OK people. Suggestions please.
Our government has just forced through an utterly ludicrous provision as part of the Defamation Act 2009. It’s introduced the new crime of blasphemous libel, a concept of such monumental stupidity that it can’t be allowed to go unchallenged.
I have no doubt that this half-witted law will be confronted in the courts, but meanwhile we’ll have a charter for every crank and nutcase to oppress their critics. Every maniac from the Scientologists to the Jehovah Witnesses will use this law to attack anyone who correctly points out how insane they are. Not to mention every lunatic life-hating Muslim tribesman in Afghanistan, and every nutcase ayatollah in Iran.
Could I just add here that this doesn’t mean I suddenly think Catholicism or Judaism are sensible, logical superstitions. I don’t. But at least the Catholics and the Jews aren’t inclined — for the most part — to go apeshit every time somebody laughs at them.
I wrote to the Garda Press Office seeking clarification of how they intend to approach this but I don’t have high hopes of a reply, and in any case I think we need to be setting the agenda first, so here’s my suggestion.
I propose that people swamp them with complaints.
Look around. Every time you read an utterance by a Catholic priest that might be offensive to Muslims or Jews, make a formal complaint to the police. Every time a rabbi says the Messiah is yet to come, lodge a complaint on behalf of Catholics. Every time a priest says Jesus is the Saviour, complain on behalf of Jews. If you read a comment derogatory to spaghetti monsters, get on the phone to the cops. Say you’re a pissed-off Pastafarian. Every time you see an ad for alcohol, complain for Muslims. Every time you see anything even slightly sensible, call the constabulary and say it offends Scientologists.
I’m now going to declare publicly my own personal worship. Long-term readers of this site will know how highly I regard Srinivasa Ramanujan, about whom a movie has recently been made, though I haven’t managed to see it yet. I now hereby declare my belief that God is the number 1729, and that all criticism and jokes about this number cause me profound offence.
I also revere the great never-ending revolving Goddess 142857.
Do not, at your peril, make fun of 142857, lest you draw upon you the wrath of 1729.
Let’s this get this farce on the road.