Blasphemy Law abolished

Concerted efforts to abolish the blasphemy law appear to have paid off, as the Lords have passed the latest amendment to the Criminal Justice bill. This started a couple of months ago when Evan Harris proposed a bill to repeal the outdated legislation, getting a fair bit of publicity in the process. I asked my MP to support it but he never replied, in fairness possibly because the amendment was withdrawn a few days later, after the government said it would propose its own version. I was a little skeptical at the time, but it was indeed added to the Criminal Justice bill amendment, and is now set to become law (or, not-law). Hooray!

The House of Lords Bishops weren’t best pleased. Rowan Williams supported it initially, then made various impenetrable speeches suggesting he thought it was all a bit mean, and finally wrote a wishy-washy letter saying it was maybe a bad move.

It should not be capable of interpretation as a secularising move, or as a general licence to attack or insult religious beliefs and believers.

Those two problems deserve to be placed in the same sentence, of course.

He voted in favour, but the aforementioned speeches suggests he wants more powerful legislation in its place. Well, tough.