It's against the law to publish a blasphemy

  Forum Editor 08:48 02 Jan 2010

in Ireland as from yesterday. The 'offence' is punishable with a fine of up to £22,000. click here

An Irish atheist group has published 25 quotations that it considers are anti-religious on its website in order to highlight what it calls a "silly and dangerous" law.

Is it right to try to protect a religious belief against atheist views in this way, or should any religion be capable of withstanding external criticism without the need for state protection?

  wiz-king 09:09 02 Jan 2010

My first thought - it's too late to save the Dublin 5 - but that is being cynical.

  Forum Editor 09:18 02 Jan 2010

You'll need to explain what that has to do with the new blasphemy law.

  zzzz999 11:25 02 Jan 2010

Athiest Ireland seems to be going out of its way to incite.

  Quickbeam 11:25 02 Jan 2010

Isn't freedom of speech enshrined in the Irish constitution? If so, it would be at odds with an older convention.

  Woolwell 12:12 02 Jan 2010

"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

  johndrew 12:12 02 Jan 2010

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.

  Forum Editor 12:15 02 Jan 2010

"Athiest Ireland seems to be going out of its way to incite."

Incite what?

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.

  sunnystaines 13:24 02 Jan 2010

stand up comics beware if going to eire what you say. no more pope jokes, just as well dave allen is not around.

  wiz-king 15:01 02 Jan 2010

The exposing of child abuse which appears to have been condoned by the 5 bishops could have been stifled by zealous application of the law.

  morddwyd 18:34 02 Jan 2010

How is the exposing of child abuse blasphemy?

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