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Friday, November 27, 2015

The Punishment for Blasphemy

Medieal instruments of torture
Hill, Edward, who was a candidate for the office of the Virginia Speaker of the House in 1654, was charged as being a blasphemer and atheist.  This accusation was investigated by the General Court. This was a serious offense on those days because An Act of the Assembly in 1675 established certain military regulations wherein it was provided that a soldier guilty of blasphemy in camp should be required to run (after the Indian fashion), the gauntlet of one hundred men.  If he persisted in his offense, his tongue was to be pierced with a red hot iron.  So, it appears that tongue piercing is popular today.  One cannot help but wonder what these people are thinking>

Source: Colonial Entry Book, vol. 1xxxvi., p. 70; Works of Captain John Smith, Arber's edition, p. 1xxxviii.

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