For me, blasphemy does not exist.
If we were to accept that blasphemy is the non-violent attack upon, verbal contempt for or irreverence towards a select band of deities, their teachings and their physical or corporeal representatives or representations on Earth, then blasphemy can be nothing more than a natural reaction to varied theoretical dogma.
Put simply, I do not believe in the existence of Gods, therefore I cannot be guilty in my own mind of any criticisms I voice which concern them.
For blasphemy ‘laws’ to be acceptable, surely every major religious organisation is blatantly guilty by virtue of denying the truth preached by any rival faith and the only way in which they can avoid doing so is to immediately desist from either highlighting their own belief system or condemning the veracity of others.
Now the religious faithful will tell us that they have no objection to us disagreeing with their particular creed but that we must accept their demands for respect, to the point now of legal action. This is a view which appears moderate enough until we might ask the same groups to discontinue representing non-adherents as pitiful sinners tumbling into the fires of their respective hells or equally vicious punishments as decreed by the contemporary lawmakers. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
But hang on! I do not think that it should fall to anonymous internet commentators whose knowledge of world religions is very limited to defend an individual’s right to criticize divinities and their trappings, that responsibility belongs elsewhere; It is within the remit and I contest, the obligation of the religious hierarchies themselves, both as part of their own philosophy and as the consequence of their often sordid history.
All of the world’s major religions are founded upon violence, revenge, punishment, the removal of rights, sexual repression and discrimination against women contorted with flexible moralities with the goal of general subjugation and thought control and yet we are expected to conform to their ideas on what we can and cannot say or portray? Each of these sects has and continues to assist, support and collude with individuals, organisations and political systems which promote violence, delinquency and crimes against what we can all agree is common humanity.
Given that for the most part, the physical retribution for acts of ‘blasphemy’ are carried out by personages further down the ‘faith chain’ than those who give them their spiritual direction, surely clear and unequivocal condemnation from above could help to prevent this perpetuating violence which results in doctors being shot or Pakistani schoolgirls with special needs being assaulted and traumatised. Humble reference to, ‘sticks and stones’ would not only remove the justification but might also help to reduce the urge for opponents to ridicule the believers and their creeds. ‘Blasphemy’ is not an attack on race or sex, it’s the criticism of a combination of theories which have menaced the world for millennia.
If followers of different faiths can drop Uranium-tipped democracy on each other and dispirit tribes within the same religion can firebomb or behead the others’ children, then surely they’ll be too busy to worry should I decide to represent Moses with a ‘mickey’ on his head.
Give unto Caesar……