Irish police open blasphemy investigation into Stephen Fry for calling God an "utter maniac"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/07/bone-cancer-in-children.html


Stephen Fry faces blasphemy probe after God comments
#2

The blasphemy law was only passed in 2009 in defamation legislation. It’s not some archaic left over from the past.


#3

Can he demand to face his accuser?


#4

The preamble to the Irish constitution:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.

Getting god out of Irish law would require a new constitution.


#5

I believe it was implemented as a place holder to essentially patch up some other related legislation, but it is legal statute none the less. I just want to add, technically any act of public dancing in Ireland without licence is a prosecutable offence, but its of course not enforced.

The other thing to know about this, is that the person who initially filled the complaint in 2015 also stated that they did not take any personal offence with Fry’s statements and that they were merely doing their “civic duty” by reporting this.

My personal guess, which others have stated online, is that the individual who filed this complaint against Fry did so in order to raise publicity regarding the Defamation Act of 2009, in order to embarrass the state and to provoke them to repeal the law.

Also if you are following National Irish media coverage over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of religious scandal directed towards the church, I think this has mostly gotten attention as part of that traction.

I hope that this incident, with its attached international coverage, pushes this law to finally get repealed. Its bloody embarrassing to be Irish sometimes, the sooner we push the catholic church and its affiliate franchises(IONA etc) off our Island the better.


#6

Well, it’s a good thing we Westerners are so much better than those backward cultures that issue judgments and threats against writers we disagree with.


#7

“It’s not clear why the investigation was launched”

Yes it is, as others have pointed out, someone filed an official complaint, and the officials are following up on it. The law itself hasn’t been enforced and nobody’s been prosecuted under it. It’s just a symbolic law, pretty much, and this is really only getting any attention because of Stephen Fry’s high profile. Hopefully this will embarrass them into getting rid of it.


#8

Good. I can’t see any negative outcome from this procedure. It’ll be interesting.


#9

I do wonder if Fry believes that speaking like this about God will help his cause or just piss off the religious and turn more people away from the issues. Fry rightly feels persecuted by religion and I completely agree with him but forgiveness is one lesson to learn from the church.

Actually fuck it , he has my blessings.


#10


#11

Pass the popcorn please. This should be interesting.


#12

Aye and begorra, I’ve already got me a migraine the size o’ the Emerald Isle weighin’ on me skull, I doon’t need this as well…


#13

Just wait until God meets Fry’s legal team.


#14

Separation of church and state and freedom of speech, I hope we keep it in the US.


#15

Yeah, hopefully, but otherwise sensible-seeming folks have gone ass over elbow to enforce obviously idiotic laws and thereby setting a precedent for enforcement. These days I’m not so hopeful.


#16

@dfaris’s original thread for those interested.
Perhaps the mods could merge the two discussions?

Anyway…

:musical_score: He’s a maniac, maniac on the floor
And he’s blaspheming like he’s never blasphemed before :musical_note:

Maniac is one of the nicer things I’ve called Abraham’s non-extent deity. I mean this is the internet. In fact, I think no one from the internet should visit Ireland for a while, just in case.


#17

ftfy
Ireland does contrive periodically to remind us that there is an English speaking country whose politicians are even more backward than ours.


#18

America still has them beat! USA! USA!


#19

I can give you hope, if you want. How do you think those charges would hold on the European level?

You’re welcome.


#20

Banning blasphemy is mandated by the Irish Constitution, abolishing the offense would require a referendum.
That law replaces a worse version of the law that only protected catholics.
So, in effect, that law is a required bit of archaic left over, or at least the best patch so far for the required bit of archaic left over that can only be abolished via changing the Irish Constitution.

.