International Blasphemy Day 2018

It’s that time of year again! Let’s get our blasphemies on!

This Blasphemy Day is actually a special occasion in Canada, because it may be the last Blasphemy Day we observe while under the threat of Canada’s blasphemy law.

If the previous paragraph looks familiar, it’s because I literally copy-pasted it from last year’s Blasphemy Day post. Sad trombone.

What went wrong? Well, just a few weeks after last year’s Blasphemy Day came “The biggest setback of 2017”. That was the watering down of Bill C-51, removing the repeal of §176, the “disturbing the solemnity of a religious gathering” law. An organized push by religious groups pulling the strings of Conservative MPs managed to sway the Liberals – who aren’t really great at sticking to (sensible) principles. As near as I can tell, that was the only change made to the Bill since it was first tabled.

That sucked, but the rest of the Bill, which promised several good changes to the Criminal Code, still stands, and finally passed through the House of Commons a week or two after it was amended. And then… nothing. Well, not literally nothing. It’s been stuck in the Senate for almost a year now, but it hasn’t actually been frozen. It is moving through the Senate… slooooooowly; in fact, as I’m writing this, it was most recently discussed . There are a few reasons for the holdup. First, the cannabis legislation – and there was a lot of it – had priority, and as we know that took up so much time that the legalization data was pushed back from June to . (So on Blasphemy Day next year we’ll be able to legally blaspheme while legally high!) Second, C-51 is an omnibus bill; it doesn’t just repeal the blasphemy law, it fixes several problems with our criminal code. I don’t have the transcripts for the September meetings, but from the June meetings I get the sense that the parts that are raising the most questions are the ones that have to do with consent to sexual activity (whether it is possible to consent beforehand, whether unconsciousness is the best line for inability to consent, and so on – that case of the Nova Scotia cab driver who was acquitted despite being caught with his pants down and face in the crotch of a black-out drunk passenger came up often).

The upshot of all this is that although it’s taken a lot longer than anticipated, things are still very much on track. It’s still quite possible that the blasphemy law will be repealed before 2019.

So let’s not dwell on the disappointment, and instead think of this as the last year we can enjoy the salacious feeling of being outlaws as we blaspheme. Cause we’re gonna blaspheme regardless, right?

This year’s blasphemies are less diverse than last year’s (also check out 2016), and there’s a bit of a TV/film theme. Enjoy!

[A comic showing a football player scoring a touchdown with a triumphant smile, pointing upwards and declaring: “This touchdown’s for you, Jesus.” The second panel shows Jesus watching hockey.]

I think it would actually be amusing to see hockey players try Tebowing… while still sliding around the ice like bumper cars.

[An image of an old woodcut showing Jesus ascending to the heavens while believers look on in awe and shock. Perfectly edited into the image are the four characters from the film Ghostbusters, firing their proton pack streams to ensnare the floating Jesus.]

I can’t help but make the connection between the infamous Dan Aykroyd/Ray Stantz ghostly blowjob scene and the Mary story.

[Movie poster for a film titled “Nun of That”, featuring images of nuns with guns. The text reads: “With Sister Kelly on the street… the Mob doesn’t have a prayer.” The tagline is: “A blast for you and a blasphemy.”]

Stumbled across this poster, and discovered, to my amusement, that it is for a real film.

[A black-and-white comic showing a World War 2-era Nazi soldier urinating into a canal. From the distance, Jesus comes running up the canal, walking on the water, shocking the Nazi. Jesus runs up the stream of urine, causing the Nazi to swear in surprise, and performs a flip kick, hitting the Nazi violently in the face. Then Jesus stands over the bloodied, unconscious Nazi, and says: “Blood of the lamb, motherfucker.”]

The image of Jesus walking up a stream of pee to kick a Nazi in the face is glorious, but to my delight, this wasn’t just a one-off image. This is actually a page from a graphic novel that looks every bit as blasphemous as you’d think from this preview. The whole 3-part story is available, and there’s even this preview video that is just mesmerizing in its insanity:

This next one isn’t really blasphemy, but after showing Jesus as a comic book hero, I couldn’t resist showing what it might look like if atheists were called on to save the day in a comic:

