123 Blasphemous libel
- (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year who publishes any blasphemous libel.(2) Whether any particular published matter is or is not a blasphemous libel is a question of fact.(3) It is not an offence against this section to express in good faith and in decent language, or to attempt to establish by arguments used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, any opinion whatever on any religious subject.(4) No one shall be prosecuted for an offence against this section without the leave of the Attorney-General, who before giving leave may make such inquiries as he thinks fit.
I have had a discussion about this with a Christian in the past year, though I don't remember who it was, but I distinctly remember that they didn't want the law removed for some reason or another. The best argument for keeping the law, (which isn't really an argument at all) is that no one has ever actually been prosecuted and sent to prison as a result of this law. I don't really see how that changes the fact that it is a crime in New Zealand to blaspheme. So if I write "Jesus was a bastard and Mary was a whore", I just committed a crime. I am now a criminal according to New Zealand law, and that doesn't sit right with me. I sure don't feel like I've committed any sort of crime.