"should any religion be capable of withstanding external criticism without the need for state protection?" The answer to that is yes of course it should be capable of withstanding external criticism. I think that you will find that the majority of main stream Christian denominations supported the abolition of the blasphemy law in UK in favour of a law that protected against religious hatred. However people of faith can find that others use offensive language ("blasphemy") in connection with their beliefs. Sometimes there is a lack of respect towards those with faith and at times it can be done deliberately to offend but most often it is done without realising the offence that it may cause. Christianity is more relaxed about this compared to example Islam. The blasphemy laws of Pakistan have caused problems click here
I guess Quickbeam has a similar opinion to me; you either go for freedom of speech or you decide on a Christian(?) fundamentalist stance.
I agree that incitement should be outside any reasonable freedom of speech, but opinion on religious belief is something different again. Unless this is designed to be the start of a backlash against those counties who observe a form of faith that has no temperance for any other.
"Athiest Ireland seems to be going out of its way to incite."
Surely it's right that in 2010 atheists should have as much right to assert or express their views as Catholics or protestants,or any other religious group? I invite you to explain why atheists should be prohibited by law from publishing anti-religious quotations on a web site. I imagine that a Catholic priest would be allowed to express anti-atheist views with impunity.