During my morning perusal of all things CNN, my eye was caught by this headline:

Irish atheists use Bjork, Mark Twain to challenge blasphemy law

Interest peeked, I read the article (which had surprisingly few grammatical errors for CNN.com, believe it or not. New Year's resolution?) which is all about a new blasphemy law passed in Ireland this past summer that went into effect yesterday.


While I understand the intent of the law is probably to try to foster some sort of respect for world religions (and to avoid a Mohammad-misstep a la Denmark a year or two back), I am, once again, dumbfounded as to just how any modern government can ignore pretty much all historical evidence that demonstrates that these types of laws are pretty much a waste of paper. You can't tell people they can't say something. Well, o.k., you can tell them they can't say something, otherwise I'd be hypocritical, but you can't legislate it. Not unless you are Hitler, or Stalin, or some other megalomaniacal guy, and even then you have to have a ridiculously large secret police to help you listen in on everyone's conversations, and have you tried to understand the Irish when they get talking? Especially after a couple of pints? No. Freakin'. Way. Not
happening.


So, I agree with this atheist group's point:

Blasphemy laws are unjust: They silence people in order to protect ideas. In a civilized society, people have a right to to express and to hear ideas about religion even if other people find those ideas to be outrageous.

But I still had to giggle when I read that their tactics included publishing blasphemous quotations that "...include the words of Jesus, Mohammed, Mark Twain, Salman Rushdie and Bjork."

Bjork? Seriously?

I get you want to focus on artists, since art of the law says defendants can site " literary, artistic, political, scientific or academic value in what they said or published," but Bjork? Of all the artists in the history of the world you could have used to make your point? You choose Bjork?


Would you want this woman on the stand defending you?

We're not talking The Jedi Council people. We're talking a real trial.


Note to self: If ever arrested for blasphemy in Ireland, do not call Atheist Ireland to for help. There is not telling who they may hire to mount your defense. I hear Leonard Nimoy may be available between guest spots on Fringe: