September 30, 2012

On Blasphemy Day, Mock Away

blasphemy

Happy International Blasphemy Day! This is a day I used to take for granted, or rather, this is a day where I used to take my freedom to commit blasphemy for granted. After recent developments, I will not make that mistake again. Too many nations have bowed to pressure from religious extremists and enacted anti-blasphemy laws. The subject was recently raised at the UN. And even here in the U.S., there has been international pressure to consider something along these lines. While President Obama stood his ground, who knows what future administrations might do? We cannot take our rights for granted.

It is important to remember that bans on blasphemy exist to protect religion, not people. Adults ought to be capable of dealing with a bit of criticism, and blasphemy is indeed a victimless crime. Religions, on the other hand, seem to need some protection against reality. This is a big part of why we must resist the push for anti-blasphemy laws. Whether we're talking about any of the major world religions or a silly little cult, we must retain the right to tell the truth about them.

Muhammad looks in the mirror blasphemy draw dayWe need more blasphemous speech, more blasphemous art. We need to communicate that the era of religion being viewed as sacred is drawing to a close. Religion deserves no special status which would exempt it from criticism or mockery. If religious adherents really want to protect their belief systems from criticism, they should stop attempting to impose those belief systems on the rest of us. Our eyes are open, and we have noticed that the loudest advocates of anti-blasphemy laws seem to be among the first to condemn others in the name of their religious beliefs.

So join me today in mocking Islam, Christianity, and the others for the absurd superstitions they are. We can mock a religion without mocking any individual person. And if someone decides to take offense, that is their responsibility. Perhaps the extremely thin-skinned sort who seek to avoid any sort of criticism of their beliefs shouldn't believe such silly things.

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