U of S students celebrate Blasphemy Day
Display pokes fun at different ideas of hell
A student group at the University of Saskatchewan is offering cookies for human souls.
With a cardboard crucifix taped to his baseball cap, Brandon Gerbig was celebrating Blasphemy Day yesterday by bartering for "souls" with a tasty treat.
Visitors to his booth could also spin a wheel to see which version of hell they would go to after munching the snack.
Gerbig is a member of the Freethought Alliance at the University of Saskatchewan. The secular group spent Monday challenging religious beliefs and debating the importance of free speech.
"We're trying to express that in this country, and all free speaking countries, we are allowed to say things about religion that might not be kind or informed yet we have the right to say it," Gerbig said.
International Blasphemy Day is held each year on Sept. 30 to mark the anniversary of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishing a cartoon depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The cartoon influenced worldwide protests and ignited free-speech and self-censorship debates.
Some students were insulted by Gerbig's cookies-for-souls table. At one point, a group of Muslim students challenged Gerbig at his booth, but he wasn't discouraged.
"They have the right to be insulted, but they do not have the right to censor freedom of speech," Gerbig said.