Feb 18 2010 A novel defence of anti-blasphemy laws

A commentBlasphemy appeared in The Guardian (of all places) last month defending anti-blasphemy laws. The author makes the point that while the public is all for free speech, they place a much higher value on public order. In the past, we believed that respect for religion was vital to public order. Today, most people don’t believe this, but we do still believe in the need for public order, and in the need to protect society from the type of speech that would badly threaten that order.

In this sense we are much more like our ancestors than we believe, because both we, and they, believe in public order. The only real difference is that we, unlike them, don’t believe religion is vital for maintaining public order.