Sunday, 3 January 2010

Almost Done that we celebrated Epiphany in church today, so Christmas must be almost over.

Yesterday was the 80th birthday of a good friend, Anne, and there was a party for her at her son's house. A very nice event at the beginning of the new year and to celebrate our friend's life so far.

And then we have that age old problem. Are we in a new decade or does that really start next year? Since the counting of time, unlike the birth of my friend Anne, well and my other friend, the Tame Pharmacist - not turning eighty, but fifty - didn't commence with year zero, ten really ends the decade. But we're all anxious for new beginnings, so I think most people would go for it being a new decade.

So..the Irish blasphemy law. WHAT? How, I ask, can you possibly judge this? Because I'm fairly sure that my idea of what is blasphemous would not match up with theirs. And then, why should blasphemy be illegal anyway? Well, according to Irish law makers, because their constitution only protects Christians. That makes no sense to me...unless somewhere, someone is confusing blasphemy with religious hatred, and I would think that THAT is pretty much covered under the law.

But an Irish atheist organisation, known, oddly, as 'Atheist Ireland', are contesting it, as well they might.
The law was passed in July, and became law on the first of January. I feel the timing on this one is very poor, given the recent massive exeunt from the Catholic church, although to be fair, it's more like 400 years out of date.

When Rushdie published 'Satanic Verses', a fatwa was issued. So, is the Christian equivalent of a fatwa €25K? Interesting, since in history, Popes and papish representatives have sold pardons and prayers for filthy lucre, not to mention that just attending the burning of a heretic could get your time in purgatory reduced by up to 40 days. All fairly dodgy renditions of the Deity's intentions.

Oh, the picture? A bit of papal bull.

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