By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A secular humanist organization is sponsoring the first annual International Blasphemy Day on Sept. 30 as a “free speech event” in which participants are encouraged to blaspheme God and mock religion.
The Center for Inquiry, a group whose stated mission is to “foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values” is sponsoring the event to commemorate the 2005 publication of the Danish cartoons that set off a firestorm in the Muslim world.
According to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the event is designed to oppose such things as a Muslim-sponsored U.N. resolution banning criticism of religion.
One of the ways participants can celebrate Blasphemy Day 2009 is to enter a Blasphemy Contest being sponsored by CFI and its sister organization, the Council for Secular Humanism. To participate, contestants must submit a phrase, poem or statement that could be considered blasphemous.
They suggest entries such as “Be Christian: Get Three Gods for the Price of One” or “God is the Santa Claus You Never Stopped Believing In” rather than entries that consist of “some joke about priests and altar boys, or Mary and the dove.”
Among other things, the first place winner will receive a “mug imprinted with the winning phrase, recognition in Free Inquiry magazine, general publicity, and, naturally, eternal damnation.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue correctly called the groups’ bluff. “The stated purpose of Blasphemy Day has nothing to do with any religion but Islam, yet there is not one scheduled event insulting Muslims. We can only guess why. So who have they chosen to mock? You guessed it—Christians.”
He goes on to say that the Center for Inquiry’s claim that “Free speech is the foundation on which other liberties rest” is factually incorrect. “Freedom of conscience is the first liberty,” Donohue states, “and it is inextricably linked to freedom of religion. Moreover, the whole concept of inalienable rights presupposes a belief in the Creator. In other words, atheists have the right to mock religion because our Christian Founding Fathers afforded them human rights.”
As for the Center and its allies, Donohue says simply, “They’re all such phonies.”
The following prayer, known as the Golden Arrow, and given to Sister Mary of St. Peter in a vision of the Sacred Heart, can be said in reparation for the offenses the holy name of God will receive on this day:
“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the ccreatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.”
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