Ireland Makes Blasphemy Illegal: The Death of Free Speech

Irish atheists are horrified by new legislation making blasphemy illegal, and punishable by a 25,000-Euro fine. Christians of all stripes should be, too.

As part of a revision to defamation legislation, the Dail (Irish Parliament) passed legislation creating a new crime of blasphemy. Update: The bill went to the Seanad on Friday, July 10, passing by a single vote. This attack on free speech, debated for several months in Europe, has gone largely unnoticed in the American press.

The text of the legislation is provided at the end of this post.

How does this impact free speech? Just don’t be rude.

  • Atheists can be prosecuted for saying that God is imaginary. That causes outrage.
  • Pagans can be prosecuted for saying they left Christianity because God is violent and bloodthirsty, promotes genocide, and permits slavery.
  • Christians can be prosecuted for saying that Allah is a moon god, or for drawing a picture of Mohammed, or for saying that Islam is a violent religion which breeds terrorists.
  • Jews can be prosecuted for saying Jesus isn’t the Messiah.

Is it really THAT big a deal?

Ireland’s Blasphemy Bill not only criminalizes free speech, it also gives the police the authority to confiscate anything deemed “blasphemous”. They may enter and search any premises, with force if needed, upon “reasonable suspicion” that such materials are present.

Satirizing religion in any way, shape, or form, if it “causes outrage”, is now a prosecutable offense in Ireland. Saying anything negative about a religion, if it “causes outrage”, can now be prosecuted as a crime. Just like in Muslim countries.

Witness the return of the Dark Ages.

Update: The bill passed the Seanad on Friday, July 10, by a single vote. From the Irish Times:

Seanad deputy leader Dan Boyle (Green Party) indicated his party’s preference for a constitutional referendum in “the mid-term” on the issue of blasphemy. However, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said he would hazard a guess it was unlikely they would come back to this issue for some time.

The Minister rejected Mr Regan’s contention that the matter of blasphemy could be adequately dealt with by an amendment to the Incitement to Hatred Act, saying what was blasphemous did not necessarily constitute incitement to hatred.

During exchanges with Ivana Bacik, the Minister said he had never in his political career received so many e-mails expressing outrage as he had on this issue. Ms Bacik said under the proposed legislation, Fr Willie Russell from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, a critic of those in his parish who appeared to be worshipping a tree with the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, could be open to a charge of blasphemy because he had stated that no one could “worship a tree”.

Let’s see if he gets charged.

The text of the legislation:

36. Publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

37. Seizure of copies of blasphemous statements.

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 36, the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, © specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana.

(2) A member of the Garda Siochana may (a) enter and search any premises, (b) seize, remove and detain any copy of a statement to which an offence under section 36 relates found therein or in the possession of any person, in accordance with a warrant under subsection (1).

(3) Upon final judgment being given in proceedings for an offence under section 36, anything seized and removed under subsection (2) shall be disposed of in accordance with such directions as the court may give upon an application by a member of the Garda Siochana in that behalf.

July 09, 2009
by Pastor Mike

Source: Paliban Daily


v-for-vendetta

Ireland Passes Blasphemy Law: The End of Free Speech

jesus-guinness

On Friday July 11th, 2009, Ireland passed the Defamation Bill by one vote. One of the aspects of this bill would make it illegal to criticize religion… any religion under penalty of fines up to 25,000 Euros. That is the equivalent to nearly $35,000.

When I first heard this story on the internets, I was certain that it was a false story. I read the story, googled it, checked out legitimate Ireland news sites, and double checked more Ireland news sites. The story checks out. It seems that the Blasphemy Clause of the Defamation Bill was challenged in the legislature by an amendment which would delete such a clause. The amendment to delete the clause initially passed by one vote, but a request was made for a “walk-through vote.” During that time two more Senators came in and voted against the amendment to delete the clause. This meant that the clause would stay in the bill. The bill then passed by the same margin.

Here is an excerpt from the Blasphemy Clause:

Section 36

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

This part of the bill makes it illegal to criticize any religion either verbally or in writing. Saying anything in which a “substantial number” of followers might find offensive would now be a crime in the Ireland. But the bill goes even further. Here is another excerpt:

Section 37

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 36, the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana.

