What is blasphemy?
The word “blasphemy” sounds old-fashioned to the western ear. It is defined in the dictionary as :
- Profane or contemptuous speech, writing, or action concerning God or anything held as divine
- Any remark or action held to be irreverent or disrespectful
So much of the world speaks in irreverent or disrespectful tones and words. It does not justify it, but most people do not feel that they have to defend their God.
Today in a world that values the freedom of speech and the freedom to write and advertise, could people actually be put to death for what is considered blasphemy? At this holiday season, a man who represents an atheist organization has contracted a large billboard on which depicts the three wise men riding toward the Christmas star. The bold words proclaim it a myth. His purpose, is to “educate, and to bring the closet atheists” out in the open. He obviously relies on and approves of freedom of speech to express his view-point. However, if he lived in certain parts of the world, he would be arrested for blasphemy. In fact, he denounced the three major religions openly. Perhaps he should watch his back. We think he has the right to say what he likes…to proclaim his unbelief…but others do not.
A little history:
“Blasphemy against God and the Church was a crime punishable by death in much of the world, and remains punishable by death in some parts to this day. Britain’s last blasphemy execution was 18-year-old Thomas Aikenhead. He was executed for the crime in 1667 for saying on a cold night, “I wish I were in that place Ezra calls hell so I could warm myself.”
George Rosie wrote in the newspaper The Scotsman, “The killing of Thomas Aikenhead, like the hounding of Salman Rushdi for the same ‘offence,’ was a disgrace. . . a prime example of a God-fixated state killing a man in an attempt to stop the spread of an idea.”
In the 1600’s, the church ruled. Personal freedoms of thought were not a privilege. We are now in the 21st century and still such harshness in religious faith exists. I have often wondered why anyone, of any faith, would feel that he had to kill a person in defense of his God? Could God not strike a person dead if He so chose? Perhaps He is waiting until He comes in Great Judgment. Perhaps He understands the frailty of his creation and has mercy. Just perhaps.
“Stopping an idea” Do people believe they have the right to stop an idea? It appears so.
One woman who had a dispute with other women is now fighting for her life. Unless pardoned by a court, she will die in Pakistan by hanging….yes, in this 21st century.
Blasphemy is still a word that is alive and well in certain areas. It is more than taking God’s name in vain…as many do. How often do we hear a person exclaim “Jesus Christ!” when something goes wrong. This name of the one we love and whose name we honor and celebrate at this Christmas time is on the lips of those who would blaspheme….not honor. Yet, we leave this condemnation to God. We do not rush out to kill. That may be because we realize that we were guilty already for the sins in our lives and Christ came to take that sin. Disapproval may be in order, but how dare we set ourselves up as a judge against others. God is powerful enough and ready to defend His Own Name. Click to view: Video
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