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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF celebrates repeal of Irish blasphemy law

FFRF applauds Irish people for voting to repeal the nation’s constitutional ban on blasphemy.

The theocratic provision, which dates back to 1937 and was reinforced with a 2009 statute, had never been actively enforced. But it was a national embarrassment for Ireland and was lampooned by figures such as English comedian Stephen Fry, who was initially slapped with blasphemy charges that were later dropped. Following the Oct. 27 vote, the Irish may now blaspheme to their hearts’ content.

Atheist Ireland, which worked diligently to educate about the referendum, was thrilled, saying that when the repeal takes effect, “our laws can then protect people from harm, not protect ideas from criticism, and our media outlets will no longer have to self-censor themselves.”

For several years, Congress has failed to pass proposed bipartisan resolutions calling for the global repeal of blasphemy laws. “Freedom of expression and religion are fundamental human rights that are the bedrock of any open society,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del, stated upon introduction of this year’s resolution.

FFRF is encouraging supporters to contact their elected representatives and ask them to protect the rights of freethinkers worldwide. Promoting secularism and the right to speak critically of religion is a universal win for freedom of speech and religious liberty.