The Garda Siochana is the Irish police who can now (under this law) break into people’s homes and confiscate copies of any book which might be critical of any religion. I keep trying to point out that any religious criticism is a crime, because many Christians are critical of differing religions. Atheists are not the only ones being targeted here. Simply claiming that the Pope is not infallible might be considered blasphemous to many Catholics. Claiming that the prophet Joseph Smith was not really visited by angels and given magic golden plates would be blasphemous to Mormons. Mentioning the prophet Mohammad without adding the phrase “peace be upon him” would be considered blasphemous to Muslims. And claiming that Scientology is a sham and that Tom Cruise is crazy would obviously be blasphemous to Scientologists.

What if a Christian claimed that if someone was not saved through Jesus Christ, he or she would spend eternity in Hell? An argument could be made that such a statement and even the Bible itself might be considered blasphemous to other religions. In fact, most religious are blasphemous to other religions. Maybe the Irish police will fine everyone.

July 11, 5:53 AM

Source: The Examiner


v-for-vendetta

President Hu Jintao Quits G8 Trip; Military Police Patrols Urumqi

china-unrest
A young man who was mistaken for being a Uighur is chased by a mob of Han Chinese in Urumqi, China, on July 7, 2009. Photographer: Ng Han Guan/AP via Bloomberg News

July 8 (Bloomberg) — Hundreds of military police patrolled the western Chinese city of Urumqi, as the worst violence since last year’s uprising in Tibet prompted President Hu Jintao to cut short a trip to the Group of Eight summit in Italy.

Two days of rioting in the capital of Xinjiang, a province rich in oil and natural gas, left at least 156 people dead. At least 20 trucks of armed police assembled near the Hai De Hotel in Urumqi, where a press conference, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time, was postponed until 6:30 p.m.. The Xinjiang press office declined to confirm or deny that Hu will attend the event.

Hu’s decision to cancel participation in a gathering of leaders from the world’s biggest economies reflects how significantly China views internal challenges to its leadership. Hu had been expected to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama and others to discuss the global economic crisis.

Hu’s return “sends a message of seriousness,” said Phil Deans, a professor of Asia Studies at Temple University in Tokyo. “Some will certainly see it as a sign of weakness, and say that the Communist Party isn’t as strong as it used to be.”

Read morePresident Hu Jintao Quits G8 Trip; Military Police Patrols Urumqi

Japanese workers have daily smile scans

kid-middle-finger

🙂


Japanese railway workers face enforced “smile scans” every morning in a bid to boost their customer services, it has been claimed.


More than 500 staff at Keihin Electric Express Railway are expected to be subjected to daily face scans by “smile police” bosses.

The “smile scan” software, developed by the Japanese company Omron, produces a sweeping analysis of a smile based on facial characteristics, from lip curves and eye movements to wrinkles.

After scanning a face, the device produces a rating between zero to 100 depending on the estimated value of the fulfilled potential of a person’s biggest smile.

For those with a below-par grin, one of an array of smile-boosting messages will op up on the computer screen ranging from “you still look too serious” to “lift up your mouth corners”, according to the Mainichi Daily News.

A growing number of service industries are reportedly using the new Omron Smile Scan system for “smile training” among its staff.

Read moreJapanese workers have daily smile scans

Pope Benedict XVI Calls for NEW FINANCIAL ORDER With ‘Real Teeth’

A New World Order … but, but, but that ‘was’ only a conspiracy on the internet. Wake up!

‘Blessed are those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.’


pope_ratzinger_handsign2-20-09

July 7 (Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI called for a new financial order with “real teeth” as Group of Eight leaders prepare to discuss ways out of the worst recession since World War II.

“Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,” he wrote in a letter to Catholic bishops worldwide published today. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.” The 150-page encyclical, the third of his papacy, is titled “Caritas in Veritate” in Latin, or “charity in truth.”

The pope’s reflections on capitalism were two years in the making and publication was held up when the credit crunch crippled the world economy. Benedict said last month the crisis shows “how the economic and financial paradigms that have been dominant in recent years must be rethought.”

The German-born pontiff touched on many themes that will be discussed by the leaders of the largest economies, including “protection of the environment.” He called for a “reform of the United Nations, economic institutions and international finance so the idea of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.”

