Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Religion, Atheism, Moral, Politic, PR and all that mess

by vbo Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:36:30 AM EST

Because I can't follow posts any more, being hidden and buried in long worms of text I thought I would put this diary where we can continue our arguments...
First of all let us talk about PR because all this started with them. What exactly some of you like about them and their actions? And what exactly few of us dislike about them and their actions?
As for me I am totally not against protests, activism, fight for more freedom anywhere, let alone in Russia. What I dislike is the way they are protesting by offending other Russian citizens who happened to be religious or even not, but who dislike this specific action. I would prefer if they found other place and means (words) to protest against Putin, even Patriarchy or place that Church have in today politic in Russia.And NO, and that's a big NO I could not agree with draconian punishment they received.I do not think it will stand.We'll see.On the other hand today on TV news here in Australia there was a part saying "PR the most popular group in the world" , so as we all know that kind of popularity has a price tag...especially when one is so popular without world even knowing any of his creations...I can bet that 99% of fans did not even hear or read words of the "song" they are popular for...
No I do not like to see politicians even near priests and also babies but that's reality all over the world in time of an election.
Russia has definitely long way in front of it before it will look anything resembling democracy and protests are definitely one way of moving things ( all tho slowly) in that direction. Having lived in democracy for quite some time now I have to admit that it is far from perfect. Especially when it like lately is actually serving capitalist class big time not taking in to account common well being of other classes. This is a large topic which we should probably leave for another diary and I mentioned it here just to strike similarities with oligarchy that we can see in Russia.
Somehow, long history of democracy compared with short history of not having communism in Russia and elsewhere give people from the west false impression that they have real freedom of choice and bla bla bla...But is it really so? Yes, there is a lot of freedom " on paper" that by the way can be taken in one term of conservative government in power , as we are witnessing right now, but actually how exactly you see your freedom nowadays?
Religion, atheism...We seem to disagree a lot about this...and especially about who has right to impose their values on others  in democracy?
Well I just tried to start discussion...Your turn...


Display:
You'll probably love this:
http://rt.com/news/femen-cross-pussy-riot-930/
 One more Pussy (will not translate this in real meaning of the word) hoping her bubs are going to be seen worldwide...

Or this:

http://rt.com/news/pussy-riot-support-germany-111/
Now we will see about German law...

Or this:

http://rt.com/news/cross-arkhangelsk-564/

Hysterical...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:26:33 AM EST
The Cologne Cathedral incident wasn't widely reported. Which demonstrates how banal such incidents are in western Europe, and that Russians need to learn to chill a bit.

And indeed, we will see... we've seen lots of anti-PR opinions stating that such a stunt would be repressed at least as strongly in the west... Any guesses about whether they do prison? Katrin?

My guess is a fine.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:15:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The Cologne Cathedral incident wasn't widely reported."

A good comparison: A copy of the puss riot action in an iconic german church.

Won't end in two years prison though. I prognosticate a fine as punishment too.  

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:21:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Any guesses about whether they do prison? Katrin?"

It WAS reported on ET, together with my guess.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, the Ukrainian topless chainsaw one is definitely vandalism, apart from the fact that the cross is claimed to have been erected in memory of those who suffered political repression. The same goes for the third link about incidents in Russia.

The Cologne ones were "charged with disturbing a religious service" which is not what Pussy Riot did.

So these are actually worse offences than PR. But for instance in the case of the cross-cutters, maybe a sentence to community work, rebuilding the crosses with their own hands, might be appropriate.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The Cologne ones were "charged with disturbing a religious service" which is not what Pussy Riot did."

Yes, it is the same:

Section 167
Disturbing the exercise of religion
(1) Whosoever
  1.  intentionally and inappropriately disturbs a religious service or an act of religious worship of a church or other religious association within Germany or
  2.  commits defamatory mischief at a place dedicated to the religious worship of such a religious association
shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine.
(2) The ceremonies of an ideological association within Germany shall be equivalent to religious worship.

http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_stgb/englisch_stgb.html#p1441

Sentence (2) fits both PR and the copycats.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
commits defamatory mischief at a place dedicated to the religious worship of such a religious association

Potentially, there are two problems with that:

  • Defamatory : who did they defame?
  • Is the place dedicated to religious worship? Or can I visit it as a tourist? It's part of my European cultural heritage. I'm happy to take my hat of, but I'll never go there to worship.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oops. Clearly in Cologne, they infringed Article 1.  And Pussy Riot committed defamatory mischief; the contentious point remains whether the place is dedicated to religious worship.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:09:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, right. Had to look it up again: in Cologne they disturbed a service. I don't know why it is unclear that the church in Russia was, er, a church, though. Dedicated to religious worship of the Christian variety. Why do you doubt that?
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the word "dedicated". It means it has to be a single-use facility to be protected.   No doubt the Moscow cathedral has  historical and cultural significance, and receives tourists who are neither worshippers nor necessarily Christian. i.e. it's not "dedicated" to worship. This ties in with Jake's remarks in the other thread.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A church is dedicated in a ceremony, and that makes it a church (theologically). It can become de-dedicated too (by another ceremony), when it is no longer used as a church. From that moment onwards you can have your hat on there. Dedicated as a church does not mean that the building can't be visited by tourists, or used for concerts or so.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something is seriously wrong with German law if a ban on political action in a building is based on whether the right or wrong prayers have been said over that building.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, we have much worse laws than that. You got that disturbances of a ceremonial atmosphere of non-religious associations are under the same protection, right? And, recognisable political action (as opposed to PR's emitting of obsceneties) likely would not be punished under that law. The trouble with giving you a history of convictions is that I can't find anything younger than the 1920's. The Cologne case is going to be a bit exotic, apparently.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmmm. So it turns out that "special protection" laws aren't all that necessary or useful, in a sensible jurisdiction. I wonder what was so different about the Cologne case that made the prosecutor choose to prosecute based on ideological privilege?

Incidentally, if activists interrupted a neo-Nazi gathering where they were all stiffly saluting each other, presumably the Nazis would be able to invoke the protection of this law?

Is it a good or necessary law, do you think?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 03:52:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except in many European countries (and particularly in Germany) a neo-Nazi gathering with Nazi paraphernalia or salutes would be a flagrant violation of the law.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 03:58:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, this law doesn't say anything against disrupting criminal behaviour such as a nazi gathering.

It's not a particularly good law, because it is unclear what behaviour is meant. This depends very much on the zeitgeist then. The fact that this law is rarely used is not necessarily a bad sign: it's possible that the law just catches the consensus so well that few people violate it anyway. Ideally the effect of a law should be that people know and respect the rules, not that breaking the rules is punished. Mind, we are not in France here, this stuff is fairly uncontroversial in Germany. I think these attitudes concerning religion belong to the topics where different European countries differ most from each other.

"I wonder what was so different about the Cologne case that made the prosecutor choose to prosecute based on ideological privilege?"

Different from what?

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 05:33:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
I think these attitudes concerning religion belong to the topics where different European countries differ most from each other.

i wonder what reaction if they had tried this caper in the vatican...

since this sin't a conversation about religion per se, let's focus on the political aspects.

jake's right in that it's undemocratic to claim special preciousness when you are willing to dip into politics, it's like having your cake and eating it too.

katrin is right that believers constitute a non-trivial part of the left's conscience, though obviously not exclusively, many atheists are as or more moral than religious people.

if we had had to wait for atheists to make enough noise about civil rights in the 60's, rosa'd probably still be riding at the back of the bus.

likewise with many of the environmental protests in germany.

jake's acerbic jibes at religion, hilarious as i find them, don't unite the two factions, and therefore come across as hard, uncompromising and judgmental as any churchman.

yet i'd trust that rigor more than any number of soapy platitudes that are the daily pablum of the institutional churches, though i don't share the atheism.

the left needs to unite and leave behind division, there are two few of us to be able to afford squabbling.

i would not appreciate PR bothering my concentration field if i were composing with a friend, for example, (my form of worship) and i think people should have some protection from invasive events like that, whatever they are doing.

i do sympathise with those protesting against putin, but i think this was too puerile to really matter much. putting them in prison is absurdly over the top.

the reaction on the other hand proves that the symbolism has too much power over people, from the icons of the church, to the media-fanned fury over those symbols being desecrated, they're just symbols.

too much fuss over nothing, and putin looks a fool for being so easily irked. his persecution of PR shows him for a humourless autocrat, big surprise!

church and state are ugly bedfellows and PR were right to protest... the way they chose is questionable, but not the impulse or the guts to follow through.

my beef with religion is not just the astonishing pettiness, boring, redundant theology and endless moralising, it's how it's used as whitewash to try and make scoundrels look better as they do the devil's work, and how it serves as cheap opium to keep the people passive under oppression.

all the pomp and circumstance of modern christianity is repugnant, but nuns on a bus, MLK and the berrigans deeply inspiring. it's not so simple.

spirituality doesn't need heirarchy, patriarchy or monuments, icons, canons or pomp. it just needs to be real. luckily there are some who realise that, just as we are lucky many atheists have empathy, compassion and nobility of character. this can be a win-win, if we want it to be.

does this get the record for longest ET argument ever yet?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 06:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The law protects the exercise of religious freedom against the intervention if non-state actors. an dinsofar it is an neceessary laws.

legal assemblies of all kind sre protected agianst disruption, too, bt the way:

Gesetz über Versammlungen und Aufzüge
(Law on assemblies and demonstrations)

§ 21
Wer in der Absicht, nicht verbotene Versammlungen oder Aufzüge zu verhindern oder zu sprengen oder sonst ihre Durchführung zu vereiteln, Gewalttätigkeiten vornimmt oder androht oder grobe Störungen verursacht, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu drei Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.

Prison up to three years or fine.
You non-religious activities are protected too.

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:02:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
convictions because of § 167 StGB are rare, but not that rare.

Two semi-recent cases:

Five months because of § 167 I S. 1 - disruption of service (and vandalism).

In this case the two men disrupted ca. 50 events earlier.

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/schnellgericht-schickt-kirchenstoerer-ins-gefaengnis/529208.html

A conviction of a couple to a fine of 1,800 Euro because of § 167 I S. 2 - insulting nonsense.

They posted photographs of themselves being naked in  an empty church. A catholic "accidentally" discovered the photos in an erotic forum and made an anonymous complaint.

http://www.all-in.de/nachrichten/allgaeu/rundschau/Rundschau-basilika-gericht-verurteilung-geldstraf e-Paar-wegen-Nacktfotos-in-der-Ottobeurer-Basilika-zu-Geldstrafen-verurteilt;art2757,926433

The two serial disruptors were somewhat religious motivated, so in both cases we don't speak about political actions .  

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 05:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably the religious disrupters could have been prosecuted under the "normal" legislation protecting assemblies.

So the usefulness of the German law seems to hinge on whether or not it is useful or necessary to punish people who photograph themselves naked in a church.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:18:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Presumably the religious disrupters could have been prosecuted under the "normal" legislation protecting assemblies"

No, the threshold of what is no longer tolerable is higher in ordinary assemblies. Violence, the threat of violence or other severe disturbance. Take the test case again: Putting a pig into a synagogue wouldn't fall under this law.

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:28:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which raises the question of why religious assemblies should enjoy protection from disturbances that any other public assembly does not.

Why is your religious observance more important to the public purpose than, say, a porn fair? (To take an example of an activity that religious groups have very often gotten away with disrupting.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:33:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Why is your religious observance more important to the public purpose than, say, a porn fair?"

Because activities that persons choose are entitled to more protection than mere commercial interest?
Because many people stand up for religious rights and only few stand up for the consume of porn?
Because the Churches are firmly integrated in the exercise of power?

Take your pick.

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:53:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because activities that persons choose are entitled to more protection than mere commercial interest?

The Catholic and Orthodox churches, and many Protestant sects, are mere commercial interests, as far as any outside observer can discern. Well, that and a side order of misogyny and child rape. Why should commercial interests that brandish a cross enjoy greater protections than any other commercial interests?

Because many people stand up for religious rights and only few stand up for the consume of porn?

Many people stand up for the right of racists to spread their venom. Few people stand up for the right of communists to not be monitored by the political police.

Because the Churches are firmly integrated in the exercise of power?

Well, that's what I'm protesting.

In a democracy, the churches cannot be any closer to the halls of power than any other social gathering or commercial enterprise.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:14:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Catholic and Orthodox churches, and many Protestant sects, are mere commercial interests

I'm trying hard to take you seriously. Please don't make it harder than necessary.

Christian organisations (what about other religious communities, I wonder?) are mere commercial interests? You don't find it a tad arrogant to tell people they aren't in a Church for spiritual reasons, as a community of shared values, or simply because they want rites to accompany their lives, but just members of mere commercial interests, perhaps?

Btw., I find it interesting that Catholics and the Orthodox are Churches, while Protestants have sects. Care to explain where the difference comes from?

Many people stand up for the right of racists to spread their venom. Few people stand up for the right of communists to not be monitored by the political police

What are we to conclude from your words? That you believe everything that has a large support is wrong and therefore setting religious rights over the rights of the porn industry is wrong too?

In a democracy, the churches cannot be any closer to the halls of power than any other social gathering or commercial enterprise

Now it's becoming interesting. Church members and people who value the Churches form a very large proportion of the population. Why do you think you can teach them what democracy is? I think we have dismissed the commercial enterprise bullshit, so let's call it social gathering, if you must. Suddenly you discover that there are other "social gatherings", and that they are playing a role in political powerplay. Allottment gardeners, for instance. They are well organised and usually have no problem to get their point across. Astonishing how much influence they have. Does that make you as excited as influence of Churches? I think not. So what is it?

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Christian organisations (what about other religious communities, I wonder?) are mere commercial interests?

Can you tell me honestly that you look at a televangelist and not see a crass commercial venture?

You don't find it a tad arrogant to tell people they aren't in a Church for spiritual reasons, as a community of shared values, or simply because they want rites to accompany their lives, but just members of mere commercial interests, perhaps?

I'm not saying they're not members of the church for all those reasons. I'm saying that the church they are members of is run like a transnational corporation.

If they don't like that being pointed out to them, then maybe they should find a church that, you know, isn't run like McDonald's or McDonnell-Douglass.

Such churches do exist, you know.

But they don't have a turnover comparable to the GDP of a moderately sized Central Asian republic.

Btw., I find it interesting that Catholics and the Orthodox are Churches, while Protestants have sects. Care to explain where the difference comes from?

The Catholic and Orthodox churches are also sects - but some Protestant sects don't have churches, in the sense of a well-defined organization.

Many people stand up for the right of racists to spread their venom. Few people stand up for the right of communists to not be monitored by the political police

What are we to conclude from your words? That you believe everything that has a large support is wrong

That appeal to popularity is a bullshit argument.

Church members and people who value the Churches form a very large proportion of the population. Why do you think you can teach them what democracy is?

Because apparently a lot of them think that their particular parochial prejudices deserve some special protection from criticism and insults which is not extended to anybody else's parochial prejudices.

I find this inconsistent with democracy.

Suddenly you discover that there are other "social gatherings", and that they are playing a role in political powerplay. Allottment gardeners, for instance. They are well organised and usually have no problem to get their point across. Astonishing how much influence they have. Does that make you as excited as influence of Churches? I think not. So what is it?

I don't see them claiming any super-special prerogatives that are not available to other organizations or social groups.

In particular, I don't see them getting their undies in a twist about people "offending their allotment gardener feelings" or "insulting the pumpkin cultivation instruction manual."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:10:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you tell me honestly that you look at a televangelist and not see a crass commercial venture?

