THOU SHALT NOT BLASPHEME AGAINST THE LORD THY GOD!

... or some such drivel. Very few of us would have much difficulty imagining such a commandment coming out of the Old Testament, and if I bothered to dig (which I won't!), I could probably find something which approximates that. Proclamations or laws of this sort are the product of autocratic thinking at the least, and dated thought which doesn't reflect a more sophisticated society, which embraces freedom of speech and action.

But apparently, there is movement out there to put a modern day cast on this old commandment:

http://www.examiner.com/x-2044-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m3d2-UN-antibl...

The UN has apparently already PASSED this travesty, which in effect, places an idea (and an unconfirmed and unprovable idea at that!) above the rights of human beings! I just googled "anti-blasphemy UN" and came up with 163,000 hits on the topic, so it's not as though this is very new news, but it is NOT something which has had much visible coverage in the media I frequent ... which I find disturbing.

A counterpoint to this threat are the results of a marvelous contest which I must thank Lacey L for posting here. I refer to the Center for Inquiry's Blasphemy Contest. I must confess that I was so delighted not just by the contest but the winning phrases that I had to post them here for all to see, as follows:

WINNER: Faith is No Reason by Ken Peters of California

Runners-Up

There’s no religion like no religion, by Daniel Boles of Thailand

I wouldn’t even follow your god on Twitter, by Michael Hein of South Carolina [This one had me on the floor!]

The reason religious beliefs need protection from ridicule is that they are ridiculous, by Michael Nugent of Ireland

I survived the God virus, by Perry Bulwer of British Columbia, Canada.

What I find so beautiful about all the above entries is that they don't resort to profanity or hyperbole, but to simplicity (the winner is all of FOUR WORDS!), reason and humor ... all of which doubtless would infuriate the believers!

So ... who's going to win THIS fracas? Not the believers ... not when the practice of blasphemy is now actually celebrated and has a day of its own (September 30th, apparently!), not when the tradition not just of free speech but of of comedy, parody and the simple act of laughing either at ourselves or at the absurdity which is life is rich in any country which treats its people as its highest value. What the UN has done with this ruling is to try to placate a bunch of whiners who apparently haven't a sufficiently thick skin to defend themselves against an outside world which, at the least, finds what they believe incredible, and at the most, LAUGHABLE. Indeed, Michael Nugent's entry states this concisely: that they seek protection from ridicule for indulging in the ridiculous!

The frightening thing here is that the PC'ers among the UN have granted their wish, and it may be we're in yet one more melee to wrest sense and sensibility from those who cannot or will not use either. Once more unto the breach, guys?

Views: 29

Tags: Blasphemy Day, UN, blasphemy, contest, legislation

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Comment by Sarah Elle on November 24, 2009 at 3:40pm
"but it is NOT something which has had much visible coverage in the media I frequent ... which I find disturbing."

No doubt, it is highly disturbing..

But I have a lot of confidence that even if this was implemented into North American laws, there would be an uproar the sight of which even the religious hadn't seen as of yet. They wouldn't know what hit 'em.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 24, 2009 at 2:22pm
I look forward to the stonings - I wonder if they will be televised? And will the blasphemy police get to wear cool uniforms - I think a ninja look would work well.
I often think religions have hit the ultimate depth of their stupidity hole - then I find out they are still digging.
Comment by Loren Miller on November 24, 2009 at 11:46am
And all at once, I'm reminded of a cartoon from one of my favorite Playboy cartoonists, Gahan Wilson:


The caption reads, Is Nothing sacred?
Comment by Loren Miller on November 24, 2009 at 9:31am
In the main, I don't underestimate them, Jacqueline, but at the same time, I don't grant them any kind of formal respect. I LAUGH at them because at least in part, that's what blasphemy is doing, certainly with this contest as well as in other forms.

Still, the question is begged: if this law is on the UN books, what mechanism to they intend to use to enforce it. Also, are they prepared for the level of civil disobedience which is BOUND to arise when the word really gets out about this BS? With the internet as a vehicle, any attempt to fully quash the practice of blasphemy would be futile, regardless of whatever filters the blasphemy proctors attempt to put in place. On top of that, the second you proscribe something previously out and available, you up the demand for it. Anyone here remember Prohibition?

Still, you're absolutely right in the parallels between Sharia Law and Mosaic Law, and action needs to be taken. I have no desire to see Nehemiah Scudder or RJ Rushdooney or whoever the current jackass is force the US into the mold of a Christian Theocracy, and if that means getting ugly ... I can get pretty damned ugly.

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