Perhaps in an attempt to cover up the latest scandals, the Catholic Church in Ireland has successfully lobbied for the passage of an anti-blasphemy law that went in to effect on the first of 2010.
In response to the new law, Blasphemy.ie is publishing 25 of the most religiously offensive quotes you can think of. What makes them particularly offensive? Well, probably the fact that they were uttered first by deeply revered religious figures.
Jesus Christ, when asked if he was the son of God, in Matthew 26:64: “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” According to the Christian Bible, the Jewish chief priests and elders and council deemed this statement by Jesus to be blasphemous, and they sentenced Jesus to death for saying it.
Muhammad, quoted in Hadith of Bukhari, Vol 1 Book 8 Hadith 427: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their prophets.” This quote is attributed to Muhammad on his death-bed as a warning to Muslims not to copy this practice of the Jews and Christians. It is one of several passages in the Koran and in Hadith that can give a scriptural foundation to Islamic anti-Semitism, including the assertion in Sura 5:60 that Allah cursed Jews and turned some of them into apes and swine.
And the flaw of the legislation should be completely apparent: How can you legislate against all blasphemy without restricting all religious beliefs at once? Every religious sect believes something that a different sect finds to be heresy - by the very definition of religious division, this is inevitable.
Congratulations and good luck to those who are resisting limits on free speech and human rights in the name of protecting the feelings of the sensitive. No one has a right to be shielded from unpopular opinions, but if they don't like hearing them they can always turn off the TV, radio, and computer. The rest of us will get on just fine without 'em.