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:
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:
: Faith is No Reason
by Ken Peters of California
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?