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BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy

Tunesmith 07 May 17 - 08:34 AM
DMcG 07 May 17 - 08:41 AM
Senoufou 07 May 17 - 08:45 AM
FreddyHeadey 07 May 17 - 08:52 AM
akenaton 07 May 17 - 08:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 May 17 - 08:57 AM
akenaton 07 May 17 - 09:08 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 May 17 - 09:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 May 17 - 09:26 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 May 17 - 09:38 AM
Jim Carroll 07 May 17 - 09:54 AM
FreddyHeadey 07 May 17 - 10:13 AM
Jos 07 May 17 - 10:24 AM
Mrrzy 07 May 17 - 11:05 AM
Iains 07 May 17 - 12:58 PM
Georgiansilver 07 May 17 - 01:12 PM
Jack Campin 07 May 17 - 01:21 PM
Iains 07 May 17 - 01:51 PM
Bonzo3legs 07 May 17 - 02:04 PM
robomatic 07 May 17 - 02:05 PM
Thompson 07 May 17 - 02:20 PM
Senoufou 07 May 17 - 02:27 PM
Felipa 07 May 17 - 02:45 PM
Felipa 07 May 17 - 02:50 PM
Jim Carroll 07 May 17 - 03:16 PM
robomatic 07 May 17 - 03:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 May 17 - 03:57 PM
robomatic 07 May 17 - 04:27 PM
robomatic 07 May 17 - 04:45 PM
Thompson 07 May 17 - 05:11 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 17 - 05:39 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 17 - 06:11 PM
Steve Shaw 07 May 17 - 06:16 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 May 17 - 07:17 PM
Stanron 07 May 17 - 07:25 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 May 17 - 07:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 May 17 - 08:16 PM
DMcG 08 May 17 - 02:17 AM
Steve Shaw 08 May 17 - 02:44 AM
Joe Offer 08 May 17 - 03:03 AM
akenaton 08 May 17 - 03:10 AM
Mr Red 08 May 17 - 03:16 AM
DMcG 08 May 17 - 03:43 AM
Joe Offer 08 May 17 - 03:44 AM
Steve Shaw 08 May 17 - 04:11 AM
Steve Shaw 08 May 17 - 04:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 May 17 - 04:55 AM
Jim Carroll 08 May 17 - 05:55 AM
Stu 08 May 17 - 06:26 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 May 17 - 06:30 AM
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Subject: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Tunesmith
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:34 AM

This is great!
The Bible is the evidence that what Stephen says is true!
For example, only a nutter would tell a father to kill his son ( Abraham ) and only a evil war monger would support the attack on a city which just happens to be in the way ( Jericho ).

Blasphemy? It's a joke!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: DMcG
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:41 AM

I've seen a little about this, but not a lot. It is may be a genuine attempt to have him prosecuted but sometimes such actions are brought to demonstrate the absurdity of the law. I dont know enough to say which applies in this case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:45 AM

It should make interesting news if it ever comes to court Tunesmith!
As you say, it's all there in the Bible. Since Muslims and Jews also venerate the Prophets (including Abraham and Joshua) they can jump on the bandwagon too.

I'm not that keen on Stephen Fry, but he has every right to say what he did. I personally can't explain a God who allows such suffering, created malaria-bearing mosquitoes and nasty viruses and sits idly by while starving babies waste away and cancer kills millions.
Can I expect a knock on the door any day now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:52 AM

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/stephen-fry-under-police-investigation-for-blasphemy-after-branding-god-an-utter-maniac/ar-


[Tunesmith, if it is a long address the blickifier can't cope. You have to paste the full address into the first part "a href="... ]


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:54 AM

I'm an atheist at present, but sometimes I think most people don't have any understanding of what motivates sincerely religious people.

Fry is a worthless character, vicious and egotistical in the extreme.
A product of media hype, still living on the back of a few cameo roles from twenty years ago......completely irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:57 AM

Fry is a worthless character, vicious and egotistical in the extreme.
A product of media hype, still living on the back of a few cameo roles from twenty years ago......completely irrelevant.


