Italian Town Makes Blasphemy Illegal

The northern Italian town of Sanoara has offered another chilling reminder of how the West is rejecting free speech at an accelerating pace. Mayor Walter Stefan has announced with some pride that the town is going to make it illegal “to blaspheme against any faith or religion.” That’s right, the town has embraced the same blasphemy used by extremist Muslim countries to punish those who dare speak against religion.

Over the course of the last 50 years, Europe has waged an open war on free speech by criminalizing speech deemed insulting, harassing or intimidating. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, (here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). There are encroachments appearing in the United States, particularly on college campuses. Notably, the media celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

I have previously criticized such European blasphemy laws (here and here and here).  We have been following the international trend (here and here and here and here) to criminalize criticism of religions, including this prior column. The Obama Administration joined the UN Human Rights Council and agreed to create a “new” standard balancing speech and respect for religion. These new standards are merely thinly disguised blasphemy laws that are spreading throughout the world, including the West.

Yet, as I discussed recently, many nations have shifted their efforts to impose blasphemy crimes in favor of broader hate speech and discrimination laws.  But not Saonara. It wants to take a bold stance against free speech.

Criticizing religion is one of the core areas of free speech historically. Blasphemy laws are used to protect orthodoxy and religiosity against those who oppose them. This town of 10,000 will be handing out fines and Stefan is delighted to be leading the way to silence his fellow citizens. He is quoted as saying “Blasphemy is offensive, it offends me.

Of course, that is all it takes. It offends the mayor so he will now silence those views that he finds offensive. It is that easy.

41 thoughts on “Italian Town Makes Blasphemy Illegal”

  1. “… They (Jews) are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine…” (5:60); “…You have surely known the end of those from amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath, in consequence of which we condemned them: Be ye like apes, despised” (2:65);and “when, instead of amending, they became more persistent in the pursuit of that which they were forbidden, we condemned them: Be ye as apes, despised” (7:166)”

    Are these passages from the Koran protected in that Italian town, or are they blasphemy toward Judaism and Christianity? Is reference to Jews and Christians being turned into apes, pigs, lizards and four-eyed dogs in the Commentaries to the Koran protected – can one go to jail for ridiculing it?

    Most of Europe has civil law traditions, in which everything must be spelled out. Anglo-American common law allows laws to be read and understood properly when new situations arise. Blasphemy isn’t just ignored in our Constitution, the government is clearly and explicitly kept from making laws “in respect to religion”.

    Some people, like Robert Heinlein, have observed that the churches of colonial America were so intolerant of each other that the practical remedy for questions such as established churches (supported by taxes levied on all citizens) was to outlaw such use of government to support any church.

    Even today there are churches which preach vehemently against other churches, against jews and Muslims – and schisms within those or other churches are not unknown. The Anglican Communion is an example – divided, with come national Anglican churches ordaining bishops to lead schismatic branches of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

    But believers here blaspheme away without restraint about other churches and the heavens do not fall. That Italian town may wake to discover it has created a tyranny of intolerant sects which demand protection for their intolerant views. Female genital mutilation may go unpunished there, for it is a ritual a church (mosque) defends and no one may legally denounce it.

  2. Should it not be a simple matter of Moral Ethics and good manners?
    1. For anywhere at any time
    2. For the rights of the citizens of that Italian Town under Italian Law to be up held as strongly as we uphold our own.

    The Constitution stops at the border unless a case of a USA citizen then it’s ‘of interest’ to our moral and ethical standards or do they to stop at the border?

    For a US Citizen every Right has a Responsibility and every Citizen of the USA has the Right and the Responsibility to protect their own rights and those of their fellow citizens.

    We have that as a basic power of and from the pool of Citizens who have accepted our Constitutional Republic to be part of that well spring or source of power, the only source that is valid and NEVER grant that power on the 9th or 10th Amendments to others especially to our employees in government.

    Thus we become and stay self governing citizens and remain in control.

    Money as Free Speech is a recent and prime example as it gave away four or five of our original powers to a non government and too often foreign and non voting series of entities.

    Keep that in mind when the AG’s investigation and subsequent findings and trials and their conclusions occur.

    Our Rights have Responsibilities and we are Responsible to protect our own Rights and those of fellow citizens.

    No matter who, what, why, when and where. The Responsibility of government is to ensure that remains valid and is Absolute.

