As we discussed yesterday, the Irish people have remained committed to holding the ignoble status of a Western country prosecuting people for blasphemy with its sister jurisdictions in Iran, Saudi Arabia and other repressive governments. Even when the Irish government seeks to avoid the obvious denial of free speech under its blasphemy law, it only makes the entire country look even more ridiculous. That is the case with the decision to drop the criminal investigation of famous actor Stephen Fry. In a television interview, Fry merely asked why he should “respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world…. full of injustice.” He was asked about his view of religion and he answered. A citizen then said that, while he was not insulted, the comment still constituted blasphemy and should be investigated. Now the police have said that they decided to drop the investigation after concluding an insufficient number of people expressed outrage. So the Irish have the perfect free speech nightmare law: whether you will be prosecuted will depend how many people want you incarcerated. Sounds like criminal law by plebiscite.
The concern is not that a person was put under investigation because he expressed his view that God is “capricious”, “mean-minded”, “stupid” and an “utter maniac.” No the problem is that the police did not have some overwhelming response like an American Idol version of the criminal code. It is like saying that we do not have mob justice because a mob never formed.
A source is quoted as saying that the complainant “was simply a witness and not an injured party. Gardaí (Irish police) were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people. For this reason the investigation has been concluded.”