In your opinion.

It is my opinion that anyone who gets upset by anything that has a dig at their religion cannot be very secure in their beliefs anyway.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: akenaton
Date: 07 May 17 - 09:08 AM

I wonder if your opinion also applies to ideologies? :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 May 17 - 09:24 AM

Good for Stephen Fry, tell that irish idiot to fuck off!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 May 17 - 09:26 AM

Of course it does. If anyone cannot bear to have their ideology questioned or joked about then they cannot be very secure with it. However, ideology tends to refer to secular matters while religion to the spiritual. Ideology deals in facts while religion deals in faith. Mocking facts will only result in presentation of said facts while mocking faith has no counter but to claim it upsets people. Awwwww, what a shame.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 May 17 - 09:38 AM

i like Stephen Fry.
His biographies are very entertaining. His film Wilde - that he starred in was wonderful- the PG Wodehouse stuff that he co-starred was pitch perfect, i loved it.

THe TV programme bores the arse off me, but he's erudite, witty and compassionate - usually.

he has more to offer Ireland than organised religion - that they could do well without.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 May 17 - 09:54 AM

Fry has as much right to comment on a totally irrational set of beliefs as anybody else does
Waking on water - raising the dead ................. come on!!
Does anybody believe in that guff nowadays
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/catholic-doctrines-no-longer-make-sense-says-fr-tony-flannery-1.3030855
(CAN'T BLUE CLICKIE)
That anyyone should make an issue of whether they like Fry or not as an an entertainer sounds like a nasty dose of sour grapes - try Immodium!!
The philosophy and principles of religion are a totally different matter but they only become important when they are made compulsory or thrust down the throats of immature children
The four centuries old Blasphemy Laws are long overdue for being put in a locked cupboard alongside the ducking stool and hanging, drawing and quartering.
Isn't it odd how those first to defend these primitive legal practices are usually the first to squeal about other religions and cultures.
THe last trial for blasphemy in Britain was just under a century ago, I would have thought the world had moved on since then
As Bozo says "good for Fry" (could have done without the racism, but that's education for you)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 07 May 17 - 10:13 AM

It is a rather clickbait article though. 2015!? More annoying than a straight advert!
No new information there.
Three or for short paragraphs then

...originally reported to police in 2015. The complainant is said to have followed up last year, and to have received a phone call from a detective some weeks ago to discuss the case.

The paper quoted a source as saying a prosecution was unlikely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Jos
Date: 07 May 17 - 10:24 AM

I have long assumed that if there is a God, he/she/it is an all-powerful creative force. I see no reason to suppose that if there is such a force, that force should necessarily be benign and caring.
You might think it ought to be, but that doesn't mean it is, or that if it isn't then it doesn't exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 May 17 - 11:05 AM

Fry is a riot, and also rather correct in that a lot of the actions ascribed to the judeochrislamic deity, if committed or attempted by a person today, would be grounds for commitment.

And I loved his Jeeves to Hugh Laurie's Bertie Wooster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Iains
Date: 07 May 17 - 12:58 PM

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/explainer-why-is-stephen-fry-being-investigated-by-garda-for-blasphemy-and-what-happen

An interesting outline of the offense and the law, and more importantly the danger of such a law.
For Ireland to be considered a secular society and a progressive society this law should not have been created and needs to be repealed.
Is free speech no longer allowed?
Be interesting to watch the extradition proceedings. It will make Ireland a laughing stock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 07 May 17 - 01:12 PM

It is so easy for anyone to cherry-pick passages from the Bible.. to take them out of context. As a Christian, I don't see fit to judge anyones faith or lack of it but I guess I have done and still do promote it, as it's part of the Great Commission established in the New Testament. Stephen Fry is entitled to his own opinion but using his public image to try to ridicule what many millions of Christians have believed for 2017 years should be halted. I don't force my beliefs or Faith upon anyone... why should he be allowed to blaspheme mine~? I may differ with some of the opinions of 'Catters' but I would never knock them for their faith or lack of it, or submit to trying to 'show them up'. Everyone makes their own choice... some need to force it on others by whatever means are available to them, even name calling. If I did that for my Faith I would be accused of proselytising (as I have been on here many years ago). He has given me many laughs in English comedy... but Stephen Fry should stick to it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 May 17 - 01:21 PM

James Kirkup was prosecuted for "blasphemous libel" in England in the 70s. (The law never applied in Scotland and has been abolished in England as well).