I needn't treat them as representative for all churches though. Especially not here, where they are completely unknown.

So you claim that religious organisations have significantly more influence per member than other organisations? I doubt that. Perhaps you underrate how many people identify with churches. I note that there are some privileges of churches that are becoming controversial and that will have to go--in Germany it's the funding by the state that's highest on the list. I don't see that there is support for scrapping legislation against defamatory acts, though.  

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 11:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you claim that religious organisations have significantly more influence per member than other organisations? I doubt that.

Yes.

Trade unions do not have laws against mocking their feelings.

Perhaps you underrate how many people identify with churches.

No. I just oppose laws that privilege churches over other social gatherings on no other basis than that they are popular.

I do, however, note that churches often lie about how many members they have.

I note that there are some privileges of churches that are becoming controversial and that will have to go--in Germany it's the funding by the state that's highest on the list. I don't see that there is support for scrapping legislation against defamatory acts, though.

I'm not asking for a revocation of libel laws.

All I'm asking for is equal treatment. If it is legal to say that comparing Bill Gates to a pestilential, cock-sucking gutter rat is an insult to gutter rats, then it should also be legal to say that comparing the Pope to a pestilential, etc.

Religious people need to grow the fuck up and realize that every other organization with a comparable turnover and public profile to the Russian Orthodox Church has to deal with punkers like Pussy Riot protesting their activities.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 12:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is legal to say that comparing Bill Gates to a pestilential, cock-sucking gutter rat is an insult to gutter rats, then it should also be legal to say that comparing the Pope to a pestilential, etc

Well, and I know of no law that treats the two different, so what exactly do you want to prove?

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 02:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a few posts ago, you supported the existence of different, looser, definitions of defamatory speech when the subject of the speech is a religious group or creed than when it is any other group or creed.

But, OK. You don't see a problem with comparing the Pope to a diseased rodent. Then what's your gripe with making mimed punk-rock in a church that's open to the general public and was not being used for any church-related purposes at the time?

(Denmark has such a law, by the way, although nobody has actually been convicted since the Interbellum.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:02:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You happily jump between offending the Pope (a person), political speech on religion or behaviour of clerics, and defamation of religion/religious groups.

Can you make clear what you are talking about?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Offending the Pope is political speech, because the Pope has decided that he wants to be a political figure.

Calling out the behavior of clerics is political speech insofar as that behavior is sanctioned by the Church, because the Church has decided that it wants to be a political actor.

Defamation of anybody is a crime. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about whether there should be a lower standard for what constitutes defamation of religious groups than of non-religious groups. And about whether religious groups should get to decide whether the insult constitutes defamation. Because that's the prerogative you want to arrogate for religious communities. It's a prerogative no other group has - not even under the absurdly frivolous British libel law - and which is deeply corrosive to democracy (again, the best example of how frivolous libel law hurts society is the UK).

Religious people sometimes, erroneously, believe that either of the first two is defamation of themselves and their faith. This is obviously horseshit. But the frequent assertion makes it extremely relevant to a discussion of whether religious people should be allowed to set their own standards for defamation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:07:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I note that your argument shifts to saying that Churches exercise too much political power, while we started with the protection of religious feelings and the space they are expressed in, and the freedom to base political decisions on them.
by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 11:11:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My argument has always been that religious groups should expect no special treatment.

That means, among other things: Their prayer-spaces are not protected in any way that a concert hall or strip mall is not. Their religious texts are not protected in any way that any other piece of literature is not. Their prejudices have no political weight that is not equally granted any other random prejudice. Their organizations should have no privileged access to politicians, or to schoolchildren, or to hospital patients, or any other vulnerable group. And "you hurt my religious feelings" is no more a valid argument than "you offend my taste in music."

As long as religious groups obey those strictures, I have absolutely no problem with their activities, political or otherwise.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 11:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The CoE is still one of the largest property owners in the UK.

The Vatican is an entire country and no one knows exactly how much it is worth. But when you count up the buildings, art treasures, land, and 'investments' it's not a small number.

Oddly, very little of that wealth is spent on the poor.

Even more bizarrely, the poor are encouraged to donate generously every Sunday.

How much is the Mormon church worth? How much are the various Islamic and Jewish religious organisations around the world worth?

How much does the IRS not claim each year in the US because religious and spiritual organisations are tax exempt?

Clearly we're not in a world where people of like mind gather in each others' houses for a communal shared experience and mammon is of only passing interest.

God regularly gives preachers in the US their own private jets, almost as if they were executives of their own corporations.

God seems remarkably generous like that - especially to mainstream religious leaders.

All of this is possible because of special pleading by religionists, and less special organisations find it hard to match the economic history of established churches.

Now - clearly the roots of religious privilege (let's call it what it is) have nothing to do with actual spirituality, which is a nebulously meaningless concept at worst and an entirely personal and subjective one at best.

Religions are privileged because they tell stories about tribal morals and identity. They dress up the stories with some theatre, which impresses the easily impressed. But at root it's political theatre designed to modify values and behaviour to whatever ends the church in question happens to have. (And as someone else pointed out, most have authoritarian values rather than progressive ones.)

Secularists don't have the same privileges because they don't do the theatre, they (mostly) don't claim to have the weight of centuries of tradition on their side, and they're not in the business of defining morals - although corporates and pols certainly go out of their way to try to influence beliefs and behaviour, which is not entirely different.

(Although usually they're a bit clumsy at it.)

That's really the only difference. Otherwise churches have an interesting history as economic entities which make a nice profit by soliciting and/or demanding donations from the faithful.

Of course your personal beliefs are different etc, etc, but I covered that earlier.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:

Religions are privileged because they tell stories about tribal morals and identity. They dress up the stories with some theatre, which impresses the easily impressed. But at root it's political theatre designed to modify values and behaviour to whatever ends the church in question happens to have. (And as someone else pointed out, most have authoritarian values rather than progressive ones.)

the reaction to OWS camping at st paul's was so... christian, not!

'official' religions are bought and sold out reps for capitalism inc., a new global umbrella 'religion' that displaces all others in its grisly wake.

the best favour man could do to god would be to send them all down the river and start again.

...this time without the hate and fear as tools to divide and subjugate people.

no beef with the gullible adherents, but i'm sure they'll find some other form of solace/entertainment that doesn't have so much infidel blood on its hands.

universe wants us to wake the f up, and that includes freeing ourselves from the chains of false beliefs like 'my god kicks your god's ass', 'our avatar is the only avatar', and 'who would jesus bomb?'

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:39:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A pig in a synagogue doesn't fly.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:38:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading some articles, it seems the guys in the first case fit that bill: they also disrupted a TV show and punched a security guard in the process.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the article, the key point for the judge seems to have been the uploading of the photos in a forum with 5 million users, which she judged not to be private use.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean ban of polical action? The owner of the church can do all the political action he wants. Others shouldn't misuse the church for their actions, political or otherwise.

aand "beschimpfenden Unfug verübt" can really not be translated as ban on political action.

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 05:42:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean ban of polical action? The owner of the church can do all the political action he wants. Others shouldn't misuse the church for their actions, political or otherwise.

I don't accept that you can buy a "get out of political protest" card simply by conducting your politics from a platform of "private property." There cannot, in a democracy, be one law for protesting public political statements made from a private pulpit in a private church and another for protesting public political statements made from a public soapbox in a public park.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:28:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But of course there can be. One is inside, the other outside in a public place. And even in the second case you don't have to right to disrupt the other assembly.
by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 07:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, the wealthy can buy protection from dissent.

Joy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:16:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonsense. You don't have to be wealthy to organize a assembly inside or organize a church/chapel/Mosque etc.

And dissent is much more then the violent disruption of the meetings of others.

Hold a assembly of your own and dissent to your hearts content.

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the distinction you made was private property vs. public property, not violent disruption of legal assembly vs. nonviolent protest.

And if private property confers on you a blanket prerogative to selectively exclude dissenters from widely advertised gatherings or places of gathering which are open to the general public (except those parts you don't like), then you indeed have the ability to buy protection from dissent.

Or, in more practical terms, why is "no anti-war protesters in the [private] park" any different from "no black people in the [private] park?"

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are arguing against a straw-man. I said nothing like that and you know that.

Assemblies have the right to regulate who speaks in your assembly or who doesn't. If you want to take that right away from them you deny them their right of assembly, free speech etc. You seem to have a definition of dissent thats seems to include the suppression of people you dissent with.  

But that isn't dissent. Dissent is speaking in your own assembly, demonstration and so on. In public spaces this is quite easy to solve: first come, first served. The counter demonstration has then to choose another space or time.

In private spaces the owner or operator decides.

Generally speaking you can't exclude a certain sort people - Blacks in your example - from a private space open to the general public. But you can exclude certain sorts of behavior.

whites only - not legal
shopping only - quite legal

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to have a definition of dissent thats seems to include the suppression of people you dissent with.

No, I don't condone disrupting the proceedings.

I just say that if you open an event to the public, you don't get to exclude the guy with the "gays are people too" T-shirt.

In public spaces this is quite easy to solve: first come, first served. The counter demonstration has then to choose another space or time.

In private spaces the owner or operator decides.


And I'm saying that that's a bullshit distinction.

If you're hosting an even that's open to the public, it's open to the public. You don't get to tell someone that he's not welcome because he's wearing a punker haircut and a St. Pauli t-shirt. Or a banner saying "the Pope covered up for child rapists."

whites only - not legal
shopping only - quite legal

In other words, protesting child labor in front of a Nike store whose storefront faces a public street is legal, but the same protest against the same store would be illegal if it were located in a private covered arcade.

How is this not allowing people to buy protection from protest?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes - this is a plutocracy, and property/wealth trump any notional right to free speech.

In a theocracy religious affiliation (to the Faith of Choice, whichever that happens to be) trumps any notional right to free speech.

In a fascist dictatorship state violence trumps any notional right to free speech.

We're not living in a democracy, so we have limited free speech. Debate is free-ish in the West, but right of assembly certainly isn't.

Basically you can say what you like as long as you don't start influencing policy in any effective way. if there's any danger of that media time is denied and you can continue muttering angrily to yourself as if it makes a difference, as we do here.

But start damaging property and destroying the wealth of important people and you'll soon discover the limits of what's allowed.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:23:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Basically you can say what you like as long as you don't start influencing policy in any effective way. if there's any danger of that media time is denied and you can continue muttering angrily to yourself as if it makes a difference, as we do here.

Recently read about the hotline-riots in Stockholm 30 years ago.

Apparently former telephone numbers were then left connected to a node and kids realised that this could be used to talk to a lot of kids that all called in to the same node. So in September '82 this led to lots of kids gathering in parks in Stockholm for no apparent reason. Police got worried and charged them, leading to something the papers called riots. And soon enough Televerket changed the system for former numbers while instituting official hotlines with maximum five users at any time. So even the possibility of influencing a lot of people outside of approved channels was enough for the system to resort to blunt force.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Basically you can say what you like as long as you don't start influencing policy in any effective way. if there's any danger of that media time is denied and you can continue muttering angrily to yourself as if it makes a difference, as we do here.

But start damaging property and destroying the wealth of important people and you'll soon discover the limits of what's allowed.

Off course...
During Milosevic at first he would allow "demonstrations of support" to him and his policy but he did not feel that he needs to let opposition same right to demonstrate. As we all know he even tried to use force to disperse protests but it did not work. Later, he would let us protest (simply he did not have a chance to stop us) to the extent of letting us vent our anger. He has learned that eventually we will get tired and go home. Every time we were allowed to march streets of Belgrade and to scream in front of different institution and every time our task was to enter TV Serbia building and that's where every time we were stoped with huge force. Once they marched to Milosevic's residency in Belgrade and of course when they came close enough they were met with force. We used slogans like" Slobo - Sadame" meaning" Milosevic = Saddam" and Saddam at the time was doing well and was alive and we all knew him as a ruthless dictator. But we did not use bad language. Just to illustrate things a bit...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 11:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
muttering angrily to yourself as if it makes a difference, as we do here.

i bitterly resemble that!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is that you don't understand? PR could do the same protest in front of this Church, on the street (and still have consequences if they did not register and have permit to protest)but they cannot enter the Church and protest ( for that there is no way they can get permit be it Orthodox or any other Church in Russia or elsewhere ). That's one point.
As about freedom of speech. During the protest language is also of importance. Yes you can say: "Gays are people too" or you can say "Patriarch is politicly corrupted" but you should not use obscenity as PR did. Now just do not tell me that it is "artistic" way of protesting...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:44:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is that you don't understand? PR could do the same protest in front of this Church, on the street

The church is open to the general public, and no actual activity was interrupted, or even disturbed.

Why is it that you cannot understand that a cathedral mainly used as a tourist attraction is a public space?

Why is it that you cannot understand that your religious feelings are not protected in a democracy?

As about freedom of speech. During the protest language is also of importance. Yes you can say: "Gays are people too" or you can say "Patriarch is politicly corrupted" but you should not use obscenity as PR did.

Why should religious sentiments be protected from obscenity? No other sentiments are.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 11:51:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is it that you cannot understand that a cathedral mainly used as a tourist attraction is a public space?

Because that isn't true. Even if a church is opened to the public, this is always subject to the public  not violating the rules. And this is not even a privilege for religious buildings: the same is true  for a shopping centre. I happen to find that religious communities, that usually are of emotional value for their members, deserve far more consideration than commercial interests.

Why is it that you cannot understand that your religious feelings are not protected in a democracy?

Nonsense. There are laws against hurting people because of race, religion, gender, and more. I can't understand why you are on the side of people who want to humiliate people for what they hold dear.

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 01:55:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is not even a privilege for religious buildings: the same is true  for a shopping centre. I happen to find that religious communities, that usually are of emotional value for their members, deserve far more consideration than commercial interests.

Nobody has ever been convicted for making performance art in a shopping mall.

There is a clear double standard here, not just in the law (it's there in the law as well, of course), but in the enforcement as well. One law for religious people and activities, another for not-religious people people and activities.

And yes, I find that really fucking objectionable.

Nonsense. There are laws against hurting people because of race, religion, gender, and more. I can't understand why you are on the side of people who want to humiliate people for what they hold dear.

So you would be fine with expurgating every reference to religion from the law of the land, except to include it along with race, gender, (legal) political views, etc. in such general protections?

Because I'm totally fine with that, but that's not what you said a couple of posts ago.

Earlier you argued that driving a pig into a synagogue should be a crime because it was a pig and a synagogue. And not - or at least not exclusively - because of the disruption of a public gathering or the obviously threatening intent. Either of which would form a rather more substantive basis for prohibiting it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody has ever been convicted for making performance art in a shopping mall.
 

Again not true. You can have naked performance art or bad language performance art in theatre where it belongs and where people will pay to see your performance knowing what they can expect but you can hardly have that same performance in shopping mall.
Katrin was right...I can imagine you are totally against gay people being offended and ridiculed and it really bugs me how you do not see that religious people as well as others deserve protection.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin was right...I can imagine you are totally against gay people being offended and ridiculed and it really bugs me how you do not see that religious people as well as others deserve protection.

No, I'm not against gay people being offended. I'm against gay people being ridiculed in a country and a culture that has a history of pogroms against gay people or where hate crimes against gay people is commonplace. Just as I'm opposed to ridiculing members of a religion in a country and a culture that has a history of pogroms against members of that religion or where members of that religion are frequently victims of racist crime.

The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia is not an endangered, repressed faith.

If they'd pulled their stunt in a Russian Orthodox church in Rome, then it would have been a different story. But they didn't, so it isn't.

