Monday, March 9, 2009

No blasphemy for me, thanks. I had sacrilege for lunch.

The United Nations wants to make its anti-blasphemy resolution binding on member countries.

That's right! No more free speech, brought to you by an organization acting outside its charter and 57 Muslim countries worried about their god's popularity rating at the international prom.

Can't god just go on like other insecure individuals looking for approval?

Am I alone in finding the concept of blasphemy to be amusing? What kind of all-powerful god cannot stand up to a little healthy criticism? What kind of god needs to go running to daddy when some kid drawing doodles in Scandinavia calls him fat?

Seriously. I don't think Zeus asked to have any laws passed to keep people from talking about how he was a slut behind his back: it's lightning bolt in yer butt, and you are a smoking stain on the road. Thor running to parliament? Nope. Forehead, meet mighty hammer.

Is Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah really so impotent that he can't take care of his own business?

No god of mine would be calling up its legislator if someone called its mother a hamster. There would be divine retribution of a spectacularly interesting kind. Yeah, the kind of retribution where god laughs off the words of puny mortals because, hey, I'm god.

I kid, but it's serious business. Not blasphemy, unless you are on the wrong side of one of these no-blasphemy laws and are killed by your own government for calling Allah a ninny, but this anti-blasphemy resolution. Serious business. I find it the height of irony that the very countries asking for protection for their religion are the countries that deal with blasphemers in the most medieval of ways. This is also the religion whose followers are the first to leap to violence whenever an off color cartoon is printed, as Mr. Hitchens recently pointed out on CNN.

The "Combating Defamation of Religions" resolution is supposedly meant to prevent violence against the religious, no matter what religion, but it seems more like an attempt to extend the Shariah internationally, and let me simply say "Thanks, but no thanks," just like Sarah Palin. Except, I mean it.

Let's think about this for a minute.
Blasphemy: 13th century (that sounds about right)1 a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b: the act of claiming the attributes of deity 2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

That there definition casts a pretty wide net. How do you decide who to stone? Can you arrest a celebrity judge on a reality contest show if she says someone has nicer hair than Jesus? Can you tar and feather a professional basketball player who speaks about himself in third person and calls himself god? If you just don't seem enthusiastic enough about the sermon, is that blasphemy? Who gets to decide?

The statement reads in part “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.” *ahem* OK. Frequently. And wrongly. Yeah. In fact, no religion gets to say that it is wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism. Even Scientology has its moments, Xenu knows.

How can you defame religion, anyway? I was not aware that religion had a squeaky clean reputation that could be harmed by libel or slander. And isn't religion an institution? I don't remember the lab experiment that made religion sentient.

Our friendly neighbors to the north had some choice words about this resolution:

“Canada rejects the basic premise that religions have rights; human rights belong to human beings.”-Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Go Canada!

She goes on:
“The focus (here) should not be on protecting religions, but rather on protecting the rights of the adherents of religions, including of people belonging to religious minorities, or people who may choose to change their religion, or not to practice religion at all.” (emphasis mine)

Thank you.

I feel like a rousing chorus of "Oh Canada" right about now.

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