The Great Courses

International Blasphemy Day

Sep 30, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. Some don't like the provocative nature of it, but personally, I find it liberating to declare, publicly, that ideas and claims aren't guaranteed respect simply because 1) someone holds it dear and/or 2) it's part of a "sacred" religion.

blasphemy day

Think about blasphemy in the Christian context, as it's the one sin God will not forgive. Ever. 

“I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.” — Mark 3:28-29

Rape isn't an unforgivable sin. The abuse of a child isn't unforgivable. The torture of living things. Beheading. Genocide. Blood and betrayal and oppression and torment and pain toward another. These can be wiped clean with a simple prayer of penitence. But say something about the godhood that prickles against Yahweh's tissue-thin ego, and you're damned and destined for Hell. 

It's obvious (to most of us) that the warnings about blasphemy were and are merely an attempt to quiet the voices of challenge and dissent under threat of pain, and to insulate broad and unsubstantiated claims from examination, criticism and ridicule. 

jesus on a cross swing

Blasphemy is terrifying to those who clutch so tightly to dogma, power and control. And it reveals the monumental insecurities within those who fear it. They face a weapon more powerful than any made of metal: an idea.

To me, today isn't just a day for ridicule (although there's plenty of room for that). It's a day when free people tap dance on the religious icons which once controlled them. 

For that matter, for the freethinker, every day is that day.  

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