Blaspheming in Ireland

…will apparently cost you €25,000.

Irish atheists challenge new blasphemy laws

… The new law, which was passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (£22,000).

It defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted”.

The justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said that the law was necessary because while immigration had brought a growing diversity of religious faiths, the 1936 constitution extended the protection of belief only to Christians. …

Near as I can tell, it’s not a joke. But media coverage, blogs excepted, appears to be nil. At least that’s what a search on Google News suggests.

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