An Apt Quote Against Ireland’s New Anti-Free Speech Blasphemy Law

C. Bradlaugh, quoted in Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner’s Penalties Upon Opinion (1934):

Laws to punish differences of opinion are as useless as they are monstrous. Differences of opinion on politics are denounced and punished as seditious, on religious topics as blasphemous, and on social questions as immoral and obscene. Yet the sedition, blasphemy, and immorality punished in one age are often found to be the accepted, and sometimes the admired, political, religious, and social teaching of a more educated period. Heresies are the evidence of some attempt on the part of men to find opinions for themselves.

Information on Ireland’s blasphemy law here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to An Apt Quote Against Ireland’s New Anti-Free Speech Blasphemy Law

  1. Roger Salyer says:

    What is actually outrageous is the recent proliferation of anti-Holocaust denial and hate speech laws in Western Europe. Free speech countries? Academic freedom? Freedom of religion? Ha, that’s a laugh.

    But on a note from realism–and thus not from the “free speech” cosmos–every society has a “right” (by definition) to define itself. To define itself to the exclusion of non-believers. That is, there is no freedom without the freedom to exclude. Thus, a country may very rightfully (and more importantly, WILL) exclude the current day blasphemers, however defined.

  2. Pingback: Steven Novella, the Ambivalent Blasphemer « Prometheus Unbound

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