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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


statements, 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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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 h. t. The law relating to blasphemy in that country was totally repealed by the code of 25th of September, 1791, and its present penal code, art. 262, enacts, that any person who, by words or gestures, shall commit any outrage upon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

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The point I want us to quintessence on is how the right-wingers hypocritically altered their opinion about Asia's acquittal from saying that women aren't subject to punishments in Islam after they blaspheme to saying that she should have been hanged to death because she had blasphemed.
'IFP believes that President Duterte has reached the highest limit of his arrogance and pride thinking that he can curse God, blaspheme Him and get away with it,' Bishop Daniel Balais, IFP national chairman, said in a strongly-worded statement Tuesday.
AGREE with Elisabeth Hewitson that we should avoid taking the Lord Jesus' name in vain (Feedback, 03.06.16), but I must say that, on most occasions when people blaspheme, it is out of habit, rather than an intentional insult to God, or his son.
La mobilisation a debute dimanche dernier dans la ville voisine de Rawalpindi par un rassemblement reunissant jusqu'a 25.000 personnes en memoire de Mumtaz Qadri, un islamiste pendu fin fevrier pour avoir assassine en 2011 le gouverneur du Pendjab car ce dernier soutenait une reforme de la loi controversee punissant le blaspheme. Plusieurs milliers de manifestants s'etaient ensuite force un passage a coups de pierres jusqu'a la capitale dimanche apres-midi, avant de s'installer sur l'avenue de la Constitution, qui longe le Parlement, la presidence et les bureaux du gouvernement pakistanais.
In Luke, to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to fail to witness when called upon to do so.
The Taliban has revealed itself, not merely as criminal child murderers, but murderers who blaspheme the name of Allah, by murdering God's children in His holy name.
The conference aims to correct erroneous concepts of extremists who have chosen to anathematize or blaspheme everybody else and who have chosen sabotage as a means to an end and who have wreaked havoc on earth.
Certains crient meme au blaspheme. L'infame impie qui provoqua l'ire des hommes en djellabas n'est autre qu'un personnage fictif d'une sitcom.
We won't allow any bloggers to blaspheme our religion and our beloved Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)", said Shahidul Islam, an imam at a mosque outside Dhaka who walked 20km.
Sawan Masih a ete arrete vendredi apres avoir ete denonce par un ami musulman, Shahid Imran, l'accusant de blaspheme, crime passible de la peine capitale au Pakistan, pays trouble de 180 millions d'habitants dont 97% sont musulmans.
NNA - AN-NAHAR: Hariri: Alternative initiative Taef and March 14 Will mufti charges 700 million Muslims with blaspheme ?