SEB is now illegal in Ireland.

It seems they’ve passed a new blasphemy law in Ireland that makes it illegal to criticize any religion under penalty of fines up to 25,000 Euros ($35,000):

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 [the police] 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.

So saying that Mohammad was a pedophile who enjoyed buttseks would certainly be grounds for me to be arrested and charged in Ireland. So too would my saying that Jesus is a myth built by stealing legends from other religions who never actually existed outside of the minds of the easily deluded who worship him. Catholics are a cannibal death cult that believe their eating the literal flesh and blood of their savior? Yeah, that’d get me brought up on charges. Yahweh is just a figment of the Jew’s imagination that they cling to to salve the wounds left from centuries of being fucked over by everyone else in the world? That’ll probably do as well. 

In this entry alone I’ve committed four counts of blasphemy worthy of fines up to 25,000 Euros each. I can only imagine what the total would be if they dug through the nearly 6,500 entries I’ve got here. Not all of them would count as blasphemy, but more than enough would to ensure I didn’t see the light of day anytime soon. Guess I won’t be visiting Ireland in the near future.

Incidentally, I have no idea if simply reading SEB would be grounds for being charged in Ireland. If any of our regulars are in Ireland, you may want to check on that.

40 thoughts on “SEB is now illegal in Ireland.

  1. Er…gah…urge to type out long string of blasphemous text rising…don’t know if I can resist …much…longer…

  2. What about stuff that may be blasphemous to Wiccans or Satanists? How about Atheists, since many here consider that a religion? How about FSM?

    RAmen

    P.S. Can we make Ireland illegal? HMMMM . . . Can we make that law against blasphemy illegal? Shouldn’t Ireland be fined for making such a law?

  3. “An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at.”—Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

    “Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their pedestals.”—Agnes Repplier (1855-1950)

    So, Les, does this mean that the Irish police can legally hack into your server (and, for that matter, mine) and delete your blog?

  4. Shouldn’t Ireland be fined for making such a law?

    I think legislators who pass anti-free speech laws should be sent to prison.
    Blasphemy is a victimless crime, as they say.
    I do find it ironic that Ireland would pass such a law. Ireland has suffered greatly because of religion, whether it be the Troubles or the church child abuse scandal; if anyone should be criticizing religion it should be the Irish.

  5. So, saying that people are retarded for worshiping the jewish zombie vampire son of the Invisible Incompetent Sky Daddy is illegal?

    Oh well. I’ve never had a desire to visit Ireland anyways. If they like having pedophile priests its their choice.

  6. Les, this the anti-blasphemy clause of an Anti-defamation Act.
    Not a specific Blasphemy Law making its way through the Dail as your title implies.

    Because America has unrestricted freedom of speech, are rest of us wrong.
    As an Irish Atheist, I don’t actually agree with the wording/extent of this clause.
    But, there are laws to stop hate speech and actions all over the western world.

    In America, it is legal to distribute material that denies the Holocaust. It’s protected free-speech.
    In parts of Europe (including Great Britain) and Canada this is a crime.

    Justice/Last_Hussar,
    You might want to check the height of the high horses your riding, when it comes to the freedom of speech in your countries.

    In America/Great Britian, it’s legal for a person to wear a Nazi uniform or swastika (i.e. Prince Harry).
    In Germany, it’s a crime.

    In America, people distribute materials stating that the Jewish people sacrifice Christian babies in their secret ceremonies.
    This will now be a specific crime in Ireland.
    Also saying, All Muslims are terrorists and that all Muslims should be forced to convert to Christianity. (Do we need a list comments made by Rush, Bill O, Anne Coulter, etc.).
    Now a specific crime in Ireland.
    Or, All Catholic priests are paedophiles, the pope is the anti-Christ or that the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon.
    Now a specific crime in Ireland.

    The new Irish clause protects all religions.

    Les, can the personal right to spread hate as free-speech never be challenged?

    Frank Lenehan.

    P.S. In case you think this is now law.

