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Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy 1376

Posted by samzenpus
from the who-wants-a-flogging dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Another European country clamps down on free speech. From the article: 'It does seem bizarre that, in 2009, a modern European nation would seek to shield religious belief from criticism — yet that is what is happening in Ireland right now. In repealing the 1961 Defamation Act, the Irish government sought to expunge the worst excesses of Ireland's draconian laws restricting free speech, but in the process it has ended up making offending religious belief a criminal offence. Aside from a 25,000 fine (reduced from the 100,000 originally sought by the government), the new Defamation Act gives the authorities the power to stage raids on publishers: the courts may now issue a warrant authorising the police to enter, using "reasonable force," premises where they have grounds for believing there are copies of "blasphemous statements."'"

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Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy

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  • by LeneJ (190881) on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:42AM (#28757675)

    Ireland is a Catholic country. They are to some degree, still very strict. It's the only European country that has a law against abortion (on religious ground), I believe. The nurses and doctors are not allowed to give information about abortion, even, and England has an influx of Irish girls going over to get an abortion, despite the risk of going to jail.

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:44AM (#28757707) Homepage Journal

    In fact, per TFA, the Church has nothing to do with it. Rather, it's the Big Brother socialist control freak segment of the political class.

    The article makes many excellent points. Read it, even if doing so is against *your* religion.

  • As a Christian...... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:46AM (#28757731)
    I find laws like this incredibly offensive, but my second biggest problem (other than the law itself) is those so mentally weak as to blame religion for it. Did you miss the part where the government was seeking fines of 100k? Stuff like this is just a money grab. Some minor sect of the populous agrees with it, it becomes law, and the one entity responsible for it, the government rarely gets the blame.
  • by buddyglass (925859) on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:55AM (#28757909)

    From the article, which is just one journalist's opinion:

    while the Catholic Church grumbles about a decline in spiritual values it has not actually demanded this law, nor are there many votes to be picked up on a âCatholic Irelandâ(TM) ticket. Even the other usual suspects, the âmad mullahsâ(TM) of Islam, are notable by their absence from the debate. Put simply, the religious lobby is not behind the move to criminalise blasphemy.

    Dawkins appears to have misunderstood the nature of the proposed legislation. The reintroduction of blasphemy as an offence isnâ(TM)t evidence of Ireland backsliding into traditional religious superstition â" in fact, it shows just how up-to-date Ireland is when it comes to contemporary conceits.

    In fact, the new law is a very modern phenomenon. Rather than harking back to the days of God-fearing, or at least priest-fearing, Ireland, the blasphemy law has more in common with contemporary politically correct measures of social control.

  • Re:Nobody expects... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:58AM (#28757971)

    Norway used to have this law. Life of Brian was actually banned when it came out.

  • by ionix5891 (1228718) on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:59AM (#28757973)

    It's like watching V for Vendetta in real life. 0.o

    it gets worse

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/all-email-text-and-phone-records-to-be-kept-for-2-years-1820026.html [independent.ie]

    The records of every email, text and phone call will soon be kept to facilitate criminal investigations.

    New laws will be published today obliging internet service providers to store data of email and website activity for a year.

    All phone and text traffic from everyone in the country will also be stored for a two-year period.

    The GardaÃ, the army and the Revenue Commissioners can access the information as part of investigations into serious crime.

    Justice Minister Dermot Ahern says it will be well monitored.

    âoeItâ(TM)s very important that the police are able to insist that the data be retained by the Internet companies so that they can prove cases against these people who peddle child porn,â Mr Ahern told RTE radio today as he published the Communications (Retention of Data) Bill.

    The Bill implements an EU directive which brings Ireland into line with other EU member states.

  • by Doug52392 (1094585) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:03PM (#28758033)
    Ironically, blasphemy has been illegal where I live (Massachusetts) for hundreds of years. M.G.L: Chapter 272: Section 36. Blasphemy [mass.gov]

    Chapter 272: Section 36. Blasphemy Section 36. Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.

