Dermot Ahern, the justice minister, is proposing that a vote to remove the criminal offence of blasphemy be held as part of a planned series of referendums this autumn, writes Stephen O’Brien.
A final decision on a blasphemy referendum rests with the cabinet, but if Ahern remains justice minister after this month’s reshuffle, he is likely to propose that it be added to the autumn list.
I think Michael Nugent and the members of Atheist Ireland deserve credit for reminding everybody about the absurdity of this law — as soon as it was passed, they put 25 “blasphemous” quotations on their website — and they’ll keep the pressure on until it is revoked:
Atheist Ireland thanks everyone who has helped to make the campaign against this new law as effective as it has been to date. It is now important we maintain the pressure on this issue to ensure that the referendum happens as proposed and, more importantly, that it is won.
We reiterate our position that this law is both silly and dangerous: silly because it is introducing medieval canon law offence into a modern plularist republic; and dangerous because it incentives religious outrage and because its wording has already been adopted by Islamic States as part of their campaign to make blasphemy a crime internationally.
Good riddance to pointless laws and victimless “crimes.”