Religious Liberty in the American Law

It remains to examine the application of this principle* to particu- 1 lar offenses. Statutes have been passed against blasphemy and offenders have been prosecuted under them. This, as said in a Massachusetts case, has not been done “to prevent or restrain the formation of any opinions or the profession of any religious sentiments whatever but to restrain and punish acts which have a tendency to disturb the public peace.185 To prohibit the open, public, and explicit denial of the-popular religion of a country is a necessary measure to preserve the tranquility of a government. Of this no person in a Christian country can complain; for, admitting him to be an infidel, he must acknowledge that no benefit can be derived from the subversion of a religion which enforces the purest morality.18 6 It follows that the infidel who.madly rejects all belief in a Divine Essence may safely do so, in reference to civil punishment, so long as he refrains from the wanton and malicious proclamation of his opinions with intent to outrage the moral and religious convictions of a community, the vast majority of whom are Christians. But beyond this conscientious doctrines and practices can claim no immunity