Is there a difference between Obscenity and Blasphemy?
They turned along the left bank in a line;
but before they started, all of them together
had stuck their pointed tongues out as a sign
to their Captain that they wished permission to pass,
and he had made a trumpet of his ass.
(Dante, The Inferno, Canto XXI)
In commenting on this Canto, John Ciardi notes:
“Dante has been called ‘The Master of the Disgusting’ with the stress at times on the mastery and at times on the disgust. The occasional coarseness of details…has offended certain delicate readers. It is worth pointing out that the mention of bodily function is likely to be more shocking in a Protestant than in a Catholic culture. It has often seemed to me that the offensive language of Protestantism is obscenity; the offensive language of Catholicism is profanity or blasphemy: one offends on a scale of unmentionable words for bodily functions, the other on a scale of disrespect for the sacred. Dante places the Blasphemous in Hell as the worst of the Violent against God and His Works, but he has no category for punishing those who use four-letter words.”
So blow that out your a$$!