A blog of politics, law, religion, and the tricky spots where they collide.

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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.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272, Section 36

The law is still on the books—though I doubt anybody has tried to enforce it in the better part of a century. I just want to point out that while we’re comfortable now that the first amendment protects slander of religion, that comfort has a lot to do with our evolving societal norms.

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