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Blasphemy

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Sarniaroses, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Sarniaroses

    Sarniaroses Newbie

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    In my opinion you should be permitted to say exactly what you like about the character of gods of all faiths, including Christianity, without laws to prevent you doing so. Until fairly recently there was a blasphemy law in the UK, which only applied to Christianity, although goodness knows when anyone was prosecuted under it. The law was repealed when it was suggest it should apply to all faiths.

    What do other's think?
     
  2. silvalynin

    silvalynin New Member

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    Yup, you should be able to say what you like, but should be prepared to deal with the repercussions of the people you say it to..
     
  3. K9_Trainer

    K9_Trainer Unusually unusual, absolutely unpredictable

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    I'm in agreement with the OP.

    The governments job isn't to enforce religion or religious beliefs. Thats essentially what they are doing if they have laws against blasphemy only extending to Christianity. Extending to all religions? That's just silly and an infringement on the idea of freedom of speech.
     
  4. Sojourner1

    Sojourner1 On the journey home Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter Policy Manager

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    I wouldn't worry too much about blasphemy laws in regards to what you can or cannot say about Christians. In researching this topic online I noticed that the only countries that have serious laws about blasphemy are the Islamic countries. There won't be any laws against blasphemy in the U.S., but there will be laws about hate speech. Freedom of speech will allow blasphemy of all religions and faiths, but freedom of speech will not be allowed when it comes to other topics such as homosexuality.
     
  5. b&wpac4

    b&wpac4 Trying to stay away

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    Doesn't that sound a bit paranoid to you? Can you name one person who has been arrested for saying they disagreed with homosexuality in the United States?
     
  6. The Nihilist

    The Nihilist Contributor

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    Can you provide a source? Hate speech, as I understand it, is only an issue in conjunction with establishing a hate crime. As for not liking homosexuals, or, for that matter, any ethnic or religious group, you can say whatever you want as long as you don't incite anyone to commit a crime. For example, you can say that people from Ohio should all be drawn and quartered, but you can't say "hey, let's go draw and quarter some Ohians."

    (Ohioans? I don't know.)
     
  7. quatona

    quatona "God"? What do you mean??

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    The concept of "blasphemy" is deeply rooted in insecurity about oneĀ“s belief system, imo.
     
  8. Robbie_James_Francis

    Robbie_James_Francis May all beings have happiness and its causes

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    When was the law repealed? I can't remember hearing about it. Now all we have to do is abolish the monarchy, make the second House elected, remove the Executive from the Legislature, decide once and for all whether we're two countries plus a principality plus a territory all rolled in to one or one country, bring in proportional representation and then the UK might not be such an embarrassment! :) Oh, and the execution by hanging for burning Her Majesty's shipyards thing...

    As it stands AFAIK, existing and proposed 'hate speech' laws do not proscribe just saying you hate people...they are simply there to stop incitement to crime. A brutal dictator may well not actually murder anyone, but she still orders the murders, and should be held accountable. To tell someone to go and attack Mr Bloggs who lives at no. 25 clearly makes one an accessory and is therefore a criminal act...surely that is not different when it applies to a group. To say "We should attack Jews/Christians/gays/people born on Tuesday/etc." is a criminal act.
     
  9. Sojourner1

    Sojourner1 On the journey home Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter Policy Manager

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    I may be overreacting, but it's articles like this and this that make me wonder what direction the laws about hate speech may eventually take.
     
  10. b&wpac4

    b&wpac4 Trying to stay away

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    One seems like the FBI responding to what was reported as a pastor calling for a war against abortion clinics. The FBI must take these types of reports seriously, since there have been abortion clinic bombings. Did they place him under arrest? Did they do anything other than question him? If my neighbor called the FBI and said they overheard me say that someone should bomb a US base, I'm sure I'd be questioned even if it was a joke or if they misunderstood what I said. This is no different, except it is a pastor. Clearly this article is an attempt to cause people to overreact to a situation that makes perfect sense.