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Iains
Date: 07 May 17 - 01:51 PM

" Stephen Fry is entitled to his own opinion but using his public image to try to ridicule what many millions of Christians have believed for 2017 years should be halted."

I suppose had he supported brexit or the Trump vote thousands would have been swayed by his support. I think not.
I think the premise advanced is false.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:04 PM

As Bozo says "good for Fry" (could have done without the racism, but that's education for you)

"The idiot IS Irish" - must have been on the same course as that other Irish idiot Paisley!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:05 PM

I'm a Stephen Fry fan and I believe that heresy should not only not be a subject of national legal concern, but should be mandatory on occasion.

There is an old saying "God is not mocked". I always took that to mean that a genuine deity cannot be sullied by mere words, hence mere words were allowable to be uttered without retribution.
Sadly , the world is a long way from understanding this the way I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Thompson
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:20 PM

Bloody awful. I thought we'd moved away from the Father Ted era. So embarrassing. Especially tragic as ultra-right-wing regimes in the Middle East justify their blasphemy executions by pointing out that blasphemy is illegal in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:27 PM

Criticising or mocking other people's religions is rather fraught with problems on many levels.

While one can agree or disagree with an 'opinion', one can be incensed by mockery or outright attack. For example, I imagine one avoids public criticism of Islam, for obvious reasons. No-one wants to provoke a mass outcry, or worse, by any religious faction. But Fry's remarks strike me as humanistic and compassionate about the suffering in the world, which 'God' appears to do nothing to address. I can relate to that.

I believe in God, but cannot reconcile His lack of action, and seeming indifference to what one sees, with the image of Him in the Bible as an all-powerful, loving Father-Creator.

I've seen Mr Fry many times in Norwich, having a coffee in John Lewis. I'm not much interested in his comedy, but he is a well-read and extremely intelligent man (as evidenced by the QI programme)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Felipa
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:45 PM

I was shocked to read how recent this legislation is
"Under Ireland's 2009 Defamation Act, anyone "who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence" and liable to a fine of up to €25,000 (£21,200)." Independent newspaper, link given by Freddy Headly

It does look like someone reported Fry's speech in order to draw attention to how the law could possibly be (mis)used:

" 'I told the Garda I wanted to report Fry for uttering blasphemy and RTE for publishing/broadcasting it and that I believed these were criminal offenses under the Defamation Act 2009,' the person told the news site. 'I simply believed that the comments made by Fry on RTE were criminal blasphemy and that I was doing my civic duty by reporting a crime.'

"Local authorities told the Independent that they are investigating the complaint but that charges are unlikely." Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephen-fry-faces-blasphemy-probe_us_590f1ad4e4b0e7021e984f5a


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Felipa
Date: 07 May 17 - 02:50 PM

"The state of the law was considered by the Convention on the Constitution, which concluded in its Sixth Report, The removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution,

    that the offence of blasphemy should be removed from the Constitution;
    that it should be replaced by a general provision to include a prohibition on incitement to religious hatred; and
    that a new set of detailed legislative provisions should be introduced which would include provisions on incitement to religious hatred.

