Irish Referendum on Removing Blasphemy Ban from Constitution

The Guardian reports:

Ireland is to hold a referendum [this fall] on removing a blasphemy ban from the constitution, the justice minister announced yesterday.

At the beginning of the year, the republic introduced legislation making blasphemy a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 …

The law defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”….

Here are Atheist Ireland’s 25 blasphemous quotations, which were put up in response to the law. It includes quotes from Jesus, Mohammed, Mark Twain, Tom Lehrer, Pope Benedict XVI (the current Pope), and of course Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Some of those items (including the last one) probably wouldn’t be blasphemous under modern law, though you still won’t catch me saying Jehovah. Oh, wait! D’oh!

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