    1. The problem in that Italian town is not we in America imposing our views there, but the strong contradictions between one church and another which are almost guaranteed to create conflict as one sect or religion seeks protection for radical statements such as “… They (the Jews) are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine…” (5:60); “…You have surely known the end of those from amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath, in consequence of which we condemned them: Be ye like apes, despised” (2:65) and “when, instead of amending, they became more persistent in the pursuit of that which they were forbidden, we condemned them: Be ye as apes, despised”That town has resolved to punish blasphemy when one church’s Scripture can be seen as blaspheming another church’s teaching.

      But that’s their business. I only wonder whether the leaders of Sanoara, Italy will be able to solve the inevitable conflicts between different sects and religions, who if they preach as they’re used to doing, will eventually blaspheme against each other, sometimes bitterly.

  3. Well!, I guess I better hadn’t wear my Muhammad is just another GD Pedophile Prev tee shirt into that town. LOL:)

    But it’s just fine here in Oklahoma because Is not a Religion, it’s a Peodphile/Slaving trading Cult Government & Islam’s Sharia law is Illegal here.

    Go back to your sand box inbreds.

    Ck out Sabo below.

    http://unsavoryagents.com/

  4. He is quoted as saying “Blasphemy is offensive, it offends me.”

    You have your dogmas and other people have theirs. The Left are dogmatic in mocking the three greatest monotheistic religions of all time. The Right shoots from their “conservative” hip in fabricating their constantly changing dogmas along the way. If some people actually embrace the teachings of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Jesus Christ, then let them.

    Our world is big enough for all of us to live according to our dim understanding of life.

    1. The problem in this trend is to set up a monopoly on truth where things said against my religion are unacceptable but things said against your religion are acceptable. A religion has a huge head start in Europe in establishing theirs as the untouchable truth. They are distinguishable from all others because others don’t accept their absolute truth. Their beliefs are fallible and not protected by free speech rights. The Italians may feel they are protecting Catholicism. In fact, they are opening the door to the absolute truth. And as they will tell you, their God is the final authority on absolute truth. If you don’t accept their truth, well you know what is in your future.

      1. Sanoara, Italy is potentially a window on the Europe of 149 years ago when the Inquisition lost real power in the Papal States (after the Mortara Affair). Enforcing blasphemy laws is restoring an Inquisition with power to punish speech into the 21st century, with modern tools.

        Of course, employers’ “social media policies” here and abroad can punish those who are speaking away from their place or work, sometimes only to their friends and family. Two police officers were fired in suburban New Orleans when one of them said “AOC needs a round, and not the kind she used to serve” in a Facebook post supposedly to friends and family that some how got to the press, then to his boss, who fired not only him but a friend on the force who “liked” the account. Something Orwellian about that.

        Orwell could have foreseen this. The modern state employs social media and our vanity to tattle on us to the press, a court unrestrained by codes of law or constitutions which can whip up national outrage against anyone. #metoo turned Twitter into a Supreme Court of that nature. But Sanoara could wind up using the new tools of social media and the traditional ones of gossip, envious neighbors, and religious hatred to ruin lives. At least Sanoara’s penalties are less comprehensive than social media’s.

  5. TRUMP APPROVES ‘BLASPHEMY’ TYPE LAWS..

    WITH REGARDS TO FAMILY PLANNING

    The Trump administration is making it easier for employers to exclude birth control from health insurance benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act, and it has come up with a new justification, saying that female employees can obtain contraceptives at family planning clinics for low-income people.

    That, in turn, could increase demand for clinic services, which are already squeezed. The plan is one of several recent proposals that could affect access to birth control, such as requiring the physical separation of services at clinics and strict new rules about insurance payments.

    The health law generally requires employers to cover preventive health services, and the government says those include contraceptives for women. Under final rules published this past week, employers can obtain an exemption if they object to some or all forms of contraception based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs” or moral convictions.

    The proposed rule will “preserve conscience protections” for employers and provide free or low-cost family planning services for women who need them, the administration said.

    Groups that have fought the contraceptive coverage mandate, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, praised the policy.

    “It shows that the government has ways of delivering contraceptive services without conscripting the Little Sisters of the Poor to help,” said Mark L. Rienzi, the president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the nuns in several court cases.

    Gregory S. Baylor, a lawyer at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group, said: “With these regulations, President Trump kept his promise that people of faith would not be bullied on his watch. At the same time, contraceptives will remain readily available to those who wish to use them.”

