Blasphemy bill proposed in Ireland

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 it was already a crime to defame religion in your Republic. The problem is, of course, 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 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 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 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!

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Comments (3)

  • avatar

    Sean

    I am fucking disgusted – Is it not enough that i have to look at a church in every village in this country! It will be fought. Bastards.

  • avatar

    Simon Campbell

    It’s crazy man. Ireland went from having a strong economy a few years ago and being a forward-looking country to being an economically bankrupt country with backward morals, again.

    Another example is that Ireland has failed to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon. It’s because they put things like this up to a referendum, and the majority of Irish people don’t know the first thing about politics or religion. They follow what their fathers believed, which is what their fathers believed, and so on. They rarely think about what they actually believe.

    I live in Northern Ireland where it’s much the same, except people just don’t Blaspheme full stop. Church’s protested outside a stage production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for crying out loud.

    To be honest, I don’t know how many convictions will come about from this. Generally the courts are more willing to uphold human rights than the legislators.

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