Tomorrow is International Blasphemy Rights Day, a day when we can “show solidarity with those who challenge oppressive laws and social prohibitions against free expression.” It began after Islamic extremists responded with violence after a Danish newspaper published cartoons featuring Muhammad.
The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, whose blood pressure, I can only assume, has never gone down in his life, says the entire day is a farce in an article for CNSNews.com. But not before supporting it for just a moment.
… On paper, [International Blasphemy Rights Day’s] stated goal appears eminently worth defending: it is opposed to laws, such as those in Muslim-run nations, that punish the free speech rights of those who criticize religion.
Oh my goodness, does Donohue agree with atheists about something…?
Of course not.
His appreciation for Blasphemy Rights Day comes to a halt as soon as he realizes criticism of religion includes criticism of Catholicism.
… upon closer examination, it is clear that those who sponsor this event are not friends of liberty: they are rabidly opposed to religion, harboring a special hatred of Catholicism. In short, the whole project is a farce.
What’s his evidence for this “special hatred of Catholicism”? He has none. Because Catholicism is no more unique or valid than any other form of mythology and superstition. It just has more money. But the fact that Secular Humanists have criticized the silly ritual of a wafer literally turning into the body of Jesus, or mocked Jesus at all, is enough for him to side with the censors who seek to oppress free speech.
And then he commits some blasphemy of his own, comparing Richard Dawkins to a KKK leader:
To demonstrate how committed the Center for Inquiry is to hate speech, consider that it will soon be home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. Dawkins is to Catholics what the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is to blacks. A few months ago, he said, “I’m all for offending people’s religion. I think it should be offended at every opportunity.”
Can anyone remind me of the last time Dawkins lynched Catholics or burned one of their churches down? I can’t recall…
Those last sentences say it all, don’t they? Dawkins is for “offending people’s religion,” so Donohue immediately jumps to “HE’S JUST LIKE A KLAN MEMBER!”
How awful does your religion have to be that you immediately go on the attack the moment someone criticizes your beliefs? Donohue is just a sadder, pettier Donald Trump.
As for Blasphemy Rights Day, how you “celebrate” is up to you, but I would encourage everyone to least think about how difficult it is for people in certain countries to criticize popular opinion, whether it’s about religion, politics, or any other issue. Be grateful that you have the freedom to criticize bad ideas however you see fit (even if it’s not one you frequently exercise).
And then, just for good measure, be sure to criticize the Catholic Church. Because every time you mock the Vatican, Bill Donohue breaks a stress ball.
(Screenshot via YouTube)