If this distinction is too difficult for you to grasp, then I suggest you need some remedial training in basic anthropology. Here's a hint: An anti-whatever slogan accompanied by a current prevalence of hate crimes or a cultural history of pogroms against whatever is a threat. An anti-whatever slogan accompanied by a contemporary and historical irrational social deference to whatever is not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:11:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody has ever been convicted for making performance art in a shopping mall

Courageous to make that claim. I doubt that you could substantiate that. Care to try? Fact is that artists and political activists get kicked out of shopping malls. And if they don't comply, they are prosecuted for trespassing.

So you would be fine with expurgating every reference to religion from the law of the land, except to include it along with race, gender, (legal) political views, etc. in such general protections?

Provided that the power of definition (for instance the significance of the pig) remains with the religious community. And you can't do that without a reference to religion.

Earlier you argued that driving a pig into a synagogue should be a crime because it was a pig and a synagogue. And not - or at least not exclusively - because of the disruption of a public gathering or the obviously threatening intent.

Exactly. I insist that the religious community makes the rules. A dog in a synagogue wouldn't be a friendly act either, it could even be more dangerous than a pig. The obscenity screechers chose the altar, not the western end of the nave. All this has no significance to the law  of the land, but to the law of the community.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fact is that artists and political activists get kicked out of shopping malls. And if they don't comply, they are prosecuted for trespassing.

Pussy Riot was kicked out, they did comply, and they weren't prosecuted for trespassing.

They were prosecuted for uploading a video to YouTube that used footage from inside a public church.

So you would be fine with expurgating every reference to religion from the law of the land, except to include it along with race, gender, (legal) political views, etc. in such general protections?
Provided that the power of definition (for instance the significance of the pig) remains with the religious community.

In other words, you're opposed to equal treatment of religions and everyone else.

Thank you for clearing that up.

The obscenity screechers chose the altar, not the western end of the nave. All this has no significance to the law  of the land, but to the law of the community.

Fuck the law of the community. Pussy Riot does not claim membership of the community, so the community does not get to proscribe their activities. The law of the land is what matters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They were prosecuted for uploading a video to YouTube that used footage from inside a public church.
-----------
No, they were charged for hooliganism and spread of religious hatred...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of which, hooliganism, is a bullshit charge, and the other of which is clearly and obviously false.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:25:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In your eyes...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 09:25:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 09:34:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
VBO had it right: in your eyes.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 09:40:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you read the court ruling? It reads like a bad parody of a Stalin-era show trial.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 09:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, so it does. That doesn't change the fact that PR deliberately offended ordinary church members, which isn't consistent with your tale of a political action. You repeat your mantra that a church becomes public space when tourists are allowed to visit. Your argumentation has become absurd and ridiculous. Re-read your own words: Offending the Pope is political speech, because the Pope has decided that he wants to be a political figure So obviously this is complete nonsense. I've given up getting anything useful out of this conversation, but your calling your own fervour "disinterested" provoked my answer.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:14:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That doesn't change the fact that PR deliberately offended ordinary church members,

So fucking what? If offending people - deliberately or otherwise - is a crime, then every stand-up comedian in the world is a criminal.

Oh, right. It's only religious people who get to demand a witch trial of anybody who offends them. My bad. Obviously the fact that they aren't used to having their beliefs questioned justifies prosecuting detractors for no sound reason.

You repeat your mantra that a church becomes public space when tourists are allowed to visit.

You mean to say that there would have been no case if they had photoshopped their performance onto stock footage of the church? Your entire argument hinges on the fact that they made a mimed performance in the actual church before adding the sound in post?

Re-read your own words: Offending the Pope is political speech, because the Pope has decided that he wants to be a political figure

Yes. Why is this difficult to understand?

The pope is treated with an irrational deference that no secular politician is granted. And as long as that's true, there is a valid political point in pointing out that, in the end, he's just a bigoted old shithead whose 18th century parochialism you wouldn't put up with if he lived across the road from you.

Oh, and he's complicit in covering up child rape. So there's that too.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, right. It's only religious people who get to demand a witch trial of anybody who offends them.

Nobody said that. In the contrary, I have made clear that I sort this offence with the equivalent directed at blacks, gays, whoever. And I am astonished that you demand a right to hurt people.

Yes. Why is this difficult to understand?

Because it's so obviously bullshit. Persons who "choose to become political figures" don't lose their personality rights. We are no bloody yank journos hunting for politicians' sex lives and the like, are we?

The pope is treated with an irrational deference that no secular politician is granted.

Huh? By whom? You are fantasising.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:42:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the contrary, I have made clear that I sort this offence with the equivalent directed at blacks, gays, whoever.

You want to make offending people a crime?

Then I guess nobody can ever say anything at all, since there'll always be someone somewhere who can claim to be offended. Or does it only apply if enough people claim to be offended at the same time? A big fan of mob rule, are we?

And I am astonished that you demand a right to hurt people.

I'm not. I'm demanding the right to not have to worry about whether some asshole claims that what I say offends him. Since that is, you know, entirely his decision to make. As opposed to objective criteria like "did this damage somebody's stuff?" Or "did this interrupt something someone was doing?" Or "does this contain an unlawful threat?"

You know, little details like actually proving harm in order to have standing to prosecute.

I'm kind of touchy about little details like that.

Persons who "choose to become political figures" don't lose their personality rights. We are no bloody yank journos hunting for politicians' sex lives and the like, are we?

People who choose to become political figures - and those scare quotes are bullshit, by the way - lose the right to not be made targets of mockery and derision by detractors.

That's far cry from losing all personality rights, as you pretend. It's just the minimal necessity to prevent democracy from descending into demagoguery, hagiography and hero-worship.

The pope is treated with an irrational deference that no secular politician is granted.

Huh? By whom?

By everybody who thinks he has anything remotely interesting whatever to say on the subjects of ethics, governance, sex education, human rights, politics, or, indeed anything not strictly related to the purely internal functioning of the Roman Catholic Church.

Oh, and those who make apologies for his covering up the rape of little kids, for his HIV/AIDS denial, for his homobigotry, for his misogyny and for the financial double-dealings of the church he heads.

You know, in case anybody was counting.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:06:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm demanding the right to not have to worry about whether some asshole claims that what I say offends him

That depends on what you say. I categorise offending people because of their religious feeling roughly with offending people because of the colour of their skin.

People who choose to become political figures - and those scare quotes are bullshit, by the way - lose the right to not be made targets of mockery and derision by detractors

No, they don't. Not if there is no nexus to their political work.

The Pope has (deservedly) been under fire. I am not aware of any convictions or even prosecutions of speech related to the child abuse cases or any other point where he deserved criticism. If you know of any cases, please share them. If you don't have any cases, what are you talking about?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That depends on what you say. I categorise offending people because of their religious feeling roughly with offending people because of the colour of their skin.

And again you demonstrate that you don't understand the difference between a privileged, powerful group and an unprivileged, powerless one.

Insulting Catholicism in Rome is a challenge to authoritarian privilege. Catholicism in Baghdad is picking on a minority.

This really oughtn't be a difficult distinction to grasp.

No, they don't. Not if there is no nexus to their political work.

A clerical authority figure who invokes his religious sentiments - or his congregation's sentiments - in his political work makes his religious sentiments a part of his political work, and as such open to any and all attacks that could be legally leveled against homeopathy or neo-classical economics.

If you don't like that, then feel free to not use your religious sentiments as political arguments.

But you don't get to eat your cake and have it too: Either your religion is politically relevant, and can be mocked and insulted at will. Or it's not, and then it's not a valid political argument.

The Pope has (deservedly) been under fire. I am not aware of any convictions or even prosecutions of speech related to the child abuse cases or any other point where he deserved criticism. If you know of any cases, please share them. If you don't have any cases, what are you talking about?

A completely analogous case of derogatory speech against an authoritarian clerical official.

If you have no problem with calling the Pope and ignorant, mendacious shithead, then what, precisely, is your problem with Pussy Riot? Other than some far-fetched conspiracy theories about their allegedly being part of an American plot to bring down Putin?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A case, Jake. Is it asked too much to provide one case in all of Europe?
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:57:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Vatican statement said the ad was "damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers".

Now, I haven't read the legal brief, so they may have intended to use some sort of bullshit copywrong rule to get it pulled, but their arguments for why it should be illegal (as opposed to whatever their lawyers found most expedient for getting it censored) was quite clearly that the Pope was not to be depicted in any way that his spindoctors did not approve of.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:27:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That article says the Vatican was lodging a complaint. Yawn. It is unclear which laws they saw violated, personality laws or laws protecting religion. What happened then? Was there a prosecution? If yes, was there a conviction?
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The chilling effect of SLAPP suits and other frivolous litigation does not require a conviction.

And European anti-SLAPP statutes are notoriously poor (this is an area where we can actually learn something from the Americans).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So there is no case. Thought as much.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I presented you a case.

I didn't follow it all the way through the courts, because that's not required to prove that the Catholic Church abuses its privileged legal status.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And another one. Not the Pope, specifically. But still obviously and blatantly illegitimate.

And another one.

And that's just a couple of court cases. For every court case, you have ten or twenty stories about obviously illegitimate and antidemocratic privileges - such as the privilege of picking schoolteachers, privileged access to state funds, privileged access to the legislative process (the European Union's clerical consultation, in particular, reads like something out of the Islamic Republic of Iran).

But oh no, Christians are being persecuted and "taken hostage" by those nasty Pussy Riot women.

If hypocrisy and arrogant privilege could actually make people puke, you'd owe me a new dinner.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:59:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You set out to prove that political speech against the Pope's protection of child rapists, and other topics was repressed. You said "The pope is treated with an irrational deference that no secular politician is granted." When I asked by whom you clarified: "By everybody who thinks he has anything remotely interesting whatever to say on the subjects of ethics, governance, sex education, human rights, politics, or, indeed anything not strictly related to the purely internal functioning of the Roman Catholic Church.
Oh, and those who make apologies for his covering up the rape of little kids, for his HIV/AIDS denial, for his homobigotry, for his misogyny and for the financial double-dealings of the church he heads."

Extraordinary claims, that have no base in reality.

You have now presented a case where the Catholic Church announced they would lodge a complaint, but apparently didn't and if they did there was no prosecution, let alone a conviction. By the way this case concerned an ad, not political speech. Laws that make dangerous and impossible political speech against the Pope choosing to be a political figure, eh?
And now you are unearthing a case involving a cross and male genitalia, but not the Pope. And another case which involved a cross and beer cans, which was prosecuted as blasphemy (and by ET standards well might be blasphemy if the beer cans are treated unfairly). Still no Pope.

So we can sum up that political speech against the Pope's political aims is perfectly okay and that we know of NO case where this was prosecuted.

Told ya so.

If hypocrisy and arrogant privilege could actually make people puke, you'd owe me a new dinner.

You have already both feet knee-deep in your mouth. Perhaps you try and get them out of there if you want to puke at the complete deflation of your argument?

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 02:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have now presented a case where the Catholic Church announced they would lodge a complaint, but apparently didn't

Um, no. They lodged a complaint. But I'm not going to dig through a set of (Italian!) court proceedings to figure out what happened to the case. Because the mere fact that they lodged a frivolous complaint in the first place, and the press placed its lips on their assholes instead of firmly denouncing them for abusing the court system, is itself perfectly sufficient to prove that special rules for religious people are unjust and have to go.

Either because they are not invoked, and therefore superfluous. Or because they are invoked, and therefore discriminatory.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:46:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The case wasn't about political speech anyway, and there is no conviction. Was there even a charge? Doubtful.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:56:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC reported that charges were brought. I don't read Italian, so I don't know whether there was a conviction, or it was settled out of court (which is more probable, granted, because both litigants were transnational corporations, and transnational corporations tend to settle out of court).

Actually, I'd love to see what would happen if someone used that photo to satirize the Pope's homobigotry and sectarianism.

But I guess we never will, since, you know, there's a bunch of trigger-happy lawyers ready to throw obviously frivolous lawsuits at it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:07:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't distract. You did not prove your claim. There is not a single case of political speech against the Pope being punished.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:27:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being forced to withdraw a picture is legal coercion. The fact that they probably caved and pulled it before the case went to court does not in any way, shape or form diminish the problem.

Rather the reverse, I would say, when the mere threat of invoking anti-blasphemy laws against legitimate mockery of the Pope's homobigotry can get the picture in question pulled.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it wasn't about blasphemy laws at all. Are you unable to grasp that simple fact?
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:21:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:27:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I categorise offending people because of their religious feeling roughly with offending people because of the colour of their skin.

But religion is a matter of political opinion and therefore up for debate and criticism - whereas race, sexuality and other fundamentals aren't.

As for the Pope: the point in Ireland was very much that the Catholics owned the police and judiciary so cases never came to prosecution at all.

Legal repression was unnecessary - until recently, at which point there was so much evidence, so much media coverage and so many angry people that it was too late.

That's the usual religious MO anyway. If there's an actual court case or negative media coverage, something has not gone according to plan.

But that doesn't always work so well any more. How about this re: Vatican leaks?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:57:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about this re: Vatican leaks?

Today the Vatican has withdrawn their complaint. They know now what the Streisand effect is. Titanic will have to do their own PR now, without help from the Vatican.

If this is a case at all, it's personality rights, and that's what the Vatican has cited. I've just checked: the pictures are not yet available online again. Titanic had never stopped the print edition though (and they have sold a lot of them with this PR!). They have the Pope in his white soutane as title picture, with a yellowish spot and the text "Hallelujah! The leak in the Vatican is found!". The back of the magazine shows the pope from behind and a brownish spot. A bit puerile and not exactly political if you ask me. Not comparable to the very good picture on the child abuse scandal (which made the Vatican whine a lot), or the tin, the best anti-consumerist satire ever. If you don't know it and are interested, I can explain the tin.

But religion is a matter of political opinion and therefore up for debate and criticism - whereas race, sexuality and other fundamentals aren't

How is religion a matter of political opinion? You are just confirming my suspicion that what you really suffer from is a wrong perception of what is progressive.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 12:14:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you're simply too caught up in the supposed sanctity of your own beliefs to have read - never mind understood - all the other posts I've made on this subject.

Religion is politics by other means, with a side order of magical theatre. That's all.

Religionists do not agree about anything, except the fact that their personal morals - whatever they happen to be, and no matter how much they conflict with the morals of other religionists - are special and sacred simply because they choose to tag them with the R word.

That's it. That's all that's happening.

The point Jake and I are making is that it's simply not so - and it's dishonest to pretend it is.

The progressive aim is to increase collective intelligence.

You don't do that by relying on supernatural entities to justify your ethics to yourself or other people.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 01:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are entitled to your belief, of course.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 01:42:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he entitled to sue anyone who offends him by satirising it?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simply satirising probably wouldn't be enough to sue, but if there is an invasion into his hall for materialist ceremonies, sure!

More seriously, of course atheists are entitled to respect and freedom from compulsion, too.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, are you now equating non-religious with materialist(ic)?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:52:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Had to find a contrast for "supernatural". Aren't you nitpicking?
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes...He is in title as a person (not because of his position) to take to court who ever he wants too. What is going to be the result of the court case is irrelevant in this matter.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that's not right.

In some jurisdictions, frivolous litigation is illegal, and frivolous litigation for the purpose of shutting down dissenters is an aggravating circumstance.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, actually, you are entitled to take anyone to court for anything you like, but the judge is entitled not to admit your complaint at all if it's evident there's no case.

So the question is, is he entitled to the court taking in the complaint and initiating proceedings if someone satirises his beliefs?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:56:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not interested in being entitled to it - I'm interested in arguing for it rationally.

