Carlin's offering, which presumably won't sway the righteous or provoke a prosecution, is -
Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.The Act characterises blasphemy as -
matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.There is an element of intentionality, ie the person who publishes or utters that grossly abusive or insulting matter must intend to cause such outrage among a substantial number of the religion's adherents.
The Act specifies that 'religion' does not include "an organisation or cult" ... "the principal object of which is the making of profit" or that "employs oppressive psychological manipulation" of its followers or for the purpose of gaining new followers, an exclusion that Irish courts might find useful in allowing criticism of the notoriously litigious entity known as Scientology.
The Blasphemy Law was enacted last year, following repeal of Eire's 1961 Defamation Act. It makes blasphemy a crime punishable by a fine of €25,000, a penalty that's a sharp reduction from the €100,000 in the first draft.
The Atheist Society has argued that the new legislation is "both silly and dangerous" -
It is silly because it revives a medieval religious crime in a modern pluralist republic. And it is dangerous because it incentivises religious outrage, by making it the first trigger for defining blasphemy.The Irish government announced that it needed to pass a new blasphemy law to avoid leaving "a void" and to respect the Constitution, albeit a void that the Atheist Society noted had been in existence since at least 1999, when the Republic's Supreme Court found in Corway v Independent Newspapers  1 IRLM 426 that the 1961 law was unenforceable because it did not define blasphemy.
The problematic behaviour here is the outrage, not the expression of different beliefs. Instead of incentivising outrage, we should be educating people to respond in a more healthy manner than outrage when somebody expresses a belief that they find insulting.
The law also discriminates against atheist citizens by protecting the fundamental beliefs of religious people only. Why should religious beliefs be protected by law in ways that scientific or political or other secular beliefs are not?
The 1937 Irish Constitution indicates that "the publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law" but contrary to some claims in the blogosphere Ireland has not had specific statute regarding blasphemy (whether in relation to a specific Christian church, more broadly protective of the Christian faith/deity, or of deities per se).
Protection instead has reflected traditional UK law with an offence of 'blasphemous libel' in common law and as part of defamation statutes. A 1991 report by the Law Reform Commission concluded there was no place for an offence of blasphemous libel -
in a society which respects freedom of speech. ... The argument in its favour that the publication of blasphemy causes injury to feelings appeared to us to be a tenuous basis on which to restrict freedom of speech. The argument that freedom to insult religion would threaten the stability of society by impairing the harmony between groups seemed highly questionable in the absence of any prosecutions.Critics have suggested that -
We should be removing all of the 1930s religious references from the Constitution, not legislating to enforce them.Others have suggested that concerns regarding violence or public disorder - where the offended take matters into their own hands and smite unbelievers or where blasphemers incite violence through offensive statements - would more effectively be addressed through anti-vilification law. That is consistent with the March 2009 comment by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs that -
The preamble to our Constitution states that all authority of the State comes from a specific god called the Most Holy Trinity. It also humbly acknowledges all of the obligations of the people of the State to a specific god called Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Up to a quarter of a million Irish atheists cannot become President or a judge unless they take a religious oath. These religious declarations are contrary to Ireland's obligations under the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Constitution [Article 44] also states that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. This is much more than an assertion of the right of citizens to worship this god. It is an assertion of the right of this god to be publicly worshipped by citizens. ...
The Constitution also contains many other references to this god and to religion generally. Our national parliament reflects this by starting each day's business with a prayer explicitly asking the Christian God to direct all of their actions. Under this guidance, they have legislated for many public policies that are heavily influenced by religion.
We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.Meanwhile there are reports that "a Somali man" (apparently, in fact, a Danish resident) has been shot by Danish police after breaking into the home of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard while wielding an axe, presumably to wreak righteous vengeance on Westergaard for his 2005 Jyllands-Posten caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.