Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Blasphemy and Inciting Religious Hatred

A sentence in an article in The Telegraph in England gives me some sense that there may be nothing gained in England by removing the blasphemy laws.

It is understood that Church leaders could be willing to back the abolition of blasphemy offences if new laws banning the incitement of religious hatred can provide significant protection for Anglicanism.

We know from listening to many people on the religious Right talk that anything said or written that suggests less than perfect knowledge and wisdom on the part of Christians is an "attack on Christianity" - a "militant" act designed to promote hatred of all things religious.

In fact, we can interpret as innocent an act as arguing to a person that his belief in a particular God is mistaken to be an act of 'inciting religious hatred'.

Where is this line anyway?

It would not take much effort at all for 'inciting religoius hatred' to be simply a new way to spell 'blasphemy', and for the England to recognize no benefit at all from a change in the law.

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