2007-12-05

Teddy Bear Blasphemy - The Biblical Punishment

British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, sentenced to 15 days in prison in Sudan for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad, was pardoned, as religious extremists called for her execution.

So how would Bible literalists punish someone for the blasphemy of insulting the prophet and the faith.

Blasphemy generally denotes contemptuous speech concerning God, or concerning something that stands in a sacred relation toward God, such as his temple, his law, or his prophet.

The punishment for willful and intentional blasphemy was death by stoning (Lev. 24: 11-16; cf. John 10: 31-33; Acts 7: 58).

Lev. 24: 11-16
11 And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)
12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.
13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

1 Kgs. 21: 9-13
9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:
10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.
13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
Biblical Reference: Bible Dictionary

Additional Biblical References: Bible Topics; Bible Law

Background from the CBC:

Toy bear blasphemy case 'overblown': Sudan official

Sudan charges British teacher, saying toy's name incited hatred

Teacher to serve 15 days in teddy-bear blasphemy case

British teacher flies out of Sudan after pardon

British teacher 'sorry to leave' Sudan

2 comments:

Adam said...

It kind of sounds like you are trying to be relativistic and equate the people that wanted to murder Ms. Gibbons with Christians. If so can you name anyone who has been put to death by Christians for blasphemy?

Anonymous said...

Two words: spanish inquisition. Blasphemy is no more a crime than free thought and free speach.