    President Trump has also proposed eliminating the requirement for clinics to provide abortion-related information, counseling and referrals on request. As a result, the administration said, Title X funds would be available to “health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion-related activity such as counseling and referrals.”

    Edited from: “Trump Proposes A New Way Around Birth Control Mandate Religious Exemptions And Title X”

    The New York Times, 11/17/18

      1. “Why should your employer be compelled to pay for your condoms, Peter?”

        Maybe the extra extra small condoms cost a lot more. However, I don’t think insurance companies generally pay for condoms.

        1. Condoms are rarely used today.

          Among heterosexuals: Blacks > Whites >>> Hispanics even if Hispanics are the largest minority group in America with Blacks being 2nd. Perhaps Enigma can explain the high prevalence of STDs of Blacks >>> Hispanics

          Prevalence of STDs are through the roof since 2013 per CDC

          Fast Facts
          Chlamydia│1.7 million cases; 22% increase since 2013

          Gonorrhea│ 555,608 cases; 67% increase since 2013

          Primary and Secondary Syphilis│30,644 cases; 76% increase since 2013

          Congenital Syphilis│918 cases; 154% increase since 2013

          https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/default.htm

      2. Why in the hell are we even allowing the govt to allow employers get involved with out health care in the 1st place???

        Employer involvement in health through ERISA is just more of the Dems/Commie Totalitarian Anti-American Crap.

        1. Pull employers out of citizens healthcare completely/ aka pull it from ERISA.

        A: It’s unconstitutional

        2. Stop allowing healthcare companies to collude with each other against us citizens on among other things services, meds& prices.

        A: It’s unconstitutional

        3. Stop all consolidation of health insurance providers & aim laws towards plenty of competition.

        4. And like George brings up all the time, where does the Fed govt get it’s USC authority from to be involved in the 1st place?

        I suggest the Fed Govt gets it’s authority straight & work out plans with state govt on such things as auditing insurance companies to make sure they maintain financial resource to stay solvent.

        You know like what the Fed Govt did not do with Warren Buffet’s Insur Co & AIG in 2008! Those 2 companies both should have been forced into BK & sold off instead of having taxpayers bailing out the bast*rds again.

        There’s likely plenty of other things that could be added.

        1. Oky, you have some good points. A lot of our problems started after WW2 when Congress let health insurance continue to count as a deduction for tax purposes. Always remember: “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.

          1. Allen,

            I knew the US healthcare system was ph’d up, but like many others I hoped I’d just get by without deal with it.

            Wrong!

            For example I didn’t realize in this multi-tiered HC system, we have like the VA, Indian Health services, employer based HC, Medicare/Medicaid.

            And not everyone get access to the better Med facilities or to the latest best drugs.

            My wife’s cancer treatment brought me back into that long forgotten FDR ERISA Commiecare crap I read about from back in school.

            For example, under ERISA, ( employer based healthcare insurance), it unconstitutionally takes away the citizens Rights to sue in a regular state court.

            Instead ERISA pushes this group of people into another unconstitutional Federal Administrative Court. Which makes it much harder for the plaintiff to succeed in court.

            There’s much more in this area of HC, other areas & there’s a really big one staring us all in the face, Big Pharma pay politicians/fake new media to demand (100s) of Mandatory Vaccines, Untested, many made in China & that dumb azz Reagan gave them Unconstitutional Liability Immunity.

            See the pattern? Every time those bast*rd Corporation & Politicians just reach in & steal away our Rights & our Freedoms!!!

            1. Oky sorry about your wife and her problems. I hope she does well. A lot of what you mention are unintended consequences resultant from overzealous people that thought they knew more than everyone else combined. When cracks start to show suddenly they fix them again not recognizing the unintended consequences leading to legislation like ERISA that itself leads to unintended consequences that you face today.

              I agree with most that you say regarding vaccines but “that dumb azz Reagan gave them Unconstitutional Liability Immunity.” is not well thought out. Certain vaccines save tremendous numbers of lives each year. The problem is our system of litigation. Without relief the manufacturers of the important vaccines could have been driven out and that would have led to catastrophic results. The legislation itself was flawed and as usual created unintended consequences. Reagan can only sign a bill. The bill is constructed in Congress.

              1. Allan, et al;

                My wife is doing pretty good once being stage 4.

                After I raised 9 kinds of hell & got her moved to a better outfit, CTCA, & she got the latest best shot expensive meds. An immune therapy drug.

