Free Speech Watch: Gagging in Ireland but blaspheming in Canada

July 10, 2009

Dateline July 10, 2009: Ireland’s government   passes a bill criminalizing blasphemy . The   Friendly Atheist offers a summary of the bill and its implications.

On the very same day, Canada’s Supreme Court   affirms freedom of speech , striking down rules against political ads or atheism ads on buses and billboards. Well done, Canada!

We look forward to new bus ads about atheism in Canada (and especially in Halifax). We also look forward to the first arrest for blasphemy in Ireland. Stay tuned…



#1 Kritikos on Saturday July 11, 2009 at 7:31am

The progress of a law against blasphemy in Ireland is pretty shocking, but the case turns out on examination to be even worse than it looks. The new bill is merely an attempt to clarify a prohibition of blasphemy that is written into the Irish constitution: “The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law” (article 40, section 6.1, parag. i; this clause appears, grotesquely, under the heading: “The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions”). The best that one can hope for in the near future is that the new bill fails in the seanad (senate), but the prohibition will remain in the constitution.

#2 Online degree on Monday July 13, 2009 at 12:56pm

understand your dilemma, I don’t think you can choose. We must have a fair balance between the two ideals in our society. Common sense should be the rule, but people are always going to squawk when they perceive an infringement on their privacy.

At Columbine, however, freedoms are allowed to be limited because the high school situation is not an open democracy. To attend a public high school you are giving up your personal rights to some degree to accept the limitations of the school rules. Taking away a student’s perceived right is the obligation of the school when it comes to safety.

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