The following short article highlights what is a direct attack on the freedom of expression. Are we not to be allowed to criticise religion and show what we consider to be the foolishness of some of its beliefs? To poke fun at something can highlight the foolishness of a particular opinion, if it can't stand up to that ridicule then so be it. How often have the views of the left be held up to ridicule by all the mainstream media, can we have ASBO's pasted on to the TV and certain newspapers? Anarchist have for years been ridiculed by most politicians, can we take them to court and have them sentenced to 6 months?
Somehow to hold an irrational set of opinions seems to give you the protection of the courts but to hold a set of views that can be backed up by rational debate and historic evidence leaves you open to ridicule. Why should religion be beyond criticism, it is just another set of views held by a group of people, albeit, an irrational set of views. What a strange society we have created, why should any view, religious or otherwise have special privileges and protection from public opinion?
Can anyone explain to me why Mr. Harry Taylor should not be allowed to carry and distribute his opinion of a set of irrational beliefs, beliefs based on the writings of a couple of members of Middle Eastern nomadic tribes from a long time ago?
Atheist given ASBO for leaflets mocking Jesus By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent Saturday, 24 April Independent.
An atheist who left leaflets mocking Jesus Christ, Islam and the Pope in an airport's prayer room has been given an ASBO. Harry Taylor, 59, from Higher Broughton, Salford, left the anti-religious posters in prayer rooms at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in November and December 2008. But he was found guilty by a jury and given a suspended six-month sentence yesterday, as well as an ASBO forbidding him from carrying anti-religious leaflets in public.
One of the posters Taylor left at the airport depicted a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of "no nails" glue. In another, a cartoon depicted two Muslims holding a placard demanding equality with the caption: "Not for women or gays, obviously." A third poster showed Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise being told: "Stop, stop, we've run out of virgins".
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, has been left angry over the conviction. "The six month sentence may have been suspended, but it is still totally out of proportion for what Mr Taylor did. The professional 'offence takers' in religious communities will now feel that they have a strong weapon to use against anyone who is critical or disapproving of them. It is, in effect, a blasphemy law that covers all religions and is much more powerful than the one which was abolished two years ago."