Brace yourselves for the Great Irish Blasphemy Challenge

Brace yourselves for the Great Irish Blasphemy Challenge July 5, 2009

IRELAND’S attempt to introduce a blasphemy law is looking more and more idiotic with every day that passes.
Now we learn that the creators of the brilliant Father Ted television series have joined the clamour against the proposed new law, denouncing it as as “insanity” and pledging to support a campaign to stop it in its tracks.blasphemysnickers-500x400

A report in the Observer today says that Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan have backed moves by a group of Irish secularists to challenge the anti-blasphemy Bill introduced in the Dáil last week.
Atheist Ireland, in a calculated challenge to the law, said it will publish a statement blaspheming ALL the major religions in Ireland, including Christianity and Islam.
Under the Irish constitution, the state is obliged to have blasphemy laws. The bill going through the Dáil would amend the Defamation Act of 1961, which includes blasphemy as a crime. To abolish blasphemy laws, the government would have to hold a referendum to amend the constitution.
The duo, who wrote a host of other TV comedies such as Big Train, described the blasphemy law contained in the new Bill covering defamation in Ireland as “a return to the Middle Ages”.
Linehan said that Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, who introduced the Bill, should be challenged to define what he meant by blasphemy.

This is insanity. Please, Mr Ahern, define the things we can’t say, please! Can we say, ‘Jesus is gay’? Or can we ask, ‘Is God in a biscuit?’ Could he tell us what it means? It is just insanity. After all, there are things contained in the holy books of one religion that are blasphemy to another religion. The logic behind this comes from Alice in Wonderland.

Linehan added said the Irish blasphemy law was part of a trend in the west where freedom of expression was being attacked:

To placate the craziest people on earth.

Mathews said the Bill:

Hardly seems necessary in the Ireland of the 21st century … It’s a pity that law hadn’t been introduced when we were writing Father Ted, because it would have given us a great storyline. The best attitude to this nonsense is to laugh at it and send it up. There is no popular clamour for it in Ireland, so I wonder why Dermot Ahern has brought it in the first place.

Michael Nugent, of Atheist Ireland, who has also written comedy with Mathews, added that the Bill was silly and dangerous.

It is silly because it revives a medieval religious law in a modern pluralist republic, and it makes Ireland seem like a backward country. People need protection. Ideas do not. Ideas should always be open to criticism and ridicule. If the law is passed, we will be immediately testing it by publishing a blasphemous statement.

ladyboyjesusWhen news of the proposed law first broke, a blog called Marshmallow Ladyboy Jesus was set up to inform the public about it – and much more besides of interest to godless heathens, and anyone concerned with freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, Atheist Ireland is finalising plans for a blasphemous statement at its annual meeting, which is open to the public, in Wynns Hotel in Dublin next Saturday.
Under the new law, anyone found guilty of blasphemy in the wider Defamation Act can be fined up to €25,000 (£21,400).
HAT TIP: Adam Tjaavk

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I thought it was the Father Ted team who had actually drawn up the Bill!

  • And to think of all the morons whining over here about "Thought Crime Laws" because they may be penalized for beating gay people to death. Let's ship them all over there so they'll actually have something to cry about.

  • There are far too many people out there ready to Mock Christianity.
    It's a scandal, and Praise Jesus the Irish are setting such a great example.

  • ZombieHunter

    the middle ages ended for ireland when they closed the last magdelene laundry, well at least that was the beginning of the end, ireland has made a lot of progress as far as distancing itself from religion is concerned but it still has a long way to go and blasphemy laws and the muppets who support them won't help anybody religious or otherwise.

  • Rozi

    Blas for me! Blas for you! Blas for everybody in the room!
    P.S I stole it from Eddie Izzard.

  • dj357

    @Talitha: Christianity deserves to be mocked along with all the other religions out there. None of them deserve protection under the law and this bill is completely ridiculous.

  • Bruce

    Nothing is more blasphemous to Christianity than to deny the divinity of Jesus. As the Muslim public call to prayer states that Mohammed is the prophet of god, this inherently denies Jesus, and thus is inherently blasphemous. Thus, the proposed law will make Islam illegal in Ireland. Of course, the logical Islamic response would be to note that Christianity is blasphemous in the sight of Islam, and so it too must be prohibited.
    Well, as Monty Python said, let's always look on the bright side of life.

  • Oh, no – here we go again! If you want to know where Sister Talitha is coming from you need to visit http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ !! If you click onto her little photograph the information does come up!!!

  • evil1dwk

    And the next time you blasphemy against Allah we'll hold you to the sentiment.

  • Christopher Wing

    I'm going to find Irish Jews and sue them for not believing in little baby Jesus. The horror!

  • Canada Dave

    What a show you Irish are putting on for the globe……I am surprised the EU does not kick you out ;o)
    Your Mr. Ahern would have done better in Spain…just a century or two back though.

  • I am of Irish descent but this makes me ashamed of the “Auld Sod”.
    All religions are evil and they should be mocked and discredited.
    Christianity, Islam, all of them are the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. They all work to suppress free speech, science, and logical thought.
    Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been, caused by religion. Mankind will never truly be free until the black yoke of religion is lifted by truth and rational thinking.

  • Brian

    On a related note, here’s a really good atheist store I found. Well, primarily atheist and science stuff…
    Aristotle’s Muse
    Maybe wearing an atheist T-shirt won’t change the world, but then again, maybe it could.

  • col

    f*ck religion, let it rot and let religious people kill themselves all with there silly wars,bring on world war three…………god lower case = backwards = dog hahhahahahaaaargh bow your heads down to dog!