    It's one of those old laws that's been in the books for years, but never removed. Someone could still be arrested and charged with blasphemy in Massachusetts (although that would probably cause a shitstorm of controversy these days), but the last time that happened was in 1838 [wikipedia.org].

  • by Selfbain (624722) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:04PM (#28758059)
    He was portrayed on a previous episode of the show however and there was no uproar until the danish cartoon thing happened.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Best_Friends [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:god dammit (Score:4, Informative)

    by john83 (923470) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:04PM (#28758063)

    The literal translation is "The Soldiers of Destiny".

    As an Irish man, may I just say this: fuck religion, and all its works.

  • by oliderid (710055) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:06PM (#28758087) Journal

    ...Big Brother socialist

    Lol...Socialists banning blasphemy? Do you seriously expect to be taken seriously?
    Does "Religion is the opium of the people" ring any bell?

    The Church has nothing to do and that's true. It is simply well known that the Irish society is "very" traditional (divorce was only introduced in the 90's). The leading party of the Irish government is Fianna FÃil. A liberal party. The rest of the coalition is composed by a green party and independents. There is no socialist party in the coalition AFAIK. Stop using Socialism like a buzzword to describe any political event in Europe. It is simply ridiculous.

  • by Xocet_00 (635069) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:07PM (#28758097)
    Canadian Laws regarding "hate speech" have to do with inciting others to violence against any distinct group of people, whether they be gays, muslims or WASPs. Criticism in and of itself is not prohibited. For example:

    "Go forth and kill all Pastafarians." This is iIllegal in both Canada and Ireland.

    "All Pastafarians are idiots." This is legal in Canada, but illegal in Ireland.

    IANAL and all that, but so far as I understand it, it is legal to criticize religious (or whatever) groups in Canada, but not legal to incite others to commit violence against them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:11PM (#28758169)

    Paragraph 166 StGB (translated): [gesetze-im-internet.de] Whosoever publicly or through dissemination of written materials (section 11 (3)) defames the religion or ideology of others in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than three years or a fine. Whosoever publicly or through dissemination of written materials (section 11 (3)) defames a church or other religious or ideological association within Germany, or their institutions or customs in a manner that is capable of disturbing the public peace, shall incur the same penalty.

    More blasphemy laws at Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org]

  • Complaints here (Score:3, Informative)

    by funkatron (912521) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:14PM (#28758237)
    If this bothers you try contacting the office of the Taoiseach [taoiseach.gov.ie] (seems to be like a prime minister). I've already sent a message saying that I don't want to be in the same EU a country that thinks this law is a good idea.
  • by Absolut187 (816431) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:27PM (#28758475) Homepage

    Mo-titty-fucking-hammed?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:33PM (#28758575)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noahidism

    "Presidential Proclamation 5956"

    Notice this is in line with what George H. W. Bush signed into law during 1989 in the USA.

    I'd also like to clarify the definition of blasphemy; so what's in a name? Way back when, Mr. Smith would have been a blacksmith. A person's name was their way, what they did, a relation to their character. Therefore attributing things to God's name which are not of God's way is the orthodox definition of blasphemy, not offending another person's views on God.

  • by eddy the lip (20794) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:45PM (#28758763)

    Go look at Canada's laws. It's pretty much against the law to say anything bad about homosexuality up there, from what I understand from some Canadian friends that I have.

    That sounds like a slight misinterpretation to me. According to Seciton 319 of the Criminal Code:

    Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    In other words (as far as I understand it) "God condemns homosexuality", or even "I hate queers" likely won't get you prosecuted, but "We should be stoning fags" would. The key parts are that the statements must be public and be likely to disturb the peace.

    The new Irish law targets blasphemy, which (according to the Irish Times [irishtimes.com]) is defined as

    ...matter "that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage."

    So the Canadian law is about attempting to incite action against any identifiable group, the Irish blasphemy law is criminalizing saying things religious organizations find offensive. I think this is a significant difference, both in terms of what is illegal (an attempt to incite harm versus "outraging" someone) and in terms of who is protected (any identifiable group versus religious organizations.)

  • by Kjella (173770) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:48PM (#28758847) Homepage

    The Bill implements an EU directive which brings Ireland into line with other EU member states.

    Meh, I recognize the bill. They're implementing it to the maximum extent possible, the minimum is six months which promises well for most of the other optional stuff. Many european countries are struggling with getting this bill through the national legal process.

  • by OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:49PM (#28758855)
    Through out our live we've all been told and live under the illusion that we all have the right to free speech but that is not the case. Free speech does not mean you can freely speak your mind but rather what your government consider appropriate. I've once heard someone quoting "freedom of speech is only free if you are willing to fight for it everyday"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @12:53PM (#28758939)
    Are you indecisive about ghosts, werewolves, vampires, witches, mole people, Santa Claus and Elvis Presley too? Sorry dude, some things are just so ridiculous that they don't even merit consideration for being real. "God" is one of those things.
  • by HappySmileMan (1088123) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:06PM (#28759159)

    My family background is Scots-Irish, so that means we got kicked out of two perfectly good countries (including, ironically, Ireland) because our particular brand of "Bible-thumping" wasn't compatible with what others believed in.

    Actually Ireland was part of Great Britain until 1922, so really it was British law kicking them out of both countries, when they left one they shouldn't have gone to somewhere else in Great Britain for that reason.
    The Irish weren't immune to this nor were they the ones carrying it out, in fact there were many priests imprisoned or executed for teaching catholicism (and the Irish language).

  • by JerryLove (1158461) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:12PM (#28759255)

    The terms confused me for a long time, but the dictionaries are pretty consistent.

    An Agnostic doesn't believe in God.
    An Atheist believes in a lack of a God.

    This puts the Atheist in the same boat as the theist: with a belief that lacks any evidence.

    But most people who say they are Atheist are actually Agnostic and are just not using the standard English definitions.

  • by Jumperalex (185007) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:17PM (#28759355)

    Its funny this is coming up now as I was recently thiking along these lines recently.

    I am PHILOSOPHICALLY agnostic because I do believe that it is unknowable / there is little chance we will ever prove one way or the other. In fact I feel that it is just as arrogant to say there IS NO god as it is to say there IS a god.

    I am IN PRACTICE an Athiest because I choose to blieve there is/are no supreme being(s). I also believe that even if there is some form of a creator, diety, etc that I have no need to worship them and that they have no concern with how I actually live my day to day life. It is almost the Stargate maxim that any "higher being" / creator is simply one that is more evolved and not neccesarily worthy of worship.

    A person could just as easily reason like an agnostic but choose to believe that there is in fact some diety out there. I don't see any inherent hypocricy in that situation.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:17PM (#28759359) Journal

    Opium of the masses is a COMMUNIST stance.

    Mind you, I think I should translate english to american for you:

    Capatalist: Someone who does NOT pay taxes on 1+ million dollar salaries but expect the goverment to give them a social security check, oops sorry, bailout when they screw up.

    Socialist: Someone who pays their illegal a wage that is enough to avoid immidiate starvation with 120 hours work per week.

    Pinko: Someone who dares to suggest that for people who work a normal job making a normal salery without ever having a real chance to become superrich, it is kinda silly to worry about the tax rate for the superrich. Or indeed, to ask why any who already has more money they can ever spend to worry about a small increase on their taxes. Gosh someone with a million+ dollar income is going to go in the poor house from a 10$ increase.

    Radical: Someone who dares to ask why you can't say fuck, show a titty or teach kids about safe sex, but everyone should be allowed to carry a machine gun and see torture morders on tv.

    Commie: Someone who think thats paying taxes to the goverment is just like paying someone for services rendered and that you should worry less about how much you pay in taxes and more about what you actually get as a society for said taxes.

  • by Medgur (172679) on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:22PM (#28759451) Homepage
    You have it correct.

