July/August 2017 Church & State - July/August 2017

Resolution Seeks Repeal Of Blasphemy Laws

  AU admin

An effort is under way to end blasphemy laws worldwide.

U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced House Resolution 349, which asks President Donald J. Trump and the U.S. Department of State to prioritize repealing blasphemy laws. It argues that such laws are designed to suppress the free speech of non-religious and religious minorities in an attempt to elevate the rights of majority religions.

In some countries, people who defy blasphemy laws can end up imprisoned, brutally beaten or killed. The resolution calls on nations to “amend or repeal such laws, as they provide a pretext and impunity for vigilante violence against religious minorities.” 

“In today’s bitterly divided political climate, it’s important to note that both Republicans and Democrats are supporting this legislation,” Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said in a May 23 press statement. “That’s because the issue of religious freedom, which includes the right not to practice any particular faith or maintain a belief in a deity, is something that all Americans can support.”

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