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Posts Tagged ‘christ’

Gratuitous Blasphemy

Posted by Martin Poulter on 19 May 2008

On 8 May something happened in UK law that needs celebrating: the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were abolished. Although they were hardly used in recent decades, these made it a crime to offend the beliefs and doctrines of the Church of England.

Politicians including Jack Straw had remarked on the absurdity of legal protections for one faith in a multi-cultural society, and one solution that was discussed was extending the law to cover other religions. Taken to its conclusion, this would have criminalised defecating towards Mecca (blasphemous in Islam). Fortunately, sanity has prevailed.

I’ve thought about how to celebrate this event and, since the effect of censorship laws is usually to restrict our access to art, here’s the poem “The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name” (in tribute to the public figures including Iain Banks, Ludovic Kennedy, Claire Rayner and Philip Pullman who protested against the blasphemy law). I couldn’t find the banned film “Visions of Ecstasy” online, but Google Video offers this film student’s animated tribute.

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