Fools rush in. I never expected even Fianna Fail to be daft enough to bring in an anti-blasphemy law that criminalises anyone who outrages religious groups.
Don't they know that all religions outrage one another with their claims to be God's darlings? That you only have to quote Jesus to Jews to make them hopping mad?
The Government may now have to ban the Bible. Or pay censors to make thousands of cuts and informers to snoop on clerics who read anti-Jewish vitriol from the altar.
Forget the bloodthirsty bits in the Jewish Bible where God goes genocidal and gays are all massacred by divine decree. The New Testament shows beyond doubt that Jesus managed to do the seemingly impossible: loathe Jews and Gentiles.
A pity no Cabinet minister bothered to read John's Gospel. What if I wrote of Jews in this newspaper: "You are of your father the devil and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him."
Or suppose I repeat in public Jesus' saying that once Abraham was their father, now Jews "have chosen the father of lies and made a new covenant with Satan". John goes to the extreme of saying Pilate "handed Jesus over to be crucified by them," as if Jews and not Romans crucified the Son of God. Heavens, will I be fined €25,000 for quoting Jesus?
The impact of the libel against Jews was murderous. From early on Christians looked on all Jews as apostates, God-killers and beyond forgiveness if they didn't convert. Commenting on John's Gospel, St John Chrysostom referred to the synagogue as a brothel, a theatre, a den of thieves and the haunt of wild animals. Jews were no better than pigs or goats. Will Fianna Fail ban not just the Gospels but also the works of most popes and theologians?
Christian propaganda incited hatred and bloody pogroms. The Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews was the final step in a long history of anti-Jewish hatred inspired by the Jesus depicted in the Gospels. Race relations were definitely not his strong point.
Nor was he fond of Gentiles. He warned his disciples not to go near them. He invariably accuses them of "vain repetitions" or babblings when they pray. They are dogs and swine. When a Canaanite woman with a sick child knelt before him, begging him to heal her, he said: "It is wrong to take the children's bread and throw it to dogs." A Jewish scholar wrote: "To the Canaanite woman he uses such harsh words that the ears of the most chauvinistic Jews must burn at them!"
A final question for Minister Dermot Ahern. If the Gospels are not blasphemous and likely to cause religious outrage, please tell us what is.