Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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ATHYRIO 2: More Blasphemy!

The people who want their opinions codified into law never stop, so we have some new cases to discuss. Becky and Mike join Sam once again as we talk about blasphemy in the US and around the world, as well as updates from the worlds of UFOlogy, makeup application, and bomb detection.

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This is really funny. Atheists defending Muslims. But, hay, we’re free thinkers.

This will make you jump for joy. “Light Without Fire: The Making of America’s First Muslim College”, on Book TV, CSPAN 2. Aired at 4 PM Recorded April 16, 2013 for 1:10 minutes

Or, maybe more to your liking –

A.C. Grayling spoke with Book TV in London about his book,
The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism.
Recorded April 15, 2013 for 37 minutes
Airing at 1:00 AM tonight, Sun. May 5, 2013


Gee, it would sure suck if you came up here and did an episode with CFI Vancouver…


Becky, these days it’s entirely legal to be disrespectful to Queen Beatrix, as far as I know. Primarily because Queen Beatrix is not our Head of State anymore. Anyway, we don’t have much of a problem saying whatever we want about the royal family. It’s not exactly an impediment to our right to free speech.


Good to know! Perhaps my info is outdated.

The comment about statutes outlawing criticism of police/royalty came from a story from last summer where a guy got a 6-month sentence (albeit suspended) for slamming Queen Bea on twitter, and a guy who was fined for calling her a whore while simultaneously insulting a police officer in 2007.

Many countries have antiquated and selectively enforced lese-majeste laws (statutes making it illegal to insult royalty). It came up in our regular research of blasphemy laws.


Only by a couple days Becky. 30th of April was the day. Anyway, these things do happen, you’re definitely right about that. However, I’m not entirely certain that these cases should make me fear for my free speech rights. To begin with, both cases appear to be cases of slander or libel and I’m fairly certain those shouldn’t be protected by free speech. That said, general libel laws in the Netherlands provide for significantly shorter sentences than the lese-majeste laws, so you are right that these are, as it were, special rights for the royal family. Then again, the royal… Read more »


In the Netherlands (as well as in Denmark, if I am still au courant) the Royal Family earns a lot of respect and are beloved, not because of a law commanding it, but because the volk have a sense of national pride over their monarchs. Not everyone approves of having to fund an expensive monarchy with mostly ceremonial functions, of course. But no one is thrown in chains for arguing for a republic. Taking action against online bullying is available to teenagers and is not a protected form of speech, so when it happens to your head of state, I’d… Read more »


@Quentin: I dunno, generalized slander from a random bloke on the street doesn’t sound particularly problematic to me. Personally, I think that bad speech should just be shouted down rather than met with force (including jail time)… unless it suggests a credible physical threat (“I will blow up Parliament unless my demands are met…!”)

It’s mostly a matter of how we define what speech is and isn’t free.


I’m not so much saying it’s problematic, just that we shouldn’t be surprised that these things are illegal. Whether they really should be, either in general or with specific lese-majeste laws as a separate offence, is another issue I’m not willing to debate right now.


With regard to the comments about Christianity under attack on “More Blasphemy”: VCY America published its May 8 “Crosstalk” podcast entitled “Christianity Under Attack”. The interview portion of the podcast features our favorite creationist, Ken Ham. Enjoy!


“But no one is thrown in chains for arguing for a republic.” Not entirely correct. There were some people who protested against the monarchy during the coronation ceremony last Queens day, when queen Beatrix stepped down to make way for her son, and they got ‘arrested’. Cops came running and asked for their ID and removed them, held them until the ceremony was finished. They didn’t actually charge them with anything, but it’s clear that if you’re a republican (not that kind of republican, americans.) you have less freedom than a monarchist. It’s true though that the majority of the… Read more »


in reply to “f#### you”some one adds .”and the horse you rode in on two. Shortened to A T H Y R I O 2

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