In honour of Ireland’s new (yes, new) Blasphemy Law, which assesses a fine of 25,000 Euro to anyone found guilty of blaspheming. The bill defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.”
I’ll leave the freedom of speech issue alone and just move right along.
According to Merriam-Webster, blasphemy is an early 13th century word defined as, the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God, the act of claiming the attributes of a deity* or irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable. Etymologically speaking, blasphemy comes from the Old French, blasphemie, which is derived from the Late Latin, blasphemia, which is based in the Greek, blasphemia, “a speaking ill, impious speech, slander”, which is in turn based in the Greek word blasphmein, meaning “to speak evil of.”
*Strictly speaking, shouldn’t the Jews consequently consider Jesus a blasphemer? (Rachel or Josh, I’m leaving it to you to answer that question for me.)