Hey, you wanna know what Saudi Arabia and Canada has in common?
Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a religious satire that was controversial for its time, drawing accusations of blasphemy.
In 1980, an Anglican vicar laid a blasphemous libel charge after an Ontario theatre showed the film.
That was the last time that law was used but it still remains part of Canada’s criminal code carrying a maximum punishment of two years in prison.
1980 isn’t that old, considering the egregious human rights violations that blasphemy laws represent. It is nonetheless unsettling to have any blasphemy law on the books at all, even if it is obsolete and “not enforced” these days, because it gives churches the wrong idea that their faith is an untouchable conversation. I probably don’t have to tell you why atheists bristle at this idea.
Here’s the good news:
[Ian Bushfield] wants the federal government to repeal the blasphemy law, and to raise awareness, he introduced a proclamation to Victoria City Council to make September 30th, this Friday, International Blasphemy Rights Day.
“This is a big opportunity for Canada to stand up for freedom of speech. I don’t think right now there’s a risk of anyone being charged under the blasphemy law but it’s still in the books.”
Two city councillors voted against creating International Blasphemy Rights Day, the rest voted in favour.
“You should be able to be subject to free thought and express your opinions that may offend others but as long as you do it thoughtfully, carefully and in a non-threatening way that’s ok,” said councillor Chris Coleman who voted in favour.
Blasphemy Day is now officially recognized in Victoria, which is certainly a start. But it really is a law that needs to be struck from the books, and pronto.
Fuck the Pope.
Fuck the Clerics.
Fuck the Baptists, in general.
“Religious sensibilities” is an oxymoron.
“Religious education” is an oxymoron.
Faith is not a virtue.