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in religion, words or actions that display irreverence toward or contempt for God or that which is held sacred. Blasphemy is regarded as an offense against the community to varying degrees, depending on the extent of the identification of a religion with the society at large or the government. Seditionsedition
, in law, acts or words tending to upset the authority of a government. The scope of the offense was broad in early common law, which even permitted prosecution for a remark insulting to the king.
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, an attack on the sovereign, is thus analogous; both it and blasphemy can be seen as subversive of order and authority. Heresyheresy,
in religion, especially in Christianity, beliefs or views held by a member of a church that contradict its orthodoxy, or core doctrines. It is distinguished from apostasy, which is a complete abandonment of faith that makes the apostate a deserter, or former member.
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, on the other hand, is a matter of competing claims for doctrinal correctness; the dominant (orthodox) faction, however, often defines the heretic as blasphemous.

Blasphemy has been a crime in many religions and cultures, wherever there is something sacred to protect. SocratesSocrates
, 469–399 B.C., Greek philosopher of Athens. Famous for his view of philosophy as a pursuit proper and necessary to all intelligent men, he is one of the great examples of a man who lived by his principles even though they ultimately cost him his life.
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 was prosecuted for blasphemy, and Mosaic law prescribed death for cursing the name of God. JesusJesus
or Jesus Christ
, 1st-century Jewish teacher and prophet in whom Christians have traditionally seen the Messiah [Heb.,=annointed one, whence Christ from the Greek] and whom they have characterized as Son of God and as Word or Wisdom of God incarnate.
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 was tried for blasphemy, while Christians regarded the action of the Jews in trying him as itself blasphemous.

Secular modern states often retain blasphemy laws, but they are infrequently enforced. In the United States, state blasphemy laws remain on the books, but the Supreme Court's expansive interpretation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it likely that any blasphemy prosecution would now be regarded as an impermissible establishment of religion. In countries governed under Islamic law, the concept of blasphemy is broad, embracing many kinds of disrespect or denial of religion; the condemnation (1988) of the author Salman RushdieRushdie, Sir Salman
, 1947–, British novelist, b. Bombay (now Mumbai, India). He is known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores.
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 by Iranian clerics is a recent example of theocratic action.


Law the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion
References in periodicals archive ?
Rather than just letting things slide, or moving to amend the constitution, the Irish legislature gave prosecutors the tools they need to attack blasphemers in the future.
The blasphemer found himself to be in a Kafkaesque impasse.
spy, blasphemer, atheist, violent brawler, double agent, homosexual, as well as brilliant playwright and poet, murdered at the age of 29" (36).
Islamabad -- The Supreme Court questioned on Tuesday whether individuals had the authority to punish a blasphemer.
A five member larger bench of FSC headed over by Justice Fida Hussain while pronouncing judgment on contempt of court petition filed by Hashmat Habib advocate here Wednesday remarked FSC had given decision in 1990 that life imprisonment mentioned with death sentence in blasphemy law should be deleted as any blasphemous act is not acceptable and the blasphemer is liable to be punished under death penalty.
Over centuries he has become better known by those who have written about him - as a mentally unbalanced blasphemer.
Given the crime of Imam Jadoon, let his punishment be greater than of any other blasphemer for he has committed a travesty that transcends far beyond, by planting evidence on Rimsha to frame her for a crime she may not even have committed.
By the yardstick of the Ranadive thesis, Chandrasekharan had proven to be a blasphemer of the worst kind i.
Gravelle, a horror novella,The Temple of the Dead: book 2 of Sepulchral Earth by Tim Marquitz dark fantasy, horror novella, and Blasphemer by Phil Emery, a dark fantasy novella.
Former singer Dead (no, really) blew his brains out with a shotgun and the other band members, who include Necrobutcher and Blasphemer, then made necklaces from the pieces of skull.
Maintaining the credibility of such oaths was more important in early instances of blasphemy than the punishment of the blasphemer, and this latter motive only arrived in a coherent form from the fifteenth century onwards.
These words are for all men, for all time; to a sinner such as myself (who does not presume to judge the interior life of any man--that remains Our Lord's domain), but equally to all men be they a thief, blasphemer or saint--and yes, to those who are morally and spiritually afflicted by sexual temptation: be they heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual.