I have been on the wrong side of the gavel in ecclesiastical edicts determined by false charges and I have seen the devastating wicked power which can occur at the hands of religious leaders.
To most people these things are a fantastic possibility - like tilting at windmills, or yelling at monsters under the bed at night - few people in the western world live under any serious ecclesiastical threat. The few of us who have experienced it, even under its greatly diminished power compared to medieval times, understand its dark under belly.
In the Muslim world, and in the superstitious boundaries of a highly charged animist Africa people are loosing their lives. Muslim reformers are being imprisoned and murdered. Women and children are being tortured and thrown out on the streets as accused witches.
Enter stage left the Atheist Ireland response to the recently enacted blasphemy law in Ireland. Their 25 blasphemies, which they posted online the day the law went into effect look like a sophomoric publicity stunt in comparison to the people whose lives are on the line in a real life situations.
The response by Irish authorities to the 25 blasphemies has been next to nil. I will be completely surprised if this ends up amounting to anything more than a group of people shouting obscenities at one another to get attention, and finding like a group of junior high kids standing on a street corner trying out their four letter words that no one was listening to them anyway.
Many of the atheists responding to the blasphemy law have been intelligent, well spoken, and considerate people. I have a number of atheist friends whom I count among people I trust most in this world, but for the crude and abusive ranters I have no respect.
Step aside little kids! Let the people who have the scars from the battle fight the war. We are the ones who know where the battle lines are really drawn, and understand what the real dangers of religious power look like. I think the Irish blasphemy law is really what designers say it is: made to make prosecution nearly impossible. It is a toothless lion. All the four letter words in the world can only bring up an indecency charge, and that quite frankly might be worth slapping a few nasty little boys with.