Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes

From today, 1 January 2010, the new Irish blasphemy law becomes operational, and we begin our campaign to have it repealed. Blasphemy is now a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine. The new law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.

This new law is both silly and dangerous. It is silly because medieval religious laws have no place in a modern secular republic, where the criminal law should protect people and not ideas. And it is dangerous because it incentivises religious outrage, and because Islamic States led by Pakistan are already using the wording of this Irish law to promote new blasphemy laws at UN level.

We believe in the golden rule: that we have a right to be treated justly, and that we have a responsibility to treat other people justly. Blasphemy laws are unjust: they silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilised society, people have a right to to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous.

Publication of 25 blasphemous quotes

In this context we now publish a list of 25 blasphemous quotes, which have previously been published by or uttered by or attributed to Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Mark Twain, Tom Lehrer, Randy Newman, James Kirkup, Monty Python, Rev Ian Paisley, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Frank Zappa, Salman Rushdie, Bjork, Amanda Donohoe, George Carlin, Paul Woodfull, Jerry Springer the Opera, Tim Minchin, Richard Dawkins, Pope Benedict XVI, Christopher Hitchens, PZ Myers, Ian O’Doherty, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Dermot Ahern.

Despite these quotes being abusive and insulting in relation to matters held sacred by various religions, we unreservedly support the right of these people to have published or uttered them, and we unreservedly support the right of any Irish citizen to make comparable statements about matters held sacred by any religion without fear of being criminalised, and without having to prove to a court that a reasonable person would find any particular value in the statement.

Campaign begins to repeal the Irish blasphemy law

We ask Fianna Fail and the Green Party to repeal their anachronistic blasphemy law, as part of the revision of the Defamation Act that is included within the Act. We ask them to hold a referendum to remove the reference to blasphemy from the Irish Constitution.

We also ask all TDs and Senators to support a referendum to remove references to God from the Irish Constitution, including the clauses that prevent atheists from being appointed as President of Ireland or as a Judge without swearing a religious oath asking God to direct them in their work.

If you run a website, blog or other media publication, please feel free to republish this statement and the list of quotes yourself, in order to show your support for the campaign to repeal the Irish blasphemy law and to promote a rational, ethical, secular Ireland.

List of 25 Blasphemous Quotes Published by Atheist Ireland

1. Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.

2. Jesus Christ, talking to Jews about their God, in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” This is one of several chapters in the Christian Bible that can give a scriptural foundation to Christian anti-Semitism. The first part of John 8, the story of “whoever is without sin cast the first stone”, was not in the original version, but was added centuries later. The original John 8 is a debate between Jesus and some Jews. In brief, Jesus calls the Jews who disbelieve him sons of the Devil, the Jews try to stone him, and Jesus runs away and hides.

3. Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.

4. Mark Twain, describing the Christian Bible in Letters from the Earth, 1909: “Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies… But you notice that when the Lord God of Heaven and Earth, adored Father of Man, goes to war, there is no limit. He is totally without mercy – he, who is called the Fountain of Mercy. He slays, slays, slays! All the men, all the beasts, all the boys, all the babies; also all the women and all the girls, except those that have not been deflowered. He makes no distinction between innocent and guilty… What the insane Father required was blood and misery; he was indifferent as to who furnished it.” Twain’s book was published posthumously in 1939. His daughter, Clara Clemens, at first objected to it being published, but later changed her mind in 1960 when she believed that public opinion had grown more tolerant of the expression of such ideas. That was half a century before Fianna Fail and the Green Party imposed a new blasphemy law on the people of Ireland.

5. Tom Lehrer, The Vatican Rag, 1963: “Get in line in that processional, step into that small confessional. There, the guy who’s got religion’ll tell you if your sin’s original. If it is, try playing it safer, drink the wine and chew the wafer. Two, four, six, eight, time to transubstantiate!”

6. Randy Newman, God’s Song, 1972: “And the Lord said: I burn down your cities – how blind you must be. I take from you your children, and you say how blessed are we. You all must be crazy to put your faith in me. That’s why I love mankind.”

7. James Kirkup, The Love That Dares to Speak its Name, 1976: “While they prepared the tomb I kept guard over him. His mother and the Magdalen had gone to fetch clean linen to shroud his nakedness. I was alone with him… I laid my lips around the tip of that great cock, the instrument of our salvation, our eternal joy. The shaft, still throbbed, anointed with death’s final ejaculation.” This extract is from a poem that led to the last successful blasphemy prosecution in Britain, when Denis Lemon was given a suspended prison sentence after he published it in the now-defunct magazine Gay News. In 2002, a public reading of the poem, on the steps of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, failed to lead to any prosecution. In 2008, the British Parliament abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.

8. Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, 1979: “Look, I had a lovely supper, and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.”

9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”

10. Conor Cruise O’Brien, 1989: “In the last century the Arab thinker Jamal al-Afghani wrote: ‘Every Muslim is sick and his only remedy is in the Koran.’ Unfortunately the sickness gets worse the more the remedy is taken.”

11. Frank Zappa, 1989: “If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.”

12. Salman Rushdie, 1990: “The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – uncertainty, progress, change – into crimes.” In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because of blasphemous passages in Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses.

13. Bjork, 1995: “I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one it would be Buddhism. It seems more livable, closer to men… I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

14. Amanda Donohoe on her role in the Ken Russell movie Lair of the White Worm, 1995: “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”

15. George Carlin, 1999: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”

16. Paul Woodfull as Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly, The Ballad of Jaysus Christ, 2000: “He said me ma’s a virgin and sure no one disagreed, Cause they knew a lad who walks on water’s handy with his feet… Jaysus oh Jaysus, as cool as bleedin’ ice, With all the scrubbers in Israel he could not be enticed, Jaysus oh Jaysus, it’s funny you never rode, Cause it’s you I do be shoutin’ for each time I shoot me load.”

17. Jesus Christ, in Jerry Springer The Opera, 2003: “Actually, I’m a bit gay.” In 2005, the Christian Institute tried to bring a prosecution against the BBC for screening Jerry Springer the Opera, but the UK courts refused to issue a summons.

18. Tim Minchin, Ten-foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins, 2005: “So you’re gonna live in paradise, With a ten-foot cock and a few hundred virgins, So you’re gonna sacrifice your life, For a shot at the greener grass, And when the Lord comes down with his shiny rod of judgment, He’s gonna kick my heathen ass.”

19. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, 2006: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” In 2007 Turkish publisher Erol Karaaslan was charged with the crime of insulting believers for publishing a Turkish translation of The God Delusion. He was acquitted in 2008, but another charge was brought in 2009. Karaaslan told the court that “it is a right to criticise religions and beliefs as part of the freedom of thought and expression.”

20. Pope Benedict XVI quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor, 2006: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” This statement has already led to both outrage and condemnation of the outrage. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the world’s largest Muslim body, said it was a “character assassination of the prophet Muhammad”. The Malaysian Prime Minister said that “the Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created.” Pakistan’s foreign Ministry spokesperson said that “anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence”. The European Commission said that “reactions which are disproportionate and which are tantamount to rejecting freedom of speech are unacceptable.”

21. Christopher Hitchens in God is not Great, 2007: “There is some question as to whether Islam is a separate religion at all… Islam when examined is not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms, helping itself from earlier books and traditions as occasion appeared to require… It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or ‘surrender’ as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing-absolutely nothing-in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.”

22. PZ Myers, on the Roman Catholic communion host, 2008: “You would not believe how many people are writing to me, insisting that these horrible little crackers (they look like flattened bits of styrofoam) are literally pieces of their god, and that this omnipotent being who created the universe can actually be seriously harmed by some third-rate liberal intellectual at a third-rate university… However, inspired by an old woodcut of Jews stabbing the host, I thought of a simple, quick thing to do: I pierced it with a rusty nail (I hope Jesus’s tetanus shots are up to date). And then I simply threw it in the trash, followed by the classic, decorative items of trash cans everywhere, old coffeegrounds and a banana peel.”

23. Ian O’Doherty, 2009: “(If defamation of religion was illegal) it would be a crime for me to say that the notion of transubstantiation is so ridiculous that even a small child should be able to see the insanity and utter physical impossibility of a piece of bread and some wine somehow taking on corporeal form. It would be a crime for me to say that Islam is a backward desert superstition that has no place in modern, enlightened Europe and it would be a crime to point out that Jewish settlers in Israel who believe they have a God given right to take the land are, frankly, mad. All the above assertions will, no doubt, offend someone or other.”

24. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, 2009: “Whether a person is atheist or any other, there is in fact in my view something not totally human if they leave out the transcendent… we call it God… I think that if you leave that out you are not fully human.” Because atheism is not a religion, the Irish blasphemy law does not protect atheists from abusive and insulting statements about their fundamental beliefs. While atheists are not seeking such protection, we include the statement here to point out that it is discriminatory that this law does not hold all citizens equal.

25. Dermot Ahern, Irish Minister for Justice, introducing his blasphemy law at an Oireachtas Justice Committee meeting, 2009, and referring to comments made about him personally: “They are blasphemous.” Deputy Pat Rabbitte replied: “Given the Minister’s self-image, it could very well be that we are blaspheming,” and Minister Ahern replied: “Deputy Rabbitte says that I am close to the baby Jesus, I am so pure.” So here we have an Irish Justice Minister joking about himself being blasphemed, at a parliamentary Justice Committee discussing his own blasphemy law, that could make his own jokes illegal.

Finally, as a bonus, Micheal Martin, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, opposing attempts by Islamic States to make defamation of religion a crime at UN level, 2009: “We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” Just months after Minister Martin made this comment, his colleague Dermot Ahern introduced Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

Michael Nugent

791 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Alan Henness January 01, 2010

    Excellent! Congratulations on publishing this. The nonsense that is the Irish blasphemy law is something that belongs in the Dark Ages and must be challenged until it is repealed.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Helen Simmons January 01, 2010

    fantastic!!

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Kamlem January 01, 2010

    I deny the holy spirit!

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    anonymouse January 01, 2010

    If I can’t say anything mean about God then they can’t say anything mean about my imaginary friends.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    bruceo January 01, 2010

    JEHOVAH!

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Tigger_the_Wing January 01, 2010

    Read this and weep; for shame that a modern state like Ireland could pass such a mediæval law, and for joy that there are people brave enough to stand up and cry “Enough!”
    We should be allowed to defend our beliefs; and that means that others must be allowed to attack them. For it is in defending our beliefs that we hone and define them.
    Otherwise I plan to go home to Cork and sue everyone who claims that the FSM does not exist or is a parody.

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Colin W Hughes January 01, 2010

    Destroy this law.

    Destroy the stupidity that blasphemy is a crime.

    Faith is no reason!

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Hughes January 01, 2010

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is mushy and clearly overcooked.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    wlrube January 01, 2010

    I demand that this Sunday, all bishops of the Catholic Church in Ireland be arrested at Mass for blaspheming by violating the word of God:

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8)

    And just in case I decide to pay a visit to Ireland: fuck Jesus, Yahweh, Danu, Mohammed, Xenu, Wotan, and any other deities or prophets people follow in Ireland.

    – William Rubenstein, of San Francisco, CA, USA
    (I hope you wrote that down, Irish customs authorities!)

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    kris January 01, 2010

    Nothing from Ingersoll? Come on!

    “How has the church in every age, when in authority, defended itself? Always by a statute against blasphemy, against argument, against free speech. And there never was such a statute that did not stain the book that it was in and that did not certify to the savagery of the men who passed it.”

    — Robert G. Ingersoll

    Keep up the good fight!

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Nick January 01, 2010

    As an Irishman, let me say this, “Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and every other form of faith based religious belief is the result in the faith of dogma, delusion, idiocy and fantasy. Any rational human being who puts blind faith in the unknowable is an inherently deluded and foolish dreamer, and any law that tries to protect enlightened and logical criticism from piercing the sanctity of religious delusion has no place in Ireland in the 21’st century. Furthermore, whichever law makers who shit this law into motion should be laughed off the island of Ireland and treated like the stupid morons that they are.”

    Come and get me, you stupid fucks.

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Raven January 01, 2010

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    If your religion is incompatible with free speech, the problem isn’t with free speech.

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Anon January 01, 2010

    I am quite disturbed by these developments, it seems the civilized world truly is at its end…

    I do wonder though, what manner of poor education serves Ireland that such a law could still come to pass?

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Anon January 01, 2010

    @ Nick

    But the problem is they already made it happen, and you’ll be in jail…

    Anyone else feeling suicidal? Oo

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Neil H. January 01, 2010

    If there were a god as described in the bible I would place him on trial for crimes against humanity. Oh, and by the way, I don’t believe I’m guilty of blasphemy saying this as there is nothing to blaspheme against.

    Neil H.
    Ex-Fundie, Astronomer, Freethinker, Atheist
    Whitby, Ontario

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Jerry January 01, 2010

    publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted

    ok, how’s this:

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster has shriveled balls!

    Too bad I’m not in .ie

    Reply
  17. Avatar
    Brian January 01, 2010

    Can I suggest making a print friendly version?

    Use this subject to highlight the need to remove the church’s control of 95% of primary schools.

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    Cernunnos Trismegistus January 01, 2010

    No Surrealist quotes? For shame. Definitely needs some Georges Bataille, Benjamin Peret, or Antonin Artaud Also needs more Marquis de Sade or Charles Baudelaire.

    And this lovely passage:

    “And so, one day, tired of trudging along the steep path on this earthly journey, trudging along like a drunkard through the dark catacombs of life, I slowly raised my splenetic eyes, ringed with bluish circles, towards the concavity of the firmament and I, who was so young, dared to penetrate the mysteries of heaven! Not finding what I was seeking, I lifted my eyes higher, and higher still, until I saw a throne made of human excrement and gold, on which was sitting – with idiotic pride, his body draped in a shroud of unwashed hospital linen – he who calls himself the Creator! He was holding in his hand the rotten body of a dead man, carrying it in turn from his eyes to his nose and from his nose to his mouth; and once it reached his mouth, one can guess what he did with it. His feet were dipped in a huge pool of boiling blood, on the surface of which two or three cautious heads would suddenly rise up like tapeworms in a chamber-pot, and as suddenly submerge again, swift as an arrow. A kick on the bone of the nose was the familiar reward for any infringement of regulations occasioned by the need to breathe a different atmosphere; for, after all, these men were not fish. Though amphibious at best, they were swimming underwater in this vile liquid!…until, finding his hands empty, the Creator with the first two claws of his foot, would grab another diver by the neck, as with pincers, and lift him into the air, out of the reddish slime, delicious sauce. And this one was treated in the same way as his predecessor. First he ate his head, then his legs and arms, and last of all, the trunk, until there was nothing left; for he crunched the bones as well. And so it continues, for all the hours of eternity. Sometimes, he would shout: “I created you, so I have the right to do whatever I like to you. You have done nothing to me, I do not deny it. I am making you suffer for my own pleasure.” And he would continue his savage meal, moving his lower jaw, which in turn moved his brain-bespattered beard.
    -Comte de Lautreamont (Isidore Ducasse), ‘Les Chants de Maldoror’ (translation by Alexis Lykiard)

    Reply
  19. Avatar
    John the Aggravator January 01, 2010

    We in the United States are overrun by the willfully ignorant and the deluded, but I’m afraid your legislators have surpassed even our level of stupidity. It’s surprising that any modern country could pass such a foul law. I am truly sad for the people of Ireland.

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    Daniel McCoy January 01, 2010

    If Jesus is the answer, … could you please repeat the question?

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    Daniel McCoy January 01, 2010

    Thomas Jefferson:
    “…our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right. …”

    Jefferson also edited his own version of the new testament story of Jesus, which ended like so:

    “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus,
    And rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.”

    The end.

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    shonny January 01, 2010

    So Ireland is taking a plunge back into the Dark Ages.
    Not that the Irish ever fully got out of same Dark Ages with the RCC of Paedophilia as a revered institution. Good clergy is at its best as shark bait!

    Reply
  23. Avatar
    PB January 01, 2010

    Just submitted some blasphemy to David Quinn’s blog at The Irish Catholic.

    Can’t say I expect a Euro extradition warrant to get me when I don’t pay the fine , which I doubt I’ll get.

    My comment not yet published , but maybe sending it to Mr. Quinn will be enough.

    Your courts will be gridlocked.

    PB – England.

    Reply
  24. Avatar
    Konrad Talmont-Kaminski January 01, 2010

    Not having seen the language of the new law I am left wondering how it defines the actions that cause offence. I assume that, since this is a blasphemy law, it says something like “to utter or to write”. On the other hand, it could be broader – “to undertake any action”. If it is broader, it should be pointed out that there are plenty of religious people who find the mere existence of atheists outrageous. If so, atheists could perhaps be prosecuted for their existence. Even if that is too much of a stretch, surely many theists find its outrageous that many atheists are willing to publicly state that they are nonbelievers. Indeed, I expect that many theists find it outrageous that there are people who are willing to state their disbelief in their particular god, even if those people do happen to believe in some other deity. This makes it potentially possible to prosecute everyone, since everyone does not believe in somebody else’s god.

    Reply
  25. Avatar
    Konrad Talmont-Kaminski January 01, 2010

    The Scientologists are outraged by the things that psychologists say, BTW. A quick and easy revenue stream right there.

    Reply
  26. Avatar
    Konrad Talmont-Kaminski January 01, 2010

    OK, found the relevant passage in the Bill, I think. “Publishes or utters blasphemous matter” is the phrase. So, it is the narrower definition. The definition of blasphemy has three parts that must all be satisfied, also. Do people know where to find a good discussion of the details of this law?

    Reply
  27. Avatar
    smallcatharine January 01, 2010

    They’re asking for a donkey trial of their very own!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Reve#Controversies

    Yes, this guy wrote about having been visited by God in the form of a donkey, having intercourse with the donkey, got acquitted. The prosecutors didn’t have a political career anymore afterwards.

    Nowadays, whenever a blasfemy trial is suggested in Holland, someone just sniggers “donkey trial”, and that’s the end of the matter.

    Reply
  28. Avatar
    Paul January 01, 2010

    I find it hard to know what a religious person may consider to be blasphemy, but probably The Law of Freedom in a Platform by Gerrard Winstanley is full of it, although he uses the religious language of the day to make his case. (See online text at http://www.bilderberg.org/land/lawofree.htm!) He had very pointed things to say about the role of priests in preserving their own function and the established order which seem pertinent to this issue:

    For so long as the people call that a truth which they call a truth, and believe what they preach, and are willing to let the clergy be the keepers of their eyes and knowledge (that is as much as Nahash did, put out their eyes to see by theirs); then all is well, and they tell the people they shall go to heaven.

    But if the eyes of the people begin to open, and they seek to find knowledge in their own hearts and to question the ministers’ doctrine, and become like unto wise-hearted Thomas, to believe nothing but what they see reason for:

    Then do the minsters prepare war against that man or men, and will make no covenant of peace with him till they consent to have their right eyes put out, that is, to have their reason blinded, so as to believe every doctrine they preach and never question any thing, saying, ‘The doctrine of faith must not be tried by reason.’ No, for if it be, their mystery of iniquity will be discovered, and they would lose their tithes.

    Reply
  29. Avatar
    jj January 01, 2010

    Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy,” namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.
    He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.

    Reply
  30. Avatar
    Kristian January 01, 2010

    This law is absurd and unrealistic. I find it amazing that it ever got passed in the first place.

    Reply
  31. Avatar
    Pam Ellis January 01, 2010

    You can say all you want about that whore Mary who got pregnant before she was married or her “confirmed bachelor” son…but don’t you DARE say anything bad about the Flying Spaghetti Monster [PBUH]

    Reply
  32. Avatar
    JC January 01, 2010

    “”Do you believe in God, doctor?”

    “No – but what does that really mean? I’m fumbling in the dark, struggling to make something out. But I’ve long ceased finding that original.””
    — Albert Camus (The Plague)

    This “law” probably stems from some self asserting virtue and fear of some bearded fascists who happen from time to time to threaten the free minded ones.

    Reply
  33. Avatar
    JC January 01, 2010

    “God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgement. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgement of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting cell, which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in the cement shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it. The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true. to close his eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn’t need God for that little masterpiece.”
    — Albert Camus (The Fall)

    Reply
  34. Avatar
    HappyPanda January 01, 2010

    I feel that this story is a bit biased…. wow.

    Reply
  35. Avatar
    HappyPanda January 01, 2010

    And, honestly…. a little insulting…

    Reply
  36. Avatar
    Paul January 01, 2010

    I appreciate the initiative, but is this list needs more work, there are far more incendiary commentaries which need to be included; to show the true backwardness and absurdity of religion, far more serious verbal bitch-slapping is required.

    Reply
  37. Avatar
    Mike from Melbourne January 01, 2010

    Is this the ultimate Irish Joke ?
    Religion (yes, all of them) sucks – sucks the life out of otherwise thinking, reasoning people.
    I blaspheme against the idiotic idea of supernatural beings and those that knowing perpetrate these falsehoods, but feel only pity for the victims.

    Ireland punishers those who criticise ideas and lets child molesting organisations and individuals walk free.
    Somehow, that seems the greater crime.

    Reply
  38. Avatar
    Hans January 01, 2010

    A quote from one of Éire’s most famous sons:
    “Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try.”

    Reply
  39. Avatar
    Robin Hanan January 01, 2010

    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is now on the Leaving Cert Curriculum. Can students be prosecuted if they use quotes in exam answers?

    Reply
  40. Avatar
    Hansel January 01, 2010

    The only ones that have a problem with the new blasphemy laws are those they can’t understand and accept a place in formalised religion.

    You can always leave the country if you have a problem with the laws of the land.

    “The devil can cite script for his own end” – Shylock (Merchant of Venice)

    Reply
  41. Avatar
    Fred Magyar January 01, 2010

    I think the morons who thought up this idiotic law have no idea of the Pandora’s box they have opened.

    “We have more Gods than you can shake a stick at. Godchecker’s Mythology Encyclopedia currently features over 2,850 deities.”
    http://www.godchecker.com/

    This could be lots of fun, think of all the possibilities for blasphemy and consequent legal action.

    Is there perchance a publicly traded Irish Law firm that might litigate these cases? I’d like to buy some stock now while the price is low. We are going to be rich! Well if nothing else, infinitely rich in possibilities for ridicule. LOL!

    Reply
  42. Avatar
    Robin Hanan January 01, 2010

    “Is that a good Christ, says Bob Doran, to take away poor little Willy Dignam?

    Ah, well, says Alf, trying to pass it off. He’s over all his troubles.

    But Bob Doran shouts out of him.

    He’s a bloody ruffian I say, to take away poor little Willy Dignam.”

    James Joyce, Ulysses

    Reply
  43. Avatar
    Jim January 01, 2010

    Anyone with a legal knowledge read the piece of legislation that was passed? Surely there is some way it can be challenged? Something this ridiculous and dangerous shouldn’t just be ignored.

    Reply
  44. Avatar
    Michael K. January 01, 2010

    I’m okay with Jesus, it’s his ‘followers’ I can’t stand.

    Reply
  45. Avatar
    bull winkle January 01, 2010

    When did the irish become puppets of American evangelisism? It’s good to see that every country can be bought by dollars. I guess? (i grew up where money counts, not education or spelling) I like mark Twain though and franz kafka and James dickey and on the weekends a tad bit of Hemmingway. Hey kids, check out Maka (velly?) something the next time you guys start writing laws and stuff. He’s kind of a cool guy, ‘cept he is evil they say, but probably not blas fe mus. Hell, I cant even spell that word. Thank God there (they’re?) are people out their that no what that word means. Greetings and good from capitol Lobbyiest (that means we will “vote” for your cause if you pay us:))

    Reply
  46. Avatar
    John Norris January 01, 2010

    I visited the Republic seven years ago and want to return. But how can I and feel safe with the government’s thought gestapo on every corner? Given the disgrace the entire RCC and its leadership at all levels have brought to Ireland, I can see why the RCC wants blasphemous laws.

    If I should ever afford to return to Ireland I won’t. Scotland is just a little further east and centuries ahead of Ireland.

    Reply
  47. Avatar
    einar January 01, 2010

    Interesting law…

    How does it work? When a catholic priest claims that Jesus is the son of god, can the priest be accused of blasphemy by a rabbi? And when a Hindu prays to several gods is this not blasphemy from the Islamic viewpoint?

    Reply
  48. Avatar
    Joakim Rosqvist January 01, 2010

    “the criminal law should protect people and not ideas”

    Isn’t the laws for free speech a way to protect the idea of democracy?

    Reply
  49. Avatar
    michael mcguire January 01, 2010

    Is this the end for O’Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock”? “Captain” Jack Boyle’s poem says,
    “He was not what some call pious – seldom at church or prayer;
    For the greatest scoundrels I know, sir, goes every Sunday there.”
    This is offensive to the lord’s flock. But maybe it could be performed in “heathen” England.

    Reply
  50. Avatar
    Stonyground January 01, 2010

    Quote 66:

    “You can always leave the country if you have a problem with the laws of the land.”

    What a dismal state the world would be in if everyone just ran away from unjust laws instead of staying to face them down and get them changed.

    You seem to be implying that only the non religious have anything to fear from this stupid law. Do you believe this to be the case in spite of the fact that the 25 quotes have been carefully selected to include those that involve religions blaspheming against each other?

    I do not need to run away as I live in the UK where an unenforcable blasphemy law has been in place for most of my life and has only recently been abolished.

    Reply
  51. Avatar
    Kodi January 01, 2010

    This is so incredibly sad. I hope you manage to boycott the ridiculous law to oblivion – it’s mindbogglingly stupid that there was a single person in your government that allowed it to be passed.

    Reply
  52. Avatar
    Anachrist January 01, 2010

    Anyone who believes in any sort of god is a complete and utter moron.

    Reply
  53. Avatar
    jefe January 01, 2010

    Pam (#55), thou dost blaspheme against the great and powerful FSM: the proper thing to say when invoking His holy name is “Sauce Be Upon Him” (SBUH).

    Reply
  54. Avatar
    Darius Thomson January 01, 2010

    Everyone should use this occasion to create an International Blasphemy Day! This law is garbage and shouldn’t be taken serious. People should continue to blaspheme, and do everything they can to flout this law. Don’t pay the fines. Hunger strike if arrested. Freedom of speech is important. There is no “freedom to not be offended.”

    Reply
  55. Avatar
    Darius Thomson January 01, 2010

    #74 – bull winkle

    Living here in the US I can assure you that there is no limit in our ability to outrage and insult Christians. It happens all the time, and it doesn’t take much effort. There’s absolutely no campaign I’m aware of on their part to create any draconian law of this sort, as it is unconstitutional to our 1st Constitutional Amendment. The Muslims, however… …to blaspheme them or their God can get you into trouble; lawsuits, harassment, threats, news stories suggesting a racist agenda. There’s a double-standard here for them.

    Reply
  56. Avatar
    Charlie Sheen January 01, 2010

    This is the kinda thing that really pisses me off and I’ve had a helluva week.

    Reply
  57. Avatar
    Kopernikas January 01, 2010

    bull winkle >>> The problem isn’t American Evangelism (which is a problem), it is virulent political correctness that holds such a death grip over Europe. These blasphemy laws aren’t in place to protect Christian sensibilities, Christians are for the most part used to hearing their religion mocked, but rather to protect Muslim sensibilities. I am not defending religion, I think the world would ultimately be a much better place without it. The Irish and Europeans in general need to grow a set of balls. People need to realize that protection against religious discrimination is one thing, but protection from being “offended” is something completely different.

    Reply
  58. Avatar
    Maxblitz January 01, 2010

    Response to Nick #16.. 01/01/2010 4:20 AM

    Thank you for the brilliant clarity of your summation. “… the faith of … delusion…”

    Dead center bullseye.

    And think, THINK, for the love of all things lost, how much suffering– in every country on every continent– has been inspired by these carefully crafted delusions!! MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of human lives have been snuffed through the centuries, not because of anything tangible and meaningful, but in the name of delusional IDEAS about the invisible and unprovable.

    It’s aSTONishing. Electrochemical processes buzzing inside the heads of certain key delusionals throughout history have tangled and confused and destroyed what could otherwise have been a pleasant humanity.

    Human beings’ supposedly greatest asset– the lauded ability to think– has been responsible for so much that is good and wonderful. But also, by FAR, the most destructive force on Earth.

    The great jester/philosopher George Carlin expressed so much in these words late in life: “I sort of gave up on this whole human adventure a long time ago, divorced myself from it emotionally… I think the human race has squandered its gift…”

    Reply
  59. Avatar
    Don January 01, 2010

    I find anytime we talk about religion or politics it ends up in an argument ,fight or war. I never discuss my ideas on those subjects.

    Reply
  60. Avatar
    Bob January 01, 2010

    Looks like Ireland is off my places to visit for a while…

    Reply
  61. Avatar
    colin kirby January 01, 2010

    Thank god I’m an atheist.

    Reply
  62. Avatar
    Brandon January 01, 2010

    Always wanted to take a vacation to Ireland. As an atheist I would have to think twice about it now.

    Reply
  63. Avatar
    tony fitz January 01, 2010

    The Minister of medieval mythology has really put the mental into fundamental and taken out the fun out of it with this paddywhackery legislation,which shower of ignorant religious fascists was he pandering to? Has to be either the Christian or Islamic crackpots,they both make me sick.

    Reply
  64. Avatar
    AAB January 01, 2010

    Actually, can I sue someone for eating spaghetti because I am a follower of FSM? Can my friend sue me for eating beef because the cow is sacred to him? And how dare you talk about science in negative manner? I think everyone should start suing like crazy because a lot of things said and done are offensive, if you think about it. Rediculous.

    PS: Oops, do I get sued for saying rediculous to the law?

    Reply
  65. Avatar
    CLSteadham January 01, 2010

    When you claim to believe in an imaginary friend who loves everyone and wants to condemn others to eternal torture and torment, you deserve to be laughed at and ridiculed. Religion is the root of all evil.

    I live in Birmingham, AL, USA. Come and get me. I’ve always wanted to see Ireland.

    Reply
  66. Avatar
    Adam, KY, USA January 01, 2010

    I think we should take the initiative on filing a lawsuit. Christianity has at its core that the other faiths are false heathens and doomed for forsaking their savior. Islam, similarly says they are the only path to heaven and that disrespecting their prophet or simply disbelieving in him is deeply disrespectful and should be stopped by whatever means necessary. We’ll ignore other major religions to save time, but you get the point.

    According to this law, all Christians, for the crime of disbelieving Islam and Mohammad, are offensive and should be fined. Of course Islam is also guilty of blaspheming against all of Christianity by flatly denying that Christ is God, deeming, under law, that they should also each individually pay a fine.

    All money from fines of course should be donated to The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The only true Creator.

    Reply
  67. Avatar
    LynnD January 01, 2010

    Well done. This law is a throwback, and a primitive attempt to patronise minorities who don’t need it. If you believe, you may feel free to be offended by my opinions. In fact, feel free to offend mine in return, if you can!

    Reply
  68. Avatar
    Hansel January 01, 2010

    This a dead end campaign…
    Atheists don’t solve exponential equations because they don’t believe in higher powers.

    Reply
  69. Avatar
    Niall January 01, 2010

    To commit the blasphemy of bastardising Bill Hicks; if a bunch of christians are offended by what you say surely they should just forgive you?

    Reply
  70. Avatar
    Michal January 01, 2010

    Well done guys. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  71. Avatar
    Richard Vernon January 01, 2010

    I hate to say this, but I’m sure that this law will do nothing to convince many Brits that the Irish aren’t really a bunch of nutters. This webpage might, though.

    Reply
  72. Avatar
    Julian January 01, 2010

    The very best of luck to you in throwing out this unworkable pernicious anti-democractic claptrap

    Reply
  73. Avatar
    Patrícia Gomes Lucas January 01, 2010

    This blasfemy law is simply stupid. Fight it, it is insane to bring religion to the laws of a modern state.

    Reply
  74. Avatar
    Adam January 01, 2010

    I’m with you 100 per cent in having this absurd law flushed down the toilet of history.

    Now for some blasphemy:

    There is no god of any kind, and all religions are false, wicked and man-made.
    My contempt for the claims of religion is especially strong in the cases of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

    Solidarity with the free people of Ireland.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_hlMK7tCks

    -Adam, London

    Reply
  75. Avatar
    Rory O'Connor January 01, 2010

    Most sane people are now bored to tears about this argument. I just want to point out that Salman Rushdie’s comment is not you at your best (he was under some pressure). Conservative here means nothing other than “bad”. And my experience is that it’s very enervating, boring people who don’t have some idea of the sacred.

    Reply
  76. Avatar
    Brian January 01, 2010

    Any omnipotent being that needs to be protected by a bunch of sleazoid politicians hardly deserves worshipping. Fuck the lot of them.

    Reply
  77. Avatar
    Dee STurber January 01, 2010

    All the above drivel is not blasphemy, it is merely bad manners from adolescents all trying to outdo the other with “bad words.” You don’t have a clue about respect for ideas or anything else. You all need to have your mouths washed out with soap for your dirty talk.

    Reply
  78. Avatar
    Dan January 01, 2010

    @12 and 23:

    How dare you disparage the meaty and nutritious goodness of His Al Dente-ness the Flying Spaghetti Monster! I should sue– OH, COOKIES! YUM!

    Reply
  79. Avatar
    Eddie January 01, 2010

    Wouldn’t the worship of any “God” be blasphemous to anyone other then a believer of that particular “God”? Doesn’t this outlaw religion entirely? If I pray to a “God” that you believe to be a false “God”, I am committing blasphemy against your “God”. Therefore all worship is insulting to someone who has a different belief then yours.

    Reply
  80. Avatar
    xoites January 01, 2010

    The truth itself is blasphemous by definition.

    Reply
  81. Avatar
    Saffron January 01, 2010

    Regarding comment #21: This has been tried. Ernie Chambers, state legislator for the state of Nebraska, and one of the coolest legislators to come out of the state that gave the world the unfortunate ramblings of William Jennings Bryan. Sued God, seeking a restraining order that would make God cease his constant threats against the citizens of Nebraska. Chambers, who calls himself an agnostic, said he was going to appeal the judge’s decision to throw the case out on the grounds that the defendent had not been properly served. Chambers maintains that, if God is indeed omniscient, there is no need to serve him with papers, because he knows the charges against him. Unfortunately for Nebraska (and everywhere else, IMHO), the Nebraska legislature ganged up on him and passed a term limits law specifically for the purpose of ridding Nebraska of the only truly progressive and interesting elected official they could boast of. I guess if he goes to Ireland, he’d be guilty of violating the law, not just violating the sensitivities of a couple million midwesterners.

    Reply
  82. Avatar
    SamHoustonTX January 01, 2010

    To me, looks like a mis-direction created by the immoral Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The purpose being to divert attention from their crimes against children in Ireland and toward a bigger problem — active Atheists who are the leaders seeking prosecution of priests who abuse children. So, the RCC creates for the Atheists some busy work requiring them to defend themselves.

    I expect the “blasphemy law” to backfire on the RCC and accelerate the growth rate of Atheism.

    There isn’t no goddamn god.

    Reply
  83. Avatar
    Mark January 01, 2010

    And religion strengthens it’s grip. Let us loosen it, shall we?

    Well done!

    Reply
  84. Avatar
    s6u6r6f January 01, 2010

    Wow, Ireland, really? A blasphemy law? Trying hard to become the Kansas of Europe, I guess. In any case, this quote from Denis Diderot needs to be included: “Man shall not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

    Good luck in the upcoming fight.

    Reply
  85. Avatar
    IRG The Divine January 01, 2010

    My god forbids the paying of all and any taxes.

    Suggesting I should pay tax is blashphemy.

    (they really didn’t think this through did they?)

    Reply
  86. Avatar
    Fear Dorcha January 01, 2010

    Lads, lads!
    Can ye save the vulgarities for the wall of the public toilet. There is no use wasting your blasphemy on this website.
    If you’re in Europe (and that includes the UK, even if you vote Tory) why not contact your Euro MP and voice your objections. If you’re in the US, why not contact your local Irish newspaper or Irish tourist office and raise your objections there, and if, like me, you’re in Ireland, then join Atheist Ireland and also get on to all your local TDs.

    Reply
  87. Avatar
    Patrick Phillips January 01, 2010

    I excommunicated myself from the Catholic church when they welcomed the unrepentant war criminal Blair into their ranks with open arms. You can’t chum it up with killers and claim to represent god at the same time.

    But my real beef with Jesus was that he turned water into wine but didn’t teach the rest of us how it was done. Now, that IS despicable!

    Reply
  88. Avatar
    Jesus January 01, 2010

    What…is it April 1st already? Good one.

    Reply
  89. Avatar
    Remco January 01, 2010

    As a christian, I am not offended by any remark on my belief. As a citizen, I don’t need stupid laws to defend my belief. I just take no offense, so please government, don’t make this an offense.

    Reply
  90. Avatar
    Paul P January 01, 2010

    And you wonder why the Irish people are the but of jokes
    These lawes are pagan
    typicaly Irish

    Reply
  91. Avatar
    Tom Mannion January 01, 2010

    As a devout atheist, I hold common sense “sacred” does this mean I can now demand the prosecution of anyone insulting my common sense by insisting I am heading for Hell?

    Reply
  92. Avatar
    Adam Simmons January 01, 2010

    Great stuff, keep up the good work. I think it be better for your membership of Atheist Ireland if you did not charge to join.

    Reply
  93. Avatar
    Bastiaan January 01, 2010

    Although I’m only a visitor of this website from the Netherlands I can only agree with campaign. If you don’t agree with someone standpoint, discuss it, but don’t call illegal and put a fine (or worse on it). I’m very much against some recent Muslim bashing wished has been uttered by some bleechedheaded fool, but I’d oppose any law which would deprive him from his right ot utter his silly opions.

    When however anyone acts along any line of discrimination, say refuse entrance on such grounds, I’d say prosecute them.

    Reply
  94. Avatar
    Bastiaan January 01, 2010

    Although I’m only a visitor of this website from the Netherlands I can only agree with campaign. If you don’t agree with someone standpoint, discuss it, but don’t call illegal and put a fine (or worse) on it. I’m very much against some recent Muslim bashing wished has been uttered by some bleechedheaded fool, but I’d oppose any law which would deprive him from his right ot utter his silly opions.

    When however anyone acts along any line of discrimination, say refuse entrance on such grounds, I’d say prosecute them.

    Reply
  95. Avatar
    GOD January 01, 2010

    You will all be impaled on stakes in hell

    Reply
  96. Avatar
    Zuzana January 01, 2010

    Well done. I couldn’t agree more.

    Reply
  97. Avatar
    RickK January 01, 2010

    A few quotes to add to the mix:

    “But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”
    — Mark Twain

    “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
    — Anne Lamott

    “If god doesn’t like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you.”
    — Unknown

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
    — Philip K. Dick

    “I’m not convinced that faith can move mountains, but I’ve seen what it can do to skyscrapers.”
    — Unknown

    “If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?”
    — Percy Bysshe Shelley

    “No man believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.”
    — George Bernard Shaw

    “Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject — otherwise there’s no need for faith.”
    — Unknown

    “When one person suffers a delusion, it is called insanity. When many suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.
    — Robert M. Pirsig

    “Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers.”
    — Bruce Calvert

    Reply
  98. Avatar
    Uisgea January 01, 2010

    I don’t consider myself an atheist, but I’m sympathetic with atheism–up until it becomes a fundamentalist monolith. “Atheism is the only thing that makes sense and anybody who doesn’t see that is deluded.” That kind of fundamentalism is just as ignorant and ugly as any other kind of fundamentalism.

    That being said, anti-blasphemy legislation seems to me to be about as effective and sensible as anti-ignorance and -ugliness legislation.

    A nugget of Islamic wisdom tells us to see everything, doubt everything. Judicious and thoughtful doubt takes the form of examination of facts, which leads to knowledge. Atheism is, to put it mildly, extreme doubt. How could that be bad? Any theism that can’t tolerate close examination isn’t worthy of theists.

    That doesn’t give atheists license to be mean, though. I don’t think that anyone is born an atheist; atheists are converts, and there’s nothing more zealous than a convert.

    Be careful, and mind your manners. Be nice, try not to worry too much, and have a little harmless fun along the way. Think whatever you want, but remember that while uninformed ignorant statements are unfortunate, informed hurtful statements are far worse.

    Attempting to legislate morality is invariably a bad idea, but freedom of speech comes with the responsibilty of acknowledging everybody else’s freedom of speech, even if (or especially if, I would argue) you disagree with them. Just be nice about it.

    You have every right to disagree with my beliefs, but there’s no reason for you to insult my beliefs. I don’t think that you have the authority to insult my beliefs, but you do have the power to, and there’s a big difference. I think that the Irish government would do well to remember the distinction.

    Why would you say “Fuck your god and fuck jesus” except in an effort to make me mad, hurt my feelings, and start a fight? That’s childish bullyism, and the sort of thing that fundamentalists thrive on. Atheist fundamentalism isn’t any more informed or admirable than any other kind of fundamentalism. Stop it, and be nice.

