Blasphemy Laws

          In 1977 the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted and in 1988 modified the following blasphemy law: “The corporate name shall not contain words that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name.”

          In the fall of 2007, filmmaker George Kalman came to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to establish a limited liability company named, “I Choose Hell Productions, LLC.” A week later an unsigned letter was received at his Downingtown home explaining that his application was rejected because his company’s name could not “contain words that constitute blasphemy.” Kalman called the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a case challenging the constitutionality of blasphemy laws in Pennsylvania.

          Reverend Nate Walker challenged this law by joining an Amici Curiae brief submitted by the Jewish Social Policy Action Network and the Reverend Larry Smith, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mt. Airy. Thanks to the assistance of Erick Isaacson, Esq., Reverends Walker and Smith demonstrated that Unitarian Universalist history offered a unique source of religious and civil meaning for this modern legal case.

Read our Amici Curiae brief prepared by Jeffrey I. Pasek 

Read Nate's sermon about Blasphemy Laws.

In June 2010 the PA blasphemy law was deemed unconstitutional.





 

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