Campaign group Atheist Ireland publishes a series of quotes online which are critical of religion, saying they will fight in court any attempt to use Ireland’s beefed up blasphemy legislation against them.
Quotes include Björk’s seminal deconstruction of Buddhist philosophy:
“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.”
Lines from Randy Newman’s God’s Song:
“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.”
And at number 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.
Also see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/01/irish-atheists-challenge-blasphemy-law
As it happens, that very night one of the infamous “Danish cartoonists”, Kurt Westergaard, has a brush with death when police shoot and capture and axe-wielding intruder in his home. Can the Irish legislature really think it’s a good idea to be giving succour to those who would slash and burn in the name of fighting blasphemy?