So, blasphemy laws are terrible policy. It's worth putting this right here, up top, so nobody gets confused.

But I think religion is an important and positive part of modern society in many places. But it's terribly fragile, particularly to mockery.

Pick anything! Virgin birth? Ha, sounds like some girl was a bit too embarrassed to tell her mother about the boy she likes. It's ridiculous. And essentially every religion has plenty of this stuff. Anything you might describe as a miracle is something true believers admit sounds impossible. And so someone just comes around and says, that's likely, and laughs, and damage is done to the social standing of the church, and the coherence of the communities that surround it. Nobody wants to seem like a fool, believing nonsense. Those remarks damage social trust, and make it easier to do the same, and now we live in a society with very compelling atheism blog posts and deadly, epidemic loneliness.

I think it's fair to say this is a bad trade – but not just because of the outcomes. It's also because "resurrected after three days? Zombie god?" isn't what anyone would call religious scholarship. I like using my imagination, but I cannot truly imagine someone stupid enough to not understand that Jesus returning to life is meant to break the bounds of the world we see it very plainly around us. The dissonance is intentional. Why else tell the story? They don't tell the story about Jesus eating breakfast and complaining about local sports teams.

So we have extremely low to zero value discussion about religion, causing extreme harm that's compounded on itself over generations. There is a lot to be said about the use of coded language to allow critical discussion of religion within the confines of it. As far as I can tell, this has a pretty rich history – the notion that the Bible is literally true, cover to cover, is an unpopular one. Many would say it doesn't attempt to be "literally true" or as us non-religious scholars might say, "it's not trying to be right". But most non-fiction books do meet that standard, and noticing that discrepancy would, if anything, be easier if Blasphemy laws existed and were enforced. Curious truth-seekers would find relatively obvious clues, and society would be otherwise left to it's higher-order state.

I know this seems out of place. Nobody takes these laws seriously, and they shouldn't – the reasoning against them is sound, and discussed elsewhere already. But I wanted to reach out, a hand into the darkness, for all these people are gone from the Western world. And say, we're still brothers, as much as we may disagree.