G’day all. I’m back from Cyprus and I find that yesterday was World Blasphemy Day.
‘Anti-blasphemy laws exist throughout the world. In many parts of Europe and North America they have been overturned, although there are anti-blasphemy laws in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Iceland, the Netherlands, San Marino and the UK. There are also “religious insult” laws in 21 European nations.
The Republic of Ireland passed the “Defamation Act 2009″ in that year, which states in part, “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 €25,000.”
Finland has been the setting for a number of noteworthy blasphemy trials in the 2000s. The Finnish linguist, political blogger Helsinki City Councillor and subsequent member of parliament Jussi Halla-aho was charged with “disturbing religious worship” because of internet posts in which he called Muhammad a pedophile, Halla-aho was fined €330.
In some countries, blasphemy is punishable by death, such as in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Six US states (Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wyoming) still have anti-blasphemy laws on their books, although they are seldom enforced.
My question is this; I am an atheist. I don’t believe in gods, fairies, leprechauns, djinns, or any other mythical creature, so, whatever it is, it’s not my god, so how can I take it’s name in vain?