Since the advent of religion within the echelons of civilization, religious sects have, for the longest time, fought against their various rivals and secular forces to secure a strong, unshakable position within the highest echelons of power in a bid to wield absolute control over the ignorant masses. Having secured a snug, comfortable position beside the Monarchy (or any other tyrant and despot of the era), a religious cult will, with calculated malice and ill-intent, declare its victory in an almost unctuous and unabashed manner, and how religion goes about in securing and fortifying it's precarious position at the top is often a subject of controversy.
As with all manners of tyrannical organizations, once religious organizations have sniffed and sneaked their way into positions of power, one of it's very first moves will be hinged on silencing the opposition. In the case of religion, one of the most ostensible traits within the religious hierarchies has to be blasphemy, a somewhat innocuous, blameless and imaginary crime to negate and destroy possible opposition towards an official religion.
The Issue of Blasphemy
The origins of the word "blasphemy" is a mishmash of several languages: "blasfemer" from Old French, "blasfemen" from Middle English & "blasphemein" from Greek.
Generally speaking, blasphemy refers to a staunch refusal to submit to the rigid, stupid emotions and reverence with regards to stupid piety and undue respect towards a religion and its pantheon of deities or a singular deity. Under blasphemy laws, anyone who is caught defaming or verbally abusing the deity in question can be liable for charges, and depending on which century and era one is born and the country he or she is raised, charges of blasphemy can be dealt with utmost severity, some of which do involve lobbing off heads off heretic shoulders.
Sometimes, the act of blasphemy can be enacted beyond mere words: Flushing a Quran down the toilet, for example, is bound to invoke murderous cries of beheading and other heinous deeds from Islam's fundamentalist crooks. Taking a piss at a holy cross may also trigger calls for secular punishment, especially in quasi-democratic countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.
While many secular countries do not enforce and impose blasphemy laws upon their citizens, many European countries have kept pre-existing anti-blasphemy laws which have existed for as long as mainstream Christianity has endured, and for inexplicable reasons these ignominious laws have been left untouched, even though they have long outlived their usefulness.
When religion is concerned, the crime of blasphemy is viewed with murderous contempt, and that expunging blasphemous infidels is a divine duty to be executed with the most deadly efficiency.
Leviticus Chapter 24: 16 puts it succinctly:
"He who blasphemes the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him: the foreigner as well as the native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death."
Islam, as usual, is never far behind in its hot pursuit against heretics and infidels of any sort:
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; " [Surah Al-Maidah 5:33]
Recommendation 1805 of the EU Court
Most disturbingly, however, is the European Union's keenness at applying such archaic laws: Ever since the outcries caused by the Danish cartoon fracas, the EU has become an unwitting lackey to these fundamentalist bastards who wished to impose their "God-given" right to shut up the voices of the disbelieving public:
In June 2007, Recommendation 1805 was adopted by the Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which has, in its tenets, stated provisions against "blasphemy, religious insults and hate speech against persons on grounds of their religion. " In a bid to ease secular voices and supporters of free speech, this erstwhile "recommendation" has also issued a number of guidelines that are supposedly in tandem with Articles 10 (Freedom of Expression) & 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion).
In a bid to placate the dissenting voices against free speech and equal rights, religious groups have attempted to abuse the Danish Cartoon incident to impose their views upon the EU. Religion, it seems, is now deemed untouchable to the common masses. You may abuse the government, you may abuse corporations, but if you wish to abuse religion, then woe to you!
Blasphemy: My God-Damned Right To Free Speech!
While some people may view this issue with maligned triviality, certain implications cannot be ignored. Free speech is an area of concern: The right to blasphemy is an individual right to free speech, and how the individual expresses his or her indignant feelings towards a said deity should not be viewed upon as an infringement of secular law.
While some may lament that flushing bibles and qurans down toilets is an outrageous travesty, I see no issue beyond what is really a strictly mechanical affair: Bibles and Qurans don't exactly mix well with toilets, and choking up public toilets is an issue of civility and inconvenience, and should a crime be charged upon the offender, it should be a case of vandalism rather than a blameless crime of blasphemy.
Free speech aside, blasphemy is a frivolous charge: Any act that is viewed as an intent to insult a deity can be misconstrued as an innocuous attempt at insulting a deity. If I were to consume pork in public, wouldn't that be an insult against the tenets of Islam? Should I be punished for my "insolent deed" too?
Good riddance to blasphemy laws, I say. If these deities whom these fervent supporters go through such lengths to protect are of any use at all, they should stand up, speak up and defend themselves, rather than going through such hoo-has and resorting to manipulating the legal systems. Our planet already has one too many a deity vying for a coveted place alongside secular law.
As for me, blasphemy is a good exercise to improve my blood circulation: Screaming "Fuck you, God" five days a day in the direction of Washington DC tends to trigger and invigorate the release of "good humors".
Go ahead. Commit your very own blasphemy today, before the laws of your country start to shut you up!
-“Lycurgus, Numa, Moses, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, all these great rogues, all these great thought-tyrants, knew how to associate the divinities they fabricated with their own boundless ambition." - Marquis de Sade, 1740-1814