    How a Act becomes law in Ireland:
    1. The Dail/senate passes an Act and send it to the President to sign.
    (The President of Ireland is the head of state and the protector of the Irish Constitution, not the head of government. The Taoiseach is the head of government.)
    2. The President can sign the Act making it law or can state the Act is unconstitutional and send it back to the Dail/senate for modification.
    3. The Dail/senate can modify the Act or re-pass the Act as is and re-send it to the President to sign.
    4. The President can sign the modified Act as it is now constitutional making it law or can state the Act is still unconstitutional and send it back again to the Dail/senate for more modification.
    5. The Dail/senate now repeats step 3.
    6. The President can sign the re-modified Act, as it is now constitutional making it law or can state the Act is still unconstitutional and send it to the Irish Supreme Court to determine if the Act is in fact unconstitutional.
    7. If the Supreme Court determines the act is constitutional, the President has to sign it into law.
    If the Supreme Court determines the act is unconstitutional, the government has to modify the unconstitutional parts to make the act constitutional before the President can sign-it.

    And the Irish constitution an only changed by a referendum of Irish voters.

    P.P.S.  Also, as Ireland is in the E.U., Irish citizens can raise cases in the European Court of Human Rights objecting to any Irish Laws that violate their rights under European(E.U.) law.

  7. I understand that this is a new clause to already existing legislation. That doesn’t make it any better in my mind.

    Because America has unrestricted freedom of speech, are rest of us wrong.

    We don’t have unrestricted freedom of speech in the U.S.—if you yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater there had damn well better be a fire—but we do try to make the restrictions we do have practical in nature. There is a difference between the example I gave above and offending someone’s religious beliefs that should be pretty obvious.

    But, there are laws to stop hate speech and actions all over the western world.

    Indeed there are and I don’t agree with many of them.

    In America, it is legal to distribute material that denies the Holocaust. It’s protected free-speech.
    In parts of Europe (including Great Britain) and Canada this is a crime.

    In America/Great Britian, it’s legal for a person to wear a Nazi uniform or swastika (i.e. Prince Harry).
    In Germany, it’s a crime.

    In America, people distribute materials stating that the Jewish people sacrifice Christian babies in their secret ceremonies.
    This will now be a specific crime in Ireland.
    Also saying, All Muslims are terrorists and that all Muslims should be forced to convert to Christianity. (Do we need a list comments made by Rush, Bill O, Anne Coulter, etc.).
    Now a specific crime in Ireland.
    Or, All Catholic priests are paedophiles, the pope is the anti-Christ or that the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon.
    Now a specific crime in Ireland.

    All of that is true and I think that in all those cases America is in the right.

    There are several problems with criminalizing speech not the least of which is where do you draw the line? People can take offense at all manner of speech even when it is factual. Should we make it illegal to say that you hate “fat people” or “short people” or to use the word “midget” or “retard” because someone might take offense to it?

    The other problem with banning so-called hate speech is that it doesn’t change the attitude of the person doing the hating, it just drives the sentiment underground giving you a false sense of serenity where none actually exists. I want the bigots and the haters of the world to speak up so we know who they are and what they’re up to. When they commit an actual crime then we can throw the book at them, but until then we cannot shun them properly if they aren’t allowed to express their hatred.

    Les, can the personal right to spread hate as free-speech never be challenged?

    Of course it can be challenged. The best way to challenge it is with more free speech, not less. Condemnation, shunning, criticism, and rebukes are the best way to counter hate. Not ignoring it.

  8. Of course it can be challenged. The best way to challenge it is with more free speech, not less. Condemnation, shunning, criticism, and rebukes are the best way to counter hate. Not ignoring it.

    Don’t forget ridicule and comedy or a mixture of both!

  9. I wonder if you could go to jail by just speaking the truth. Such as, “Some Catholic priests love to fuck little altar boys.”

    It’s not like you lied or anything!

  10. Here is one of the best-known cases where hate speech has been protected by the U.S. Supreme Court:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-7675.ZS.html

    In the St. Paul case, the Court didn’t endorse cross-burning; rather, it invalidated an overbroad statute that proscribed any display of a symbol that would evoke based on race, color, creed, etc.

    Despite the extremely offensive nature of the expression, allowing it is the price of our First Amendment. If we start nibbling away at free expression – even offensive expression – where does it end? Who decides what is and what isn’t protected? You begin to go down a slippery slope.

    As to Germany banning certain Nazi-related expression, those laws are derived more from its deep sense of shame, rather than from any altruistic motivation. You simply cannot use that as a comparison to the basis of U.S. Constitutional liberties.

  11. The idea is that in an educated, adult population of people, being big boys and girls, can and should discuss and understand any and all elements of the society around them; without a government oversight (for our own poor little good).