Implying that it's just a belief - like, hypothetically, any religious belief - is a rhetorical point, not a substantive one.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your post was a collection of claims with a dose of arrogance (your remarks on what I haven't understood). Claims without arguments to back them: I call that belief.

You know practically nothing about my beliefs, but feel free to tell me that I was "relying on supernatural entities to justify [my] ethics. Bullshit. I needn't justify my ethics. I just mentioned what they are founded in.

If you want to argue rationally, fine. Do so. Are there any reasons why someone can force churchgoers to supply the location and background for a performance? Can churchgoers force you to tolerate the equivalent where you hang out?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My post was based on the fact that you plainly ignored most of the points I've been making and were simply repeating comments I'd already responded to - especially about the political elements of religious belief.

And I'll remind you that you were the one arrogant enough to claim that I have no idea what 'progressive' means.

I know about what your beliefs exactly what you've said - which is that they're founded in what you call religious principles.

If you're claiming those religious principles have no supernatural element whatsoever, I'll admit that's an interpretation of 'religious' I've never met before.

As for your question - performance of what, exactly?

I tend not to gatecrash the services in the village church here because hardly anyone goes to them anyway. While the vicar's wife disapproves of my morals - we got off on the wrong foot when she asked to come hunting and my response was less than enthusiastic - what goes on at that end of the village has no effect on what goes on inside my house, so there's no particular need to Dada a protest against it.

I find the CoE ridiculous, but its political influence in the UK is far less significant than it thinks it is.

The new breed of US-style megachurches are far more dangerous - especially the ones teaching a 'prosperity gospel.' But there aren't any near here, and I don't think interrupting them on stage would be as useful as trashing them in print.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 03:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VBO said a few days ago that there seemed to be an attitude that progressives couldn't be religious and you confirmed this suspicion. Bullshit. Yes,

I believe that there is something beyond our powers and I have often felt it when I was in situations when I didn't know a way out but felt sure I could trust some way would open for me. And so it always did.

I don't care at all if anyone shares beliefs or not, but I don't think I have to put up with mockery or have performances such as Pussy riot's forced on me or any other believer. To get back to the point that started the whole debate: I want PR's behaviour criminalised for these reasons.

If an action is directed against political statements of clerics or hierarchies I have no issue with them. It's the activists responsibility not to take the church members hostage. PR did that and that's what I want punished.  

I notice all right that you are forever telling me about US American TV preachers and other reactionaries. If that is not meant to insinuate that you find political influence of religious is necessarily right-wing, what else do you want to tell us then?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:17:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't care at all if anyone shares beliefs or not, but I don't think I have to put up with mockery or have performances such as Pussy riot's forced on me or any other believer.

What, precisely, about their performance in the church do you object to? It can't be the "screeching," because the sound was added in post.

Apparently, nobody found their dress or miming sufficiently offensive at the time to warrant any action beyond telling them to fuck off. Which they did, without further ado.

To get back to the point that started the whole debate: I want PR's behaviour criminalised for these reasons.

For what reason? Dressing provocatively in church? Filming a video in church? Staging a miming act in church?

Or posting a song you don't like on YouTube?

If an action is directed against political statements of clerics or hierarchies I have no issue with them. It's the activists responsibility not to take the church members hostage.

It is the laity's responsibility to not associate itself with reactionary clergy. To not give their time to reactionary clergy. To not go to the sermons of reactionary clergy. And to not give money to reactionary clergy.

If they won't do that, they own the policies, and they get to live with the criticism.

I have no sympathy at all for someone who claims to be offended by Pussy Riot and then meekly shuffles along to hear the Patriarch incite hate crimes against homosexuals, and peddle partisan political propaganda. No sympathy at all.

Just like I have no sympathy at all for people who are members of the British National Party "just for the rock concerts."

PR did that and that's what I want punished.

How did they take worshipers hostage? There were mostly tourists in the church at the time, and what they actually did while they were in the church didn't even merit a disorderly conduct charge.

Can you take people hostage retroactively, by publishing a video on YouTube?

I notice all right that you are forever telling me about US American TV preachers and other reactionaries. If that is not meant to insinuate that you find political influence of religious is necessarily right-wing, what else do you want to tell us then?

That if you argue for the right of religious people to not be insulted, you are arguing for the prosecution of people who say that gays are people too. Because there are religious people who find that sentiment to be a mortal insult.

And they are many. And they vote. So that is really not a precedent that any progressive with two neurons to rub together wants to set.

Add to this the fact is that the political influence of religion is predominantly right-wing, and it becomes really glaringly obvious why it is stupid and short-sighted to demand the right for religious groups to censor people they don't like on no other basis than that they don't like them.

Censorship is also morally wrong, but that argument doesn't seem to carry much weight with people whose religious knickers have gotten into a twist.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"It is the laity's responsibility to not associate itself with reactionary clergy. To not give their time to reactionary clergy. To not go to the sermons of reactionary clergy. And to not give money to reactionary clergy."

Thanks for confirming that you are quite comfortable with taking the church in their entirety hostage.

"Add to this the fact is that the political influence of religion is predominantly right-wing,"

Small wonder with the attitudes one finds among so called progressives.

I find that generally the right wing has too much impetus these days, but hey, hearing you one must get the impression religion is the cause.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for confirming that you are quite comfortable with taking the church in their entirety hostage.

The patriarch already did that with his political propagandizing.

If the laity is not equally offended at the patriarch's hostage-taking as they are at his detractors, then it is difficult to interpret that as anything other than assent to the particular party line the patriarch is preaching.

I see no reason a Catholic should get a free pass from being a member of the same political organization as the Pope, when a Sinn Fein member does not get a free pass from answering for being a member of the same political organization as Gerry Adams.

And all the contrary assertions you've brought to this discussion have been special pleading.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to argue rationally, fine. Do so. Are there any reasons why someone can force churchgoers to supply the location and background for a performance?

Nobody has ever claimed that you have the right to disturb a religious ceremony.

What has been objected to is the religious obsession with demanding the privilege (lit: private law) of restricting any and all activities in public spaces - such as museums and historical buildings - which they happen to use for their ceremonies.

If a labor union uses a publicly available room in a historical steel mill to hold gatherings, it does not expect to be able to exclude a prayer group from holding a silent vigil after the trade unionists have gone home. Apparently the Russian Orthodox Church wants to prevent people from holding a silent performance after service hours in a historical church which is open to everyone who does not disturb the peace. Which it is difficult to argue that a silent performance after service hours does, any more than a silent prayer vigil in a closed steel mill does.

Because the (open to the public) location has some historical or emotional significance to them.

I call chicanery, as would you if prayer groups were excluded from every site of historical, contemporary or cultural significance to any organization which happened to disapprove of your prayer group.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has been objected to is the religious obsession with demanding the privilege (lit: private law) of restricting any and all activities in public spaces - such as museums and historical buildings - which they happen to use for their ceremonies.

No, that has not been objected to. We have never debated public spaces, we have debated Pussy Riot's despicable behaviour in a church.

What do you think is gained by your pretending that we hadn't discussed this same point for what feels like 500 posts? Endless repetitions of the same point make no argument.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely what part of Pussy Riot's actions inside the church at the time do you find such grievous disturbances of the public peace that they must be criminalized?

No vague generalities about "offending believers" or "taking worshipers hostage," please. Only concrete, well-defined actions which could have been clearly stated ahead of time.

If you do not, in fact, object to any of the actual actions they took in the church at the time, then do you believe that an action can become criminal retroactively? That you can have some jigsaw of in and of themselves perfectly legal actions which, taken together, transsubstantiate into a crime?

Because then you're in seriously shitty company: That's the line that the Danish terrorist police has been peddling every time they pick up some chap with excess melanin and a taste for recondite Islamic theology.

Fun fact: They tend to win in the lower courts, then lose on appeal.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:57:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the Russian Orthodox Church wants to prevent people from holding a silent performance after service hours in a historical church which is open to everyone who does not disturb the peace.

Huh... you simply do not know what you are talking about...Church is NOT public place open to whoever pays for it like some public hall. It is place of worship. The fact that it is open for tourists to see its historical value does NOT mean that tourist do not have to obey with rules of this specific place. C'mon, is it so hard to understand?
And this was hardly silent performance...and even if it was, and even if we ignore dress code, the fact that they hijacked altar is a huge thing in the eyes of believers...And I do not even ask you to understand this cause it is beyond of your "progressive"mind.
Putting the whole shit on YouTube is another story but not less offensive...to ridicule believes of so many millions of people pointing what they ( those few so called artist, huh, fucking their political position in the museum before) happen to think about " God's shit" is definitely criminal act. They can do that in public hall tho (if they pay to rent it for their performance) and still some of believers or church can sue them. All tho the punishment is draconian. But it is to make case for others in the future and this is well known in UK, USA end elsewhere, so be it.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Church is NOT public place open to whoever pays for it like some public hall. It is place of worship.

Totally irrelevant.

It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people. You don't get to exclude non-communists from visiting Lenin's tomb, or the memorial to the fallen of the Great Patriotic War either.

The fact that it is open for tourists to see its historical value does NOT mean that tourist do not have to obey with rules of this specific place.

They have to obey the secular rules.

What we're discussing here is whether the Orthodox Church should get to make the rules for how to use a public historical site which it happens to use for ceremonies.

C'mon, is it so hard to understand?

No, I just don't agree with granting religions that sort of undeserved, unearned and discriminatory privilege.

And this was hardly silent performance

Actually, it was. The sound was added in post.

and even if it was, and even if we ignore dress code, the fact that they hijacked altar is a huge thing in the eyes of believers

So what?

The eyes of believers do not matter. Only the eyes of disinterested secular observers. And no disinterested secular observer can find anything particularly special about the alter, aside from the fact that it can be seen from most of the church. But that is also true for a great many other places in the church.

Putting the whole shit on YouTube is another story but not less offensive

So putting a song you don't like on YouTube should be illegal?

to ridicule believes

Appeal to faith is not a valid argument.

of so many millions of people

Appeal to popularity is not a valid argument.

pointing what they ( those few so called artist, huh, fucking their political position in the museum before) happen to think about " God's shit" is definitely criminal act.

Ah, so you do want to make it a crime to upload a song you don't like on YouTube.

Thank you for clearing that up. You must be on Medieval Savings Time - when it's 12:00 in London, it's 1200 AD where you live.

Question: Do you support criminalizing drawings of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? Do you support criminalizing videos that insult Bush the Lesser? No? Then on what basis do you want to criminalize the particular videos that offend you?

They can do that in public hall tho (if they pay to rent it for their performance) and still some of believers or church can sue them.

Ah, so you want to make it illegal to sing songs you don't like.

Wonderful. Do you also want it to be illegal to wear provocative clothing, or to push elevator buttons on Saturdays? To get a divorce? For two men to kiss in public?

Where does your privilege to not have your parochial religious feelings "offended" end, and my freedom to not have to live in a fucking theocracy begin? And who gets to decide that?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.  

Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.

The eyes of believers do not matter. Only the eyes of disinterested secular observers.

And there is the core of our disagreement. There you say that we are not free to our beliefs. Only secularity is, if you have your will.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.  
Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.
The cathedral is not owned by the church, which rents out space on the premises.


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:39:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the reality is that as far as the majority of the population goes, we're still in the 18th century. Allowing Enlightenment political philosophy to inform your opinion on how society works may indeed lead to detachment from reality, sadly. Actual politics is a constant source of reality checks.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.

Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.

So you want to exclude anti-Communists from protesting at war memorials for the Great Patriotic War?

Now, that's something that would actually deeply insult me. Does that mean I get the right to sue? Or is "deeply and sincerely insulted" only the standard for determining whether religious bigots get to sue?

And there is the core of our disagreement. There you say that we are not free to our beliefs. Only secularity is, if you have your will.

You are perfectly free to have your beliefs. That's called freedom of religion.

You're not free to demand that I submit to them. That's called theocracy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is that meant to be? Are Russian war memorials rented out to the communist party or what are you talking about?
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the Orthodox Church pay rent for using the church outside service hours? Do they pay the going market rate for square footage in central Moskva?

If they don't, then they are in receipt of an implicit state subsidy, and as such no different in any respect from any state-funded war memorial. They shouldn't get to discriminate even if they owned the place or paid market rent, of course, but at least that would be a problem with private property privileges rather than with religious discrimination.

But does it matter to your argument at all? I thought you were arguing that the real crime was offending religious feelings. Does the validity of religious feelings hinge on whose property the offense is made from?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The church is space for the exercise of religion. You don't like that, and that's why you always pretend it was public space.

If you want to construe an analogy with war memorials, then where the hell IS the analogy?

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they pay full market rent for full and exclusive use of the square footage?

Because otherwise you're really stretching when you argue for rules of the church that don't apply to publicly funded war memorials.

Unless, of course, you think that religion should get special treatment over any other form of political party or social get-together.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:09:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's think about memorials a moment, though.

Yad Vashem  certainly is a memorial. What would happen if a group of Israeli Arabs would stage a protest there?

memorials while generally open to the public, are not public spaces in the sense that you can stage political demonstrations there.
And I don't really think the ownership of the cathedral on Moscow is relevant any how. The church seems to be the only and the permanent user and the owner is some foundation for the rebuilding of the cathedral.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
memorials while generally open to the public, are not public spaces in the sense that you can stage political demonstrations there.

That very much depends on your jurisdiction.

And it's a silly rule in those jurisdictions that have it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This would actually be more appropriate that you realize given the bad taste (to give them the benefit of the doubt) of the selection of the location of Yad Vashem. From Yad Vashem, you can get a very good view of Deir Yassin.
It is unfortunate that so few Palestinians visit Yad Vashem. Understandably, many argue that they were not involved in the Holocaust and resent hearing again about Jews as victims of Nazis when the whole world has so long failed to recognize Palestinians as victims of Zionists. Many also believe that the Holocaust was (mis)used as a justification or rationalization for the creation of the state of Israel and for the conquest and confiscation of their homes and villages. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate because from Yad Vashem, looking north, is a spectacular panoramic view of Deir Yassin. The Holocaust museum is beautiful and the message "never to forget man's inhumanity to man" is timeless. The children's museum is particularly heart wrenching; in a dark room filled with candles and mirrors the names of Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust are read along with their places of birth. Even the most callous person is brought to tears. Upon exiting this portion of the museum a visitor is facing north and looking directly at Deir Yassin. There are no markers, no plaques, no memorials, and no mention from any tour guide. But for those who know what they are looking at, the irony is breathtaking.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 01:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The progressive aim is to increase collective intelligence.  

Huh! This is offending. So now religious people are less intelligent in the eyes of you "progressive" people? Now who is asking for privileged position here? Now you want right for one group of the people calling themselves "progressive" to define intelligence, Wow! You people demand extra rights and how this statement is not political...very offending.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:41:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you sue, then? We've already established that you think religious bigots get to sue over having their feelings offended.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:01:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't do that by relying on supernatural entities to justify your ethics to yourself or other people.  

On what exactly then ethics of "progressive" are standing on? On their super intelligence I suppose?
Incredible...now you are to define ethics too? Too much power for one group of people...not to mention that this group is actually minority...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:48:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"But that doesn't always work so well any more. How about this re: Vatican leaks?"

That is indeed not an example of special legal rights of religious people, because the pope used here [his] personality rights as the basis of the injunction.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, it's a matter of whether it was covered by whistleblower protection.

Since I don't know what it was he leaked, I shan't comment except in generalities: The Pope's private life is not in the public interest unless it involves exposing the hypocrisy of the Pope preaching against an activity in public which he indulges in in private.

