”. “Nobody expects the Irish Inquisition!” – Mark

  79. i think its a master stroke a text book move from goverments PR machine to divert the country and the media at large from that “God” awful recession i mean its so laughable its like a scene cut from the “quiet man”

  80. i smell a revolution in ireland and the medias rise of ‘athiest terrorists’ lol

  81. Oddly enough, I am leaning toward supporting this legislation. Think it through: Let’s imagine for a moment that there is a religion that finds even the mere mention of another religion blasphemous. Now imagine that there are two such religions and they are mutually exclusive. The only way to avoid being a criminal is by not ever mentioning any religion again. If these two religions don’t already exist, I suggest we add some new dogma to the Pastafarian and Jedi religions which would both happily accept the additions if they got rid of the insanity. As for going to Ireland… my religion has a god named “You’re under arrest” so a policeman would not be able to arrest me without blaspheming.

  82. Hey Pastor Mike, why did you leave out Muslims from your list in your article? This does affect them just as much as any other religious group or non-religious. Or maybe it’s the fact that you’re a hate filled piece of shit that gets to you. I like how some idiots (Islam haters as usual), come out and seem to think it’s about shutting down criticism of Islam? When the truth is this law has been in limbo for centuries. And also the fact that none of the politicians are Muslims? Or maybe they’re secretly all working for Al-Qaeda and you just don’t know about it. Carry on supporting your Christian aggression for oil and money in the Middle East, carry on supporting your Zionist money lenders who steal land in the Middle East under the guise of “God promised it to us”, the very definition of extremism. You’re hypocrites.

  83. I just made a new religion and in this religion any and all speaking in Ireland is Blasphemy. My lord demands a silent country. As the bill clearly says “ANY” religion I do believe all of Ireland is now in violation of anti-blasphemy laws!

  84. Pingback: Atheist Ireland Challenges New Blasphemy Law | Paliban Daily

  85. This is by a longshot the silliest thing i’ve ever heard,so atheists arent aloud express there beliefs but were allowed have religion forced down our throats without the right to argue our freedom of speech? so if its illegal to say that god is’nt real its only fair that its illegal for a christian to tell me there is a god right?

  86. Pingback: Ireland Makes Blasphemy Illegal « Nunya Business

  87. Pingback: Odinist Press Service » Ireland Makes Blasphemy Illegal

  88. that is an out and out lie i live in ireland…wiki it or google it..ireland has the most open free speach laws in the worl…LIES

    • Apparently, you are not very familiar with your own country and its 2009 decision to enact a blasphemy law in support of your own constitutional ban on blasphemy. I suggest YOU look it up. Let me make it easy: http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=ireland+blasphemy+law And, as you suggest, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law#Ireland

      In Ireland, blasphemy is prohibited by the constitution and carries a maximum fine of €25,000. A controversial law was passed on 9 July 2009 and went into effect on 1 January 2010. However, in March 2010, it was announced that there would be a constitutional amendment referendum held about whether or not to maintain the existing prohibition.

      You were saying?

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