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Cardinal Scola calls for an end to blasphemy laws

In a story that sounds a lot like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, a high-ranking church official has come out against blasphemy laws, asking that they be abolished. Cardinal Angelo Scola, once considered one of the most likely candidates for the kingship of the Vatican, spoke at a conference in Milan, Italy, where he called for the abolishment of blasphemy laws around the world. There's an article here that talks about Scola's pronouncement. 

Make no mistake . . . Blasphemy laws are an abomination and a gross violation of a human being's right to think and express those thoughts, whether religious or secular. Such laws are bad laws and need to be confronted and abolished. It's nice to see a high ranking religious leader like Cardinal Scola come to that conclusion.

The Catholic church understands that blasphemy laws are often used to silence not only those who would criticize religion (e.g. atheists like myself) but people trying to practice other religions. The obvious example is the use of these laws by Islamic states to oppress Christians, as is increasingly happening in Egypt.

And so, religious people, if you want the freedom to practice your religion without the danger of being imprisoned for 'blaspheming' another religion, you must open yourself up to criticism and the possibility that your beliefs will be insulted. Your only other hope is that yours is the dominant religion so you can safely oppress others.

Freedom of religion equals freedom from religion. It only seems like a paradox.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Edward Gibbon