12 thoughts on “Are blasphemy laws

  1. renudepride says:

    This is one of the primary reasons for the separation of religion and the government. After all, the law allows for the ridicule of political opponents. Two entirely different institutions for two totally different purposes. Joined together and repression is established!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barry says:

    In answer to your question: Yes. Even if a deity did exist, whose understanding of said deity would be blasphemous? Who decides? It boils down to those with power deciding what is acceptable and what is not. Goodbye to freedom of expression.

    If a deity or deities actually exist, do you not think he/she/it/they would have the power to pass judgement on what is and is not blasphemous and be more than capable of determining and carrying out an appropriate penalty without the assistance of error-prone mortals?

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  3. rautakyy says:

    Yes. There was a similar blasphemy law in Finland as late as the 1970’s in action. Then a high prophile case against an author (Hannu Salama) for his book having alledgedly made fun of the Christian god, changed all. The case proved to be difficult, since who gets to say when a god is being ridiculed. The possibly insulted party is in no habit of appearing in courts, or anywhere really, to tell us if they were offended, or not. The entire sherade made their god look as petty and puny as they themselves are.

    Now, what is being proposed in Poland, is a bit different. What they are demanding, is that the Church itself would be beyond reproach. Not their god, or just their faith, but a human institution run by humans, would be beyond all evaluation. It is the most stupid law imaginable, because it will render the church into a mental North-Korea. I wonder who would want that situation? It still has the problem of who gets to decide what is within the law. It is easy to point out clear cases of mockery, but the grey area is going to be huge. But why not, Iranians and the Saudis have made it work, right? They have the ideal societies, that are so nice to live in, right?

    A nother can of worms is, are they going to give the same protection of law to all religions and if not, how will they try to excuse that?

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    • makagutu says:

      I would like to know how the Finnish case ended because that does sound as a really interesting case.
      Poland shocks me. There are over 300k petitioners seeking to protect their church from ridicule. It is a crazy law.

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      • rautakyy says:

        Well, the book Juhannustanssit – “Midsummer Dances” was originally published in 1964 and after that it was taken up into discussion by a conservative parliament representative, who was anxious about it being blasphemous and having sex in it.

        The minister of justice decided, that a prosecution was in place. This erupted into a heated discussion about artistic licence and freedom of speech. Writers, artists, lefties and the youth standing in defence of Salama, the author. The debacle was soon tai dubbed “Salamasota”, wich means blizgrieg, or “lightning war”, as “salama” means lightning.

        Both the author and the publsher got convicted and despite appeals the higher courts held to the conviction. The publisher got fines and the remaining books were burned. Salama was senteced to prison for a few months, but before he served the president pardoned him. The process took years and Salama has said he was stressed and traumatized by it. He turned into an alcoholic wich led to his divorce. However, he continued writing and became a renowned and beloved author in Finland. Later he said he writes, because he has no stomach for drinking left.

        The law was appealed and amended in 1971, but remained with lighter sentences. Before the ruling could have been as much as 4 years prison, after the appeal only a couple of months. Nobody has been prosecuted with it ever since, but it is shamefull, that they did not repeal the totally absurd law entirely.

        It is quite telling how the modern day right-wing activists, who whine about freedom of speech- when they want to hurt people and spread racistic lies – are not at all concerned about the still existing blasphemy law.

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        • makagutu says:

          This is sad. Reminds me of the book i read about Will Foote, prisoner for blasphemy in England. It is a shame that “civilised” societies have such laws in their statutes and that they even implement them.

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