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.
When he played Gordon Deitrich in V For Vendetta, the television personality who challenged an authoritarian state, Stephen Fry exposed the terror of living in a state that reserved to itself the right to determine what speech was considered criminal. He now faces a criminal prosecution over a statement in Ireland that would be entirely protected in the United States as an exercise of free speech. Irish police are investigating him under the country’s infamous blasphemy law for asking why he should “respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world…. full of injustice.” Ireland allies itself with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other nations in prosecuting free speech deemed insulting or offensive to any religion. The law is a disgrace to all freedom-loving people and the Irish demean themselves in keeping blasphemy in the criminal code. The only thing missing is some menacing Irish Chancellor saying “Ireland Prevails.” Continue reading