    When we say or do something stupid, we know perfectly well that we’re saying or doing something stupid–we just go ahead and do it anyway. Religion–including atheism–encourages some people to be mean and stupid, but those are people inclined to meanness and stupidity in the first place. It also leads other people to be nice and smart.

    Which one are you?

    Which one you are is not at the whim of a judicial dictate; it’s in your hands.

    As individuals, we need to be smarter, better, and kinder than our governments, because we’re the ones who have to live, work, and travel together every day.

    Reply
  99. Avatar
    Merilyn Jackson January 01, 2010

    I have “blasphemed’ every day of my life since I was eight years old and became a non-theist and I will continue to “blaspheme” every day until I die. My last words will be “Fuck you” to all the inventors and promulgators of religion who have so destroyed the possibility for sanity and rational, investigative intelligence. They are disgusting, evil people who can never be trusted to do the decent thing because they do not have control over their own moral codes and have never made a real examination of conscience.

    Reply
  100. Avatar
    David B January 01, 2010

    re Patrick Phillips post 152.

    Have you privately excommunicated yourself, or made your vote count via our friends at

    http://www.countmeout.ie/

    If the former, may I suggest also doing the latter.

    David B

    Reply
  101. Avatar
    Bob January 01, 2010

    Looks like it is now ilegal to speak the truth in Ireland. Shame on them.

    Reply
  102. Avatar
    Merilyn Jackson January 01, 2010

    In response to Uisgea: If we love our children and want a saner world for them, and since we cannot hang all priests and imams, all we can do is insult all religion in the strongest terms, repudiate its ignorance, and fight to keep some semblance of sanity in the world while demonstrating other, more ethical and sensible ways to behave. Freedom of speech, even when insulting, must be preserved. Ultimately, it is the basis for a rational life.

    Reply
  103. Avatar
    Peter Justice January 01, 2010

    Ireland is such a primitive backwater. Catholicism’s Saudi. Good luck.

    Reply
  104. Avatar
    nodenet January 01, 2010

    Religion and religious belief in general is part of what I call medievalism along with nationalism, ideas of race,ideas of sexuality,ownership of natural resources like water, air, land.
    We have stewardship of the earth for a short while and we will be leaving it to our children.
    Lets clear away the medieval shite!.
    This law is a stupid law for stupid people.
    If your faith is strong a few insults arent going to hurt it now are they? Freedom of expression must be protected.

    By the way a little editing on the the juvenile stuff would be useful. You are useing wordpress and you could easily show the more sensible comments first, and bury the juvy stuff to some expressive section of you site.

    Reply
  105. Avatar
    Jo Melen January 01, 2010

    Religion, the root of all evil. Repeal this insane piece of legislation now.

    Reply
  106. Avatar
    Louise (Australia) January 01, 2010

    Highly amusing. Now let me get this straight – if this is about insulting ANY religion, then a religion that claims it is the ONLY true religion would be in breach of this as well? That should wipe them all out.

    Reply
  107. Avatar
    Rodney January 01, 2010

    Religion is such nonsense. Let it die like the flat earth.

    Reply
  108. Avatar
    Brendan O'Shea January 01, 2010

    Ah well. Even the Irish must be allowed to fuck it up occasionally.

    Reply
  109. Avatar
    L. Ron McKenzie January 01, 2010

    Thank you for taking this stand.

    Reply
  110. Avatar
    Vark January 01, 2010

    136. All the above drivel is not blasphemy, it is merely bad manners from adolescents all trying to outdo the other with “bad words.” You don’t have a clue about respect for ideas or anything else. You all need to have your mouths washed out with soap for your dirty talk.

    Comment by Dee STurber — January 1, 2010 @ 8:18

    a) Adolescent rebellion happens when you get condescending gits looking down at you from positions of power – it’s healthy. Dirty talk, humour & blasphemy are good because they are how we liberate ourselves from fear. We may grow up – will you?
    b)Some ideas don’t deserve respect.

    Reply
  111. Avatar
    Joe January 01, 2010

    There is a huge difference between what the Bible says and what religions say it says. All religions are man-made. The Bible claims to be the Word of God (and having read it, indeed studied it, I have come to the conclusion that indeed it is) and every individual has the freedom to decide for themselves whether they cosider it to be the Word of God or not. No other person should impose or force their beliefs on another – I may mention what I believe; just like people exchange what they think on a thousand matters every day – but I should not overstep it being your decision and I should allow you your decision. I would recommend of course that before making any decision that you first read the Bible – when I first read the Bible it struck me that ‘half of what I had been told was not in there and the other half was incorrect’. So please do not judge the Bible by the widespread, man-made rigamaroles of religion no matter how common and taken for granted they are. Religions are designed solely to enslave, subjugate, and control people, and yes, abuse them. Religion has always promulgated lies, and those lies beget more lies. Sadly we now have so many layers of lies that the truth is somewhat hidden and moreso neglected and instead religions parade their lies as truth.
    Interestingly very few people actually make a decision about what they believe: the religions of the world are as firmly marked as geographical boundaries, with religions being passed on from parents to children, and each successive generation accepting it (it can harldy be called believeing) for no other reason than that it was what their parents brought them up in (and oftentimes imposed on them). And yet for the most part all these people ‘think’ they are right (or that their belief is the right one), and amazingly, very often will kill and die for something they never even appraised and never made a conscious, lucid decision about in the first place (an aspect of blind-belief no doubt).
    Incidentally God (I realise of course that many of you do not believe in God, and I have no qualms with this whatsoever — indeed when it comes to God every man is an island — it is your decision, your choice) does not need this law – rather it is, as many have mentioned, to protect religions and quell any questioning even of their authority and doctrines. I have read most of the comments here and, at the risk of sounding ‘goody-two-shoes’ or holier-than-thou, etc., etc., my over-riding sentiment was ‘you cannot change truth’ – you can rail against it, you can make fun of it, you can do whatever you want but truth still stands. My only recommendation, if I may, is perhaps read the Bible before you pass judgement. I would not critique a book or a film based on what I heard about it from others, and certainly I would not listen to people who have a vested interest in promulgating their own lies at the expense of the Bible. If you have any questions about the Bible (not religion, or what people say ‘about’ the Bible) feel free to contact me: chinawise@msn.com
    After all the whole issue here is freedom of speech and expression.
    Finally and by the way, I read once that ‘most people think that they think’ and that is something that I always take very much to heart.

    Reply
  112. Avatar
    All-Father Odin January 01, 2010

    Oh yes, read the Bible…here’s my favourite part, it’s Psalm 137: 7-9

    “Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones”.

    Infanticide, by divine ordination…

    Reply
  113. Avatar
    Lugal January 02, 2010

    Reading the comments one is tempted to conclude that ‘atheism’ is nothing more that the hollow sound of pernicious stupidity. A desperate display of superiority forged in subterranean self-esteem, and betraying the underlying ‘illogical’ fear!

    This supposedly aggressive and ‘shockingly blasphemous’ material is in reality nothing but the new brand of puerile, phoney, risibly predictable, sociopathic small-mindedness that is bludgeoning our civilization into brain death.

    Those limp-dicked pretenders with narrow mentalities and no personalities are proclaiming themselves to be the defenders of ‘freedom’-a parody of a travesty of a mockery of freedom. The ‘freedom for boundless moronic thought and speech’!

    The supposedly ‘civilized’ façade and the supposed ‘values’ of modernity crack and collapse exposing the same pettiness, the same archaic hate as it sends its practitioners into paroxysms of irrational hysteria.

    But, by all means, continue your sanctimoniously moronic faux-sermons! Continue to make a spectacle of ignorance/ of faux-wisdom/faux-stability/faux-confidence! There will always be room for a new circus in ‘Flaccid World’.

    Reply
  114. Avatar
    Ashmedai January 02, 2010

    A foolish law that makes criminals of everyone. With the way modern religions and especially those of Judeo-Christian descent jealously guard worshipers, any proclamation of religious belief or disbelief is bound to be blasphemous in someone’s eyes. Further, I add this to the mix:

    As a justly sanctioned hierophant of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I make known to you that such assaults on free speech are a blasphemy unto the most meaty one. O sinners, you will spend an eternity being covered in spices and then slowly heated in the sauce pot of damnation over a medium heat! Or possibly, more like thirty minutes. But know the wrath of the FSM! The wrath!

    And if this wasn’t a thinly veiled power grab by very specific religious sects, that would about do it for the law.

    Reply
  115. Avatar
    Mike January 02, 2010

    From Judges 6: “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.”

    If Yahweh is a real god and he has a problem with what I’ve got to say, he can strike me down himself. He doesn’t need puny governments to stand up for him.

    Reply
  116. Avatar
    Emaerald January 02, 2010

    Oh, does this mean I can’t say Bejesus anymore? doh…

    Reply
  117. Avatar
    Rob January 02, 2010

    I find it interesting that none of these 25 passages are blasphemous. Talk about ignorance.

    Reply
  118. Avatar
    lexhamfox January 02, 2010

    Let’s defend freedom of speech instead of religious sensitivities.

    Reply
  119. Avatar
    Rebecca January 02, 2010

    Don’t all religions blaspheme against each other just by existing? Does this law make religion illegal? Is making religion illegal blasphemous? Is the world going to implode in on itself and we’ll all die in a bloody and agonizing paradox?

    Anyway I think eternal damnation is a bad enough punishment without getting a fine or having to go to prison as well.

    Reply
  120. Avatar
    Jeremiah January 02, 2010

    I feel sorry for those who have this great need to justify having no faith, shouldn’t it be self evident, why do you have to try and “convert” everyone to your perspective?! By truly believing in one belief that should mean all others are fakes and counterfeits. There are many sects of each major world religion, and each is blasphemous to the next, and no one will know for certain whether they have the ‘true religion’ or not until they die. Atheists are fools, they lose either way whether they live or die, at-least until life can be sustained at perfection forever, and still that is a hollow promise, Those who hate the idea of God are in an even worse situation, while those who believe the ‘wrong’ religion are living a lie and thus all their effort is in vain. Either you work to maintain character, search for the only living God and his ways, or be an agnostic (unsure about the existence of God) because this subject cannot be proven definitively either way.
    Legislature should stay out of this type of discussion, there is no place for it as it should only deal in certainties especially in our ‘secular’ societies.

    Reply
  121. Avatar
    Dafydd January 02, 2010

    He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!

    Reply
  122. Avatar
    Boo January 02, 2010

    Morto for us. General academic opinion seems to be that it’s too ridiculous and nebulous a law to enforce anyway. Here’s hoping.

    Reply
  123. Avatar
    Michael Cox January 02, 2010

    With this law, we may well be witnessing the beginnings of a new Dark Ages.

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will
    understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

    Reply
  124. Avatar
    spmcol2007 January 02, 2010

    If I was to say that I consider all of the previous comments and content blasphemous will Minister Ahern do anything? He cannot because he cannot institute or interfere in any prosecutions. That is up to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Will he do anything?
    We in Ireland will be waiting a long time to see any of our bankers in court for what they have done to the country. Maybe somebody above will see court first over this dumb law. Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs, pensions and are in long-term debt but so what. Why did the minister and our useless government not spend his and their time thinking up laws to protect the economy and the wellbeing of the people of Ireland instead of this rubbish.
    Come on DPP. Who is for prosecution first? Will it be (a) the bankers or, (b) those in the Catholic Church and those in civil authority why covered up the crimes being committed by priests or (c) one of the above comments.

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  125. Avatar
    Keith Murphy January 02, 2010

    I think it is a very sad thing when a member of a political party feels the need to center an entire nation of people just because he doesn’t agree with their opinion.

    This isn’t about the other religions now living in Ireland, it is treating Catholicism with special rights, indeed religion as a general body with special rights. How is Ireland to become a more secular nation with laws such as this? We can talk about politics, celebrity personalities and the argument of pro choice vs pro life; but to talk about religion; oh my gosh no, you can’t talk about that because religious people are better than eveyone else. Everyone else is nothing more than a second class citizen, who are they to argue against it.

    All this law accomplishes is putting the country back into the dark ages, tells you what you can and cannot say, and if possible how you can and cannot think.

    And evidently shunning the non-believers. It almost seems like the activation of a back up plan after the Ryan report has been published.

    Dermot Ahern, you should be ashamed of yourself, you and your party will not be getting my vote at any rate come next general elections.

    Reply
  126. Avatar
    Marley January 02, 2010

    No love for Carl Sagan?

    “Education on the value of free speech and the other freedoms reserved by the Bill of Rights, about what happens when you don’t have them, and about how to exercise and protect them, should be an essential prerequisite for being an American citizen–or indeed a citizen of any nation, the more so to the degree that such rights remain unprotected. If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we’re just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for *us*. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.”

    –Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

    Reply
  127. Avatar
    oisin January 02, 2010

    keep the fight going lads! don’t let the state grant itself the right to extract resources from its citizens in order to protect the ears of its sheep.

    Reply
  128. Avatar
    Rick Zard January 02, 2010

    Good job, guys, for fighting against this unjust and backwards law. You have my full support.

    Reply
  129. Avatar
    Ken January 02, 2010

    Today is a sad day. Tired of these fuckers hiding behind the law.

    Reply
  130. Avatar
    Zet January 02, 2010

    But… this is ridiculous. The blasphemy law clearly is not about denying an expression of ideas, as ideas are not blasphemous. As is stated above, blasphemy is considered to be something “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage”. In essence then it is not a law which threatens to strangle a secular Ireland, but it is a law protecting the rights of the religious from having to deal with anyone who is “grossly abusive or insulting” to their most sacred beliefs. I don’t see how protecting the rights of religious people is worse than protecting the rights of people who want to be able to be “grossly abusive or insulting”. That is not a “medieval religious law” as it is not about religion in particular, it is about protecting the rights of the religious. Yes, “criminal law should protect people and not ideas” – but we call upon the same law to protect freedom of speech and ideas.

    As blasphemy is defined above, it is not about suppressing any ideas. It seems to me to be about stopping people who think it’s either clever or amusing to insult other people’s beliefs because they do not match their own. “In a civilised society, people have a right to to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous” – yes, absolutely. This law has stated nothing about preventing the expression of ideas, it is about preventing people from being “grossly abusive or insulting”. I don’t see anything wrong with trying to make people a little nicer to each other.

    Reply
  131. Avatar
    JamesB192 January 02, 2010

    I hope they like vegetables.
    ‘I would like a Hawaiian pizza.’ (offensive to Jews, Muslims)
    ‘I would like a cheeseburger.’ (offensive to Jews, Hindus)
    ‘I would like a 2×4.’ (offensive to druids?)
    ‘Sir, take off the hoodie.’ (offensive to Jedi)
    ‘Operator, I need an exit!’ (offensive to Artificial Intelligence jailers)

    Reply
  132. Avatar
    Gary January 02, 2010

    What bothers me the most about organised religion is that they think theres a better world than this one ,So that gives them the idea that destroying this one is acceptable.If Jesus died for our sins then why do they still consider newborns sinners?Women should stop going to church until organised religion stops psychologically abusing children.

    Reply
  133. Avatar
    Invisible Sky Wizard January 02, 2010

    Well done, absolutely well done.

    This law is an exercise in lunacy, and you are right to fight it. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  134. Avatar
    Muhammad January 02, 2010

    BRAVO! Brilliant. Kudos to you guys for doing this. At least some order and intelligence amidst all the darkness and chaos of religion and violence.

    Now only if we can grow a pair in Pakistan and follow the Irish lead.

    All the best to you guys.

    Reply
  135. Avatar
    hatchetfoot January 02, 2010

    One person’s fervent blasphemy is another’s devout prayer.

    Even the UN decided a universal ban on blasphemy is worst than Salomon trying to carve up a baby.
    Ah well, leave it to the monotheistic hierarchy to spit on reason and logic.

    Reply
  136. Avatar
    Boll Shyt January 02, 2010

    Good to see Ireland’s becoming more like Tennessee were Elvis preachers scour McDonalds for converts.

    Reply
  137. Avatar
    martino January 02, 2010

    Let’s party like it’s 1399!!

    Reply
  138. Avatar
    Anon January 02, 2010

    Where do this law and hate-speech laws meets up? We are on a seriously slippery slope. I can’t say that “homosexuals are evil and must be destroyed” (not that I think that!), but I can say that “muhammeds laws are evil and should be destoyed”. I just don’t see clear lines. In hate speech you identify one specific group of people, and call for violent action against them. In blashemy you identify one organization, and by implication all its members, and call for it’s destruction. I can’t deny the holocaust, but I can deny that Jesus ever lived. I mean, you can clearly see the historical evidence, which indicates which statement is likely true, but are we going to start banning non-scientifically backed speech as well?

    Free speech or not, you can’t have it both ways.

    Reply
  139. Avatar
    Russ Roach January 02, 2010

    Excellent work in maintaining this site, keep up the fight.

    In Australia, the choice of “no religion” is legally a religious choice, maybe consider pressing the same and using the new laws to bring action against any who challenge you? To highlight the stupidity in the laws naturally.

    Reply
  140. Avatar
    Imran January 02, 2010

    A lot of you people need to wake up and realise why we are here in the first place. If you dont think god exists then in reality you are assuming that you are your own god. But you have no qualities of a god. You are taking a chance of going to hell, why would you do that when it will only mean you will end up suffering for eternity. Have you ever tried living by gods rules? None of the problems in the world would exist if we lived by gods rules. Instead we have forgotten god and hence the reason the world is in the state it is in right now. It is easy not to believe in something you cannot see but if you dont have that belief then you will be blind to the truth that is religion. Ask yourselves why we are here, human beings were made to believe in god. If you dont have that belief then we might as well class ourselves as animals. Wake up sheeple before its too late

    Reply
  141. Avatar
    Lux January 02, 2010

    Priests of any kind and their belief system/s ought to be treated in a similar fashion to a political/public figure, that is to say they and beliefs are held accountable by the populist and anything goes. I wonder if the basis for this new law is to prevent youth who were victimized from the molestations of the church leaders to come forward in fear of being fined? At this rate scientific inquiry will be made illegal in no time.

    Reply
  142. Avatar
    Mikhael January 02, 2010

    Freedom of speech should prevail, probably both believers and no believers would agree. For the non believers that show some respect for our beliefs, thank you. For the non believers that enjoy the opportunity to offend believers, we will pray for you and I hope you have the opportunity to discover God in your daily life.

    Reply
  143. Avatar
    Nick January 02, 2010

    Yeah, I’m a christian…

    I find the quotes that you posted to be as hilarious, and as offensive as you do. Good luck fighting the blasphemy laws, and please keep in mind you have allies on the other side as well.

    Reply
  144. Avatar
    Chris Hall January 02, 2010

    This is news to me. A law against blasphemy? I thought that kind of faded away when they stopped burning women, although I hear women are still burned as witches in some countries so go figure.

    Shocking.

    CH

    Reply
  145. Avatar
    Xenu January 02, 2010

    Why isn’t there a donation link on this page?? I’m not an atheist but I am a firm believer in freedom of speech and thought. I would gladly donate money to fund a repeal of this backwards discriminatory law.

    Reply
  146. Avatar
    Andrew MW January 02, 2010

    superb, thank you and good luck.

    Reply
  147. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 02, 2010

    It is great to see that the intellectial giants of athiesm are out in force. You continue fighting the good fight; your right to promote hatred.

    Reply
  148. Avatar
    John Robinson January 02, 2010

    I’ve read lots of comments about the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) on here, and this is a very good point.

    If you really want to highlight just how ridiculous this law actually is, then someone should very publicly (on a website, say) insult the FSM, and a second party take the blasphemer to court. If the blasphemer’s comments were related to the fact that the FSM is a non-existent fictional character (as we all know to be true), then it could lead to a very interesting law-suit.

    The courts cannot dismiss the case, since to suggest that the FSM is nothing more than a joke would itself be blasphemous (this would also be *very* dangerous ground for the courts – if they suggested that the FSM was little more than fiction, then every single other religious institution would be required to prove the existence of their God before a blasphemer could be prosecuted).

    The case would have to go to trial, and if the accused accepted (without contest) full culpability, then the courts would have no choice but to convict the blasphemer. This would make worldwide headlines, and highlight just how amazingly silly this law actually is. If the prosecution didn’t take place, then whatever reason was given for dismissing the case would set a clear precedent from which other such cases can be dismissed.

    I’m not sure of the technical details of this law, but I guess you would need to do the following: have the FSM recognized as an official religion in the next Irish census (just as the Jedi religion is recognized in the UK – see footnote); have an Irish citizen blaspheme against the FSM; have another Irish FSMian citizen take the blasphemer to court; form an on-line group of opponents to this law, and hope that you can get the support of upwards of 25,000 people (if the blasphemer is prosecuted, each member of the group can give €1 to cover the cost of the possible €25,000 fine). You could also use the same group of people to get the FSM as a recognized religion in Ireland (if the Irish content of the group is sufficiently high).

    I don’t know when the next census is in Ireland, but I’d love to see this happen! We’ve seen “Jedi” become an official religion in the UK, and saw Rage Against the Machine have a Christmas number one in the UK charts for 2009 – both of these feats were achieved through on-line lobbying.

    footnote: Apparently Jedi isn’t “officially recognized” as a religion, since the census doesn’t give recognition to the status of a religion, but merely counts the numbers (this is the same for all religions documented in the census) – but it would be better to have a good few believers of the FSM officially documented when taking the blasphemer to court, then it wouldn’t be so easy to reject the case.

    further reading:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2757067.stm
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/10/09/jedi_knights_achieve_official_recognition/
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8423340.stm

    ps: To speed up the process, you could substitute the FSM for the Jedi religion in the law-suit, since it appears there are worldwide Jedis already on record.

    Reply
  149. Avatar
    Lewis Marks January 02, 2010

    A uniquely Irish solution to a modern dilemma.
    Our outdated and unenforceable law against blasphemy is not human rights compliant because it only ‘protects’ (sic) Christian beliefs from mockery or insult, and that ‘discriminates’ (sic) in favour of the Christians and against all other religious observers. Do we
    (a) throw away the whole stupid holey umbrella from the middle ages or
    (b) create a new, shiny, infinitely large umbrella to cover the whole country?
    Hmm … that’s a tricky one to solve.
    Obviously we go for option (a).
    No, sorry, I mean option (b). Yes (b), definitely (b).
    Fuck, I mean (a).
    What do you mean “it’s too late, you pressed the wrong button”? I meant to vote for (a), I mean (b), no (a).
    Bollocks.

    Reply
  150. Avatar
    Elsey January 02, 2010

    As a religious person I say… this law needs to be repealed! Religion and belief in G-d is a choice – and this law is a clear representation of how Ireland tries to inflict religion onto its people by banning anything bad being said about it. I enjoyed reading these quotes(what’s the point of believing in something if you can’t laugh about it?), and I fully support Atheist Ireland’s response to this law!

    Reply
  151. Avatar
    David January 02, 2010

    I was incredulous when I read about the new law in Ireland. (Maybe because I’m from the States?) I thought that government-endorsed religious censorship died centuries ago in the West. Scary.

    To those people in Ireland who are sane – who hold free speech to be at least as sacred as one’s religion – I wish you my best in fighting this thing.

    Reply
  152. Avatar
    Volker Hetzer January 02, 2010

    Hi!
    Great List!
    Here’s another one:
    Karl Marx: Religion is opium for the masses.

    Something I wholeheartedly agree with.
    Am I a blasphemer now, too?
    In that case, thanks for letting me join the club.

    Reply
  153. Avatar
    Steve Leonard January 02, 2010

    I find this law repugnant. Throughout history religions have attempted to stifle free thought, in ages gone by I could have easily undergone state sanctioned execution for my beliefs. A religion that has the basis of ”eating from the fruits of the tree of knowledge” is in my opinion an outrage on humanities abilities to progress. It can be no surprise that an intelectually underdeveloped set of legislators, who can only want to stifle freedom of thought, have passed this law.
    I am embarrassed that the land of my forefathers have taken this retrogressive step, how dare they try to repress anyones freedom to express their opinion. They probably use the excuse that blasphemy upsets and offends religious people. I am an atheist, I have come to this conclusion from wildely reading about many religions and science. I am offended by religious people thinking that their beliefs should be exempt from criticism, while still being allowed to criticise my beliefs.
    I can only guess that these backwards paranoid legislators realise that religion is beginning to lose influence as the children of Ireland get educated, and, realise that the mythological fantasy stories present in the bible are nothing more than the fantasies of a technologically backward desert dwelling culture.
    My sympathies go out to all atheists in Ireland, you have been branded by the state as being evil. It could be worse, you could have been branded evil jews in 1933 during a massive recession in a so called progressive democratic country. I hope the next twelve years is better for you.

    Reply
  154. Avatar
    Paul McGrath January 02, 2010

    Not original but as funny as any religion:

    Brian: I’m not the Messiah! Arthur: I say you are, lord, and I should know… I’ve followed a few

    Also, Irish politics is as corrupt as the the church it props up.

    Reply
  155. Avatar
    nyoped January 02, 2010

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches” -Benjamin Franklin

    “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.” -John Adams

    “But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.” -John Adams

    “In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the peopl” -James Madison

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” Susan B. Anthony

    Reply
  156. Avatar
    Angus January 02, 2010

    It’s brilliant that so many people feel strongly enough about this law to do something about it. I am an atheist and this law makes me feel like a criminal waiting to be arrested.

    Reply
  157. Avatar
    Sarah January 02, 2010

    I, as a Christian, admire your efforts to repeal this law. It is unjust and clearly marginalizes Atheists. Although I must say, I would never even speak about someone’s delusions with the vulgarity used above. I expected some level of decency or respect toward people of faith, since the claim is made that “We believe in the golden rule.”

    Regardless, thank you for fighting for human rights. Best of luck to you all, and stay safe.

    Reply
  158. Avatar
    tia o'c January 02, 2010

    Mediocre, badly planed move. You had enough time to come up with something smart against a medieval law, this is laughable. Remove the religion and what you get is a mass of ignorant and incoherent people.

    Reply
  159. Avatar
    Ron January 02, 2010

    Well done! I hope you’ll trigger a fruitful debate and that reason may prevail.

    Reply
  160. Avatar
    James Huddleston January 02, 2010

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    Reply
  161. Avatar
    Steve Leonard January 02, 2010

    response to Imran
    ”A lot of you people need to wake up and realise why we are here in the first place”. I woke up aged 10, before 10 I really did believe that Jesus the hippy was the sun of god. Then I thought about it and realised how stupid the whole bible story was, some nice rules to live by and some that I couldn’t believe rational people could actually believe.

    ”If you dont think god exists then in reality you are assuming that you are your own god”. Why bring God into it? don’t you realise what atheism is. Let me educate you – THERE ARE NO GODS why would I think I was a god.

    ”But you have no qualities of a god”. Thank Christ for that!!

    ”You are taking a chance of going to hell, why would you do that when it will only mean you will end up suffering for eternity”. Nice argument Imran, enjoy all your virgins when you get to heaven. I’m sure that the 72 virgins were praying to get the chance to service such a fantastic guy as you when their life ends.

    ”Have you ever tried living by gods rules? None of the problems in the world would exist if we lived by gods rules”. I agree, let me know when god writes some, because the guy whose written them so far has got a great sense of humour.

    ”Instead we have forgotten god and hence the reason the world is in the state it is in right now”. Yes humanity has been really stupid, we have gone forth and multiplied and tried to seek dominion over all life on earth, ……. hang on, wern’t we supposed to do that!!!

    ”It is easy not to believe in something you cannot see but if you dont have that belief then you will be blind to the truth that is religion”. Not true, its very hard not to believe in religion when the majority of the world believe. Its so hard many have been killed or imprisoned – hang on, isn’t that what this law is trying to do, to make it more difficult not to believe.

    ”Ask yourselves why we are here”. Only religious people can ask this question and come up with the right answer.”human beings were made to believe in god”. I’m obviously not human then, does that mean I’m a demon in disguisee sent to tempt the unsuspecting.

    ”If you dont have that belief then we might as well class ourselves as animals”. Let me just go and check with my closest cousins, they havent mastered the language fully yet but they make more sense than you and are very adept at asking for a banana.

    ”Wake up sheeple before its too late”. Finally a statement I can agree with

    Reply
  162. Avatar
    Newrone January 02, 2010

    This law is the BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN EVER!

    It is the Emperor’s New Clothes that protect and sustain the myth of “God”, by whatever name. May the Emperor now show off his New Clothes to the entire population with all the pomp and ceremony He can muster. Watching them unravel is going to be so entertaining!

    I’m with posts 82, 142 & 202 amongst others (Yes, I’ve read them all!). Astounding and unbelievable that the mere concept of “Blasphemy” can be circumscribed in a 21st-Century law in Ireland. It was originally an invention designed by tyrannical religious leaders to punish sensible discussion of an indefensible doctrine, for the sole purpose of ensuring total political and moral power over their subjects.

    The doctrine is as indefensible as ever; the law and the logic behind it even moreso, to the point of farce, if not hilarity.

    Reply
  163. Avatar
    Rachel January 02, 2010

    This is about making a statement – not disrespecting religion. I support everything these quotes stand for. Thank you for standing up to them! I hope others who comment remember that this is not about demeaning religion, but about being allowed to think for yourself.

    Reply
  164. Avatar
    Popamoto January 02, 2010

    More blasphemous quotes:

    “If god does exist, he must be an underachiever.” -Woody Allen

    “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” -Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” -George Bernard Shaw

    “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” -Gene Roddenberry

    “There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.” -Robert Green Ingersoll

    “George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States, he was appointed by God.” -Lt. General William J, Boykin, U.S. Army

    “O Lord our God, help us to tear their bodies to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded.” – The War Prayer : by Mark Twain

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.” -Epicurus

    “There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.” -Richard Lederer

    “Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.” -Richard Dawkins

    “Pray to God, fine; but keep rowing to shore.” -Russian proverb

    “Christians worship a dead Jew on a stick.” -George Carlin

    “If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.” -Mikhail Bakunin

    “Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.” -unknown

    “If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.” -Thomas Szasz

    “In the beginning man created God; and in the image of Man created him.” -Jethro Tull

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
    No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” -Albert Einstein, letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, 1954

    “So many pregnancies miscarry that, if you’re religious, you could call God the great abortionist.” -Rick Salutin

    Popamoto

    Reply
  165. Avatar
    Jesus the only savior January 02, 2010

    What I have realised from the comments I have read so far is that you so called atheist are confused about life.Let me tell you confused atheist that whether you like it or not, God exits and someday he would come and judge you all, you better believe it before it is too late.The bible says in Psalm 14:1 that the fool says in his heart there is no God. I hope you are wise,you better serve God.

    Reply
  166. Avatar
    bullsballs January 02, 2010

    A sorry state of affairs, this. But to be expected in the over sensitive political correctness society being created. Next, will be the return of the dark ages as history is again rewritten to accommodate the ideals expressed by those enlightened beyond mere mortals…
    Then they will create the laws that enforce the superior knowledge they alone poses on an unwilling population.
    The laws are not designed to make sense or relieve crime, but to suppress freedoms…
    But few care or resist, as long as they have a roof over their heads, meals and tv to suck out their souls…
    Meanwhile the prisons fill with people who do resist change.

    Reply
  167. Avatar
    Jim January 02, 2010

    God damn it.

    Reply
  168. Avatar
    Tim C January 02, 2010

    Well done Atheist Ireland, keep up the good work, this battle has to be won if we are to ever allow the beauty and wonder of nature and science to shine through and expose the stupidity of religion and its pernicious affects.

    Reply
  169. Avatar
    Thomas O'Flaherty January 02, 2010

    Comment by Jesus the only savior — January 2, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    “whether you like it or not, God exits”

    Good, so he’s left the building. Excellent. Has he taken you with him?

    Reply
  170. Avatar
    agnostic athiest January 02, 2010

    Nicely done, Way to stick it to the man… religious institutions are trying to regain a foothold in today’s society? WOW… it is kind of scary to think that if such outrageous laws can be enforced in today’s societies then how quickly humanity will revert back in its progression. Though seeing the revolt gives hope for a revolution to the ways of thought. I always prefer the agnostic route but goddamm when religion tries to interfere in my way of life I cannot sit and get abused like all its followers do… Hey listen up you believers.. go ahead and believe in spirituality.. do not believe in the Money hungry religionists

    Reply
  171. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 02, 2010

    Isn’t the internet great. We get to insult people who think differently and they can’t do anything becasue we are safe behind the computer screen. Long live the internet warrior.

    Reply
  172. Avatar
    David Fahn January 02, 2010

    Richard Dawkins has written this in his book “The God Delusion”
    The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

    Is it safe for him to come to an Ireland that proves itself to be primitive and as ignorantly superstitious as the most barbaric of the Islamic States? If fact I wonder if any of us are safe in superstitious Ireland, no wonder there are so many Irish jokes. I suppose that nuns will continue to abuse their charges and priests continue to bugger choir boys in the glorious name of god. If you need any help to counter this descent into medieval superstition you can count on me.
    I fully agree with Richard Dawkins. If god exists he is a self serving bastard and not fit to be worshipped. Now my question is will Ireland use the new European arrest warrant to come and get me? Sadly under new European laws any member of the EU csan arrest a resident of any other EU country even if the “Offence” is not and offence in the country of residence. That Ireland’s stupidity makes blasphemy an arrestable offence in the whole of Europe. Beware the office of the Inquisition.

    Reply
  173. Avatar
    hibernopithecus January 02, 2010

    Well done guys!

    Great to her someone speaking on behalf of reason and against this ridiculous anachronistic law.

    ‘It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door. That dragon is religion’
    Bertrand Russell

    And I thought there was no hope for Ireland. Thanks for giving me hope – good luck and I’ll keep an eye out for your progress. (And when I graduate and get a job, I’ll even make a donation towards this eventual bill:-)

    hibernopithecus

    Reply
  174. Avatar
    Mark January 02, 2010

    The gratuitous profanities expressed in the comments here are not so much blasphemy as the rantings of warped minds.

    I don’t believe in an all-powerful being but I also don’t feel the need to insult all and sundry about it. That is true freedom of thought and speech.

    Reply
  175. Avatar
    Mike McKoy January 02, 2010

    Poet Jacques Prévert:

    Notre Père qui êtes au cieux
    Restez-y
    Et nous nous resterons sur la terre
    Qui est quelquefois si jolie

    (first four lines of his “Pater Noster”)

    (Our Father Who Art in Heaven
    Stay there
    And we’ll stay on Earth
    Which is sometimes so pretty)

    Reply
  176. Avatar
    MattHunX January 02, 2010

    Luckily I’m not Irish nor do I live or plan to live anywhere near by. But I sympathize with Irish freethinkers/atheists/secular-humanists and so I shall say THE IRISH GOVERNMENT CAN GO AND KILL ITSELF! ! ! Who do these douche-bags,(possible)corrupt, greedy bastards think they are!? This is ridiculous!

    And a €25,000 fine!? Looks like some pencil-pushers aren’t satisfied with the probably already equally ridiculous amount of money they get paid for their “work”. Nice get-richer-quick scam on their part.

    Reply
  177. Avatar
    Alejandro Rodon January 02, 2010

    Nice collection of quotes. You might also like the article “The Koran Unveiled”, which takes Islam apart using nothing but the Koran itself.

    http://secweb.infidels.org/?kiosk=articles&id=761

    Keep up the good work! The world needs it.

    Reply
  178. Avatar
    Brian January 02, 2010

    Why are religious people so worried about supposed bad words by aetheists? Surely, if God exists we will all be punished in the after-life anyway.

    PS – God does not exist!

    Reply
  179. Avatar
    Franky Van Ingelgem January 02, 2010

    John Lennon – Imagne

    Imagine there’s no Heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace

    You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world

    You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

    Reply
  180. Avatar
    Silvana January 02, 2010

    Congratulations! I hope to read and hear more and more against religions and related misbehaviours. I am disappointed about the cowardice of our governments, that have tolerated too much religious fanatisms.

    Reply
  181. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 02, 2010

    It is not just religious people who are insulted when atheists degrade other people’s beliefs. I would imagine most decent minded people would feel the same way. You don’t have to believe in god to have human decency.

    Reply
  182. Avatar
    ScottX January 02, 2010

    As a UK citizen, I only came across the news by chance that blasphemy legislation became law on Jan’ 1st 2010. Ostensibly protecting other religions from the rantings of those who deny God, it seems this is a desperate bluff and is in fact a stanc to prop up a faltering, unsustainable Catholic extortion racket, determined to defend its borders against the rising tide of non-believers. What man or woman in a world where science erodes religion like the forces of nature whittle a mountain, can actually subscribe to the concept of a God? These present day cave people with their antiquated, unevolved explanation for the universe around them, defile the modern world. They have no role in it, and should be consigned to the extinction dustbin that has been the one true end for all the branches of humanity which Nature dictated should come and go.

    This law is a disgrace to civilisation; an affront to democracy and free speech and is clearly a discriminatory article of legislation against anyone who offers an alternate view to God in all his guises.

    Reply
  183. Avatar
    primohibernicus January 02, 2010

    Since Joseph was not involved in the conception of Jesus, Jesus cannot have
    inherited a Y chromosome from Joseph. Therefore Jesus’ two chromosomes
    must have come from Mary, and would both have been X chromosomes.
    Jesus was a woman. QED.

    Or maybe the Holy Ghost was a bloke wearing a feather suit just to
    get a quickie from Mary. Maybe the angel Gabriel took his wings off
    and gave her six inches of celestial pork.

    I hope this is blasphemous and that I have broken the law.

    I left Ireland 50 years ago to escape the Orwellian mind control exercised
    by the Church. I was asked to believe a load of tosh because it was in a particular
    book. All those balls-aching Sundays! Now the State has moved into the mind
    control business. Well, it was their turn.

    Here in Australia, if you commit blasphemy that is likely to cause a breach of the
    peace, it is dealt with as a criminal offence, as is any other act likely to
    cause a breach of the peace. But this is a social law to protect social
    harmony. We don’t want people shouting ‘Balls to Allah’ in the mosque
    and starting a riot. The law is not aimed at protecting religion from dissent.

    Reply
  184. Avatar
    Pierrick Dridhamati Parigot January 02, 2010

    Any law that confuses belief and reason must be repealed, simply because it carries the seeds of intolerance and ultimately wholesale slaughter.
    This intolerance can already be witnessed: from the originator(s) and partisans of the law but also from its critics.
    Let us push to have this law repealed, but not out of hatred. Instead let us repeal it because it will hinder us in our clear and genuine search for truth.

    Reply
  185. Avatar
    Tony B January 02, 2010

    First off, happy new year unbelievers. Good luck with the campaign to drag Ireland into the present.

    snakes from hell, thanks for the lols

    Reply
  186. Avatar
    Ben January 02, 2010

    This is a great effort. Blasphemy is an idea thought up by those who cannot defend their ideas against better ideas; it is a tool for maintaining political power through religious means.

    As for whether God exists or not, or if (s)he’s nice or nasty – well, that’s irrelevant to blasphemy law.

    Though I find the discussion here interesting because the hard line theists and atheists are all convinced of their own beliefs, and cannot understand anyone whose beliefs are different.

    As someone who knows the limits of my own knowledge, I am compelled to be agnostic; I consider atheism to be as much a faith as Christianity or Islam, as atheists believe something which cannot be proven (i.e. the non-existence of an invisible deity). If this could be argued in a court of law, it might make discussing God illegal in Ireland.

    Just a thought…

    Reply
  187. Avatar
    GC January 02, 2010

    I’m just trying to imagine what the world will think when Ireland makes it first prosecution and then imprisonment of someone for the crime of Blasphemy! Judges must – I hope – be lying awake at night scared stiff they don’t get handed that one to rule on! Can anyone tell me the last time a democracy threw someone in the big the house for this???

    Reply
  188. Avatar
    Mrs Hohmann January 02, 2010

    It is a long road to bring light to the dark places covered by years of neglect and perversion. I think you have the right idea. Good wishes in your fight to bring Ireland into the light of the new century and the happiness of having a life that is not dictated by fools and clergy. You realize that the Church will collect far less taxes or alms from Ireland, the fight will be very fierce. The less the Church gets in Euros the more power each person has to do as they wish as the voices of damnation lose their volume with each coin kept in pocket. Religion is about collecting money and making a hierarchy of people who spend your money. They need to have control so that people continue to pay. Silk and Frankincense are not cheap. World Peace will be achieved with the loss of power to all Religions as people begin to live in reality and not with dogma.

    Reply
  189. Avatar
    Skaro7 January 02, 2010

    I’m a Christian but I think that this law is bogus. Even though some of the things that have been commented have offended me I would certainly defend the right for you all to say them.
    This is because loving God should not be enforced by law because it would be meaningless because it would not be that person’s own choice. Jesus would condemn such a foolish law I am sure.

    Reply
  190. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 02, 2010

    As I read this on BBC new I checked my calender. No it was 1st January and not 1st April. Yes it was year 2010 not 1020! It definately was a sad for Ireland.