      People who say offensive things are giving others the opportunity to *critique* them and identify *AND REFUTE* the tenets of their beliefs!

      People seem to be attracted to taboo behaviors for many reasons, but often simply *because* it is taboo. Encouraging people to feel like they are part of a special, and power-wielding hate group, by passing laws like this, is not a wise thing to do. Its almost like saying “you are powerful with your hate speech. We are afraid of you because we think you are effective.” thus ENCOURAGING the speakers.

      In other words, let them blather. And let the rest of us redicule them like they deserve. At least in the case of something like neo-nazism, this is all-too-easy to do..

      And listen, freedom of speech, of the mind itself, is hardly an original american idea. We (americans) enjoy the fruits of the minds of the enlightenment; but not exclusively.

      Theres a good reason why free speech is protected and valued by so many people. And I’m sure the 100’s of millions of people living under autocracies surely wished they had it.

    As for Ireland, considering the firebombs and riots today, there’s alot of religious criticism going on still.. I guess they’d better build some new jails..

      The idea that criticizing religion should be banned is counter to the health of the religions themselves. Religion is always changing. Heck everything’s always changing. We -must- be able to discuss it. The idea of the suppression of speech is so viscerally appalling to me, I guess I can relate to those bone-heads who willingly went to be burned at the stake for their heretical beliefs; I feel the same way about mine.  My heresy, of course, is that a personal anthropogenic god simply doesn’t exist.

      So I guess if I read some nietzsche out loud in the town square, I better post a lookout!

      Pathetic. Nothing more.

      This amazes me coming from Ireland. The celtic monks virtually preserved classical antiquity for us. At one time, if you were an itenerant monk on the continent, or spoke/wrote Greek, it was a safe assumption you had spent time in an Irish monastery. During the dark ages, Ireland was a shining gem of literacy.

      It seems sad and ironic to think of that in this context.

      Hey Ireland! Here’s some criticism for you. Your violent obsession with invisible sky gods is stupid. So is your god, and your cosmically inseminated virgin. Or not, if you’re an Orangeman. Get a collective life, and stop killing each other over who’s version of god has the bigger dick, m’kay?  THEN YOU WOULDN’T NEED LAWS LIKE THIS!
      Ahh that felt good.  I love freedom!!

  12. feel free to speak…

      …about whether or not my avatar displays?

    Seriously. Yay or nay?

  13. Is this akin to being banned in Boston? Anybody remember when that was something earnestly sought after by the hippies?  LOL

  14. Of course it can be challenged. The best way to challenge it is with more free speech, not less. Condemnation, shunning, criticism, and rebukes are the best way to counter hate. Not ignoring it.

    Exactly. Holocaust denial is repulsive, but banning it is a nonsense solution. We do not need intellectual government babysitting. And of course it leads to other groups wanting other things. This surge in demands for more blasphemy laws for instance seems in part to be a result of Muslims trying to ban criticisms of Islam and of Muhammad, and I recall seeing Muslims use the laws against Holocaust denial as a springboard for this; their logic seemed to be be that if you can’t insult Jews by denying the Holocaust then you shouldn’t be able to insult Muslims by attacking Muhammad. These P.C. laws are a slippery slope. Being offended from time to time is a sign that you are living in a free and civilized nation. I suppose Ireland no longer qualifies.

  15. Being offended from time to time is a sign that you are living in a free and civilized nation. I suppose Ireland no longer qualifies.

    RAmen

    And doesn’t a law against blasphemy sound like the infallibility doctrine of the Dark Ages and Inquisition? One small step for man, one giant leap into the PIT!

  16. And doesn’t a law against blasphemy sound like the infallibility doctrine of the Dark Ages and Inquisition?

    “Catholics who have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who go in defense of the Holy Land.” -Fourth Lateran Council
    These are the religions that we are not supposed to criticize, according to these blasphemy laws. As an ex-Catholic, I am glad that I am not living in the 13th century. I would not make much of a barbecue.
    Criticizing religion is a sacrament for any Enlightened society.

  17. Freedom of speech needs to be absolute.
    If somebody wants to deny the holocaust, call a priest a child fucker, say that God is a hypocritical, vengeful, petty and insecure asshole or that God is just a representation of man’s huge stiff penis of an ego, they are free to do so. Nobody is forcing anybody to listen, read or even acknowledge the existence of the speaker.