"The prerequisite to amending the Constitution is a referendum. The then Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality, Aodhan Ó Ríordáin, told Dáil Éireann that there would be a referendum to remove the requirement for a crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, noting that "In practice, there have been no prosecutions under the 2009 Act and the last public prosecution for blasphemy in Ireland appears to have been brought in 1855". But that was in a statement to the Dáil on 2 October 2014 and the referendum has still not happened."

read more (the article is quite straight-forward) at http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2017/05/07/blasphemy-the-irish-constitution-and-stephen-fry/

article by Frank Cramer, who agrees with common consensus that a prosecution is unlikely


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 May 17 - 03:16 PM

"have believed for 2017 "
As a socialist, I occasionally become somewhat pissed of when the term is used as one of abuse - regularly here.
Muslims are constantly coming under attack for their beliefs on this forum.
Whence the difference?
Over those 2017 years Christianity has been used as an excuse for torture, mass murder by burning for "kicking with the wrong foot", an excuse for international plunder - from The Crusades to WW1 - and more recently, as an opportunity to sexually abuse children and enslave "falen women".
Hardly a belief worth making 'untouchable'
Religion in Ireland is nor entering a fascinating phase.
Following the last few decade's revelations, it has largely falen from grace in the minds of many former believers.
The latest skirmish is over it is right for Ireland's main maternity hospital should be owned by 'The Sisters of Mercy' (probably Ireland's wealthiest religions body, with all the restrictions that will put on bringing children into the world in an establishment which still has strict rules on how the population should behave
No too long ago, on our local radio station, two of these good sisters described the Magdalene Girls in their care as "the sweepings of the street".
Fully old world
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 17 - 03:55 PM

I take the view that anti-blasphemy and anti-heresy laws and positions are taken not for the purpose of protecting deities but of protecting the deity's representatives on earth. On this and other forums I am fond of saying: "I'm not critiquing G-d, I'm critiquing YOU"
This applies to all religions and their purveyors. This may also apply to the deificiation of any set of ideas, including those held up to be "scientific".

How the domineering love to hide behind a shield of dogma!

"There are none so blind as those who will not see, none so deaf as those who will not hear."


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 May 17 - 03:57 PM

The piquant thing about this episode is that the legislation involved was brought in as a way of moving away from the assumption that Ireland should privilege Catholicism - there wouldn't have been grounds for the prosecution previously, since he made no specific reference to Catholicism. But the change was intended to give all religions the same protection, and Stephen Fry, in his comments against religion in general, seems to have come up against it.

So it's an unintended result of an effort to get away from sectarianism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 17 - 04:27 PM

If you want to get away from sectarianism, don't get involved. It is reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme court dealing with the definition of obscenity.
I miss George Carlin at times like this.
Both the movies "Dogma" and "Philomena" had important messages that provoked thought, but challenged the dignity of established religious authority. They should be nowhere near the courts in having their writing judged. Likewise the free expression of Mr. Fry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 17 - 04:45 PM

Jim Carroll, you wrote:

"Muslims are constantly coming under attack for their beliefs on this forum"

There is a difference between being criticized for certain Islamic beliefs (unspecified by you) and for being Muslim


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Thompson
Date: 07 May 17 - 05:11 PM

Felipa's right; the only correct law is to forbid incitement of (religious) hatred. That's a need that could be covered by a law making it illegal to incite hatred.

Atheist Ireland has responded positively to the investigation, since this could test this ludicrous law.

Onwards to Salem!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 17 - 05:39 PM

Fry does seem to take the usual, nasty Reductio ad absurdum view of the Bible that the atheist populists seem to like, but I don't think he should be prosecuted for it.

Might be an idea to bestow a dunce cap on his for his rudeness, though.

Fry, like Hitchens and Dawkins, redefines the Bible in idiotic terms, and then proceeds to poke fun at it.

Silly, that.

Fry asks: "Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain?"

Are there real people who believe in such an absurd God?

The world is a mess, but it has infinite potential. It's up to us to use its potential and make it right. Believers think we have the God-given potential and the calling to do that. Non-believers may not think the potential and calling come from God, but I hope they also believe that they have the ability and the obligation to make this a better world.

A great many believers see their sacred writings as myth, a story with profound truth wrapped into it. Like, wasn't Abraham stupid to think it was a good idea to offer his son as a human sacrifice? Good thing he was prevented from doing that by a deus ex machina like a ram in the thicket, huh?

And even if people hold to a more literal interpretation of their sacred writings, what difference does it really make? When fundamentalist beliefs cause harm, that's another matter - but for the most part, belief in stories that aren't true, is really not all that harmful. Most of us have at least some misunderstandings.

