A NEW crime of blasphemous libel is to be proposed by the Minister for Justice in an amendment to the Defamation Bill, which will be discussed by the Oireachtas committee on justice today.
At the moment there is no crime of blasphemy on the statute books, though it is prohibited by the Constitution.
Article 40 of the Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech, qualifies it by stating: “The State shall endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State.
“The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”
Well a religious dispute may be partially effective in distracting people from the economic shit storm but it probably won't make it vanish like discussion of the Golden Circle.
Why is the government proposing to protect the delicate sensibilities of the believers from the mean non believers? Don't we already have "incitement to hatred" laws on the books? We have libel laws. Why do we need additional legislation that protects the beliefs of some? What would
Apart from the blatant inequality proposed by the new justice debate, it would set a dangerous precedent. Defamation legislation has been used all over the world to imprison journalists on spurious charges.
When will the country trip back to the dark ages because we can tick "done" beside the 80s and 30s boxes?
Bored now. Modern secular democracy plz.