Atheist faces serious jail time for offending religious people

If religionists offend us by calling atheists “immoral”, “scummy” or just plain “evil”, we do what any rational and confident person of sound judgement does: we ignore them (or if you’re like me, you write steamy vitriol in your pathetic blog). That’s usually the extent of our outrage, but for religious folks, who benefit from the tyranny of their majority, the inverse reaction to being offended is not so muted.

Take the example of Harry Taylor, who left sexually explicit images of religious figures in the prayer room of John Lennon Airport (the irony, it burns!). He’s been ¬†recently convicted of “aggravated intentional harassment” (is there any other kind of harassment other than intentional?). Although it might sound like a pretty mild charge, it carries with it a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. Yes, you heard right, Mr. Taylor could go to jail for almost a decade for offending a priest in an airport named after a guy who’s most popular song extols the joys of living in a world without religion. My head is officially about to explode.

The Crown Prosecution is trying to defend this draconian law, saying it looks at each case based on its own merits. What fucking merit is there in convicting a man for offending someone? No one has a right to “not be offended”. You live in a world where people have different opinions and ideas, and it’s inevitable some of those will offend you. Fucking deal with it.

The British government is cowardly for allowing such a law to exist, and it’s citizens should be ashamed such a case was even prosecuted. For a so-called “secular” country, you have a lot of house cleaning to do…

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Comments (9)

  • avatar

    Isaac

    Fucking Britain!

  • avatar

    keeyop

    This will definitely be one to follow. An important verdict, to be sure.

    Surprised this law exists in the UK; Breaking it means publicly displaying something that’s “insulting”. Subjective language in a law is always TROUBLE.

    So, wearing an “I’m with stupid ->” t-shirt is potentially illegal.

    What the bloodclot was going on in 1986 to get this law passed?!

  • avatar

    Jon

    On a similar note, there’s a guy named Adam Darski (better known by his stage name of Nergal, frontman of Polish Death Metal band Behemoth) who’s about to be charged for ripping up a Bible in his home country. If convicted, he could face 2 years in prison…

    http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=136374

    Hell, I’ve been drinking water all day. Give me a stack of Bibles (with maybe a few Korans, Torahs and copies of Dianetics) and I’ll pee on ‘em right NOW! It’d be awesome if a bunch of people got together and did some sort of mass blasphemy to challenge these kind of cases, even if all they did was say “Jehovah”…

    Whoops. Just made it worse for myself. =)

  • avatar

    Freelancer84

    Britain is not exactly a secular country, there is still no clear separation of chruch and state.

    Not that I’m trying to excuse this rediculous use of the legal system.

  • avatar

    cory

    jesus fucking christ.
    too bad for him i’m not in charge, i’d give the guy a couple free flights for his creativity and send him on his merry way.

  • avatar

    Mercer

    Now my question is: Is this guy going to find Jesus in jail? I guess not. On a different note though I think this is fucking outrageous.

  • avatar

    Tim

    The result is in….

    An ASBO, a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 costs.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8640048.stm

  • avatar

    Emily

    I think he shouldn’t've done it because it was stupid even if the depicted people weren’t religious figures. Fellow atheists, think about it this way: if the images were depicting people we love greatly (as that is how the religious feel about their idols), would we not also be offended? The guy had no class. I know you’re probably Americans and face preachy religious people way more than me — a Canadian — does, though, so you’ll be more biased than me. I get that, but the point still stands.

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