    So, this raises interesting questions as it would appear that this law its also selective about what you can believe in.

    (1) Atheists do not believe in god. The existance of god cannot be proved or disproved so atheism has to be a belief too. Accordingly why are atheists not afforded the same protection under this law? Could it be because atheism could claim the Bible and Koran (amongst others) are blasphemous to the atheism?

    (2) Then there are those who believe in other deities such as Satanists. The same question then arises!

    I think I need to go and sit down with my imaginary friend and write our own book on religious teachings whilst laying claim to part of the middle-east (preferable oil-rich).

    Reply
  191. Avatar
    Dan the anti-theist January 02, 2010

    Does this law cover leprechauns? As I think the odds of any god existing is the same as the chance of finding leprechauns or fairies at the bottom of your garden.

    What are the Irish doing with this archaic law? I support Atheist Ireland with their campaign.

    Reply
  192. Avatar
    God January 02, 2010

    You blasphemers will all suffer unending unimaginable tortures at my hands!

    your sincerely,

    God

    PS: I love you.

    Reply
  193. Avatar
    Tony B January 02, 2010

    @ Ben
    “I consider atheism to be as much a faith as Christianity or Islam, as atheists believe something which cannot be proven”

    WE DONT!!! (believe in something which has no evidence)- you need to try harder to wrap your head around this VERY SIMPLE concept, not spout ignorant platitudes.

    try looking up – “I see no dragon”

    Reply
  194. Avatar
    Dave January 02, 2010

    I’m not a follower of any religion. I checked out this website because I was interested in seeing what Atheists think. Unfortunately I see that you are, on the whole, a bunch of foul mouthed people who are no better than the religions you condemn – conclusion, Atheism is just another idea protected by people who wish to silence others. Grow up

    Reply
  195. Avatar
    Joran January 02, 2010

    Blasphemy is a victemless crime

    Reply
  196. Avatar
    Shmuliq Parzal January 02, 2010

    I would begin by saying I am a religious man with a deeply held belief in God. However, this new law seems to be setting out to protect the religious sensibilities of the adherents of religion – which is NOT blasphemy. If someone’s faith is strong, then why should a religious person become angry on God’s behalf? If it’s about protecting the sensibilities of people who hold deeply held convictions about religion, why not take it to its logical conclusion, and have laws protecting atheists? Blasphemy is to do evil in the name of God. To a Talmidi such as myself, blasphemy is bringing the reputation of God into disrepute – eg by doing evil in God’s Name, by spreading hatred in God’s name. Of course, so-called religous people would not like a REAL blasphemy law, because you would have to put a lot of religious hate-mongers up for trial!

    Reply
  197. Avatar
    Chris N January 02, 2010

    Atheism and Humanism are concepts, not a faith. I have no objection to individuals having a personal faith, but object to the effective imposition of faith that inevitably happens by ‘spreading the truth’ (a good deed in the eyes of the faithful), or ‘imposing ridiculous views’ in the eyes of us heathens.

    I do respect and defend free speech completely, but would question just because something can be said, should it? All the quotes given by Atheists.ie are not openly insulting, and have a maturity to them that should be commended. Christians and Muslims, Jews and Turtleists should not impose their views through stupid medieval laws (as well as the assurance by ‘friends’ who care about me that I am destined to live forever in eternal torment, not because I am a bad person but because I refuse to believe in the Tooth Fai… God), but I also find unfounded statements that someone takes ‘it up the arse’ to be equally ridiculous and contemptible. Reeks of two gangs of six year old at opposite ends of a playground shouting meaningless onscentities at each other.

    It just serves to demean and belittle us free-thinkers. I would wonder though if ‘atheists’ such as this are actually free-thinkers, as they seem to be as deeply smothered in infantile bile as the other lot. Bit of maturity anyone?

    Reply
  198. Avatar
    steve p January 02, 2010

    There is no no God. The imaginary gods of the christians, jews, muslims, vikings, etc are violent thuggish manifestations of the imaginings of violent and thuggish power freaks.
    I wonder if the Irish law extends EU wide and we [ other EU citizens ] can be extradited?
    Ok if they want to come and get me, Jesus is a horse fucker. [ no offence meant personally mate :) ]

    It will be very interesting to see court cases being fought over this one, no doubt it will be a shambles and cost lots of money and time.

    Steve Price , Malvern, Worcestershire , England. come and find me then, thought police.

    Reply
  199. Avatar
    Hugo Rune January 02, 2010

    @Dave

    I agree that perhaps some of the posters arguments on this site should be better phrased. But yet I find most of the comments pretty funny.

    Thinking about it for a second, isn’t the Blasphemy law itself blasphemy? The mere existence of this law implies that the Irish Government somehow thinks that God needs protecting from unruly speech – therefore they must think that God is weak and just a little bit helpless. Oh dear, now that IS blasphemy!

    So goodbye Irish government – you’re all going to hell. Well, you would, if such a place existed. Which of course it doesn’t because God is all forgiving.

    Reply
  200. Avatar
    kpappleby January 02, 2010

    @317. “Blasphemy is an idea thought up by those who cannot defend their ideas against better ideas; it is a tool for maintaining political power through religious means.”

    Not quite. Religion itself was invented for purpose of grabbing and holding of political power. A blasphemy law is just an attempt to shore up religion.

    Reply
  201. Avatar
    AJDAvies January 02, 2010

    Good on you! I look forward to bringing a blasphemy case against the Catholic church should they dare to comment on my newly formed religion which is based on the worship of a pair of decapitated pigs bollocks.

    Reply
  202. Avatar
    Harry January 02, 2010

    Ireland, the butt of jokes for centuries, has made good progress in showing itself to be a modern, cosmopolitan, forward thinking, integrated, European power.

    Shall we start again children?

    “They shall set aside 99% of their land to house the blaspheming non payers of fines and they shall call it ‘Full’ and above the gates shall hang a sign declaring the truth and it shall say ‘Sensible Ireland’”

    Harry

    Reply
  203. Avatar
    Udayan January 02, 2010

    Hi, I’m from India and not an atheist, but I completely support Atheist Ireland in its fight against these silly anti-blasphemy laws. I believe in free expression of ideas.

    Reply
  204. Avatar
    Daniel Daly January 02, 2010

    James Joyce never returned to Ireland for fear they would throw quicklime in his eyes.
    The Irish Inquisition has now devised a new form of torture- a E 25000 fine for “blasphemy”,called freedom of speech in enlightened secular societies.

    Poor Ireland rushing headlong into the 15th century,the dream of Paradise Now ruined by reckless bankers, but still in love with the old Theocracy;the police and justice system still protecting criminal Priests and Bishops.

    When will we have secular education,free of church intolerance both South and North.When will we have a Constitution where no religion has a priveleged position.

    Reply
  205. Avatar
    Ville January 02, 2010

    Greetings to Irish Atheists from Finland

    It is very sad and disturbing that things like the Irish blasphemy law can still happen in modern Europe.
    For some reason only the religious ideas seem to be protected from critical evaluation.

    By the nature of religious dogma it should be impossible to hurt them or their gods so why is it that
    religious people are so sensitive to anything said against their beliefs. This suggests that people instinctively
    know that their religion is fiction and try to protect it for one reason or another.

    I’m quite hopeful for secularists though since it seems we are gathering strength in a lot of places.
    In Finland 181 359 people have left the Finnish state church (since -06) through a web service that allows
    people to do it in just a few minutes. Hopefully this trend will continue and get stronger.

    As they say: Keep fighting the good fight!

    Reply
  206. Avatar
    Colin Watts January 02, 2010

    Why not also test out this new law in other ways?

    From your website I am given to understand that the following is quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.

    If the law states “blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion” then have a number of people raise issue that this is blasphemous.

    Get it into court and eventually the blasphemy law will disappear up its own deity.

    Obviously it could be argued that there is a defence here as the text is part of another religion’s fundamental teachings so move to challenge that!

    A law that is selective about which religions can blaspheme against other but are protected by law should not stand for long!

    Finally could it be argued that the law is blasphemous itself through its failure to not recognise the beliefs of atheists?

    Reply
  207. Avatar
    Paddy Murray January 02, 2010

    Juvenile. Name calling. Idiotic. Immature.

    You have (as one famous atheist Irishman said in another context) disgraced yourselves again.

    Grow up.

    Reply
  208. Avatar
    Angela Kingdom January 02, 2010

    “Religious belief is a mental illness” – Angela Kingdom.

    Reply
  209. Avatar
    Neill January 02, 2010

    We can not have these Religious Fascists dragging us back 500 years after all the sacrifices that have taken place to push mankind forward against the wishers of these self serving organisations. We would all still be sitting in poverty watching the sun go around the earth if we still followed what these idiots have been telling us.

    Reply
  210. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 02, 2010

    “Mediocre, badly planed move. You had enough time to come up with something smart against a medieval law, this is laughable. Remove the religion and what you get is a mass of ignorant and incoherent people.”

    Is not the “mass of ignorant and incoherent people” there already? Did they not just pass a blasphemey law?

    In any event who exactly is this law designed to protect?

    Are the religions of this world so weak that that cannot stand up to adverse comment?

    Do Gods need mans law to protect themselves?

    Or is it more a case of the ‘religious leaders’ need more ways of trying to control the masses whilst silencing those dissenters who don’t believe in imaginary friends?

    Hmm, difficult one this…..

    Reply
  211. Avatar
    Mitch January 02, 2010

    If you just read all the comments, these smart and loveable people left.
    I want each one of you to remember these quotes
    so you can repeat it to yourselves and families when and if you get older/wiser.

    You can see why they had to come up with a law like that.

    PS. Lets see how fast a moron takes offence to this.

    Reply
  212. Avatar
    Yahoo Google January 02, 2010

    It’s a shame so many comments are purile, derogatory rubbish. There is no proof of any God ever existing, and religious dogma has been used and abused and set the human race back in its search for truth and knowledge. To have a law that protects such fantasies is ridiculous and purile itself, but to make playground comments here about others’ (misguided) beliefs does not challenge them to change and says more about the commenters’ lack of critical faculty and intelligence.

    Reply
  213. Avatar
    All Praise The Pythons January 02, 2010

    All I said to my wife was, “That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah”

    Reply
  214. Avatar
    Tom Billesley January 02, 2010

    Blasphemy is as easily given a legal definition as pornography.
    Look at the problems that trying to draft and enforce pornography law has caused.

    … and there I was thinking that all the intellectually challenged Irish politicians were in the six counties.

    Reply
  215. Avatar
    Andries January 02, 2010

    In the Netherlands we are trying to withdraw the laws on blasfemy. Unfortunately, our gouvernement is led by christian democrats, they are able to block a majority in parlement(!) We are wachting the developments in Ireland closely.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  216. Avatar
    Paul B. January 02, 2010

    I’m with you on this blasphemy law. It is being used by Muslims worldwide to enable heinous acts against minorities, and even against disadvantaged Muslims. And now they want to globalize it. That Europe is falling in line is a sign that it has lost its discernment and its identity.

    But your quote in #2, regarding Jesus calling the Jews evil, is misconstrued. He was speaking to those who knew of his good works yet opposed him. Sure, the quote *could* be taken by the ignorant and hateful as a basis for Jew hatred, but this was neither the intent of Jesus or the writer of the Gospel.

    Reply
  217. Avatar
    Scott Grayban January 02, 2010

    I am a Jew and even I don’t see how any of these quotes are blasphemy. Maybe I’m just stupid or I just don’t care enough to let it bother me like it does other people.

    As for Atheists I just don’t understand how you don’t believe in a God.. logic dictates that in order to not believe you must have believed it was in the first place. It would be in the same order I don’t see the wind but I feel it but I don’t believe it is really the wind, I can breath but I can’t see the oxygen molecules so it must not exist.

    However you are more then welcome to believe in nothing if that is what you believe in :)

    Reply
  218. Avatar
    Chris O'Brien January 02, 2010

    I live in Ireland and am an Irish citizen.

    I am also an Atheist.

    Ireland is great in many way, but it seems to be getting less and less great everyday.

    Our politicians are either crooks or incompetent or a bit brain-dead.

    Our medical system is seemingly on the verge of collapse… followed by the education system.

    Bankers wrote our laws through bribery and coercion.

    Sectarian crime is on the rise again, as is murder.

    Our so called religions leaders stood by as the nations children were raped. In fact many of them assisted the rape of these children.

    And yet I, as a tax paying, law abiding, father and citizen will be fined for calling Irish Catholicism a farce.

    Well, listen, it is a farce. And as those that have suffered immeasurably at it’s hand can tell you, it should be openly and clearly denounced.

    Add my name to the list of people that are both more moral than my countries religious leaders and yet more likely to be prosecuted for unlawful behaviour.

    If every crooked banker and kiddie-fiddling priest is jailed, then maybe you can start jailing Atheists.

    Until then, you can take your hypocrisy and stick it up your backside.

    Atheism is the one truth. All other faiths are abominations.

    Reply
  219. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 02, 2010

    I think what the comments on here prove is that the atheist is just as closed-minded as any religious fanatic. It may be that a lot of these hateful comments are being made by teenagers, but still…hate is not the most attractive of human emotions no matter what you believe or don’t believe. I believe that spreading hate should rightly be a crime. The more I read the comments here the more the new law sounds reasonable. Respect is needed within a multicultural society and if people can’t respect other people then laws have to be made. The Irish government may be morons and the law may be a bit of a disgrace, but if it can do anything to reduce the spread of hate-speech it has to be a good thing.

    Reply
  220. Avatar
    Richard January 02, 2010

    Surely unenforceable in this country since all judges must swear a christian oath to take up a position on the bench. There is no prospect of a fair trial for a non-christian charged under this law for blasphemy against christianity and tried before an inherently biased judge. All judges would be forced to recuse themselves.

    Reply
  221. Avatar
    Stuart J.E. Baird January 02, 2010

    Great to see a healthy reaction to a dangerous law.

    Zet said
    “But… this is ridiculous. The blasphemy law clearly is not about denying an expression of ideas, as ideas are not blasphemous. As is stated above, blasphemy is considered to be something “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage”. In essence then it is not a law which threatens to strangle a secular Ireland, but it is a law protecting the rights of the religious from having to deal with anyone who is “grossly abusive or insulting” to their most sacred beliefs.”

    Ideas are blasphemous. The earth is not the centre of the universe. The animals and plants around us were not made by a supreme being.
    After expressing the first idea, Galileo was tried in front of a religious court and placed under house arrest. On expressing the second idea teachers are subject to abuse from a well organised and funded religious fundamentalist campaign. There will always be some of the religious who find such ideas “grossly abusive or insulting to their most sacred beliefs.” The law should not protect these people from these ideas. Quite the reverse.

    Zet, you “don’t see how protecting the rights of religious people is worse than protecting the rights of people who want to be able to be “grossly abusive or insulting””.

    Do you think Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and/or Darwin, gentlemen all, wanted to be “grossly abusive or insulting” to (at the time) a majority, or at least a considerable minority, of their esteemed colleagues?

    The ideas they expressed were not intended to be insulting, and given my admiration for these people, I might choose to find it grossly insulting that you cast such aspersions on their characters. Should the law then censor you? Just because I am feeling especially sensitive this morning about protecting the good name of some of my favourite grey-haired role models?

    Should I be prevented from discussing the following because I know it is likely to outrage and offend those whose condition it describes?

    Viruses use our bodies to their own profit, multiplying and passing themselves on despite our best efforts to control them. Religions use our minds to their own profit, multiplying and passing themselves on. Clear thinking is our only defense from viruses of the mind.

    Think clearly for one moment about these rules, common to the most virulent religions:
    1. Don’t fight it. Don’t even think about questioning it.
    2. Pass it on to your children.
    3. Pass it on to other children (the younger the better) and anyone you meet.
    4. If you find someone who is resistant to the spread of your strain (due, for example, to inoculation with another strain), declare their beliefs blasphemous. This can then be used as an excuse to a) Kill them (old school) b) Kill their strain (burn their books). c) Kill their future (take them to court, and steal their time and money).

    At each step the religious strain in question profits at the expense of the minds and lives of the puppets it has taken over, and the well being of humanity. Blasphemy laws are the symptom which arises when the infection gets so bad it start to control the state as well as some of its citizens.

    My intention is not to cause outrage, so perhaps technically I have failed to be blasphemous. I simply believe we have a moral duty to protect our children and our cultures from viruses of the mind such as religion.

    Stuart

    Reply
  222. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 02, 2010

    Countries use blasphemy laws to victimize non-members of, and dissident members of, the ruling sect or cult.

    However, if Ireland wants to claim then that is not the case then perhaps it will allow any person charged under this blasphemy law to cross-examine God in the witness box.

    If the law is God’s will then God needs to be cross-examined.

    It should not be a priest or some other claimed representative of God as the law is about irreverence against God. Furthermore the defendant would need to be assured this really was God’s representative let alone issues of hearsay.

    Surely if God sees all then he can find the time to attend court!

    Reply
  223. Avatar
    Pat Donnelly January 02, 2010

    Shame on you all!

    As a good and law abiding Irishman, actually a Plastic Paddy, resident in Brisbane, I have informed Garda.ie crime prevention, of your continued blasphemy. Expect to feel the solid, cold and above all hard truncheon of a stern faced Garda sometime soon, preferably in the rear. That will wipe the sickly grin off your blasphemous mug!

    Best of luck testing this stupid piece of legislation. Note tho that this is a trend involving “terra” as a war party. Anything so that you do not notice that they are stealing from you. Take care, as the world is literally, going to be a colder place soon!

    Reply
  224. Avatar
    Neal Wilkinson January 02, 2010

    Thank you all for all your oh-so-well thought out and helpful posts. Some of the language and attitudes displayed has been disgusting, offensive, and does not show an ounce of respect or love. I came on to explore this issue and to understand a different viewpoint, but the majority of these posts displays a picture of a hateful bunch.

    Thank you to those of you who actually posted with respect and love, and educated me in some way.

    Reply
  225. Avatar
    Mark Edwards January 02, 2010

    - I think it was “Blessed are the cheesemakers”.
    – Aha, what’s so special about the cheesemakers?
    – Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

    Reply
  226. Avatar
    Ivan (Madrid) January 02, 2010

    What this does is highlight the continued problem of millions of people who prefer to ignore the realities around them, and let themselves be spoonfed ‘answers’ to life’s mysteries. Essentially, it is cowardly; the unwillingness to face the fact that we don’t know all the answers, and WE NEVER WILL. If this law is arrogant, then it is nothing compared to the arrogance of the leaders of all the different churches who walk through this world (or are driven in luxury limos) proclaiming that they have all the answers. If only we could turn laws like this on their head and use them to muzzle the arrogant misleaders. Believe what you want, I say, but do it inside your own heart, where belief belongs.

    Reply
  227. Avatar
    Publuis January 02, 2010

    Weak. You claim the quotes would violate the law without offering one piece of evidence. You managed to write a cheap hacket job without much insight. Try again, but please put thought into words.

    Reply
  228. Avatar
    Freddie January 02, 2010

    Like implementers of underpowered marketing and opinion polls, it is regrettable that those who preach also claim to be Representatives. A sampled perspective does not guarantee the inferences about a population are more likely to be true. If gathering the facts seems too much like hard work, please Unplug Everything And Stay At Home. A few simple misplaced assumptions never made a strong foundation for a prophetic pitch from a gilded soap box. Biased, valedictory consciousness is only pretty in the eyes of the Beholder. The beholden think you are a tool; here, we muse on this and pick our noses while you only pick fights.

    Some individuals in the business of cults – exponents of the dogmas of commerce/religion/government – are already deluded by perceptions wrought from an inherited, fragile grasp of context and Wisdom; others need to work themselves up into a bit of a righteous and poisonous fug before unleashing their branded like-mindedness. Thank you for deciding I need to be protected, ethically instructed and controlled. Pure, like You. The Greedy need to manifest control in order to justify their behaviour and thinking, but this does not make them more righteous than their imagined audience. They appear demented, overwhelmed by Responsibility and Mandate. When you assume your ugly message falls on appreciative, sympathetic ears and imaginations, you construe a lot of Need and therefore hobby time for Devotion And Damnation of incompatible systems of control. I’d have thought that the curriculum vitae of the uniformed papacy and Church speaks volumes. Murder, oppression and suppression, Superstition and Incest, money lending, regimented and enforced denial, insanely glorious Hypocrisy, and the occasional bit of debauched rape and paedophilia in the name of God.* There’s not much evidence of having learned to move along. Remind me again why you employed this person, why you adhere to His bent scripture, why you hungrily flock to participate? What’s in it for you after the fawning – holiday snaps and trophy T-shirt, a little icon of remembrance to worship and fondle, a reminder of your Place and your Guilt, your unworthiness? What did the Message teach you to expect?

    Calm down. You don’t need to spend money on philosophy. Read a few books. Think. Don’t assume those with the loudest voices are right; they’re usually in a position to be heard because they’ve reached a gross compromise, cut their losses and are now worried whether their endowment policy for salvation will mature before the lights go out. If you’re really unlucky, they will have their Legacy on their minds too and you’re twice the idiot you didn’t realise you were.

    This is grim and probably gets on my tits. I’d happily twitter about someone who could fornicate on an origami tissue-paper flowerbed without creasing it: more graceful balance, dignity and thought probably went into it.

    *It also strikes me as a rather unconventional way to spend your earned crust.

    Reply
  229. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 02, 2010

    “….. from the comments I have read so far is that you so called atheist are confused about life. …. God exits and someday he would come etc with a claimed posting by “Jesus the only savior “

    Would not claiming to be “Jesus the only saviour” be considered to be blasphemy?

    Reply
  230. Avatar
    Geoff Henson January 02, 2010

    With regard to Scott Grayban, comment 352, do you not understand how anyone doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy because logic dictates that we one believed in them? I’m afraid that your argument doesn’t hold water. Atheists don’t believe in God because his existence is unbelievable. It’s as simple as that.

    Here in the UK the only sensible thing this government has done is to abolish the blasphemy laws. Here’s hoping that Ireland sees sense one day as well. Maybe a mass protest with blasphemous banners would draw attention to the cause. They couldn’t arrest and fine everyone surely?

    Reply
  231. Avatar
    David January 02, 2010

    Something is blasphemous only within a certain group; outside the group an opinion is merely an opinion. This case is no different from the furore around the Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet – to most people they were merely cartoons. Indeed, it’s no different from anything that anyone might find offensive. If you don’t like something don’t read it, listen to it, or watch it. It seems to me that we are rapidly approaching the day when no one is allowed to express an opinion about anything for fear of causing offence.

    Reply
  232. Avatar
    Rick January 02, 2010

    Secularism must prevail for the sake of a rational existence! Good luck ;-)

    Reply
  233. Avatar
    Thomas De Brun January 02, 2010

    Whats next ? Evolution to be no longer taught in Ireland because it contradicts the bible …blasphemy.

    Reply
  234. Avatar
    Popsi January 02, 2010

    What a splendid waste of time, energy and intelligence devoting a lot of the little time you have on earth making fun of something you think is imaginary. Atheism is as rational as devoting your life to pissing somebody else off. A truly natural and civil state of affairs, just like the ‘good old days’ before somebody discovered we weren’t completely like bonobos or geese.

    But there is something to be said about protecting the ‘rights’ of those who want to do that. If you don’t like their crap, ignore it. It’s not like walking in a doggy doo,is it?

    Reply
  235. Avatar
    Ross January 02, 2010

    I say Amen! If political beliefs can be publicly debated, parodied, challenged and mocked, than so can religious beliefs. No special rights for believers!

    Reply
  236. Avatar
    Terry Brereton January 02, 2010

    I am Irish and over the years I thought the country was becoming more liberal and open minded. I refuted the blind dogma of the Catholic church years ago. There is no God and faith is no argument for belief. All religion is not only wrong but dngerously wrong – this law is evidence of that. I am entitled to repsect for my views and as an atheist I say all religion is bollocks and all clerics dself deluded fools. That is no God.
    Challenge the law – refuse to pay the fines – I am ashamed of our government.

    Reply
  237. Avatar
    Andrew Riddles January 02, 2010

    Keep up the good work. I am glad there are so many people who want to live in the 21st century, not the 12th. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  238. Avatar
    padraig January 02, 2010

    So we’ve found our way out of the recession…. a swear jar!

    Reply
  239. Avatar
    bonidrew January 02, 2010

    At Joe Quinn et al: Even though some of the comments are perhaps childish and crass, the comments wouldn’t even have been posted except for the introduction of the law. The law created these comments so it makes no sense concluding that “The more I read the comments here the more the new law sounds reasonable”. And while attempting to talk reason. I’m inclined to agree that Atheists sound more and more like their religious counterparts in their sometimes overtly arrogant stance that god does not exist. There is no convincing evidence either way so surely the logical conclusion is to be an Agnostic. Human arrogance especially when combined with a religious stance is what has caused most of the problems in our history, the “we’re right, everyone else is wrong” attitude that makes it so easy to belittle and dehumanize and seems to be a factor in modern Atheism but that is a different argument. My main point is that these swear words that seem (quite bafflingly) to upset some of the readers and posters simply wouldn’t be compiled, and you wouldn’t be reading them or being shocked by them if it hadn’t been for this law. I agree that respect is needed within a multicultural society but you cannot force people to respect others using laws, you can only attempt to educate.

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  240. Avatar
    Steven Molteno January 02, 2010

    As an Irish citizen living overseas it’s so embarrassing that we still have such stupid and medieval laws – it enforces the patronizing stereotypes of the Irish that I find so irritating and it’s a depressing step back into theocracy.
    What’s particularly worrying is that a lot of “educated?” Irish don’t see a problem with this sort of law. Why do some beliefs get legal protection from criticism but other equally deeply held beliefs don’t? Why isn’t my Atheism similarly protected from criticism? If I call it a religion is it then protected? Maybe next we should make it illegal to criticize somebody’s political beliefs too, then we can really jump wholeheartedly back into the middle ages! Texas here we come!

    I also didn’t know that the Irish constitution effectively forbade presidents/judges who weren’t adherents to one of the Abrahamic(monotheistic)religions! What do the poor Buddhists/Taoists/Jains/Hindus/Confucians/Animists etc.etc. do in Ireland? Are they cool with their second-class status? I doubt it!

    Reply
  241. Avatar
    Michael Green January 02, 2010

    Well done. I hope that UK secularists will support you not only morally but financially, if necessary, should you be prosecuted under this fatuous, repressive and inequitable law. We raised over £100,000 in a very short time simply to fund atheist adverts. Get in touch with the NSS and the BHA if you need some fund-raising.

    Someone in the first post describes the blasphemy law as belonging to the Dark Ages. Indeed it does and has been passed to protect beliefs which themselves belong in the Dark Ages.

    Reply
  242. Avatar
    Clive Russell January 02, 2010

    Hi. I used to be a convinced atheist. Then I discovered that I actually shared a core religious belief. Every religion believes that all other religions are wrong. And I agree with them!

    It is irrefutably impossible to believe that one religion is correct without necessarily believing that all others are wrong. (Otherwise what’s the point?) Blasphemy is simply the expression of that belief.

    The idea that a “God” who controls the universe and will dole out virgins, nirvana and hell as he sees fit needs a blasphemy law to look after his interests on earth is unutterably laughable.

    All this law will achieve is to protect the interests of those who control one particular religion. I should have thought the Irish people had all the evidence they needed in this past year of what such protection leads to. Certainly nothing that could be described as “godly”!

    And by the way, I’m even more convinced that atheism is the only world view that isn’t deeply offensive. There is no god. There is no hell. Get on with your life.

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  243. Avatar
    Bill - UK January 02, 2010

    The problem with this law is that, in itself, it is highly provocative. Mild-mannered believers in free speech, who would never previously have said boo to a goose, will be so outraged by this law that they will feel obliged to make obscene comments on religion (see previous posts)just to affirm their right to freedom of speech. This will provoke violent reaction from religius extremists and there will be blood on the streets. Perhaps, just to maintain some form of balance, the Irish government should pass a law making violent crime carried out in the name of religion a specific offence subject to harsher than normal penalties.

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  244. Avatar
    Antoine Sportiello January 02, 2010

    Good job! Blasphemy is a human’s right.

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  245. Avatar
    Martin Nell January 02, 2010

    The virulence of the anti-religious sentiments above, combined with the ECHR’s absurd logic in the recent case about the Cross in Italian state-funded schools, demonstrate clearly how freedom of speech and religious freedom can be abused, and how rabid atheists and secularists can inculcate as much if not more hatred in the world as extremists religious fanatics. The Church can be separate from the State, and the public separate from the private, but Heaven forbid if the State and secularism attempt to drive morality and faith out of the Public space. Freedom of religion includes freedom of its expression and its practice in public as well as in private, and freedom from fear requires that those who exercise freedom of speech must do so responsibly and not to the detriment of social cohesion. That is why some kind of law against blasphemy is appropriate, just as are laws against the incitement of racial hatred. If you think otherwise, you are the problem, not the solution. Atheists, and secularists, if rabid and intolerant, have as much capacity for bigotry as any zealot.

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  246. Avatar
    Matt January 02, 2010

    Interesting to see that many of comments on this article are sexual references to biblical figures. So what do the writers of this blog want atheism in Ireland to stand for – a reasoned belief that there is no god, or a vehicle for tasteless joke tellers to deliberately upset religious people through jokes like the above?

    I’m not religious either, and I would oppose this law too, but the Guardian article on this is sending a lot of traffic to this blog. And what will people (atheists included) in the UK think of the movement as they click to your blog from the article that portrays the movement as one of free speech? Are they likely to come away with a positive view of your supporters?

    Of course free speech suggests everyone should have the right to tell any joke they like, but there surely needs to be a point in such speech beyond the excuse that the law doesn’t protect atheist beliefs, so jokes against atheism are permissable. Surely you can rise above that and choose not to sling mud back.

    Reply
  247. Avatar
    jonah jones January 02, 2010

    maybe you should add Jesus Christ Superstar?

    “So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ.
    Prove to me that you’re divine, change my water into wine.
    That’s all you need do, and I’ll know it’s all true.
    Come on, King of the Jews.
    Jesus, you just won’t believe the hit you’ve made ’round here.
    You are all we talk about, the wonder of the year.
    Oh what a pity if it’s all a lie.
    Still, I’m sure that you can rock the cynics if you try.
    So, you are the Christ, you’re the great Jesus Christ.
    Prove to me that you’re no fool; walk across my swimming pool.
    If you do that for me, then I’ll let you go free.
    Come on, King of the Jews.”

    Reply
  248. Avatar
    Paul McGrath January 02, 2010

    A million Dubliners will be fined daily: Jaysus Christ!

    Reply
  249. Avatar
    Phil January 02, 2010

    Since no-one else seems to be saying so: one does not have to be an atheist to oppose this law and laws like it. I am not an atheist but I am vigorously opposed to any curtailment of freedom of speech based on the sensitivities of any particular group – be they a religion or something else. It is a fragile belief system that cannot take criticism, parody, or even outright vilification. Nothing on this site offends me even in the slightest.

    I can’t help but think laws like this are re-emerging in part because of Islam’s thin skin. If we have to tiptoe around the sensitivities of Muslims using the law, then Governments think they have to generalize this to all religion (otherwise Islam becomes a special case). So all of a sudden we have to be careful about *all* religious sensitivities and the thin end of the wedge has suddenly become fat and is splitting asunder our basic freedoms and the progress of the last thousand years.

    It is also – of course – a symptom of the ever-expanding winding back of hard-won civil liberties throughout Western countries in the name of “fighting terrorism” (when will people understand that lunatic militants cannot be appeased by pandering to their medieval sensitivities?), “protecting the children”(pity about eg the children in Darfur, no-one care about them), and using these specious justifications to apply technological advances to monitor and control the population (because they can).

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  250. Avatar
    Emmanuel Fujioka January 02, 2010

    You have my support from France: Ireland deserves more than that!

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  251. Avatar
    Diane January 02, 2010

    I like that Frank Zappa speaks of Santa Claus!

    In the end, I think this website is quite pitiful. To spend time purposefully trying to offend others is a waste of time and simply not compassionate. There are true human rights issues in this world that attempt to help others and this website and purpose is only meant to piss people off. You will get no where in trying to reverse this law by this website alone.

    Reply
  252. Avatar
    Paul Leclercq January 02, 2010

    I do agree – entirely – with the aims of Atheist Ireland; in the case certainly the law is indeed an ass.

    As for the comments here I think a lot of those commenting should grow up a bit.

    Too easy to say e.g. “fuck your God &c., &c.” Come on! being a naughty boy and blowing raspberries is simply not good enough. If atheists are to demonstrate that they are correct, then the language of the gutter is not the way to do it!

    Paul

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  253. Avatar
    Stuart J.E. Baird January 02, 2010

    Great to see a healthy reaction to a dangerous law.

    Zet said
    “But… this is ridiculous. The blasphemy law clearly is not about denying an expression of ideas, as ideas are not blasphemous. As is stated above, blasphemy is considered to be something “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage”. In essence then it is not a law which threatens to strangle a secular Ireland, but it is a law protecting the rights of the religious from having to deal with anyone who is “grossly abusive or insulting” to their most sacred beliefs.”

    Ideas are blasphemous. The earth is not the centre of the universe. The animals and plants around us were not made by a supreme being.
    After expressing the first idea, Galileo was tried in front of a religious court and placed under house arrest. On expressing the second idea teachers are subject to abuse from a well organised and funded religious fundamentalist campaign. There will always be some of the religious who find such ideas “grossly abusive or insulting to their most sacred beliefs.” The law should not protect these people from these ideas. Quite the reverse.

    Zet, you “don’t see how protecting the rights of religious people is worse than protecting the rights of people who want to be able to be “grossly abusive or insulting””.

    Do you think Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and/or Darwin, gentlemen all, wanted to be “grossly abusive or insulting” to (at the time) a majority, or at least a considerable minority, of their esteemed colleagues?

    The ideas they expressed were not intended to be insulting, and given my admiration for these people, I might choose to find it grossly insulting that you cast such aspersions on their characters. Should the law then censor you? Just because I am feeling especially sensitive this morning about protecting the good name of some of my favourite grey-haired role models?

    Should I be prevented from discussing the following because I know it is likely to outrage and offend those whose condition it describes?

    Viruses use our bodies to their own profit, multiplying and passing themselves on despite our best efforts to control them. Religions use our minds to their own profit, multiplying and passing themselves on. Clear thinking is our only defense from viruses of the mind.

    Think clearly for one moment about these rules, common to the most virulent religions:
    1. Don’t fight it. Don’t even think about questioning it.
    2. Pass it on to your children.
    3. Pass it on to other children (the younger the better) and anyone you meet.
    4. If you find someone who is resistant to the spread of your strain (due, for example, to inoculation with another strain), declare their beliefs blasphemous. This can then be used as an excuse to a) Kill them (old school) b) Kill their strain (burn their books). c) Kill their future (take them to court, and steal their time and money).

    At each step the religious strain in question profits at the expense of the minds and lives of the puppets it has taken over, and the well being of humanity. Blasphemy laws are the symptom which arises when the infection gets so bad it start to control the state as well as some of its citizens.

    My intention is not to cause outrage, so perhaps technically I have failed to be blasphemous. I simply believe we have a moral duty to protect our children and our cultures from viruses of the mind such as religion. The best protection is to make our mental immune systems aware of their existence and properties.

    Stuart

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  254. Avatar
    Alex January 02, 2010

    How is a religion defined. Does it have to be registered in Irelend before it can be blasphemed. Surely you could set up a protest religion similar to Pastafarianism where your religious belief is to offend all other religions, therefore becoming exempt from the silly laws!

    Reply
  255. Avatar
    Curtis Steinmetz January 02, 2010

    I wonder why this did not make the cut:

    “Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics.”
    Thomas Paine, Age of Reason

    Reply
  256. Avatar
    doze January 02, 2010

    As a northerner, I’d like to say: great work, Irish Atheists.

    Hopefully this insane legislation can be destroyed at he first legal challenge.

    Reply
  257. Avatar
    John Mul January 02, 2010

    I just found the image of jesus in my weetabix (the ALDI variety)
    I know a lot of people visit LIDL every week and wait for their missal in the local newspapers so I’m not trying to offend you but it must be obvious that you have made the wrong choice.
    Repent, you local ALDI will welcome you to the one true church.

    Reply
  258. Avatar
    Martin January 02, 2010

    and the fool said in his heart: there is no god……..

    Reply
  259. Avatar
    Patrick Fenlon January 02, 2010

    I am really pleased to learn about Ireland’s new blasphemy law.

    This is a well timed piece of legislation.

    As a stand-up comic new material is always difficult to find and now I have a whole season’s worth!

    Thanks guys!

    Reply
  260. Avatar
    Maccy January 02, 2010

    Thanks for publishing this. Shocked that I live in a country where such a crazy, backwards law was allowed to pass. I can’t imagine this is the kind of law anyone will be charged with (unless they ‘blaspheme’ in a very public place) but I’m disgusted that our Government allowed a law that denies a significant amount of our population our freedom of expression.

    Reply
  261. Avatar
    Fergal Harkin January 02, 2010

    Blasphemy is a divine right that no man made law can deny

    Reply
  262. Avatar
    Fin January 02, 2010

    European Convention on Human Rights

    Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, and to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

    2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Is it my reading of this piece of legislation but by denying protection to Atheists through a badly written law, the Irish government may have contravened any persons’ human rights by not enshrining beliefs in the protection?

    European Court of Human Rights anyone?

    Reply
  263. Avatar
    Jeff Wesley January 02, 2010

    If anyone ever finds him or herself in court charged with blasphemy then all the defence team need to do is call god as a witness to explain how hurt he/she/it feels.
    If they don`t turn up….case dismissed.

    What is the difference between god and Bono ?………….god does`nt walk down Grafton St thinking he`s Bono.

    Reply
  264. Avatar
    OneMoreCoffee January 02, 2010

    To Scott Grayban,

    Logic does not dictate that atheists had to believe in the first place. This is like saying because you are Jewish you believed in Islam. Shinto, Buddhism first before deciding it was not for you. You may indeed have expored these other faiths, but you certainly did not have to believe in them to discount them.

    You may find that atheists have explored more religions than the average person who has often accepted the first and main religion imposed on them by their parents. When one sits down to study a new religion, one does not start from the perspective of believing. You start with books and people, and examine the tenacity of the content, beliefs and behavior.

    Most societies around the world force some kind of god upon children at an early age. Maybe for a few years as a child you accept this blindly because the adults are telling you, but as you get older you should naturally start to question.

    Most Jewish people are Jewish because their parents were Jewish.. not because they found and selected Judaism independently for themselves as a good match for their personal beliefs – which incidentally were themselves largely shaped by Jewish parents and community. One can say the same for most religions – hence the demography and distribution of religion around the world that is no doubt aided by wars and spreading the word.

    The ability to physically see oxygen molecules with the naked eye is not inherent to human beings, but one can however prove or visualize their existence or lack thereof by scientific means – just like you can perform a naked body scan and show explosives or lack thereof on the body of a person that could not be perceived by our naked eye. God on the other hand cannot be proven or disproven. There is no God test – if you make one then you will most likely win the Nobel prize. That is why we say that you have faith or belief in God. There is no more evidence for your God than there is for Nordic and Ancient Greek Gods – which I am sure the majority consider to be medieval.

    The Irish government would effectively like to prosecute people for bad mouthing Thor, Aphrodite, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Mr. Anderson (AKA Neo). They all have one thing in common – they are fictional characters created by man. I believe that there were in fact approximately 390,000 Jedi in UK in 2001 census, surpassing official records at the time for Judaism. 14 Sith were incidentally recorded in Scotland, so take care if you are up that way. Matrixism also apparently has about 16,000 followers. Just because these stories were written in present day it does not make them any more viable than stories written by chaps in the middle east 2000 years or so back.

    Moreover the religion that the Irish Government hold most dear has over the ages persecuted so-called witches, scientists, opposed equality for women, opposed homosexuality, gone to war in the name of its God. One only has to consider that Gerry Adams, Tony Blair, George W Bush, Gordon Brown are all so-called good church going Christians to appreciate that religion and politics should never ever mix. One can say the same for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ariel Sharon, and Benjamin Netanyahu. All people who use religion to motivate the mindless minions to kill – something that should be against any truly good persons heart irresepective of religion.

    My sympathy for the Irish. Glad that I am not subject to such a ridiculous law.

    Reply
  265. Avatar
    Bob January 02, 2010

    To all the true believers, be they Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Scientologist, Hindu, Pagan, or of any other faith: I am an Atheist. I do not, as you misrepresent, believe there is no God. For me to have a belief would require there to be evidence to consider and come to a conclusion based upon. There is no evidence of a God, therefore there IS NO GOD. This is not belief, this is TRUTH. Provide credible, documentable, and verifiable evidence of a God (divine spirit, alien parasite, etc.), and only then will I be able to make any choice that would cause my atheism to be a belief. Until then, if your faith is so fragile as to not withstand others speaking against it, if your faith is so delicate that you must redefine non-believers before you can debate them, then I truly hope that your belief in an after-life is enough to sustain you, although I sincerly hope that some day you will join those of us who prefer to find meaning in the world around us.

