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Aug 16

Blasphemy!

So, Jesus, Mohammad, and Adolph Hitler were....

No, I am not going to do that. Even I can see the lines before I cross them on occasion.

However, I did start that way for a reason. I could have finished that (if I could have thought of an ending) if I had wanted to do so and nothing would have happened to me. Nothing. Oh I might get some comments, but nothing that would have actually hurt me.

In more places than you might expect, however, blasphemy laws are still on the books and in wide spread use.

Blasphemy: the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.

Of course we understand in the US that one man's blasphemy is another's sacred revelation, or at least we are supposed to understand that. Sometimes I wonder.
So, 90% of Middle Eastern countries have anti-blasphemy laws - not terribly surprising you might say. Nor is the quarter of countries in the Asia-Pacific area, especially once you consider that Afghanistan and Pakistan are in that region.

More surprising are the European countries: Italy, Greece, Malta, Denmark, Poland, Ireland and Turkey. In Denmark the law was renewed in 2015 and about 66% of the country favors it. There it is tied to hate speech and is intended to protect all faiths. In Italy the law punishes those who speak ill of "the Deity" while Greece's make specific reference to "God."

Apparently Malta ended its blasphemy laws in July 2016, so it drops off the list.

In the US some states had and were actively prosecuting blasphemy laws in the early 50s before the Supreme Court struck them all down.

Here is an idea that needs repeating: any religious statement is blasphemy to someone.

Read what that means in:

Pakistan. (you can find dozens from Pakistan)
Nigeria.
Egypt.
Wow. Even Germany.

I could go on and on.

Just remember, if you can tell a joke about someone's beliefs in a public place, you are not being persecuted.

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