Ireland Must Get Rid of Its Blasphemy Law

Right now, Ireland is in the midst of a Constitutional Convention and they’re considering a change to the blasphemy law.

Michael Nugent, the chair of Atheist Ireland, makes a strong case for why that law must be repealed in The Journal:

The blasphemy law brings our parliament and our laws into disrepute. It does not protect religious belief; it incentivises outrage and it criminalises free speech. It also treats religious beliefs as more valuable than atheistic or secular beliefs. There are definitional problems around the wording that is citing elements of degree to enact the offence. And we have already seen from the X Case, when the State sought an injunction to prevent a raped pregnant child from leaving the country, that religiously-inspired Constitutional provisions can be implemented when nobody expects it to happen.

He’s absolutely right on all counts — there’s just no good reason for this law to be in effect. You expect it from a theocracy, but not a thriving democracy. Blasphemy laws are nothing but a modern-day witch-hunt, and atheists who speak out against religious myths will be caught in the crosshairs if this law stands.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.