Pharyngula

Grand news from Ireland!

Citing a “sophisticated campaign” on the internet (congratulations, Michael Nugent and all the gang at Atheist Ireland), the Irish government is going to reconsider their blasphemy law.

Dermot Ahern, the justice minister, is proposing that a vote to remove the criminal offence of blasphemy be held as part of a planned series of referendums this autumn, writes Stephen O’Brien.

Well, frob me sideways with a sniny dirk…maybe there is a god.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    March 15, 2010

    Gosh reserves judgment of blasphemy to himself, and only he can darn us to heck.

    Which is why it is blasphemous to make laws about what anyone says about Gosh.

    cuck cont dumn fack

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  2. #2 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 15, 2010

    That is good news, way to go, Atheist Ireland!

  3. #3 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 15, 2010

    frob me sideways with a sniny dirk

    You left out the word shithead in that paraphrase, poopyface.

    My this euphemism meme is quite something, isn?t it?

  4. #4 vreejack
    March 15, 2010

    That something so breathtakingly stupid was ever put up in the first place leaves me astonished.

    Who was to be the judge of this again? I have to concur with Glen Davidson that only the target of the blasphemy can be the proper judge of its effect, and any attempt by humans do usurp that role is to deny the honor of the alleged target, and therefore blasphemous by nature.

    It was all a sop to protect the delicate sensibilities of the public whom were unaccustomed to having their cherished fantasies challenged. But if their cherished fantasies have any relevance/reality whatsoever they can bloody well act for themselves.

  5. #5 Shplane
    March 15, 2010

    Of course, said god that there might be certainly isn’t the one in the BIBLE, because he would have already killed all of Ireland’s firstborn children for the offense.

    So maybe it’s Krishna or somesuch?

  6. #6 baldfatgit
    March 15, 2010

    I’m guessing everyone is aware that a referendum about blasphemy in a staunchly Catholic country is going to go absolutely nowhere. Right?

  7. #7 mothwentbad
    March 15, 2010

    maybe there is a god.

    Now you’ve blasphemed against us and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  8. #8 Gavin McBride
    March 15, 2010

    What do yuo mean there maybe a god? Dermot Aherne is god! Have you not seen the Church Of Dermotology on Facebook?

    We believe that the universe was created by him creating a breech in the fabric of logic on the day he passed the blasphemy law while at the same time making a blasphemous joke comparing himself to being as pure as the baby Jesus.

    This contradiction from a pure and entirely logical god, ripped through the fabric of logic and created the universe as we know it.

  9. #9 jefrir
    March 15, 2010

    Apparently there was a (sort of) logical reason for bringing in the law. The constitution, written in the 1930s or so, said that there had to be a law against blasphemy. The new law was introduced, with the penalty it had, in order to make it as hard as possible to bring a prosecution, and to ensure that any cases that were brought were held in the national court, rather than local ones, again to reduce the chances of anyone actually being convicted of this.
    Of course, they could have tried to change the constitution, which is what’s happening now, but they were concerned that people would actually be dumb enough to vote in favour of the offense, in which case they’d be stuffed.

  10. #10 stevenduggan
    March 15, 2010

    The fight ain’t over. We have a referendum to win!!!

  11. #11 charlesoduill
    March 15, 2010

    This made my day, Democracy to the rescue!http://bit.ly/dDcZlU

  12. #12 fester60613
    March 15, 2010

    Huzzah!
    Wonderful news! Almost as good as the Irish government seizing church property and selling it as a way to force the church to pay up on its renege of paying damages to the little kids they used to fack as a matter of course.
    Bad church! Bad church!
    Good Ireland! Good Ireland!

  13. #13 Zeno
    March 15, 2010

    O frabjous day!

  14. #14 Rey Fox
    March 15, 2010

    Ha. See that, faitheists? They called us sophisti-fookimakated.

  15. #15 chuckgoecke
    March 15, 2010

    It appears that this development was in the plan all along. That, in order to rid the country of the lame rule in the constitution, the blasphemy law had to be passed, just so it could be repealed in that countries constitutional referendum process. Now we just have to hope that there are enough sane Irish folk with enough interest to chunk this junk law. I suspect there probably is.

  16. #16 chuckgoecke
    March 15, 2010

    countries = country’s Like I’ve said before, I couldn’t grammar my way out of a wet paper bag.

  17. #17 Mrs Tilton
    March 15, 2010

    Well, frob me sideways with a sniny dirk?maybe there is a god

    And soon you’ll be able to curse him, her, it or them legally in Ireland!

  18. #18 Moveable Type
    March 15, 2010

    Well now, the Irish half of me is singing praises to the Lord and the Scottish half of me is going to have a whisk(e)y.

    The English half is doin’ the typin’

  19. #19 bplurt
    March 15, 2010

    Baldfatgit@6:

    I’m guessing everyone is aware that a referendum about blasphemy in a staunchly Catholic country is going to go absolutely nowhere. Right?

    Not too familiar with Ireland, are you? Try turning off your video of Darby O’Gill for a while.

  20. #20 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 15, 2010

    I suppose selective prayer somehow has worked.

  21. #21 dannywalk
    March 15, 2010

    Baldfatgit@6:

    I’m guessing everyone is aware that a referendum about blasphemy in a staunchly Catholic country is going to go absolutely nowhere. Right?

    Staunchly Catholic?
    Let’s see now.

    Church going figures in Ireland have been declining at an incredible rate over the past few decades. The numbers have recently steadied a bit, but this has mainly been due to the recent influx of immigrants from Poland and other eastern European nations.

    Your average Irish person goes to church once a year for a wedding, funeral or some such and rarely, if ever, has much to do with it.

    Like most educated “westernized” nations, secular atheism is on the rise (bloody good thing too).

    In all likelihood only a few people will bother to vote in a referendum like this anyway. I guess it’ll pass, but the turnout will be low.

  22. #22 baldfatgit
    March 15, 2010

    bplurt@19; dannywalk@21:

    Don’t misunderstand me: nothing would please me more than to see such an idiotic law repealed. (I speak as the only atheist married into an otherwise strongly religious family, almost all of them Irish Catholics or descendants thereof.)

    However, while many Irish people might want the law prohibiting blasphemy to be removed, I am pretty sure they’ll draw the line at modifying their constitution appropriately. It will take that to happen in order for the law to be repealed, since Dermot Ahern claimed he was only obeying the Constitution in implementing the law in the first place.

    A good analogy in the US is gun control. Every sane person agrees that it should be much, much stronger than it is; every community that is the victim of gun violence cries out for something to be done.

    But the NRA holds such sway, and the average US citizen is so against the idea of changing the US constitution – believing, as they do, that the minute it changes, the US will be invaded or worse, their own government will somehow seize control and create an Orwellian society – that the chance of anything constructive being done in the foreseeable future is virtually zero.

    I strongly suspect a similar principle is true of Éire. Doublethink is not restricted to the printed page in an Orwellian novel.

    However, to be fair, Éire did relinquish its claim on Northern Ireland (after a fashion) in 1998, so I suppose anything is possible. Just not probable, IMHO.

  23. #23 --PatF
    March 15, 2010

    I was in Ireland a couple of years ago and was surprised by the attitude of the Irish I met. They were positively outraged at the scandals in the church. In particular, the women were furious at the behavior of Father Michael Cleary and Bishop Eamonnn Casey and the way they treated their wives.

    My guess is that this latest scandal is just going to add to the anger. So look for the defeat of the blasphemy law and a continuing decline in church attendance.

    And with that we can all say..

    Happy St. Patrick’s day!

  24. #24 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 15, 2010

    Blasphemy, a truly victimless crime.