Irish atheists test blasphemy law

michelangelo god sistine chapel blasphemyMonths ago when the new and controversial Irish anti-blasphemy law was being passed, it made headlines around the world. Now that it has gone into effect, the fracas has really begun, with a group of Irish atheists immediately putting up a challenge. The atheists claim the law is unenforceable and have posted “25 blasphemous quotations” on their website in order to test it. These quotations are, for the most part, relatively tame, but they do demonstrate the ridiculousness of such laws in countries where there exists a multiplicity of faiths. In a nation or area run by a religious tyranny, such as occurred under Christianity in parts of Europe during the Dark Ages and Inquisition, or as in brutal Muslim-dominated countries to this day, such a law could be carried out, because it necessitates a monolithic religious structure that excludes all others.

In free, democratic nations, however, such a law is the height of absurdity – and those who passed it in Ireland evidently knew that fact, because they claimed, if I understand their position correctly, that they were essentially only doing it in order to fend off something worse.  What could be worse and coming down the pike at them? Perhaps what is happening in other parts of Great Britain, to wit Islamization? One look at this law may indicate which “religion of perpetual outrage” is being appeased once more:

Under the law, which went into effect Friday, a person can be found guilty of blasphemy if “he or she publishes or utters 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.”

The point in challenging this law is that what is defined as “blasphemy” to one individual, group or culture within a multifaith and multicultural land may not be blasphemous at all to others – so how will these determinations be made? Here are a few examples of what is blasphemous to me personally:

  • It is blasphemous to me to insist that there is a giant, usually male god person somewhere “out there” separate and apart from creation who is angry, vengeful and wrathful.
  • It is blasphemous to me to discuss this god person using the sexist terms of “he,” “him” and “his,” in whatever language.
  • It is blasphemous to me to suggest that this god person is so petty and obsessed with women’s hair and skin that “he” must have them cover themselves up under threat of rape and brutality.
  • It is blasphemous to me to say that the quality of divinity has occurred only once in history in a particular individual of a certain ethnicity some 2,000 years ago.
  • It is blasphemous to me to coerce people into believing without any credible, scientific evidence illogical and supernatural events, such as a man being born of a virgin, walking on water, raising people from the dead and flying off into heaven.
  • It is blasphemous to me to state that there has only been a handful of “prophets of God” from a particular part of the world and that the last one for all eternity existed some 1,400 years ago.
  • It is blasphemous to me to claim that a warrior who married a six-year-old girl and consummated the “marriage” when she was nine is called a “prophet of God.”
  • It is blasphemous to me to assert that another warrior who ordered the slaughter of tens of thousands and the rape of kidnapped virgin girls by “chosen people” is also called a “prophet of God” and his exploits are “godly.
  • It is blasphemous to me to raise up writings as “holy” that consist largely of blood and gore, as well as calls for the hatred, mistreatment, enslavement and murder of nonbelievers and infidels.
  • It is blasphemous to me to treat human beings like born-in-sin pieces of garbage in the face of an all-glorious god who deserves all the praise but none of the blame for the world’s ills.
  • It is blasphemous to me to attempt to overthrow the democratic rule based on my holy scripture, which is the American Constitution.

And so on.

Moreover, by looking at the news I am insulted on a daily basis in matters that I hold sacred, such as the right of women to keep their hair and face uncovered in public, as well their genitals intact, along with so many other atrocities committed regularly in the name of God, religion, holy books, prophets, sons of God, etc., ad nauseam.

Now, who is going to arrest and try all the hundreds of millions globally whose beliefs blaspheme my religion?

Further Reading

Atheists challenge Ireland’s new blasphemy law with online postings


  1. Fantastic article Acharya! Very well said.

    I’m surprised that the Irish atheists didn’t pluck out one of your many great quotes to incorporate into their “Blasphemous Quotations.” Probably because you have so many it’s too difficult to chose just one, ahh?

    “Jesus is as mythical a character as Hercules.”

    [quote]The Mythicist Position:

    “Mythicism represents the perspective that many gods, goddesses and other heroes and legendary figures said to possess extraordinary and/or supernatural attributes are not “real people” but are in fact mythological characters. Along with this view comes the recognition that many of these figures personify or symbolize natural phenomena, such as the sun, moon, stars, planets, constellations, etc., constituting what is called “astromythology” or “astrotheology.” As a major example of the mythicist position, it is determined that various biblical characters such as Adam and Eve, Satan, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, King David, Solomon and Jesus Christ, among other entities, in reality represent mythological figures along the same lines as the Egyptian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Indian, Greek, Roman and other godmen, who are all presently accepted as myths, rather than historical figures.”

