Blasphemy and the Law of Religious Liberty in Nineteenth-Century America

@article{Gordon2000BlasphemyAT,
  title={Blasphemy and the Law of Religious Liberty in Nineteenth-Century America},
  author={S. Gordon},
  journal={American Quarterly},
  year={2000},
  volume={52},
  pages={682 - 719}
}
  • S. Gordon
  • Published 2000
  • Sociology
  • American Quarterly
IN 1811, CHIEF JUDGE JAMES KENT OF THE COURT OF APPEALS OF NEW YORK upheld the conviction of John Ruggles for blasphemy. Ruggles’s crime was shouting “Jesus Christ was a bastard, and his mother must be a whore.” He was convicted after a jury concluded that “these words were uttered in a wanton manner, and, as they evidently import, with a wicked and malicious disposition, and not in a serious discussion upon any controverted point in religion.” Ruggles had openly and wantonly reviled Jesus and… Expand

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