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Go ahead and blaspheme

Gazette staff October 3rd, 2012

With violent protests throughout the Middle East over an anti-Muslim video on YouTube, you wouldn’t think it’s the best time for U.S. lawmakers to roll back limits on the belittling of religion.

Credit: Brad Gregg

And you really wouldn’t think there’d be much of an appetite to do that here in the God-lovin’ buckle of the Bible belt.

But Rep. Randy Grau wants to blow your mind. The Edmond Republican says he will work next legislative session to repeal a 112-year-old state law that makes blasphemy a misdemeanor.

Hold up — there’s been a law on the books criminalizing blasphemy? Wow, there’s no shortage of foul-mouthed coworkers, motorists, high school coaches and relatives we would’ve loved to have turned over to the authorities. Oh, well. Live and learn.

At any rate, Grau said in a news release that repealing the statute is necessary now that some are calling for the United Nations to impose a worldwide blasphemy law.

“While I do not support the gratuitous disparagement of another’s religious views, I do believe it is necessary to stand up for free speech even when it is unpopular to do so,” said Grau. “We do and should have the right to openly debate or question any issue.”

The key word there, we suspect, is “gratuitous.” When it comes to blasphemy, moderation is everything.

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