                That’s one of the things I think it was Unitedhealthcare insur was b*tchin about.

                Knock on wood she’s in the freak zone & headed towards being super freak, Alive.

                Most people that have/had what she had 60% are dead within 5 months. She’s way past that & closing in on 2 yrs & the test have been coming back clean… so far.

                I bring it up a bit as people need to fend for themselves as the gov’t, insur co’s & even the doctors may not.

                1. Oky, government tried to push Americans into HMO’s and in some ways they succeeded. What finally made HMO’s less profitable was the litigation that ensued and a pubic that became angry. Many of the suits opened more areas of litigation. When the ACA was passed the governnent tried to use the HMO concept and create an HMO on steroids and again included laws to provide more immunity to them. That essentially wiped out many of the legal gains patients had won. In this area and most other areas the ACA was a giant failure.

                  The idea behind much of government thinking is that physicians are paid too much and it is those costs that are bankrupting the system. I don’t bother arguing how much a physician is worth because too many factors are involved but the the physician percentage of costs remained remarkaby stable over the years and when I use the term physician that includes a lot of non M.D.’s including practioners such as naturopaths and chiropractors.

                  Uwe Reinhardt, who before his death was considered one of the biggest experts in healthcare and a socialist, surprisingly defended physician incomes in a NYTimes letter and elsewhere. As he put it after taxes and all the expenses there wasn’t enough money in that pot to be concerned with because the physician is the one providing the actual healthcare and the high costs that could be controlled lay elsewhere including the bureaucracy. Though he was a socialist I believe he significantly blamed government as a major contributor to our faulty health care system. I am not saying he agreed with a free market for he likely had ideas that he felt could work based on socialistic ideas. I think his ideas were mostly wrong and in communication he would say that Americans (he was German) should learn what it means when free market ideas were suggested. [He was at Jackson Hole with Hillary Clinton)

              2. Allan, et al;

                There are many things going on regarding the out of control Unsafe vaccine industry.

                I believe the number I’ve been hearing is the old dying fake media, like CNN, MSNBC, etc. get at least 60% of the ad revenue from big pharma.

                Thus will not post the latest real news about vaccine hazards, injuries & Deaths.

                There was one Vaz Bill Gates was involved some how was reported overseas & new media hear that that Vaz killed 1000’s. India was one of those countries.

                And almost no one ever reads the Vaccine inserts that warns of all the injuries & Deaths those Vaz Do Cause.

                For now we can all read those Vaz Inserts online & in regular fonts, large or small.

                But the latest move by the Deep State totalitarians, Facebook, Apple, Google, etc. all seem to be attempting to block/censor all comments about vaccine information except that of big pharma , their puppet govt/CDC chumps.

                Like the site, No more Fake News, had a bunch of it’s stuff pulled. John has been cover Vaz news for a few decades at least.

                1. “There are many things going on regarding the out of control Unsafe vaccine industry.”

                  I’d be very careful about linking all vaccines in one pot. Some of them are a huge positives saving lives and decreasing morbidity.

              3. “I agree with most that you say regarding vaccines but “that dumb azz Reagan gave them Unconstitutional Liability Immunity.” is not well thought out. Certain vaccines save tremendous numbers of lives each year. The problem is our system of litigation. Without relief the manufacturers of the important vaccines could have been driven out and that would have led to catastrophic results. The legislation itself was flawed and as usual created unintended consequences. Reagan can only sign a bill. The bill is constructed in Congress. ”

                Allan, et al:

                The one of the major parts of Reagan’s 1086 Vaz makers Liability Immunity Scam was that the Vax makers would do complete test every 2 years to make sure the vaccines were both Safe & Effective.

                Not Once have Vax makers Complied with that law & Have Not been testing Vaccines! As I’ve been hearing for sometime now, years…

                Hear what’s going on, the current argument has been: Vaccines can work, but the industry is not testing to see if their old & new vaccine are either Safe or Effective.

                People should research this issue. Would anyone in their right mind give a new born kids a Vax, risking brain damage/death etc., for a sexual transmitted disease, Hep B vax, when the mother can be tested for it in advance.

                Would people be taking a vaccine if they new at least one Vax contains aborted fetal tissue cell lines with every thing else that’s in that cell line’s DNA.

                And if Vaccines are so great why did Reagan/Vax makers start a Secret Administrative Court, where the citizens fund it & in order to sue & collects awards the Plaintiffs have to agree to give up the free speech under an unconstitutional Gag Order.