Still, I hope the Gardai figure out that it's idiotic to investigate idiocy.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 17 - 06:11 PM

Religious belief is utterly irrational, but so is my belief that Liverpool FC will presently prove themselves to be the greatest team that ever existed. Per se, my belief is harmless, as is anyone's personal and entirely private religious belief. But the thing about this entirely irrational belief in an impossible deity is that God's adherents simply can't keep the bloody thing to themselves. They simply have to have it writ large all over our streets, in our politics, in our media and, worst of all, in our schools, and they simply must recruit their flock straight from the cradle, as evil a notion as it is possible to conceive. Therefore they should expect to be condemned and ridiculed, just as I'm ridiculed by Chelsea or Arsenal fans. If the God Squad are so sure of themselves they will laugh that off. The fact that they need "heresy laws" (and that's as mild as it gets - check out what Islam would like to do to those "guilty" of apostasy) speaks volumes about their insecurities. There's probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life!

By the way, I've been in the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence for several hours this afternoon. They could hardly drag me out at closing time. One of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. I loved the Giotto frescos and I saw the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, Gallileo and Rossini. Yesterday I spent almost four hours in tbe Ufizzi gallery. Giotto, Bellini, Michelangelo, Botticelli (yes, that Birth of Venus), Raphael, Leonardo, Caravaggio. Largely religious themes. My art, my heritage, my religion (once upon a time). I'll keep just the first two, but the third can go to hell!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 May 17 - 06:16 PM

By the way, Joe, I took a photo yesterday of Caravaggio's masterpiece of Abraham holding a very sharp blade to his son's throat. Funny you should have mentioned it! Saw another amazing painting of the slaughter of the innocents. Can't remember the artist's name. Shame the incident never happened...


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 May 17 - 07:17 PM

By the way, Joe, I took a photo yesterday of Caravaggio's masterpiece of Abraham holding a very sharp blade to his son's throat. Funny you should have mentioned it! Saw another amazing painting of the slaughter of the innocents. Can't remember the artist's name. Shame the incident never happened...
'Slaughter of the innocents' never happened? That's easy to claim, but difficult to prove. Just as it's difficult to prove that it did happen.
But there is some evidence (the Gospels) to say it did happen. No evidence to say it didn't.

I accept that it's possible that not everything in the Bible is an historic record, but don't claim it's false with nothing to back that up, or we can claim it's all 100% true without needing anything to back it up.
Some standard of debate needs to be established.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Stanron
Date: 07 May 17 - 07:25 PM

I'm in a funny position on this. I've rejected the Christian Narrative. Mainly on the basis of Constantine and later Rome's politicisation of the material. Celtic Christianity, arguably purer than the Roman version, was a non hierarchical belief system but it eventually gave way to Rome's authoritarian and hierarchical religious fascism. This system kept Europe ignorant and enslaved for almost 1000 years with the kind of brutality that crushed the Cathar and other heresies until Luther in the 1500s initiated our escape.

As a child I was educated to be a Christian. As an adult I have educated myself away from those beliefs. However I am aware of some kind of validity in the concept of the 'Spiritual Experience'. Without the need to adhere to any archaic teaching or documentation all one has to do is walk into any really old cathedral or church to realise that there is something out there that is a lot better than 'Britain's got Talent'.

I'm quite happy to let it be a mystery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 May 17 - 07:47 PM

not really sure i understood the points Joe and Georgiansilver were making.

Why in your opinion is Stephen Fry an idiot?

What has he actually said Mike, that makes it blasphemy?

i was brought up very low church - a quaker , in fact, and i don't really understand these finer points of theology.

my understanding of faith was something like Hemingway on bravery. Hemingway said that the brave soldier was able to 'suspend imagination' of all the terrible things that might happen to him in battle.

Similarly the man of faith suspends his scepticism and scientific certainty when he prays.

I'm not sure why someone else's inability to do that, should that upset you so much. I can't see why that would make him an idiot, or insult one own beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 May 17 - 08:16 PM

But remember, Steve, without the stuff you reject there'd have been none of that stuff you treasure.

