Blasphemy: Is it still a crime
What is blasphemy? -
Blasphemy is the act of disrespecting or offending a deity or a religion.
Where can the concept of blasphemy be found? - Blasphemy is mostly associated with Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Blasphemy is very much present in the Bible and Christian theology at large.
It’s a sin -
The Lutheran Church text 'The Book of Concord' (1580) also makes reference to blasphemy, calling it "the greatest sin that can be outwardly committed."
Calvinist text -
The ‘Heidelberg Catechism’ (1563) states that "no sin is greater or provokes God's wrath more than the blaspheming of His Name."
Acts of Reparation -
The Catholic Church in particular has prayers and devotions to make amends with God if one commits the sin of blasphemy.
The Golden Arrow prayer -
The Golden Arrow prayer, introduced in 1844 by Discalced Carmelite nun Mary of Saint Peter, is said as an Act of Reparation.
In 1636, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony defined blasphemy as "a cursing of God by atheism, or the like." It was a sin that was punishable by death.
Any action deemed offensive to God, the Prophet Muhammad, or any other sacred element in Islam is blasphemous.
For its part, Sharia law does suggest a number of punishments for blasphemy, which vary in severity depending on the case.
Blasphemy is heavily punished in Judaism, especially for those who blaspheme the Tetragrammaton (God).
Dharmic religions -
With the exception of Sikhism, Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism do not have the concept of blasphemy.
Blasphemy can be both a speech and a religious crime, and while many nations have repealed blasphemy laws, others still have them enforced.
English common law -
In English common law, blasphemy could be punishable by fine, imprisonment, or corporal punishment.
Muslim countries where blasphemy laws are enforced - The vast majority of Muslim countries enforce blasphemy laws.
Other nations with blasphemy laws - Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code is essentially a blasphemy law.