The Church's internal policymaking is in the public interest, for the same reason British Petroleum's is.

Of course, since the Pope is a nasty old bigot who wants to intrude politically in nearly every aspect of private life - from smoking pot to divorce to extramarital sex to sexual orientation - it is difficult to imagine any private vice of his which would not expose his policies as rank hypocrisy, and therefore be in the public interest. I suppose onanism would be one, since the Church has largely ceded to reality on that subject.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
whistleblower protection for an insulting picture?

Come on.

That has nothing to to with anything the pope did, in private or elsewhere, it was just an insulting photoshop.

And that was the basis to claim an violation of personality rights. Of the pope as an natural person, not of the office of the pope or the catholic religion etc.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, for the Vatileaks.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that is another story. I am talking about the photoshop of the german satire magazine titanic here.

And since the prime suspect of the vatileaks affair is in the hands of the judiciary of the vatican state I am not optimistic about whistleblower protection.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:01:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said, I hadn't seen what he leaked, so I didn't comment on the concrete case. I simply noted that if someone had leaked, say, a picture of the Pope buggering another guy, then that would clearly have been in the public interest. Since, you know, the Pope thinks that homosexuals should be second class citizens.

I'm not clear on why it's called a "leak" if it's a 'shop.

I'm also not clear on why circulating an offensive 'shop should be illegal, but that's just me I guess.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if it was a shopped photo of you, pretending you had an incontinence problem you might feel offended.

The affair is a bit puerile and cartainly not political speech.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People can see a string of similar magazine covers here.

My favourite is the one about the German Reunification being invalid because Kohl was "doped" (presumably a spoof on Lance Armstrong being stripped of his 7 Tour de France wins for doping).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:08:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I recommend a look at the pictures, especially the one "Kirche heute". The blowjob picture about the child abuse scandal triggered off a very fierce debate, of course. In my view the best comment defending the picture was "It shows a priest raping my church and this is true." The context of the picture must be clear and easy to grasp, and it must be something everybody can make sense of.

One picture is missing there, oddly. It's from prehistoric times and made Titanic famous. The picture is an answer to an ad campaign of the tin industry. They showed pictures of beautiful or practical things that were made of recycled tins with a caption "I was a tin". The idiotic message was, the more tins you buy, the better for the environment.

Titanic's answer was a huge scandal. Bavaria illegally confiscated the magazine. The churches demanded that heads roll and lodged complaints because of any law protecting religion that we have. All of them resulted in acquittals. Then it was the ad company's turn: a complaint because of plagiarism. Another acquittal.

Oddly enough I can't embed the picture, but here is the URL:
www.zensur-archiv.de/index.php?title=Datei:Dose.jpg

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 03:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 03:28:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks!
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 03:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So... you acknowledge that there are limits to religious privilege? And that it is important to have a fair jurisdiction to test them in? And that, if the jurisdiction is biased in favour of excessive protection of religious privilege, then legitimate free speech gets suppressed?

I'm starting to understand why you have so systematically refused any dispassionate discussion of what Pussy Riot did and its political fallout.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. If you want dispassionate discussion, you should leave religion alone. Of course there is ambiguity in this matter (that's why we need so many words here) and I weigh different rights against each other.

And when have I ever rejected fair jurisdiction, eh? We quite agree that Russia regularly represses legitimate speech, but that doesn't make this case legitimate speech.

I've never said I'm surrounded by idiots either: of course Jake has a point when he says that minority religions need more protection than majority religions, or you when you talk about PR's message against the Patriarch. Fact is that if there is that message at all, it is drowned under the behaviour that targets all church members and beyond: all Christians. I find their behaviour unacceptable and insulting in a church, as already explained.

Oddly enough, the US seem to believe that people in Pakistan feel reassured and grateful that they are only "collateral damage", not the target. This is not the case.

by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:38:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The behaviour doesn't target all Christians - it's just that Christians are very likely to claim that anything touching Christianity targets them personally, IMHO.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, yes. My point is, the video speaks to me. Directly. Your video is different: it doesn't address me. I know what it is alluding to (probably not all allusions, but enough), but I don't feel it.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Re: Krahe's Christophagia, if somebody else feels it, then according to you they're entitled to sue over it and would have your support? Or do you have to feel it to support them?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't have to feel it myself. So in principle, yes, they would be entitled. I don't know about the history of the publication, or with what message it was published and so on, but I think you want to know about the principle, right?
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Suing people over profaning sacred rites offends my deeply held beliefs. Do I get to sue people for violating my taboo against suing people over profaning sacred rites?

Or is it only some sincerely offended deeply held beliefs that get to be enforced by law?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:34:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Go and found the Sacred Profanity Church and find it out for yourself.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 01:26:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, your taboos - and those taboos that are sufficiently similar to them that you can emotionally identify with them - are the only ones that you think should get legal protection.

Thank you for clearing that up.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:01:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nowhere did I say that. Your religious fervour as an atheist does not give you the right to distort my position.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:07:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:12:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You didn't say that. You just won't give a clear, simple, straightforward, honest answer to the question of whether sincerely and deeply felt moral outrage at religious people abusing the legal system to shut up their detractors should be put on an equal footing with any other sincerely and deeply felt moral outrage. Including religiously motivated moral outrage.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:15:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure it would be on an equal footing, if you can conceive of equivalent behaviour. What are the taboos that are firmly lodged in your atheist traditions? Have you altars where I can try which animals you abhor most in your places of worship?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:25:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not basing my complaint on "atheist traditions." I'm basing my complaint on a sincerely felt outrage that people abuse the power of the state to silence their opponents. This requirement that the outrage must be in response to a violation of a taboo which is deeply embedded in a long historical tradition of thought is a movement of the goal posts.

And irrelevant to the putative public purpose, which is to protect feelings from getting hurt and preventing social division along such fault lines. There are no grounds to suppose that violation of a sincerely held taboo produces greater outrage simply because it was adopted a thousand years ago rather than last Thursday. The outrage may be more restrained if there isn't a thousand year history of irrational social deference to the taboo. But that is a property of society's norms for accepting eccentricity rather than a property of the feeling of outrage.

But as it happens, the idea that it is immoral to write parochial religious taboos into law (let alone issue a blank check for religious groups to retroactively write parochial taboos into law) is deeply embedded in a long historical tradition. Of course, it's not an atheist idea. Atheist ideas in their modern form have no long historical tradition, because it's less than three generations since atheists were routinely lynched. And some parts of the world still haven't gotten that memo. If you want to dig into the intellectual history of such ideas, you need to look at enlightened secularism, which is originally a concept championed by religious minorities (in a time when there were next to no publicly avowed atheists, because publicly avowed atheists were, you know, routinely murdered).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no equivalent behaviour, Jake. You are inventing it.

Not even your complaint that legitimate speech was suppressed is true. There are attempts to ban criticism of the Pope or satire on these grounds. They just happen to be without success.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How dare you tell me that my moral outrage at frivolous lawsuits is less real than your moral outrage at frivolous prayers? The fact that frivolous lawsuits cause actual harm to real people and frivolous prayers do not (the only objective distinction I can imagine between the two) does not in any way diminish my feeling of moral outrage.

Of course, if you define "equivalent" as "desecrating an altar of worship," then no secular moral outrage, no matter how sincere and heartfelt, can ever be "equivalent," since secular ethics do not define any places as places of worship. Such a definition is, of course, another case of blatant special pleading, no different from defining "equivalent" as "violating a taboo on iconography" (by which standard it is the altar, not Pussy Riot's performance, which is the valid cause of moral outrage, by the way).

But you do defile the dignity of the courtroom by letting religious bigots use it to silence detractors.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:38:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stomping your feet. Cute. You have a problem with the coexistence of different sets of beliefs. You want atheism as state religion, and the right to define a small corner where religion can exist, without leaving any agency to the religious.

And you want me to BELIEVE what you cannot prove: the existence of religious bigots successfully silencing detractors.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a problem with the coexistence of different sets of beliefs.

No, that would be you who has that.

I'm the one who wants to not allow people who have a problem with the coexistence of different sets of beliefs to use the court system to eliminate that coexistence.

You want atheism as state religion, and the right to define a small corner where religion can exist, without leaving any agency to the religious.

Nonsense. All I demand is equality before the law. You are the one making expansive demands about religious groups' right to compel everyone in the whole of secular society to observe their particular parochial taboos.

And you want me to BELIEVE what you cannot prove: the existence of religious bigots successfully silencing detractors.

No, I have proved that. You dismissed those cases as not pertaining to the discussion because you did not support the censorship which occurred in those cases.

That is dishonest. If you demand that religious bigots have the right to censor sacrilege, then you cannot declare a genitalia-crucifix being banned to be irrelevant to the discussion. Since, you know, there's no actual objective distinction between uploading a YouTube video of a song you don't like and displaying a cross-shaped picture of genitalia.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:13:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. If you want dispassionate discussion, you should leave religion alone.

There it is in a nutshell : why religion is best excluded from the political sphere.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would turn this on its head: political discussion becomes passionate the closer it gets to intimately held beliefs. Here are examples of topics where policy discussion quickly degenerates into heated argument. In all cases it's because the actual disagreement is over closely held belief systems:

  • abortion
  • capital punishment
  • nuclear power
  • intellectual property

Disagreements around these topics are philosophical, not policy disagreements.

Religious discussions are not peculiar in this sense, they're just pure unadulterated arguments over belief systems, but that doesn't make them less political (if anything, because religious frames underpin many political positions).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:03:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that's why religion and other beliefs can't be kept out of politics. They are there, and they matter for politics.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 01:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However - you can still apply reality-based reasoning to all of those topics.

E.g. if the argument is that nuclear power provides free, safe energy, it's entirely reality-based to debate if it really does.

If capital punishment is supposed to be the ultimate deterrent, you can ask if it really lowers crime rates.

And so on.

But the authoritarian argument is either 'You should agree with me because I will bully you unless you don't' or 'You must agree with me because I'm right.'

When I linked to Mary Whitehouse earlier it was to remind everyone that it wasn't all that long ago that we had someone famous in the UK appoint themselves as a guardian of public morals based solely on their personal religious prejudices, who took it upon themselves to harangue creative people if they produced anything she didn't like.

The argument - ultimately - was the same as Katrin's, i.e. 'This offends me so no one should do it.'

While a lot of people aren't happy about the state of public morality in the UK at the moment, I doubt many outside of religion feel that porn on TV, gay sex and swearing are the major moral challenges of the day.

The real breakdown has been in the morality of authority - and it was already starting while Whitehouse was fulminating.

All she did was distract from it with emotionally charged trivia that threw red meat to the 'moralists'.

I find a lot of TV ethically unwatchable - either too stupid to bother with, or too loaded with subtexts about greed and cutthroat competition to be comfortable viewing.

Whitehouse was never interested in facts to support her assertions. If she didn't want simulated gay sex in a theatre, she'd start a court case against a play.

Meanwhile the real horrors were happening elsewhere. And she was always far more obsessed with sex than with everyday social violence.

I can't help thinking that seems to be a familiar outcome when you let religious arguments drive your ethics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 02:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Edit - to clarify, I meant she was always more obsessed by 'her own personal outrage' than about any wider social context, empirical research, or deeper insight into collective morality.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 02:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The argument - ultimately - was the same as Katrin's, i.e. 'This offends me so no one should do it.'

It's not my argument. My argument is that hurting religious feelings is divisive and humiliating. This is an evil in itself, and additionally poisons relations in a society, which is dangerous. I weigh other rights against that right.

After telling me that my argument was the same as Whitehouses's (thanks a lot!) you give a list of nutty positions and still claim:

I can't help thinking that seems to be a familiar outcome when you let religious arguments drive your ethics

Hey! Can you stick to what I say, perhaps, and not what you make up I might say?

by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 03:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but hurting non religious feelings is also divisive and humiliating.

And since historically the religions have often been doing the division and humiliation - never mind the outright physical violence and emotional and sexual abuse - the balance of power is firmly on the side of the religious.

Still. It might, perhaps, only just be starting to shift in parts of Europe now. But certainly not in most of the rest of the world.

Would you have supported the fatwa against the Danish cartoonists? Or the jail term in the Oz trial?

The fatwa is an analogous situation, with a jail term instead of a death sentence.

The process by which that jail term appears to become justified seems identical to me.

And in any case, it's a red herring - unless you seriously mean to tell me that the membership of the Orthodox Church is so insecure in itself that it can't deal with a very mild version of the in-your-face baiting that atheists in the US have to deal with every day.

It's nice that you're 'weighing the rights' and all. But you don't seem to be weighing them in a particularly disinterested way.

There are many places in the US where you will be ostracised and kept out of employment if you admit you're an atheist, or gay, or simply the wrong kind of Christian.

Why aren't you as outraged about that as you are about the dreadful social poison created by PR's juvenile attention seeking?

Hey! Can you stick to what I say, perhaps, and not what you make up I might say?

So think of an argument more persuasive than 'I'm everso personally offended by this and therefore PR should be punished for it.'

So far after who knows how many hundred words you've simply repeated that over and over.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 04:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but hurting non religious feelings is also divisive and humiliating

Of course. That's why I sort speech hurting religious feelings with racist hate speech and the like. Do you read my posts before you distort them?

Would you have supported the fatwa against the Danish cartoonists?

Not "the" fatwa of course, but the Danish cartoons are indeed the classical example of how insults to religious feelings not only hurt and humiliate people but are a public danger. A thoroughly despicable campaign, these cartoons. But of course there were so called progressives who applauded it because they applaud everything that is against religion. You don't mean to say you are one of them?!

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:10:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not "the" fatwa of course, but the Danish cartoons are indeed the classical example of how insults to religious feelings not only hurt and humiliate people but are a public danger.

Wait, so someone else's death threats to me make me a public danger?

Being the naive sod that I am I'd have thought that it was the other way around. But evidently I just don't understand your faithsplaining.

A thoroughly despicable campaign, these cartoons.

Of course, you're performing a very careful contextectomy here.

The cartoons were the response to a publisher pulling a textbook because the publisher received death threats over violating the picture taboo. Going on to flagrantly violate the offended taboo is absolutely the correct response to textbook authors getting death threats over violating a religious taboo.

Because letting religious extremists censor textbooks is, to put it very gently, a betrayal of everything worthwhile that European civilization has accomplished in the last five hundred years.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The brown skinned people reacted exactly as the initiators of the cartoon campaign had wanted, so don't get over-excited in your moral outrage.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:57:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that a bunch of nasty reactionaries jumped on the bandwagon neither makes the outrage at textbook censorship unjustified, nor the response of perpetuating the sacrilege unmerited.

The proper response to attempts at censorship is to replicate that action which prompted the attempt. I would have thought this to be a universally recognized principle among those of us who do not support censorship. But apparently not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:43:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can only whine about successful censorship by religious groups because you distort the facts. You even call the refusal to supply illustrations as censorship and "a textbook scrapped". You call a complaint on grounds of personality rights a censorship of political speech. Then you claim a church was public space where you can set the rules. You need to go out a bit and think about why you have nasty reactionaries as allies.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks to me like you also have nasty reactionnaries (the Russian Orthodox Church and Putin) as allies...

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I have made very clear indeed that my problem with PR is different from theirs, so how are they my allies?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I made very clear that the motives for my support for challenging the Islamic taboo on iconography are different from the motives of reactionary assholes trying to get a cheap laugh out of riling up stupid mullahs.

