“Blasphemy and Democracy”

Last evening’s reading of Anastasia Colosimo’s article, “Blasphemy and Democracy“, in The Wheel Journal, presented those two words in a fashion I had been without. Rather than attempt to make known this 25 year old’s thoughts, let me simply offer a few quotes:

Anastasia Colosimo

Anastasia Colosimo

“In this sense, the notion of “blasphemy” becomes without effect, since religious conviction is relegated to the status of one opinion among others. Therefore, it is entirely logical that the offense of blasphemy should be abolished in contemporary democratic societies.”  ~ pg. 16

“Since it is no longer possible to speak of a ban on blasphemy in secularized societies, confessional groups have adopted the language of modernity and make ref- erence to “offense against believers.” From a dead-end debate between a reli- gious argument (the ban of blasphemy) and a secular argument (the freedom of expression), the debate becomes a sys- tematic one between two human rights, namely the protection of others—or the protection of the feelings of others— and the freedom of expression.”  ~  pg. 17

 “What I find problematic, on the other hand, is the idea of offense to a group. First of all, it has transformed our perception of blasphemy by inventing the figure of the “offended believer.” But also, more generally, in regard to racist language, it contributes to sending each person back to a group identity, back to one’s tribe.”  ~  pg. 19

“Most of all, I think that for believers, the best way to “combat” blasphemy today is not to yield to the growing “sentimentalizing” of the faith, which is nothing more than a perverse effect of continuing secularization. The combat must be one of reason enlightened by faith and, in that sense, it is rst of all cultural, and should incline us to refuse the evil temptation of the ghetto.”  ~ pg. 19


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