At the First Things site today, I have a post on the current blasphemy controversy in Denmark, which Marc discussed here last week. Prosecutors have brought a blasphemy charge against a man who posted a video of himself burning a copy of the Quran. I don’t favor Quran burning, of course. But I ask why a secular, progressive country like Denmark would bring a blasphemy prosecution in 2017:
The ironies abound. Blasphemy prosecutions are not so unusual in Muslim-majority countries, where they often serve as pretexts for the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. In fact, this month marks the sixth anniversary of the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian Pakistani politician who had criticized that country’s blasphemy laws; his murderers called Bhatti “a known blasphemer.” But blasphemy prosecutions are vanishingly rare in the West. In America, the Supreme Court ruled blasphemy laws unconstitutional in 1952. Most European countries have abolished their blasphemy laws; where such laws continue to exist, they are dead letters.
I agree that burning a Quran is a bad idea. It confuses the debate when some clown goes overboard with that behavior.
But I disagree with part of the premise. We might not have laws about blasphemy, but tell that to the gals at the Womyn’s Studies Department. Call a transgender person a “he” when clearly that the wrong pronoun, you guys…and you’ll be shunned by the society, or even pay a fine. NY Times.
Chant the president’s name at a basketball game, and you’re labeled racist. I know it was clearly disrespectful of the minority ballplayers, but come on!
Express support for traditional marriage — as Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama did at one time — and you’d be labeled as a bigot. Suggest that your actual, not chosen gender should determine your bathroom choice, and you’re an insane bigot.
It was not enough when liberal activists were bossy. They have started to enforce their idiotic decrees with the power of the university and government. Across the western world, there are the beginning of enforced compliance with unwritten and shifting standards.
Blasphemy. It’s not just for religion anymore.