Liberty defends human right to blaspheme

The latest on today’s Springer trial comes from This is London.

The human rights group Liberty are intervening in Stephen Green’s private prosecution as an interested third party. Their aim is to kill off the blasphemy law in the UK. Anna Fairclough, their legal officer, said:

These blasphemy laws should be shelved in dusty archives, not used as a tool to bring mischievous prosecutions against the Arts.

Thirty years have passed since the last blasphemy prosecution, making the law ripe for repeal.

Green is “hugely disappointed” as the blasphemy law is vital for protecting God’s name:

It is a great shame that Liberty have gone down this road, and strayed away from their core activities of defending civil liberties, which we as an organisation support.

As long as nobody makes fun of our metaphysical opinions, that is…

UPDATE: (4:30 pm) Simon Barrow of the secularist Christian think tank Ekklesia has just issued a press release in support of Liberty:

Human rights advocates, including people of faith,
have quite rightly campaigned against blasphemy
laws in Pakistan and other countries, and having one
on the statute in the UK is both an offence and an

Privileging one religion above other views is
indefensible in a democracy, and for Christians there
is the added irony that Christ was himself arraigned
on a charge of blasphemy. Using the law to attack
opinions about belief is to misuse it, and suggesting
that God needs protection against free speech makes
no theological sense at all.

UPDATE: (21 Nov) Reuters reports that the hearing is over and that the judges will deliver a verdict “at a later date”. We will keep you informed!

3 Responses to “Liberty defends human right to blaspheme”

  1. marc says:

    It all comes down to the simple fact that if god (Green’s god) was real enough and bothered enough, he’s big enough to look after himself.

    I rather like what AC Grayling had to say on this recently that after Millenia of Green’s ancestors killing and ostracising my ancestors, the tables have turned in the last couple of hundred years or so. The difference is that secuarlists don’t go around killing relgious folk with gay abandon.

  2. sean says:

    “The total number of obscenities is calculated by multiplying the number of swear-words by the number of people singing them.”

    That is irritating. So a harmonised singing of ‘Fuck’ by, say, 30 people, is 30 offences to the delicate ears of these fools???

    Incidentally, I remember anachist group CRASS had some trouble with the blasphemy laws in the late 70s. A song called ‘Reality Asylum’ off their 1st LP. I don’t know if they were actually prosecuted, but the track was left off the first pressing of the album, replaced by a few minutes of silence entitled ‘The Sound of Free Speech’. The blasphemous track has long since been re-instated. The
    lyrics are kind of fun, in a completely over the top way.

  3. I think some of the press should start asking questions about Christian Voice.. Like, if it isn’t a charity, why is it accepting “donations”?