    There's been a few cases surrounding this now that have developed some interesting precedent. IANAL, but IIRC there was a fairly high-profile early case of a holocaust denier who managed to evade the consequences of our hate speech laws until he stupidly called for violence against Jews. Likewise, in Richmond and Surrey there were a few Imams calling for violence against Jews and Christians in Canada who came under criminal charges as a result.

    But in each case it was quite clear that their offense was directly inciting others to commit violence. Saying things like "We'd be better off without " or "All should die" is ok, as long as you don't say "Go forth and be violent against ".

    Where it gets tricky is in the act of random violence. In Vancouver and recently Courtney there have been random beatings against Blacks, Homosexuals, and Sikhs which have been hard to pin down as "Hate Crimes". From what I understand it requires that a witness can verify that in some way the aggressors targeted the individual because of race/sexuality. It seems like this is very, very hard to do. Even with video showing a group beat-down and witnesses verifying racial-motivated threats and slurs.
  • by lenester (625236) <tanuki@gmail.com> on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:34PM (#28759681)

    "I believe it's unknowable whether there's a god or not"

    This is the proper definition, as put forth by...

    The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis" — had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.

    - Thomas Huxley. Y'know, the guy who invented the fucking word. ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:38PM (#28759735)

    So in other words, we are all blissfully unaware of whether or not our universe has a rootkit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:44PM (#28759825)

    IANAL and all that, but so far as I understand it, it is legal to criticize religious (or whatever) groups in Canada, but not legal to incite others to commit violence against them.

    This is false.

    In Canada [hol.com], publication of verses of the bible to promote a religious view (however repugnant) is hate speech.

    For the tl;dr group, this is illegal in Canada:

    The bumper sticker in the advertisement displayed references to four Bible passages: Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, on the left side of the sticker. An equal sign (=) was situated in the middle of the sticker, with a symbol on the right side of the sticker. The symbol on the right side was comprised of two males holding hands with the universal symbol of a red circle with a diagonal bar superimposed over top.

    This is clearly promotion of an opinion (an opinion that is hate of another group), it is CLEARLY not inciting violence.

    Canada's hate speech laws specifically outlaw not "inciting violence" but rather "inciting public hatred", which is what that bumper sticker encouraged.

    Whether the law is just or not, I don't know. But we need to get it right.

    Here's the law [justice.gc.ca] itself.

    318 outlaws promotion of genocide.
    319 outlaws promotion of hatred.
    320 permits permanent government seizure, and disposal of anything that violates 318 and 319.

    There are probably laws against inciting violence/riots (in general), but they aren't under this part of the Criminal Code.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 20, 2009 @01:46PM (#28759845)

    Good lord! You're on the Internet. Google it!

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Ghandi :)

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Informative)

    by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Monday July 20, 2009 @02:15PM (#28760299) Homepage

    David Hume, an early Anglo philosopher put it simply that the idea of cause-and-effect necessitates determinism, so free will (reacting to something according to your past experience) is actually determinism.

    I am not claiming anything about free will, but do note that there are events without any apparent causes (vacuum particles, atomic decay at the very least). And it does look like there really is no cause, though I am certainly no expert.

  • by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday July 20, 2009 @02:15PM (#28760309)
    Muahaha, Fianna Fail, socialist. They're a lot closer to Slashdot libertarians than any flavour of socialism. Also, stop using the word socialism, it doesn't mean what you or Glenn Beck think it does. Actually it doesn't mean much without a context, it's very much an umbrella term.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday July 20, 2009 @02:35PM (#28760551)

    Your free speech is not protected if your speech is telling your underling to go shoot the shopkeeper who wouldn't pay up. Your free speech does not trump another person's right to not be threatened or even give you the right to slander or libel or falsely advertise or commit fraud.

    Wrong. You have the right to free speech in all of these cases. However, you are responsible for the effects of your speech in all of them. You can yell "fire" all you want, but because this compromises safety, it will land you in jail.