    – “Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection” page 12

    [b]What is a Mythicist?[/b] ([url][/url])[/quote]
    Faith and euphoria should no longer be allowed to trump science and reason.

  2. isn’t it metaphorical?
    I always viewed the Bible as a book of metaphor and don’t understand why people think of it as anything else?

  3. Darkness is lack of light,some people spend their life fleeing from and chasing darkness, reasoning people turn the light on. But there are different levels or reasoning ability with the greatest responsibility resting on those with the highest potential. Wisdom…someone might have said… is subtle. 😉

  4. New blasphemy law
    I am a member of Atheist Ireland. I am Australian and have Irish Ancestry. I was brought up Roman Catholic and am now Atheist. I fully support the Irish People in their fight against these archaic and stupid laws. I support Irish Atheists in their struggle against the tryanny inflicted on them by the “Holy” Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church must be stopped peddling it’s lies about there being some “God”. All that is about is a method of controlling humans. The Roman Catholic Church is in serious decline. I hope it’s death is quick.

    1. I see there are those
      Who have woken-up from the deep-sleep imposed on them in their childhoods. We are ALL…born Atheists, And would remain so, had our parents, or those who raised us, not perpetrated a crime on us by making us believe in “talking-snakes, a man who walks on water, raises the dead, and feeds thousands with 2 fish.” In truth, the 2 fish, is simply a parody of the age-of-Pisces. “Walks on water,” is the “reflection of the SUN, (not son), “talking snakes” refers to our “other-half.” “Raises the dead” is equal to REINCARNATION. There are explanations for every “misconception” in the Bible. But is explained by the Priesthood, they’d be out of a job. I only hope one day, the world will realize we have ALL had an evil fallacy perpetrated on us. IF…there WERE a “creator, SHE is long gone, and doesn’t appear to be returning any time soon. Man has never “created” anything significant without a “FEE”-male.

  5. lies, damn lies and myths!
    Is the best any ONE religion can come up with at any given time…
    So what is one to do…why rape burn and pillage of course, worked for the crusaders and vikings and is considered a workable way in the modern times we are n.

    Any gods of another faith are the devls of another…

    Hail Ganesha! Jai!

  6. Athiests brought this on themselves. There are so many antireligion lawsuits going on here in the US and most if not all go the athiests way. You can’t pray in school, have a copy of the ten commandments in your courthouse, etc. Not to get side tracked , all you ammendment qouters don’t forget the part where it says the government can’t restrict your right to worship as well as not promote it.

    So the religous folks won a round. Quit your crying. In todays PC world body this law will not last. Keep fighting it and you will surely win. This is the age of the Secular Humanist. It is it’s own religion with it’s own beliefs. Stop hiding behind the athiesm means I don’t believe in anything banner. You do believe in something part of which is there is no God.

    I do feel bad for the Irish who must endure this law , even if only temporary it is clearly opressive. For the record I believe in everything athiest except that there is a God. Be careful what you do regarding the bible as the key to illumination lies within. YOu are as ignorant as the fodder Christians if you do not see this. We rabble are being divided and conquered. Let’s join together and find the keys.

    1. Fudog,

      You seem completely unaware that non-believers have never been allowed to be free from religion. Still, even in the US, atheists are the most discriminated against minority.

      It’s time for that [b]Discrimination against atheists[/b] ([url][/url]) to end once and for all.

      1. I actualy was an athiest for quite some time. I get it. Never did I feel opressed and I lived in the South Eastern region of the country , Georgia, and Alabama ! It’s this new over sensitiveness some athiests seem to exhibit. Personaly I didn’t feel offended if someone read there Bible during lunch and asked me if I wanted to join. I just said no thank you and that was it. Really, that was it.

        Todays athiest has a big fat chip on thier shoulder and they are just waiting for someone to nock it off. I do understand thier are radical segments of the religous community as there are in any idealism. Nationalists, racists, capitalists and dare I say it …. Athiests all have thier radical segments. Radicals are potentialy threatining if you aren’t in thier group.

        The sad truth is this day and age is that you could live your whole life as Godless as you want . Take the chip off your shoulder, stop bothering believers with how clever you are for not believing in God, don’t have a hissy because you see someone else pray or say Merrry Christmas and you will thrive Godlessly. I guaruntee it.

        I am not a Bible thumper by any means. It is my personal belief that the Bible is the wisdom of the ancients codified in myth and allegory to shield it from the profane. I believe that there is a God and He (anthropomorphicaly speaking) [b]IS[/b] ! We live in an exciting time when we can read posts like theese and artists like Ms. S. I read somewhere that todays average person is exposed to more esoteric (unknowingly to them) knowledge thant the initiate of yesteryear.

