An Atheist Blogger Reports From The British Blasphemy Sentencing

Ed The Manic Street Preacher, (the blogger, not to be confused with the band) offers us this firsthand account of attending Harry Taylor’s sentencing for leaving provocative anti-religious materials in an airport prayer room:

Aside from the bare facts of the sentencing, I would like to add that Mr Taylor seemed like a perfectly rational, intelligent and calm man who wanted to put his point across and was certainly not the “crackpot” that several bloggers, including myself to an extent, had presumed him to be.  He was clearly still deeply affected by his horrendous childhood experiences of a strict Catholic upbringing by the Christian Brotherhood and was so distressed by the prospect of receiving a custodial sentence that he had to leave the courtroom midway through the hearing after nearly fainting.

Following the hearing, Liverpool Humanist Group’s Peter McKenna told a reporter from Radio City that the Asbo sentence was absurd since it prevented Mr Taylor from purchasing copies of say, New Humanist orPrivate Eye in a newsagent since there was a risk that they would contain images of the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed or other “offensive” religious images similar to those he left in the prayer room!

While I am pleased that Mr Taylor did not receive an immediate custodial sentence, I am still appalled that the establishment has shown such favouritism in protecting religious views from criticism.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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