WITH the mood the Irish are in right now vis-a-vis the Roman Catholic Church, there’s every reason to believe that they will vote to ditch the country’s recently-introduced blasphemy law, under which a conviction could get an offender heavily fined.
But the prospect of the law being scrapped horrifies at least one Irish muppet – Johanna Higgins, a barrister and member of the Association of Catholic Lawyers of Ireland.
Because Justice Minister Dermot Ahern recently announced his decision to put the law to the vote in a planned referendum later this year, Higgins’ pious panties are in one heck of a twist.
And so is her reasoning.
In what must rate as the most fatuous and confusing statement I have read in many a month, Higgins stated:
The requirement in the Constitution that blasphemy ‘shall be punishable’ is part and parcel of the jurisprudential framework of the Irish State. One cannot simply remove parts of the Constitution at will, blind as to the actual effect this will have on society and the function of the law.
The crime of blasphemy is a cornerstone in the Christian legal system, which is precisely why some wish for its removal. However if they succeed the State will have to justify the criminal law and the punishments it hands down in some way other than by morality.
Simply put, if one believes that murder is wrong because it offends against God’s law, what happens to that belief if God is effectively removed from the law, so to speak, and nothing is holding up the legal system in His place?
Higgins then points out:
Minister Ahern has stated in the past, regarding the constitutional provision on blasphemy: ‘As a republican, my personal position is that Church and State should be separate. But I do not have the luxury of ignoring our Constitution’. This then begs the question on what philosophy of law does Minister Ahern seek to rest his envisioned Constitution?
She goes on:
The moral code on which the Irish system is presently based is Catholic. Of that one need look no further than the preamble to the Irish Constitution, as written by Taoiseach Eamon De Valera, to be persuaded: ‘In the Name of the most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Eire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial …’
Higgins ends her journey into Piffle Land with more garbage in the form of a quote from that appalling old bigot, Lord Patrick Devlin, who tumbled off his perch in 1992:
A State which refuses to enforce Christian beliefs has lost the right to enforce Christian morals.