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Blasphemy
 
# 1 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 19:21
 
 
The Constitutional Convention is to recommend that the offence of blasphemy be removed from Irish law.
Members of the convention voted in favour of replacing the existing offence with a general provision that includes incitement to religious hatred.
It is hoped this will help protect religious minorities.
Convention chairman Tom Arnold confirmed a formal report outlining the recommendations would be compiled and sent to Government.
"There was a high level of public interest in this part of the convention's business and there were varying viewpoints on the merits of a blasphemy provision in the Constitution of a modern democracy," Mr Arnold said.
"It was the task of convention members to assess these issues in a respectful and dispassionate way. It was incredibly important that all sides of this discussion were treated in fairest possible manner and the arguments for-and-against were treated with the utmost respect."
The Government now has four months to respond to the recommendations with a debate in the Oireachtas.
If it agrees to amend the Constitution, it must also include a timeframe for a referendum.
Academics and legal experts gave presentations at the two-day event, along with members of Atheist Ireland, the Humanist Association of Ireland, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland.
The convention's 100 members voted on the issue, with 82% in favour of introducing a new set of detailed legislative provisions to include incitement to religious hatred.
Under current law, a person found guilty of publishing or uttering "blasphemous matters" can be fined, on indictment, a maximum 25,000 euro.
This includes anything that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion.
Greater definition was given to the criminal offence of blasphemy on the back of the Defamation Bill 2006, which was signed into law in July 2009.
Meanwhile, Mr Arnold has urged all citizens to consider areas of the Constitution they think should be reformed.
He said the convention is now in the process of assessing the next issues that should be looked at by members, the themes of which include environment, church and state, Bill of Rights, the family and issues of morality.
"I would like to encourage all citizens to participate in this process and to make their views known if they feel that an issue should be looked at by the convention," Mr Arnold said.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/call-remove-blasphemy-law-144433586.html etc ...

How it is still a crime in this day and age shows just how much Ireland still bows to the church.
What do you think?
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# 2 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 19:25
 
 
Someone said :
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/call-remove-blasphemy-law-144433586.html etc ...

How it is still a crime in this day and age shows just how much Ireland still bows to the church.
What do you think?

Because it was put in the Constitution in 1937 and no politician has ever had the guts to introduce a Bill to have a referendum to delete it.
Reply
 
# 3 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 19:43
 
 
There are a lot of illegal thing that people take no heed of, like spitting in public that is illegal as is men walking around with no shirt on.
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# 4 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 19:49
 
 
So it'll have to be put to a referendum?

I wonder if putting it on the same ballot as gay marriage would help or hinder that passing?
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# 5 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:07
 
 
I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be the year of the referendum.
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# 6 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:12
 
 
I thought that was passed into law, in 2009 by FF/PD/Greens?
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# 7 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:13
 
 
Members of the convention voted in favour of replacing the existing offence with a general provision that includes incitement to religious hatred.

Not sure about this one. In Russia such laws are used to crack down on bands like Pussy Riot.

I make no apologies for my criticisms of the teachings of individual religions. A faith is not a person. A practicer of a faith is a person. This will have to be worded to allow for religious satire or it may end up worse than what we have already.

I think the Convention is pandering to Islamists who wanted to keep the original wording.

There was recently a discussion on RTE in which the Koran was quoted as allowing a husband to beat his wife. We should be allowed criticise that. We should have more - not less - freedom of speech. Religious censorship has always been a primary obstacle to advances in the arts, economy and society.
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# 8 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:32
 
 
There was recently a discussion on RTE in which the Koran was quoted as allowing a husband to beat his wife. We should be allowed criticise that.

That's not incitement to hatred.

We have a criminal law on incitement to hatred, and on the few times cases have come up, it has proven hard that deeply disparaging statements amount to inciting hatred against the group concerned.
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# 9 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:34
 
 
Although I don't think it should be in there at all, this will at least make it not just applicable to catholic "god" as was originally intended. I just hope the restrictions to religious hatred will extend to the Jedi and other such equally valid religions.
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# 10 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 20:51
 
 
Someone said :
I think the Convention is pandering to Islamists who wanted to keep the original wording.

Based on what?
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# 11 : Sunday 3-11-2013 @ 21:01
 
 
Someone said :
Based on what?

Islamic groups at the Convention were opposed to changing the wording. The Knights of Columbanus are miniscule in comparison with the Islamic community.

I may be wrong and I may be right. But it comes down to how the law is interpreted. If as with Russia it becomes about protection of an institution from criticism, then we are just reimposing an orthodoxy we thought we were moving away from since the scandals in the Church made it okay (for society) to criticise religion.

If on the other hand it is interpreted as protecting individuals from a particular faith from incitement to harming them, then I am fine with such a law.
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# 12 : Monday 4-11-2013 @ 06:07
 
 
As long as religions are protected, and people's right to be wrong is respected, then this law is useless.
But we must be protected against haters who decide one day that a given religion is a crime and they must be killed.
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# 13 : Monday 4-11-2013 @ 15:46
 
 
On the one hand I think people should be sharing their views freely on any subject, but cheap digs at people's religious views is plain nasty in my opinion. Although, I don't think it should be illegal to be nasty.
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# 14 : Monday 4-11-2013 @ 17:12
 
 
I hope we don't allow a well founded wish to show tolerance to religious minorities to lead us down a path of not challenging aspects of those same religion's intolerant attitudes notably towards gay people and women. On "Beyond Belief" on RTE some weeks ago they were discussing Islam, and the part of the Koran which literally says a husband can beat his wife. This is not a stereotype - it's there.
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# 15 : Monday 4-11-2013 @ 17:21
 
 
Wasn't there recent legislation in regard to blasphemy only a couple of years ago?
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