God help us...!

city_boy
city_boy Posts: 1,616
edited May 2017 in The cake stop
Just read that Stephen Fry is to be investigated under Rep of Ireland's Blasphemy Laws ( :shock: :roll: ) for comments relating to God! If found guilty he could face a fine of up to €25k.

Even given that he didn't reference any particular God or religion, surely this is a dangerous step in the very wrong direction!

Freedom of speech and freedom of thought should be sacrosanct in the modern democratic world and its stuff like this that makes me think the sooner we, as a species, grow out of religious fairy tales the better.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39830447
Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

Comments

  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    edited May 2017
    It's not UK though, I think we got rid our our laws relating to blasphemy five or ten years ago, and Ireland is still a lot more religious than the UK.

    Of course, this action is completely stupid and irrational, but then again, that's religion summed up too.
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    True. But there's plenty who are pushing for religious criticism to be outlawed.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    We love Stephen Fry in our house. I think, when asked what he'd say to god if he met him he responded (I hope I'm accurate): "Bone cancer in children - what's that all about?"
    In fact, Stephen Fry was the first person my 13-year-old son told he had bone cancer, when he met him after Fry had invited him to see QI being filmed 4 or 5 years ago. Crazy that a modern EU country can still have such a law.

    I watched Calvary last night on iPlayer - fabulous film that examines the role of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    That's entirely accurate MRS, and I concur. My mate lost his daughter, 11 years old, to cancer in January. My God daughter. So that question would be fairly high on my list too.
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  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,623
    What's odd is that the person who reported this did so in 2015. In his police statement he specified that he wasn't personally offended but thought that the comments constituted blasphemy under Irish law. The police appear to have put it at the bottom of the pile until the same person followed up his report.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    My mate lost his daughter, 11 years old, to cancer in January. My God daughter.

    Really sorry to hear that, BTR. That's incredibly tough.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    My mate lost his daughter, 11 years old, to cancer in January. My God daughter.

    Really sorry to hear that, BTR. That's incredibly tough.

    Thanks MRS. The great dichotomy here was that we filled a Cathedral with mourners and I had Fry's words in my head. Because, well, we don't really know another way of doing this. Railing against a supreme being and using his house.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Mrs MRS and I have offered our bodies to science so hopefully there won't need to be any sort of "service". But I do absolutely understand the need for people to gather and mourn - especially one so young and so cruelly taken. If some form of church is a convenient place to do that, that's fine by me. If it offers some of the mourners additional comfort, all the better.
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  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    As a Christian, I would say Mr Fry's statement is a valid one which is shared by many. If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world. And how can he allow terrible things to happen to good people or innocent children.

    I would not wish to patronise with glib and superficial arguments. Anyone genuinely searching for meaning will find it. The story is 'fake news' in any case. There is no prospect that Stephen Fry or anyone else would be prosecuted for blasphemy in these circumstances. We should perhaps be thankful that we have freedom of expression. Not available in many parts of the world...

    (Climbs down off soapbox and takes afternoon meds)
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    @bendertherobot... sorry to hear of your loss. Any supreme being worthy of the name would have had no objection to you using his house to share your collective grief, regardless of your belief system...
  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Thanks Mike, that's a very good way of putting it.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,623
    Mikey23 wrote:
    As a Christian, I would say Mr Fry's statement is a valid one which is shared by many. If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world. And how can he allow terrible things to happen to good people or innocent children.

    I would not wish to patronise with glib and superficial arguments. Anyone genuinely searching for meaning will find it. The story is 'fake news' in any case. There is no prospect that Stephen Fry or anyone else would be prosecuted for blasphemy in these circumstances. We should perhaps be thankful that we have freedom of expression. Not available in many parts of the world...

    (Climbs down off soapbox and takes afternoon meds)

    Well said. It is a bit rum. I wonder whether the original complainant is trying to show up the legislation by trying to force the police into using it in a hopeless case.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • ballysmate
    ballysmate Posts: 15,921
    Fry must be glad he wasn't on Indonesian telly.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... -two-years
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,295
    rjsterry wrote:
    I wonder whether the original complainant is trying to show up the legislation by trying to force the police into using it in a hopeless case.
    That would make sense because I believe the original complainant stated that he wasn't offended but believed that what was said contravened that law.
  • meanredspider
    meanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I rather like the "public interest" test applied in the UK. This doesn't look like it was in the public interest to persue.
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  • milton50
    milton50 Posts: 3,856
    City Boy wrote:
    Freedom of speech and freedom of thought should be sacrosanct in the modern democratic world and its stuff like this that makes me think the sooner we, as a species, grow out of religious fairy tales the better.

