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Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania have laws that make reference to blasphemy. Some US states still have blasphemy laws on the books from the founding days. For example, Chapter 272 of the Massachusetts General Laws — a provision based on a similar colonial era Massachusetts Bay statute enacted in 1697 — states:
Section 36. Whoever willfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, His creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.
The history of Maryland's blasphemy statutes suggests that even into the 1930s, the First Amendment was not recognized as preventing states from passing such laws. An 1879 codification of Maryland statutes prohibited blasphemy:
Art. 72, sec. 189. If any person, by writing or speaking, shall blaspheme or curse God, or shall write or utter any profane words of and concerning our Saviour, Jesus Christ, or of and concerning the Trinity, or any of the persons thereof, he shall, on conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned as aforesaid, at the discretion of the court.
The last person to be jailed in the United States for blasphemy was Abner Kneeland in 1838...
The Kneeland case preceded the ratification (1868) of the 14th Amendment, which incorporated the Bill of Rights and made it apply to the states and not just to the federal government. From 1925, the Supreme Court applied the Bill of Rights to all states.
The US Supreme Court in Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495 (1952) held that the New York State blasphemy law was an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of speech. The court stated that "It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures."
Originally posted by 4nsicphd
reply to post by Xerxes1434
Yeah, don't you dare say anything bad about my giant flying spaghetti monster! Why not the death penalty, especially for people like that idiot pastor in Gainesville who said bad things about Allah and wanted to burn the Quran?
Or should the laws only protect your own pet superstition?
Originally posted by Xerxes1434
You mock him now but you'll cry out to him when his judgement falls down on us.
Blasphemy is a believers problem. Just lighten up a bit, for Gods sake!
Originally posted by Xerxes1434
This was founded as a Christian nation. People can have free speech as long as they want but their should be an exception to that rule for blasphemy.
That is why this country is spiraling down into a cesspool because people have no respect for God and his laws. God rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah because of their blatant disregard for God and his laws. Our country is like they are now with open homosexuality, gay marriage, etc.
We need to turn back to God and his Word if we are to survive as a nation. Look at the Greeks and Romans, their nations fell because they practiced homosexuality, God did not spare them.