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Sat May 6, 2017, 03:19 PM

Stephen Fry faces blasphemy probe in Ireland after God comments

Police in the Republic of Ireland have launched an investigation after a viewer claimed comments made by Stephen Fry on a TV show were blasphemous.

Officers are understood to be examining whether the British comedian committed a criminal offence under the Defamation Act when he appeared on RTE in 2015.
...
The Irish Independent reported a member of the public made a complaint to police in Ennis in the same month the programme was broadcast. He was recently contacted by a detective to say they were looking into his complaint.

The viewer was not said to be offended himself but believed Fry's comments qualified as blasphemy under the law, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 25,000 euros (£22,000).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39830447

Mr Fry replied: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It’s not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"
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He added: "Because the god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.
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Atheist Ireland said it welcomed the garda investigation into Mr Fry for blasphemy, saying it "highlights a law that is silly, silencing, and dangerous".
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"If we are prosecuted, we will challenge the constitutionality of the blasphemy law. If we are not prosecuted, it will again highlight the absurdity of this law, which should be repealed immediately. We again call on the Irish Government to honour its commitment to hold a referendum to remove the ban on blasphemy from our Constitution."

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/garda-launch-blasphemy-probe-into-stephen-fry-comments-on-the-meaning-of-life-35684262.html

10 replies, 4870 views

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Reply Stephen Fry faces blasphemy probe in Ireland after God comments (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler May 2017 OP
Cartoonist May 2017 #1
rug May 2017 #2
AtheistCrusader May 2017 #6
rug May 2017 #8
AtheistCrusader May 2017 #9
Warpy May 2017 #3
OnDoutside May 2017 #4
BigOleDummy May 2017 #5
trotsky May 2017 #7
muriel_volestrangler May 2017 #10

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 03:21 PM

1. Ireland, Pakistan

Has the world gone nuts?
No need to answer.

Oh yeah, Colbert here in America.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 03:27 PM

2. Here's the clip.

 



Here's the law.

Defamation Act 2009

36.— (1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if—

(a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and

(b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

(4) In this section “ religion ” does not include an organisation or cult—

(a) the principal object of which is the making of profit, or

(b) that employs oppressive psychological manipulation—

(i) of its followers, or

(ii) for the purpose of gaining new followers.

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2009/act/31/section/36/enacted/en/html#sec36

He has a complete defense under Section 3.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Mon May 8, 2017, 10:37 AM

6. Affirmative defense not needed. The law needs to be repealed. Full stop.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #6)

Mon May 8, 2017, 11:12 AM

8. That's not an affirmative defense.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #8)

Mon May 8, 2017, 12:09 PM

9. Sorry, thought that applied in this case. It does not.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 03:47 PM

3. "The viewer was not said to be offended himself "

Oh, man, isn't that always the case these days? Miss Prunella or Mr. Prunetto get their undies wadded up because they think some other person might be offended by something they've seen or heard, so they start raising hell about it

Meanwhile, the people who are supposed to be offended usually got the joke and wish these people would disappear back into the Puritan woodwork they crawled out of.

Then again, maybe Eire is ready to let go of another piece of Mediaevalism, blasphemy laws. Let the church do its own dirty work and leave the government out of it. After the scandals about the enslavement of young women in launderies, the sale of children on the adoption market, and the priests fucking everything that would hold still long enough, the Irish seem ready o get the church completely out of its government.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sat May 6, 2017, 04:37 PM

4. Only Far Right Brits call Ireland, Eire. I wouldn't worry

about this, Stephen is as much loved in Ireland as he is in the UK. This is only a prompt to get rid of a daft law.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Sun May 7, 2017, 01:49 PM

5. Blasphemy?

BLASPHEMY?!? Really? In this day and age............................. SMH

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon May 8, 2017, 11:09 AM

7. Ireland's blasphemy laws are 'embarrassing' and need to be repealed, Minister Harris

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irelands-blasphemy-laws-are-embarrassing-and-need-to-be-repealed-minister-harris-35691694.html

Ireland’s blasphemy laws are “embarrassing” and need to be repealed, Health Minister Simon Harris has said.

The Minister said actor Stephen Fry should be entitled to express his views on the existence of God without fear of a Garda investigation.

Independent.ie revealed over the weekend that the English actor is under investigation for comments made during a 2015 episode of RTÉ’s ‘The Meaning of Life’.

During the programme, presented by veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne, Mr Fry described God as "capricious", "mean-minded" and "stupid" for allowing so much suffering in the world.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Mon May 8, 2017, 07:25 PM

10. Stephen Fry blasphemy probe dropped after garda fail to find 'substantial number of outraged people

Gardaí have decided not to proceed with a blasphemy investigation against Stephen Fry after they failed to find a large group of people outraged by comments he made on an RTÉ show.

Detectives spoke to the man who made the original report this evening and confirmed they will not be carrying out further enquiries.
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Michael Nugent, Chairperson of Atheist Ireland said the reason for dropping this investigation is "even more dangerous than a prosecution would have been."

"This creates an incentive for people to demonstrate outrage when they see or hear something that they believe is blasphemous.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/stephen-fry-blasphemy-probe-dropped-after-garda-fail-to-find-substantial-number-of-outraged-people-35692915.html

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