Goddammit: Irish blasphemy law signed in

Well, it’s official.  While refusing to do your job in favour of protecting an ugly stump in the likeness of the Virgin Mary is still positively encouraged, remarking “Well if she looked like THAT, no wonder she’s a virgin” might actually now land you in prison.  President Mary McAleese has this morning signed the Defamation Bill into law.  The Defamation Bill updates Ireland’s defamation law, renewing the (formerly outdated) offence of blasphemous libel.  The Irish Times describes the bill as “aim[ing] to encourage quicker apologies from publishers”.

The extent of this ruling remains to be seen.  While the term ‘blasphemous libel’ suggests that publicly making a claim about Jesus which is later proven to be untrue could land you in trouble, it is unlikely we will see members of the church arrested for making exaggerated claims, such as the (potentially insulting) claim that Jesus died a virgin and later returned as a zombie – or simply that he was homophobic.  However if any Irish readers get the chance to see if the law works both ways, I strongly endorse suing your local clergyman for blasphemous libel should they dare to utter such atrocities.

Of course, it is far more likely that this law will be used to constrict free speech, particularly in the media.  Once cases of prosecution start to occur as a result of this law we will be sure to report more on this issue.

I would speculate more on this topic, but for fear of imprisonment (not to mention eternal damnation) the offensive tone of this post will stop here.




Atheist Ireland: Campaign to Repeal the Blasphemy Law

Facebook Group: Blasphemy Ireland

New Humanist: Blasphemy in the Christian World

And, just to show our respect: http://www.jesusisacunt.com/

6 Responses to “Goddammit: Irish blasphemy law signed in”

  1. Stonyground says:

    Truth does not need to be protected by the law and the threat of sanctions, only lies do.

    All religion is poisonous drivel and most of it is demonstrably untrue. If that was not a statement of fact, the religious would not need a law to prevent people pointing it out, they would be perfectly capable of refuting it.

  2. “This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves”

    – Robert Green Ingersoll 1833-1899

  3. Winthorpe says:

    How can a claim about Jesus be “later proven to be untrue” what? like.. after I’m dead? Or?… (like) after his or (your?) reanimation…..

    • Precisely. The very concept of ‘blasphemous libel’ is absurd, and – much like the Bible – is going to be vague and confusing to all but the “experts” who are able to make it fit their agenda.

  4. barriejohn says:

    As the Jesus of the Bible probably didn`t even exist, or, if he did was a shadowy figure around whom all the myths of the Gospels were constructed, just how is anybody going to be able to “prove” that a statement about this mythical figure is true or not? And I sincerely hope that no publishers will be “apologizing” for anything that they publish about Jesus, the Bible, Mohammed, the Koran and all the other religious claptrap that infests society!

  5. […] goes further, explaining that “publicly making a claim about Jesus which is later proven to be untrue could land you in trou…. Oh crap. So a bunch of fairy stories with no evidence are presumed to be true? How the fuck does […]