It’s a challenge to write about Blasphemy Day in accordance with decency guidelines, but you should know that today — September 30 — is officially a holiday for blaspheming and openly using colorful language in criticism of religion.
Blasphemy Day’s official name is “Blasphemy Rights Day International,” and the holiday is only four bleeping years old.
And if you don’t take blasphemy too seriously — like initial advocate Penn Jillette — the premise behind Blasphemy Day is… well, kind of funny.
A blog post back around the first Blasphemy Day in 2009 reads:
“The idea for Blasphemy Day International came from a CFI student group leader who approached CFI in the spring about putting its organizational support behind the proposed event—which I’m proud to say we did. Although controversial, defending the rights of free expression and free inquiry includes defending the right to blaspheme. As Paul Kurtz and Tom Flynn said, we need ‘to affirm the right to blaspheme by exercising it.’ “
While you may not totally agree, the premise behind Blasphemy Day is a solid one — that if these freedoms are not used, they cease to be acceptable and remain open to a lack of outcry when they’re threatened.
Justin Trottier, a Canadian advocate of Blasphemy Day, explained that the intent isn’t to upset peoples’ sensibilities or insult any particular religion, or even all of them.
So it's #BlasphemyDay today? Not sure what that means but completely agree with this: pic.twitter.com/Mv56Vxse6X
— Ols (@Orfhlaith_) September 30, 2013
Instead, Blasphemy Day exists to remind people that a free society retains the right to criticism religion in any manner its citizens see fit, including blaspheming under the rules of certain religions:
“We’re not seeking to offend, but if in the course of dialogue and debate, people become offended, that’s not an issue for us. There is no human right not to be offended.”
Blasphemy Day was created in part as a backlash against the “cartoons featuring Mohammed” controversy, but the premise is aimed at all religions seeking to influence secular society.