        Enjoy your journey. Learn what you might in this time you have. Champion your cause if you must but understand in time and place you are as free form religion as man and lady have ever been. Free your mind the rest will follow.

    2. Why can’t you religious people keep your praying, commandments, manger scenes, etc. in your tax-free churches and religious schools? Why do you insist that they have to be allowed in public places where we all have to be subjected to them? Otherwise, you think you are being persecuted???

      1. Let’s say we take your statement and place a different group other than questions so that you can see your statement for what it is . Let’s start with gays and lesbians.

        Why do you insist that gays and lesbians have to be allowed in public places where we all have to be subjected to them? Otherwise, you think you are being persecuted???

        If that doesn’t turn the light bulb over your head on let’s try women.

        Why do you insist that women have to be allowed in public places where we all have to be subjected to them? Otherwise, you think you are being persecuted???

        If you do not get the point by now you are a possibly a christian hating, sexist , homophobic. Just kidding not actual accusations. Given the athiests hair trigger to anger this was a poor jest on my part.

        Can you not see that your statement reveals the very same thought process possesed by theese alleged religious fanatics you so despise ?
        If someone has to hide away to be who they are they are being persecuted.

  7. What is wrong with God
    Simple thing to understand about Jewish, Chriatian and muslim religions is that they are reactionary religions to each other and hatred, anger and manly degradation of their nuts (phrophets) reflects in Tohra, Bible and Quran who represent/codified them.

    Prophet Acharya is right is exposing their crimes perpitrated upon manking from the time immmemorial.

    We will be better off without these three hateful religions and may find solace in loving each other and hating none including prophet of Allah.

  8. Thank you Acharya S. for bringing this Catholic folly to our attention. I am satisfied that such a miscarriage could only have occured in a place where religion rules, and has no reasonable brake on its outrageous overreach.
    Yes, they respond to Muslim extremeism. They are afraid. But they see no contradiction in passing a law like this. They may wish to invoke it against others later.
    @FuDog: You are either an imbicile or a liar. Anyone can pray in an American Public School; there is no statute law on the subject; it’s just that the Supreme Court held that the School cannot pray for you or force you to pray. If a child in a public school chooses to roll out her prayer rug and bow to Mecca twice or thrice a day, on the school grounds there will be nothing said. What cannot be is that the Imam of the local mosque may be carried over the school intercom. Do you see a difference? If you don’t, you are a fool. And the ten commandments are NOT the basis of American law, you jive-ass turkey, there is specific constitutional law to the effect that most are NOT applicable to Americans. And we have no criminal law against adultery, and no criminal law about respecting parents. So most are DOA. Grow up, or go hide in a hole somewhere, because you are seriously behing history.
    God, I always wanted to believe that Irish Catholicism was wiser and more liberal than say that of the Vatican wherein reside geese who presume to pontificate on subjects like biology and cosmology for which they have less qualifications than a goat. And yes, they can surely read better than a goat, but the goat reads with an open mind.

    1. I am often an imbecile and sometimes a liar. You Madam or Sir are boisterous, arrogant, and cantankerous. This is why you run into trouble. You are obviously looking for a fight. I’ll comply, sort of.

      There have been numerous instances cited in the news of people being denied prayer in shcool. I did not insinuate that the Ten Commandments where the basis of our law only that court rooms where being denied the right to display them. I was eluding specificaly to a well documented case regarding and Alabama courthouse. In your fit of zealous rage you can’t even asertain what you see.

      Forgive me for paraphrasing here. “Jive Ass Turkey ” ? “Hide in a hole somewhere”? Wow, impressive and oppressive.

  9. B) I advocat freedom from religion. I consider moraqlity and religion two separate things. the light of truth iis of eachother. God isw all of us. Namaste’ benowbro

  10. How outrageous some of these reliigious people are to assert they know better than some of the worlds greatest minds who have actually studied these subjects and teach it- they have read one book and perceive it as a reality- why do they not understand the simplicity that they are not as clever as the scientists and academics who understand relgions and belief systems- they are generally nice people though and simple people seem to need belief – so let them be like sheep- I know a fairly bright woman who wrote a book but she is sick with this false belief and is addicted to her behaviour (religion is an addiction and cult)- also why do they not understand is that I used to one of them? I was a Christian untrusting of atheists or agnostics and then later cecame a Bahá’í – I left it all as I prefer to believe in love, and myself and the people I love- you do not need fake pretend-gods to do that?

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