Blasphemy in modern age

Blasphemy in modern age
Blasphemy is an impious expression or action concerning God or sacred things. A contemptuous or disrespectful act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. The present law of blasphemy is based on decisions made by nineteenth century courts. In 1838, in a case, it was restricted to protect the tenets & beliefs of the Church of England.

Sometimes, it is more obscure. Some academics say the crime has been expressed so many ways & it is hard to say exactly what behaviour or action would be considered blasphemous.

In 1927, during a private prosecution, the trial judge said blasphemous libel was committed if a publication about God, Christ, religion or the Bible used words which were insulting, abusive or offensive, which vilified Christianity & might lead to a breach of the peace.

In 1922, John William Gott was sent to prison. He was sentenced to nine months' hard labour for comparing Jesus with a circus clown. In 1977 moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse brought a private prosecution against the Gay News for publishing a poem depicting a centurion's love for Christ.

Many British Muslims called for author Salman Rushdie to be tried under the law due to his controversial novel in muslim world, The Satanic Verses. But the law only recognises blasphemy against the Church of England.

It does not cover all Christian denominations. This raises some interesting hypothetical questions to the society. If someone allegedly blasphemed Christianity in its Church of England form then that would be a prima facie case for prosecution. On the other hand, if someone offensed the faith in its other forms, (Catholicism), it probably would not count. This is an example of the law's absurdity - for a Methodist, there is no protection for his faith under the law.

Many campaigners from across the political spectrum criticise the law as not compatible with modern age. They argue that it is not the state's place to defend ideas & faiths & religions should be strong enough to defend themselves.
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Javeria Khan said...

In a strict sense, blasphemy is an act of humiliating or showing contempt for a religious deity. Some countries even have laws to punish religious blasphemy, as enlightened in this blog that in various times various people were sentenced to prison for committing this crime. Having said that, ones faith and belief in religion should be strong enough!