    Reply
  266. Avatar
    Rick Yagodich January 02, 2010

    “Monotheism is the epitomical hate crime.”

    The evidence to support this is embodied in this absurd law.

    And if they don’t get that, then the simple premise of monotheism should suffice: believe as we tell you to, or you are damned to an eternity of torment in Hell. There is no love in monotheism, only a form of dominion and control.

    Reply
  267. Avatar
    Republibot 3.0 January 02, 2010

    In my country we’ve got bluelaws that were intended to defend public morality – Only Jews can have businesses open on a Sunday, no alcoholic sales on weekends, women in bikinis are not allowed more than 100 yards from the beach “Unless they are over 200 pounds, or accompanied by a man,” and so on (These are all real laws, by the way) – but no one has prosecuted them in living memory, and the only reason they’re on the books is because it’s not worth the hassle to remove them. There’s an understanding that if anyone *did* try to invoke one of these, they’d be laughed out of court.

    Is it possible that your Antiblasphemy law is a poorly-worded variation on this theme? Your government says that its purpose is to circumvent religious intolerance in your Constitution, and they allow “Certain defences” to cases arising from this. I’m not trying to make some socratic point, I’m legitimately asking because I’m a dopey American and don’t know squat about Irish government or law, but I’m curious to know.

    Presumably, if the purpose of the law is as they say, then they won’t bother to prosecute you.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a believer myself, but I strenuously believe in free speech, and the law seems stupid to me. Not that it matters (Stupid American, and all), but I’m with you on this one.

    Reply
  268. Avatar
    Chris - CT USA January 02, 2010

    Adding to the voices of sensibility, it does seem a shame that so many thoughtful responses are insulted by so many vulgar and crass responses.

    I, for one, have some research to do as it would be interesting to understand the reasoning behind this seemingly extraordinarily regressive piece of legislation. Whatever I discover, it seems very unlikely that it will make sense!

    Reply
  269. Avatar
    Ian Sankey January 02, 2010

    Good job. As you say, law should protect people, not ideas…

    Reply
  270. Avatar
    David Owen January 02, 2010

    Dear Irish Atheists,

    You have published matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by many religions and you have intentionally caused outrage among a substantial number of adherents of those religions.

    The Irish Government would be failing in its constitutional duty if it were not to charge you with offences under the new laws of blasphemy.

    You should be fined.

    Does this help?

    Cheers

    DO

    Reply
  271. Avatar
    gidoc January 02, 2010

    First off, I disagree with this law. However, it’s exceedingly hypocritical that those who accuse religions of intolerance are themselves guilty of such vitriolic intolerance towards people of faith.

    Granted, much harm has been done in the name of religion. However, a lot of good has been done, and continues to be done by millions of people and organizations of faith. Denial of this fact is either ignorance, self-deceit, or downright malice!

    Any system, faith-based or not, that attacks others for their beliefs should not be acceptable in the 21st century. Unfortunately, many atheists are starting to morph into the religious zealots rail against.

    Reply
  272. Avatar
    Sanne de Wilde January 02, 2010

    I hope you will manage to get this ridiculous law scrapped ASAP.

    Good luck with this site, keep it up!

    With kind regards from the Netherlands.

    Reply
  273. Avatar
    Stephen Armstrong January 02, 2010

    My own favourite has always been “Religion is man’s attempt to communicate with the weather” although the Gene Roddenbury quote above made me smile.

    Having said that, I do not understand why some people are confusing profanity with blasphemy – the fact that you can spell a four letter word is hardly a reason to celebrate it.

    A great many people around the world have found huge comfort in their religious beliefs in times of hardship and yet many of the comments here are only looking at the negative aspects of Man and equating that with the group they belong to. The Irish government seem to be trying to legislate against a hate crime but by excluding a group of people from this legislation it becomes a hate crime in itself.

    If anyone is interested, my own belief is that Machiavelli’s view that the ends justified the means is God’s only defence for not stopping evil which, by His job description (Omnipotent Omnipresent Omniscient), He is certainly able to do. Therefore, even if God exists (which none of us know with certainty), He is not worthy of Worship.

    Reply
  274. Avatar
    Andy January 02, 2010

    Jehova!

    Reply
  275. Avatar
    Patrick January 02, 2010

    I gave up all religion for Lent many years ago…and continue to do so.

    Reply
  276. Avatar
    gidoc January 02, 2010

    First off, I disagree with this law. However, it’s exceedingly hypocritical that those who accuse religions of intolerance are themselves guilty of such vitriolic intolerance towards people of faith.

    Granted, much harm has been done in the name of religion. However, a lot of good has been done, and continues to be done by millions of people and organizations of faith. Denial of this fact is either ignorance, self-deceit, or downright malice!

    Any system, faith-based or not, that attacks others for their beliefs should not be acceptable in the 21st century. Unfortunately, many atheists are starting to morph into the religious zealots they rail against.

    Reply
  277. Avatar
    Teresa Sadler January 02, 2010

    I used to be in support of the Irish governing all of Ireland, however, given the level of stupidity displayed by Irish politicians in the passing of this law I’ve changed my mind.

    Is it April 1st??

    Reply
  278. Avatar
    JangoF January 02, 2010

    from one of my favourite movies, Dogma:

    “I’m telling you man, this ceremony’s a big mistake.”

    “The Catholic church does not make mistakes!”

    “Please! What about the church’s silent consent to the slave trade? And its platform of non-involvement during the holocaust?”

    “Alright, Mistakes were made.”

    Reply
  279. Avatar
    Chris, London, UK January 02, 2010

    Good luck on opposing such an unpleasant, retrograde and ridiculous law. How can I donate toward the campaign?

    Reply
  280. Avatar
    Peta January 02, 2010

    I’m adding these points to the collection of illegal blasphemy:

    The Catholic church should be held responsible and liable for all the senseless rape perpetrated by their employees whilst having children under their care. Like any organisation – they have (and always have had) a duty of care to implement strategies to protect any children under their supervision. Instead of doing this, they have passed the blame, denied and covered up the raping of children. I see that some, even here, are claiming ‘but there are atheist pedophiles too!’ and I say that it doesn’t even come into the debate. The Catholic Church have not only created power play environments that increase the instances of child rape and sexual assault – they have facilitated horrible, misdirected sexual urges by forcing abstinence upon their employees. All in the name of God. If God existed he would have stopped the torturous torment of these thousands of innocent children in his name. No, he doesn’t exist.

    Nor does he exist for the millions of Africans dying and dead from HIV/AIDS. The church instructed millions of people to not use condoms. They spread lethal lies about safe sex when they had a moral community responsibility to save lives. They did they opposite. Their dictatorial doctrine murdered millions. When a religion is so very widely revered that it is the sole source of information and instruction for a large group of people – it should be held responsible to the same extent of governments. They should be invaded and brought to justice – in the name of human safety.

    These churches bring intolerance, hate, xenophobia and death to the modern world. Their negative impact far exceeds any ‘charity work’ they do. In fact, the starving people of the 3rd world would be able to eat more if their religious charities weren’t spending so much money hiring missionaries, printing bibles and building chapels.

    Hold God’s children responsible for the horrible mess they have made on this earth.

    Reply
  281. Avatar
    Trevor January 02, 2010

    I just want to know why religion does not appear as a subcategory of Delusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the World Health Organisation’s ICD-10, Chapter V, Section F00-F99, Mental and behavioural disorders, because, clearly, that’s where religion belongs.

    Oh, wait, maybe it IS actually covered:

    DSM-IV: http://www.psychnet-uk.com/dsm_iv/delusional_disorder.htm

    “Delusional Disorder

    “This psychotic mental disorder is diagnosed when prominent nonbizarre delusions are present for at least one month and the symptom criteria for Schizophrenia have never been met. Hallucinations may be present, but auditory or visual hallucinations cannot be prominent. Olfactory or tactile hallucinations may be prominent, but only if they are related to the content of the delusion. Psychosocial functioning may not be impaired and any co-occurring mood episodes must be of relatively brief duration.

    “Diagnostic criteria for 297.1 Delusional Disorder
    “(cautionary statement)

    “A. Nonbizarre delusions (i.e., involving situations that occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, infected, loved at a distance, or deceived by spouse or lover, or having a disease) of at least 1 month’s duration.

    “B. Criterion A for Schizophrenia has never been met. Note: Tactile and olfactory hallucinations may be present in Delusional Disorder if they are related to the delusional theme.

    “C. Apart from the impact of the delusion(s) or its ramifications, functioning is not markedly impaired and behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre.

    “D. If mood episodes have occurred concurrently with delusions, their total duration has been brief relative to the duration of the delusional periods.

    “E. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.
    “Specify type (the following types are assigned based on the predominant delusional theme):
    “Erotomanic Type: delusions that another person, usually of higher status, is in love with the individual
    “Grandiose Type: delusions of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity, or special relationship to a deity or famous person
    “Jealous Type: delusions that the individual’s sexual partner is unfaithful
    “Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way
    “Somatic Type: delusions that the person has some physical defect or general medical condition
    “Mixed Type: delusions characteristic of more than one of the above types but no one theme predominates
    “Unspecified Type

    “Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Copyright 2000 American Psychiatric Association”

    ICD-10: apps.who.int/classifications/apps/icd/icd10online/ section F22:

    “F22: Persistent delusional disorders
    “Includes a variety of disorders in which long-standing delusions constitute the only, or the most conspicuous, clinical characteristic and which cannot be classified as organic, schizophrenic or affective. Delusional disorders that have lasted for less than a few months should be classified, at least temporarily, under F23.-.

    “F22.0: Delusional disorder
    “A disorder characterized by the development either of a single delusion or of a set of related delusions that are usually persistent and sometimes lifelong. The content of the delusion or delusions is very variable. Clear and persistent auditory hallucinations (voices), schizophrenic symptoms such as delusions of control and marked blunting of affect, and definite evidence of brain disease are all incompatible with this diagnosis. However, the presence of occasional or transitory auditory hallucinations, particularly in elderly patients, does not rule out this diagnosis, provided that they are not typically schizophrenic and form only a small part of the overall clinical picture.”

    or maybe section F24:

    “F24: Induced delusional disorder
    “A delusional disorder shared by two or more people with close emotional links. Only one of the people suffers from a genuine psychotic disorder; the delusions are induced in the other(s) and usually disappear when the people are separated.”

    One might argue that DSM and ICD-10 have demonstrated that most of the world’s population exhibit the symptoms of Delusional Disorder.

    Reply
  282. Avatar
    Rational Being January 02, 2010

    Irish lawmakers should be commended for their sensible priorities. Frail, defenseless gods need to be protected from offense lest their holy representatives stop invoking them to justify the rape and torture of wicked, fiendish children. How many pedophile priests have been fined 25,000 Euros?

    Reply
  283. Avatar
    The John January 02, 2010

    There is no god, therefore we don’t need this law!

    Reply
  284. Avatar
    Efros January 02, 2010

    So what the law proposes is that blasphemy is to be fined. Blasphemy is lack of respect for the sacred, so the Koran and the Bible are blasphemous. The Koran admits the existence of Jesus Christ but portrays him as a prophet but not the son of god, the Bible portrays JC as the son of god. Ban both books and take the respective clerics to court and fine the bastids!

    Reply
  285. Avatar
    Toby January 02, 2010

    “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not care to support it – so that its professors are obliged to call for help from a civil power – it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin

    Reply
  286. Avatar
    Scott in KC January 02, 2010

    Wow, all of these “enlightened” comments merely reinforce the validity of such a law. It always makes me laugh when so-called atheists (there is no such thing–you simply believe in your own god) get worked up over traditional religion. If you believe sincerely that God does not exist, why would you ever have any reason to blaspheme? It seems rather sadistic to do so. Where is your famed tolerance for those who are believers? Ireland has spectacularly shed its Christian identity in the last two decades. What threat does religion possibly present to you? I think what is going on here is that a nerve has been hit. The raw hatred expressed in most of these comments is alarming, disgusting and insulting. It does not appear that there is any sort of rational argument going on. Typing in a bunch of quotes from famous people whose knowledge of religion is minimal at best does not prove anything. I suppose it makes you feel better, though, to enlist your saints in this battle. Still, I think most atheists are wannabe believers who do not have the intellectual courage to really challenge their assumptions and prejudices.

    Anyway, you all can stop the heavy breathing. I cannot imagine that the pagans at the EU will allow this law to last for long or that would actually be enforced.

    Reply
  287. Avatar
    Alex January 02, 2010

    Wonderful !
    Showing the non-sense of a law is really great !
    I hope european politicians will start understanding the message.

    Reply
  288. Avatar
    Malcolm January 02, 2010

    I don’t understand! Richard Dawkins is a scientist. He has accurately described the actions of God in the Old Testament using entirely valid words from the English language. He has not intentionally sought to belittle God or use abusive language like many of the other quotations. In his various publications and TV broadcasts he has sought objectively to highlight the lack of facts and evidence surounding religious doctrine. How is that blasphemous?

    Many of the contributors to this site have used entirely unacceptable language. If we all apply the discipline of objective analysis and the use of appropriate languauge, this problem would not be so bad. I am an atheist, but I would not seek to insult someone who is religious. Rather, I would scrutinize their beliefs and attempt to reveal the lack of substance to them.

    Lastly, who moderates this site? No wonder atheists who hold genuine Humanist beliefs struggle to make themselves heard when this sort of nonsense accompanies a valid public campaign!

    Reply
  289. Avatar
    James January 02, 2010

    “If you believe sincerely that God does not exist, why would you ever have any reason to blaspheme? It seems rather sadistic to do so.”

    Fair point. But is it not blasphemous to express the belief that God doesn’t exist?

    Great list of quotes.

    Reply
  290. Avatar
    Paul Leclercq January 02, 2010

    Malcolm @ post No 456: I agree with you.

    However there is a vast difference between a religion which says “join us” and one which says “Join us or we kill you!”

    If there must be a law, then let it at least address this issue.

    Nevertheless, from Le Marquis de Montaigne: “Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen.”

    Paul

    Reply
  291. Avatar
    H. Davids January 02, 2010

    I’m looking forward to the official response; is it possible that abuse-report from not too long ago is blasphemous too? After all, there was a threat of excommunication for insiders blabbing about it, so with a little twist the authors of this report are in for it as well, which would be fun in this case, as the Irish government is indicted in it as well as the RC. This some can of worms!! Here in Holland we have the same kind of religious nuts as you do, I’m afraid, and in the government as well.

    Reply
  292. Avatar
    Ron January 02, 2010

    Fantastic!
    This is a ridiculous law and the people who put it into place can not be trusted!

    Reply
  293. Avatar
    Niko January 02, 2010

    Greetings to Irish Atheists from Slovenija.You have my full atheistic support.

    Reply
  294. Avatar
    bilbawbaggins January 02, 2010

    To all of ye with comments along the lines of “it’s childish/obnoxious/whatever to be making offensive comments towards those of religious belief etc” you’re missing the point. I myself made such a comment earlier on this page not because I have any hatred towards the religious, but to break this ridiculous law. If I hadn’t made the comment to be offensive, I would not have broken the law. To those who say I should not have a right to be offensive, I say yes I fucking well should have. You’re more than welcome to try to offend me. I believe in free speech, and yes, that includes your right to it.

    Reply
  295. Avatar
    nick manning January 02, 2010

    nice work! droppin’ loads all over blasphemy laws

    Reply
  296. Avatar
    James January 02, 2010

    At Commenter no. 465

    What are the devil’s lusts? Is sexual lust one of them? Or is that too literal an interpretation?

    Reply
  297. Avatar
    Alan Dawson January 02, 2010

    This law is another depressing example of civilisation in regression. Below is a blasphemous song I wrote a few months ago. You could get some of your members to record it and release it (suggested tune: Habanera from Carmen). That might make more impact than intelligent words. I’d genuinely like to know the answers to these questions. Good luck with the campaign.

    God Maybe Knows

    Before creation was god on vacation
    Or did he like living in the dark
    Was he lazy or somewhat hazy
    Did he struggle to locate the spark

    Did he plan it or did he chance it
    Or was he pressurised to advance it
    Trying to meet some higher targets
    Like bringing light to distant stargates

    And was he happy with the outcome
    Or would he really rather be without some
    Problems of the big ignition
    Like locust swarms and nuclear fission

    Did he like it or did he lump it
    And does he ever want to blow his trumpet
    Did he then create another
    Just a plaything for his younger brother

    And has he ever read the bible
    After all it says he’s liable
    And does he get fed up and bored
    Knowing where all that matter’s stored

    Does he laugh or sing or play
    And does he sometimes hesitate and say
    I might be wrong, what’s bad is good
    I fear I’ve been misunderstood

    And does he ever feel inclined
    To use his body and not his mind
    To catch the buzz of unknown pleasures
    A well-earned break from weighty measures

    Does he eat or sleep or drink
    And does he ever jolt awake and think
    I’ve had enough, I’m getting out
    My old beliefs have turned to doubt

    And does he study maths and science
    To make a change from self-reliance
    And did he speed up evolution
    So he could dance to jazz/rock fusion

    And if he said the world was broken
    Well I doubt if he’d be only joking
    And if he can’t or will not mend it
    Maybe one day he’ll abruptly end it

    (c) Alan Dawson 2009
    Usable by any atheist for any intelligent purpose

    Reply
  298. Avatar
    Ali Hamze January 02, 2010

    It is a Shame to hear that in the Land that knew religion and Celtic values and humanist beliefs before most religions ever existed has to endure a 25.000 euro fine for speaking its mind. If Atheists scare the status quo that much and it has reached a point were democracy allows such laws to be passed then I say God has proven he does not exist through these actions and this law that shows and proves how weak God and Church are to be in need of Laws to protect it. If God did exist, he/she would never preach Love without acting out his love and equality and that being said I demand the following:
    Let there be a Law Passed that would Fine anyone who ever dares Preach God or any Word of God. Since No one can prove his existence it should be made clear that if anyone dares claim to know him/her or his/her word be fined 25.000 euros.
    Love , Religion, Humanity it all comes down to actions and the very foundation of it all is Equality.
    So IRISH LAWMAKERS give an example to the World, we’re watching and listening and waiting to see, walk the walk.

    Speak your mind and let Fear Fear itself …

    Beirut – Lebanon .

    Reply
  299. Avatar
    Tom R. January 02, 2010

    OK, the law is a joke — I get that.
    And [pick a religion] is a joke — I get that.
    But if the vitriolic, animal-like behaviour displayed here is typical of the atheist mindset, then
    I do not want
    I do not want
    Your atheism.

    Reply
  300. Avatar
    Christian Poppycock January 02, 2010

    I’m thankful that there are organizations like the Irish Atheists taking a stand against this kind of theocratic nonsense. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Good luck with the campaign!

    Reply
  301. Avatar
    Michael January 02, 2010

    I am of the opinion that the blasphemy law was a bad idea.

    I think that everyone should be legally entitled to say whatever they like, and others to respond.

    If someone really wants to advance an opinion (e.g. “I don’t believe in God” or “I think you should consider removing religion from your life”), I say they should be free to do so without fear of any other than a verbal response.

    If people are unable to contribute urbanely to this post, they would probably be better off going for a walk, getting an education or looking away from their own navels from time to time. Barstool-guttersnipe rudeness comes more from anger than from having anything interesting to say, and it’s no more attractive or engaging than government muzzling.

    In reality, there isn’t much to say about faith, apart from “It’s absurd” / “I know, but I believe anyway”. Why not avoid hysteria, focus on the issue at hand, and criticise the government rather than believers? Many more of the latter would surely come on board, thus hastening the demise of this new law.

    Reply
  302. Avatar
    Jane January 02, 2010

    95% of Irish people follow a religion. The other 5% donot and I wish them well. This fourm represents the 0.0001% of the population who are crackpots that have an opinion on everything and will go all out to tell everyone. Relax and chill out everyone. If religion is not your thing, then why fight the will of the people. Say nothing and live happy or go live abroad.
    Is this law really effecting your day to day life or do you just want to be offended.

    God bless you all

    Reply
  303. Avatar
    Welshman January 02, 2010

    quote from Steven Armstrong
    “Having said that, I do not understand why some people are confusing profanity with blasphemy – the fact that you can spell a four letter word is hardly a reason to celebrate it.”

    That you do not understand this [you surely do?] shows that you do not understand the fundamental of humanity. That all people are not born intellectually equal. Some people even believe in fairies LOL.
    Still, this has been a most entertaining way of wasting an afternoon. If I were Irish I would be more diappointed then entertained. The clever and thoughtful posts, and I include quite a few containing vulgarity, have far outnumbered the juvenile or the intellectually challenged.

    Reply
  304. Avatar
    Sean January 02, 2010

    Hello,

    I would like to state for the record that I fully support the introduction of this blasphemy law in the Republic of Ireland, as I live in the UK and this will make even the people in Northern Ireland seem reasonable and sane by comparison.

    I would also like to see this law extended in several ways:

    1. The punishment ordered by the court should be as defined by the religion being blasphemed against. If there is any conflict between religions, then the most severe punishment should be used – as this will probably keep everybody happy. If the punishment involves burning, then the CO² produced must be added to the punishee’s final Carbon Footprint bill, payable by the family, relatives or estate.
    2. The courts of man should not be involved in the prosecution of blasphemers. Instead the entire process, from accusation, charges, though trial (if required), sentencing and punishment, should be carried out by the Religious Leaders and Authorities as recognised by their own worshippers.
    3. To ensure that the beliefs of every religious group are respected, no person may perform any act in public which is against the beliefs of any religion. Examples include, but not limited to:
    * Not working on the Sabbath.
    * All women must cover their hair in public. The only exception to this are bald women and women wearing wigs made using man-made fibres.
    * Men must not cut their hair or shave their beards.
    * The windows of all Hair Dressers must be boarded up in case a man should look inside and see women with their heads uncovered.
    * No restaurant or cafeteria must not serve food or drink that is forbidden by religion. This applies to anywhere that food is served, including Burger Vans, Soup Kitchens, Meals-on-Wheels, Hotel room service and Pubs. It would also be illegal to eat those foods in public. This would mean that:
    o Only fish (or beaver) can be served on Fridays. Note: any fish twelve inches in length or longer may not be eaten.
    o No dishes containing Beef, Pork, Dog, Primate, Rabbit, Hare, Shellfish, Gamefowl/Landfowl, Duck, Snail, Crab, or Camel.
    o No drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
    * Use of electricity from a mainline or the public grid is forbidden.
    * Public displays of photographs/images containing one or more people are prescribed.
    * The playing or performance of Country & Western music is taboo.
    * Line Dancing is verboten.
    4. The practices of all religions must be observed by everyone in public, regardless of their own beliefs or religion.
    5. It is the responsibility of every person to practice their skill with a light sabre, and ensure that it is charged and fully functional at all times.

    Reply
  305. Avatar
    Jeffrey January 02, 2010

    Recent news: Man shot in an attempt at retribution for blasphemy. Perhaps this law is intended to keep the populace quietened so that Islamists have no grievance – no cause to, for example, enter a cartoonist’s home with an axe and with murder in his heart?? Wouldn’t the Irish rather proudly protect their right to free discourse with the spirit that the Danes show rather than cower behind this suppressive law in a vain attempt to present a preclusively respectful mask to these delusional zealots?

    Reply
  306. Avatar
    Orbital Mind January 02, 2010

    Belief is faith in a choice, our own life’s choices are driven by people and experiences which may or may not be shared or believed by others. Ultimately there is NO right or wrong, all there is, is choice. And if a judgement is to be made deciding whether or not we’ve made the wrong choices exists then that divinity with its glorious omnipotence will be tasked to realize the common misinterpretation of experience by beings not so divine in nature.

    Reply
  307. Avatar
    Anita January 02, 2010

    I have to admit that when I first read about the blasphemy law in Ireland I thought it was some bizarre joke.
    That is clearly not the case & the Irish government appear to be intent on making the country a laughing stock.

    As an Athiest Englishwoman (who is happy to let anyone worship any fictional character/being of their choice) I fully support Athiest Ireland in their cause. I hope the the Irish government will “see the light” and one again allow true freedom of speech.

    I have read (nearly) all the quotes on here. Some excellent thought provocking comments and quotes but (regretfully) far too many junenile ones.

    Good Luck.

    Reply
  308. Avatar
    martin James January 02, 2010

    Why are you so scarred of religion? it provides people with a guidance to life and happiness. Anyway most o you are doomed to burn in hell for your constant denial and mocking of all faiths and the people that practice. You simple minded fools. Thanks

    Reply
  309. Avatar
    ken January 02, 2010

    EVERYTHING is offensive to someone, making expression illegal stops discussion. People of faith should be able to talk about their religion not to convert but to understand each other. Having people make fun of your belief is the price of a free society. If you can’t offend ANYONE, then no one can speak out for or against any religion. What if someone has a symbol (like a cross) displayed in their home that I can see? Or I see someone reading a book that offends? Or a leader says something stupid like “God bless (insert country here)”?

    Ireland has made religion illegal, good for them.

    Reply
  310. Avatar
    Sinéad January 02, 2010

    The fact remains that in Ireland, atheists, humanists and fans of common moral sense are a minority who have long endured the pervasive religious overtones of our culture. We use god to say hello in our native language and the influence of the catholic church on our constitution and legislature, ensures children are better protected in utero than post-partum.
    That in the 21st century, in an era when science and technology are major contributors to our daily lives and our economy , it is downright laughable that rational, firmly held beliefs, and their expression are deemed a civil tort, punishable monetarily.

    Yes, some of the material on this page is inflammatory, and graphic and uses unsavoury language- it is a act of defiance, and if it discomfits you in any way, it has succeeded!

    No freedom of religion will eclipse my right to freedom of antireligious thought.
    No blasphemy law will make me less vociferous in its expression.

    Reply
  311. Avatar
    David Brittain January 02, 2010

    It’s a strange world where critising someone’s political philosophy is called “freedom of expression”, whilst critising someone’s religious philosophy is called “blasphemy”. Good luck from Bedfordshire Humanists. We are with you 100%…

    Reply
  312. Avatar
    Michael Russell January 02, 2010

    For those who are concerned about the language being used in these comments, I thought I’d share my take on it.

    There are generally four levels of blasphemy.

    The first is the puerile: “Fsck God and the brain who came up with him.” It fits the basic definition of blasphemy and while those who actually think are more offended by the language, simple people can and will be deeply offended by this simple statement.

    The second is the deconstruction: “The Christian God cannot exist because it is internally inconsistent. Omnipresence and omnipotence contradict each other at various points.” This also fits the basic definition of blasphemy as it directly attacks the belief. Fewer people are deeply offended by the deconstructions, but it does lead to extremely bad theology to try to weasel around the blocks as provided.

    The third is artistic. You see many examples in the comments above from the likes of Tim Minchin, George Carlin, Tom Lehrer, and more. The Danish cartoons are prime examples of works of art being deeply offensive to a religion, so much that there are fatwas outstanding and even an attempted attack within the last twenty-four hours.

    The last is reality. Reality itself is blasphemous to many religions and leads to all sorts of hand-waving and rigmarole. Evolution has mountains of empirical evidence showing that it really happens, but because the conclusions one must inevitably draw from it, many people of faith attack it as a religion in itself because those conclusions are blasphemous against their religion. Condom use is deeply blasphemous to the RCC because it allows sex without reproduction, and so they attack its use in Africa where they are trying to use condoms to restrict the spread of an AIDS epidemic. A direct translation of God’s name (depending on who you talk to, Elohim, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) from Hebrew is offensive to many Orthodox Jews who use “Adonai” as a fill-in. Referring to Mohammad’s marriage to a 9-year-old as pedophilia is deeply offensive to Muslims. The theory of gravity deeply offends die-hard Pastafarians.

    I can understand being offended by a puerile comment. I can even understand being offended by a deconstruction. But when reality offends, there is no hope for your point of view.

    Sincerely,
    Michael Russell
    Dallas, Texas

    Reply
  313. Avatar
    Paul - South Africa January 02, 2010

    Stone the sinner and free his mind
    The prophets are all around they seek to save mankind
    They call it the Good Book, well it’s a shame
    How can so much evil could be done in a good book’s name

    Reply
  314. Avatar
    Denbo January 02, 2010

    Is it possible to use the blasphemy laws to your own advantage? Say if a priest is heard bad-mouthing atheism, can you take him to court?

    Reply
  315. Avatar
    Polo January 02, 2010

    Thank you, Ireland, for giving the world something to laugh about. Did someone actually sit down and think they were accomplishing something with this law?
    Jesus Palomino on a popsicle stick!

    Reply
  316. Avatar
    Frank Gillespie January 02, 2010

    God is an assumption based on premise. Looking about and not understanding what they see (a condition we all start from and, hopefully, a

    condition we disabuse ourselves of with logic and reason), too many people assume there ‘MUST’ be a god because how else did everything get

    here? Good question. Definitely the wrong conclusion drawn.

    If there is a god, it is so far beyond our ability to understand that no one … not me, not you, not the pope in Rome … can ever make a claim that

    they ‘know the mind of god’. If there is a god, everything we know about it is described by a logical, rational science. Prayerful, wishful, hopeful

    thinking won’t do it.

    How do people come to the conclusion that they have an invisible friend in the sky that will suspend the known laws of the Universe to intercede

    on their behalf to do whatever they pray for? They place their ‘faith’ in silly children’s stories because it’s easier and modern civilization has few

    consequences for people who believe such nonsense. Put that thoroughly lunatic relationship with reality into our ancestors and we would never

    have survived as a species.

    It is no coincidence that religion took root in its present fearful form as we went from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one. Indeed,

    many scholars ascribe the metaphorical ‘Adam & Eve’ origins story to this transformation. In brief: Once you’ve eaten from the tree of knowledge

    (learn how to farm) you can’t go back to the Garden of Eden (return to the hunter-gatherer ways).

    Once we were capable of producing more food than we could eat we were relieved of our constant need to seek food and had the spare time to

    contemplate our circumstances and understand them in an abstract way. That ‘spare time’, however, would be co-opted by the social

    manipulators (kings and priests) and the rise of civilization would be made by the ‘subjects’ of these psychopaths as they build the great cities

    and monuments of ancient times.

    In spite of the reasons given for doing this (‘to the greater glory of god’) logic and reason had to be used to understand the engineering

    necessary. Reason and religion uneasily coexisted because, in spite of the threat presented by logical and rational subjects, the exquisite

    constructs of those times resulted in more power for the kings and priests. Then Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the church door ushering in

    the Protestant Reformation and its rationalism. It’s been downhill for the kristers ever since.

    Religion succeeds because it appeals to the dimwitted, the intellectually lazy and their manipulators, the clergy. The clergy know the real story

    and understand that there isn’t a nickel to be made by preaching logic and reason. Logic and reason quench the fires of fear and fear, sad to say,

    is big, big money.

    I believe humans, as a part of their survival strategy, have a natural faith. We can’t know everything so we have to assume a lot; take it ‘on faith’.

    This isn’t bad but, to be successful, it requires that there be a basis in fact for the faith. It required of our ancestors that when a decision was

    made based on insufficient available information (virtually every decision) the ‘faith’ in that decision was rooted in previous experience and logical

    ‘hunches’. It was ever critical in their hunt for game.

    As an example, if our ancestors, in pursuit of prey, were forced to make a decision to cross one of several hills in the pursuit of food and, as a

    result of their decision they cross a hill where there’s no game in the valley, by the time they get to the alternate hill the game likely has moved on

    and they face the reality of starvation. Early man required a finely honed sense of ‘faith’ in his decisions that were based on the real world. He

    may not have known with certainty that the game was over a particular hill, but faith in his intuition, supported by the fact that he was right on

    earlier occasions, was critical to their success as a species. And did I mention this faith and hunches had to be ‘spot on’ almost all the time

    because even a minor error could destroy an entire tribe.

    Natural faith (not to be confused with religious faith) is still a crucial part of our lives. An example of modern, natural faith would be if you loan me

    dollar and I don’t pay it back you most likely won’t starve or be seriously impacted by the loss. But you have lost ‘faith’ in me … I can no longer be

    trusted. Faith and the resultant trust is a critical aspect of our modern civilization. Nothing would work today without this ‘faith’ resulting in trust.

    Put this faith and trust into the psychopaths of religion and political power and all manner of heinous activities result.

    Religion is about unfettered power based on imposed ignorance, pure and simple. It is much easier to control a simple-minded crowd than an

    intellectual one. Thus, the simple-minded are encouraged to conflate the things they don’t understand (virtually everything) with a mystical

    stupidity that defies reason. And as stated above, there are precious few consequences for being silly in todays world, hence, the persistence of

    this pestilence. This persistence manifests itself in the blasphemy and heresy laws.

    Be patient. The blithering nonsense that is religion has become so weak in the face of modern civilization that it requires no one to question it in

    order for it to survive. This demand for ‘faith’ will be its undoing. We may not live long enough to see it but the inexorable trend of civilization is

    towards logic and reason and, upon that day when ‘the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest’, we will be rid of the greatest pox

    upon humanity.

    Reply
  317. Avatar
    Amurana January 02, 2010

    if you want to stop me writing what i want, you’ll have to take my hands. if you want to stop me saying what i want, you’ll have to take my tounge. if you want to stop me thinking what i want, you’ll have to take my brain.
    and then you’re just a psychopath, aren’t you?

    to be offended by something someone else does just implies a great weakness within the self. if people were truely secure in their faith, the words of others would mean nothing. sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. remember chanting that as a child?

    stupid ireland.

    Reply
  318. Avatar
    Chris N January 02, 2010

    It seems to me that the whole debate has got out of hand. Noone is provably right or wrong – I can’t point at an empty room and declare that there is therefore no such thing as furniture, any more than a DFS salesman can tell me that sofas are the only way, the room is just waiting for a sofa to save it, and anyone who uses a table is going to burn.

    Ideas can be debated and have no impact on reality until acted upon. Why have this law? No reason in my view when there are already slander laws, laws against GBH. The foundation of law is that there is an agressor and an aggrieved party. The Church of Ireland (any any other) must first prove beyond reasonable doubt that there is an aggrieved, in that God does exist. So far, noone has done this any more elegantly than the ‘I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t true would I? Why is it true? Because I believe it stupid!’. With proof, I would happily admit I was wrong and support this law. Without it, coupled with the EDHR, common sense must prevail. The rights of an identifiable human being must prevail over the rights of an unidentifiable entity/idea.

    This law is nonsense, and cannot stand up to scrutiny. I am a humanist, and am qualified to perform humanost marriage ceremonies, funerals and birth celebrations. The humanist standpoint is NOT the same as atheism. Atheism declares ‘there is no God of any kind. It’s my deeply held belief that this is so, and people who do not share this belief should be told of the error of their ways’. Hmmm, Christians call this ministry…..

    If there is a God, show me evidence and I will accept it. Until then, from the evidence I can see religion was created by clever politicians seeking a perfect way to control the masses through a big, scary figurehead. Faith is different – in my view, it is human nature to hold on to something to face their own mortality and insignificance in an infinite Universe. Faith is fine, trying to impose your faith (including atheistic ones) on others by intruding into personal convictions, causing needless offense simply for the joy of causing offense, and through ridiculous threats (legislation) is not.

    In regards to Richard Dawkins, do not people see his unwanted and grudging promotion to the post of ‘Messiah for the Atheists’ as slightly ironic. I certainly believe he does, although I do think some of his arguments are crafted to offend irrationalists, rather than defend rationalism and free-thought.

    I would be pleased to discuss this with anyone, but please keep the argument out of the gutter, and some posters might benefit from taking an objective view of themselves, however upsetting this may be.

    Humanism, rationalism and free thought are all about the view that humanity has transcended the need for scary monsters over the bed. Not about denying the human rights or dignity of anyone.

    Sorry for the length of this post – in conclusion – stupid law, stupid argument

    Reply
  319. Avatar
    US common sense January 02, 2010

    Why is it so many people of faith feel required to inflict their beliefs on others? I actually am a person of faith, but have enough sense to know that it is entirely unnecessary to put laws into effect to punish those who would do something immoral that causes no harm to others. Sure, murder should be illegal. But blasphemy? Ridiculous. If God is real, he will punish them for it. If not, no crime has been committed. So no earthly law is necessary.

    What this law really boils down to is certain people find certain statements offensive, and therefore want them to be illegal. When it is put like that, the stupidity of it becomes more clear. I am offended by racists and sexists, but there aren’t laws (in the States, at any rate) banning anyone from being an asshole. A wiser man once said (I’m paraphrasing a bit), “I may not like what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Matters of man (and woman!) and earth should be settled among them, and matters of faith, God, etc. are between the person and God. I’m not perfect, and have said more than a few things I shouldn’t have perhaps, but I certainly don’t support outlawing thought and free speech. Ask those who live in the middle east how life goes with that sort of moral authority running amok.

    Reply
  320. Avatar
    Clive Russell January 02, 2010

    Hi again. I note a few comments from the religious talking about this law bolstering “social cohesion”, preventing “incitement to racial hatred” and so on. Quite the opposite I should have thought.

    It has to be said that atheists generally can’t be bothered. They don’t hold rallies or get together on a weekly or daily basis to sing atheistic songs or reinforce their lack of belief. They don’t tell other people how to live their lives, or insist that the President (or the Queen) should be (or not be) of only one religion or none. So they can be forgiven for speaking up now.

    The point is that this law does matter. It entrenches vested interests. Our society remains dominated by self perpetuating religious organisations who sit on school boards taking decisions about how our children are educated, get special slots on TV and radio to promote their brand of religion, have privileged access into the heart of government and so on. We need our lives to be regulated and managed by ordinary people with skills and an interest in education or whatever, not by someone who’s only there because he grinds a particular religious axe. I have no interest in stopping anyone exercising their religious rights whenever they want to. But I do object when their religion is granted a legal right to indoctrinate my young children at school or prevent me from shopping on a Sunday or going into a pub on Good Friday.

    What’s wrong with this law is that it helps one privileged unelected group extend its control over what all of us can do or say and to stifle any criticism of itself. If the Babylonians had succeeded with this approach, they’d have snuffed out Judaism which would in turn have silenced Christianity and then Islam and then Mormonism and all the other “I don’t like some aspects of your religion so I’m going to write my own new book showing that I’m right and you’re going to hell” religions that have come along (and are still coming). In 1000 years’ time, the Ancient Order of Jedi Knights will look back on this Act as the mainspring for their domination of world religion. Well, that and the light sabre of course.

    Plus ca change …

    Reply
  321. Avatar
    Sarah January 02, 2010

    I live in Ireland and I’m shocked to see so many people who live outside Ireland saying they will no longer visit – do you think we wanted this? Everyone I know, even the religious, are enraged by this ridiculous law. I’m already anticipating that our sitcoms and tv soaps will be filled with censoring beeps to cover the common phrases such as ‘Jaysus’, ‘Jesus Christ’ etc. as they are generally said when complaining about or ridiculing a situation. Certain movies and tv shows will probably be banned if they are to fully enforce this law. To be honest, I’ll believe it when I see it, but please do not think that we are backword medieval freaks who wanted this. I’m flabbergasted as to how this was even brought up in the Dail!
    As for me, as soon as I found out Santa Claus wasn’t real at 8 yrs of age, I presumed God, Jesus etc. weren’t real either and i had always thought of our enforced religious education classes as a sort of delusional story telling session.
    The Irish are rational thinkers – even the majority of us who ARE religious know that the bible is bollocks and they mainly believe in a force of nature rather than a hairy man in the clouds. Although some of the older generation are still devout, they do not agree with this law either.

    Sarah

    Reply
  322. Avatar
    John January 02, 2010

    Loved the George Carlin quote, drugged up, drunked up, drank himself to death earlier than needed, stopped being remotely humorous 35 years back, George you should have gotten some religion. And just who the heck is Bjork.

    Reply
  323. Avatar
    Colin Watts January 02, 2010

    This site contains some interesting postings, some with excellent points of view, some set to deliberately blasphmene in protest at a ridiculous law and some with profanity.

    The latter has come under attack and complaint but is this not merely an expression of moral outrage and anger at both the state and the religions that have conspired against the freedom of speech that is both being denied and being denied without any means to easily complain about that denial?

    So whilst it is easy to complain about the profanities being written and to use this as an arguement about atheism just consider your own outrage if you were being denied one of you most basic of human rights.

    In respect of atheism I cannot recall any terrorist killings, bombings, kidnappings or threats of murder being undertaken in the name of, well Atheism.

    Indeed are not those people and religions who undertake violents acts in contradiction to their teachings guilty of blasphemy?

    Perhaps both worshippers and their religious organisations should bear this in mind as it appears there is as much blasphemy within many religions as there is outside.

    Reply
  324. Avatar
    karl noade January 02, 2010

    You dont like the new law? im sure there are other countries out there that will let you be Blasphemous so be my guest and leave Ireland, we dont want you devil worshiping Idoits.

