Following the referendum on blasphemy in the Republic of Ireland, David Smyth takes a satirical look at the concept in its latest incarnation…
Ireland voted on Friday in a constitutional referendum to remove blasphemy laws from the constitution by almost 65% to 35%.
Being criminalised for transgressing a fairy-tale doctrine that you don’t believe in…of course that should never happen in modern and progressive 2018, should it?
The difficulty though, is when religious blasphemies are just replaced with secular ones.
Modern secularism is extremely religious. There are the sacred texts of equality and human rights legislation containing sacred commandments. These are decreed at sacred committees by the secular high priests of our age.
The Spirit of social media helps to intersectionally impart these higher laws and values to us. It mysteriously moves or removes certain causes and people, through the dark powers of the tech giants who know us better than we know ourselves.
A privileged few have been ‘woke’, born again and brought to life by the spirit of this age, evangelically sharing their new gospel.
Part of the new crusade to re-colonise this dark and ignorant world. The new enlightenment.
Christians believe in a God who created the world into life through words. They also recognise that words are powerful things, capable of great kindness but abused all too easily towards selfish and destructive ends. One day God will judge justly our blasphemies of word and deed. They say there is still time to repent and enter the new Kingdom.
But now that Christianity has been dismissed, we have got rid of shame, stigma and judging others, haven’t we?
The brave new world is much more inclusive and tolerant.
That is until you disagree – bigot - or worse commit the crime of secular blasphemy.
You don’t believe a man can become a woman? – blasphemy.
You don’t think women should be able to abort healthy unborn babies as a matter of course? – blasphemy.
You disagree with me? I’m offended and feel unsafe – heretic.
Cue ex-communication and public condemnation; it’s witch-hunting season. Big brother and his speech vigilantes are watching.
Today fundamentalist Pharisees wear their own virtue for all to see in the online marketplace.
Maybe you won’t be criminalised just yet for your blasphemous hate speech, but if in doubt - say nothing. Throw away the key because redemption is not the end of the secular story.
Whisper your heresies and pray your secular sins do not find you out.