    When you go to jail for doing something, that something is not something you have the legal right to do. By your argument you have the right to murder, but are responsible for the consequences and will go to jail for murdering irresponsibly. I'm not even going to bother reading the rest of your ill thought out ideas.

  • by wasabii (693236) on Monday July 20, 2009 @02:46PM (#28760687)
    This is silly. An atheist is somebody who does not believe in God. Period. Atheist. Not a theist. Theist with an a in front of it. It's not that hard. Is there a God? A) Yes. B) I don't know. C) No. A) is a theist. B) and C) are both not theists, therefor, atheists. Agnostic is a seperate and overlaying word. No knowledge. Most people without knowledge answer B). That makes them an atheist and agnostic, at the same time.
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Informative)

    by ultramk (470198) <ultramk@pacbe l l . net> on Monday July 20, 2009 @04:13PM (#28762075)

    Sorry, but you're the one who can't seem to understand that you're stretching and defining the category of religionist to suit yourself, which is precisely the point of the fallacy.

    When presented with an example of a religionist who contradicts your ideal example, you quickly and conveniently redefine the boundaries of who is and who is not a religionist. This is precisely what the fallacy is about.

    It has nothing to do with the boolean nature of being a Scotsman. (Which really is not so clear-cut after all: I know plenty of self-identified Italians who have never been to Europe, and have met a few self-identified Pakistanis born in Scotland.)

    As for tolerance: I refuse to tolerate the intolerance of others. Sue me.

  • by E++99 (880734) on Monday July 20, 2009 @07:58PM (#28764449) Homepage

    Sorry, that's not how etymology works.

    It's not a-(the-ism) -- lacking the doctrine of God.
    It's (a-the)-ism -- the doctrine of no God.

    Just like it's not a-(gnostic-ism) -- lacking the doctrine of knowledge.
    It's (a-gnostic)-ism -- the doctrine of no knowledge.

    Just like it's not a-(narch-ism) -- lacking the doctrine of a ruler.
    It's (a-narch)-ism -- the doctrine of no ruler.

    Just like it's not a-(cosm-ism) -- lacking a doctrine of the universe.
    It's (a-cosm)-ism -- the doctrine of no universe.

    Just like it's not anthropo-(morph-ism) -- the human doctrine of form.
    It's (anthropo-morph)-ism -- the doctrine of human form.

  • by E++99 (880734) on Monday July 20, 2009 @09:49PM (#28765261) Homepage

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

    The Constitution requires a blasphemy law, so they call it a blasphemy law. But it is not a blasphemy law. It is a law against intentionally causing widespread religious outrage. Well, isn't intentionally causing widespread religious outrage in Ireland is tantamount to inciting violence? Seems like a reasonable restriction to me. When a behavior has no potential benefit and significant potential harm, I believe that a condition where it is reasonable to outlaw the behavior. And I don't believe there is ever potential benefit in intentionally causing widespread religious outrage. That would always be an act of malice. And it would often have a significant potential for public harm.

    That said, I seriously doubt it's a necessary law. The one act that I can think of that ever would have violated it was the Danish Muhammad cartoons. Someone decided to intentionally outrage the entire Muslim community just to show that they could. Did it convince Muslims that they should chill out a bit? No. It deepened the rifts that divide us all as human beings, and it lead to over 100 deaths. I do not find it a morally justifiable act, and I have no problem with it being prohibited. The valid principle of free speech -- which I would give my life to defend -- is not the freedom to incite. It is the freedom to communicate ideas. If the same cartoons caused the same outrage but were made in an effort to critique the state of Islam, rather than an intentional effort to incite, then that would be a matter of free speech that should always be protected.

    Even in America, intentionally inciting to imminent violence or other unlawful action is illegal, and not protected by the 1st Amendment. Intentionally causing widespread religious outrage is a step back from that, but I think a rather small one. There have been several times in American history where we've had tighter constraints on speech than that.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Monday July 20, 2009 @11:30PM (#28765909) Homepage Journal

    That is what is good about the US constitution,

    In Europe, it is increasingly becoming accepted that people have a right not to be offended. In addition it is thought that religious belief is a matter of belonging to a community rather than an acceptance of certain facts, so it become a type ethnicity - and ceases to be a matter of debate.