    Reply
  325. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 02, 2010

    Post 505

    Sarah, what do you mean Santa Claus isn’t real?!!

    My belief is shattered.

    Please, anybody. Help. Is this blasphemy?

    PS Cannot agree with you more!

    Reply
  326. Avatar
    Kookaburra Jack January 02, 2010

    The first 2 quotes of 25 seem especially pertinent as possible common 4th century forgeries. The Irish Atheists must be informed that these first 2 literary citations were appropriated from a 4th century publication. We know that the bible was not widely published until its official release as the “Constantine Codex”.

    The Irish Atheists must be informed that Jesus was first widely published in the 4th century by an admiring group of followers lead by their revolutionary historian Eusebius, who in turn were led by Constantine, his bloodthirsty barbarian sword and his Draconian anti-Hellenistic and anti-Semetic laws, such as “Religious privileges are reserved for Christians”. The question as to whether Constantine sponsored the invention of the New Testament is quite relevant.

    Reply
  327. Avatar
    Patrick Fenlon January 02, 2010

    So on Monday are we going to see the Islamic church and its Koran indicted on charges of blasphemy against the Catholic /Christian church?

    .. or is this law only to be used against atheists who try to state their own beliefs?

    Reply
  328. Avatar
    karen January 02, 2010

    THE 77TH COMMENT WAS SPOT ON.

    Interesting law…

    How does it work? When a catholic priest claims that Jesus is the son of god, can the priest be accused of blasphemy by a rabbi? And when a Hindu prays to several gods is this not blasphemy from the Islamic viewpoint?

    WHEN LOOKED AT THIS WAY, IT IS EASY TO AGREE WITH THE PEOPLE HERE COMMENTING THAT LAWSUITS WILL BE SWIFT AND PLENTIFUL.

    Reply
  329. Avatar
    Brian Macker January 02, 2010

    The Qur’an itself is a blasphemy of Judaism and Christianity. As one example it claims Christ is not the son of god. It copies and distorts Jewish text in blasphemous ways.

    It blasphemes against pagan and idolatrous religious numerous times, even demanding in the name of Allah the genocide of the followers of any such religions. Muhammad himself trespassed in the sacred temples, shrines, and places of worship of the idolaters in order to claim the falsehood of their religions.

    Thus Islam is more than mere blaspheme it is a defamation, and open incitement to violence and genocide. Yet blaspheme it also is.

    Reply
  330. Avatar
    Bob Hayes January 02, 2010

    Setting aside for a moment the debate about S. 36 of the Defamation Act 2009, I notice a curious theme running through many of the postings purporting to be from atheists.

    Very, very many of the contributors exhibit bile and hatred of which an Inquisitor would be proud. It seems that many atheists posting on here, while rejecting the ‘superstition’, ‘supernaturalism’ and ‘mumbo-jumbo’ that underpin religion, seem deeply wedded to a triumphalist ‘atheist faith’.

    Back to S. 36 … It seems a clumsy piece of legislation that I suspect will be largely overlooked, except by fundamentalist zealots – whether they be Christian, Moslem, Jew or the new Evangelical Atheists.

    Reply
  331. Avatar
    John McPherson January 02, 2010

    Excellent material; I’ve posted a link on Twitter. But I think the good Cardinal O’Connor deserves a response for getting it almost right: We would not be human if we did not consider or wonder at the transcendent. I’m sure most atheists do (the cardinal’s assumption to the contrary is wrong)but we simply don’t call it god and we certainly don’t use it to justify our prejudices or our subjugation of others.

    Reply
  332. Avatar
    Nick Gualtieri January 02, 2010

    There are a number of objectors on here who have questioned why we need the right to offend believers – you are completely missing the point. We need the right to freedom of speech without having to worry about whether someone of faith is offended. For example, were I to be involved in a debate about Islam, my views on “the prophet” Mohammed would without doubt be considered offensive by all Muslims. My views have been informed by a number of different books, websites and discussions with others. So would it be right that a Muslim could defend Mohammed in the knowledge that they could have me charged under this new law because my outlook is offensive to them? Likewise, were I to be engaged in a debate about the role of faith schools with a Christian, again I could land in hot water. My view is that I would not want my child/children educated in an establishment that pays tribute someone who, according to the bible, has murdered over 2.5 million people, mostly on a whim, and is therefore a totally unsuitable role model. Now again, is it reasonable for a Christian to ask for me to be charged because this view offends them? I am not asking for the right to walk into a church and hurl profanities at the congregation, but I do want to be able to express my views, however offensive someone of faith might find them, without the threat of legal action hanging over me. Theists must remember that a number of religious views are offensive to us (racism, sexism and homophobia to name but three) and we must have the right to refute these without being fined.

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  333. Avatar
    Robin Wood January 02, 2010

    If we remove blasphemy laws then we should also remove laws protecting citizens against GBH. This would be fair.

    Reply
  334. Avatar
    Susan January 02, 2010

    If Jesus really loves me, why hasn’t he called?

    Reply
  335. Avatar
    Mark January 02, 2010

    Because he doesn’t have your number…

    Reply
  336. Avatar
    Martin Kennelly January 02, 2010

    Well done guys. Awesome work.

    Reply
  337. Avatar
    David Wilkinson January 02, 2010

    Defences to the blasphemy law:

    (3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

    It’s interesting that religious value isn’t included. No doubt they’d be able to force it under academic or political value, but so much of the content of religion is blasphemous to other religions (Zionism and its offshoots are notoriously intollerant).

    Reply
  338. Avatar
    Paul Orton January 02, 2010

    Excellent work- I wish you every success

    Reply
  339. Avatar
    Pam I. January 02, 2010

    @#267 etc
    “what is meant by
    grossly
    abusive
    insulting
    any religion
    outrage
    a substantial number – These are all subjective terms.”

    Could it be that drafting the law was given to some unfortunate civil servant who then came up with a form of words that is unenforceable? So it keeps the godbotherers happy but will not have any use in an actual court? Similar to the hated Section28 anti-gay law demanded by Thatcher but never used because it was meaningless (and I once met the civil servant who drafted S28 and who did not disagree with my analysis).

    But still dangerous – S28 was never used in court but created a smokescreen for bigots to create fear within, especially, clasrooms, for two decades. So, where can I send you money, AI?

    Reply
  340. Avatar
    Henry January 02, 2010

    having read most of the quotes and comments, it leaves me with nothing to say as the bible says it all people perish for lack of knowledge. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, the earlier you accept him in your life the better for y’all. Happy New Year

    Reply
  341. Avatar
    tony bond January 02, 2010

    I need some help about some of God’s unchanging laws and how best to follow them –
    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev.15:19-24).The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Papuans, Indonesians and Tongans but not New Zealanders. Is this right? Why can’t I own New Zealanders?
    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or can I hire someone to do so?
    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. But am I right?
    g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
    i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread. (cotton/polyester blend) He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev. 24:10) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

    Isn’t it great that God’s word is eternal and unchanging!

    Reply
  342. Avatar
    John Peter January 02, 2010

    My religion preaches how bad other religions are.. If I’m not allowed to preach, what happens to my liberty???

    Reply
  343. Avatar
    Daniel Brown January 02, 2010

    AI has the right idea here… only overwhelming this new poorly conceived law with violations will force lawmakers to rethink it. Once they realize that it is instigating far more blasphemy than it will ever discourage will Irish believers join the ranks of those who want it to be scrapped. I applaud your efforts!

    Dan Brown, agnostic
    USA

    Reply
  344. Avatar
    Boingo January 02, 2010

    I am an Athesist. Ditching religion and superstition removed an incredible part of anxiety, fear and neurosis.I am a happier and
    deeper man.It seems like a good part of my mind has been untangled from
    living with any belief system that never made a lick of sense to me.
    I’ve evolved from being pissed and disgusted at the phony religious
    freaks to accepting and respecting everyone’s personal beliefs.
    When it comes to religious overtones in war, I’m still disgusted and angry.

    Cultures who never heard of the Bible, or Koran, still do things for
    the good of their community and brothers. Peace.

    Reply
  345. Avatar
    Rob Bodnar January 02, 2010

    It is sad to read the Irish government perceives freedom of religion as more important than freedom of speech.

    Why would they choose to fine? I would think financially penalizing citizens for their words while allowing religions to retain their tax free status is an obvious conflict for the Government. Or is this some kind of intellectual wealth transfer to those who need it the most?

    Reply
  346. Avatar
    Richard January 02, 2010

    I have been told by several religious (moderate, granted) friends already that they don’t plan on setting foot in Ireland until this law has been repealed. Well done, Ireland – you’ve become the laughing stock of the world, even amongst those you’re trying to please.

    Reply
  347. Avatar
    Tim Maskell January 02, 2010

    WTF? Ireland? Home of (some of) my forefathers? I’m ashamed of you!

    Reply
  348. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 02, 2010

    I think that this page does nothing to further the cause of atheism. It seems obvious to me that too many of the people on here just want an outlet for their small-minded hatreds; if they weren’t picking on people of religion they would be saying the same thing about different races. Irish atheists are showing themselves as bitter fanatics with zero tolerance for people who think different from them. Dawkins might be the family- face of atheism with his nice posh English accent but the Irish atheists have certainly shown what it is all really about. I don’t believe in a god, but I do believe in basic human decency; many people on here are missing that.

    Reply
  349. Avatar
    tom sheepandgoats January 02, 2010

    Few have been more critical of religious organizations over the years than Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet they are universally recognized as a nonviolent people. They’re ‘weapons’ are words only.

    Would that all followed that example. Then you could have groups of uncompromising principles existing side by side with like groups espousing different principles. And you wouldn’t need silly laws such as this one, which carry so much potential for abuse.

    It’s the only practical way in a pluralistic society.

    Reply
  350. Avatar
    John MacSorley January 02, 2010

    So the age of enlightenment is snuffed out in Ireland. Which country will be next as medieval ceases to be history?

    Reply
  351. Avatar
    Kennypo65 January 02, 2010

    “The mind of man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”-Diderot

    Reply
  352. Avatar
    Brian Macker January 02, 2010

    Bob Hayes,

    “Very, very many of the contributors exhibit bile and hatred of which an Inquisitor would be proud.”

    More like the bile and hatred the victim has for the Inquisitor. Blaspheme law was an integral part of the Inquisitor’s legal tools.

    Your reference to “atheist faith” is itself an example of bile.

    Reply
  353. Avatar
    Alex January 02, 2010

    I pray to my toilet brush. I get the same probability of success of these bigots who made this law.
    If I write about the Toothfairy being a witch will I be accused of blasphemy? Where is the difference? How can you define what is blasphemy?
    I urge all Irish pastafarians to intervene and do what this mockery law deserve.

    There is no God.
    (greetings from Italy)

    Reply
  354. Avatar
    Kaffir_Kanuck January 02, 2010

    No one has a right not to be offended. Good for you and stop this insanity to stop Free Speech!

    Reply
  355. Avatar
    moabi January 02, 2010

    definitely… let’s not get back to past…2010 !!! please, NOW !!!

    Reply
  356. Avatar
    Brian Bielick January 03, 2010

    I am amazed to hear of this new law in Ireland. This is not progress. Congratulations and best of luck on this campaign.

    My favorite quote of late is from Bram Stoker’s Dracula-
    “Faith: ‘that which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue.'”

    Reply
  357. Avatar
    Tim Johnson January 03, 2010

    Thank you for your inspirational, artistic and relevant anti-religious quotes. May Science, Truth and Honesty reign supreme around the world.

    If a religion can’t stand up to criticism or even hatred, it isn’t worth much… is it?

    Timothy Johnson
    The State of Georgia, USA

    Reply
  358. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 03, 2010

    Dear Brian Macker, I am Irish and these laws are being implemented in my country. Your assumptions about me are a perfect example of the athiest arrogance to insult first and ask questions later.

    Reply
  359. Avatar
    will January 03, 2010

    Ireland blew it

    Reply
  360. Avatar
    lostboy January 03, 2010

    If I were to treat my children the way ‘god’ treats us, I would be accused of being an absentee parent. If we are to call you ‘father’, please act like one or forever go away

    Reply
  361. Avatar
    Raul January 03, 2010

    My full suppoort to this website, the mere fact that a modern country has laws against blasphemy is contrary the very notion of modern. Lately it seams that freedom of religion only applies as long as you have a religion.

    Reply
  362. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 03, 2010

    As Brendan Behan once said;
    “The compliments pass when the quality meet”

    Reply
  363. Avatar
    Antonio January 03, 2010

    I’m a 37 year old from an Asian country that experienced two decades of a political dictatorship. I’m worried about what our own religious Right is learning from the Irish action.

    The Irish anti-blasphemy law brings only this to mind: Be glad! After all, stupid laws can be repealed, right? At least your legislators are only clearly a bunch of nutters for having let this onto their statute books, not a gaggle of greedy politicians in a fascist state, or worse.

    Offensive words deserve, at worst, only that the speaker not be listened to. Turn to a different channel, tune out the blame fool who speaks blasphemous gibberish if you so wish. File a tort case or something. Refuse the next date. Get new friends. KEEP THE REPARTEE IN THE PRIVATE SPHERE, AND KEEP THE STATE OUT OF IT.

    Hasn’t the previous century’s experience of state-sponsored intolerance taught the Irish parliament nothing?

    Reply
  364. Avatar
    Jack Heath January 03, 2010

    It has always seemed ludicrous to me to even suggest that man has ever adequately described God.

    It is perhaps even more ludicrous that millions accept the tenants of ancient peoples as their guide to a modern world.

    Any investigation of the scriptures (without forgone conclusion) will reveal nothing more than the histories and imaginings of relatively primitive men.

    Furthermore I see no real evidence of a “soul” in man, woman or any other creature on earth. I see no good or evil. I only different levels if intelligence, awareness and conscience.

    I’m relatively certain that unless I have my head and/or body frozen (till a future time) that once I lay down for the “dirt nap” I won’t be getting up for anything.

    But I must admit one thing eludes me.

    Where did all the matter come from? Most people can get their arms around everything from the Big Bang to the Modern Era. But where did all the organic and inorganic compounds that comprise the matter come from?

    The planets, galaxies and Universe are well understood along with the various life forms certainly peppered throughout- not unlike the stars themselves.

    So here’s the big question: If some entity (call it whatever you like) “created” all of this what created that entity? What created the “what” etc., etc. add infinitum?

    Regardless of whether or not the powers that be see the wisdom of repealing the “Irish blasphemy law” that question will likely remain forever.

    Reply
  365. Avatar
    Michael Green January 03, 2010

    What is wrong with the bloody religious? I thought that their beliefs gave them phenomenal “spiritual” strength. People die for their religion. Surely they must, by definition, feel superior – they have “seen the light”, have “chosen the path of righteousness”, have belief in “the one true God”, “walk in the steps of Christ” and other similar sentiments. These people are clearly think temselves well special.

    Is their faith then not strong enough to withstand the abuse, the detraction, the denigrations of those who do not share it and misunderstand it? Instead of running to the law when somebody says something uncomplimentary abouit their beliefs, can’t they simply feel quietly superior? My beliefs, my ideas, my world view lack the endorsement of an omniscient being but I would never expect society to somehow protect me from those who would deride or debunk them. If the adversary is willing to engage in rational debate I will do so and argue my case. If they wish merely to scoff, scorn, belittle and misrepresent then I will take myself out of their company. I do not need the law, so why do they? After all, they’re on their way to paradise. It’s hell for me.

    Reply
  366. Avatar
    JohnB January 03, 2010

    Abu Ala Al-Ma’arri – The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence

    Albert Einstein – Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death

    Albert Einstein – Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth

    Alena Castle – To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one’s own purpose and be responsible for one’s own life is exciting. To be free of the imagines surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating

    Amanda Bloom – An Idea does not gain truth as it gains followers

    Ambrose Bierce – Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge

    Ambrose Bierce – Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner

    Andy Rooney – Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated

    Anon – A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if no one believes it.

    Anton Lavey – Every religion in the world that has destroyed people is based on love.

    Aristophanes – Surely you don’t believe in the gods. What’s your argument? Where’s your proof?

    Aristotle – A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side

    Aristotle – men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.

    Arthur C. Clarke – It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.

    Arthur C. Clarke – One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion

    Arthur C. Clarke – Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary?

    Arthur Schopenhauer – Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine

    Ayn Rand – Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, the attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality.

    B.C. cartoon – Religious Cult: The church down the street from yours.

    Baron D’Holbach – It is only by dispelling the clouds and phantoms of religion that we shall discover truth, reason, and morality

    Baron D’Holbach – All religions are ancient monuments to superstitions, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies rejuvenated

    Baron D’Holbach – If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm and deceit adorned them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them; and that custom, respect and tyranny support them; in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to the gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them

    Benjamin Disraeli – Where knowledge ends, religion begins

    Benjamin Franklin – Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.

    Benjamin Franklin – The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.

    Bertrand Russell – I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.

    Bertrand Russell – if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence

    Bertrand Russell – It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true

    Bertrand Russell – Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.

    Bertrand Russell – So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

    Bill Maher – I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.

    Billy Joel – I believe all important matters have to be settled here, not in the clouds somewhere after we kick off

    Blaise Pascal – Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions

    Brenda Cornish – Atheism – Liberation through Reason and Knowledge

    Carl Sagan – Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

    Carl Sagan – It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

    Carl Sagan – You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe

    Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney – Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people

    Chapman Cohen – Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense

    Charlie Chaplin – By simple common sense I don’t believe in God

    Christopher Hitches – What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence

    Clarence Darrow – I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose.

    Clarence Darrow – I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.

    Clark Adams – If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!

    Coral Yoshi – So you really think that God would plant a bunch of bones in the earth to test your faith? Either you’re in denial or God has some serious self-esteem issues

    Dan Barker – You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?

    Dan Fouts – I’m a polyatheist; there are many gods I don’t believe in

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan – Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts

    David Aaronovitch – The problem is that all monotheisms are by their nature anti-pluralistic. They’ve got one true god and the very latest valid version of his thoughts. It is asking a lot of monotheisms to coexist with other faiths and views. Paganism is much better suited to modern ideas of tolerance and human rights

    David Brooks – To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy

    David Hume – Errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy are only ridiculous

    David Hume – God’s power is infinite, whatever he wills is executed, but neither man nor any other animal is happy, therefore he does not will their happiness

    Decca Aitkenhead – trying to defend religion by invoking science is like claiming that three plus four equals ice cream

    Delos B. McKown – The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike

    Denis Diderot – Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest

    Denis Diderot – The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers

    Don Henley – We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds in the name of destiny and in the name of god

    Don Hirschberg – Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.

    Donald Morgan – Atheist: A person who believes in one less god than you do

    Donald Morgan A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism

    Douglas Adams – Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

    Edgar Allan Poe – The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.

    Edgar Shoaff – A skeptic is a person who would ask god for his ID card

    Edward Abbey – Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.

    Edward Abbey – Whatever we cannot easily understand we call god; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton – The Bible and Church have been the greatest stumbling block in the way of women’s emancipation

    Emma Goldman – The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.

    Engie Mangio – Coming from Apes is so much better than Dirt

    Epicurus – Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    Ernest Hemingway – All thinking men are atheists.

    Ernestine Rose – It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so

    Francis Bacon – Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.

    Frederick Douglass – I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs

    Friedrich Nietzsche – Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

    Friedrich Nietzsche – Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

    Galileo Galilei – I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them

    Gene Roddenberry – For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain

    Gene Roddenberry – Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all.

    Gene Roddenberry – We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes

    George Bernard Shaw – The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

    George Carlin – I used to believe in god, until I reached the age of reason.

    George Carlin – Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky

    George Carlin – Religion is just mind control

    George Felis – Faith is a moral failing

    George Washington – Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause.

    Gerald Massey – They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as truth rather than truth as authority.

    Giulian Buzila – History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god

    Gloria Steinem – I hope we raise out children to believe in human potential not god

    Guillermo Garcia – Us humans need to be forgiven from our wrong doings by a superior individual to live in peace, Even if it takes an invisible God

    Guillermo Garcia – You are a good person because you fear damnation. I am a good person without obligation

    Gustaf Lindborg – The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail

    Henry Louis Mencken – Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable. A man full of faith is simply one who has lost or never had the capacity for clear and realistic thought.

    Homer Simpson – Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here’s the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won’t ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no sign. Thy will be done

    Homer Simpson – I’ve always wondered if there was a god. And now I know there is — and it’s me

    Homer Simpson – Jesus, Allah, Buddha. I love you all!

    Homer Simpson – Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten.

    Homer Simpson – Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder

    Homer Simpson – why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to Hell?

    Iain M Banks – Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects the present

    Ilka Chase – It is usually when men are at their most religious that they behave with the least sense and the greatest cruelty.

    Infinity0 – Absence of evidence is evidence of absence

    Jacob Bronowski – There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information is imperfect.

    James Buchanan – I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion

    James Madison – During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    James Madison – Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.

    Jean Anouilh – Every man thinks God is on his side. The rich and powerful know he is.

    Jerry Falwell – Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions

    Jesse Ventura – Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti – The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Nothing is more dangerous than active ignorance

    John Adams – god is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world

    John Adams – This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it

    John A. Brown – Man made god in his own image.

    John A. Brown – The men who made god made him in their own image and they really were not the right people for the job.

    John Stuart Mill – The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.

    Jonathan Swift – We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough religion to make us love one another

    Jonathon Miller – In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.

    José Bergamín – A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.

    Julian Huxley – Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat

    Karl Marx – Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, & the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

    Karl Marx – The first requisite of the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.

    King Alfonso – Sensible men no longer believe in miracles; they were invented by priests to humbug the peasants

    Kurt Vonnegut – Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile

    Lord Bryon – I do not believe in any religion. I will have nothing to do with immortality. We are miserable enough in this life without speculating upon another.

    Lucretius – Fear is the mother of all gods. Nature does all things spontaneously by herself without their meddling.

    Mark Twain – [Mr. Clemens was once asked whether he feared death. He said that he did not, in view of the fact that he had been dead for billions and billions of years before he was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.]

    Mark Twain – A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.

    Mark Twain – Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.

    Mark Twain – It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

    Mark Twain – The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also

    Matthew Arnold – Miracles do not happen

    Michael Moore – There’s a gullible side to the American people. They can be easily misled. Religion is the best device used to mislead them

    Michael Pain – In the absence of fear there is little faith

    Miguel De Unamuno – The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found

    Mohandas K Gandhi – The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has recorded have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives

    Napoleon Bonaparte – All religions have been made by men

    Napoleon Bonaparte – Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet

    Napoleon Bonaparte – Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich

    Ned Flanders – Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by telling you how it ends! Well I say there are some things we don’t want to know! Important things!

    Nico Fourie – You need less imagination to believe that the world has just always existed than believing a god magically appeared who then with his magic powers created the world and everything else

    Oscar Wilde – Truth in matters of religion is simply the opinion that has survived

    Pearl S. Buck – Believing in gods always causes confusion.

    Pearl S. Buck – When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.

    Percy Bysshe Shelley – If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? If he has spoken, why is the universe not convinced? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest.

    Pierre Charron – All religions have this in common, that they are an outrage to common sense, for they are pieced together out of a variety of elements, some of which seem so unworthy, sordid, and at odds with man’s reason that any strong and vigorous intelligence laughs at them

    Richard Dawkins – Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

    Richard Dawkins – I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world

    Richard Dawkins – There is all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority, or revelation

    Richard Lederer – There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.

    Robert Frost – I turned to speak to god about the world’s despair; but to make matters worse, I found god wasn’t there

    Robert Ingersoll – As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers

    Robert Ingersoll – Our ignorance is God; what we know is science

    Robert Ingersoll – Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains

    Robert Ingersoll – The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it

    Robert Ingersoll – There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.

    Robert Linder – Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt

    Scott Adams – Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle of lotteries, dating, and religion.

    Seneca – Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful

    Shaun Mason – Faith is the unflagging determination to remain ignorant in the face of any and all evidence that you’re ignorant

    Sigmund Freud – In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable

    Sigmund Freud – Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.

    Sigmund Freud – Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.

    Sigmund Freud – Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis

    Sigmund Freud – The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology.

    Sigmund Freud – Those historical residues have helped us to view religious teachings, as it were, as neurotic relics, and we may now argue that the time has probably come, as it does in an analytic treatment, for replacing the effects of repression by the results of the rational operation of the intellect.

    Simone de Beauvoir – I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe

    Sir Hermann Bondi – Religion divides us, while it is our human characteristics that bind us to each other

    Stephen Roberts – I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours

    Steven Weinberg – With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion

    Superintendent Chalmers – Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion

    Susan B. Anthony – I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

    Susan B. Anthony – The religious persecution of the ages has been done under what was claimed to be the command of God

    Susan B. Anthony – To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom

    Taslima Nasrin – Religion is against women’s rights and women’s freedom. In all societies women are oppressed by all religions

    Templesmith – Funny how you never see a Christian amputee grow any limbs back

    Tennessee Williams – All the western theologies are based on the concept of god as a senile delinquent

    Thomas Edison – I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.

    Thomas Jefferson – Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.

    Thomas Jefferson – History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.

    Thomas Jefferson – I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies

    Thomas Jefferson – In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own

    Thomas Jefferson – It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

    Thomas Jefferson – Political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves [of public ignorance] for their own purpose

    Thomas Jefferson – Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if there be one he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear

    Thomas Jefferson – The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

    Thomas Jefferson – To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise

    Thomas Pain – All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    Thomas Pain – Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all.

    Thomas Paine – It is from the bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder, for the belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man, and the bible is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind

    Thomas Paine – Of all the tyrannies that afflict mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst. Every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in, but this attempts a stride beyond the grave and seeks to pursue us into eternity

    Thomas Paine – The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called religion

    Tom Robbins – Religion is not merely the opium of the masses, it’s the cyanide.

    Treaty of Tripoli (Article 11) – The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

    Unknown – A letter to a U.K. newspaper says ‘science provides an explanation of the mechanism of the December 2004 Asian tsunami but it cannot say why this occurred any more than religion can.’ There, in one sentence, we have the religious mind displayed before us in all its absurdity. In what sense of the word ‘why’, does plate tectonics not provide the answer? Not only does science know why the tsunami happened, it can give precious hours of warning. If a small fraction of the tax breaks handed out to churches, mosques and synagogues had been diverted into an early warning system, tens of thousands of people, now dead, would have been moved to safety. Let’s get up off our knees, stop cringing before bogeymen and virtual fathers, face reality, and help science to do something constructive about human suffering.

    Unknown – Don’t pray in my school, and I won’t think in your church

    Unknown – Fundamentalism means never having to say ‘I’m wrong’

    Unknown – Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish

    Unknown – God made me an atheist. Who are you to question his wisdom?

    Unknown – If everything is according to gods plan, how do we have free will?

    Unknown – Learn to say: I don’t know.

    Unknown – Only the fool says in his heart: There is no god — The wise says it to the world

    Unknown – People who don’t like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn’t have such funny beliefs

    Unknown – Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned

    Unknown – Religion is the lazy man’s path to understanding the world

    Unknown – Theists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply don’t make an exception for the last one

    Unknown – Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

    Unknown – You keep believing, I’ll keep evolving

    Victor Hugo – There is in every village a torch: the schoolteacher, and an extinguisher: the priest

    Voltaire – atheism is the voice of a few intelligent people.

    Voltaire – Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.

    Voltaire – Men who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.

    Voltaire – Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense

    Wayne Adkins – How do you choose between believing in Jesus, Bigfoot, leprechauns, witchcraft, Islam, alien abductions, the Tooth Fairy, gold at the end of the rainbow, or the myriad other assertions that people have made over the course of human history?

    Whitney Brown – I’m not an atheist. How can you not believe in something that doesn’t exist? That’s way too convoluted for me.

    William Clifford – It is wrong always and everywhere for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence

    Woody Allen – If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank

    Zora Neale Hurston – Gods always behave like the people who created them

    Reply
  367. Avatar
    Paul Leclercq January 03, 2010

    I do not think that it is a good idea that anyone should have the right (under freedom of speech legislation) to “have the right” to offend anybody. In fact I do not like the concept of “rights” at all; I prefer to imagine a state where people have responsibilities.

    On the other hand, these days, many people are too easily “offended”.

    In other words, a major requirement for them is to grow up: it’s a big bad world and to expect everybody to walk on eggshells the whole time is really the ultimate in naïveté. And at the same time thinking of others (unfortunately in tis context a rather Christian principle) should be practised a little more than it is.

    Paul

    Reply
  368. Avatar
    Jones January 03, 2010

    How long will the ignorance of religion attempt to maintain its power through the flowery notion of ‘faith’?
    Why should people have to live in a world where they may be coaxed into ignorance? And why should that ignorance be protected by law!?

    God help us all…

    Reply
  369. Avatar
    Moose January 03, 2010

    There are things that should be considered unlawful. Blasphemy, although considered repulsive to those it targets, should not be considered as such. While I am offended at some of the posts here, I believe that the people who posted such should be able to do so. Censorship is not the answer. You can’t sugar-coat everything because then you end up with nothing.

    BTW, this site is all over the news in the US. Congratulations at getting the word out.

    Reply
  370. Avatar
    Josua January 03, 2010

    Blasphemy law? People is crazy.

    Reply
  371. Avatar
    Nerys Williams January 03, 2010

    Four items:

    1. As a Baptist reading the comments on here I felt like I’ve been ‘insulted’ by the inmates of Bedlam. So Ireland, you don’t need blasphemy laws. Just let the pushy atheists rant on, or do you take their sex-obsessed drivel seriously?

    2. Yes, the Irish Catholic church behaved outrageously by covering up abusive paedophile priests and moving them on to other parishes to re-offend. But are we not doing exactly the same in the UK by releasing our own abusive paedophiles back into society with new names and identities? I could quote some horror stories resulting from this unacceptable secrecy. Have we learned nothing from the failings of the RC church? “He that is without sin among you cast the first stone,” applies here I would think.

    3. The supernatural, upon which religion is based, has never been proved nor disproved, which leaves atheism relying on faith in the same was as religion. Scientific studies are based on all things material but not beyond, which is why science doesn’t or cannot examine the supernatural. Nor does evolution disprove the supernatural because evolution is a fact of material life. Not only do people evolve but the world as we know it evolves also; evolution is the very essence of nature. Religion is man’s interpretation of the supernatural and the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago in symbolic language and has been translated many times since and cannot be taken literary, which is why we have Bible studies.

    4. Most beliefs and non-beliefs are based on fear of life after death or non-existence. Religious people want the former. Atheists prefer the latter because the former is more terrifying. Although I’m a Baptist myself and brought up within the Christian ethos, I believe the only religions that comes close to scientific discovery are Hinduism/Sikhism. I personally subscribe to the “I wake up every morning and thank God I was born Welsh”, tee-shirt but if the Indians have got it right then next time I may not be so lucky. This isn’t about the wet Dawkins argument, evolution verses creationism but rather does the supernatural exist or does it not and if not then who controls our planet, or does it control itself?

    Reply
  372. Avatar
    zhen January 03, 2010

    I for one welcome the Irish Blasphemy Law. As a devout Pastafarian, I know the burden of being a member of religious minority that can’t get any respect (for those of you unfamiliar with our only true creed – not like those other creeds that falsely claim to be true – go to http://www.venganza.org). It is clear to me that any person or establishment in Ireland serving, consuming, mentioning, or writing about the the blasphemous dish know as “spaghetti and meatballs” should be prosecuted to the full extent of this enlightened legislation as the consumption or contemplation of consumption of our deity is greatly distressing and insulting to all Pastafarians! I look forward to the Pastafarian test case.

    Reply
  373. Avatar
    Brian Macker January 03, 2010

    Paul Garrigan,

    From your article:

    “When I first heard about the Irish anti-blasphemy law my first reaction was that was a terrible backward step.”

    I doubt it after reading this article.

    “After hearing about the new Irish anti-blasphemy law I decided to see what the Irish atheists had to say. “

    More likely that you decided to look because you are no babe in the woods, and are well aware that atheists don’t mince words about religion. You are all for the idea of speech censorship since you are clearly for hate speech restriction. In fact, you fully buy into the precepts behind blasphemy law.

    You only thought it unfortunate that the law was passed because you were hoping there was no need for it, but you knew in the back of your mind that there was justification you’d be satisfied with out there, and you found it.

    “What you got is post after post of hate-speech against religion and the people who follow these religions. “

    Define “hate speech”. Is it hate speech if you speak the truth? For instance, if I said that Hitlers Nazism is a are murderous racist ideology then would that be hate speech in your mind?

    Maybe what you perceive as hate speech others recognize as the oppressed speaking out against the oppressors. Ireland is practically a theocracy already.

    If you think that speaking badly about Nazism is hate speech do you think it therefore follows that such a claim is also hate speech against every German that ever thought himself a Nazi for whatever reason? Is it hate speech against all the innocent children that were duped into joining the Hitler youth? Is it hate speech against those who had never read Mein Kampf, and were not aware of every evil aspect of Nazism?

    If you don’t think speaking out against Nazism isn’t hate speech then tell us why. Certainly a nazi would be very insulted by the claims I just made.

    “By the time I had reached the end of the comments I began to think that the Irish anti-blasphemy law wasn’t such a bad thing.”

    You make me sick. You sound like the US Southerns who said they were for abolishing slavery except for the fact that blacks are too shiftless to make it in society.

    Your entire post insults my deeply held beliefs. Not only that you spent part of your post insulting atheists. Maybe you should be fined 25,000.

    “I have no god but that is my own personal decision.”

    I have a tan but I wouldn’t use that as an excuse to defame blacks and suggest that they need laws to keep them in check.

    “I have no god but that is my own personal decision.”

    Who cares. Non-belief in god is not itself a positive belief. You have a different philosophy and belief system from those you criticize. You are not some insider criticizing you peers. You are an outsider criticizing the deeply held beliefs of others.

    “I don’t require everyone else to believe the same way as I do,

    Not a single comment on that thread advocated requiring others to believe as they do.

    On the other hand your entire article is about force others to keep their mouth shut when they don’t agree with your belief that they should keep quite. You don’t require them to believe as you do but you sure require them to act the way you believe.

    “and my beliefs don’t involve needing to demean other people. “

    Well then you shouldn’t have written this article. You also wrote an article that demeans people who have problems with alcohol, referring to them as drunks. You’d think you’d be sensitive given your background, but no. You have another article demeaning Richard Dawkins. Calling someone “arrogant” demeans them. Another article demeaning certain monks as being “bad”.

    Do your beliefs about pedophiles involve a need to demean them? I think so, and rightfully.

    You arrogant hypocrite, and yes that is meant to be demeaning. It has nothing to do with the “needs” of my beliefs and everything to do with your sloppy thinking. Who are you to advocate violating my right to free speech?

    Reply
  374. Avatar
    Steve January 03, 2010

    “590.wow – the venom on this site! Such an irrational response from a supposedly rational movement.
    The laws that are spurned are no doubt an honest attempt by many people to answer the questions above and to hopefully protect them in doing so. Atheism has no answers and leaves one very ‘cold’ in this life.”

    I often wonder how much better the world I live in would be if everyone were capable of dealing with the reality that there is no God. Capable of dealing with the fact that there is no magic fix. That we are accountable and responsible for our own actions and choices. That each of us only has a limited amount of time to exist and that each of us should try and use that time in the most positive and constructive way possible that fits with our own unique abilities.

    How many people waste this life because they think there is a better one coming ?

    Reply
  375. Avatar
    Jose Fazenda January 03, 2010

    / I believe most of the comments above violate this stupid new law, so I expect the Irish courts will be very busy for very long.
    / And,if they manage to collect all the fines, this would be the best way for Ireland to recover from the economic crisis.
    / The morons of the catholic church have chosen a bad time to push this law, at a time we all have been reading all the seedy stories about the Irish bishops. How come those criminals are not in jail ?
    / I guess a few countries around the world are still under the grip of the Inquisition. I sent the link to a friend of mine in Paraguay and the only thing he gets is a blank page with “FORBIDDEN”. I had to print the article and comments into a .PDF file to send to him.

    Reply
  376. Avatar
    Mike Mozurak January 03, 2010

    Good luck, people of Ireland.

    Reply
  377. Avatar
    Maciej Paluch January 03, 2010

    I have nothing of value to add, the cause is plain and simple. As a member of the Secular Coalition for America, I’m in full support of your efforts!!!

    Reply
  378. Avatar
    kevin goggin January 03, 2010

    Freedom of speech is the most important plank of a democratic society…In a book entitled ” The Tomorrow File”; can’t remember the author,it was an offence to critcise the government of the day punishable by death..we are only that 1 law away from George Orwell’s 1984.
    From my home in Australia am giving my support to the campaign to repeal the new law…in my opinion the law is a step along a pathway to a totalitarian form of government

    Reply
  379. Avatar
    Sandy January 03, 2010

    195
    I’ve read the bible too, and far from finding it an inspirational source of truth, it made me feel sick. The main character in this nasty narrative is a complete psychopath; he is immoral, bloodthirsty, arrogant, petulant and totally lacking in integrity. i find it interesting that you, who claim to have studied this book, choose to believe in its veracity. Are you a masochist, or are you talking about a different book?

    Reply
  380. Avatar
    archiearchive January 03, 2010

    All who have commented here deserve to be prosecuted for blasphemy. Especially those supporting the Floppy Spaghetti Miser. Not one has given due deference to the One True Deity, the Invisible Pink Unicorn(PUBH)May Her Holy Hooves Never Be Shod.

    Reply
  381. Avatar
    Jaime January 03, 2010

    Nice! I am not an Irish and, when I read the news I could not believe this law is for real. Incredible.
    Good luck! The phrases are amazing, very well chosen.

    Reply
  382. Avatar
    Jacobus January 03, 2010

    Holy Crap!
    The Blasphemy Law of 2009/10. Hard to believe. And yet, power freaks being what they are, I believe it. So, want to hear something ironic?
    As one who considers himself a Christian (half-Irish non-Catholic, USA), I’m praying for you to win on this. You’re on the side of the angels, and all that. Those who stridently push religion down the throats of others are the least spiritual creatures on the planet. True spirituality is peace inside, not force applied to the outside.

    Ever notice how a pub that trumpets its wonderful food on signs outside has little to boast of really? I see people like the fancily robed rich guy in the fish-head hat and his minions as doing that. And the people like Ahern pushing “pious” laws to force others to behave in ways they can’t provide sufficient reason to cause them to want to.

    “May the Force be with you…” [mentally drawing Reiki symbols to empower your effort and weaken theirs now…]

    Reply
  383. Avatar
    I Am your God January 03, 2010

    Religions are not revealed: they are evolved. If a religion were revealed by God, that religion would be perfect in whole and in part, and would be as perfect at the first moment of its revelation as after ten thousand years of practice. There has never been a religion which fulfills those conditions. (I used Robert Blatchford to say this first)

    Reply
  384. Avatar
    gv, indonesia January 03, 2010

    just like history, religion is a subject for manipulation by the current authority.

    Reply
  385. Avatar
    Jeff Satterley January 03, 2010

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

    -Robert J. Ingersoll

    It amazes me that while we are in the middle of finding out just how insidious the Catholic Church really is, Ireland is also passing this nonsense.

    Reply
  386. Avatar
    Roger Vella Bonavita January 03, 2010

    It beggars comprehension that Ireland of all places should be passing a law like this given the utter disrepute into which the Catholic Church has fallen. I think 4 bishops have resigned and more are expected to go. I know a good Irish priest (there are many and I respect them) who does not dare to walk out in his soutane because people now spit at priests in the streets following the revelations of widespread child abuse by the clergy and the cover ups by the church hierarchy. It must be dreadful for him but there is no getting away from the fact that blasphemy of the very worse kind was committed by the perverted hypocritical clergymen who pretended they were devout men of God while gratifying their lust and by those higher up in the hierarchy who covered for them. They should certainly be disgraced, defrocked, tried and if found guilty imprisoned. Churches that practice what they preach (peace and tolerance) have no reason to fear ridicule and insult – didn’t some one say something about turning the other cheek some 2000 years ago?

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  387. Avatar
    jc January 03, 2010

    It’s hard to see how your campaign is in violation of the new blasphemy law. There is a common thread in the comments that writing something which insults a god or some religious belief is blasphemous- and this would be the case using some traditional definitions of the word. The problem with the crime of blasphemy in the Irish constitution was that there was no legal definition of it. So, the new Irish law defines something to be blasphemous if it is grossly insulting or abusive to matters held sacred to a religion and thereby causes outrage among a substantial number of adherents- you also have to have intended to cause such outrage. There are defences where a reasonable person would find literary, scientific, artistic, political or academic value in the statements.

    Most of the comments you cite have already been published in Ireland for a long time (thousands of years in the case of Jesus Christ). They have caused no appreciable outrage in the adherents of any major religion in Ireland, and given the fairly reasonable outlook of most Irish people, are not likely to.