    The second article is about Canada. I'm not sure what the basis for Canadian law is, so many one of our visitors from the north can shed some light on it.
     
  11. Robbie_James_Francis

    Robbie_James_Francis May all beings have happiness and its causes

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    Anything from a news source without an agenda?
     
  12. OllieFranz

    OllieFranz Senior Member

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    What is the problem with the first link? Someone reported an alleged terrorism plot, and the FBI checked it out in the most direct and most discrete manner possible, and determined that there was no case. It was the pastor himself who first brought up the subject of hate crimes, and this is no different than if someone visciously accused him of molesting children. Once the complaint is made, the authorities need to check it out.

    As far as the second link goes, I'd like to see the original news article that the editorial in the link referenced, to see if the details match those alleged in the editorial. And to see if the original article was printed in a source (such as WND) that is known for exaggerating the facts in the interest of sensationalism.

    I have trouble believing that the facts as recounted in the editorial are "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." But if they are, then yes, Boisson was treated unfairly.
     
  13. 3sigma

    3sigma New Member

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    There already have been blasphemy laws enacted in the United States and they remain there to this day. The Constitution currently prevents anyone being successfully prosecuted under those laws. The fact that those laws were enacted in the United States and elsewhere around the world is one more example of religious believers trying to force others to comply with their beliefs. The fact that people were harassed, imprisoned and executed under those laws in the past—and still today in some countries—is yet another example of the harm caused by religions.
     
  14. Sojourner1

    Sojourner1 On the journey home Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter Policy Manager

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    I only look for news sources with agendas ;)

    Do you think these sites are lying, or do you just think they a sensationalizing the story? I think right now it really isn't an issue (hate speech laws), but I'm not sure what the next steps would be. I think there are certain topics that some people might like to stop from being preached from the pulpit. That being said, I am a proponent of free speech and believe that there shouldn't be blasphemy laws. I think the Islamic states that have serious blasphemy laws are a cause for concern, especially if you think about some of the countries where the muslim population is growing so rapidly.
     
  15. The Nihilist

    The Nihilist Contributor

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    Canada has a wildly different understanding of what constitutes free speech than does the US. As for the pastor in the other link, that sounds like it all went as it should have. Someone misunderstood what he said, was frightened, called the FBI, and the FBI checked it out. That the source linked is intent on turning into a story of religious persecution is simply disingenuous.
     
  16. KCKID

    KCKID New Member

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    One can be reprimanded or banned from this forum for what the mods may regard as 'blasphemy', can they not?
     
  17. Sojourner1

    Sojourner1 On the journey home Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter Policy Manager

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    On a site that is focused on Christianity I think it is reasonable to have rules about blasphemy. I don't think there should be laws prohibiting blasphemy when it comes to society as a whole. If I were to go to an Islamic forum I would fully expect there to be rules about blasphemy of Allah, and I would respect those rules.
     
  18. Mling

    Mling Knight of the Woeful Countenance (in training)

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    Sojourner? What do *you* think the FBI should do when the receive a tip about a potential terrorism threat?

    You seem to be suggesting that they did too much in this case--that it makes you nervous that they responded as assertively as they did. That too much being that they took a quick look, decided it wasn't a problem, and walked away.

    Are you suggesting that the FBI should completely ignore any threat of terrorism that comes from a Christian pastor? That's the only response that could be less than what was taken here.
     
  19. The Penitent Man

    The Penitent Man the penitent man shall pass

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    I don't like blasphemy. It's rude and crass and very disrespectful toward Christians (and other faith groups). Although I must say I'd prefer Seth MacFarlane's blasphemy over Marliyn Manson's blasphemy. One is goofy & mildly amusing while the other is demonic, obscene, upsetting.

    If we could all live by the Golden Rule this would be a much friendlier world, don't you think?
     
  20. HannahBanana

    HannahBanana New Member

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    Got any unbiased sources (i.e., secular sources) that back up what you're saying?