Secular campaigners in the Irish Republic defied a strict new blasphemy law which came into force today by publishing a series of anti-religious quotations online and promising to fight the legislation in court.

The new law, which was passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (£22,000).

It defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”.

The justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said that the law was necessary because while immigration had brought a growing diversity of religious faiths, the 1936 constitution extended the protection of belief only to Christians.
Richard Dawkins: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Björk: “The Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

Frank Zappa: “To hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”

  1. qb says:

    This will be most entertaining.

  2. LotsaLuck says:

    Guess that Dutch cartoonist is going to have to get a bigger ‘safe room’.

  3. Postman says:

    This law is blasphemy against the Discordian religion, so this law is recursively illegal.

  4. TheCommodore says:

    Hmm, must be Saturday night or Sunday; which means pure crap here until Monday afternoon or evening. Catch y’all later.

    [thanks for your constructive input – ed.]

  5. Richard C Haven says:

    And what about us pastafarians?

    200 religions and only one of them can be right: bad odds by anyone’s standards.

  6. Skeptic says:

    Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

  7. yanikinwaoz says:

    Let me guess. This law was passed to appease hyper-sensitive Muslims.

    In order to force the state to defend their new law, all they have to do is republish those Danish Mohammed cartoons that got the Muslim world all riled up.

  8. EricPhillips says:

    I betcha there are plenty of Americans who would like to have this law here. Like all those “war on Christmas” wankers.

  9. N74JW says:

    I guess the burden of proof would be on them, to actually come up with someone to have offended.

  10. faithdefender says:

    There so afraid of islam they insult Christianity.. us Christians just sit back and laugh at the foolishness as well as pray for those who have been blinded by the religion of atheism, darwinism and islam..

  11. Luke says:

    The idea that a law is necessary when someone’s feelings get hurt because someone else says something about their beliefs that they don’t like is not only incredibly childish but also speaks volumes about the pathological insecurities those people must have about the beliefs they claim are so strong. Really? A cartoon or a poster or some words are enough to dislodge your faith so completely that you need to bring in the law to soothe your pain? Wow. I’ve seen more maturity on a schoolyard.

    When such a minor tremor so easily shakes the house, then it has been built upon a very shoddy foundation.

  12. Nobody says:

    The Taoiseach dragging Erie kicking and screaming into the 14th century

  13. Zybch says:

    Fuck God and fuck Jesus with crooked broomsticks (hey, why not make it a twosome).

    Even if you are a rabid saggy-titted god botherer its NOT up to you to prosecute people that disobey your sky daddy’s precious 10 commandments. That is for god to do AFTER the perpetrators die and face him in judgement. NOT you.

  14. Shubee says:

    Those powerfully deceived atheists are sniveling cowards. They don’t have the courage to address real injustice in the world. They prefer pretense and irrelevance.

  15. sargasso says:

    Hate crimes are punishable in most countries, be they directed at a person’s lifestyle, opinions, race, ethnicity, or for wearing socks with sandals. Harassing a follower of the socks-n-sandals faith, or their offshoot the beer-n-accordions, is now punishable in Ireland.

  16. EricPhillips says:

    #10: Hey Faithdefender: For your info, Athiests have no religion, though we do have philosophies and morals which do not require belief in a divine entity to have. Also, no one worships Darwin. He was just a smart man with good ideas. Like Jesus, before his simple ideas of loving one another and helping the needy became a religion. Unlike you, however, I think you can have your own beliefs if they work for you. Does demeaning others beliefs make you feel better about yourself?

  17. Arkyn1 says:

    #10 & #14: Atheism and Darwinism are not religions. Atheism is the absence of gods/religions (“a-theism” means “no god-beliefs” (religion) in the same way that “an-archy” means “no government”), and Darwinists are people who believe that Charles Darwin’s theories about general evolution apply (Charles had close to nothing to say, by the way, about human evolution, as anyone who has read Origin of the Species can attest).

    Neither of these philosophies has ritual attached, or rigid structure, or allows for fundamentalist opinion or single interpretation, the usual causes of strife.

    So I ask: What pretense? What irrelevance? And how have they been deceived, and by whom? And to what end? To hurt God? To hurt society? How?

  18. right says:

    It’s only January 2 and we have a contender for the stupidest people of 2010 award! Dermot Ahern, did you do this on purpose to get the attention you never got when you were a kid or what?
    And yes, we on the planet, are laughing at you! Idiot.

  19. Luc says:

    If anyone dares mock Ceiling Cat, I’ll sue.

  20. Thomas says:

    Wouldn’t passing laws to protect other religions be itself blasphemy to most religions?

  21. the Grim Peeper says:

    #17 – Darwinists prefer it if you don’t use the word “believe” when referring to evolution. As it is a scientific theory, you either “accept” it, or you don’t, and the overwhelming evidence so far points to the theory as being correct. Belief doesn’t come into it.

    So far Gravity is only a theory as well, and I’d like to see the creationists stop using it.

  22. Phydeau says:

    #21 So far Gravity is only a theory as well, and I’d like to see the creationists stop using it.

    Haven’t you heard?

    Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New ‘Intelligent Falling’ Theory

  23. RBG says:

    # 17 Arkyn1

    “Atheism and Darwinism are not religions.”

    I suppose that is true unless you understand that there is no connection between the belief in Atheism/Darwinism and reality in which case these would be considered superstitions – a lesser form of religion.

    And if there ever was anything with precise rigid structure, or fundamentalist opinion or single interpretation – that would be science. Especially as recognized in rituals such as the Nobel Prizes.

    (Charles had close to everything to say, by the way, about human evolution, as anyone who has read his book “The Descent of Man” can attest).


  24. Mr. Fusion says:

    #23, RBG,

    Superstition is based upon supposed, fictional, and irrational beliefs. Science is based upon facts and proof. Religion is a subset of superstition, not the other way around.

    No, Darwin was not perfect. He did have some flaws. The bulk of his work would still stand today as still more provable than any religious belief.

  25. qb says:

    How can there be “belief in Atheism”? That bit of illogic is right up there with “you choose not to believe”.

  26. RBG says:

    # 24 Mr. Fusion

    I would say the first fellow to read chicken bones for good luck was superstitious. Eight million costumed believers later with churches around the world dedicated to Chicken Bone reading might be considered a religion.

    Now just look up Piltdown Man, Lysenkoism, String Theory, Richard Dawkin’s multiple universes, E8 Physics, and on for science based upon fiction & faith. Pardon them if there are people out there who want to question “science.”


  27. Baz says:

    A short film detailing the history and context of the Irish Blasphemy Legislation.


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