    It is already very widespread - British broadcasters cannot offend any religion - so Christians cannot say (on air) that they think Satanism is bad.

    Now most people who are actually religious, would rather religion is a matter of debate - we want people to accept a belief, rather than belong to a club, and (in general at least) you cannot really believe without questioning and thinking, which open debate helps

    The people who want this law are like a so-called Muslim I once met who said he would kill Salman Rushidie given a chance, but who said he never prayed (prayer is a serious obligation in Islam). He did not really believe there was a God (or he did not care), he was only upset that because he perceived his tribe as being insulted - a bit like an American getting upset about their flag being burned.

    This is also, of a piece with attitudes in countries that penalise people who choose a different religion from their parents - Malaysia and some Indian states have moved in that direction recently, for example, and there are lobby groups in Sri Lanka for anti-conversion laws. If it a matter of belonging, someone who opts out is a traitor.

    Incidentally, I am a British-Sri Lankan Christian (officially a Catholic, although I believe that denominations do not matter), I was agnostic for many years, and my wife is an Anglican who used to be a Buddhist. I am also obviously a member of an ethnic minority in both countries.

    My children will be taught about Christianity, but they will also be taught that it is dishonest to believe anything other than what your reasoning and experience lead you to. I am also opposed to laws that restrict racist speech (except when it is a direct incitement to violence).

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @03:46AM (#28767121)

    If atheism is the default position, why are there so many people who believe in some sort of supreme being?

    The current thinking is that it's an artifact of our evolutionary wiring as participants in a tribal or pack-oriented society. We seek out and follow our Gods for the same reason that wolves follow their alpha leaders.

    Functional MRI studies have reinforced this notion by suggesting that there's a physical locus for what the Christians call agape. So much for "free will," huh?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @05:40AM (#28767681)

    Actually Doctors and nurses may give information on abortion. Usually about the risks involved. They information must be requested though. Doctors and Nurses can't volunteer it. They may also inform them of the location of any abortion clinics they consider reputable in other contries, just like anyone else can. There is no prison risk for having an abortion abroad (that I know of), however a few decades ago authorities could actually stop women from traveling if they we're SUSPECTED of traveling to get an abortion. Contraceptives we're also illegal at this time.

  • Re:Obligatory (Score:2, Informative)

    by amoe (550586) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @07:48AM (#28768503) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor's_New_Mind [wikipedia.org] Be aware of this, at least...
  • by farmerj (566229) on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @10:41AM (#28770577)
    Most of that information is totally incorrect.

    Ireland is a Catholic country. They are to some degree, still very strict. It's the only European country that has a law against abortion (on religious ground), I believe.

    Here [wikipedia.org] is a Wikipedia article on abortion law around the world. There are many countries in Europe that have restricted access to abortion.
    The wikipeida article on Abortion in Ireland [wikipedia.org] has a good summary of the history and the current status of abortion in Ireland.

    The nurses and doctors are not allowed to give information about abortion, even, and England has an influx of Irish girls going over to get an abortion, despite the risk of going to jail.

    Abortion is illegal in Ireland (and also for the most part in Northern Ireland [wikipedia.org] as well.)
    It has never been illegal to provide medical care to a women which would cause an indirect abortion.

    There was also a constitutional referendum in 1993 which guaranteed the right to travel and the right to information.
    It is not illegal to provide information about abortion in Ireland.
    It is not illegal to travel to another jurisdiction for the purposes of getting an abortion.
    It is not illegal to have an abortion in another jurisdiction.

  • by notrandomly (1242142) on Wednesday July 22, 2009 @02:37AM (#28779079)
    Funny you should mention W.L. Craig, as he is a disgusting liar, and uses the worst red herrings, straw men and ad hominems when debating Atheists. He is truly an offensive bastard.

    Going after Christians when they are being assholes is not a problem at all.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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