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.
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 DÃ¡il 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.
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.
When 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.
Under the new law, anyone found guilty of blasphemy in the wider Defamation Act can be fined up to â‚¬25,000 (Â£21,400).
HAT TIP: Adam Tjaavk