Beliefs should not be protected by law
In the light of the acquittal of Nick Griffin both Gordon Brown and Peter Hain are arguing that the law should be changed. It seems the intention is to revisit the religious hatred legislation (just as they intend to revisit the anti-terrorism legislation to try to get the 90 days: they want to reverse the Commons defeats). Politaholic favours legislation against religious discrimination (in employment, etc) and incitement to hatred. But such legislation must fall short of protecting religious beliefs from "insult". Here is Richard Dawkins talking about the Old Testament: "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic-cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully". (For God's sake Dawkins don't beat about he bush). Now I suppose some Christians mind be "offended" by this, might feel "insulted". So bloody what? Are we to imagine that it would be proper for the rozzers to go round to Dawkins place and take him away in handcuffs? And if Christianity is not to be afforded this protection why should Islam? And if both are protected by law in the way suggested then we no longer live a free society where the robust exchange of conflicting ideas is possible. People have the right to be protected by the law; their beliefs do not.