Against Intimidation = For Blasphemy

Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, a Catholic, had this testimony to offer in regard to the attempt by Irish conservatives to preserve and extend their country’s prohibition of blasphemy:

blasphemy law quote“There is a growing consensus within the human rights community that we have to move away from anti-blasphemy laws which, as countless examples demonstrate, generally have intimidating effects on religious belief minorities, dissenters, converts and others.”

Bielefeldt’s comment identifies what anti-blasphemy laws are really about: They’re designed to intimidate cultural minorities. They aim to place the majority religion in a special protected status, where it can never be questioned, no matter what it does to violate the freedoms and dignity of minorities.

Laws against blasphemy aren’t about valuing what’s sacred. They’re about the consolidation of political power, using religious fervor as a tool of suppression.