Laws against blasphemy constitute the ultimate concession by religious people that their god does not exist. I think religious leaders secretly realize that the non-existence of god is such an obvious fact that allowing people to publicly say so might cause the whole religious house of cards to topple, and so they have to resort to legal measures to prevent people from pointing out the absurdity of their beliefs.

But blasphemy laws are not only stupid, they are evil. We currently have the terrible situation of a Pakistani Christian woman who is under a death sentence for blasphemy and two days ago a Pakistan provincial governor was shot to death by his own bodyguard because the governor had opposed this blasphemy law. What is particularly disgusting is that mainstream religious organizations in Pakistan are lauding the murder and militant clerics in Pakistan have been protesting any changes to this barbaric law.

The Islamic countries seem to be the worst perpetrators of this blasphemy evil. What is worse is that they are trying to gain international acceptance for their medieval ideas, using the United Nations as a vehicle. In November 2010, the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee of the 192-member General Assembly voted 76-64 (42 abstentions) in favor of a resolution condemning the ‘vilification of religion’. While this is a smaller margin than last year (81 to 55 with 43 abstentions) and is non-binding, it is still disturbing that so many countries would support it.

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