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Blasphemy and apostasy

September 30, 2016

A variety of nations still punish blasphemy and apostasy. Saudi Arabia has sentenced an atheist to ten years in prison, and sentenced a poet to death for renouncing Islam. Many of the world’s most autocratic states maintain their power through religious oppression, with terror abroad as a consequence.

It is crucial for western nations to stand up for religious freedom. The US state department does well when it condemns blasphemy laws. And even though it doesn’t result in the horrors we see in Saudi Arabia, it is long past time for Ireland to permanently eliminate its own law against blasphemy.

Today is blasphemy day. And here is the greatest blasphemy of all: your god, the one you believe is true and vital and necessary, is just as imaginary as all the many thousands of gods that various people have worshiped throughout history, believed with similar intensity, most now long forgotten. You believe otherwise only because your religion is still alive, and you practice its creeds and rituals with others who do the same.

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