Derogatory use of names of deities
Any expression by word, sign, or gesture that is insulting to the goodness of God is viewed as blasphemy by the Church. In the USA, the common law offence of blasphemy is perpetrated through the verbal publication of words intended to impair or destroy man's reverence for God and religion, by subjecting belief in the deity, scriptures or religious doctrines to derision and vilification, If the blasphemous words are written or printed, they constitute blasphemous libel, as do pictorial caricatures which convey a blasphemous meaning.
In 1994 a senior UN human rights investigator was accused of blasphemy by the Sudanese government after the release of a report critical of the human rights record in Sudan which focused on the incidence of extra-judicial executions and torture and highlighted inconsistencies between the Islamic legislation adopted by the government and the international human rights standards which it had accepted. In India bars are often called by names of Hindu deities. In 1993 Hindu fundamentalists deemed this inappropriate and blasphemous, especially when used for commercial reasons.
Blasphemy is a two part problem. The blasphemer consciously separates himself from the creator and as such is self destructive. The blasphemer also sets an example for others to do the same, endangering them.
1. Blasphemy is to religion what sedition is to government. In the USA there are still laws on the books of some fifteen states today, but they are almost never used. They are holdovers from an earlier era, when Americans viewed Christianity as the one true religion. Most of them, possibly all, are unconstitutional by current Supreme Court standards. 2. There are laws of libel to protect individuals against untruthful attacks on their integrity and honour, and there are laws to protect individuals against racial incitement or sexual harassment. Blasphemy laws do not protect persons, they protect doctrines, and instead of being extended to cover all forms of religious belief, they should be abolished because they attempt to restrict freedom of opinion in the realm of ideas. 3. Conflict of perceptions of blasphemy does not concern questions of the sacred and the profane but rather differences between those who believe that there are such things as certainties in this life and those who want to celebrate human impurity and the radical incompatibilities between human visions.