Over in Ireland, they’ve taken a look at their “blasphemy” laws, and come to a conclusion:
Prior to this, the law had strictly protected Christians from having their delicate sensibilities offended. Now, though, wimps of all faiths who get the vapors when somebody doesn’t toe their line. Say “boo” to Buddha, and you could be on the hook for five figures. (I don’t have a currency converter handy, but it looks to be about 25K Euros or 22K Pounds.)
As a devout born-again agnostic, I have a very simple philosophy about religious laws: they should only apply to members of the faith pushing them, and then enforced strictly within the boundaries of the faith. In other words, they should have no authority over anyone who has not chosen to submit to them.
If I were to say something anti-Catholic, for example (I certainly have in the past, and expect to do so in the future, as circumstances warrant), then the Church should have the right to ban me from receiving the sacraments and even ban me from setting foot on their property. (No great loss.) But they shouldn’t have the right to get the government to enforce their displeasure.
In a related story, another blasphemer has run afoul of those who enforce religious laws. In Denmark, one of the cartoonists who drew a caricature of Mohammed a few years ago (the one with the bomb as Mohammed’s turban) had his home invaded by a most devout adherent to the Religion Of Peace ™, who was planning on spreading The Word Of Allah — with an axe. This worthy evangelist was thwarted by police, who shot and wounded him before he could introduce the cartoonist to the subject of his blasphemous cartoon.
Several years ago, I posed what should have been a simple question: “do I, as a non-Muslim, have a right to not obey Muslim law?” It appears that in any area that develops a significant Muslim population, the answer is “no.”
And Ireland seems to be just fine with that.