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Blasphemy Law, Blasphemy Law, Blasphemy Law: Beetlejuice Nowhere to be Found, or Beetlejustified or Beetlejustice

2022-12-09

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/02/04

As accurately stated by a lawyer by training and leading secular light, Robyn Blumner, at the United Nations not too long ago, the repetition of blasphemy laws around the world and the repeated use of pseudo-justified laws has real effects on the lives of secular activists, feminists opposing patriarchal religious structures and practices, and simply those wanting to make a satire against specific religious tenets, even improperly and ignorantly.

Blasphemy laws abound in the world. This is even in the West that is, incorrectly, assumed universally enlightened and aligned with the full spread of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from December 10, 1948. There are several countries that continue — repeat, continue — to issue death penalties for those who renounce a formal religion.

Around several nations in the world, we can see the still-in-place blasphemy laws. If we take, for example, simply these cases of blasphemy laws, there are about 1/4 of the world’s countries or territories circa 2014 that have some form of blasphemy law. Let’s be perfectly clear, these protect religious sensibilities and not non-religious sensibilities; the secular are left out of this, and the secular and the questioning religious citizens of these countries and territories will be the ones to have this law imposed against them without an equivalently harsh law applied towards the religious who may offend questioning religious or secular sensibilities.

Ireland had its referendum to remove its blasphemy law that was seen as outdated, and then was repealedCanada worked towards and, eventually, remove its own blasphemy law in late 2018. Denmark got rid of its own, after 334 years in place. Then there are several, probably, including Indonesia’s that are being requested by human rights groups to remove or repeal in order, presumably, to have more free and fair societies, as, noted before, these amount to religious privileges.

In no way, as a simply rationalistic consideration, are blasphemy laws justified, for one, why would a theity who can do anything and knows everything, including everyone’s inner heart, need the help of the state, the law, legal associations, religious groups, or the murderous mind of a fanatic? Isn’t the notion of the divine requiring help blasphemous in and of itself, as if one can substitute themselves for their theity’s will— Yahweh’s, God’s, Allah, Ahura Mazda’s, or otherwise?

Isn’t this a bias, as described before, against the secular — as in non-religious or even irreligious — and an a priori benefit for the religious over the non-religious? If there was a law that an African cannot insult a European, would this not mean an a priori benefit for the Europeans over the Africans? Is this not as unfair, especially with legal force and even, potentially, the death penalty behind it? We all know the answer.

I suspect the religious leaders know full well, but I also suspect that they do not want to remove or repeal this law in a country or set of them multinationally because, by implication, this would mean the immediate removal of their legal and governmental privilege, a removal or repeal of their religious privilege linked to the blasphemy law — no one can criticize you.

Whether from the consideration of traditional or derived attributes of the divine, or from an equality and, thus, human rights angle, these are simply unjustified and a source of much injustice, for centuries, around the world and throughout time.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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