Blasphemy
#1
Do you think that blaspheming in a published writing or while speaking at a public event should be punishable by civil law?
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#2
Not by the US, at this present time, or else we'd all be fined or imprisoned for sneering when we say "Obama."
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#3
(08-13-2009, 04:42 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: Do you think that blaspheming in a published writing or while speaking at a public event should be punishable by civil law?

No.

Because civil law is highly fickle and prone to failure and it can be turned against anyone. So I support the least restrictions on individuals and support small self governing entities.

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#4
(08-13-2009, 04:42 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: Do you think that blaspheming in a published writing or while speaking at a public event should be punishable by civil law?

No because this borders on thought control. While I do not approve of blasphemy in the traditional meaning of the word, I think it can be vague these days and a law could be used to punish those who disagree with political leaders and speak out against them.
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#5
(08-13-2009, 04:42 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: Do you think that blaspheming in a published writing or while speaking at a public event should be punishable by civil law?

If we lived in a country dominated by true Catholicism, yes, but unfortunately America is not a Catholic country so such laws might work against us.
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#6
If America was a Catholic confessional State (Nation), then yes, I could see civil law punishing blasphemy as well as heresy. It could fall under the crime of defamation.

Wikipedia notes that: "Opinion is a defense recognized in nearly every jurisdiction. If the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable. However, some jurisdictions decline to recognize any legal distinction between fact and opinion. The United States Supreme Court, in particular, has ruled that the First Amendment does not require recognition of an opinion privilege" (article on Defamation; Cf. Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990)).

I think you may like this nugget I found in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Blasphemy Wrote:Blasphemy cognizable by common law is defined by Blackstone to be "denying the being or providence of God, contumelious reproaches of our Saviour Jesus Christ, profane scoffing at the Holy Scripture, or exposing it to contempt or ridicule". The United States once had many penal statutes against blasphemy, which were declared constitutional as not subversive of the freedom of speech or liberty of the press (Am. and Eng. Ency. of Law, Vol. IV, 582). In the American Decisions (Vol. V, 335) we read that "Christianity being recognized by law therefore blasphemy against God and profane ridicule of Christ or the Holy Scripture are punishable at Common Law", Accordingly where one uttered the following words "Jesus Christ was a bastard and his mother was a whore", it was held to be a public offence, punishable by the common law. The defendant found guilty by the court of common pleas of the blasphemy above quoted was sentenced to imprisonment for three months and to pay a fine of five hundred dollars.
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