                Even if the Vax Killed you new born!

                There’s so much more on this issue, maybe later…

                A couple of the easiest places I’ve seen to follow & attempt to get factual info on the Vax industry/ Vax issue are:

                Mike Adams at Naturalnews (.) com

                And

                Del Bigtree at

                https://thehighwire.com/watch/

                1. Liability and immunity are big problems. Without relief the vaccine makers won’t produce and there will be a large amout of death and morbidity.

                  The problem is government likes to use the top down approach and is unable to deal with the unintended consequences. Organic solutions are better and generally last for much longer periods of time. Look at how the unelated tax deduction for health care has completely altered our health care system.

    1. Did I miss a law being passed that allows employers to force employees to engage in sexual activities? If no such law exists, then the sexual activities are voluntary in nature, right? And if they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity as their conscience permits, then employers should also be allowed to follow their conscience.

    2. “The Trump administration is making it easier for employers to exclude birth control from health insurance benefits…”

      Blasphemy type laws have to do with criminalizing speech, not whether or not an employer is required to provide condoms or pay for abortions. You made a low IQ post.

    3. “TRUMP APPROVES ‘BLASPHEMY’ TYPE LAWS..WITH REGARDS TO FAMILY PLANNING”

      Peter, you should pick up a dictionary and learn the meaning of blasphemy because this title is pretty stupid considering what follows.

      1. The staff at Correct-the-Record consists of 27 year olds who know nothing. Can’t expect Peter to have better talking points than what they produce.

  6. NB, the smart money says the enforcement of these ordinances will be sectarian in character. Indulgent attitudes toward some social sectors (and not others) is a marker delineating in-groups and out-groups in our stratified societies. Absent proof of the contrary, we should assume that the purpose is to effect legal harassment on people who slice up Islam, because that’s now defined as declasse in occidental societies.

  7. See Robert Bork. The right of ‘free speech’ is one that ‘derives from democratic processes’. There are all kinds of circumstances where you are penalized for opening your trap and we would not want it any other way. However, any society wherein decision-making is preceded by public deliberation requires free speech consistent with those purposes. We are confused by that point because pervs in the legal profession like Wm. O. Douglas and Edward de Grazia wanted to make the world safe for peddlers of pornography. N.B., professor, legal profession.

    Now, this raises two questions: what are the closed questions in an open society, and who are the deliberators? We have these problems because the professional-managerial class (lawyers and academics especially) resent having to treat ordinary Americans as if they were peers.

  8. Fortunately we don’t have religious wackos running this country, seeking to impose their “values” on everyone else. Right?

    1. “Fortunately we don’t have religious wackos running this country, seeking to impose their “values” on everyone else. Right?”

      Except for those that have a faith based ideology, socialism. That is their new religion.

    2. I have news for you, kid. Every single statute of a regulatory nature incorporates or refers to a set of values. Appropriations are also indicators of public priorities, which are influenced by ‘values’. Dolts say things like ‘you can’t legislate morality’ not realizing we legislate little else.

      1. “Dolts say things like ‘you can’t legislate morality’ not realizing we legislate little else.
        ******************
        True dat. Behind every law is somebody’s version of right and wrong usually based on Judeo-Christian ethics.

  9. “Over the course of the last 50 years, Europe has waged an open war on free speech ”

    In recent years the war against free speech has been taken up by the left and the Democratic Party as a whole. Suddenly the English language is changing to meet PC speech and ideas in the Democratic Party frequently are repressed. That has extended to the tech industry where most recently it seems that Google along with interfering with conservative free speech interfered with a Democrat’s free speech, Tulsi Gabbard. Whatever happened on Google may have dramatically altered the Democratic nomination for President for Gabbard was denied the normal platform after her good performance in the debates.

    I noted before that Professor Turley is strong supporter of free speech so it surprises me that we hear precious little from him about high tech’s (Google, Facebook, etc.) ability to impair free speech. I urge the professor to support free speech everywhere including on the Internet.

    1. Could someone with a printer please print out this blog topic and my comment and sent it over to Italy to be posted on their church doors? Put it on the collar of WOP Dogs. Y’all know what a WOP Dog is don’t you? A Dog without papers. And a God without papers.

  10. If one’s faith is so weak that one must punish those who don’t believe or questions it, one has no faith. Blasphemy laws are abhorrent and wrong. I don’t care who supports them. Blasphemy equals thought police.

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