Do you remember being taught the Ten Commandments when you were a child? I do. I recall the awesome image in my mind as I visualized the great God Almighty writing with fire from His own finger as He carved the words into the stone tablets. Over the years, scenes from Hollywood movies refreshed that image. Even when I hated the very idea of God, I did not hate the Ten Commandments, so strong was the impression burned into my mind as a child.
These words, and the words that follow them in Exodus, told me, and continue to tell me, that there is but one God and He is a jealous God. He will brook no other gods, no false gods, being worshipped or set ahead of Him. No little stone or clay figures of demonic creatures, no worldly ambitions, no symbols of wealth and status nor created beings are to share in the worship due only to God Almighty. He is God, there is no other.
But there is more.
These words tell me that God is so holy that even His name is holy and is not to be used in any manner that is disrespectful of Him or His holiness. To misuse the name of God is blasphemy.
Did you notice? "Intentional blasphemy is a grave sin against religion." In this well-respected Catholic dictionary, one is informed that intentionally showing contumely toward or contempt for God is a grave sin against – not God – religion, an invention of man. Does this not appear to place religion – presumably the Roman Catholic religion – ahead of God? Does this not appear to be a violation of God's own words as recorded in Exodus 20:3?
Perhaps I misunderstand what is meant by the term "religion." This same dictionary tells me that religion is a virtue or a system of beliefs, among other things. Concerning religion as a virtue, Attwater has this to say:
What do we have thus far? God commanded that His name not be used in vain and that no other gods be placed before Him. We are also informed that intentional blasphemy is a grave sin against religion, which is a virtue that can be sinned against. Guess we need to check up on what a virtue, used in this context, is.
Now what do we have? God commanded that His name not be used in vain and that no other gods be placed before Him. Intentional blasphemy is a grave sin against religion, which is a virtue that can be sinned against by such things as idolatry, false worship, blasphemy and the like. Then we discover that, in this context, it appears that a virtue is a good habit. Reduced to a formula, it might look like this:
Does that make sense? Roman Catholicism can be SO confusing. And it gets even more confusing when we return to the definition of blasphemy and read
See how the Romish corrupt the Scriptures? I just did a detailed study in the Scriptures, searching out every incidence of blasphemy I could find. In no case did I discover any indication that one could blaspheme anyone or anything other than God. No incident of someone blaspheming a religion or a virtue or the spirit of some dead person. The only indication I could find that some blasphemies might be more serious than others had to do with blasphemies against the Holy Spirit. I certainly found no indication that one could commit blasphemy by showing contempt for things, sacred or otherwise.
How to explain the above definitions in a Catholic dictionary we are assured contains nothing contrary to faith and morals? It occurs to me that making it a sin to talk against the Catholic religion, its ministers, saints and objects is one way to control dissent. All that would be necessary to stop the voice of anyone who dares to question RCC authority and practice would be to point an accusing finger and cry out, "Blasphemer!" In other times, such an accusation could have resulted in one being tortured, burned at the stake and/or having his goods confiscated. Power play? I think it so.
Read again the words of God:
Now read the words of the Roman Catholic Church:
That is NOT what God said!
Mary is NOT God. The saints are NOT God. Decorations on a Catholic altar are NOT God. Scapulars and medals are NOT God.
Rome has added to the Scriptures and that is a no-no.
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