So again you resort to special pleading. Your objection is really different from Putin's and the Patriarch's objections, but my objection is not really different Ralf Pittelkow's objection. Because you say so, apparently.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:22:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you are denying that the cartoon campaign offended Muslims, not only mullahs. In the case of PR you deny that the performance offended Christians, not only clerics and Putin.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not denying that people were offended.

I'm stating that "people being offended" is not a valid basis for prosecution in a court of law, due to the reducto ad absurdum of such a trial being extremely offensive to some subset of the population. And therefore, under the "offending people is illegal" standard, the trial itself is grounds for prosecution of the prosecutor.

Unless, of course, only religious people are entitled to take offensive speech to court. Which is, of course, what you are consistently arguing, even if you dress it up in morphing ad hoc definitions that let you pretend that you're not arguing against equal protection.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:53:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not denying that people were offended

But you are denying (or shrugging off) that people other than members of clerical hierarchies and Putin were offended. You don't want to admit that the actions you find fine offend ordinary people whom progressives would like to have as allies.

I'm stating that "people being offended" is not a valid basis for prosecution in a court of law, due to the reducto ad absurdum of such a trial being extremely offensive to some subset of the population.

There are much larger subsets of the Russian population who would handle the PR affair in the same way the Lebanese population handled the cartoon affair. If you manage to prevent lawsuits that doesn't mean that the offended people are prevented from all agency... Is that what you want?

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:12:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But you are denying (or shrugging off) that people other than members of clerical hierarchies and Putin were offended. You don't want to admit that the actions you find fine offend ordinary people whom progressives would like to have as allies.

I'm offended by Pussy Riot being put on trial for exercising their inalienable right to free speech.

But somehow the offense I take is less important than the offense you take. I wonder why.

The only equitable way to deal with people being offended at people being offended is to not make "being offended" a valid legal basis for prosecution.

There are much larger subsets of the Russian population who would handle the PR affair in the same way the Lebanese population handled the cartoon affair.

Let's try that again, in a slightly different context: There are much larger subsets of the RussianDixie population who would handle the PR affaircivil rights movement in the same way the Lebanese population handled the cartoon affair.

The proper response to that is and was sending the federal police to impose some overlong delayed civilization on that substantial part of the population.

If you manage to prevent lawsuits that doesn't mean that the offended people are prevented from all agency... Is that what you want?

I want offended people to not resort to violence to express their offense, whether in person or by proxy through the police.

And I want offended people who are not willing to refrain from resorting to violence to express their offense locked up in a psychiatric institution next to Anders Breivik.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:33:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm offended by Pussy Riot being put on trial for exercising their inalienable right to free speech.

Fortunately there is no such thing as that right in Europe. We don't want the incitement of hatred here. Take your barbarian free speech back to the US where it belongs.

Hell. You are really shocking me. I am European.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:57:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The criminalization of incitement of hatred is not generally taken to mean inciting hatred against yourself. That is normally held to be its own punishment.

I am also more than a little disturbed by your apparent refusal to totally, unambiguously and unequivocally condemn any and all risk of violence that might have arisen against Pussy Riot if they had not been put through a formal witch trial.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's the most important rationale behind this sort of legislation: to maintain peaceful relations in society. It's not only the injury of hate speech or the danger that this develops into physical violence. It's the reaction too that is prevented by putting a lid on all this.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to maintain peaceful relations in society

So we have to allow people prone to violent reactions to dictate the law so they don't react violently?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If driven far enough we all are prone to violent reactions.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what harassment laws are for.

In none of the cases under discussion did the "offenders" accost or pursue the "offended" with the intent to cause them distress.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:49:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If driven far enough we all are prone to violent reactions.

But reacting violently to a YouTube video would be considered grounds for psychiatric evaluation if the contents of the video were not blasphemous.

I'm just saying it should also be if the contents of the video are blasphemous.

Unless it's a part of a wide-spread, long-term campaign of harassment. Which Pussy Riot is not, except in the deluded fantasies of conspiracy merchants.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blasphemy isn't the issue. It is really ridiculous that you deny that in a church the church can dictate which behaviour is allowed and which is not.

Mind, there are cases where a line must be drawn. Where it is difficult to decide which behaviour to criminalise and which not. This doesn't apply here, because the performance was in a church.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that you have repeatedly refused to specify precisely what happened inside the church which merits such outrage. Because the actual outrage with which you sympathize is directed at a video on YouTube which could just as easily have been clipped together from stock footage, without Pussy Riot ever setting foot inside the church in question, or indeed within eight time zones of said church. The events in the church are wholly incidental to the moralistic thuggery.

The standard you repeatedly appeal to - consistently with the outrage being about the YouTube video rather than anything that happened in the church - is "offends religious sentiments." Blasphemy offends the religious sentiments of many people. Therefore, criminalization of blasphemy is a subset of the standard you propose.

You further propose that any building that a religious group uses for its occasional get-togethers should be subject to religious law at all other time, no matter its wider historical, aesthetic, cultural or architectural significance. That is a monopolization of cultural heritage which I frankly also find objectionable.

Mind, there are cases where a line must be drawn. Where it is difficult to decide which behaviour to criminalise and which not.

I'm not necessarily asking you to draw the line. I'm asking you to commit to an objective standard which can be applied by a disinterested, and therefore necessarily secular, observer.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:21:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not necessarily asking you to draw the line. I'm asking you to commit to an objective standard which can be applied by a disinterested, and therefore necessarily secular, observer.

Because we're assuming that if it comes to that, the judge presiding over a court case should be described as disinterested (and, therefore, secular).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:34:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the point of having courts is to have cases reviewed by a disinterested arbiter.

There is a name for the sort of society where there are different kinds of courts for different religious or ethnic groups, and you cannot appeal to a universal standard of jurisprudence. We call such a society "apartheid."

There is also a name for societies which raise the prejudices of a single religious group to the level of universal standard of jurisprudence. We call such a society "theocracy."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Increasingly, there are suggestions of incorporating religious law into European personal law. There was something about that in Britain some years ago
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, sparked a stormy debate when he appeared to suggest that some aspects of Sharia law should be adopted in the UK.
Brilliant gambit, where an Anglican Archbishop uses "tolerance of cultural differences" and Sharia to get Anglican law back into British personal law.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:28:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's nothing in principle wrong with the model of allowing religious people to resolve their differences using religious arbiters rather than real courts. Provided that using the religious arbiter requires informed consent from all parties to the case, and that the case can be appealed to a real court.

Then again, some elements of Sharia are already in European legal codes. Because Sharia contains a bunch of commonsense rules that every society needs, and which, therefore, the Sharia contains alongside all the bonkers stuff.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK has Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religious courts and they work without too many problems, on the whole. As Jake mentions they are voluntary, both parties must agree to have their matter resolved there. There was absolutely nothing remarkable in Williams' remarks.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 01:23:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's remarkable if he wants to insinuate the more recondite forms of religious law into the law that the real courts use.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:14:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends. Quite possible that Sharia has something to make contract law clearer. Pretty sure that it doesn't for family law. This is a debate that societies have to go through without excluding their Muslim minorities.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But equally without deferring to them simply on the ground that they happen to not have done the whole "five centuries of telling the church to sit down and shut the fuck up" thing.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought secularism in public life (as opposed to private life) was the solution Europe had found to wars of religion.

Apparently I was mistaken, and the European solution to wars of religion is self-censorship and closeting of minority beliefs.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's the most important rationale behind this sort of legislation: to maintain peaceful relations in society. It's not only the injury of hate speech or the danger that this develops into physical violence. It's the reaction too that is prevented by putting a lid on all this.

Fun fact: That is, in so many words, the rationale behind banning Gay Pride in many Eastern European cities.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardly, even if that is claimed.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a true Scotsman I see there? I think that's a true Scotsman. But he puts sugar on his porridge. So apparently he isn't a true Scotsman.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:23:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's about keeping reproduction and sexuality under control. People aren't meant to reflect that sex and sexuality are more ambiguous than they thought.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know that and I know that, but how're you gonna prove that in a court of law? Judges aren't telepaths. They can't tell fake outrage from real outrage.

Besides, the security risk is very real - pride parades all over eastern Europe have been attacked with broken bottles and worse. So if "religious fanatics might use violence to silence Pussy Riot" is a good enough reason to silence Pussy Riot, then "religious fanatics have demonstrated that they will use violence to silence pride parades" must be an even better reason to ban the latter.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The security risk is very real, but the outrage isn't. There is nothing spontaneous about it either.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:39:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how do you propose that a court of law tell the difference between sincere and fake outrage? Since you're proposing to make sincere outrage the standard for prohibition, you really need a clear, simple, straightforward, honest answer to that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:41:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't propose at all that a court of law decides that. For the legislator the prevention of violence is the rationale to become active and make laws so that people can have the insult to what they hold dear (and the humiliation that causes) punished by law.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So every religious taboo which it is illegal to break should be on a blacklist?

That'll be a joy for parliament to write.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personality rights do not prohibit political satire of public figures.

Claiming that they do is obviously frivolous, and in the pertinent cases clearly motivated by religious bigotry.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:12:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was obvious instead of ambiguous, Titanic would have the pictures back online. Good to know that you know the law better than their lawyers.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:33:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, what? If the attempted censorship fails, it's not valid because it failed, and if the attempted censorship succeeds, it's not valid because there was a legal basis for the censorship?

Holy unfalsifiable hypothesis, Batman.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it succeeded, you could rightfully lament the power of religious communities to exercise censorship. Since there are no (contemporary) cases of that, you are either hopelessly behind the times or you are fantasising.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You keep forgetting the how to cook a Christ case, where hundreds of thousands of Euros were posted as bail to avoid preventative jailing for a case that was subsequently thrown out.

That definitely has a chilling effect. Of course it doesn't succeed in censoring the content, but it succeeds in harassing the author.

But since, as a Lutheran, you're an iconoclast, you don't care. While you do care about the Danish cartoon controversy.

How confusing.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:06:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry to confuse you, and I keep forgetting that case, which is because I can't fathom what this video does with the feeling of Catholics, and what the history of publication of that video is (I suspect the video was difficult to find in order to be outraged, yes?), and what kind of laws were used to harrass the author. Do you think this case is typical for the problem Jake cites?

Mind, I do not deny that there are laws that ought to be abolished: all blasphemy laws for instance. Or laws forcing religion on all schoolchildren.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is unjust to prosecute blasphemers, then what about the sincere moral outrage that religious people feel when they learn that someone has blasphemed?

For that matter, what was the cartoon jihad about if not blasphemy?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For that matter, what was the cartoon jihad about if not blasphemy?

A campaign to incite hatred against immigrants and Muslims. By the way, it was not against any law. A pity. Humiliating Muslims is legal. You are aware that your argument of protection for a minority applies here, aren't you? Astonishing that you support this despicable campaign.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the argument for supporting oppressed minorities applies here.

However, in this particular case it must be weighted against the equally legitimate argument that people were attempting to enforce a blanket ban on pictorial depiction of a historical figure. Such a blanket ban must be opposed, because it is far too wide reaching to legitimately claim to be concerned with hate speech.

I find the latter argument more persuasive. The mullahs were not demanding legitimate protection from hate speech. They were demanding the intrusion of an extremist caricature of Islam into general society.

The fact that legitimate and proper backlash against the meritless intrusion of backwards religious dogmatism into secular society creates an opportunity for racist hate speech when the meritless intrusion is committed by an oppressed minority is regrettable, but probably not avoidable. Unless you want to give oppressed minorities a blank check to engage in any or all antidemocratic behavior simply because they are an oppressed minority. Which is a bridge I am not quite prepared to cross.

In any event, the Russian Orthodox Church obviously cannot claim the need for any such protection. Rather, it is Pussy Riot which can clearly claim the need for protection from the Russian Orthodox Church.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:27:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that legitimate and proper backlash against the meritless intrusion of backwards religious dogmatism into secular society creates an opportunity for racist hate speech when the meritless intrusion is committed by an oppressed minority is regrettable, but probably not avoidable. Unless you want to give oppressed minorities a blank check to engage in any or all antidemocratic behavior simply because they are an oppressed minority. Which is a bridge I am not quite prepared to cross.

Now we can discuss clitoris ablation for another 400 comments.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what kind of laws were used to harrass the author

I have actually quoted the applicable law in the subthread.

I can't fathom what this video does with the feeling of Catholics

It mocks the Descent from the Cross, the Stigmata, the Holy Sepulchre and the Resurrection. Apart from proposing actually eating a Christ.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:24:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Apart from proposing actually eating a Christ.

they got anticipated on that one...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:32:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have actually quoted the applicable law in the subthread.

Sigh. I'll try and find it in this jungle.

Apart from proposing actually eating a Christ.

Er, what is wrong with that?

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:44:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The same that is wrong with suggesting that the Communion is cannibalism (that would see you sued for blasphemy, or for offending believers, pretty quick).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:45:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, you personally as a Lutheran would not be offended by jokes about transubstantiation, so that makes them okay?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:49:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. Apparently you did misunderstand what I wanted to express there, when I used those words: there are a few things that must be explained to me, because they are not my background. Catholic or Buddhist or Copimist rites and the related sensitivities for instance.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:27:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You also said in relation to the Christophagy that since as a Lutheran (again) you don't believe in the holiness of images you did not see what was so offensive about the video.

So it all appears to come down to whether you share the personal outrage.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And now I have clarified twice.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh. I'll try and find it in this jungle.

Hint: the Krahe case discussion starts in its own top-level comment, joking about taking a poll.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:46:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There was an American case a while back where a kid took one of the sanctified crackers out of the church to show it to a friend.

I don't remember whether the parish sued over this gross mistreatment of their holy cracker. But several parishioners did threaten to put the kid in a hospital.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why are we suddenly interested in American cases?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we're talking about thin-skinned, violently repressive religious bigotry.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:30:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we're talking about thin-skinned, violently repressive religious bigotry deeply hurt religious feelings.

FIFY.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:42:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because we are talking about your proposal that "offend religious feelings" should be a criminal offense.

Examples of actions that hurt religious feelings, and therefore would be criminal under the standard you propose, are germane to the discussion.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:38:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh, the leaking pope? The cock-cross? Cooking a crucifix?

But of course since those campaigns of censorship were successful, you are now going to deny that they were motivated or successful based on religious bigotry.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:12:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The leaking pope is citing protection of his privacy, just as the leaking Jake could (being a VIP helps him, but that's not necessarily being a religious sort of VIP. Compare the photos of Merkel's naked arse, which were printed in Britain, but not in Germany.)

The cock-cross was blasphemy. We are in agreement there: scrap all blasphemy laws.

Cooking Christ: Possibly. I expect Mig will enlighten us what law that was. So possibly you can cite one single case in all of Europe, namely in Spain, which has not yet gotten rid of all ghosts of Franquism, and is perhaps not THAT representative for all Europe. And even that ended in an acquittal.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:37:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The leaking pope is citing protection of his privacy,

Again: Claims of privacy protection can have no merit whatever when directed against satire of a public figure.

Further, the fact that this particular picture, and only this, was pulled, despite many similarly baseless challenges to the magazine, supports the contention that the Papacy gets special treatment. De facto if not de jure.

Compare the photos of Merkel's naked arse, which were printed in Britain, but not in Germany.)

But those are not comparable, because those photos involve Merkel's actual ass, not a satirical photoshop of Merkel mooning somebody.

The cock-cross was blasphemy. We are in agreement there: scrap all blasphemy laws.

What is the objective difference between Pussy Riot's video? (The video itself, leaving aside what they did in church, because that's not the point - the video would have been equally offensive if they had used stock footage and claimed to have filmed it in church, and lying about where you shot a picture is not in and of itself a crime.)