    He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.
    -Ben

  18. OK, I cant see it. Doesnt matter though, no worries. I just like looking at maria, hehe!

  19. Free Speech leads to anger; anger leads to Fox; Fox leads to Rush Limbaugh. 

    1) Wasn’t on a free speech high horse.  That equine was firmly supported by humanism

    2) Holocaust denial isn’t illegal in Britain.

    Paging Senator McCarthy, and President Reagan (who grassed for him) and President Bush (atheists aren’t American) And President Bush and all those who spied for him on anti-war protestors.

  20. If you want to talk about hate speech, surely there are no worse examples of it than those contained in the Bible and Koran.

    People like Robert Anton Wilson (who lives in Ireland, I think), Pat Condell, Robert Ingersoll, and so on, who point this out and call attention to the many crimes of religion, are engaged in fighting against hate speech and against violent bigotry in the best possible way—by answering speech with speech.

    Anti-blasphemy laws do not ban hate speech.  They protect it.

  21. Anti-blasphemy laws do not ban hate speech.  They protect it.

    Nay, they encourage and display it. What irony!  snake  angry

  22. One of the obvious problems with hate speech laws is that they in effect give a platform to the morons.  Ernst Zundel was pretty much known only to a tiny handful of fellow cranks and those who pay attention to such cranks before being charged in 1984 for “spreading false news” in Ontario.  His trial exposed his idiotic ideas to a large audience who would otherwise never have heard of him.

  23. But, there are laws to stop hate speech and actions all over the western world.

    Then, why did Prop H8 pass? In fact, why was Prop H8 even allowed to be put on the ballot? Oh, the inconsistencies of politics and religion!  big surprise  tongue wink

  24. Umm, if we, as SEB readers, claimed that les is our Prophet, and his blog are his expressed wsidom,

    Could we not seek charges against the Irish Gubmt for violating their own law if they enforce action against his blog?

  25. Then, why did Prop H8 pass? In fact, why was Prop H8 even allowed to be put on the ballot? Oh, the inconsistencies of politics and religion!

    Silly … California’s Prop 8 wasn’t about hate, it was about protecting marriage from those goddamned faggot queer homo liberal socialist atheist types.  In Jesus’ name, of course.

  26. Les from my last post:

    this the anti-blasphemy clause of an Anti-defamation Act.
    Not a specific Blasphemy Law making its way through the Dail as your title implies.

    You can make any hateful, bigoted, blasphemous statements you want under this Act.
    As long as your statements are not defamatory.

    And even in America, the deliberately pubilation of defamatory lies which a publisher nows to be false is libel.
    So publishers have to carry insurance to cover potental damage awards from libel lawsuits.

    Frank Lenehan.

  27. Last_Hussar,
    You’re right, Holocaust denial not spesifically illegal in Britain.

    But the British “Public Order Act 1986” make the “incitement to racial hatred” an offence.
    This includes:
    deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
    distributing racist material to the public
    making inflammatory public speeches
    creating racist websites on the Internet
    inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.

    In Ireland comments have to be Defamatory to be prosecuted, in Britain only inflammatory.

    Frank Lenehan.

  28. But the British “Public Order Act 1986” make the “incitement to racial hatred” an offence.

    There is a catch to that; Jews are a religion, not a race.

  29. I presume Salmon Rusdie would not find Ireland as accommodating as he has found Great Britain.  cheese

  30. So, it turns out you can’t shout fire in a crowed theatre then.  You didn’t actually think that was a real example, and not just a metaphor for inciting disorder did you?

  31. Defamatory? Inflammatory?

    Lenehan, in this context, that’s a distinction without a difference.

    EXACTLY how does one “defame” a god?

    Is he gonna testify at trial to defend his good name?

    I think not.

    The prosecution calls Zarathustra to the stand!!

      Sir! Is it true Christianity owes you its duality-outlook?

    whatever—

  32. Try your blasphemy in other country maybe its a prophetic word for them. If you are a historian it is natural to believe that God does’nt exist. Be guided with prayer ,because faith is a gift from God, Blessed are you who can see me ,touch me even hurt me by your words , for I am near to you.Ireland government long to see me ,to touch me but only you ,for I have chosen you .

    You exist because of me.Thank you for being generous to Ireland government .Love your enemy I will come soon .

  33. Wow, Les, it appears god came to your blog – and has really bad grammar.

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