A world without cathedrals, churches, meeting houses, chapels, mosques, synagogues, temples, religious art of all sorts, religious literature... It'd be a poorer place to live in. I don't think it would be a happier place either, or a safer one.

When religion goes bad, it's a terrible thing, and a dangerous thing.

When food goes bad it will harm you, you might even die eating it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: DMcG
Date: 08 May 17 - 02:17 AM

I am a practising Catholic. To me, blasphemy laws are appalling and anti-Christian because they are inherently divisive. Even within a religious context they are stultifying. You cannot deepen an understanding of some aspect of your faith without questioning what it means, and if doing do appears blasphemous to someone else, you can find yourself on the wrong side of the law. It has happened time and again since any sort of religion came about, and keeps resurfacing.

But that is only within the religion. To that you need to add the argumenrts for separating state and religion. And then you need consider people of other religions and none.

Blasphemy laws are inherently about limiting how people think. I can't think of many worse ideas than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 May 17 - 02:44 AM

Well, Kevin, those great composers, artists, architects and builders would still have existed, and who knows what secular masterpieces they would have delivered themselves of had there never been religion?   As for religion going bad, it goes bad as soon as it leaves the private confines of the minds of individuals. Whether the world would be a safer place either with or without religion or its cultural offshoots is moot. It can hardly be claimed that religion has made the world safer. Still, I love the culture generated by religion, though I always think of Michelangelo being threatened and railroaded in the most unchristian way into producing his sacred masterpieces...


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 17 - 03:03 AM

Big Al asks: Why in your opinion is Stephen Fry an idiot?

Why? Because Fry, like the most idiotic of idiotic fundamentalists, fails to the the story of Abraham and Isaac for what it is - a story. And an excellent story it is, too. It's exciting and memorable, so memorable that even atheist Fry remembers it. And it teaches a very effective lesson that the Hebrews have adhered to for all generations since: Don't practice human sacrifice, even though your neighbors are doing it.

Why? Because Fry, just like those damnable fundamentalists, confuses "factuality" with truth. Fry and the ultra-fundamentalists see an angry God who demands human sacrifice, and then pulls the chair out from Abraham just as Abe starts to sit down in his Seat of Sacrifice. And Fry and the ultrafundamentalists would have been more comfortable if God had held fast and made sure the boy got killed by his father. But the truth in the story is that people believed in human sacrifice and practiced it the world round. And in spite of this, this scripture story shows that human sacrifice was no longer acceptable. And this was a powerful message, since all the neighbors were still practicing human sacrifice.

But Fry and the ultrafundamentalists, and Hitchens and Dawkins, can only see the shallow, literalist view of the story and don't understand its implications.

If you look at the Abraham-Isaac story (and many other Bible stories) as stories, then they begin to make sense. And this, my friends, goes to show that fiction is often more truthful than fact.

But Fry and his ilk wouldn't understand it.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: akenaton
Date: 08 May 17 - 03:10 AM

Joe, I do not think Fry is an idiot, he has long pursued an agenda against Christians.....he is rather less virulent against other religions for obvious reasons.......Christianity is an easy and benign target.

Fry is a "liberal" par excellence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 May 17 - 03:16 AM

A schoolfriend who became an ordained curate and presumably a vicar once referred to the "creeping infallibility of the Pope".
Like all human endeavours the prevailing norm is liable to extend into areas that are adjacent. Rules morph as understanding blossoms, and only the outsider can see the impact holistically.

And any cohort will include people who can and will exploit it for their own ends. They need the rest to defend their fiefdom.

Was it ever thus.

And can't we (the non-ovine plebs) see precisely this from Trump, May or Putin**?

** other despots are available.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: DMcG
Date: 08 May 17 - 03:43 AM

"Only the outsider can see the impact holistically'

Not sure I agree there. Both sides only have a partial view. The great thing is the partial views are different so in combination we can see more.

