Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to blasphemy: sacrilegiously
The malicious or wanton reproach of God, either written or oral. In English Law, the offense of speaking disparaging words about God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, or the Book of Common Prayer with the intent to undermine religious beliefs and promote Contempt and hatred for the church as well as general immorality. In U.S. law, any maliciously intended written or oral accusation made against God or religion with the purpose of dishonoring the divine majesty and alienating mankind from the love and reverence of God.Blasphemy is a common-law offense and also an offense by statute in certain jurisdictions. It must be uttered in the presence of another person or persons or published in order to be an offense. Mere use of profanity is not considered blasphemy.
Blasphemy statutes are rarely, if ever, enforced today.
blasphemynoun apostasy, blasting, cursing, derogaaion of religion, desecration, disrespect, epithet, execration, expletive, heresy, iconoclasm, impiety, impious utterance, impiousness, imprecation of evil, irreverence, irreverent beeavior, lack of piety, lack of reverence, malediction, profane oath, profaneness, revilement of religion, sacrilegiousness, sanctimoniousness, solemn mockery, swearing, unholiness, unorthodoxy, unsacredness
Associated concepts: freedom of religion, libel and slander
Foreign phrases: Nec veniam, l’aeso numine, casus habet.Where the divinity is insulted the case cannot be pardoned.
blasphemystatements, oral or written, that, in an offensive or insulting manner, impugn the doctrines of Christianity, the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer or the existence of God. The crime does not strike at similar conduct in relation to non-Christian religions. Blasphemy is a crime at common law. There is one old English case that suggests the doctrine applies only to the Anglican denomination. In Scotland there has been modern academic scepticism as to its continued existence.
BLASPHEMY, crim. law. To attribute to God that which is contrary to his
nature, and does not belong to him, and to deny what does or it is a false
reflection uttered with a malicious, design of reviling God. Elym's Pref. to
vol. 8, St. Tr.
2. This offence has been enlarged in Pennsylvania, and perhaps most of the states, by statutory provision. Vide Christianity; 11 Serg. & Rawle, 394. In England all blasphemies against God, the Christian religion, the Holy Scriptures, and malicious revilings of the established church, are punishable by indictment. 1 East, P. C. 3; 1 Russ. on Cr. 217.
3. In France, before the 25th of September, 1791, it was a blasphemy also to speak against the holy virgin and the saints, to deny one's faith, to speak with impiety of holy things, and to swear by things sacred. Merl. Rep. h. t. The law relating to blasphemy in that country was totally repealed by the code of 25th of September, 1791, and its present penal code, art. 262, enacts, that any person who, by words or gestures, shall commit any outrage upon objects of public worship, in the places designed or actually employed for the performance of its rites, or shall assault or insult the ministers of such worship in the exercise of their functions, shall be fined from sixteen to five hundred francs, and be imprisoned for a period not less than fifteen days nor more than six months.
4. The civil law forbad the crime of blasphemy; such, for example, as to swear by the hair or the head of God; and it punished its violation with death. Si enim contra homines factae blasphemiae impunitae non relinquuntur; multo magis qui ipsum Deum Blasphemant, digni sunt supplicia sustinere. Nov. 77, ch. 1, Sec. 1.
5. In Spain it is blasphemy not only to speak against God and his government, but to utter injuries against the Virgin Mary and the saints. Senen Villanova Y Manes, Materia Criminal, forense, Observ. 11, cap. 3, n