Federal Judge Strikes Down Blasphemy Law

U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson has issued a major decision in favor of free speech and free association. In a 68-page decision, Baylson struck down Pennsylvania’s blasphemy law.

While I have written on the encroachment of blasphemy laws in the West, this is a case of a positive move in the opposite direction.

The case (Kalman v. Cortes) was brought by a filmmaker who was told that he could not name his company “I Choose Hell Productions.” Baylson ruled that he found that “the statute’s plain language makes apparent its predominantly religious purpose.” He found that the law “unequivocally excludes only one religious perspective but not the other, as it permits speech deemed reverent to religious beliefs, yet excludes speech deemed irreverent to religious beliefs.”

Chief Deputy Attorney General Barry N. Kramer argued that the statute should survive the constitutional challenge because it was needed to protect the public from offensive, indecent and profane expression.

Here is the opinion: Kalman Opinion

32 thoughts on “Federal Judge Strikes Down Blasphemy Law”

  1. Jill,

    But should we let your talent for revival go untapped … unused … unexplored … unprofitable?

    Do I hear an Amen!

  2. it’s the 4th of July and y’all are sitting around breaking wind…taking Freedom to heart are we?????


  3. Query of the day: Is it proper to sing “Wind Beneath My Wings” at a farting contest?

  4. I thought it was, “Let Uh spray”, kinda like “Let Er rip”.

  5. “Elaine said once that she wanted to be a high priestess…”

    Well Jill, that is fine as long as she can get *high* on cheap spirits like Pearl Beer, Thunderbird Wine, or Dripping Springs Whiskey, ’cause po’ folk like me caint put much in that passed ’round plate.

  6. So now it’s OK to say that that fish I had last night was good enough for Jehovah.

  7. Blouise,

    Elaine said once that she wanted to be a high priestess, so we could form a religion around her, get a tax exemption, pass the plate and if anyone criticized us in Europe, they better watch out!!!!


    How dare you blaspheme the carrot cult with your talk of devil lettuce?

  8. Jill, and here I always thought that the correct religous phrase was “Lettuce Prey”

    Kram it Kramer. Under nannies like you, even this phrase in a great old ballad—“he could preach hot hell er freezin’ snow” –would be blasphemous.

  9. Blouise said:

    Ay tends to get up in the morning with the sole purpose of being annoying … but then most tent revivals are evening affairs so perhaps he’d mellow out … nah, he’d demand ethical behavior which would reduce the pot dramatically … or else he’d demand 20% bookings fees and he probably wouldn’t let us take advantage of Buddha on a nightly basis without some sort of kickback … trust me, he’d be a problem.

    I have seen this before. But then again one lives to me of service by annoyance, vexation and pestilence. There are just so many ways, to count the ways…..Mellow, are we talking like a boat, a boat named Aqua Librium. That would be a good name for a boat or many other things water can go through…..Ethics, thank you. I would like to think that I am equitable and treat all folks the same. I love tents. Maybe I could make a movie with Steve Martin as a holy roller, that got ethics…..Buddha is a big boy and could take care of himself. No as far as booking engagements I am the front man on that. Even Elvis continued to pay Col. Parker 50% even after he became famous. Used to be a deal could be made with a mans word and a handshake to seal the deal.

    That is why I never make threats. I only make promises. I rarely say something that I do not intend to follow through with. So Blouise, enjoy you evening, designated driver or not. The blog would not be the same without you.

    I have heard before, if an Attorneys office is run correctly he/she could be dead 6 months before anyone was the wiser…..

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