Crimes Against God
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I was baptized into the Church of England. Even though I had no choice in the matter, that made me a member. By renouncing the Church of England, I became an apostate.
Even before I left the Church, I lost my belief in most of the thirty-nine articles of faith. By considering those articles to be in error, I became a heretic.
I am at times regrettably intemperate in language. In addition, I have used this website to be highly critical and at time insulting towards religion, towards religious belief and towards various views about god. Anyway you look at it, I am a blasphemer.
Four hundred years ago, any one of these supposed crimes could have got me burned at the stake.
Fortunately for me, Christianity has grown more tolerant.
However, there are still many parts of the world, generally in Islamic nations, where apostasy, heresy, and blasphemy are still crimes. The penalty might be beheading, stoning, hanging, firing squad, a merciless lashing, beaten to death or set on fire by a mob of your neighbours, or if you are lucky, a stiff prison sentence. Such are the penalties for thinking.
Who is hurt by apostasy, heresy, or blasphemy?
No human being is.
Perhaps it can be claimed that God's feelings are hurt.
If that is the case, then the penalty should be left up to God. After all, if there really is a God, then He has an eternity to deal with those who have hurt Him.
It is obscene that thought crimes against a deity should be dealt with by human beings. After all, no-one can be genuinely certain they are picking the right God to defend. There are thousands of religions. At most, only one can be right. And it is possible that none of them are.
No nation that claims to be civilized should enforce laws against apostasy, heresy, or blasphemy.