Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Blasphemy law passed in Ireland

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Breaking news from Ireland, and it's not good. The Dáil has just voted to make "blasphemous libel" a crime which carries a fine of up to €25,000, as part of the new Defamation Act. As reported previously, this will outlaw any statement or publication "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."

I learnt the news via Michael Nugent on Twitter, and he's just passed me this link to a short news piece on RTE. Apparently there was no debate on proposed amendments to the section of the Bill covering blasphemy, which included amendments proposing scrapping the idea completely. The law will now be finalised in the Irish upper house, the Seanad, tomorrow morning at 10.30.

Nugent is chair of Atheist Ireland, which had earlier said it would put out a blasphemous statement to test the law if it passed. We'll keep you informed on what happens with that.

Meanwhile, we'd like to reassure our Irish subscribers that our new issue is currently on its way to them, complete with your free packs of highly blasphemous God Trumps cards. Now they could prove a test to the new law.

11 comments:

Saxaclone said...

The use of the word "libel" puzzles me. I thought a libelous statement had to be, by definition, false. Also, about non-fictional people. And people who are alive to be defamed?

So the statement "Jesus was a drug dealing prostitute terrorist" is surely allowed because he is 1) fictional and 2) very fictionally dead?

It should be up to fictional religious figures to bring their own libel lawsuits like the rest of us!

Grumpy Bob said...

An absurd law. Wonder who will be the first to be convicted. Is one religion allowed to defame another? After all they can't all be true...

A. said...

So if I were to say Mohammed fellates Jesus while fucking L. Ron Hubbard, I owe Ireland money?

Ireland can go fuck itself.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, who is penetrating L. Ron Hubbard? Mohammed or Jesus? Because Jesus couldn't fuck someone while being fellated...unless he had two dicks! Cracking! Now that's my kind of deity!

IOnceBlasphemedGandalf said...

Of course Jesus has two dicks, its in the Bible - God and the Holy Spirit.

Richard Eis said...

I think it's a good sign of how terrified the religious are now that they have to go to such lengths.
Of course this is going to get so abused, i doubt it will last the year.

foolfodder said...

A raises a good point. The English libel laws can be used to persecute non-English people by non-English people. Could this Irish law be used in the same way?

For example, could Stephen Green use this law to take someone who's not from Ireland to court if they publish something internationally?

Nicola said...

What happens if the Christian crowd insult members of the Church of Satan? How do they deal with religious claptrap which is contradictory? How about the fact that both the Bible and the Quran contain statements which incite murder and genocide based on religious affiliation?

Presumably what this law really means is that the Catholic church will be protected from valid criticism (such as mentioning the preponderance of kiddy-fuckers in the priesthood, the delusional lunatics pushing AIDS misinformation programmes, the witch-hunts in Africa, etc etc etc); while everyone else will be regarded as fair game.

I suppose that's all we can expect from a bunch of people who worship the tortured corpse of a man who's been dead for 2000 years.

Carmen D'Cruz said...

Well said Nicola!

If god is REALLY that all powerful, why doesn't he just smite blasphemers like he did in the olden days? Why does he require a petty libel law when 4 out of 10 commandments forbid blasphemy anyway (I think...)

John said...

I see that Our Lady has turned up in Limerick to show her approval of the Blasphemy Law.

http://tinyurl.com/ngzo4s

Anonymous said...

So i assume it made it through the Seanad?