For example an outsider could easily think Fry had identified a problem the religions are ignoring, whereas for example CS Lewis' "The problem of Pain" from 1940 deals with the same topics, and every church, and every religion, deals with it on a daily basis as it is the base question almost everyone going through a bereavement asks. As do secular bereavements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 May 17 - 03:44 AM

And the thing is, the Pope himself is not where infallibility rests. Infallibillity pertains to dogmatic teachings, which are very few. The Pope promulgates those teachings after years of collaboration and discernment.

Back to Mr Fry, et al. Their disdain for ancient sacred writings is akin to the haughty disdain Europeans had for the aboriginal wisdom of the lands they conquered. We are just barely beginning to understand the value of that aboriginal wisdom.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 May 17 - 04:11 AM

I don't think those two things are akin at all, Joe. The disdain, for a start, is not for the ancient writings themselves but for the ways in which they have been misused. You can complain all you like about how they're just stories, etc., but hundreds of millions of followers of religions have been duped into thinking they are literally true, and that's the way the control freakery of religions' hierarchies likes it to work. Why, I'd remind you that even the historical existence of Jesus himself is a matter of considerable doubt. Virtually the only solid references to him are those made by his own proselytisers. Not one unequivocal mention of him in the masses of contemporary Roman writings. And look how Nigel jumped down my throat for suggesting that the massacre of the innocents didn't happen. Your somewhat vicious attack on the people you call ultra-fundamentalists betrays your own insecurities more than anything. All we are asking for is evidence. Now excuse me as I have many more Florentine religious glories to see!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 May 17 - 04:21 AM

Incidentally, the wiki entry on the massacre of the innocents makes very uncomfortable reading for bible literalists. Looks like it was just a bit of bad-mouthing of Herod for scriptural fulfilment purposes. Not nice. Mind you, he wasn't really a very nice chap.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 May 17 - 04:55 AM

interesting Joe....i haven't seen where Fry talks about Abraham.

I'm pretty sure he's capable of understanding the concept of metaphor. he's very clever - i can't understand half of what he goes on about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 May 17 - 05:55 AM

"he has long pursued an agenda against Christians."
No he hasn't - he's pursued an agenda against what he judges to be irrational beliefs and the way they are used, socially and politically - about time more people did
Every time you spout your hatred for "liberals" only underlines your detestation for humanity
Please keep it up
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Stu
Date: 08 May 17 - 06:26 AM

"Their disdain for ancient sacred writings is akin to the haughty disdain Europeans had for the aboriginal wisdom of the lands they conquered"

I don't agree with this at all. Fry, like most of us in Europe and the US were raised as christians and our ancestors lived in countries that have been christian for well over a millennia and our cultures are infused with it to a very deep and profound level.

Fry's questioning of the philosophy of christian thought on god is fully justified and he has as much right as anyone to articulate how he feels, especially if some asks him; he is as much a part of our culture as the bishops that offer their views on Sunday morning current affairs talk shows, whether we approve of him or not. We all have a right to question.

Using the oppression of native peoples as an analogue to the comments made by a TV celebrity betrays a misunderstanding of not only the context and content of Fry's comments, but much more besides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stephen Fry Blasphemy
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 May 17 - 06:30 AM

Fry raises the issue of suffering for believers, as if it has not been challenging our faith for centuries.
No-one discusses and agonises over the implications for the faithful.
Nothing wrong with Fry reminding us of it.

Like most Christians I also have a problem with the vengeful and spiteful Old Testament God.
The New Testament reveals a God of forgiveness and love.
Nothing wrong with Fry reminding us of those issues either.

I do not believe in blasphemy laws, and am aware that they are used to persecute Christians in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Religions should have no right not to be mocked, and no immunity from offence, but please remember that you will offend many very nice people who do not deserve to be gratuitously offended.

I do object to the singling out of Christians for mockery just because it is safe to.
It is the mark of the bully and the coward to attack only those who will not fight back.

Jim,
Muslims are constantly coming under attack for their beliefs on this forum

I challenge that claim and ask for an example.
Religions are constantly coming under attack for their beliefs on this forum, not least by you, but the only religion specifically attacked has been Christianity.


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