Many of you probably know by now that today, September 30th is International Blasphemy Day. A day in which funny pictures, quotes or speeches are put all over the internet and vice versa to mock religion and/or religious beliefs. To many this day is no different from any other ordinary day, but to me this day holds a little history. A few years ago this is the day that I officially came out to the internet world that I was an atheist. As I have said before and honestly wish I did it differently, came out as an angry militant atheist but that is besides the point of this post.
Blasphemy Day itself was originally started in 2009 with an idea from a student, who then contacted Center of Inquiry and they put their full support into it. Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said regarding Blasphemy Day, “We think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion.” The day was set on September 30, to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad in one of Denmark’s newspapers, resulting in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
“Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity, irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.”
For many reading the definition it’s nothing more than a brief explanation of exactly what every secular human being must do, and I agree. One of the most defining moments within me coming to the realization of the ridiculous claims of religious beliefs was Family Guy and the many blasphemous jokes they put on. This is probably one of the best one I have seen.
I started to notice that not only was it quite humorous but it was correct. I quickly started to realize that when I brought these jokes up to others, they didn’t care for them or found them to be very distasteful. Many would even tell me that they stopped watching Family Guy because they started “picking on” religion too much and it was offensive. Thus I started to see more of the problems that religion was causing on society. Why would it be that so many could laugh and love a show but immediately when religion is thrown into the mix they no longer were a fan? What bothered me even more (we are all fully aware that Family Guy picks on everything and everyone) that these individuals were perfectly fine with laughing at that. So what was the difference?
Now I can not speak from experience because again I state, I was never religious, but from my interactions with many theists I have come to understand that to many religion gives them a sense of peace. I have even came across many that have said to me “You know you make a lot of sense and you are probably right, but it’s just easier for me to believe.” That is an absolute confession of denial and it pushes me to the brink of insanity. There is nothing else in this world that can go on like this and be viewed as completely normal, only one thing survives because of this mentality and it is religion.
Christian theology condemns blasphemy. It is spoken of in Mark 3:29, where blaspheming the Holy Spirit is spoken of as unforgivable-the eternal sin. Why would religion be so scared of blasphemy? It’s a simple, a quote to borrow from Robert Ingersoll “This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves.” It goes along with what I quoted up above of the act of denial. Also they know that any rational thinker that hears or sees blasphemy could possibly loss their faith or in my case just begin to laugh at it even more. Christians probably don’t know that their very own was a blasphemer, in Matthew 9:2, Jesus said “Your sins are forgiven you” He was accused of blasphemy, since only God can forgive sins against Himself.
Just a clear sample of the ludicrous beliefs and even in 2013 we live in a world where blasphemy is a crime and punishable by death. To the right we have an example of one of the most guilty parties of these ridiculous “crimes”. Obviously a clear statement of the peaceful religion. Why is it that religion has so much power over people? Simple, it’s fear. Fear is the driving factor that gives all religion its power, not only to the ones under it but to ones afraid of the consequences of fighting against it. We have seen it all the time with Islam’s Sharia Law and even here in America within our government and society. Now I do know that America is not as bad as other places, for example I am free to participate as an atheist blogger, but would I always have that freedom if this nation was completely run by the Christian ideology? It is one thing I do not want to find out and will fight to prevent from happening.
So how do we prevent this from happening? Well one simple step would be to continue to celebrate International Blasphemy Day every September 30th, however and whenever you can. It may seem pointless and maybe even like a waste of time, but I want you to think about two things first, for one it could be quite possible that without an influence like Family Guy that I may never have known that it was okay to criticize religion. Thus again stating how important it is for us to speak out and be out, which leads me to the second. There are people who have died standing up against religion, even though they knew the consequences it was more important to them. The least we can do is take advantage of the freedom that we do have and use it for their honor.