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Day July 14, 2009

Law of the Night

Goes to Ireland’s brand spanking new Blasphemy Law defined here:

Section 36

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

Section 37

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 36, the court may issue a warrant (a) authorising any member of the Garda Siochana to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) at all reasonable times any premises (including a dwelling) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that copies of the statement to which the offence related are to be found, and to search those premises and seize and remove all copies of the statement found therein, (b) directing the seizure and removal by any member of the Garda Siochana of all copies of the statement to which the offence related that are in the possession of any person, specifying the manner in which copies so seized and removed shall be detained and stored by the Garda Siochana.

That pretty much makes me a criminal in Ireland now. A pity since about half of my ancestors were from Ireland and I always wanted to visit.

It will be interesting to see how far they take it. Blasphemy laws are always vaguely written since they deal mainly with emotional responses from a given group. Even L. Ron Hubbard’s e-meter can’t measure hurt feelings. Nor much of anything at all. What do you expect from a hack writer? Oops, I think I just committed blasphemy against the Scientologists.

Does this mean that possession of The God Delusion could get you arrested? What about saying goddamn? What about uttering the phrase “Holy Cow” which is blatantly blaspheming the Hindu religion? Will laughing at Mormon’s and their magical underwear be considered blasphemy?

Thoughts? Opinions? Blasphemy?

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I have three episodes left of the last season and I’m looking forward to watching them about as much as looking forward to a dentist’s visit for a root canal.

How did the best show on TV go so wrong? I hated the latent cylon angle that took a bad version of All Along the Watchtower to expose the Chief, Sen. McCain and misc. as to their true identities. But the rest of the storylines have been pitiful. Hell, I’ve had the last season in my Tivo since it aired and had to steel myself to finish it. Just awful.

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