Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blasphemy Illegal in Massachusetts

I was searching Massachusetts General Laws for something else and came across this:

Chapter 272: Section 36. Blasphemy
Section 36. Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.

5 comments:

Brian Michael Page said...

I would LOVE to know what year that was written into the law books. I'm guessing late 1700's. Just imagine the politicians doing just that by their actions, not only in Massachusetts, but in Rhode Island and many other states as well.

Peace,
BMP

Domini Sumus said...

I will try to find out when it was passed, but I think you have the right time period.

I can't think of a single Massachusetts lawmaker who would consider placing a law like that on the books today.

Domini Sumus said...

I have done some research and it seems the law was on the books since 1648 and remained on the books when Massachusetts became a state. It's still there.

Brian Michael Page said...

Think someone in southern New England would have enough brains to enforce it this 358-year-old law? ;)
BMP

Domini Sumus said...

I doubt it, but there are plenty who could be accused of the crime.