Chief Justice of New York's Supreme Court, James Kent, compiled Commentaries on American Law, 1826-30, and wrote in the case People v. Ruggles, 1811:
was parcel of the law, and to cast contumelious reproaches upon it,
tended to weaken the foundation of moral obligation, and the efficacy of
Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government..."
Chief Justice Kent continued:
authorities show that blasphemy against God and...profane ridicule of
Christ or the Holy Scriptures...are offenses punishable at common law,
whether uttered by words or writings...because it tends to corrupt the
morals of the people, and to destroy good order...
The people of
this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the
general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and
and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only...impious, but...is a gross violation of decency and good order..."
Chief Justice Kent concluded:
"Nothing could be more injurious to the tender morals of the young, than to declare such profanity lawful...
free, equal, and undisturbed enjoyment of religious opinion, whatever
it may be, and free and decent discussions on any religious subject, is
granted and secured; but to revile...the religion professed by almost
the whole community, is an abuse of that right."