Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, July 24, 2009

ECHR to the Rescue?

So, in a move of mind-boggling medieval stupidity, Ireland has just outlawed blasphemy. No, this is not an April Fool's joke. Such laws are all over the books in American states too, but they are unenforceable relics of the past. In fact, some are worded so awesomely they are fun. Except for a brief revival period in the anticommunist witch hunts when people tried (largely unsucessfully) to use these statutes to persecute atheistic communists, they haven't been taken seriously since before the Civil War.

I am trying to figure out what in Irish culture or politics would push this law at this time, when they've just gone through defying the Catholic church on everything from abortion to divorce. How is this in keeping with the trend in much of Europe to get religion out of government?

I hope the European Court of Human Rights strikes this down quickly.


Dr. Strangelove said...

The Irish Times sheds some light on the matter. The law updates and modernizes all of Ireland's anti-defamation statutes. Among them is an anti-blasphemy law from the 1960s. This older law was renewed as part of the package, probably with a higher fine now.

A number of ministers expressed concerns about that particular part. But it looks like it was just one of those provisions which, politically speaking, was too hard to remove. To remove the provision would have legalized blasphemy--and no one wants to be tarnished with the brush of being "pro-blasphemy."

Raised By Republicans said...

There are probably issues with the European Court of Justice too. The first time an Irish magistrate tries to enforce this against some free thinker with an axe to grind from Germany or the Netherlands, the ECJ will get involved if it isn't already.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Apparently homegrown Irish groups are already planning to get a test case by blaspheming. As a religious person, I hate that being a political protest. For the same reason, I don't want flag-burning to be illegal, because otherwise it is going to be a form of political protest.

Raised By Republicans said...

My guess is that this blasphemy law will not be enforced. The protestors will find themselves having to beg the local police to arrest them for it.