It's Blasphemy Day. A fact which I'd forgotted.
"What the Hell," some of you might be thinking, "is Blasphemy Day?"
Well, at one level, it's a commemoration of the publication of some cartoons which various people managed to stir up enough outrage over that several Danish embassies were firebombed and over a hundred people lost their lives; and all because said people didn't like the idea that others might not show as much respect as they'd like to a deluded sixth-century self-styled prophet who thought he had conversations with a non-existent god.
At another level, it's an event designed to remind people that:
as of 2014, about a quarter of the world's countries and territories (26%) had anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and that more than one-in-ten (13%) nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy.
In at least fifteen of those countries, judges may award the death penalty for blasphemy.
Think about that. You may, if you happen to have had the bad luck to have been born on a particular patch of the Earth's surface, be sentenced to jail time or killed just for saying, in effect, "I think you're wrong." You can be killed for expressing an unapproved opinion.
And at yet another level, it's a reminder to would-be-theocrats in countries which don't have such laws, that although they might not like someone's stated opinion regarding their invisible friends, that person deserves the same right as they do to hold and express opinions. And please note, I'm not talking just about obvious attempts to silence blasphemy. I'm also talking about what you might call blasphemy laws by the back door; trying to ban the teaching of evolution by natural selection, anti-abortion laws, anti-LGBTQ laws, mis-applied hate-speech laws, laws banning stem cell research. Any laws, in fact, which owe their existence to a belief that one or more fantastical supernatural beings commands us to do or not do this, think or not think that, and say or not say the other. Or doesn't want to have his, her or its feelings hurt by one of us ant-like mortals daring to say nasty things about it, her or him; or maybe—shock! horror!—just not showing enough fawning, knee-bending, kowtowing respect to the all-powerful, immortal, petty-minded, thin-skinned non-existent little cupcake or its prophets.
So here's the thing.
Abraham, if he existed, was a sick fuck who was willing to murder his own son because a voice in his head told him to. This is not a sign of pious goodness. It is a sign that he was, in fact, a sick fuck.
Jesus? Non-existent, dishonest or delusional. Take yer pick. What I can say for sure is that he definitely wasn't the son of a god.
Paul? Mohammed? Deluded or dishonest. Neither of them talked to the creator of the universe, they just thought—or claimed—they did.
Neither Jesus nor Mohammed were prophets. Prophecy is a form of time travel, and thus impossible.
That Paradise, that Heaven, you think you're going to. It doesn't exist.
That Hell you think I'm bound for. It doesn't exist.
And that god they all thought they talked to? He doesn't bloody exist.
And if you don't like that I think that, or if you think I shouldn't be allowed to say that…
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