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Everybody's a blasphemer

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/herb_silverman/2010/01/everybodys_a_blasphemer.html

Q: Atheists are others are protesting a new law in Ireland, under which 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 penalty is a fine of up to about $35,000. Should Ireland or any nation have a law against blasphemy?

I'm certainly no fan of that old time religion, but I do prefer that old time blasphemy to the new version that purports to be more tolerant. The old kind criminalized critiques of the one True religion, with a capital T. The new Irish kind criminalizes critiques of any religion.

Those of us who point out that emperors of all religions have no clothes continue to be considered blasphemous by any standard. But what are we to do about those poor believers required by their religion to blaspheme against other religions? Those who believe that the New Testament is to be taken literally blaspheme against Jews when they recite Mathew 27:25: "The blood of Jesus will be on all Jews and on their children." Those who endorse the First Commandment, "You should not have any gods but Yahweh," are blaspheming against those who promote Jesus, Allah, or one of the 7000 other god candidates. In fact, I'm blaspheming against Orthodox Jews by violating the Third Commandment, the one against taking the Lord's name in vain. Technically, I should only write G-d.
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TAGGED: COMMENTARY, MORALITY, RELIGION


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