Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The UK still has blasphemy laws, although no one has been jailed for the offense since 1921. How does one blaspheme? If you deny the existence of God, profanely scoff at Holy Scripture, or make fun of Jesus, you are a blasphemer. There is an effort from the British Humanist Association to repeal the blasphemy laws, because every now and then, they creep up. For example, in 2005, the BBC screened Jerry Springer: The Opera. In it, Jesus is dressed up as a baby, and called, "a bit gay." A case was made that this violated the law, which it does, however, Stephen Green, director of the group Christian Voice, did not get to have his case, because the High Court refused to prosecute BBC Director-General Mark Thompson for the airing. Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer, believes there is no place for blasphemy laws in the UK, considering its application would be contrary to the principles of free speech. Does anyone know of other organizations in the UK which are attempting to repeal blasphemy laws? It's a shame this gets the taint of an atheist or humanist cause, which is seen as anti-religious, when the case can be made that it provides for protection of religious freedom.