Cooking Christ: Possibly. I expect Mig will enlighten us what law that was. So possibly you can cite one single case in all of Europe, namely in Spain, which has not yet gotten rid of all ghosts of Franquism, and is perhaps not THAT representative for all Europe. And even that ended in an acquittal.

That it ended in acquittal does not matter. It was not summarily dismissed, the defendant was not awarded damages for the cost, wasted time and distress incurred, nor were the vexatious litigants slapped down hard enough to provide a reasonable deterrent against future frivolous lawsuits.

Considering that the Catholic Church is a transnational corporation with an annual profit comparable to the GDP of a small country, that outcome is not reassuring at all: The church can afford to sponsor such a lawsuit every day until the heat death of the universe and not even make a dent in their propaganda budget.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:36:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is back on their website right now.

Also the following cover:

by generic on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:35:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I expect Mig will enlighten us what law that was.

Two days ago, in response to a comment of yours. The plaintiffs were proud that it was the first time anyone was prosecuted under that article of Spanish law.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:43:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Personality rights do not prohibit political satire of public figures."

That is not true. public figures still do have personality rights, if somewhat limited.

by IM on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 03:27:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political satire does not negate personal privacy; it just pushes the boundaries.

(I assume that privacy is what is meant when talking about "personality rights" - which sounds like a tradeable commodity, e.g. "You're not allowed to publish my photo in the newspaper, I've sold my personality rights to Fabergé")

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 04:27:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I give up.

You're basically saying that you're fine with religious types issuing death threats because - you know - that's just what some religious people do. And people shouldn't tweak that because it's just asking for trouble.

And then you wonder why progressives might have issues with religion.

And no, sadly, this is not some reductio ad absurdum. You really do seem to believe this, and you really do seem to think it's morally and ethically justifiable to believe it.

I have nothing to add to this thread.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:05:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not fine with issuing death threats. You are inventing that. I am saying that the racist and Islamophobian scum that started the cartoon campaign deliberately brought this violent reaction about.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:42:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The death threats preceded the cartoons.

In the reality-based community, effect is not generally considered to precede cause.

The proper response to death threats against textbook authors and publishers is to create such a target-rich environment that the deranged, violent extremists cannot actually make good on the threat to suppress the activity.

If that gives some racists some cheap yucks, well shrug Protecting authors and publishers from deranged, violent fanatics is more important than not giving racists cheap yucks.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:57:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The death threats preceded the cartoons

You don't mind substantiating that statement, do you?

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:03:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't mind at all.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article by Ritzau discussed the difficulty encountered by the writer Kåre Bluitgen, who was initially unable to find an illustrator prepared to work with Bluitgen on his children's book

So there was NOT a textbook scrapped. No censorship. There was an author trying to employ an illustrator, and refusals to do this work.

The first one to decline the job was a Muslim, who refused on religious grounds (not menitoned in the Wikipedia article). Then there were refusals because people THOUGHT there could be violence from Muslims, but there weren't any real threats.

Only after the cartoon campaign of Jyllands Posten there were death threats and riots.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:37:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be true if you conveniently ignore the actual cases of people being murdered and assaulted over similar matters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:41:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the impression the authors of the cartoon campaign wanted to convey: that Muslims are a menace. It is something I dispute.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:57:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that people who will issue death threats over making drawings are a threat.

The point appears to be that making representations of Mohamed is a profanation of the holy.

So maybe the problem is that people who believe in the holy are a threat, because they are liable to get unreasonably worked up over actions which they perceive to be a profanation of the holy.

Since the definition of what's holy and what behaviours are profanations of the holy seem to be completely conventional (given the very large numbers of religions disagreeing over what's holy and what's profanation), maybe the problem is the very concept of the holy.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:04:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First there was the cartoon campaign that aimed at showing how primitive these brown skinned people are, and then there were the death threats.

And at no point was there the question to Muslims in Europe which protection of their interests they want, and a debate if the majority wanted to grant this protection.

And then, oh surprise, there was violence.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:35:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That debate was pretty effectively pre-empted by a gaggle of extremist Danish mullahs who decided to go on a tour of various Mideastern banana republics with a doctored set of pictures.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the assault on a Copenhagen university professor was not an "impression the authors of the cartoon campaign wanted to convey," unless you are going into tin-foil hat territory and claiming that it was staged for public consumption by the authors of the cartoon campaign.

Nor were the several political assassinations of high-profile anti-Islamists. Now, some of those assassinated arguably did the European culture a favor by shrugging off this mortal coil, but that does not make assassination somehow OK or non-threatening to legitimate anti-clerical activism.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:06:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First there was the cartoon campaign, then there was the related violence. Not the other way round. And nobody had to scrap a textbook.

It would be an interesting debate if Danish Muslims would tell us what illustrations they would find proper in a children's book about the prophet Mohammed. Instead there was a campaign to teach the primitives how civilised people behave.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First there was the cartoon campaign, then there was the related violence. Not the other way round.

No, that's simply a lie. It doesn't get more true because you repeat it. The cartoons were published after a professor at the University of Copenhagen was bodily assaulted for reading from the Koran.

It would be an interesting debate if Danish Muslims would tell us what illustrations they would find proper in a children's book about the prophet Mohammed.

A large part of the controversy centered around the question of who gets to speak for "the Danish Muslims." Because their self-appointed spokesmen are a gaggle of extremist nutcases whose representativeness is very much in doubt, and whose ideological home is somewhere slightly to the right of Russian Orthodox Patriarch.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that is not what the authors of the cartoon campaign claimed they wanted to convey.

They may have wished to convey that those who claim special privileges for Islam are a menace. This is abundantly verifiable.

You may be interested to know how the controversy played in France, which offers relatively little in the way of protection for religious feelings.

The Danish cartoons were published by France Soir, a paper with a right-wing editorial line, and by Charlie Hebdo, a scurrilous scatological lefto-greeno-republican weekly. This provoked "lively debate", and a couple of attempts of prosecution by a confederation of Moslem organisations under a law forbidding insults to a group of people based on their religious beliefs.

They lost : it was judged that the drawings satirized Moslem extremists, not Moslems as a group.

Last year, they were preparing a special issue (named Sharia Hebdo) to commemorate the electoral victory of the Islamist party in Tunisia, when the premises of the paper were destroyed by arson (never fear, the paper is still alive and well).

My perception is that the paper demonstrated that it is indeed OK to caricature religions and religious beliefs in France, with no exceptions. This ought to be obvious to everyone, and it's a shame that they had to demonstrate it by putting themselves and their paper at risk.

I'm very glad they did it, and I believe that they have improved the integration and insertion of Moslems into French society, which was their intention.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:25:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right, the authors claimed other aims.

In my view the French version of the relation between state and religion only works if minorities are very small. French secularity keeps the Catholic church in their place, and all other religions don't count. 5% Muslims is too strong a minority for that.  

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:45:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if it doesn't work in France, it presumably can't work anywhere.

The issue in France (and to a lesser extent, elsewhere in Europe) is that a society which has been secularized, i.e. is no longer intimidated by vested religious interests and therefore has no religious taboos in the debate of ideas, is effectively being asked (by a Muslim minority) to take a step backwards into the obscurantist past.

And is saying no. Quite rightly, and fairly successfully overall, in my view.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:53:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I dispute that we live in secularised societies! We mostly respect religious taboos (we only notice them when they change) and we have some kind of balance of powers between state and religion. The appearance of a new player disturbs the balance.

Funny turn the discussion is taking now. So the real enemy is Muslims?

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 11:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I dispute that we live in secularised societies!

You told Jake recently Take your barbarian free speech back to the US where it belongs.

I feel compelled to ask you to take your religious society to the US where it belongs.

Now seriously, this is the time to point out that secularism, separation of church and state, and freedom of conscience are three separate concepts.

I was of the opinion that, by and large, the US had freedom of conscience and separation of church and state, but it wasn't a secular society; on the other hand, Europe tends to have freedom of conscience and a secular society but no separation of church and state.

Is this one of those cases where you can pick two out of three?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 11:32:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have the impression (I am open to correction) that France enjoys all three. I believe this to be a relatively enviable state of affairs, and well worth defending.

I deplore any regression in this respect, beit in France, Russia, or the Maghreb, for example.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 11:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe if you scratch the illusion of secularity a bit, you'll see how thin it is. In Germany Catholics and Lutherans are about one third of the population each. Small fry and no religion is the last third. Especially in the rural parts the Churches are everywhere (in the west). I don't know what is secular in that. We are more concerned with balancing the two Churches against each other (yes, the two Churches. A church is founded by Peter or by Martin Luther, everything else is a sect) than with secularity.

So it's not even a case of picking two out of three.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:07:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what is secular in that.

What temporal power do the churches have? If the answer is none, then the society is secular. It's not about how many people profess or practice religion. It's about whether the churches get to dictate behaviour, education, dress codes, sexual morals, etc... or not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:13:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The government collects a tithe on their behalf: that's pretty non-separational of Church and State.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does that in Denmark as well. In Denmark, what that means is that substantially the church's entire revenue stream goes through the central government bureaucracy.

That's a good system, which has worked perfectly well since the 16th century. My only complaint is that it isn't open to all the other religions who might wish to enjoy similar state support place their budgetary decisions in the hands of treasury officials...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in Italy you have no choice but to pay it, though a few years ago they started letting you specify alternatives to the Church to give the money to.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Churches have influence on politics, on public broadcasters where they have seats, and they teach the regular religion classes in schools (except in the three city states, where they fight to get that right). And that's only the influence where they have formal legal rights, not even the informal influence.

Then there is the funding: if you owe your church money every month, because you are a member, the state will collect it for them with the income tax. There are hidden funds too.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the state tax authorities keep track of people's religious affiliation.

Big yikes!

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right. State tax authorities mark marital status, number of children, membership of church on a card which you then hand to your employer (!) who transfers the taxes on your wage directly to the state.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Formal legal rights = seats on public broadcasters + teaching religion in schools + administration of voluntary religious tax. OK, that gives them an undue influence on the formation of public opinion, so I guess that, according to Migeru's definition, Germany fails the "separation of church and state" test.

What are the "hidden funds"? Sounds exciting.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is exciting. The churches run social services, hospitals, kindergarten and are refunded for the costs. The are paid for teaching religion in schools. Their priests study in public universities subjects that are decided by the Church, not the state, but the Churches can't be bothered to pay for that. Then there are some historical hangovers which we are told we can't change. In Bavaria bishops are paid by the state and the like.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Germany is much like Minnessotta :)

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what is secular in that.

I interpret 'secularity' mostly in the sense that religiosity is a private matter. In stark contrast with the situation in the US where public shows of piety are almost required of politicians and public figures, in most of Europe they are frowned upon, discouraged, or they are simply not done. Even Christian Democrats keep a low profile, by and large. I may be mistaken, but even in the case of German President Gauck, the fact that he's a pastor is secondary to his reputation as a dissident against the DDR regime. Merkel doesn't make a big production out of being the daughter of a pastor either.

Maybe the fact of appointing Gauck President is a turning point, just like Sarkozy appears to have tried to inject just a bit too much of Catholicism in his political rhetoric.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kindly speak for yourself. I do.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 11:35:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More extensive reply

Funny turn the discussion is taking now. So the real enemy is Muslims?

No, the enemy is not brown people, no, the enemy is not immigrants. No, the enemy is not Muslims. Your introduction of this strawman is repugnant.

If you imagine that there is a balance of powers between state and religion in France, then you are ignorant of French society. (It's true that the clergy are on the state payroll in Alsace, that's a historical vestige similar to the fact that the motorways are toll-free in Brittany.)

It's possible that such a balance of powers truly exists in Germany -- after all, the major government party has the word "Christian" in its name -- but this too is a historical vestige, destined to disappear as (if?) society progresses.

The Catholic church in France no longer attempts to challenge the secular state in power games, it merely struggles to maintain its declining cultural influence. It happens that the only challenges to the secular state of affairs tends to come, these days, from Muslims.

Acceding to such demands would be a civilizational regression.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 11:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We mostly respect religious taboos (we only notice them when they change)

But, and this is the key point, when religious taboos are challenged, they are expected to yield. "This is taboo in my religion" is not a more valid argument for making public policy than "I think it's icky."

In practice, this means that Christianity enjoys a measure of privilege that Islam does not, due to simple institutional inertia. The solution to that is to remove Christianity's unfounded and unmerited privileges, not to introduce medieval barbarism in favor of Islam.

and we have some kind of balance of powers between state and religion.

No, we really don't, at least not north of the Eider or west of the Rhine.

The Catholic Church, of course, works incessantly to inject itself into European politics. But by and large it is losing.

Which is as it should be.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i'm with katrin about using political protest in churches, people deserve a place where they can get some peace and quiet in today's world. there are plenty of situations where PR's (valid) protest could have been staged without offending 'innocent bystanders' who are communing with their faith.

like outside the church! just as effective, probably more, and doesn't scare the horses.

i bet jake has some situations where he would like to be protected from the likes of PR from barging in and creating chaos where he was enjoying the serenity of a peaceful gathering of like minded people. economics class maybe? some economics classes are probably as riddled with prejudice and error as a patriarch's, voodoo under a different name...

as for the cartoons, i think that's yelling fire in a crowded theatre. stupid and socially destructive.

if your opponent gets crass or aggressive, it doesn't mean you have to double down the provocation, that's escalation.

there are smarter ways to unite people than mocking what's important to them, and i think we're way past the point of needing to evolve those.

freedom needs to be handled responsibly or it's just carelessness.

thing is, jake argues his case so well, it's impossible to refute it... intellectually. a textbook moment for emotional intelligence, methinks.

also i would guess katrin and jake are probably in fundamental agreement about most of the really important issues, and this is an exercise in reviewing what free speech really is, and if (like a free market), it's realistic to expect some regulation to be of benefit, even though there will always be absolutists and professional decriers of any regulation in both fields.

the core issues are the social and political valence of religion in secular societies, the freedom to gather and practice some form of worship in peace, and whether deliberate polemicising is truly free speech or just plain stupid, or worse, shit-stirring, flame baiting, playing with matches at a refinery. jake's totally right that these religious leaders who meddle in politics should not be protected by some sanctified imitation of respect, any particular reverence. katrin's totally right in that the left will never have significant power in politics unless people of faith are perceived as worthy of understanding as anyone else, and welcomed, or they will continue to create unholy alliances with the right, with the bad outcomes we are used to from that combo.

free speech is one of the only tools left for bettering our reality, so i'd be the last one to want it gone, but it should be used with taste, otherwise it has a backwards effect.

PR are just loudmouth kiddy prankster/attention hounds trying to win the outrage olympics, or possibly some kind of even-more-deranged-than-usual psy-ops.

they may well be backfiring more people into putin's arms with this puerile acting out. of course without a stupid media they would be insignificant.

lady gaga they ain't.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good. The essence of this thread. Why did we need so many words?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 06:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because neither you nor melo has as yet articulated a legal standard by which Pussy Riot's video (or the Muhammad cartoons) are criminal, but selling a t-shirt with religion is the opiate of the people on it could not be credibly argued to be legal.

Unless you want courts of law to judge artistic or literary merit. Which is about the dumbest legal proposal I've heard since the last revision of the Danish terrorist law.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:05:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i guess it would have to be hammered out in court, where that line be drawn.

how many trampled to death in unfiery thetres did it take before we realised absolute anything is bad news?

straw man, yes, but so is the opiate tshirt lol.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:55:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the opiate t-shirt is based on long experience with American fundagelicals - this is one of the Marxian adages that they go totally apeshit over.