[A comic illustrating two heroes looking over an apparent zombie apocalypse, one in superhero-like tights, the other a white ninja in a trench coat with a pair of guns. The superhero says: “It appears your ‘cousins’ are all under some sort of mind-control. Wolverine, too.” The ninja replies: “That would be Weapon XVI. The world released it when it sensed it was under attack.” He continues while dynamically leaping over a ledge: “It’s called AllGod. It’s a living religion. A virus that attacks the faith reserves. You have to believe in some sort of God for it to work. That leaves me out.” He continues: “I have nanites in my brain to moderate my neocortex, rendering me physically incapable of believing in anything greater than myself. You?” His superhero companion replies: “We Kree have a mathematical equation that proves the nonexistence of any deities. We learn it when we’re children, about the same time we learn not to soil ourselves with excrement.” The ninja poses dramatically, brandishing his guns: “Cool. I always knew atheists would someday save the world.”]

Though it looks professionally done, with hints that it might be a Marvel comic, I have no idea where it actually came from. If anyone can find out, please share in the comments.

[A comic titled “How to infuriate someone”. It shows a man and a woman at a bus stop. The man observes the woman is wearing a crucifix necklace, and asks: “So, what’s the T stand for?”]

This is probably a pretty dickish thing to do, and runs the risk of triggering a proselytizing session, but the idea is funny anyway.

And finally, here’s something worth trying the next time someone tries proselytizing to you:

[A comic illustrating a man eating cereal when he is disturbed by the doorbell. At the door is a proselytizer in a suit with a Bible, saying: “Hello, sir! Have you accepted Jesus as your personal lord and saviour?” The man looks unimpressed, and searches for a response, coming up with: “Um, no, sorry. I follow the path of, uh… Doctor Who.” The proselytizer looks confused: “Pardon me? Isn’t that a TV show?” The man responds: “Not just a show, sir! I assure you it’s all real! He saved us from the Daleks! The Cybermen! The Yeti! The master! Wherever evil lurks, the Doctor is there, putting his life on the line for all mankind! How could not worship a guy like that? He’s my Time Lord and saviour!” The proselytizer objects: “But that’s just fiction!” The man replies: “Please. At least I have video evidence of my messiah. All you have is, what? That collection of Jesus fanfic there?”]
[A comic illustrating a man having a conversation with a door-to-door proselytizer. The proselytizer says: “Jesus upset the temple of the moneylenders!” The man replies: “Doctor Who saved the Earth from destruction by the Cybermen!” The proselytizer says: “Jesus made it possible for us to live eternally!” The man responds: “Doctor Who helped the Scarlioni create all life on Earth!” The proselytizer gets agitated: “Jesus will bring us all to heaven when the revelation comes!” The man replies: “Doctor Who will save us from the Dalek invasion of 2164!” The proselytizer objects: “But that hasn’t happened yet!” The man retorts: “Neither has yours. Mine is just as valid, except my guy time travels.” The man continues: “You can believe what you like, of course. That’s your choice. “I just like a saviour who has a talking robot dog and a flying phone booth.” The proselytizer yells: “But Jesus came back from the dead!” The man rolls his eyes: “Pfeh. When he comes back eight more times, he can talk to me.”]

Here’s looking forward to a blasphemy law free Canada in 2019!

3 thoughts on “International Blasphemy Day 2018

  1. C-51 has cleared the Senate Committee and is now sitting on the order papers for third reading. All the Senate needs to do is call a vote now!

    Unfortunately, the Committee recommended no further changes to the bill, so we’re stuck with S176 remaining in law. That said, had the Committee passed changes the Bill would have to go back to the House of Commons and it’d face further delays.

    I’m optimistic though that we’ll see it pass by the end of the year.

    • I’m glad the Committee didn’t recommend anything, even about putting the §176 repeal back in, because – as you noted – that would have meant even more delays. Because it came back unamended (with only “observations”), I’m optimistic that we’ll see it pass by the end of the month.

      In any case, §176 is a lost cause at this point. Even if the Senate Justice Committee had recommended its repeal, I doubt the Liberals would have paid them any attention – re-adding it at this point would have opened them up to be razed by the Conservatives on multiple fronts: all the angles they were playing during the Parliamentary debates, plus flip-flopping on top of it. Once the Libs took ownership of removing the repeal, that was pretty much the end of it. I’ll just add it to the very long list of Liberal legislative “so-close-but-so-far” disappointments.

      With all the disappointments in 2018 (and now add the Québec election and 20 years of culture lost thanks to the NAFTA deal), I’ll take even half-victories at this point!

    • Please keep the law as it was before

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