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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Blasphemy Day! Three blasphemes, and (more important) the reasons behind them

Today, September 30 most non-believers and intelligent people in general celebrates the International Blasphemy Day. Congratulations to everyone

The reason why it is celebrated today is to commemorate the publication of the Mohammed cartoons and the violent reaction it inspired in the prophet’s followers. Great example of a “religion of peace.”

My perception about blasphemy is not saying something offensive to religion just to piss believers of. I think that is kind of dickish and unnecessary, and doesn’t contribute to the dialogue and will not convert anyone. Of course, whoever wants to do it has the freedom to do so, I won’t stop them. My interest for blasphemy when any material that offers legitimate criticism can be considered blasphemy and thus, prohibited. Like this:

This is the best-known Mohammed cartoon. Is it offensive? Maybe. But there is something behind it, Cartoons, especially political newspaper cartoons have a background an focus on an issue that needs to be criticized. In this case, the violence associated to Islam, represented by the prophet Mohammed.

And what is it that Muslims around the world do? Riot and destroy property, thus confirming the criticism in the cartoon.

Another way to see the problem is when science determines something that goes against what religion has been telling us for years, then being considered blasphemy by the believers who see their cherished myths debunked. A great example is Stephen Hawking.

His words were certainly controversial, and many would love to see them censored for being “offensive” to their beliefs. In other words, blasphemous.

So, here we have two kinds of blasphemes that must be protected in order to ensure a society where freedom of expression primes: Legitimate criticism and the freedom to publish scientific findings that go against religious dogmas.

So, with this in mind, I bring you three blasphemous videos, but with a message that is worth considering.

1. God Will Fuck You Up

The title is a little bit shocking, which made me lose interest at first. But then after listening to it, one realizes that the song criticizes the idea of a loving God that will, well, “fuck you up” if you don’t believe in Him. As you can see, it’s not just insulting for no reason,

2. What Would Jesus Do

I think this is one of my favorite videos on the internet. It criticizes the American conservatives’ idea that Jesus is somehow related to the United States, so much that He would drive a Ford, drink Jack Daniels and use a Smith & Wesson gun.

3. Islam is not for Me

It lays down pretty much most of the despicable customs made in the name of Mohammed and that few have the balls to say out loud.

Finally and to remind us that non-believers are not free to this phenomenon, there are also those who claim to be atheists, but treat a prominent figure (let’s say, Dawkins or Hitchens) as a god, without accepting the idea that they can be criticized. I don’t think Dawkins would like a flock of sheep following him. And if he does, what a deception.

If there is someone who I admire as (or even more than) Dawkins, it’s Carl Sagan. By the way, Sagan never identified himself as atheist, but agnostic. To deny such fact is like raging at the sight of something true, but disgusting to this non-believer’s eyes. It’s almost the same reaction of those who want to ban blasphemy.

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Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach