Stephen Fry is being investigated by Irish police over blasphemy claims more than two years after his outspoken comments about God on RTE’s The Meaning of Life went viral.
Mr Fry described a hypothetical creator as “stupid” and an “utter maniac” for designing a world filled with undue suffering. Asked in 2015 by the programme’s host, Gay Byrne, what he would say to God if he arrived at the pearly gates of heaven, the actor and author replied: “I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about?” The committed atheist added: “How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil.
“Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain? We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that? The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.”
Crazy that the Catholic Church still has a hold of us. Gardai can investigate Stephen Fry for blasphemy but ignore 800 children in a tank??
— Carol Byrne (@CarolByrne98) May 6, 2017
How cringeworthy to see this, sadly too real Irish Joke, discussed on the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC today where they talked about Stephen Fry, “Blasphemy” and Ireland. This National Embarrassment is beyond stupid and goes a long way to explaining why Britain was able to rule Ireland for so long. Between censorship, repressive libel laws that protect the corrupt and crooked and unworkable legal protection for those with a delusional belief in an imaginary friend we are some Nation of Free Thinkers.
You’re probably thinking that Ireland’s blasphemy law is some anachronistic throwback from the nineteenth century or before, still on the books though never enforced – like the ones about being intoxicated while in charge of a cow or taking public transport while you have the plague. You’d be wrong. The offence of “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” was introduced to a new defamation act by then justice minister Dermot Aherne in 2009, and came into law in 2010. Ireland is the only country in the developed world to have introduced a blasphemy law this century.
It is now illegal to utter or publish any material “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion” where intent and result is “outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.” There are few absolutely dependable things in this world, but the outrage of vast swathes of the religious when asked if they might be drunkenly driving their sacred cows is amongst them. Ireland’s “modern” blasphemy law has provided a model to Pakistan and other states who wish to limit freedom of conscience.
— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) May 6, 2017
All this in a country where Laws are routinely not enforced, the Police have engaged in systemic corruption and falsification, the Courts are a laughing stock who strike off charges by allowing rich defendants to donate to the Court “Poor Box” (for Catholic charities) a practice which has NO legal basis, the inefficient, unaccountable Legal Profession uses its influence to defy the EU demand for proper independent regulation. Ireland is run by a Parliament which contains Bankrupts, Tax Fraudsters and people found guilty by independent Tribunal (at great public expense) of criminality and corruption as “lawmakers.”
— Dermot Byrne (@dermobyrne) May 6, 2017
There are few areas of life where we defer to the wisdom of Bronze Age Men as let’s face it we have learnt a lot in 3,000 years for instance, not to be governed by misogyny and superstition and to regard a “Work” written by 40 Men over many years in three different languages as the “Word of God.” All the evidence points the other way, to religion hard coding a great deal of human stupidity and that Man created God, not the other way around. Science has amply demonstrated that life was and can be created without “Divine Intervention.” The other unique selling point of religion that it provides the solution to death is just nonsense. Nobody has ever looked at a dead person without feeling they are indeed dead and gone and there is no Heaven, we don’t meet again, nobody is with the angels, we haven’t gone asleep in the certainty of resurrection, etc; etc; and no amount of wishful thinking and human vanity will change our biological reality. If it did no doubt there would be evidence M’Lud?
Babies in a septic tank, the leader of FF having knowledge of incest and rape but Stephen Fry is what we're investigating. Grand.
— Siobhán (@Imisaninja) May 6, 2017
Indeed the evidence on the “God Question” is every bit as persuasive as the evidence on the “Werewolf Question.” I hope the case goes ahead to expose the sheer stupidity of a Blasphemy Law which ostensibly gives legal protection to religious beliefs no matter how whacky, delusional, contradictory or evidence free they are. It is good to have in Irish Law a defence of murder and fratricide at the very heart of belief in One God as Moses allegedly ordered immediately after receiving the 10 Commandments “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.’ And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (Exodus 32:26-28)
2017:We're gifting our National Maternity Hospital to the nuns & Gardaí are investigating Stephen Fry for Blasphemy.Tell me how we moved on? https://t.co/ULtkdtRW58
— Katie Dawson (@katiedawson23) May 6, 2017
I hope the case goes ahead and I look forward to seeing the Book of Evidence and the Motions for Discovery by the Defendants against a Law which would require them to prove a negative. Atheist Ireland said it welcomed the Garda investigation into Mr Fry for blasphemy, saying it “highlights a law that is silly, silencing, and dangerous”.
I’ll leave the final word to John Henry Cardinal Newman “God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul.”
Ireland, you have disgraced yourself once again. #BanannaRepublic
Today, powered by its readers and contributors, from its cyber eyries in Ireland and the centres of the Irish Diaspora The Eagle casts its Cold Eye on Life and Death and much in between.