For all the angst about the religious Right in the US, it takes enlightened Europeans to ban blasphemous speech:

View All


  1. Holy shit.

    I predict a huge brain drain, like, tomorrow.

  2. Actually..’s just the Irish–and Ireland was never really considered part of “enlightened” Europe… Contraceptives were illegal there until 1979, Divorce was illegal until 1995!!!!

    Basically.. Ireland was a province of the Pope so far as anyone could tell until just the last 10 years.

    Now.. if you had told me Sweden had done this.. I would have been shocked.. but Ireland? That’s to be expected..

    1. Re: Actually..

      Near as I can tell – and also according to a friend who’s been there – this isn’t a conservative Catholic thing, it’s a PC thing.

      Either way, the point is that most EU nations don’t have a bill of rights, and most of their liberties seem to be granted by the kind sufferance of the powers that be rather than any kind of principled dedication to freedom. I’m often annoyed by Americans who go on about how enlightened Europe is without any concept of the kind of civil rights abuses that go on in, e.g., France or the UK. The fact is that acts of censorship and intrusion which are considered unconscionable (and illegal) here in the US are accepted as the price of peace in much of Europe.

      1. interesting..

        In any case.. I will wholeheartedly agree with you that the EU suprastructure is a monstrosity. Not only does it have inordinate powers for a system where representation is not nearly fair–but the council aspects of the EU are horrid–they are appointed and have no democratic legitimacy at all.

        As for people talking about “enlightened Europe”–that’s just stupid. That’s like talking about “autocratic Asia” without making any room for the wide variety of different countries and cultures.

        As for particular countries–I know Germany’s constitution has all of the rights of our bill of rights and then some (they actually specify that women are equal to men, for example) in their Basic Law. What pissed off many of the Germans I knew was that the EU didn’t have nearly as many specifications as the German constitution did–and it was supposed to supercede the German constitution.

        Fucking Bullshit. That said, Germany doesn’t grant absolute free speech (neither does the U.S. for that matter) in the sense that, because of their history, Neo-Nazi groups or certain claims–such as the denial of the Holocaust–can get you arrested. Perhaps, in another 50 years, they can get rid of this.. but it seems reasonable to me for the time being.

        As for France and Britain–ick. Britains complete lack of any privacy laws and the extreme centralization of France’s government (Mayors of all cities over like 50,000 people ARE APPOINTED IN PARIS!) are just fucking ridiculous. If I was going to move to Europe, I’d consider living in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland (maybe Norway too..) but the rest can suck it… (And I like Europe..)

Comments are closed.