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.