Theologian welcomes Blasphemy ban
Kevin Hargaden, an ordinand with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, is the social justice theologian for the Jesuit centre for Faith and Justice in Gardiner street. He says the Christian everywhere should welcome the ban on blasphemy. He also wrote extensively about Blasphemy before and after the referendum.
Attention to the law kicked off in a 2015 interview for a show titled “The Meaning of Life,” when British comedian Stephen Fry defended his public atheism by questioning what kind of God would create a world where bone cancer afflicted children. His comments about “capricious, mean-minded, stupid God” were reported to police as blasphemous. The investigation that followed was brief but widely covered in the press. The police could not find large groups of people who were outraged and Mr. Fry himself later confessed that the complainant had made contact with him and that he was a secularist activist seeking to draw attention to the absurdity of the law.
Hardaden argues that the protection of blasphemy is far from the minds of most Christians – hasn’t been the topic of any Papal discussions or encyclicals and the most Churches agreed with the removal of the law. He has written that “the cultural gap between the concerns of real, actual religious people and the conversations about religion in Ireland is perhaps the most fascinating angle of all.”
In this piece he explores some of those ideas as well as looking at how removing any legal reference to blasphemy is progressive but how have a better understanding of blasphemy as misrepresenting truths about God in order to serve your own needs is also important – as the goal the Christian is always to seek the truth.
Pat Coyle began by asking him what his reaction to the result was.