    It seems to me that most of the comments would be covered by perhaps several of the defences- eg. the quote by Richard Dawkins could be covered by the scientific, literary and academic defence. Dermot Ahern could probably use the political defence for his remarks.

    It is hard to conceive of ‘substantial numbers’ of Irish people being ‘outraged’ by any of these comments- especially when you consider the reaction to much more relevant and current issues like the banking crisis or the recent string of child abuse scandals.

    I suspect that Dermot Ahern, in full awareness, has done his best to design this law to make sure that blasphemy will *never* be prosecuted- and he has done this without having to run a referendum, which has no political support. A private individual can no longer ‘sue’ or ‘bring a charge’ for blasphemy- it must be done by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions). Given the really serious crimes which the DPP has to deal with- there is very little chance he will waste his time with a blasphemy charge, especially on the basis of such a poorly worded law.

    A suggestion for challenging the law would be to set up your own religion and then wait until you are outraged by something. The law does not define a religion and does not define outrage- so that could work either for or against you. Also, the law says that a ‘substantial number’ of adherents should be outraged (not a ‘substantial fraction’)- again it does not say what a ‘substantial number’ is precisely- so good luck with that too (after christians, the next largest religious group in Ireland is muslims with 0.8%, so even if all of them were outraged, a good lawyer could argue that is not a substantial number at all).

    I would agree with you that blasphemy laws have no place in Ireland. But I dont believe the politicians intended prosecutions in the way put forward here, and none of the religions in Ireland to my knowledge have called for a blasphemy law. With the exception of Senator Ivana Bacik (who was not elected to the Dail) I also havent heard any politician speak strongly against it (or in favour of it either).

    So, I would claim there is hardly any public support for blasphemy laws across the religious and non-religious spectrum, but in reality there is also very little real political support for full secularisation. Ultimately, it is an indictment of our politicians in Ireland that they can waste their time enacting such inane and useless laws.

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  388. Avatar
    Mike January 03, 2010

    Thank you for your efforts on bringing this law to the courts. While I am in the US, I see the attacks on free speech in the name of tolerance (what an oxymoron) happening here also. Someone tried to break into the Danish Cartoonist’s house and hurt him this week. What the f! I firmly support any groups right to their religious belief as long as it does not curtail other peoples rights by the rule of law. The law you are facing is worse than people living in Utah under the Mormons.

    A great thing to do in your country would be to organize small churches of somewhat unconventional beliefs. Lets say the church of making love to catholic priests. You accept the sacrament and salvation at the time you have sex with a catholic priest. Its like a combination of Nambla, Rashnishi, with a touch of Pastafarianism. All meet together and if perchance the Catholic church says that having sex with priests is bad, we would be outraged. Send that Bishop to jail:)

    Sorry, having a little to much fun. Again, thanks for your good work protecting free speech and expression!

    Mike

    Reply
  389. Avatar
    jillian January 03, 2010

    I’ve never heard such hatred in all my life! It seems that the majority of atheists who preach open-mindedness are the most intolerant people I’ve ever heard in my life. I agree that people have committed extreme sins throughout history in the name of their God – but I have never blamed that on GOD! There are hypocrites out there that have ruined people’s idea of God, but God is good, and God is real and there are true Christians who represent God well. I used to be an atheist and suicidal and angry. But God believed in me, and now I believe in God! I’m now filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus’ name and am the happiest person I know. I have yet to meet a happy atheist.

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  390. Avatar
    Thom January 03, 2010

    How significant is it that on the day the Blasphemy law came into force, I wrote a long tirade to Bishop Seamus Freeman arguing my point as to why I shouldn’t have to bother going down to see a parish priest to convince him of my intention to formally defect from the catholic church…

    My argument stems from my rights under the EU Data Protection Act. I wonder, if it came to it, would I win on one and be freed from bond to the church, and then be slapped by the state for proclaiming my freedom?

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  391. Avatar
    John McCumber January 03, 2010

    Thank you very much for doing this. I hope (as an American) that Ireland revokes this law and moves into some recent century–any recent century.

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  392. Avatar
    Joe Quinn January 03, 2010

    I’ll tell you what Brian, why don’t I just leave it to my Irish family and friends to decide if I’m anti-Irish. I wish you all the best, but I have nothing more to say to you. Have a nice day.

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  393. Avatar
    Clint January 03, 2010

    Fight on everyone! Im with you!

    “God made me an atheist”

    Reply
  394. Avatar
    Thom January 03, 2010

    I believe I cannot be accused of blasphemy as I believe there is no god to blaspheme against.

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  395. Avatar
    Paul Wright January 03, 2010

    I have no problem with people having religous beliefs as long as it is done in the privacy of their homes and does not upset people and get in the way of common sense and/or basic human rights…. which sadly it does.

    Religion has always been an instrument of power over the weak-minded, and is often used to encourage and justify deeply immoral behaviour. It should certainly have no place in the running of a civilised society.

    Paul Wright
    Southampton, England (fequent visitor to Ireland)

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  396. Avatar
    Brian Macker January 03, 2010

    Jillian, (#627)

    “I’ve never heard such hatred in all my life!”
    Read the bible or the Qur’an.

    “It seems that the majority of atheists who preach open-mindedness are the most intolerant people I’ve ever heard in my life.”

    Your problem is that you do not understand the meaning of the words open-mindedness, nor tolerance.

    “I agree that people have committed extreme sins throughout history in the name of their God – but I have never blamed that on GOD!”

    Learn something about your supposedly new found religion. God is one of the greatest mass murderers of all time. He likes to drown little children in world wide floods, and likes to do so personally. In ancient times he also commanded armies of Jews to steal other peoples lands and commit genocide.

    Allah is even worse. He did all that plus he commands that such behavior be continue to practiced on every member of the idol worshiping religions.

    “There are hypocrites out there that have ruined people’s idea of God, but God is good, and God is real and there are true Christians who represent God well.”

    Would one of those hypocrites be Mohammad? Although he calls his god “good” the stuff he puts in Allahs mouth is quite vile.

    You say “God is good” yet he murdered all those people according to the bible. He does all sorts of evil things in the Christian bible. How can you justify calling a being good who has set up an eternal torture chamber for those who merely fail to be convinced that he exists, while at the same time hiding from everyone. What an insane game of hide and seek.

    “I used to be an atheist and suicidal and angry.”
    This statement is totally unbelievable given the rest of your comment. How did you become an atheist? Why were you suicidal and angry? Sounds more like a how some bigoted Christian thinks atheists are. Anger is a normal emotion that is appropriate in certain circumstances, like when someone is trying to take your rights away by law. I don’t know any suicidal atheists. Perhaps your suicidal nature drove you to religion. Christ committed suicide after all. He could have escaped at any time.

    “But God believed in me, and now I believe in God! I’m now filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus’ name and am the happiest person I know.
    I think it more likely you are just a liar.

    “I have yet to meet a happy atheist.”
    Try something for me. Replace “atheist” with “black”, and “happy” with “intelligent”, and realize how that makes you sound when you say, “I have yet to meet an intelligent black.”

    I’ll give you a hint. Other Christians might fall for your baloney story about being a former atheist but not this non-believer. You talk like a life long Christian. A Christian harboring doubts about gods existence does not an atheist make. Christians do get suicidal and depressed when they have such doubts but it’s not the same as being an atheist.

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  397. Avatar
    Chris McCue January 03, 2010

    This law is completely backwards and unfair. Why won’t the true believes leave it up to their various deities to mete out punishment for blasphemy? Free speech harms no one except those that have a vested interest in suppressing the truth.

    The examples of blasphemy here are well-chosen. Who has not made many hundreds of comments that were blasphemous to some religion throughout their lives? A declaration that Christianity is the one true religion the only path to Heaven is absolutely blasphemous to several other religions. Every priest, mullah, rabbi, minister or what have you in Ireland could be charged with several counts of blasphemy every week.

    And what is to stop them from widely interpreting any works that are merely critical of religion as blasphemous, censoring work such as that of Mark Twain, or retroactively prosecuting atheists?

    Please continue fighting. I am not an Irish citizen but you have my support.

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  398. Avatar
    Peter Billing January 03, 2010

    There is only one way to truly find out whether God exists or not, and that is to die… I am in no hurry to do this, so I don’t see why any of us need to waste any time on proving it one way or the other. I commend the fight against this silly law and hope that we all grow up real soon.

    Reply
  399. Avatar
    G Boyd January 03, 2010

    While I would call myself an atheist I really do dispair at some of the obsene rants on this site, it says more about the publishers than what they write. OK its fine being a none believer but surely believers in any religion have their rights and can believe in anything they want, there’s no need to rub their noses in it because you disagree with them.

    Reply
  400. Avatar
    Mina January 03, 2010

    In regards to these comments about religion being horrible, it isn’t. Extremism, on the other hand is. Believe what you like, and let others believe what they like. Calling religious people idoits doesn’t make you any more intelligent.

    Hope this law gets repealed soon!

    Reply
  401. Avatar
    Mary Hatch January 03, 2010

    God is dead? Rubbish. How could something be dead that never existed?

    Having said that, I see no reason for profanity, insults, or bad language. Such expressions undermine the position of the intelligent atheist. Let us rather realize and appreciate the truth: The glory and wonder of life and everything that exists is that it is all an amazing, fantastic, accident. Wow!

    Reply
  402. Avatar
    Public January 03, 2010

    Clearly there’s only one thing to do if democracy and justice is to be served: the people should cast their vote on this matter, as soon as possible, once and for all.

    Reply
  403. Avatar
    Jaacques Nissenbaum January 03, 2010

    If we were on the 1st of April I would have thought that the new law was a good joke, unfortunately it is not. Poor and laughable Ireland. I’d like to quote Samuel Davies :“Intolerance has been the curse of every age and state” And here is what I’ve published on my Facebook page: En Irlande une loi est entrée en vigueur ce 1er janvier qui interdit le blasphème et le punit d’amendes allant jusqu’à 25.000 €. Ce n’est malheureusement pas une blague, nous sommes en 2010 et en Europe…..

    Reply
  404. Avatar
    Robert January 03, 2010

    Hey, more power to Ireland for trying to overthrow tyranny in their own nation. One of the prices of free speech is the right to parody. No one is so holy, so mighty, or so precious that they are above the scorn of others.

    Reply
  405. Avatar
    Bob January 03, 2010

    You said my dog is wrong. Well, I say your dog is wrong.

    I am going to get you charged for blasphemy, before you can charge me. So there..

    Dog, I love stupid laws.

    Reply
  406. Avatar
    Mughal January 03, 2010

    We human beings must never compromise on freedom, secularism, democracy, human rights and separation between religion and state.

    If we do, we are strangling ourselves to death and paving the way to suffering, death and destruction.

    Religions are blasphemy against humanity. They all contradict each other proving beyond a shadow of doubt that not all can be true. Not only that but each and every religion is full of contradictions within and in relation to self evident facts. This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that all are false.

    It is not only the falsehood of religions that I am concerned with but also their teachings that dehumanize the otherwise decent human beings worldwide. People do evil in the name of their religions only because they are made to think right from their childhood by way of indoctrination that they are doing good.

    Yes, all should condemn laws against blasphemy anywhere and everywhere.

    Mughal.

    Reply
  407. Avatar
    Baz January 03, 2010

    “If we remove blasphemy laws then we should also remove laws protecting citizens against GBH. This would be fair.” Yes, Robin, being on the receiving end of a beating and having somebody express an opinion that is contrary to yours are, to all intents and purposes, exactly the same thing. Well spotted. B

    Reply
  408. Avatar
    Hywel January 03, 2010

    These new laws show the government of Ireland is still existing in the Dark Ages . They have
    placed the Republic on an equal level to most Muslim countries which still have the barbaric
    laws of ancient times .

    Reply
  409. Avatar
    The Happy Atheist January 03, 2010

    Now, you’ve been naughty and said a rude word that Mummy and Daddy don’t like. You will be whipped daily and we’re going to take away half your meals for a year until you know why what you did was wrong. It may seem harsh now, but you will be a better person at the end. Just remember, Mummy and Daddy love you very very much…..

    Reply
  410. Avatar
    Ruth January 03, 2010

    Que en el siglo XXI pasen estas cosas es increible. Todo mi apoyo desde España.

    Un saludo.

    Reply
  411. Avatar
    Patrick Fenlon January 03, 2010

    Perhaps many athiests are missing a basic point.

    God is both alive and well, living in the dreams of the Church.

    Blasphemy laws are a mechanisim fron the middle ages that is used by the Church to quell dissent and control the population.

    Reply
  412. Avatar
    dutch January 03, 2010

    Keep on the good fight.

    Scientology is a criminal organization, with its believers/brainwashers victims peddling an utterly poor sci-fi story about the supreme roolah Xenu, a story which can not be heard until obscene amounts of money have been paid (but you can watch the Southpark eposide ´trapped in the closet´ for free if you want to see it). It ought to be prosecuted by the Irish government for fraudulent activities, like it has succesfully been in France and Belgium.

    So saying this is now illegal, huh. Great move Ireland!

    Reply
  413. Avatar
    Greg Keyes January 03, 2010

    Good on you guys. With you 100%.
    Greg Keyes.

    Reply
  414. Avatar
    colin January 03, 2010

    I am very happy, and relieved, to read others are outraged by this law. But I do wonder myself how much of a decoy the blasphemy aspect is and if perhaps the real goal of this law is the sedition aspect! As we enter this winter of discontent with a deeply unpopular government, determined to go the distance, this law seems like a good stick for the government to shake about.

    Reply
  415. Avatar
    Jesus the only savior January 03, 2010

    God loves every body including you atheist, give your life to him and you would be at peace with him.

    Reply
  416. Avatar
    Andy January 03, 2010

    So a lot of people like sport.
    Someones religion may be a big football team (pick a name).
    Any supporter of another team is obviously blaspheming your religion.
    Go to court.
    Look really stupid.

    I don’t support this legislation. Andy

    Reply
  417. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 03, 2010

    The Irish nation, so long the unfortunate victim of humourous ridicule, has just managed to commit podiacide; thus ensuring its continued status as that victim.

    Reply
  418. Avatar
    jon January 03, 2010

    I had a lovely supper and all I said to my wife was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah! Are they going to ban The Life of Brian?

    Reply
  419. Avatar
    Andy January 03, 2010

    And I get 666 result! Andy

    Reply
  420. Avatar
    Rick Yagodich January 03, 2010

    Having had more time to think about this law, I now believe it should stand. However, in standing, it MUST be testing in a court, too.

    Why?

    (I am not hereby retracting my prior comment #423, but expanding on it.)

    This law actually serves a purpose, if tested. But the testing requires the right play: a plea of guilty. With an accompanying caveat. The accused is guilty because, by definition, every person in Ireland is guilty, as is every visitor to the Emerald Isle.

    Every religious belief – and the lack of belief – is blasphemous to every monotheistic religion but itself. That is the definition of monotheism.

    What solution, then, but for all religions to be required, by law, to repeal the sin of blasphemy? By maintaining this law, and enforcing it the only way that can work (short of homogeneous belief), religious tolerance is increased.

    Blasphemy itself – the very concept thereof – is the crime.

    Reply
  421. Avatar
    AndrewGMooney January 03, 2010

    Ireland has more important issues to focus on than pandering to residual elements who, despite the tsunami of evidence against them, still expect deference and privilege. Having been trashed by Faith-based Faith, then by Faith-based Finance: It’s time for Ireland to put its’ ‘faith’ in Rationality. This law is step one on a slippery slope of regression and oppression. Bin it.

    Reply
  422. Avatar
    Brian Peppers January 03, 2010

    I object to your blasphemous statements and irreverence for the almighty. I remember the first time I called out to God to help me, and he fulfilled all of his prophecies for me. I whistled for God and when he came near the license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I can say this God is rare, But I thought ‘Now forget it’ – ‘Yo homes to Bel Air’.

    Reply
  423. Avatar
    Shabaka January 03, 2010

    It appears this is the first step to bring back the one true method to keep folks on their knees, the Inquisition.

    Ireland man, wow. I hope they realize the 12th century has passed.lol

    Reply
  424. Avatar
    Ignacio January 03, 2010

    It’s great. Keep on with your idea.

    Bye from Spain.

    Reply
  425. Avatar
    apricot January 03, 2010

    Pontius Pilate was better than the modern day Christians. Lord Bertrand Russel has rightly said,”to become a true Christian you must read ‘The Confessions of St. Augustine’.Do the Pontiffs read it?

    Reply
  426. Avatar
    Anti-Theist January 03, 2010

    The sad christians are offended by the naughty words and the insults, with their arrogance built on their ludicorus babylonian belief system. Holy trinity? Virgin birth? look up “Babylonian genesis” on google you stupid, stupid people. Before Jesus there was Mithras, look him up too, stupid christians. Look up Sol Invictus and the true meaning of christmas, you stupid people. You’re nothing but sheep bleating out a message that was old even when they stuck the jew on the stick. Son of god? SUN of god, what do you think the halo is, stupid christians? You are worshipping a strange mutation of sun worship, babylonian mythology, pagan fertility rites and festivals and Italian mind-fuckery written in the thirtenth century. All the information is out there for you to see, stupid christians, but you stay safe behind your faith – it’s OK, you’ll never have to think, never have to research, never have to face the facts. That’s fine. Just don’t turn your obscene, delusional, anti-feminine nonsense into law, keep it to yourselves, shut yourselves in a your dark little rooms and have a nice long chat to your god. And see if he answers.

    Reply
  427. Avatar
    David W January 03, 2010

    I believe in freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion’s requirements. I try not to insult the belief of others but I also know that anyone who condemns the religion of another is being a bigot and is narrow-minded. In this way, I feel the new blasphemy law in Ireland and the intent to create such a law in the UN is an attempt to abridge the freedom of man in the guise of forcing adherence to religion, and as such I condemn it. – David W, Adelphi, MD 20783

    Reply
  428. Avatar
    David Owen January 03, 2010

    My Comment Number 429:
    ———————————
    Dear Irish Atheists,

    You have published matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by many religions and you have intentionally caused outrage among a substantial number of adherents of those religions.

    The Irish Government would be failing in its constitutional duty if it were not to charge you with offences under the new laws of blasphemy.

    You should be fined.

    Does this help?

    Cheers

    DO

    Comment by David Owen — January 2, 2010 @ 1:48 pm
    ———————————

    ….. and a reply at Number 442:

    ———————————
    DEAR MR OWEN…do you believe in fairies?

    Comment by sam graham — January 2, 2010 @ 2:24 pm
    ———————————
    Sam,
    If you take time to think it through (and most readers sucessfully spotted it)- it is clear that I am an Atheist. What we really need now as the next stage of this campaign is for people to feel insulted and outraged and to start complaining to the democratically elected government of the Republic of Ireland.
    Cheers

    Reply
  429. Avatar
    Gordon January 03, 2010

    One of the most ironic aspects of this nonsense is that the same Act, with regards to defamation, draws a clear distinction between fact and opinion… and then proceeds to include reference to religion. Would anyone else see this as mildly hypocritical?

    Conveniently religion is not defined, but section 36(4) states:

    “In this section “religion” does not include an organisation or cult—
    (a) the principal object of which is the making of profit, or
    (b) that employs oppressive psychological manipulation—
    (i) of its followers, or
    (ii) for the purpose of gaining new followers.”

    Of course that doesn’t rule out the Church which could never be viewed . One of the richest organizations in the world, worshipping a dead carpenter who lived 2,000 years ago and which promises all sinners, blasphemers & non-believers an eternity of pain and suffering in the fires of hell.

    It’s obvious that this Act can never be enforced. Nobody will ever be fined for stating that god doesn’t exist, religion is nonsensical mumbo-jumbo, or that the Church is a money-making and manipulative control machine. If they tried, all the accused would have to do is whip out a copy of The Bible and demand that the State bans it as a blasphemous publication.

    This begs the question of why Dermot Ahern is wasting taxpayers’ money on drafting non-enforceable rubbish? Is this the best use of the minister’s time and my money?

    Reply
  430. Avatar
    Jesus the only savior January 03, 2010

    I find it difficult to accept the fact that there is no God, well so who created the earth. Irish atheist please be on the winning side by accepting this simple and yet greatest fact that God exists.Whether you guys believe it or not there is God, He created this world and he would come and judge you all.Time is running out.

    Reply
  431. Avatar
    jm January 03, 2010

    Congratualtion,
    with the support of all the atheists in the world and especially in France

    Religion is the worst thing invented by men, far worse than war. it was always at least one end ! Superstition, not.

    Reply
  432. Avatar
    Jules Roche January 03, 2010

    Seems the new Irish government law banning blasphemy has had the opposite effect. There is more public blasphemy in Ireland during the first 3 days of 2010 than (I believe) ever before. Maybe I am missing something was this the original plan?

    Reply
  433. Avatar
    Pat Shaw January 03, 2010

    Why do people in Ireland keep voting for these morons? A lot has changed in Ireland in the last 30 years but it is still a priest ridden backward society. Every sporting, charity or state project will still have a druid hauled out for the opening. Blessing football fields and motorways and hospitals is still accepted as normal. Irish schools and hospitals and care facilities are still full of priests in positions of power, and their influence is being funded by the tax payer. Ireland needs to remove religion from its politics before it can advance and it needs to educate its people about politics. The Irish are politically illiterate, why else would they continue to elect thieves and robbers such as Beverly Flynn and Michael Lowery and clearly at the last election there was a sizable group who believed that Bertie Ahern was an honest man. The minds numbs at the thought of people in Galway who could not use the water from their taps in 2007, yet still voted for FF & PD.

    Thought kills 99% of all known clerics.

    To Dermot Ahern & John Gormley, All religion is bollocks.

    Reply
  434. Avatar
    Fergerino January 03, 2010

    Looking through the posts, it seems that the new blasphemy law causes outrage to the majority of atheists.
    I wonder therefore if the law itself is guilty of blasphemy and will vanish in a puff of logic…

    Reply
  435. Avatar
    Rambo January 03, 2010

    The introduction of this law just goes to show that there is something missing in all of your lives, God is and always will be a mystery. People believe in him or they don’t. They sense something within them that invokes the spirit and soul. They wake up knowing answers to questions they haven’t pondered before. God is real and alive in all of us. We only have to look in the mirror to see his reflection.

    I’m a schizophrenic and have had two psyhcotic episodes, one filled with light and love, the other darkness and despair. I see God in everything that encompassess this world, a true wonder that never ceases to amaze me of its complexity and diversity. The fact is I actually sense something when God is around, I feel him, I can reach out and touch him. This is all purely mental but the fact remains that he is alive and watching. From either standpoint, both sides of the fence could be called delusional, on one side the mere denial of god’s works in progress and the fact that something that can’t be tested simply must not exist.

    All of you should look within the heart for your own answers, some people just don’t have this dimensional makeup and lack the added insight. You must realise that there is a reason for you not knowing the answer to the God question. Maybe in this life you are just not ready for this wonderful gift. So, don’t worry, there’s always next time.

    Reply
  436. Avatar
    Chris Perry January 03, 2010

    It is just another example why religion and faith need to stay out of government. No Logic, No Sense, No Reason, and No Common Sense. You don’t need an imaginary friend telling you how to live a good life and you certainly do not need laws that propagate Dark Ages kind of thinking. All this law is going to do is create more problems. I mean really, how can you preside over a court case like this? It is far to subjective to the viewpoints of the offended. Because I follow the laws of FSM, that would mean that I can call Blasphemy on every word uttered by every other religion because it offends me. And in turn, they can do the same to me. It really is ludicrous. To paraphrase another poster: If your Deity is so offended, let him speak now.

    Reply
  437. Avatar
    Ian January 03, 2010

    If all of these crappy religions are so strong and their believers so believing there should be no way that they could be offended. Atheists especially should be personna non grata as far as they are concerned, merely on this planet to test their faith. Personally I have no religion neither do I consider myself an Atheist, I am just me.
    Old law new money spinner, on the other hand enough of these cases could tie up the courts for years and fill the prisons to bursting point, cost a fortune.

    Reply
  438. Avatar
    Peppa Pig January 03, 2010

    Mention religion and the nutters are out in force. Just look at this board. Most of the posts appear to be from mentally unbalanced sex obsessed freaks spouting hatred and bile. So you’re atheists. So what. Who cares.

    Reply
  439. Avatar
    Marty January 03, 2010

    Opinions vary. People who follow no faith find it easy to be insensitive to others that do. I like the law.

    Reply
  440. Avatar
    Jim January 03, 2010

    As a Brit who has taken so much crap from irish people both in the UK and here in Australia, I say “serves you right”.
    If you can’t think for yourselves and have to rely on an Italian messenger from god for you salvation, you deserve all that you get

    Reply
  441. Avatar
    thomas January 03, 2010

    9. Rev Ian Paisley MEP to the Pope in the European Parliament, 1988: “I denounce you as the Antichrist.” Paisley’s website describes the Antichrist as being “a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning… he will imitate Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.”

    just for philosphical correctness: Nietzsche said that the antichrist-behaviour has been the normal behaviour of all christians since the dead of jesus. so i’d say the rev is denouncing someone as a true christ to defend christianity and therefore is denouncing hisself as a blasphemic towards his own religion…
    lets talk about madness…

    Reply
  442. Avatar
    Michael January 03, 2010

    I am a Christian who disagrees with this blasphemy law. Of course people should be able to express their views, and insult etc. should be judged from case to case, and the persons are the only beings who can be insulted, not ideas as such. This law will only provoke people with different views to insult each other more, as atheists will feel they are being bullied.

    Reply
  443. Avatar
    W January 03, 2010

    This is the Talibanization of Ireland !!

    Reply
  444. Avatar
    January 03, 2010

    i’m irish. i’m living in china right now. i’ve been watching this since i found out about it, and i have been watching the response of people on this site since 1st of jan. i noticed that the rte news website didn’t even mention this on their site on the first day that this law came into force.
    i was brought up as a catholic, but like most of the the rest of you, and all of my friends i’m not religious at all now. so i’m not going to take the piss out of any religion here. but for fuck sake, you fucking wanker cunts in the government, should be disgraced by your stupid draconian law, you have the fucking cheek to tell people what they can and can’t say. our history is full of people who died because of things that they weren’t allowed to say, and because of them we finally got our independence, and now not even a century later, comes this pile of shite that you call a law. well i have only you thing to tell you gentlemen of the government, ireland now only regrets one thing, Ireland regret that your Da didn’t just wank you out on the bed that night you were conceived, instead of nagging your ma almost to death to save his wrist the energy and pain.
    liuxiaobo has just sacrificed 11 years of his live for freedom of speech over here.

    sort out what fucking century you’re living in, then tell the people who vote for you first next time
    dan

    Reply
  445. Avatar
    Aife January 03, 2010

    For once in my life, I’m glad I’m Northern Irish. Though the Roman Catholic Carcrash has a pretty tight chokehold in parts here…

    Reply
  446. Avatar
    Prometheus January 03, 2010

    Is the new blasphemy “law” passed by the Neanderthals in Leinster House designed to protect
    the Roman Catholic Church of Paedophilia from criticism, as well as giving precedence to
    the Homopithecines over Homo sapiens??

    Reply
  447. Avatar
    Antoine January 03, 2010

    So fun :)

    Reply
  448. Avatar
    DivineLightSound January 03, 2010

    Congratulations and commendations to Ireland for passing this law. Intelligent people realize that religion SHOULD be protected in a modern and secular society, because it is so precious to most people and it always will be. If we are going to protect homosexuals, then we should protect religious folks too.

    Reply
  449. Avatar
    Kevin Safford January 03, 2010

    Good for you!

    Reply
  450. Avatar
    Oddzball January 03, 2010

    In one sick legislative act, the Irish peop;e have diminished their palace on the scale of civilized folk by five increments,

    If you voted any of the turds who enacted this law into office, your shame taints your family. Both your acestors and all future generations yet to be. What a pity that this law protects you from being told: GO TO HELL

    Reply
  451. Avatar
    jacques January 03, 2010

    @708:

    “If you can’t think for yourselves and have to rely on an Italian messenger from god ….”

    I believe it’s a German lad. Oops, at least something I believe. ;/

    Reply
  452. Avatar
    Stephen January 03, 2010

    The blasphemy laws seem misguided because they infringe upon a person’s rights to freedom of speech. Rights, (of course) imply morality, and morality does not make sense without a God whose nature informs our verdict of “right” and “wrong”. The blasphemy laws are wrong because God exists. If God does not exist, nothing is right or wrong per se, (least of all blasphemy laws), and the laws are merely inconvenient for their opponents.

    Reply
  453. Avatar
    truthisfree January 03, 2010

    This is indeed a crazy law and should be broken as often as possible to show the idiots who agree with it how ineffective it is.

    Reply
  454. Avatar
    gianni January 03, 2010

    Here in Italy we’ve got the enclave of the Vatican and all political parties nudge and scramble to ingratiate themselves, pope Nazinger makes the (political) difference by indicating who is the more “pious”. So, I don’t think our government will be supportive. One of our constitunal articles (our constitution is considered one the best) states that we have free religion in a free state. But as the Romans said: Laws have to be interpreted. That is the point.

    Gianni

    Reply
  455. Avatar
    carpe diem January 03, 2010

    some people complained about us calling names to the delusional and their lunacies, I want to remind to all of you that this is a place to practice blasphemy , don’t like it ? go and spend more time on your knees, like slaves, asking an in-existent, invisible nothingness created by ignorants in their likeness, to win the lottery , or burn some body. “of all the plagues with which mankind are cursed, eclesiastic tyranny is the worst” Daniel Defoe “me thinks sometime I have no more wit than a christian..” Shakespear

    Reply
  456. Avatar
    carpe diem January 03, 2010

    meant Shakespeare..

    Reply
  457. Avatar
    Robin January 03, 2010

    From the act

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if—

    (a) 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, and

    (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

    (3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

    So if you say something that may cause outrage – e.g. Mary and Jesus were married, then that would be considered blasphemous and outrageous. However a reasonable person would find academic value in such an argument.

    So to be blasphemous, it would have to be outrageous to a religion and no reasonable person could find an value in the argument.

    Reply
  458. Avatar
    TROUTER FROM BELGIUM January 03, 2010

    Everything in life was, is and will be evolution and coincidental.

    Reply
  459. Avatar
    Calum McDonald January 03, 2010

    699 “The introduction of this law just goes to show that there is something missing in all of your lives”

    Really, upon what basis do you make this ascertion?

    You know this for certain because?

    Well, actually perhaps there was something missing on New Year’s Day. But now with this law there isn’t.

    I’d missed have such a damn good laugh in ages and due to this law and the subsequent comments on this website I haven’t stopped laughing since.

    So thank everybody for providing such a laugh and thank your government for starting this all.

    If only it wasn’t a laughing matter in Eire!

    – you have my support!

    Reply
  460. Avatar
    Colin Watts January 03, 2010

    Is Atheism Ireland a non-Prophet organisation?

    Reply
  461. Avatar
    Art Kristol January 03, 2010

    God is fiction, a creation of ancient man, and only fools (Christians, Jews, Muslims, et. al.) believe otherwise. There is no invisible sky fairy. Live your life now – you only have one.

    Reply
  462. Avatar
    Steven Molteno January 03, 2010

    @Martin
    “and the fool said in his heart: there is no god” The wise say it out loud! Blasphemy! Blasphe-you! Blas-fer-everyone!

    I like the idea, mentioned above, of compiling a list of one blasphemous statement geared to each of the top 20 religious beliefs (To be fair there should also be one to offend the irreligious/Atheists – though I don’t really know how you blaspheme a belief that’s by nature rather open to criticism… and religious congregations criticize Atheist beliefs every day anyway, we’re so used to it!)

    Reply
  463. Avatar
    Ivan January 03, 2010

    Thank you for putting this site up. What a joke our government is. Shame on them. A shame for our country.

    Reply
  464. Avatar
    Amanda Luxton January 03, 2010

    Old ones….jesus died for his sins, not mine….want that tee shirt with Jesus flying towards a ball that says, ‘Jesus Saves’…..

    Shame about this law, talk about strangle a generation of free thinkers. Quickest way to bring out the haters.

    Are any of the religions worth a mention? No. All corrupt. English by the way, will say what I like when I like. No disrespect to anyone here but the day I give up speaking my mind is the day I stop breathing. Ireland, get a grip, all you are proving is how scared you are of your own people.

    Reply
  465. Avatar
    John Bosworth January 03, 2010

    Just pissed myself laughing at the great comments above. The humour could only come from free thinkers.
    But it’s amazing to see that there are still a lot of fuckwits out there in 2010. No doubt there will be a few less by 2011.

    Reply
  466. Avatar
    Andrzej January 03, 2010

    Hmmmm….maybe we should consult an authoritative source before jumping on this new legislation:

    The God FAQ would seem to suit our purposes: http://www.400monkeys.com/God/

    There she be…..jump away!

    My wife and I were planning a 3 week trip to Ireland soon….but since this would likely cost me €25,000, I think we’ll spend our vacation monies somewhere rational people inhabit the country. ’nuff said.

    As for the morons that passed this law, they are YAFIGOMPs, in my estimation (Google it).

    Reply
  467. Avatar
    Jihn January 03, 2010

    It is high time we all reacted against the threat of letting ourselves be more and more under ideological surveillance, as is alas more and more the case in European countries. It is high time we had the courage and the spine of telling a spade a spade and naming the ones – whoever they are – who are all too eager to benefit from the ‘tolerance’ they conveniently find in our democratic societies to spread THEIR real and unbearable intolerance for other values than their own, and promote integrism and obscurantism. Let’s revert religion to where it should always have been, once and for all : to anyone’s sole and private concern. Congratulations for your action.

    Reply
  468. Avatar
    Scriveyn January 03, 2010

    I believe in not paying taxes. Join my religion and dare the Office of the Revenue Commissioners to commit blasphemy.

    Reply
  469. Avatar
    Manolo January 03, 2010

    So much hatred will do you harm, that’s the second reason why I’d never be an atheist.

    Reply
  470. Avatar
    Agni January 03, 2010

    Congratulations. Warm loves from Bangladesh.

    Reply
  471. Avatar
    fsm January 03, 2010

    I find it funny that religious people try to protect themselves against criticism by enacting a secular law. Is that not in itself an act of blasphemy, in that they do not trust their respective deity to judge over the critics? In the same sense I consider a lightning rod on a church a blasphemy.

    Reply
  472. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 03, 2010

    “From the act

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if—

    (a) 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”

    So, how do they propose to prosecute based on the essentially undefined term ‘substantial’. Without a quantifiable definition how can citizens be assured that they have not transgressed that part of the legislation.

    For example, being prosecuted for speeding is based on exceeding a clearly defined speed limit and not an opinion of ‘driving too fast’.

    Furthermore how do they propose to demonstrate that a “substantial number of the adherents” have been outraged? Do they proposed to undertake a census of those declared to be an “adherent” having already undertaken an accurate contemporary count of the total number of “adherents”.

    Obviously this census will have to (and without prejudice) ensure that the “substantial number of the adherents” have been outraged and not merely annoyed, insulted or abused.

    Perhaps they will just use the ‘ducking stool’ from the proposed “Witchcraft and Burning at the Stake Act”?

    Reply
  473. Avatar
    wb4 January 03, 2010

    The Invisible Pink Unicorn cannot grind theists beneath Her Holy Hooves because the filthy beast has slipper foot!

    The above statement is illegal in Ireland.

    Reply
  474. Avatar
    Eugene January 03, 2010

    religion is just a matrix in which the masses have not woken up from. Am i going to hell or online?

    Reply
  475. Avatar
    GARY in the California January 03, 2010

    OH gOD! How James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney must be turning in their graves.

    Reply
  476. Avatar
    Vlewis Peartree January 03, 2010

    Wow! The lot of ya really want to test the theory, don’t ‘cha. (woops! a Palin-ism)

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it, and here’s the reason why……

    HELL EXPLAINED BY CHEMISTRY STUDENT

    The following is an actual question given on University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

    Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students, excepting the one who responded below, wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    ”First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving.

    I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

    As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

    Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in
    order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the
    temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

    The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct….. leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting:

    “Oh-my-God-oh-my-God-oh-my-God…!”

    THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A”
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    I’d love to hear your comments, dinkidau@yahoo.com

    Reply
  477. Avatar
    Scott January 03, 2010

    Haha nice post but I have to say Bjork’s coment about buddhism seems to have been stemmed from ignorance, Buddhists onl address animal’s as lesser beings because they do not have the same oppurtunities as us in a spiritual sense, as in its hard for a slug to be a good or bad slug, they dont mean lesser as in unequal like she aparently thinks.

    Reply
  478. Avatar
    PJMcNeill January 03, 2010

    As a Brit who is entitled to apply for an Irish Passport, I was seriously considering enacting this right, in view of the Totalitarian State that is being constructed in the UK, and thought I might retire to ROI in a few years’ time.

    The Irish fought for, and won, their freedom, and I saw them as a people who wouldn’t be pushed around, who might take to the streets in the face of an impending dictatorship.

    But then we had the re-run of the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and they were conned into assent from their previous defiance.

    Now this abomination. The Catholic Church, promoter and protector of child-abusing wierdos, proves that it still controls the State.

    I was brought up indoctrinated into this creepy religion. I still recall my terror, as a sensitive 7-year-old, when our class was told (by an Irish female teacher, coincidentally – at St. Joseph’s RC infants’ school, Pontefract Road, Castleford, W. Yorkshire, for the record) about a girl who had gone to communion without first going to confession, and had little black ‘devils’ crawling all over her body.

    What kind of thing is that to frighten young children with?

    I find that, at 56, I am still purging this insidious corruption from my being. It’s a kind of mental defecation.

    Reply
  479. Avatar
    Keith January 03, 2010

    You know there was a time when I was proud of our little country, but then that was also when I knew fuck all about it. When will we grow up?

    Reply
  480. Avatar
    Dr. Grabham Young January 03, 2010

    We at The Church of the Simply Divine are a very fundamental religion. That is to say we revere the Great Spiritual Fundament: our one and only one tenet. We believe – okay, let’s be perfectly accurate, we KNOW – you can only approach Divinity through a Same-Sex Mindset.

    And so it followeth, as the Night the Day, that every homosexual IS AT BIRTH a Member and a Minister in our church – whether they like it or not – and anything and everything that queer does with regard to his/her sexuality is a bona fide religious act!

    Well, you can imagine that we are THRILLED by the Irish Parliament’s decision to return to the good old days of punishing blasphemy. Given our ONE tenet, we obviously consider BLASPHEMOUS TO THE EXTREME any statements made by anyone disparaging gays or lesbians (bisexuals, however, *can* be disparaged, but only half the time and only with regard to their damnable heterosexual urges).

    We are in the process of informing the Irish Government that we expect FULL AND IMMEDIATE ENFORCEMENT from them regarding blasphemies against our one and only sacred tenet. As we have only ONE tenet, it will naturally make enforcement of blasphemies against us far simpler to process than those of other religions which have very long and sometimes quite unintelligible lists of possible blasphemies.

    Reply
  481. Avatar
    Kate Haggman January 03, 2010

    Why is it that those who can’t control their chimp-brains always seem to bully into submission those who CAN think for themselves, using whatever over-the-top means they can find? What are they afraid of – that rational folk might actually convert them to Reason? Are they THAT insecure in their ‘faith’?

    Great work Atheist Ireland. Thanks for fighting this ridiculous law.

    Reply
  482. Avatar
    Arlo January 03, 2010

    In a secular state that promotes freedom of speech and freedom of worship, it is possible to believe and talk about your truth. In a religious state with a blasphemy law, it is not. Which state has the greater capacity for love?

    Reply
  483. Avatar
    Eldon January 03, 2010

    The human race will reach its full potential once all religions are outlawed. Religion promote fear and hate towards other religions/people. This new law should be used against all religious leaders. Just bring historical records for proof of their numerous crime against humanity. Another point that is often overlooked is that most bibles are very blasphemous.

    Reply
  484. Avatar
    KJ January 03, 2010

    Have we returned to the Dark Ages? Add my name to the list of folk who see this new law as an absolutely stupid idea. If George Carlin was still with us, he could be the poster boy for the retraction of this idiotic legislation.

    Reply
  485. Avatar
    Filipe Castro January 03, 2010

    Awesome! I remembered another. Bill Hicks on Christianity: eternal suffering for those who doubt God’s infinite love.

    Reply
  486. Avatar
    High Priest Rowan Van Embden of the Holy Church of Lion Lampooners January 03, 2010

    I for one am elated at the passing of this vital piece of legislaion into law. I am in fact in the process of litigating a number of offenders who repeatedly blaspheme against my own sacred beliefs.

    Be warned all those who perform the blasphemous act of refusing to lampoon lions when in public will find themselves coming under heavy legal fire from my legal team of tabby cats!!

    YOU HAVE BEE WARNED!!!!!!

    Reply
  487. Avatar
    Marijan Bandic January 03, 2010

    Great selection … keep fighting … support from a Croat currently living in the USA …

    Reply
  488. Avatar
    High Priest Rowan Van Embden of the Holy Church of Lion Lampooners January 03, 2010

    I for one am elated at the passing of this vital piece of legislaion into law. I am in fact in the process of litigating a number of offenders who repeatedly blaspheme against my own sacred beliefs.

