I'm an unapologetic atheist and I see no reason not to be. It is to the credit of the religious tropers on this forum that they're willing to put up with me, and I appreciate it. That we are able to coexist on this forum indicates that some equilibrium has been reached - there's a degree to which people in this community accept criticism/rejection/dismissal of what they consider sacred. That's a sign that everyone here is a well-adjusted adult.
The world is not full of well-adjusted adults. This is why anti-blasphemy laws are a bad idea. They lead to stuff like this
. From the Guardian
A leading Spanish artist faces up to a year in prison after being prosecuted for "offending religious feelings" in relation to a short film he made more than 30 years ago that claimed to show "how to cook Jesus Christ".
Javier Krahe, who has been a popular and provocative figure in Spain for nearly half a century, made the film in 1978 but it was only shown on Spanish TV in 2004 as a backdrop to an interview with its creator. The little-known charge – comparable with but not identical to Britain's blasphemy law, remains part of the penal code despite never having been applied before in Spanish legal history.
Krahe's 54-second film uses the tone of a cooking programme, with chefs advised to remove Jesus' nails and separate him from his crucifix, which should be left to one side. Christ's tiny white body – a small figurine is used – is then shown being washed, lightly smothered in butter, placed on a bed of aromatic herbs in a glass tray and popped into an oven. "One gaunt Christ" is apparently enough to feed two, and when the dish is ready (after three days) it miraculously emerges from the oven without assistance.
There have been two previous failed attempts to prosecute Krahe, who is currently on bail for €192,000 (£153,000). The latest prosecution is the result of a court action by the Catholic legal association the Centro Juridico Tomas Moro.
Or worse, like this
On 10th March, Sanal Edamaruku, President of the Rationalist International, flew to Mumbai. The TV channel TV-9 had invited him to investigate a “miracle” that caused local excitement. He went with the TV team to Irla in Vile Parle to inspect the crucifix standing there in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni. This crucifix had become the centre of attraction for an ever growing crowd of believers coming from far and wide. The news of the miracle spread like wild fire. For some days, there were little droplets of water trickling from Jesus’ feet. Hundreds of people came every day to pray and collect some of the “holy water” in bottles and vessels. Sanal Edamaruku identified the source of the water (a drainage near a washing room) and the mechanism how it reached Jesus feet (capillary action). The local church leaders, present during his investigation, appeared to be displeased. See the investigation in detail on YouTube
Some hours later, in a live program on TV-9, Sanal explained his findings and accused the concerned Catholic Church officials of miracle mongering, as they were beating the big drum for the drippling Jesus statue with aggressive PR measures and by distributing photographs certifying the “miracle”. A heated debate began, in which the five church people, among them Fr. Augustine Palett, the priest of Our Lady of Velankanni church, and representatives of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) demanded that Sanal apologize. But Sanal refused and argued against them. [The whole TV program is recorded. You can watch an abridged version of it on YouTube
When they saw Sanal refused to bow to their demands, they threatened to file a blasphemy case against him. And they did.
Yesterday (10th April,2012) Sanal received a phone call from a Police official of Juhu Police Station in Mumbai directing him to come to the said police station to face the charges and get arrested. He also said that FI Rs
have also been filed in Andheri and some other police stations u/s 295 of Indian Penal Code on the allegations of hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community. Mumbai police has announced that they were out to arrest him. It is apprehended that he can be arrested any moment.
I remember cringing when news of recent anti-blasphemy legislation passing in India showed up on the internet. My cringes were sadly well founded.
What should be protected from criticism or mockery by law? I would posit nothing deserves that privilege, lest we have people getting arrested for pointing out water is water.