    Do you agree with incitement to religious/racial hatred laws?
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    Milton50 wrote:
    City Boy wrote:
    Freedom of speech and freedom of thought should be sacrosanct in the modern democratic world and its stuff like this that makes me think the sooner we, as a species, grow out of religious fairy tales the better.

    Do you agree with incitement to religious/racial hatred laws?

    I would certainly agree that laws (or suitable measures) should be in place to prevent and protect against incitement to violence or discrimination against anyone based on their race, creed, religion, sexuality etc. etc.

    I don't, however, think there should be legal restrictions on anyone expressing their personal views because it might include criticism of, or a challenge to a particular lifestyle, religion or ideology etc. or because someone might take offence at what is said.
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • redjeepǃ
    redjeepǃ Posts: 531
    If it makes any difference, it's being treated with the same level of incredulity over here in Ireland, however it also came into the news the same week that :

    a) the government passed a bill that all the TD's (MP's to you) must stand for the morning prayer, which is also to be followed by 30 seconds of silent reflection.

    b) the new National Maternity Hospital is to be built on land owned by, and the ownership given to, the Sisters of Charity, which is one of the religious orders found guilty of gross systemic institutional abuse in the past and which has never paid the agreed redress

    http://www.thejournal.ie/sisters-of-cha ... 5-Apr2017/
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Redjeep! wrote:
    a) the government passed a bill that all the TD's (MP's to you) must stand for the morning prayer, which is also to be followed by 30 seconds of silent reflection.

    That is f*****g ridiculous.
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    So an element of distraction in the media going on then?

    I've less problem with the TD prayer element since they don't have to pray to the same God or any God. They can refrain or mumble or say their own words I guess. Plus the reflection afterwards could be for their own meditation not for a religion.

    The maternity hospital bit is bad. First compulsory purchase of the land so you're not beholden to an organisation that has been so evil. Second give any role involving mothers or their children/babies is kind of exonerating them. It's wrong! I thought the republic was over the worst of religious involvement in statex
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,623
    Agreed. A minute of silent reflection every day might do some of our lot some good.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • milton50
    milton50 Posts: 3,856
    City Boy wrote:
    Milton50 wrote:
    City Boy wrote:
    Freedom of speech and freedom of thought should be sacrosanct in the modern democratic world and its stuff like this that makes me think the sooner we, as a species, grow out of religious fairy tales the better.

    Do you agree with incitement to religious/racial hatred laws?

    I would certainly agree that laws (or suitable measures) should be in place to prevent and protect against incitement to violence or discrimination against anyone based on their race, creed, religion, sexuality etc. etc.

    I don't, however, think there should be legal restrictions on anyone expressing their personal views because it might include criticism of, or a challenge to a particular lifestyle, religion or ideology etc. or because someone might take offence at what is said.

    That's a fair enough position.

    I only asked because when a lot of people say "I believe in free speech", what they actually mean is "I believe in free speech if it doesn't offend me"
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    rjsterry wrote:
    Agreed. A minute of silent reflection every day might do some of our lot some good.
    Have you never watched parliament on tv? Keep an eye out for an mp meditating. Seriously mindfulness is really popular in Westminster bubble among politicians. I believe there was some classes in it run at one point. If you spot an mp looking down for a period of time it's no longer certain he/she has fallen b asleep. Could be meditating instead!
  • redjeepǃ
    redjeepǃ Posts: 531
    mfin wrote:
    Redjeep! wrote:
    a) the government passed a bill that all the TD's (MP's to you) must stand for the morning prayer, which is also to be followed by 30 seconds of silent reflection.

    That is f*****g ridiculous.

    All summed up rather excellently by Fintan O'Toole in the Irish Times.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-state-has-taken-a-bizarre-trip-back-to-the-1950s-1.3075664
  • city_boy
    city_boy Posts: 1,616
    Wise words...

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    Thomas Jefferson, 1802
    Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,623
    City Boy wrote:
    Wise words...

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    Thomas Jefferson, 1802

    Indeed. The country was founded by people who to a large extent were looking for freedom for their religious beliefs and yet is now stuffed with evangelical Christians who almost by definition want to tell everyone else which particular version of God to worship and in what way.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition