blasphemy

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Related to blaspheme: irreverently

blasphemy,

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.

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blasphemy

Law the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
'His pride in his 'iron hand' way of rule; his utter disregard for the dignity of life that resulted in the shedding of tens of thousands of innocent blood in two short years of terror; the proud and unrestrained mouth that spewed cusses, curses and abominations has finally brought him to commit the ultimate sin that only Satan can do: blaspheme and defy the very name and character of God,' Balais said.
"Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
La severite des lois pakistanaises sur le blaspheme a attire l'attention de la communaute internationale et suscite une vive emotion l'an dernier avec "l'affaire Rimsha".
Words such as blaspheme and infidel are the last resort of the unjustifiable.
It is pure arrogance that allows Oliver to blaspheme to the nation.
In "Time," Randall writes that "soon a road / will blaspheme this land," suggesting not just desecration of the earth but also human invention's essential impermanence.
Thus freethinkers the world over are pleased to see that the right to be critical of religion, including the right to blaspheme, has been upheld in the Western world.
Mr Goddard said: ``A guy who called himself Satan went to the pulpit to blaspheme. But Simon, the editor of Ship of Fools, told him not to and Satan apologised in our church, which we thought was great.
They will spend around two hours and 14 minutes kissing in their motors, researchers found, and swear or blaspheme 32,025 times behind the wheel.
In his speech Havel declared: "we are not here alone for ourselves alone, but we are an integral part of higher, mysterious entities against whom it is not advisable to blaspheme." This occultic vision was enthusiastically "seconded by President Gorbachev," recalled Rockefeller, and it was decided to encapsulate that "spiritual vision in an Earth Charter." "Unless human beings take seriously their responsibility to the community of life -- and not just for it -- we [will] not make the major changes in our life that must be made in order to protect the planet," explained Rockefeller.
After going through script after script looking for the perfect first project for her film production company, Blaspheme Films, actress Christina Ricci chose Pumpkin because of its strong message about preconceived notions, something both the special needs community and she herself have dealt with.
They say the park would be a kitsch monstrosity that would blaspheme the region's cultural and spiritual values.