    Be warned all those who perform the blasphemous act of refusing to lampoon lions when in public will find themselves coming under heavy legal fire from my legal team of tabby cats!!

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED HEATHENS!!!!!!

    Reply
  489. Avatar
    Ciaran Kelly January 04, 2010

    This recent decision by the irish government to implement this new blasphemy law, is an absolute disgrace, which i think will soon become a national embarrassment. The reasoning behind this decision is particularly baffling, do the authors and supporters of this law, who i assume are the followers or claim to be the followers of some form of christianity, now all of a sudden believe that islam and judaism (we will just discuss the three monotheisms to begin with) demand equal respect as that of christianity. The very definition of christianity is that it is the one and only solution to all human problems, so clearly this new law is more to do with ‘political correctness’ than the belief of its authors. You don’t see the iranian or saudi arabian government granting equal respect to other religions bar their own. Now that its been established that the basis for this law is political and not theological, we must ask why is it being passed??
    Being a staunch anti-theist, i believe that all religions are different versions of the same untruth, but what about my feelings as a secular humanist? its ok for religious folk to condemn me to hell for not believing in their desert scripture, but i cant laugh at the fact that they think that noah built an ark aged 500, or that a lump of dry bread suddenly turns into the body christ after a quick blessing from a repressed and ignorant priest. NO this is the very definition of unfreedom. we are either a secular society or we are not.
    Free speech, freedom of enquiry and free press are far more important that the right of religious people not to have their feelings hurt. we are surrendering what is most precious in our society if we don’t oppose this law. This must be opposed! Religion makes fantastic claims for itself and now we are told that these are claims we can’t openly challenge- this is the very definition of totalitarianism!

    Reply
  490. Avatar
    Niamh Kelly January 04, 2010

    This is such bullshit. I am going to continue to criticise religion, regardless of this ridiculous law. It’s a fucking joke.

    Reply
  491. Avatar
    Bishop Rick January 04, 2010

    Dear oh dear…. an ‘backwoods’ nation, driven by the Vatican for the last two thousand years, is now trying to become more Taliban-like than Pakistan or Afghanistan, never mind Saudi Arabia and all the other godforsaken retard nations of the world.

    But Eire was ever thus, and only the kindness of neo-liberalism and a bucket of fools gold from the EU managed to drag it, partially, and ever-so-briefly, into the ‘modern day’.

    This is worth protesting about, but frankly, all aspects of all religions need examining forensically.

    What about the joke of a constitution in Eire?

    When it is patently obvious that the Vatican is a criminal organisation, given all the buggery and rape that it supported for years in Eire and elsewhere in the world, along with the state as its ever present partner, protector and willing accomplice, I hope the few intelligent people that must live somewhere in Eire stand up and rid this pretend nation-state of all religious privilege.

    Send your Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, priests and other gang members on a one-way trip to the Vatican. This criminal blot is, after all, a nation-state with a place at the UN. Send them back their unwanted citizens and free your nation.

    Never mind any imagined war with the English.

    Your war is with the endemic wilful ignorance and the welded link between your state and the Vatican church.

    Declare war on the Pope.

    In the meantime, have a look at the Truth.

    This song explains why bees do not have a place in Heaven, and should help your campaign because it is bound to upset your buggering priests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9bMi4s_yOE

    Bishop Rick
    Devils Ridge
    Paradise Ohio

    Reply
  492. Avatar
    Michael Green January 04, 2010

    I’d like to examine one of the dissenting posts – No. 590 from John MacCullough

    “wow – the venom on this site! Such an irrational response from a supposedly rational movement.”

    I think the venom and irrationality (although there is much good, rational debate here too) is perfectly understandable. Many people who have had religion drummed into them when young, who have been frightened by the threats that religion uses to keep people in line, once they have freed themselves of its tyranny wish to demonstrate their antagonism towards the belief structure which deformed their earlier life. There is a lot of anger there, possibly still some fear, and it is unsurprising that it evinces itself in this way. There are others (and this includes me) who are so angry, depressed and incredulous at what they consider to be the pernicious rubbish that people are persuaded to believe and the harm it does, that they want to attack these bastions of unreason with one of the weapons which (witness this stupid law) seems peculiarly to damage them, namely ridicule and insult. The religious are remarkably bad at turning the other cheek.

    “Atheism has no answers and leaves one very ‘cold’ in this life.”

    How does he know that atheism leaves one very cold? Has he tried it? I rather doubt it. Well, I feel very warm. Warm towards my fellow human beings, towards all other creatures and towards the planet on which I live.

    He then goes on to pose several questions for which, apparently, atheism has no answers. Atheism is a dreadful term. Why should I be defined by reference to theists? I call myself a free-thinker. As a free-thinker I look to science and the rationalistic approach to provide answers to the questions posed by our environment and, I have to say, that the answers provided by this method seem infinitely superior to the offerings of the witch doctors of religion. Evolution or creationism? Is there even a contest? But all religion desperately resists and fights against every scientific advance. Sometimes it can do nothing but grudgingly accept – as with the Copernican solar system – but it then digs its heels in a little further down the line to fight its next battle against science and reason. Is it surprising we get a bit hot under the collar with it.

    “1. What caused the universe?”

    We are getting ever nearer to discovering exactly HOW the universe began and possibly what began it. With results from the Hadron Collider we will be back to milliseconds after the Big Bang. If began = cause then we can answer the first question.

    “If there is no cause for its existence, why does it exist?”

    The idea that the universe has a purpose (why?) is an anthropomorhic, teleological question. Why should it have a purpose? Just because man believes all his actions to have a purpose it doesn’t follow that other events should have a purpose.

    “2. How can atheism affirm the reality of ‘evil’ without any absolutes?”

    This is an incoherent question. For a start, “atheism” is not a belief structure with rules and a morality, it is merely the refusal to accept supernatural explanations for natural phenomena. A free-thinker (see above) determines his/her own morality. “Evil” is very much a religious concept and suggests a congenital disposition within an individual to vile anti-social acts. A free-thinker is unlikely to accept or use this kind of concept. This doesn’t mean that free-thinkers don’t have a morality. On the contrary, all my atheist friends tend to have what I consider to be a strong moral outlook on life.

    “3. What is the basis for morality? How can atheism call racism & genocide ‘bad’ without a moral code?”

    Again, he’s talking about atheism as though it was a set of beliefs. As I said above, each free-thinker will determine his/her own moral code. Everybody has some sort of moral code. The Mafia – good Catholics all – appear to have a very strong moral code which not only includes loving and protecting their family but the freedom to murder and torture their enemies. The Inquisition – very good Catholics all – had a similar moral code. If you asked me what my moral code was based on I would probably say something like “To be honest, generous and thoughtful and to behave in a way that does not harm or distress others and which generally enables mankind to thrive and flourish in peace and harmony” – or some such. Most atheists I know have a moral code which the religious would recognise as “good”.

    So I can very definitely condemn racism and genocide as deeply inimical to the peace and harmony of mankind and therefore my own moral code.

    “4. What is the basis for meaning? If no purpose to life, why do atheists live as if they had meaning?”

    If by “purpose” he means some end to which a life is tending, there is no purpose in life. There is, in common with all other animals, a drive to survive, to procreate, to care for one’s young. I don’t know what he means by “meaning”. I don’t live as if I have “meaning”. I think. I read. I write. I work. I associate with others. I enjoy life. Some people say their purpose is to leave the world a better place than when they were born. That sounds ok to me but I don’t have a purpose. I think that’s anthropomorphism again.

    “5. What is the basis for truth?”

    Something is true if it is the case.

    “How can one know if Atheism is true for everyone?”

    I think most people would be much happier if they jettisoned whatever hotchpotch of ridiculous beliefs their religion expected them to hold. Some people might not have the strength of mind to accept that we’re here because we’re here because we’re her and that when we die, we die and that’s it for us. The only way most of us will live on is in the memories of a few others and some photographs.

    “6. What is the basis for reason? Why be rational if the universe is the result of irrational chance? Should we trust one’s reason if the result of such irrational processes?” **scary**

    Gosh, what is reason? Try this. Reason is the ability to arrive at a conclusion from a set of premises using rigorous methods of argument. Not perfect but the best I can do off the top of my head. It is also incremental in that its conclusions can become premises of further reasoning.

    “Irrational chance” is an irrational concept. Chance is, of its nature, neither rational or irrational. Why be rational? Because it works.

    I find it very interesting that the poster, no doubt a religious person, i.e. someone who is prepared to believe all kinds of irrational things (e.g. wine = blood, wafer = flesh, JC rose from the dead) has the temerity to attack atheists as irrational.

    That “**scary**” is very informative. Says a great deal about the poster.

    “Why not just end one’s existence if atheism is true? If no absolutes, spiritual ‘realm’, etc. All that remains is non existence after death. Why choose to ’suffer’ on earth when blissful non-existence would be much better?”

    Perfect summation of the barrenness and stupidity of religion. Why on earth would I want to end my life? I like my life and I love my family. “All that remains is non-existence after death” !!??!!??!! ALL THAT REMAINS?!?!? I have a million and one things to do, to think about. I have family and friends to love, care for and enjoy. I have books to read, discussions to have, games to play. I have food and drink which are wonderful.

    And, dear me, thank god I am not religious if his final question is really how he views his own life. What a miserable bloody existence it must be as a believer! “Why choose to ‘suffer’ on earth?” he asks. And of course that’s what the bloody church tells them. Life is suffering before, on death, flying to god’s right hand. “Blissful non-existence” he calls it. Is that how he sees his one and only life?

    Listen, John, having read your post, I feel a compassion for you, infinitely greater than your dear Jesus. You poor sad bugger! I can make you ten times happier today if you will only follow me. Throw away your religion’s crutches and blindfolds. Stop ‘suffering’ now! There is no bloody afterlife but this one is worth living.

    Reply
  493. Avatar
    Paulo Laureano January 04, 2010

    Religious beliefs irrational. Having these irrational people write laws is absurd.

    Hope Ireland survives these leaders.

    PLS

    Reply
  494. Avatar
    lorcán byrne January 04, 2010

    if god exixted why hasn’t it revealed itself. Is it too busy appearing in its fisrt coming or even second coming on the thousands upon thousand planets That must contain basic life. Or is that only human life that did god create, other animal life apparently does not count or should there be a hag for dogs and a pilgrimage for cats. How can any god exist except to control man and money. Stupid backward law created to protect the irish state from a mohamed slagging article that could appear in an irish publication and cost the government millions in protecting free speaking individuals. Why protectg someone when you can prosecutge them.

    Reply
  495. Avatar
    Spence January 04, 2010

    I will lead with stating that I am a Catholic and I find this law to reprehensible. If I can’t handle someone ragging on my chosen religion – perhaps I have bigger issues to worry about . . . Free speech is free speech with no limitations in regards to that speech. Religion gets no special pass.

    Here is a thought for those of you that live in Ireland. Could not being an atheist in some abstract way be considered a religious practice? The denying of a deity and all that it encompasses? If that is the case, would not any *other* religion that does subscribe to the existence of a deity be found blasphemous and offensive to you? Fight fire with fire.

    Good luck and God bless (I just *had* too!)

    Spence – Minneapolis, MN

    Reply
  496. Avatar
    Frank January 04, 2010

    I guess Ray Stevens should stay out of Ireland until this law is repealed.

    Singing “Would Jesus Wear A Rolex” is now a crime.

    Reply
  497. Avatar
    Sam, son of Tom January 04, 2010

    We all believe in something, even if it’s nothing. Taking such pleasure in ridiculing others beliefs, no matter how absurd, is as childish and unseemly as passing absurd laws. Theists and atheists are two sides of the same coin. Neither know anything and can’t wait to tell others all about it.

    Reply
  498. Avatar
    sean January 04, 2010

    nonsense legislation

    Reply
  499. Avatar
    Alejandro Lozano January 04, 2010

    Mexican tourist deciding his next vacation based in the dangers of the laws of the country: Ireland or Afghanistan? it is probably safer to be an atheist prostitute in Afghanistan…

    Reply
  500. Avatar
    Matt January 04, 2010

    “Blasphemy is a victimless crime.”
    — popularly attributed to Richard Dawkins.

    Reply
  501. Avatar
    Paul J Meyer January 04, 2010

    “Sticks and stones may brake my bones but words will never hurt me.”,thus goes the refrain, but this doesn’t disuade bullies. When sectarian self interest overrides Civil Law, civic descent is muzzled and civic creativity stifled.

    A member of any sect who accepts the dogma of that sect is subject to its rules.
    The more inflexible the sect’s rules the more miserable the life of it’s member

    Reply
  502. Avatar
    GT January 04, 2010

    beGorrah and beJaysus – as if the Irish haven’t already got enough jokes about them (with new ones coming thanks to their ‘economic miracle’…

    Fuck’s sake, Ireland… just rise up against the feckers and be done… you stupid sods took it up the pooper from the Poms for too long: seems you’ve really and truly become a pack of submissive peasants.

    (I write this from Straya – and of course our tax parasites are trying to stifle free expression with their silly internet filter).

    Actually – sepeaking of Mickisms.. there was one mick who once said osmething that has applicability in the modern age… it was Arnaud-Amaury, papal legate, in 1209 at Beziers…

    “CAEDITE EOS.”

    Reply
  503. Avatar
    Cliff Kelsall January 04, 2010

    My dear strugglers,
    Kick arse as your wonderful Irishman, Mickey MacConnell has said to me.

    Now I live in Australia but are from the Nga Pui people in New Zealand. While the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by 11 of the 13 tribes in our tribal homeland with the English. We didn’t, we didn’t trust them, how right we where! We are still at war. Before the Treaty we were beating them in our war with them, then they convinced us that they were ‘christians’ so we relaxed for a rest on a Sunday. They slaughtered many of our warriors by cannon fire, grape shot, while we sat. Pretty close to blasphemy don’t you think?

    Our understandings of the planet and our place in it are based in reality. I will keep it simple for you good people who struggle in a more complex environment. We have no ‘God’s’ , their was Rangi and Papa. Papa is the Mother Earth, Rangi the Father Sky. The fucking was perpetual, as we were born we emerged into a dank dark place, no light at all! What to do? We set fire to Papa’s hair and drove them apart. Now we have not only light but Papa’s pubic hairs have become our forrests, Rangi’s tears our rain, Papa’s sobs our mist. Of course we must fuck to stay alive, to carry on. Is this blasphemy?

    Here, in Australia, I have been taught by Aboriginal Elders who have taught me my place in the many diverse environments in this huge continent which they have tended for 60 thousand years. Magic!! But to speak to the white men, they too have to weave the white myths into the reality, that’s OK. But they still don’t comprehend, the country is close to had it! My major elder set the carriculum for Aboriginal Studies at the University in South Australia but he couldn’t teach it because he didn’t have that White piece of paper. I guess thousands of years of knowledge is blasphemy.

    How so? You Irish have a long, long history. Must it be abandonded to the Roman Catholic Church? Or any other cult unrelated to your environment?

    I feel that is the blasphemy, let those who ignore the history of Ireland’s ecology and her children be tried for that crime.

    Good fighting, Cliff.

    Reply
  504. Avatar
    xenoc January 04, 2010

    Cudos to Ireland for standing up for what is right and joining the ranks of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Sudan in leading the fight against blasphemers, heathens, idolators, pagans, apostates and the sacrilegious. Hopefully they will extend the law soon to witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires and the other profane creatures that threaten those of us who are pure of spirit.

    Reply
  505. Avatar
    shawn January 04, 2010

    As a Bible believing Christian I am also against the blasphemy law. Any one who knows anything about the New Testament should know that the idea of a Christian Government is a contradiction. Christianity is self government. The natural man cannot be subject to the laws of God. He has not the power to say no to sin. I know this to be true, because it was true of me for thirty-four years. However I still hold onto the hope that people of any faith or non faith can learn manners and tact to treat others as fellow human beings made in the image of God. This does not mean that you may not disagree or even voice these disagreements. Can we all just behave like civilized people. All the profanity makes most on this post seem childish and impudent.

    Reply
  506. Avatar
    Flora January 04, 2010

    The stupidity of irish politicians never ceases to amaze me – they are an insult to a nation of highly-educated and naturally intelligent people!

    Reply
  507. Avatar
    Brujo Feo January 04, 2010

    As a Yank of Irish heritage, who has traveled a bit in Ireland over the years, and is a bit familiar with some of the traditions of Irish humor, I have to ask:

    Is Dermot Ahern a Kerryman?

    –Terence Geoghegan

    Reply
  508. Avatar
    Donald Murray January 04, 2010

    As a believer, I think this law is stupid. If your faith cannot withstand criticism, then it can’t be valid.
    James Joyce, one of Ireland’s greatest writers would be banned for sure, as would brendan behan, so does this law mean book burnings or the persecution of authors and musicians?
    Define Obscene? Is it obscene to say that evolution is real and creation theory isn’t (which is what I believe). Thus science also takes a dip. We cannot say anything scientific that might possibly be obscene to an obscure religion. What about Nazi’s. Will this law protect their beliefs…..so if it’s obscene not to be obscene to another race, then the obscenity law would apply…..it just cannot be applied to situations like that. Thus it’s a useless law.
    What if I declare that I am a druid and I find it obscene not to be allowed to have a human sacrifice of a virgin on the summer solstice. Does that mean that the law must allow me to sacrifice someone?

    What a load of bullcrap. I say lets start harassing physically those who enforce this law and it’ll disappear pretty quick.

    Reply
  509. Avatar
    Patrick January 04, 2010

    All together now – CHILL!

    I live in Ireland and I don’t expect a SWAT team to be at my door with a battering ram the next time I drop a saucepan on my foot and let out a stream of expletives.

    All this law goes to show is that we have far too many politicians with far too much time on their hands. We’d be better served with fewer of these idiots spending more time on legislation to prevent the economic mess we are in from happening again.

    Take the chill tablets everyone.

    Reply
  510. Avatar
    Ben Saigon January 04, 2010

    Father Ted: There he is so. Risen from the dead. Like that fella… ET

    Bishop Facks: So, Father. Do you ever have any doubts about the religious life? Is your faith ever tested? Anything you would be worried about? Any doubts you’ve been having about any aspects of belief? Anything like that?
    Father Dougal: Well, you know the way God made us all, right? And he’s looking down at us from heaven and everything?
    Bishop Facks: Uh-huh.
    [nods]
    Father Dougal: And then his son came down and saved everyone and all that?
    Bishop Facks: Yes.
    Father Dougal: And when we die we’re all going to go to heaven?
    Bishop Facks: Yes. What about it?
    Father Dougal: Well, that’s the bit I have trouble with

    Father Ted: That’s the great thing about Catholicism – it’s very vague and no-one knows what its really all about

    Father Ted: It’s not as if everyone’s going to go off and join some mad religious cult just because we go off for a picnic for a couple of hours.
    Father Dougal: God, Ted, I heard about those cults. Everyone dressing in black and saying our Lord’s gonna come back and judge us all!
    Father Ted: No… No, Dougal, that’s us. That’s Catholicism.

    Father Ted: Those Protestants, up to no good as usual.

    Father Ted: It’s fabulous being a priest – think of all that comfort you bring to the sick and dying. They love it, they can’t get enough of it!

    Father Ted: The way I feel now I could convert gays!

    Reply
  511. Avatar
    Colin Davis January 04, 2010

    What a crazy idea! You are a major propagator of beliefs about the way we came to be and the way we should live. You advertise these opinions VERY loudly – and yet you say you are offended if someone else makes fun of them? If the public arena is not to be restricted to the most powerful only, then people who go public must expect responses, even withering ones, as part of the deal. If I know someone who has a quiet, private belief, with no bad moral consequences, of course it would be offensive and nasty if I mocked it and spoiled it for them. Religion has ensured it’s a very public thing, and thus a different kettle of fish entirely.

    C Davis

    Reply
  512. Avatar
    Doc Rice, (Australia) January 04, 2010

    Having read all the submissions to date I am appalled at the lack if logic in many of the entries.

    The Creator ( God if you wish) gave us a brain to use and the logic to make your own judgments and not be told by someone else, so that makes the legislation an insult to our intelligence and should be opposed (as I am sure my Irish ancestors would have)
    If you care to believe and trust in someone, go no further than yourself and live by your own standards and allow others to do lokewise
    I guess that makes me a Pantheist, not an Atheist, but who cares, we are all human beings, when all is said and done

    May the “Force” be with you :) ………No!! not the Gardia

    Reply
  513. Avatar
    Patrick Niall O'Driscoll January 04, 2010

    This is a truly appalling piece of legislation, produced by an appalling minister , Dermot Ahern , in an appalling government . One would imagine that ,with the economy in tatters , and the population being robbed to keep the keep the banks , the government and their cronies afloat , Ahern would have better things to do . !

    Reply
  514. Avatar
    Paolo Zeriali, Italy January 04, 2010

    No Taliban, no Vatican. We really need to support a secular struggle for a secular world. 20 years ago, when Berlin Wall collapsed, we used to hear about the “horrors” of the 20th century, in other words the “horrors” of a godless society. Well, 20 years later we can see the “horrors” of fundamentalism. Think about it, I don’t feel nostalgia per Ceausescu, but it’s time to stop religious crimes, it’s time to stop kneeling down in front of every native of foreign “sacred text”. We must decide our destiny! And terrorism is not a liberation struggle, it’s just the way to another Midde Age. Al Qaeda and Christian Bible fundamentalists are just deluding the poor, they will not bring any social revolution, any real progress the world needs.

    Reply
  515. Avatar
    j morrissey January 04, 2010

    Two points of information for those outside Ireland:
    1. Although small in number, atheists are the largest single grouping after Catholics in Ireland according to the 2006 Irish Census – Figures:
    total 4,239,848. Catholics 3,681,444; ‘No Religion’ 186,318; Church of Ireland 125,585; Presbyterian 23,546; Methodist 12,160; Jewish 1,930; Other 138,541.
    I would bet many of those listed as Catholics’ are ‘cultural Catholics’ rather than true believers. I would also bet that far fewer will list themselves as Catholic after the recent child abuse revelations…
    2. The legislation is generally thought to be unworkable – probably deliberately so. It is a bizarre piece of window dressing, although I don’t know to what purpose – perhaps to take our attention away from corrupt bakers and incompetent and greedy politicians. Nobody is likely to get arrested for making anti religious statements. The Catholic Church is by now used to insults. Most of my generation in Ireland(1970s feminist) would have been arrested for the things we said about Catholicism back then. If anybody takes offense, it will probably be Muslims. I am, of course, an atheist – third generation Irish variety.
    Did anybody quote another Irishman, George Bernard Shaw,who defined theology as ‘ a subject in search of an object’ ?

    Reply
  516. Avatar
    Francis Foley January 04, 2010

    Well done, keep up the good work and fight the good fight, this law is utterly stupid.

    Reply
  517. Avatar
    jose January 04, 2010

    I wonder if they consider it offensive to point out when a child is being raped by a priest. Maybe we should shut up about it?

    Reply
  518. Avatar
    David B January 04, 2010

    Just another reminder to particularly the lapsed Irish Catholics about http://www.countmeout.ie/.

    I should stress that I have no personal interest in this site, other that that fine site is one of the friends of a message board I do have an interest in.

    BTW, if the religious want to defend their positions, they are most welcome to do so at http://www.secularcafe.org/index.php under what we like to think a reasonable moderation regime.

    The secular are welcome too, of course.

    David B

    Reply
  519. Avatar
    Jesus January 04, 2010

    I don’t exist so go ahead and say what you like.

    Reply
  520. Avatar
    God January 04, 2010

    Oh yes you do exist! Can’t you remember anything? Idiot son.

    Reply
  521. Avatar
    Ursula January 04, 2010

    My favourite is the one by the pope.
    I am all for fairness between religion, but if this rule really was being taken seriously, there would be a whole lot of people working for the Irish government and media that should be fined. And we all know that won’t happen.
    This whole thing really represents how the Irish government is a complete joke. We need a new system, one that we can trust and that is based on new thought.

    Thanks for making this website!

    Reply
  522. Avatar
    Brian January 04, 2010

    Our goverment really suck ass.
    God is a made up concept to try control people.
    The catholic church is an evil empire that uses “god” as an excuse to do as it wants, like harm children (in numourous ways) and then hide the perpetrators of such crimes from the law of the land.
    This new blasphemy law just shows the church in Ireland still has too much control over the goverment.
    All employees of the catholic church (priests, bishops etc) should be sent to jail till they die as those who did/do not abuse children helped those that did so avoid prosecution, and continue to abuse children, which is the same (or worse) than me helping somebody get away with murder. I would be held resposible if I did that so why shouldn’t employees of the catholic church.
    And yes I consider the catholic church a business (or empire) not a religion as it just exists to make money and keep the senior employees rich.

    I think to have this law revoked an atheist “religion” should be set up in Ireland and under this religion anyone that states that god exists offends our religion and therefore the churches cannot hold religious ceremonies that state that god does exist without offending our “religion”

    Reply
  523. Avatar
    Cassandra January 04, 2010

    What a fine defence of freedom of speech these comments are. A few more expletives and this law is bound to be repealed. Excellent work.

    Reply
  524. Avatar
    Erik January 04, 2010

    Well done! Fight this crap! Best of luck from Norway.

    Reply
  525. Avatar
    Liam January 04, 2010

    I think that this letter writer from Fri 01 May 2009 has hit the nail on the cross! A desparate “Ireland Inc.” concocting a
    farcical law to tick the boxes for Arab investors in places like Dubai.

    “Madam, – Is it too cynical of me to wonder about a connection between attempts by Dermot Ahern to introduce a crime of blasphemous libel, and the Tánaiste’s trip to the Persian Gulf to drum up investment? – Yours, etc,”
    [http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2009/0501/1224245758535.html]

    Reply
  526. Avatar
    Radish January 04, 2010

    Reading through these comments, it’s obvious that freedom of speech is not always a good thing. Although, of course, it does allow the idiots to expose themselves, making them easier to identify. :o)

    Anyway: as a polytheist, I’m actually very much in favour of a secular state, as is the case in my homeland, the Netherlands. Although I could find favour for a law forbidding people to try and enforce their views on religion on other people. That way, the evangelical theists and the evangelical atheists would have to leave me a alone. What a blessing that would be!

    Reply
  527. Avatar
    Jim January 04, 2010

    RANDAL: Which did you like better: Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back?
    DANTE: (exasperated) Empire.
    RANDAL: Blasphemy.
    DANTE: Empire had the better ending: Luke gets his hand cut off, and finds out Vader’s his father; Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. And that’s life-a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.

    Reply
  528. Avatar
    yoya971 January 04, 2010

    Poor freedom.
    Pierre from France.

    Reply
  529. Avatar
    Ronan Campbell January 04, 2010

    this is an outrage to be honest, bravo for publish these. i am based in northern ireland and strongly athiest. i am not judgemental in any way, but i like having the right to speak freely of my personal belief. religion should not factor into politics. simple

    Reply
  530. Avatar
    GG January 04, 2010

    A ridiculous law that, it seems, even the politicians can’t come to grips with! Full support to your campaign in getting this repealed!!!

    GG

    Reply
  531. Avatar
    Tycho Block January 04, 2010

    I am, for the first time in my life, actually ashamed to be Irish. 20 years of progress has been destroyed in a day; how much more can they get utterly wrong?! Full support to this campaign, as nothing but open opposition can redeem this.
    P.S. What will happen to Father Ted?!

    Reply
  532. Avatar
    Ross W Sargent January 04, 2010

    Like many other commentators I could mention the omissions but 25 quotes are quite enough to be taken to court and be given the opportunity to show how stupid and ill-thought through this law is. Thanks Atheist Ireland and the best of luck in your campaign.

    Reply
  533. Avatar
    Francis Foley January 04, 2010

    Best of luck in the campaign, this law is utterly stupid.

    Reply
  534. Avatar
    carpe diem January 04, 2010

    to 792 michael green beautiful post, “the fool says in his heart – there is god-” ; the best line ever uttered by a delusional “we’ve been attacked by the intelligent and well educated segment of our society” rev. ray mummert (from “kitzmiller vs. dover school board”)

    Reply
  535. Avatar
    Emanuel Landeholm January 04, 2010

    Yay Irish blasphemers!

    Such weak and pathetic gods and prophets who cannot take free speech must be eradicated from the face of the noosphere.

    Reply
  536. Avatar
    Nameless 1 January 04, 2010

    The only thing that I believe is that when god is your co-pilot, change seats.
    Other then that I have no use for any religion especially ones where pedophiles run free. That good old Roman Catholic Church, those guys are quite a bunch.

    Reply
  537. Avatar
    Ko-duB January 04, 2010

    praise jesus!

    Reply
  538. Avatar
    Scott January 04, 2010

    Here’s one for my Irish ancestors:

    Oh mighty, gory, fearsome, hairy,
    is my friend, imaginary!
    So surely do I oft proclaim him
    Since only I may dare to name him!

    Of creation he is sure the maker
    according to my local fakir.
    Popes and priests and mullah’s hoary
    make real good money with his story

    If you fail to flee like a frightened colt,
    he’ll zap you with a lightning bolt.
    He’ll bring you an untimely end
    my fierce imaginary friend!

    He’ll keep you in your lowly station
    if you’ll just adopt my hallucination
    and bow your chin down on your locket,
    while my favored cleric picks your pocket.

    Step Forward! I will light the way
    to your very own auto da fe!
    My Pastor’s bringing in the sheaves
    to burn you like September leaves.

    What’s this, you say? You’ll not attend?!
    And displease my imaginary friend!
    What makes you think yourself above it?
    Who are you to tell us “shove it?”

    Genethesarotticathyew
    One Eleventeen verse two
    declares that all who do not harken
    to my shaman’s fearsome barkin’,

    will sit atop a spiked pole
    around a fiery hellish hole.
    Don’t you see this age of reason
    is only but a passing season?

    Enlightenment is oversold.
    Blind faith’s what matters we are told.
    We’ll soon show you just what we’ll do
    to infidels and folks like you

    So hold still while we slip your brains
    into these rusty irons and chains.
    And know at last that divine grace
    means hold your tongue and know your place.

    Reply
  539. Avatar
    Bunc January 04, 2010

    I wish you the best in defying the blasphemy law. It is ridiculous in this day and age that we are still having to fight such battles. While people should be respected, their views and opinions should not necessarily be protected from ridicule. Religionistas are perfectly free to say abusive things about atheism if they wish ( sticks and stones …) and I reserve the right to to denounce belief in God ( whoever that thing is supose to be) as superstitious and dangerous nonsense and make fun of the “skyman” in any way I choose. Keep up the good work.
    Bunc
    ( an Atheist from Scotland )

    Reply
  540. Avatar
    Hilton Travis January 04, 2010

    Aahhh, it is good to see that not only Australia is bringing back fascism and the middle ages, but Ireland is doing it too! We’ve got a Senator who, due to his limited understanding of technology and child pornography, intends to filter our Internet connectivity in a similar way to that being done in China – very similar – no-one will be able to know which sites are filtered and why.

    And Ireland brings back Laws from the Dark Ages. I wonder when the Irish will be burning witches and forcing blacks into slavery? Will they reintroduce a law whereby a person must walk in front of a car waving a flag? What else is on the cards?

    Limiting a Human Right to express religion (or lack of religion, in the case of Atheism) should not be allowed. Personally, as an Atheist, I have no issue with someone who is religious, as long as they don’t force those beliefs on me – and I won’t force my logic and free thought on them (though I may wish they could use their own brain and make decisions based totally in reality for themselves). What Ireland is doing here is legislating that Christianity is fact (which it simply is not) and anyone not falling for that is wrong and should be jailed.

    What a complate farce of reality- and sanity-based laws this is making!

    Reply
  541. Avatar
    Alfred Richardson January 04, 2010

    Christianity: almost certainly the most drawn out and elaborate cover up resulting from an affair that the world will ever know.

    Although he and I would have much to disagree on, Mark Twain’s quote sums up how I feel about the bible almost perfectly.

    Reply
  542. Avatar
    Dave R' January 04, 2010

    Pity Ireland. A stunning leap back to the middle ages. (Oh yes, Fuck the god of Abraham.)

    Reply
  543. Avatar
    Chris Hager January 04, 2010

    A little research (even via the net) will show that the ‘big three’ monotheistic religions have, until very recently considered blasphemy very serious. Christianity considered it the worst violation of religious law, and punishable by death.

    Reply
  544. Avatar
    Abber January 04, 2010

    Blasphemy laws? I thought my web browser had just entered the Way Back Machine, way back to somewhere in the 14th century perhaps. This law is anachronistic nonsense and an embarrassment in this day and age.

    Reply
  545. Avatar
    martin James January 04, 2010

    Thank god for Athiests, you very people are referred to in holy books. Your very dumb existance proves there is a god. You shall burn at a thousand degress or maybe more (hopefully), yeah lets turn up the heat.

    Reply
  546. Avatar
    Paddy January 04, 2010

    This government cannot sink any lower, they really have reached the bottom. After all the scandals, their apologetics if not actual collaboration with religion is utterly disgusting, e.g. Brian Clowns excuses for the papal nuncio. I am actually ashamed to belong to a country which kowtows and grovels to religion so much, one where Fianna Fail and the still vast number of their idiotic supporters hold sway. Hyprocritical, immoral, self-serving, intellectually vacant, cowardly, corrupt – just some of the terms that could be used to describe them and their ilk. I will gladly blaspheme every single day and I would actually love to be charged with the ‘crime’. Fuck them all.

    Reply
  547. Avatar
    Joe January 04, 2010

    Sandy (re your comment)

    I may get criticized from all sides for sharing this on a site full of profanities and where many contributors are avowed atheists. But in considering God’s Word and what it says, then this site is perhaps a very good place to share the following.

    Of course those who criticize are entitled to do so – it is their right and privilege. I would like merely to give you a small pointer, some food for thought, by simply presenting to you a few verses for your kind consideration. I firmly believe that each individual has the freedom (somewhat obvious from the posts) and the right to believe the Bible or not – ironically not a few people would deny others the same latitude.

    Acts of the Apostles 10:38
    How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

    Jesus Christ went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, and indeed God empowered Jesus Christ and was with Jesus Christ throughout. I realise that many religions would have us believe that God makes people sick, and supposedly in that case Jesus Christ, the Son of God, went about undoing what God had done – a rather discordant state of affairs! I think that what the Bible says at least makes more sense; and yet it is still every individuals’ decision whether to consider it, believe it, scoff at it, or not.

    Hebrews 2:14
    Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    When someone dies many religions intone that ‘God took him/her’. Very radically different the Bible places the power of death with the devil. Little wonder that many people are perplexed and confused – and rightly so – with ideas such as God makes us sick and kills, and at the same time He loves us, and that we should pray to God for healing on the one hand but how can that make sense if He made us sick in the first place.

    If you choose to use the Bible as a reference you cannot blithely ignore these verses and malign God for every calamity and disaster that happens in the world – in my humble opinion. Of course if you want to reject the Bible out of hand that is your prerogative and at least consistent.

    As I have said before (post:195) I have no qualms with people choosing not to believe the Bible but I think that oftentimes people throw out the Bible when they should be throwing out the promulgated wrong teaching, hearsay and conjectures, which somehow have usurped the Bible. Ultimately of course, and it is worth saying again, it is your decision whether to believe the Bible or not. God does not impose His will on us and rather never contravenes our free will. Every individual has the right to make their own decision and should be allowed to make their own decision as to whether they want to believe or not (and if that is good enough for God it is good enough for me).

    These verses are a small but important part of a fuller picture. Very importantly what Jesus Christ accomplished was an absolute turning-point with respect to what had been before. As there are immutable natural laws in the natural realm so likewise there are immutable spiritual laws in the spiritual realm (and incidentally in this regard the idea of ‘omnipotent’ is often misplaced). Before Jesus Christ’s accomplishments people could not be born of God’s spirit (although they could have God’s spirit UPON them), but from the Day of Pentecost (of Acts 2:1ff) it was available to be ‘born from above’, born of God, to be filled with the gift of holy spirit – solely and wholly because of what Jesus Christ accomplished (and yet it is not automatic – you still have the free will choice in the matter). And so in 1 John 4:4 it says: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This statement could not have been made before the Day of Pentecost, and very pertinently, it was not the case that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” with respect to the times and people of the Old Testament…

    Reply
  548. Avatar
    Pepper January 04, 2010

    Well, fuck me! if we were April 1st, not January 1st, I believe I’d think all this some Irish wit.
    What’s to be done to all those James Joyce books, now jeysus?

    Reply
  549. Avatar
    Donna January 05, 2010

    Jesus is Santa Claus for grown-ups

    Reply
  550. Avatar
    Barry January 05, 2010

    Reading the comments of gentlefolk here I am reminded of Psalm 2:1 – “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?”

    If athiests have found a better, wiser way, as many of you here claim to have done, your own words belie and rebuke you. It is a silly law, but not for the reasons you suppose; men cannot legislate what their own callous hearts will not accept.

    And you think your speculations have made you free?

    Reply
  551. Avatar
    landothedead January 05, 2010

    Under this law could you not just start up your own religion and then go around claiming anything anyone says is blasphemous to your religion? Just clog up the courts with a million court cases and they would have to repeal it. If they refuse to prosecute start crying foul about exclusion.

    Reply
  552. Avatar
    Nikki January 05, 2010

    Talk about taking a step back as a modern civilisation

    Reply
  553. Avatar
    Bob January 05, 2010

    If bacon was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

    Reply
  554. Avatar
    Candi January 05, 2010

    When religion ruled the world, they called it “The dark ages” for a reason. This blasphemy law needs immediate flushing down the crapper.
    It’s great to know so many thinking individuals are saying “screw this so-called deity, this Big Man in the Sky; what a load of crap!” I’m tired of the way the righteous religious folks push their beliefs on everyone else(fuck you, fundamentalists, jehovah’s witnesses)!
    Very patronizing talk, barry, joe; referring to us as heathens is about as condescending as it gets!
    And yes our speculations *have* made us free- free to think, to renounce guilt, to make our own decisions based on facts, and to live without the controlling force that is the church, whatever form it’s in.
    Peace and a high five to all the thinking contributors on this list!

    Reply
  555. Avatar
    Will January 05, 2010

    I am a Christian, in fact I’m R.C. ;I don’t actually believe the state should legislate on such matters. I do however think that we as people of the world should do our best to enshrine tolerance of each other, no matter our beliefs. Intolerance tends to be at the root of most or all conflicts.

    The state should not legislate ‘decency’ for it’s citizens/subjects as it would be patently absurd and distinctly sinister, no matter the intention. This law would seem to be an attempt at such legislation.

    However, I do have to chuckle at the hypocrisy of the so-called atheists/blasphemists on this comments page. With a few exceptions I presume, most of you castigate religion on the basis of your own prejudices/experiences/intellectual considerations, tending to single out religion’s capacity to encourage intolerance, hatred, mindless devotion.

    I get the impression very few stopped to consider that in being quite so foul-mouthed and variously disgusting you are really simply encouraging more hatred and intolerance.

    All that is required is to say: I do not believe, I see no reason to, and I object to any state trying to curtail my freedom of speech within reasonable limits.

    The excess would simply seem to reflect your own emotions, being as it is entirely unrequired.

    P.S. when it comes down to it all an atheist does is choose a different hypothesis to a theist, no more and no less.

    Reply
  556. Avatar
    Johnny Dam January 05, 2010

    Not sharing this primitive belief in a mystical man in the sky doesn’t make me a heathen, it makes me evolved. Time to quit throwing virgins in volcanos

    Reply
  557. Avatar
    donal clifford January 05, 2010

    OK People !
    Remember this is serious stuff …..this is now THE LAW in the Republic of Ireland and we who reside there have on obligation to obey it.I agree it is bad law and there are tests to show that. Let’s put it to the tests.
    Additionally, it is typical of much of the legislation coming out of the Oireachtas.

    Reply
  558. Avatar
    Lisa C. Lewis January 05, 2010

    Bravo! Many thanks for working to return laws toward sanity and civility.
    After Ireland, the world?

    Reply
  559. Avatar
    Kurtis January 05, 2010

    This blasphemy law made me mad enough to actually create a minimal web site at my personal domain, http://www.skepticism.us, just to thumb my nose at the idiots in Ireland who think this law is a useful addition to the rules governing society. I have no desire to personally experience the Spanish Inquisition or the European Dark Ages. Sue me you ignorant, narrow minded, thin skinned “Christians”.

    Reply
  560. Avatar
    Róisín Kehoe January 05, 2010

    I have absolutely nothing against this God lad, and if he wants to have a chat with me about this situation, I’m free anytime. What I’m fucked off about is not only living in a country run by cretins, but having to be dragged back into DeValera territory by a minority of hypocritical troglodytes who are ostensibly running this country while breaking every single one of their own commandments. Is this the longest sentence on this board?

    Reply
  561. Avatar
    Róisín Kehoe January 05, 2010

    PS Please don’t get into name calling, lads. Be united, remember what happened to the People’s Front of Judaea.

    Reply
  562. Avatar
    Derek S January 05, 2010

    Didn’t they ever show “Dogma” in Ireland?

    Jesus Fucking Christ, they are as stupid as the non-science believers in the USA.
    Or Jason Lee, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith the Scientologists.

    Reply
  563. Avatar
    Anon January 05, 2010

    I am shocked by this whole link… The law is fit for the dark ages I agree, But I don’t understand how it has evoked hatred in people like this, cursing to get your point across makes you look like an moran… and people will instantly have less respect for you… To be honest I read those comments and felt sorry for ye…

    I do not agree with the law and believe it should be revoked but I am not going to insult every other religion out there…

    Meath/Canada..

    Reply
  564. Avatar
    A January 05, 2010

    Some Irish atheist should actually sue the Catcholic church at some point, when they say something technically against the scriptures (should be easy since, if nothing else, the scriptures themselves are self-contradicory). Then the ridicule of the law will manifest itself within a court…

    Reply
  565. Avatar
    B January 05, 2010

    All you need to do is get an Irish priest to go on record saying “I know god will send all atheists to hell” or something like that. This fits the description of blasphemy in the law (firstly, how does the priest know what god really wants??? secondly, he is viciously attacking a large group of people who have every right to be outraged by such comments). So, actually take that priest to court!

    Reply
  566. Avatar
    Jehova January 05, 2010

    NOW GET AWAY FROM MY JUNIPER BUSHES!

    Reply
  567. Avatar
    Brad Miller - Kentucky USA January 05, 2010

    Ireland must have smoked a hell of alot of crack to think this was a good idea..like has been stated a dozen times already, most religious texts blaspheme against all religious texts with opposing views. Does this mean that Ireland has in effect banned all holy scripture? Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Oh yeah almost forgot…the three wise men were the ancient version of mailmen and whichever one got the right hole is probably Jesus’s true father.

    Reply
  568. Avatar
    TROUTER FROM BELGIUM January 05, 2010

    Atheists are fortunate people: no need to talk to an imaginary guy.

    Atheism: no more waste of time

    Reply
  569. Avatar
    Helen-Anne Mertsching January 05, 2010

    My imaginary deity can beat up your imaginary deity with one of its imaginary hands tied behind its imaginary back.

    OMFG, how can presumably intelligent people buy into this silly drivel in the twenty-first century? (Rhetorical question; after all, the Inquisition was a going concern well into the second half of the nineteenth century, and its equivalent exists today–although I’d rather not name names with respect to particular religions.) I am a rationalist. I believe in things I can perceive with my *five* senses: the view of a budding tree, the sound of my daughter’s laughter, the smell of a stargazer lily, a spoonful of just about anything yummy (although I acknowledge that icky tastes are also out there), the feel of a baby’s cheek. What about astrology, phrenology, palmistry, and everything else that has ever sought to explain that which we can’t explain? (Tea leaves, any one?) At least science is looking for answers, and it’s finding them, too. As unfathomable and benighted as I see religion, I recognize that people of a certain inclination need their own crutch. How does that give them the right to impose on the rational rest of us some sort of shut-yer-mouth condition?

    Mind you, if asked I will tell anyone that I am a Jew. However, this is a cultural affiliation for me, and not a religious one. It’s more akin to being French than to being Taoist (to use two utterly unrelated examples). I have no patience for thumpers of any particular “sacred” book, whether Torah, “New Testament”, Qur’an, or The Cat In The Hat.

    It amuses me to see that the overwhelming majority of the writers, those who oppose the new law, write with tremendous wit, even though, as has been complained before, some of them seem to have potty-mouths. (There are better ways to get an idea across, although they may not be quite as expeditious.) But all those in favor seem rather petulant and defensive. Peripherally, I am aghast at the preponderance of bad spelling. (I’m not talking about our American style as opposed to the entire other English-speaking world here.) How did people with such intelligent ideas fail to pick up proper spelling? Oh, never mind, they probably came out of schools that put focus on religion instead. Well, Mazel Tov on your recovery!

    Reply
  570. Avatar
    L.Ferr January 05, 2010

    I just wanted to second (or third or fourth or eight thousandth and seventh) John Robinson’s comment:

    “If you really want to highlight just how ridiculous this law actually is, then someone should very publicly (on a website, say) insult the FSM, and a second party take the blasphemer to court.”

    Even better, form a new religion that worships the individuals who came up with this poppycock law, and then blaspheme & litigate.

    Reply
  571. Avatar
    Jesus the only savior January 05, 2010

    Atheist are a bunch of confused people. You need Jesus Christ in your life. You better accept him.

    Reply
  572. Avatar
    Glad the Inhaler January 05, 2010

    You unholy blasphemers are in big trouble now! Any day now, the Great Divine Geoduck will rise up out of the depths of the briny sea and mercilessly spray the chortling faces of irreverent blasphemers with foamy sea water through its engorged holy siphon. Then will be the great reckoning.

    Reply
  573. Avatar
    Then Swänska Argus January 05, 2010

    I have made a translation into swedish of the 25 blasphemous quotes and published it to my blog Then Swänska Argus, to help promote the campain in the northern parts of Europe, and to try and help to prevent the swedish parliament from passing any similar legislation.

    Reply
  574. Avatar
    Bernard January 05, 2010

    The embracing of ideology whether religious or secular is the last refuge of the stupid and the intellectually lazy. When faced with a choice the ideologist rather than making a logical, rational decision can choose to ignore the evidence or to cut or stretch it fit the bed of his ideology, and decide according to the “great book” of choice. Should any ideologically engineered decision turn out wrong the religious reaction is the cry of “will of god!” whilst our secular ideologist blames “outside factors and circumstances beyond our control!” Ideologists of all types do not deserve the wonderful gift of a human brain; a spinal column and some motor neuron highways would suffice for their limited needs (To plagiarize Albert Einstein). Whilst the “cloud fairy” aspect of blind obedience to religion is well covered here we need our great ally “unbridled cynicism” to also protect us from the dangerous secular charlatans that so many put their blind faith in such as, Marx, Milton Friedman, Descartes, Hitler, Stalin, Alexander the Great, Mao Tse Sung, Gordon Brown…to name just a very few. We see more and more effort made by the so-called governments of the “free world” to provide protection for powerful charlatans and organizations tacitly through media monopolies and censorship and overtly with laws like the one under discussion or the ridiculous libel laws and “religious hate” laws of the UK.

    Reply
  575. Avatar
    Anarchist606 January 05, 2010

    Good on you people! This law is a rubbish idea and seems intent on dragging us back to the middle ages…

    Reply
  576. Avatar
    Alan Gaunt January 05, 2010

    21st century!!!! I say no more

    Reply
  577. Avatar
    William Smyth January 05, 2010

    I disagree with the blasphemy law, 100%.
    On the positive side, I can’t help but think that at least this legal/ethical anachronism has highlighted some of the fallacies of religion. Dawkins, Hitchins et al, now have a political hot potato to help spread their message. Let us hope that the law is soon repealed; meantime we should be glad that the spotlight is placed on the various religions and their oxymoronic claims.

    Reply
  578. Avatar
    Hugh R Daman January 05, 2010

    It is time. Once more unto the breach… or close the wall up with our infidel dead!

    Reply
  579. Avatar
    TROUTER FROM BELGIUM January 05, 2010

    -A world without religion will be a safer place.

    -Religion is mankind’s eternal curse.

    -Did you ever see religious people who can reason?

    -A lot of people who worship their religious books are illiterate.

    -All human things are subject to decay,even religion.Can’t wait to see it happen.

    -What is religion but a prison.

    -To dip into a bible burdens the mind with unnecessary lumber.

    -In every religion people gather round a bunch of lies.

    -People are not born religious, they are indoctrinated and poisoned that way.

    -One cannot emphasize it enough: religion is a brain desease.

    -All those religious books are merely fairytales to an atheist.

    -Why bother with religion when real life is much more interesting?

    -Life is too beautiful to be dominated by religion.

    -Your freedom of religion is my freedom to rediculise that religion.

    -A religious scientist is a contradiction in terms.

    Reply
  580. Avatar
    Mel McCarthy January 05, 2010

    Hey if you incompetent government spanners really needed the money that badly you could have just legalised drugs or prostitution…we’d surely seem alot less deplorable in the eyes of the progressive minded world.

    What you all must know is that this law cannot be enforced in a court as it is unconstitutional. The government know this but had to be seen to be taking steps to protect an archaic institution…yet why they would time this to coincide with the exposure of a disgusting church paedophilia scandal is beyond me.

    We have a really stupid government people, try not to blame us Irish.

    Reply
  581. Avatar
    Cormac Moore January 05, 2010

    “thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion”

    if we take athehism as a set of beliefs and values about life (a religon) – then this law breaks itself…what the fuck?!?!

    I mite set uo the church of blashphemy…..they are rightly fucked then!

    Reply
  582. Avatar
    j morrissey January 05, 2010

    I can’t help thinking some people are using this as an excuse for anti-Irish rants, and are really missing the point. This is a protest organised by Irish atheists. 691 and 917 are the key examples of stupid anti Irish racism, but all of those ‘threatening’ not to visit Ireland again should think about who, precisely, they are trying to offend. This law is a prime piece of stupidity from a thick Minister in an incompetent government. It should be challenged, and congrats to the organisers of this website for doing so. I also agree with whoever commented earlier on the occasionally offensive racist language here. Just set up your own pro-racist site if that is your thing, or go find the fascist one, just don’t invade this one.
    J. Morrissey.

    Reply
  583. Avatar
    Rachel January 05, 2010

    Jesus was a Pagan- all jews were pre New York City.

    I wonder if they even read the bill before signing it into law? Who in their right mind would create something like this that they can’t even HOPE to uphold? Don’t they think that the police have enough to do or is this a reaction to some kind of protester rally?

    I think this law is Blasphemous! Ha! Arrest the law!

    Reply
  584. Avatar
    Magnus J January 05, 2010

    Good luck with this, from your Caledonian cousins over the Irish sea. All the best, guys.

    Reply
  585. Avatar
    David Blackwell January 05, 2010

    In case this hasn’t already been drawn to attention, here’s an article on the Irish blasphemy law in today’s The Chronicle Herald in Nova Scotia:

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1160689.html

    Notice is being taken on this side of the pond! –D.B.

    Reply
  586. Avatar
    Eddie DeBere January 05, 2010

    So this historic country now aligns itself with Iran and North Korea. It’s time for the European Parliament to consider the expulsion of Ireland from the Union because of its denial of the fundamental right of free speech.

    Reply
  587. Avatar
    Nameless 1 January 05, 2010

    Back in Salem, Massachusetts a few girls wre misbehaving and didn’t want to be beaten again by thier fathers so they came up with a story of being bewitched by a woman they did not care for and did not care what happened to her because of thier lies. Thus started the Salem witch trials and burnnings at the stake.

    Now go back two thousand years and there’s this girl who got herself into trouble and did not want to be thrown out of the house so she came up with a really great story about how she got pregnant.

    Now fast forward to today and here we are. False gods and false laws to support them.

    Oh wait! Doesn’t the Irish government know that the roman catholic churche’s priests rape children? Damn pedophiles.

    Who are you going to believe, a bunch of priests who pull down the pants of children and sodomize them or people with honest concerns about stupid laws?

    Reply
  588. Avatar
    Bill January 05, 2010

    That does it! I’m no longer celebrating St.Patrick’s Day.

    Reply
  589. Avatar
    Mujaahid January 05, 2010

    While you’re in congratulatory form – please consider the failure of your campaign.
    1. You kicked up a fuss to stop it being passed,
    2. Ireland ignored you.It passed :)
    3. You asked for a delay
    4. Ireland ignored you, it went ahead as planned :)
    5. You sulkingly issued 25 ‘blasphemous’ statements
    6. Ireland ignored you:lol:

    I know the old adage goes if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again but c’mon lads
    http://mpac.ie/2010/01/05/irish-atheists-blasphemy-law-challenge-falls-flat/

    Reply
  590. Avatar
    martin James January 05, 2010

    Atheist’s make no difference what so ever, haha – stick that in your pipe and smoke it, mewhahahahaha.

    Reply
  591. Avatar
    martin James January 05, 2010

    New Law being proposed – Atheists are sentenced for 5 months for continued blasphemy.

    Reply
  592. Avatar
    martin James January 05, 2010

    Excellent blasphemy law. Well done Ireland, thats how you deal with the scum

    Reply
  593. Avatar
    childrens rights January 05, 2010

    Talking about muslim countries trying to get blasphemy laws in UN, I think it says in the charters that people (or children ?) have the right to religion, but we need to compaign for the RIGHT TO NOT BE INDOCTRINATED WITH RELIGION AS A CHILD !

    Reply
  594. Avatar
    Afonso January 05, 2010

    I didn’t know that Ginness was so strong.
    Give up drinking, politicians.

    Reply
  595. Avatar
    richard January 06, 2010

    As a firm Christian believer in the supernatural I would agree that anti-blasphemy laws are unnecessary.

    Let God enforce the blasphemy.
    However I would add that there were some very offencive statements posted here that will result in some premanantly being cut off from God. The result of separation from God is backwards evolution over generations.
    There are some here who will be lower than chimps in 500 years, so they better not reproduce.

    God can enforce blasphemy in the same way a fish is punished for leaving the water. It just isn’t as obvious.

    Reply
  596. Avatar
    Cliff Kelsall January 06, 2010

    Now we here in Australia admire much of Ireland, indeed many of our finest people are from Irish stock sent here on prison ships from England. Not for blasphemy but for having to survive after been robbed into poverty and having to pilfer in return.

    But I offer this modest contribution.

    Your own greatest song man, Mickey MacConnell, wrote this wonderful song about God. When Daddy went to Heaven. I don’t see it as being blasphemous but if it is may I suggest that the Law have an ammendment to offer either the fine or deportation to Australia. We NEED people like him!

    The day my Father went to Heaven; Heaven went to Hell
    For no sooner had the Mass been said and we rang the funeral bell
    Than the rows and ructions all broke out and Paradise was lost
    And the Father, Son and Holy Ghost began to count the cost.

    I”m told the troubles first began when he reached the Pearly Gate
    And began blackguarding Peter ’cause he dared to make him wait
    When Peter pulled the ledger out and listed Daddy’s sins
    My Father swore t’ was all damn lies and could not refer to him.

    He refused to hear another word; he said that dying made him tired
    Then put his shoulder to the door and brushed the Saint aside.
    He marched through the Gates of Heaven like it was his private club
    And asked a passing angel for directions to the pub.

    He lost his head entirely when someone handed him a harp
    And told him reels and jigs were out and on hymns to make a start
    For Daddy would have none of that, his language turned obscene
    He tuned it like a fiddle and played “Revenge for Skibbereen”

    He ordered Padre Pio to go and buy him twenty fags
    And suggested John the Baptist should go and fetch his bags
    Blessed Michael the Archangel was alerted by the shouts
    And dispatched the Angel Gabriel to sort my father out.

    IIt proved a most unequal match poor old Gaby failed the task
    For Daddy fractured both his wings and kicked him up the arse
    He left the Prophets at a loss when he called them dirty pups
    And went looking for Jim Larkin to start a union up.

    Before long the choirs of angels were at each other’s throats
    Because Me Da demanded equal rights and one angel one vote
    And the saintliest of saintly saints were somewhat at a loss
    When Daddy called them losers and marched off to see the Boss.

    He bumped into Michael Collins, there arose a big to do
    O’er the signing of the Treaty in 1922.
    Next he met with DeValera and he shook him by the hand
    And told him he was proud to make him Second in Command.

    When they reached God’s private quarters, an angel barred the gate
    But me Da and DeValera they didn’t hesitate.
    DeValera kicked him in the balls and poked him in the eye
    My Father grabbed him by the wings and made feathers fly.

    God was chatting to His young lad when the pair of them burst in
    They had been talking of the drastic fall in the numbers coming in.
    DeValera roared for whiskey: My Father called for stout
    And they told the Holy Trinity it was time to sort things out.

    The Almighty quickly crumbled when confronted by the pair
    He agreed He’d welcome some time off and would take it then and there
    To hand o’er the reins of Heaven he confessed was a relief
    And for the moment Heaven would be run by Daddy and the Chief.

    Sometimes in Glorious sunsets I hear a ghostly fiddle play
    And the thought slips through my mind it must be Daddy’s turn today
    But until the time we meet again, I pray with all my soul
    That God’s regained the upper hand and has taken back control.

    The day my Father went to Heaven: Heaven went to Hell
    For no sooner had the Mass been said and we rang the funeral bell
    Than the rows and ructions all broke out and Paradise was lost
    And the Father, Son and Holy Ghost began to count the cost.

    Reply
  597. Avatar
    Eric Pritchard January 06, 2010

    What kind of a pathetic gutless weasel god has to hide behind the skits of the human legal system?

    Reply
  598. Avatar
    Eric Pritchard January 06, 2010

    The only god that could have need of a blasphemy law is one that doesn’t exist. Blasphemy laws serve the purposes of priests and so called prophets, not gods.

    Reply
  599. Avatar
    California Atheist Chick January 06, 2010

    Congratulations, Atheist Ireland and great work! I’ve joined your fanclub on facebook and we have a couple of threads going on Beliefnet.com on a few forums to discuss your stand against a backward, medieval law that’s not so far from the hate speech law passed by the UN to prevent criticism of Islam. If there’s anything we can do to help, let us know!

    Reply
  600. Avatar
    J. R. Horne January 06, 2010

    I say if you can’t say something nice about religion then you shoudn’t say anything at all. So I won’t. Say anything. Because I can’t.

    Reply
  601. Avatar
    Mick January 06, 2010

    In the spirit of this idiotic new piece of legislation all I have to say is…

    …God isn’t! So fine me you bastards.

    Reply
  602. Avatar
    Ankhorite January 06, 2010

    What is this new law going to do to Ireland’s tourism industry?

    The outrage here in the U.S. is certainly causing a few people I know to change their travel plans.

    A law against blasphemy… something I thought was limited to ancient history and the modern Middle East.

    I’m sure the lawmakers in Ireland meant well, but the way to handle the Christianity-only blasphemy law should have been to dump it, not expand it to every religion anyone has ever dreamed up — like my own worship of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (google her!)

    Reply
  603. Avatar
    Cubist January 06, 2010

    Absolute fucking joke.

    I hope this gets a lot of publicity.

    Reply
  604. Avatar
    Andrew January 06, 2010

    More proof that religion and politics go hand in hand, man made laws are created to enforce a system of control. Religion is used as mass hypnosis to command and conquer.

    “In God We Trust” printed on dollar bills, the real GOD is the bankers at the top of this whole stupid pyramid scheme and I can assure you that none of these political leaders or bankers are Religious, And right at the bottom of their pyramid scheme is all the sheep following a faith blindly.

    Reply
  605. Avatar
    David Perth January 06, 2010

    What an absolute cracker of a group of opinions.Wouldn’t it be good if we could all live as intended,without any blasphemy laws,anywhere,anytime,and without anyone taking any offence!

    Reply
  606. Avatar
    theJesusMushroom January 06, 2010

    You forgot…”Jesus is a Mushroom” by the late great bible philologist and Dead Seas Scroll expert, John Marco Allegro.

    Reply
  607. Avatar
    Tim M January 06, 2010

    Excellent stuff and incredibly interesting. What is more interesting – almost unbelievable – is that a Western nation enacted an anti-blasphemy law in 2010. The free-thinkers of the world will be watching this affair with great interest. Good luck.

    Reply
  608. Avatar
    Necronomic Forecast January 06, 2010

    Pure insanity. I was born in Dublin, now live near Belfast and I never even heard of this law before today! I can’t believe a modern society allowed this nonsense to become law. Shameful.

    Reply
  609. Avatar
    fromalaska January 06, 2010

    I think the law is great in fact they need to add to it and make it illegal to be associated with any entity that speaked out against any religion, with a legal punishment of imprisonment of no less than 10 and up to 20 years in prison. Then the only people left on the streets would be athiest since every religion is based on the fact that they are right and everyone elst is wrong, and we wouldn’t have to deal with these hate mongering morons that make up a lie and get enough people to buy into it so they can call it a religion. I hope more countries adopt this law then all the free thinkers will be all that is left to deal with and I can get on with being a reasonable human being.

    Reply
  610. Avatar
    Tom Coward January 06, 2010

    I note with interest that nobody so far has had the nerve (dare I say the b*lls) to blaspheme the True Lord of the Universe, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce Be Upon Him). Those who have been privileged by the touch of His Noodly Appendage feel no need to do so; the rest of you poor deluded creatures certainly know better.

    RAmen

    Reply
  611. Avatar
    Friend January 06, 2010

    If you really wish to challenge this law… why don’t you publish the MOHAMMED CARTOONS ?? Now thats a blasphemy… or maybe you don’t really want to challenge this law… do you ?

    Reply
  612. Avatar
    martin James January 06, 2010

    Athiests leave Ire NOW!

    Reply
  613. Avatar
    martin James January 06, 2010

    Piss off atheists and you should drop using the name Ireland as ur a disgrace to Ireland

    Ireland does not need you, so piss off

    Reply
  614. Avatar
    Chris B. January 07, 2010

    They forgot to include my personal favorite:

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    -Epicurus

    Reply
  615. Avatar
    Niamh January 07, 2010

    Right so… This is a load of shite, this law. Good on you for publishing this list, fight it, fight to keep free speech and expression!

    I must disagree with others who think it medieval, though- a law in the Middle Ages would be strictly against Christian blasphemy, and would not dream of protecting other faiths- they’d just burn them or tie them upside down so all the blood could drain to their head that they might stay concious whilst they were sawed in half from the bottom up (actual medieval torture!).

    It is, rather, taking modern ‘political correctness’ WAY too far. I myself am not atheist, but I certainly believe in the right of any to challenge any belief systems, including my own! Are we not, after all, allowed to hold intelligent discussions any more? Are we no longer permitted to THINK?

    Someone aught to put a stop to this, and AI has made a brilliant start. Everyone should do something instead of just complaining about it. I say, where do I sign?!

    Reply
  616. Avatar
    Brian January 07, 2010

    God is dead :-

    In the very old days, Bob Geldof’s goodness would have been called an act of God,
    these days virtually nobody would believe this (not even God botherer’s)

    btw. RTE better have lots of 25K’s if they intend to continue to show “Father Ted”
    did dermot Morgan not leave Ireland because of the above God botherer’s.

    “Brian Leave that Welsh tart alone !”

    Reply
  617. Avatar
    Narrwahl January 07, 2010

    I have to throw my lot in with you good fellows – keep the blasphemy coming! I’m hoping this adds some extra piss and vinegar to the next Primordial, though.

    Reply
  618. Avatar
    Sam Vimes January 07, 2010

    God told me, she prefers atheists!

    Reply
  619. Avatar
    S'O'S January 07, 2010

    Gerin Oil (or Geriniol to give it its scientific name) is a powerful drug which acts directly on the central nervous system to produce a range of symptoms, often of an anti-social or self-damaging nature. It can permanently modify the child brain to produce adult disorders, including dangerous delusions which are hard to treat. The four doomed flights of September 11th 2001 were Gerin Oil trips: all nineteen of the hijackers were high on the drug at the time. Historically, Geriniolism was responsible for atrocities such as the Salem Witch Hunts and the massacres of Native South Americans by Conquistadores. Gerin Oil fuelled most of the wars of the European Middle Ages and, in more recent times, the carnage that attended the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent and of Ireland.

    Gerin Oil intoxication can drive previously sane individuals to run away from a normally fulfilled human life and retreat to closed communities of confirmed addicts. These communities are usually limited to one sex only, and they vigorously, often obsessively, forbid sexual activity. Indeed, a tendency towards agonized sexual prohibition emerges as a drably recurring theme amid all the colourful variations of Gerin Oil symptomatology. Gerin Oil does not seem to reduce the libido per se, but it frequently leads to a preoccupation with reducing the sexual pleasure of others. A current example is the prurience with which many habitual ‘Oilers’ condemn homosexuality.

    As with other drugs, refined Gerin Oil in low doses is largely harmless, and can serve as a lubricant on social occasions such as marriages, funerals, and state ceremonies. Experts differ over whether such social tripping, though harmless in itself, is a risk factor for upgrading to harder and more addictive forms of the drug.

    Medium doses of Gerin Oil, though not in themselves dangerous, can distort perceptions of reality. Beliefs that have no basis in fact are immunized, by the drug’s direct effects on the nervous system, against evidence from the real world. Oil-heads can be heard talking to thin air or muttering to themselves, apparently in the belief that private wishes so expressed will come true, even at the cost of other people’s welfare and mild violation of the laws of physics. This autolocutory disorder is often accompanied by weird tics and hand gestures, manic stereotypies such as rhythmic head-nodding toward a wall, or Obsessive Compulsive Orientation Syndrome’ (OCOS: facing towards the east five times a day).

    Gerin Oil in strong doses is hallucinogenic. Hardcore mainliners may hear voices in the head, or experience visual illusions which seem to the sufferers so real that they often succeed in persuading others of their reality. An individual who convincingly reports high-grade hallucinations may be venerated, and even followed as some kind of leader, by others who regard themselves as less fortunate. Such follower-pathology can long post-date the original leader’s death, and may expand into bizarre psychedelia such as the cannibalistic fantasy of ‘drinking the blood and eating the flesh’ of the leader.

    Chronic abuse of Geriniol can lead to ‘bad trips’, in which the user suffers terrifying delusions, including fears of being tortured, not in the real world but in a postmortem fantasy world. Bad trips of this kind are bound up with a morbid punishment-lore which is as characteristic of this drug as the obsessive fear of sexuality already noted. The punishment-culture fostered by Gerin Oil ranges from ‘smack’ through ‘lash’ to getting ‘stoned’ (especially adulteresses and rape victims), and ‘demanifestation’ (amputation of one hand), up to the sinister fantasy of allo-punishment or ‘cross-topping’, the execution of one individual for the sins of others.

    You might think that such a potentially dangerous and addictive drug would head the list of proscribed intoxicants, with exemplary sentences handed out for pushing it. But no, it is readily obtainable anywhere in the world and you don’t even need a prescription. Professional traffickers are numerous, and organized in hierarchical cartels, openly trading on street corners and in purpose-made buildings. Some of these cartels are adept at fleecing poor people desperate to feed their habit. ‘Godfathers’ occupy influential positions in high places, and they have the ear of Royalty, of Presidents and Prime Ministers. Governments don’t just turn a blind eye to the trade, they grant it tax-exempt status. Worse, they subsidize schools founded with the specific intention of getting children hooked.

    bali man
    I was prompted to write this article by the smiling face of a happy man in Bali. He was ecstatically greeting his death sentence for the brutal murder of large numbers of innocent holidaymakers whom he had never met, and against whom he bore no personal grudge. Some people in the court were shocked at his lack of remorse. Far from remorse, his response was one of obvious exhilaration. He punched the air, delirious with joy that he was to be ‘martyred’, to use the jargon of his group of abusers. Make no mistake about it, that beatific smile, looking forward with unalloyed pleasure to the firing squad, is the smile of a junkie. Here we have the archetypal mainliner, doped up with hard, unrefined, unadulterated, high-octane Gerin Oil.

    Whatever your view of the vengeance and deterrence theories of capital punishment, it should be obvious that this case is special. Martyrdom is a strange revenge against those who crave it, and, far from deterring, it always recruits more martyrs than it kills. The important point is that the problem would not arise in the first place if children were protected from getting hooked on a drug with such a bad prognosis for their adult minds.

    By Richard Dawkins(Legend)

    For any of you who din’t catch on, Gerin Oil is an anagram for Religion

    Reply
  620. Avatar
    Paul Leclercq January 07, 2010

    @970

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    -Epicurus

    Thank you Chris B.,that is so elegant – oh god! I wish I had had a classical education!

    Reply
  621. Avatar
    Paul Leclercq January 07, 2010

    And another lovely and so germane, quote from Epicurus:

    It is not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, who is impious, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them

    Now this man I can believe in!

    Reply
  622. Avatar
    Bob Geldof January 08, 2010

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, and I quote.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions ‘without interference'[or in laymans terms, upto a 25k euro fine] and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    This means people can say what they damn well please about anything and/or anyone without any form of punishment whatsoever.

    Lets see what happens to this new ‘law’ now!

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  623. Avatar
    Karl Rothlieb January 08, 2010

    The European Union should be based on the secualar and democratic values we have been fought for in Europe for more than 200 years. “Blasphemia” is just a word and certainly not a crime. We must fight against the religious lobby in all EU countries and that of course also includes the Republic of Ireland. It is all religions that are a threat to all citiciens in EU and in this case Eire! Last a muslim fanatic was trying to kill the danish artist for his drawings but even the christianity shows the uggly face not at lest from the catholic church leader the so called Pope he is against all the real European values we have received untill today. Leave the churches and other religious organisations if you belive in humanism, reason and equal rights for everyone. You who believe in gods do so but it is a completely private matter!

    Karl Rothlieb

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  624. Avatar
    wtargentina January 08, 2010

    Good luck with the campaign. Don’t let Ireland regress to the dark ages.

    Gratuitous blasphemy alert-

    JESUS WAS A TWIT

    Reply
  625. Avatar
    Steve January 08, 2010

    “If there was no God there would be no atheists.” -G.K. Chesterton

    Reply
  626. Avatar
    Frankie January 09, 2010

    01/01/11 First Irish National Blasphemy Day. Open to all.

    Reply
  627. Avatar
    Frankie January 09, 2010

    I would, but, how do you get through to fanatics? When at school in Ireland, 70’s 80’s I was wrong without thought, they could not conceive that a student believed religion was bullshit.

    01/01/11
    First Irish National Blasphemy Day. Open to all.

    Reply
  628. Avatar
    steve montgomery January 09, 2010

    wow,
    the lengths that people will go to due to their imaginary friends?
    does this law include slagging off the tooth fairy, or santa?

    Reply
  629. Avatar
    Ted Daniels January 09, 2010

    I’m utterly taken aback by the rage that erupts in just about all of these comments, and by the speed with which this page fills. An awful lot of people have suffered at the hands of religion. Please when was this page first posted?

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  630. Avatar
    Emanuel Landeholm January 09, 2010

    Cute misleading Chesterton quote, Steve. (#998)

    We are atheists not because there is a god (how silly would that be?) but because the evidence for a god is crap (sorry!). Adding insult to injury, the religious can’t even agree among themselves what this god is, or even how many gods there are.

    Reply
  631. Avatar
    Rebecca January 09, 2010

    I’m sorry if I don’t understand and I won’t say I’m sorry for being a Christian and that I go by faith and that alone in God and Jesus Christ as His Son and our Savior. Maybe the world as gone to far and we should take account of our lives and seek the forgiveness of God through Jesus. He gives us free choice yes to be and do what we will with our lives. As I drive to work I see signs that say “God loves you”, Please help every one knows them YES… Look we have gay pride day and how about abortions and wife beater children molester and killer of all sorts our government leaders are so dishonest that for most of us here in American it’s a joke. But still we see no end no God nothing. A few weeks ago I thought that. See I’m a Christian not by birth but by choice I choice to change my life to live for God and don’t think that I’m walking a great I better than you but I do know that using God’s name the way some of you here have used it is so wrong and yes that is the best I can do. See I’ve had a number of affairs and 2 abortion I’ve been homeless. I’ve sleep with so many people I can’t ever remember some of their faces how sad is that, and you know what God still loves me and He going to come and just give me all the riches of the world because of it. NO… but He loves ME and that is enough and to know that love doesn’t mean that I don’t fight Him I do. But remember when you stand up in front of God and if you have not received Jesus Christ you will not enter in to the house of our One True Father. So though it may be funny or shocking to use the F==Work or call people whore, in with God Jesus Christ and anything having to do with HIM and I’m not talking about any religion or church YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD AND WHEN HE ASK WHY SHOULD I LET YOU IN WHAT WILL BE YOUR ANSWER. I forget what this article was will bout other than someone thing to force something on some one else but some thing yes are worth fighting for Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes but most of the comments listed on this post are blasphemous and when God calls for us I want to be able to say I didn’t stand in with some in this group. Even if I have to stand alone. I hope and pray that Ireland can truly be a free country because it is truly a lovely place.

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  632. Avatar
    nullifidian January 09, 2010

    Good luck with your fight against the theofascists.

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  633. Avatar
    Aggravated Agnostic January 09, 2010

    Rebecca, if Ireland is to be a free country it has to have free speech. Anyway I wish ye all the best with this campaign. It’s great to see that there are people challenging this law and hopefully it’ll be repealed. Considering what is going on in the Catholic Church in this country why are they bringing in a law that punishes the blasphemous? Surely there are worse criminals out there than those that make or publish blasphemous statements? This just shows how hypocritical our country is right now.

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  634. Avatar
    Deirdre O'Donnell January 09, 2010

    This is all great, but to be honest I would like a more concrete idea of what is actually being done (legally) to repeal this bloody law already. Is it being taken to the European High Court or Court of Human Rights? This type of law is dangerous, damaging to civil liberties and generally detrimental to our development and dignity as a species. That they are essentially immaterial and based on nothing is the absolute definition of irony!

    If religion is put beyond analysis and criticism, there will be no stopping it controlling the world and its politics. No obstruction to it cutting off all other forms of thought and learning that does not revolve around it; no restraint on its dragging us all back to the ways of oppression, patriarchy and abuse religion (monotheistic at least) seems to be absolutely designed to enshrine. No furthering in science or philosophy before too long, as we are obliged to believe that just one or two ancient texts are actually capable of explaining the entire, immense universe. The entire race going round and round in circles for millennia, no more original thought, no advancing or enlightenment in our comprehension of existence…no point to going on at all. Is that really what you want? (….Rebecca?) ‘God’ forbid we could actually arrive at peace and progress independent of these, these ridiculous supernatural notions.

    You may think I am just being paranoid and bombastic, overstating the repercussions of this law, and any similar ones that may be instated as a result of it. I hope I am – the human race could not be that hidebound, nearsighted and stupid. Could it?

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  635. Avatar
    taylor January 09, 2010

    “prais Allah” is blasphemy to the Christians. “Jesus is Lord” is blasphemy to islam. Fine all the mutally exclusive religions institutions, people etc. Generate some tax dollars out of it then rally the support of the relgious bastards who wanted the law instituted in the first place. blasphemy will no longer be a problem!

    Reply
  636. Avatar
    Miklos Handa, London January 10, 2010

    I do believe in A God. I believe that all this that surrounds us did not come together by chance. If we just simply observe nature we discover how perfect it is and how all living beings are connected to each other in one way or another. Also we cannot deny the voice inside us, which some may refer to as conscious. However I also see the great injustice in the world and the suffering, but I do not think this law will make any difference in regards to that. People will think whatever they want anyway, until the day they will start prosecuting us for thought crime like in George Orwell`s 1984. While I do not think racism should not be addressed, regardless all the efforts governments make it still exists. People still think in very much the same way as they previously have done, but they are simply unable to voice their opinions openly in public or find channels to do so. The laws brought into action to deal with the issue did not solve the problem, just made it disappear from the surface, but unfortunately it still lives on, more or less in silence but within our society. This law will probably have a similar affect on blasphemy. It will still exist, but will not be openly expressed in public. This thought takes me back to the communism where a friend of my parents was executed for spitting at Stalin`s photo in the pub, when he was drunk. His execution did not change public opinion, but created fear, that lead to hatred aimed against the governing body. Having seen people mindlessly causing harm to each other and the wickedness in this world I think God will most probably simply let us wipe each other out if we carry on like this, so that the creation can be restored to the state how it was meant to be like. If only people were educated in the appropriate way we would understand each other and could live in peace and work for a better future together. In my opinion the solution lies in education not legislation.

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  637. Avatar
    Gabriel Oaks January 10, 2010

    Christians believe man is god’s greatest creation.

    Athiests know god is man’s worst creation.

    Reply
  638. Avatar
    Patrick Fenlon January 10, 2010

    In respect of the Catholic Church’s support for the blasphemy law this is hypocrisy at its greatest; for while they claim that they wish to serve God it is only in an advisory capacity.

    But even then their interpretation of God’s will always appears to be at one with their agenda!

    However, perhaps one of the better arguments for the non-existence of god is if such a benevolent entity existed would he, she or it really try to inspire the world through Christians and Muslims?

    Oh dear, did I just blaspheme?

    But then blasphemy is the law of man to protect his ‘god’. If god really existed then would he, she of it really need such ‘protection’?

    Reply
  639. Avatar
    Siri January 10, 2010

    Don’t forget this mother of all blasphemous quotes, uttered by Jesus Christ himself:

    “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was, I Am!” (John 8:58)

    Reply
  640. Avatar
    Yoshi January 10, 2010

    I don’t personally have a problem against the practice of most religions and I don’t think it’s necessary to keep insulting them just for the hell of it. Nevertheless, just as people are entitled to their religious beliefs, they are also entitled to express their opinions on the religious beliefs of others.

    This law is absolute bullshit and I commend the person who made this page.

    Reply
  641. Avatar
    Junaid January 10, 2010

    Free speech includes the right and freedom to criticize religion on an academic level, but it does not protect hate speech in public. I believe the blasphemy laws are designed towards grossly offensive gestures that have no point to make except to provoke – for example, an image depicting bestiality with supposed religious prophets, something like that would not be criticism but a form of abuse.

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  642. Avatar
    Patrick Fenlon January 10, 2010

    1016 “blasphemy laws are designed towards grossly offensive gestures” this is an excellent post. However, a law is enforced through the detail contained within the statute and not on how it was designed or intended.

    There are numerous examples of this throughout history.

    In this respect it is highly probable that the “law” of unintended consequences will almost certainly apply.

    However, if the law really was enacted to prevent grossly obbusive remarks then why not in the wider sphere rather than just relative to religion?

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  643. Avatar
    chugs January 10, 2010

    It would seem to me that the point of the law is being missed by all. Machiavelli himself would be rubbing his hand with glee at the polarising effect that this law has had. Hell you couldn’t have gotten a better shit storm if you had dressed up as Hitler and walked into down town Jerusalem.

    Oops, brought the Nazis into a debate (though someone else already did that), it would appear that Atheism have thus lost this debate, if one is to accept the precepts of Godwin’s Law – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law.

    Nevertheless as is the case with many things that go on in the hallow halls of government I hardly doubt the justice minister of Ireland is that naive to believe a fine will curtail or stop blasphemy. It is also hardly the first steps to an authoritarian 1984 style dystopia where the religious right rule the planet (i think for the most part they already do).

    Look at the sub-text. Look at what’s going on in Ireland. Perhaps the government is still deeply affected by the The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and is moving to force editors of the soon to published books and write ups to self-censor their authors works. See defamation (as far as I know it) is a civil matter, and thus a complainant is forced to fund (initially) their own prosecution and case. This new anti-blasphemy law makes it a criminal matter. Sure they might to supply more evidence but it will certain move the cost of funding expensive defamation cases from the complainant to the Crown.

    An interesting point is whether the law is retroactive? This would have major ramifications.

    It could be the Catholics pushed for this criminalisation of defamation (of religion). Perhaps it won’t ever be used by ever conservative newspaper and book publishers will be reluctant to push to be the first to be tested on it.Perhaps the law serves many purposes, to distract us from deviant MPS and failing economy, and a bitterly divided government.

    On a side note, this reality that we reside in seems so insane, crazy. Our own interpretation and understanding are forever biased by our own inabilities and failures. It seems premature to be certain of anything in this reality. I do definitely agree (if you are to just accept the crazy reality we live in) that anything that seeks to harm or curtail freedom should be opposed (on principal).

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  644. Avatar
    Michael Price January 11, 2010

    Personally I’m glad this law was passed, because it makes almost all religious talk illegal. Want to claim Jesus is the son of God? Opps, just insulted Islam and the Jews? Claim that Mohamed was a prophet? Just insulted Christianity. Want to claim that any other entity created the earth except the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Not only are you clearly deluded but you’re breaking the law.

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  645. Avatar
    Ramirez Shabadoo January 11, 2010

    Surely any deity or deities(lets not be exclusive to the monotheistic imaginary fruitcakes)that are omnipotent and omniscient are not in need of the non-biblical laws of humans(or should I say MAN, to placate all the misogynistic views of “believers”). Are we Atheists and Heathen swine not ultimately to be judged by the Lord doG when we pass from this mortal coil? Remember “Lots done, more to do”. Vote Fianna Fail next time you get the opportunity. Sorry, what was that doG, you’ve found me a parking spot. Why thanks doG you’re the one and only.

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  646. Avatar
    GMcD January 12, 2010

    Who asked Lazarus his opinion – poor man had to die twice!

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  647. Avatar
    Chaz Wyman January 13, 2010

    Beware Ireland. It will soon be blasphemy to call a priest a paedophile.

    Keep up the good work. Religion poisons everything.