Meeting Obama

obama

The pope will have his first meeting with President Barack Obama at the end of the three-day summit, which starts tomorrow in L’Aquila, Italy. He received Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso at the Vatican today, while Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will meet tonight with his Japanese counterpart to discuss the G-8 agenda and the financial crisis.

berlusconi-sign

Benedict, the head of the world’s smallest state, also spoke out in his encyclical on globalization’s benefits and risks.

Read morePope Benedict XVI Calls for NEW FINANCIAL ORDER With ‘Real Teeth’

Rioting in China: Hundreds Detained After Ethnic Violence Kills 156

July 7 (Bloomberg) — China’s government said more than 700 people were detained after ethnic rioting in the capital of Xinjiang province killed 156 people. Overseas Uighur groups were responsible for the violence, the government said.

A traffic blockade remained in effect in Urumqi, capital of the northwestern province, as police in riot gear stood guard in downtown areas, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said today. More than 200 “rioters” trying to gather at Id Kah Mosque, the largest in China, were dispersed by the police last night, Xinhua said.

China Central Television yesterday aired images of smoke billowing from vehicles, crowds overturning police cars and bloodied people slumped on sidewalks in Urumqi. More than 825 people were also injured after rioting broke out in the city late on July 5, and the toll is likely to rise, Xinhua cited Liu Yaohua, the region’s police chief, as saying.

The protest spread yesterday to a second city in the region, Kashgar, the Associated Press reported, citing witnesses, including one man who said there hadn’t been any clashes there.

The government said overseas separatists used the deaths of migrant Uighur workers in a factory brawl in southern China to fuel ethnic divisions. As many as 30 million migrant workers have lost their jobs during the global financial crisis, as demand from the U.S. and Europe vanishes, exacerbating already simmering social tensions.

Read moreRioting in China: Hundreds Detained After Ethnic Violence Kills 156

Russian luxury yachts offer pirate hunting cruises for £3,500 per day

Luxury ocean liners in Russia are offering pirate hunting cruises aboard armed private yachts off the Somali coast.

pirate-flag

Wealthy punters pay £3,500 per day to patrol the most dangerous waters in the world hoping to be attacked by raiders.

When attacked, they retaliate with grenade launchers, machine guns and rocket launchers, reports Austrian business paper Wirtschaftsblatt.

Passengers, who can pay an extra £5 a day for an AK-47 machine gun and £7 for 100 rounds of ammo, are also protected by a squad of ex special forces troops.

The yachts travel from Djibouti in Somalia to Mombasa in Kenya.

Read moreRussian luxury yachts offer pirate hunting cruises for £3,500 per day

Pharmacy Promotion: Sam’s Club Giving Kids Candy In Pill Bottles

sam

Couldn’t believe my Eyes!

Walked into Sam’s Club in SBY today at noon with mother,wife and kids.

There was a table in the entry where they check your club card and faster than I could get my card back in my wallet an employee was handing my two daughters actual prescription pill bottles with candy packed in them. What the …???

Now my 3 year old thinks all prescription pill bottles are just tasty snacks…

What in the world are they thinking over there?

sam1

There will be some calls on Monday morning from SBY to Arkansas to be sure.
I’m pissed, really pissed, what kind of pharmacy marketing is this…???

Posted by Joe Albero
Sunday, June 21, 2009

Source: SBYNEWS

School bans kissing; Pupils face detention if cought snogging

Related article:
Parents banned from taking pictures of their own children at sports day
(Telegraph):

Mrs Ethelston’s Church of England Primary School, in Uplyme, Devon, prohibited photos and video filming, claiming it was due to changes in child protection and images legislation.

This is sick!


Pupils at a high-achieving school have been banned from kissing, it has been reported.

Chris Richardson, headmaster of Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar, Somerset, has told all 1,200 pupils that they face detention if caught ‘snogging’.

However, parents at the school for 13 to 18-year-olds have criticised the rule, claiming that kissing is an integral part of teenage life.

The move follows a string of disciplinary incidents at the school, including the case of a pupil who was threatened with expulsion after being caught eating an apple on school tennis courts.

Children have also been given detention in the past for undoing shirt top buttons, taking off blazers on hot days or wearing the wrong shade of black trousers.

Complaining about the kissing ban, one parent of a pupil at the Church of England Foundation School told The Sun: “Snogging is part of teenage life.

Read moreSchool bans kissing; Pupils face detention if cought snogging