'Get rid of blasphemy law, and morality will collapse in Ireland' warns barmy barrister

'Get rid of blasphemy law, and morality will collapse in Ireland' warns barmy barrister March 21, 2010

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.

Higgins added:

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.

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  • Higgins would get along very well with the man who can be sometimes seen in Kingston with a large sign that reads along the top ‘The Trouble With Atheism’, and underneath ‘No Morals’ which, as every fundie knows, are exclusive to those who believe in invisible deities and framing all laws to suit Christians.

  • Does it never occur to this twisted woman that the source of a state’s laws should maybe be the will and common good of its people?

  • Christian or rather, it being an Irish issue, Catholic morality eh?
    You just gotta belly laugh at that one…

  • mikespeir

    Ireland must surely have become Heaven on Earth since the law was introduced.

  • AngieRS

    She forgets the many thousands killed in the name of her god without benefit of a trial and she harks on about gods law as she ignores the breaking of those laws by the many priests in her religion worldwide in relation to children. Still, no change there.

  • Broga

    Is the current situation “morality”? And that is before the other 17 Counties have been investigated.

  • William Harwood

    “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?” It is hard to see such an utterance as anything but a confession that, without a sky fairy to tell her right from wrong, the twat would see no reason for not murdering people. So she projects the moral bankruptcy she sees in the mirror onto persons who know that murder is wrong because it unnecessarily hurts a nonconsenting victim. Since the most prolific mass-murderer in all fiction is “God”, does that mean that God murders people because HE has no higher lifeform to tell him right from wrong, and lacks the moral evolution to figure it out for himself?

  • Broga

    Indeed. What kind of morality is it when it applies only from fear of punishment from a a tyranical and all seeing deity. There is no virtue in it. And does this silly woman not understand that if her god, should he exist, could not see through such an obvious ploy then then he would scarcely merit anything other than contempt.

  • Har Davids

    Hilarious! The Irish church is currently under investigation for abuse of power, like the criminal organisation it turned out to be and some bigot start spreading bull-shit about the risks the Irish take if/when they get rid of some blasphemy-law, that’s been supportive of precisely the kind of organisation the church is. Religion has been keeping people ignorant, poor and afraid for centuries, time we hit back.

  • rog

    What with him being the infallible voice of god on earth, does insulting the pope fall under blasphemy laws?

  • JohnMWhite

    That someone so delusional and incapable of forming a coherent argument could be a barrister disturbs me.

  • valdemar

    Nice to see yet another woman speaking up for an ideology that has always oppressed women in the name of ‘morality’. But invoking the Catholic Church in Ireland? Her sense of timing is somewhat faulty.

  • Right, because they’ve had the law for all of a month or so and there was no morality before then. WTF?

  • barriejohn

    “Morality in Ireland”? Shurely shome mishtake!

  • NeoWolfe

    Oh yeah, Ireland has been the example of peace and morality for the western world in our modern era. They barely defused the IRA before we had to deal with Al Queda. Bombing women and children, shootings in the street, rioting. Righteous examples of morality.
    Don’t take it wrong, brothers across the pond, but, the American revolution happened, in large part because they were sick of religion in politics. And two hundred years later, people are still claiming the Irish constitution is Catholic and can make a viable legal argument for it.
    But, before I sound superior, we have our own problems, and mostly because our constitution was written by appeasers and compromisers instead of freethinkers. Necessary, I guess, because of time constraint, but, they left us with a lot of shit to clean up, too.
    I am thankful, however, that I can walk into a department store and scream, “Fuck Jehovah” and not get arrested. I would, however be invited to leave :-).

  • @NeoWolfe – Ireland had been fighting for independence since 1798. If the United States had been true to the principles of the American Revolution, it would have given its support on the many many occasions it was called upon to do so, yet it never did. Unfortunately, in the end the only way to achieve independence was to compromise with the Catholic church – hence the mess we are in now.

  • barriejohn

    I must say that I had never come across that statement of Lord Devlin’s before. What did he mean, I wonder, by the State “enforcing Christian beliefs”? That hasn’t happened here for centuries!

  • Janstince

    @ barriejohn
    Over here, we call them “Blue Laws,” a throwback to the Puritanical days when alcohol, sex, sports, and anything that could be remotely associated with fun was outlawed. Today, they take the forms of alcohol laws, gambling laws, and prostitution laws. At least, that’s what I think he was referring to. Of course, they neglect to mention that, far from removing the problem, it only pushes the problem underground, lets it roll around in filth, then jumps out to bite them in the ass.

  • barriejohn

    But that’s the secong part of his statement, Janstince: “enforcing Christian morals” (so-called). You might be able to force people to live by a particular moral code, but how do you set about “enforcing beliefs”?

  • NeoWolfe

    @ David M.
    Oh, you haven’t scratched the surface of the treason against the lofty principles of our constitution. In the declaration of independence it stated:
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
    Yet, a hundred years later the country is at war with itself over the question of whether negroes are monkeys or human!!!! We have a bleak and shameful past, and as far as failing to come to the aid of our friends, we sat on our hands in WWII until the Japanese dragged us in.
    I was trying hard not to crow, I was trying to express my disbelief that a word like “blasphemy” would still be on the law books in any advanced western civilization.