New Video: Happy Blasphemy Rights Day!

September 30 is Blasphemy Rights Day, commemorating that time in 2006 when some cartoons of Muhammad drove everybody batty.

Here’s CFI’s page on the day and here’s what Ingersoll had to say about blasphemy.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. When I performed in a punk rock band (we broke up in 1983 so no online video kids), a UK act called Crass was actually arrested and tried on blasphemy charges for a truly and wonderfully filthy song about feminism and Jesus. Eve Libertine recited one of the most delightful and painful poems ever written about how Christianity hurts women.

    I loved Crass and actually felt a pretty high level of jealousy that, in the US at least, I couldn’t be charged with blasphemy which sounded like a fun way to sell records.

    Of course, I find blasphemy laws absurd but I would have worn such a charge as a badge of honor.

  2. Fuck religion. That;s all I have to say.

    Gonzblinko: Playing in a band is my current raison d’etre, any band really. Getting arrested for doing that is always a good thing [tm].

  3. I think the video was a little long, if only because there was a bit too much quote-reading and a little too little* discussion. I think the video would have been better if the astronomy part was replaced with some more current-day examples of blasphemy laws/norms. The results of the pope visiting Spain and Germany springs to mind.

    Side note: I found that $75 in 1887 is approx. $1800 today. Can anyone confirm?

    *Oh English, you so random.

      1. Messed-up URL, but if you click on the highlighted text, it gets you to the right web site.

  4. You Scep tick people need to stop with a this free thought ballooney! I’ve been trying to start a massage-o-nistic sex cult based around ham radio and the divinity of the quarter-wave monopole antenna and all this rashionality crap is getting in the way. Last month even before I was fired from my job as a Wal-Mart greeter for passing out my pamflets I had local boys like Billy-Bubba, Jimmy-Dean-Bob, and Hoe-Down-Curly – folks who are usually easy marks, quoting the famous astrologer Carl Sagan and some guy named Christopher Hitchup. Yesterday my wife told me that she had joined Skepchick and that I better call Wal-Mart and get my old job back or she was going to leave me for here new on line friend. I don’t know what she sees in this guy. He is like 80 years old, looks like a short version of Santa Claws, and is gay. She says he has a magic-wand and knows how to use. Talk about hitting a guy below the belt. You people need to stop puttting all these crazy eye deers in peoples heads. Even my too boys, Tyrone and Toggle are being subjected to the influenza of these dangerous eye deers. Tyrone keeps talking about the Evolution and this fellow named Derwin. I told him that Derwin had nothing to do with the Evolution and that is was some executives at AMF who came up with that idea. Yesterday Toggle told me that my that my sex cult was anti-women and that I was part of the paint tree bark that has been keeping women down for centuries. See what you have done to him? He’s talking crazy. How the hell does painting tree bark keep a women down? That don’t make no sense. Where I come from you use rope for that. Geeze Louise. Whats wrong with you people?

    1. BCT –

      I think you mis-heard Toggle – he was prolly talkin about “pee-tree bark”. Make cents now?

      – Dog

      1. Hey Buzzed,

        Pee-tree bark might make cents if we were talkin bout coon dogs, but weir talkin out a sex cult. What in tarnation do coon dogs have to do with sex cults? I may be married to my half-sister, but I draw the line at coon dogs. My pastor told me that anything to do with animals was just plane blastfemmy (except for snakes of course….and..uh..ocaisional oral computation with sheep). Let me translait that for yu, Buzzed, just in case you don’t understand what blastfemmy entrails – that would be a won-way non-refundible ticket to the fyree pit! Lets not go thar. I’ve got my sites set on heaven and I ain’t gonna let any meddlin skep ticks and there pee-tree bark get in the way.

  5. Ingersoll.

    As you know, there are levels of information untouched by other levels in U. S. society. Lies can be inserted in those levels where they remain quietly unchallenged. My Dad, who was a Mason, told me when I was about ten that Ingersoll said on his deathbed, “God have mercy on my soul.” So I asked, “Who was Ingersoll?” A: “He was an atheist.” Q: “What’s an atheist?” (This was too many questions, I had to shut up.)

    What my Dad said Ingersoll said turns out not to be true. Ingersoll never said that. But wait, not so sure there, not so fast, you mean I can’t believe my own Dad? Does it help that he was only repeating a lie he had heard? Like an urban legend?

    I have no doubt that the deathbed quote is still being repeated. (And I’m still after decades inclined to believe my Dad.) Such legends are the main tool used by Christians and to great effect. For another example, we can see it easily in “evolution is just a theory.”

  6. I was completely unaware that it was blasphemy rights day until Tim Minchin mentioned it at the concert this past Friday. On a side note, I celebrated Blasphemy Rights Day by going to a Tim Minchin concert :)

  7. I agree with everything that Rebecca says. However, you can also replace “church” with “human institution” and every observation about how when you’re in the minority you’re tolerant and when you’re in the majority you’re oppressive remains correct.

    Enjoy your right to blasphemy, but keep in mind that it’s a special case of a general right to disagree with those in power or in the majority. The right of blasphemy is just the right of dissent in disguise.

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