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Of Blasphemy, from the Narrenschiff (The Ship of Fools); woodcut attributed to Albrecht Dürer
The Temptation of St. Antonius is a painting by Félicien Rops

Blasphemy is a word that means speaking badly about a religion, or insulting a god. Many countries with a state religion have laws to make blasphemy a crime. As an example, blasphemy is publishable by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. In other countries, the punishment for the crime is a fine, or imprisonment. Some countries do not have laws against blasphemy, for instance France stopped banning blasphemy to guarantee the freedom of religion and the freedom of press when revolution occured.

There are cases, where people speak badly about religious content, but where this is protected by law: They may do so in a satirical way, for example with a movie that mocks a religion. Also, cursing is often protected by freedom of speech.

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References[change | change source]

  • Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression (ISSN US 0363-3659)
  • Levy, L. Blasphemy. Chapel Hill, 1993.
  • Dartevelle, P., S Borg, Denis, Ph., Robyn, J. (eds.). Blasphèmes et libertés. Paris: CERF, 1993
  • Plate, S. Brent Blasphemy: Art that Offends (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2006) [ISBN 1904772536]

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