I may be a bit late to the party on this one, but I recently found out about Ireland’s passing of a law creating penalties for blasphemy. For a modern democratic nation, this is pretty embarrasing. It’s also a very stupid idea, as others have been quicker than I to point out. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this will encourage hostility not only between religious and non-religious groups, but between different denominations of religions as well. And beyond the immediate (and very valid) concerns over freedom of speech, the inevitable legal wrangling will waste time and money; although perhaps in the end the furore will result in the entire ridiculous section of legal code regarding blasphemy finally being removed.
I’m keen to see the legal response to the deliberate blasphemous statement from Atheist Ireland in protest of this law.