And so it came to pass..

The amendment on defamation of religion, aka blasphemous libel, passed its Seanad vote yesterday along with the rest of the Irish Government’s satirical Defamation Bill. But only on the second attempt after a walk-through vote was called on a Fine Gael amendment, which would have deleted the offence of blasphemy from the Bill, giving government whips time to herd two wandering Senators into line. Atheist Ireland’s Michael Nugent, in the Irish Times, is launching a “campaign to repeal the blasphemy law and to build an ethical and secular Ireland”. We’re looking forward to your blasphemous statement, Michael! [We are?! – Ed] I have beards to sell. Meanwhile, in Limerick, some supernaturalists are apparently worshipping a tree stump.. [*ahem* – Ed] Will Crawley spots the money quote

Fr Paul Finnerty, a spokesman for the diocese of Limerick, says: “The Church’s response to phenomena of this type is one of great scepticism. While we do not wish in any way to detract from devotion to Our Lady, we would also wish to avoid anything which might lead to superstition.”

Truly, an irony-free zone.Somehow I think it might be appropriate for a reminder of AC Grayling’s hope for reasonable discussion.

In debates that crucially affect the wellbeing of the world, ideas and beliefs should be open to tough challenge and hard discussion. Let someone state a view, and let the view be subjected to rigorous scrutiny, no holds barred, and no pleas of offence, hurt feelings, self-proclaimed sensitivities, “sacredness” or any other excuse allowed to stand in the way. But with a strictly governed exception, namely, an office-holder speaking ex-officio, let no individual be the target of attack, and even then neither abuse nor ad hominem attack.

There is no excuse for ill manners and insults, though of course there is an explanation: usually, the impotence and weakness of the insulter and his or her case. Insult an idea or an institution, by all means, if you have serious grounds to do so; but not individuals: that is the bottom line.

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  • Greenflag

    I told yiz they were heaven magicians . How do they know what the Virgin Mary looked like ? They did’nt have cameras back then ? And why a tree stump ?

    Ah now I get it;) The gobshites who fall for this nonsense are as thick as planks . Any sign of who is benefiting from the revenue stream yet !
    Where do the people of Lourdes go if they need a miracle ? Do they stay in Lourdes or go somewhere else ? Does God only work miracles on those who came from afar and not on the locals ?

    Is there any end to this kind of gobshittery 🙁

  • Driftwood

    I looked carefully at the tree stump. It’s clearly Iris Robinson.

  • dunreavynomore

    Is there any end to this kind of gobshittery 🙁

    No and now say tree haily marys to old stumpy.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: How do they know what the Virgin Mary looked like ?
    “Tradition”

  • K

    Just back from the Atheist Ireland AGM. This law will soon be tested by the deliberate release of an extremely blasphemous but humourous statement.
    As for the Holy Tree Stump of Limerick, the funniest response was ‘If that’s what she looked like, no wonder she was a virgin’!!!!