(It's also a severely contextectomized Marxian adage, but that seems to be standard practice for religious outrage.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no. Do you really believe that it was ever legal to shout fire in a nonfiery theatre? The quote is from Justice Holmes' awful ruling against someone who was campaigning against the draft in WW1, which he compared to shouting fire in a theatre. To be fair to Holmes, he spent much of the rest of his career making up for this verdict (which was unanimous anyway), but whenever I hear someone use this quote, my instinctive reaction is to think him a hypocrite.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:02:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The line between the two is difficult to hit, that's why. But it's there, because it is two different concepts.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The loudest bigot? The most extremist bigot? The millionth most extremist bigot? The most violence-prone bigot (as you have suggested elsewhere)? A comparison to the standard set by an impartial (and therefore, by definition, secular) observer?

I'm fine with laws that create edge cases. I'm not fine with laws that allow the most hateful bigots in society to impose their views on the rest of us.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there is a danger of that. What should make them so influential?
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A law empowering people to demand prosecution based on nothing more than wounded pride would do that. Maybe not the single most intolerant bigot. But certainly the millionth most intolerant bigot.

Which is still way the Hell and gone over on the wrong side of the bell curve.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so many words?

that's how ET rolls!

because these issues are nothing if not nuanced, and we have been puzzling, litigating and warring over them for millennia, so 500 comments is another tiny dent.
what's fascinating about this thread is how articulately -and passionately- the arguments are being re-laid out, on all sides.

discordant? sure...

but anthropologically riveting.

:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:50:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes - but there's a wider issue about who gets to define public morality for the public.

Generally, religions - closely followed by capitalists - like to feel they have a monopoly on that.

And you do - absolutely and reliably - get protests, sometimes violent, often legal, whenever anyone who isn't in one of those groups tries to challenge those 'rights.'

I'd perhaps be more inclined to give religions a pass if there was a counterbalancing institution that explicitly encouraged positive public morality in a non-religious way.

The closest thing we have is TV and the media, which are too chaotic and contradictory to count.

And of course if such a thing existed, it would be protested by the religious and the powerful, because it would be an explicit challenge to their power.

(Realistically - or perhaps cynically, I can't decide - it would probably soon become corrupt anyway.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 07:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey! Can you stick to what I say, perhaps, and not what you make up I might say?

What you say is that you demand that the right of definition must be vested with the religious community which claims offense, not with the standard of a hypothetical impartial, disinterested secular observer. That means that, no, we cannot "stick to what you say" today, because, since you are demanding the right of definition, what you might say tomorrow matters as well.

Which is why constitutional democracies generally do not allow special interest groups the right of definition of what constitutes a violation of their rights and prerogatives.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A hypothetical impartial disinterested secular observer (not even mentioning rabid antireligionists) cannot find anything wrong with pigs in synagogues or elsewhere, or attach special significance to the altar of a church, because the significance is necessarily religiously defined.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:11:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A disinterested, impartial, secular observer can of course take issue with a pig in a synagogue, when the power relationship involved makes it a threatening or chilling act.

But Pussy Riot isn't a threat that the Russian Orthodox Church needs to be protected from. The Russian Orthodox Church is a threat Pussy Riot needs to be protected from.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a very strange comparison - you seem to be implying that watching friends and relatives being explosively dismembered is equivalent to juvenile performance art.

Also, this.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:15:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Originally it wasn't my comparison, mind. In both cases there is someone hurt, but told to shut up because they hadn't been the target though.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:24:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if it was a shopped photo of you, pretending you had an incontinence problem you might feel offended.

But unlike you, i don't presume that being offended is sufficient cause to lodge a legal complaint.

Of course if they used a picture of me, I would lodge a complaint that they are using my likeness without my permission. But the Pope can't do that, because the Pope is a public figure, and it is generally accepted (and perfectly sensible) jurisprudence that public figures do not have the same protection against having their likeness used as private individuals do.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The implicit statement that you have an incontinence problem would be a violation of your privacy and that's a reason to sue. Nothing to do with being a public figure. Of course in the case of a picture in a publication that has the word "satire magazine" on the front page that's a bit silly, but in principle...
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:55:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, satire of public figures really actually is different from mockery of private individuals.

Again, you deliberately skip over the balance of power in the underlying relationship. You and I need to be protected from the press, because the press has more power than we do. The Pope does not need to be protected from the press, because the Pope has as much or more power than the press.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:10:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are inventing the rules you would like to see implemented again. Legally this is not so. A public figure must accept that more of his/her life is published, but not everything.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this case we're not talking about publishing actual details of the actual pope's intestinal issues, but obvious satire - which certainly is protected by free speech laws in most of the West.

The images weren't slanderous, libellous, or an invasion of privacy, so I'm not sure why you think any of those legal principles might apply.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:23:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably. The pictures are not yet back online, though. That makes me wonder. Titanic employs fabulous lawyers.
by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A public figure must accept that more of his/her life is published, but not everything.

That is true, and perfectly consistent with what I said.

However, one of the things a public figure is not protected from is caricature.

Which is as it should be.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the pope was leaking fluids on the photoshop. caption: leak in vatican found.
by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:04:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardly outside the bounds of newspaper caricature.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
That doesn't change the fact that PR deliberately offended ordinary church members, which isn't consistent with your tale of a political action.

they were collateral damage, i doubt offending those in the pews was the real intent, maybe to wake them up a bit to the difference between diktat and democracy.

the real protest was against the schmoozing between putin and the patriarchs, and as such valid. staging and utoobing were symbolic acts against this unholy lese-majeste marriage.

some in russia remember her history.

protests offend, whatever they are about. people are offended if one protests war, or austerity, it's just the price people are willing to pay when they feel discounted or unheard.

some chain themselves to railings, some play appalling music, whatever it takes to get public attention and serve as rallying cry to other more reticent citizens.

punk is symbol of disaffected youth, russian orthodox church symbol of homophobia and exceptionalism.

they're welcome to each other, amen, oi.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Collateral damage" is a concept to shirk responsibility. The expression is used excessively in reporting drone strikes in Pakistan which regularly kill civilians and only rarely fighters.

So PR didn't hit whom they pretend to have targeted. Well, that's what I've been saying all along.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:23:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What evidence do you have that people present in the church during the filming of the miming of a protest song were actually offended?

Puzzled would be more likely.

(If your evidence is limited to what was reported of what witnesses said in court, and you believe it, then... well I have a business proposition for you concerning a bridge)

And what is your evidence that "PR didn't hit whom they pretend to have targeted"? I rather thing the Stalinist-style show trial is strong evidence that they hit the intended target pretty hard. i.e Putin and the Patriarch were stung by the insults proffered.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:36:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, my evidence is not limited to the evidence in court. I've watched the video and the movements of the other people in the church, and then there is my own reaction, too.

I am afraid the show trial bit is a message to the west and I get the impression that Putin enjoys himself and his performance. The ball was played from the prosecutor demanding a very high penalty to Putin calling for a mild one for the misguided ones. Neat. When western media interpreted this as weakness, the sentence and its reasoning. Oops. Putin stung? Where did you get that weed? Or do you by any chance believe that he wants to be seen as a guardian of liberal democracy with a judiciary that is independent from politics?

by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:40:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am afraid the show trial bit is a message to the west

That's a weird interpretation. Sincerely weird. It never would have occurred to me. What's the message? I'm the boss? People already knew that, if they'd been paying attention.

Putin stung? Where did you get that weed?

Do you think he would have risked so much political capital on the affair if it had been beneath his notice? Yes, I believe that the alliance of his political power with the Church is important to him,  he intended to punish those who challenged it in order to reassure his conservative nationalist base. I think he underestimated the domestic backlash. I don't think that international opinion matters a shit to him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 11:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I'm the boss" is rather the version for the domestic audience, I guess. The west had told him to adhere to liberal democracies' judicial standards or else. Putin says "else" and what can Hillary Clinton do? Nothing. So next time the west wants to support a competing oligarchy or some dissidents, they might get problems to find any that want their support.

Mind, that man is proud to be a dictator. He is even proud of being a liar. Have you forgotten his famous if he had invaded Iraq, he would have found WMD? (And so he would, doubtless).

by Katrin on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 01:23:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
John Pussy Riot saga raises the beat at trade talks - Opinion - NZ Herald News

It is not every day that the Russian Embassy in Wellington feels obliged to issue a three-page statement dealing with the behaviour of a feminist punk rock band.

The press release - issued on the eve of Vladimir Putin strutting the world stage by virtue of Russia's hosting of this year's Apec summit - was tacit acknowledgement the Russian president has been embarrassed by the international outrage over the two-year jail sentences imposed on members of Pussy Riot.

The embassy's statement - which consisted of answers supplied by Russia's foreign ministry to questions posed by foreign media - was an indication Moscow has shifted into damage control mode and that the sentences have backfired.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 08:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me point out what you're defending here:

You're defending the criminalization of "hooliganism" - a vague, general habitus, which can be declared ex post facto, as opposed to a concrete set of actions delineated ahead of time. Basically a blank check to prosecute anybody, at any time, for any reason, as long as you can stir up enough manufactured outrage in the "old white ignorant fuckwit" demographic.

Even the fucking Romans - hardly the brightest beacon of enlightened jurisprudence - understood why ex post facto laws were a shitty idea. But what you're defending here isn't even simply an ex post facto law. It's a declaration of open season for retroactively prohibiting any behavior that riles up a large enough number of thin-skinned old grannies.

And you're defending an interpretation of "incitement of religious hatred" which is broad enough to include mockery and bad language. I wonder what you make of Simon Singh and the British Chiroquacktor's Association. Or Dara O'Briain and homeoquacks? Or do chiroquacktors and homeoquacks not count as a religious group? If not, why not? It's not like there's any practical distinction between homeopathy and faith healing.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To say that PR incited "religious hatred" is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

Shouting "Virgin Mary, become a feminist" in Church is not going to incite anyone to hate Christians, though the subsequent burning at the stake of the shouter might well have that effect.

Maybe an expression of religious hatred.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about defining "God's shit"...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about it?

Nobody who doesn't have an excessive sentimental attachment to the word "God" can possibly be offended by that.

And people who do have an excessive sentimental attachment to the word "God" need to realize that their excessive sentimentality is not a valid basis for criminalizing speech.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't speak Russian, and I don't have a profound understanding of the Russian language, but I would like someone who does, to explain to me how you can accurately translate an adjective by a noun.

sran gospodnaya is the original phrase. The generally-presented translation is "God's shit", which appears, on its face, to refer to faecal matter excreted by Jehovah.

I understand that the Russian formulation is rather more ambiguous : more accurately, something like "faecal matter emanating from/pertaining to Jehovah".

In which case, and given the context of the phrase in the protest song, which is about Putin and the Patriarch using the Church for political ends, I suggest that the intent is better translated by "Holy bullshit", "Godly crap", "Pseudo-theological nonsense". A purely scatological reading just doesn't make sense in the context (and if anyone wants to proclaim that the whole text is nothing but scatological nonsense, I challenge them to review it line by line with me).

Now, I am happy to admit that the use of profanities may have a much greater impact in the Russian language; and this is probably why this particular phrase has been so gleefully seized upon. But I find its use defensible in the context, and I don't find that it insults God, or religious sensibilities, at all. On the other hand, it is very insulting against the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church. It will be perceived as an insult against God and against religion by those who are unable or unwilling to make the distinction between the institution and the thing itself.

The manifest intent of the prosecution to identify this political figure, the Patriarch with God is an indication, to my eyes, that PR's attack is well-founded.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:54:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how you can accurately translate an adjective by a noun

I think you should think of the ending -aya as -ly in English (which also turns a noun into an adjective).

So Gospodnaya = Godly = God's (in the sense of "of or pertaining to").

But seriously, what does this have to do with anything?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 08:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question is that both vbo and Sargon focused on this line as the part that most insulted religious sentiment.

It seems obvious to me that there is a world of difference between "God's shit" (which can be construed as an insult to God, and therefore to all believers) and "Godly bullshit", which, in context, is an insult against the Patriarch.

And also... vbo invited a discussion of the phrase.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that Gospodnaya ("Godly") is also in the name of the "Lord's Prayer".

So, syntactically it may mean "godly bulshit". Semantically, it recalls "the Lord's shit". [Which is part of the reason why you can accurately translate an adjective by a noun - grammar doesn't follow function, especially across languages]

And sinc neither of us are native Slavic speakers or Orthodox faithful... we might want to defer to their judgement.

Also, considering English routinely "verbs nouns" and "nouns verbs", why are you, an English speaker, so shocked that adjectives can be translated as nouns and conversely, in particular semantic/syntactic contexts? And haven't you heard of apposition? (The use of a noun in an adjective function - as in the use of the noun adjective in an adjective function in the expression an adjective function as opposed to an adjectival function or an adjective's function)

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am defending a condemnation of their behaviour. Your defence of it needs ridiculous arguments as to the status of the church as public space, the claim that a person who chooses to be a political figure loses all rights under libel law and now even takes us to homeopathy! What next?
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your defence of it needs ridiculous arguments as to the status of the church as public space,

Excuse me for objecting to religious bigots demanding a one-way inroad into the public conversation, where they are permitted  to use their churches as platforms for petty parochial partisan political propaganda, but the public is not permitted to challenge that propaganda in the same churches.

the claim that a person who chooses to be a political figure loses all rights under libel law

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what is known as "a lie."

All I'm demanding is that religious bigots sue their detractors under the ordinary libel laws, instead of under their own special laws.

Of course, when they do sue under the common libel laws, they almost invariably lose. Which is why they cling so tightly to their special laws.

and now even takes us to homeopathy! What next?

What's next is you telling me what difference between insulting homeopathy and insulting the Virgin Mary merits the legal prohibition of the latter, but not the former.

Because I'm not seeing it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:30:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what is known as "a lie."

Oh no, it's not a lie. You said offending the pope is political speech. Without any exceptions. And political speech is protected against accusations of libel. Perhaps you no longer like your own words, but you said them.

All I'm demanding is that religious bigots sue their detractors under the ordinary libel laws, instead of under their own special laws.

No, it's not all you are demanding. Additionally you demand that laws that protect religious communities be scrapped. The two are not the same, even if atheist bigots don't get the difference.

What's next is you telling me what difference between insulting homeopathy and insulting the Virgin Mary merits the legal prohibition of the latter, but not the former.

Insulting the Virgin Mary would probably fall under blasphemy laws, which is an entirely different subject (and btw not something I support).

Because I'm not seeing it

There is a lot you are not seeing.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Insulting the Virgin Mary
Huh what!?
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin, banish Putin,

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish him, we pray thee!

...

Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Be a feminist, we pray thee,

Be a feminist, we pray thee.

...

Join our protest, Holy Virgin.

(Chorus)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin, banish Putin,

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, we pray thee, banish him!



If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:12:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The words of their text are offensive for the obscenities they contain, and for the fact that a prayer by people who don't believe in prayer is mockery. Add to this the noise and the exact place: you can separate all these components from each other, you must see them in combination.

My issue is not blasphemy, it isn't criticism of the patriarch or any other clergyman either. My issue is the insult to the ordinary church members.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:52:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The words of their text are offensive

The words of the text were never spoken in the church.

and for the fact that a prayer by people who don't believe in prayer is mockery.

So it should only be legal to pray in church if you believe in prayer? Thoughtcrime, in other words?

Add to this the noise and the exact place:

The noise was added in post. No noise was made inside the church.

you can separate all these components from each other, you must see them in combination.

Not a single one of the offensive elements you listed ever took place inside the church. (Except, depending on how exactly you define 'prayer,' the miming of the prayer, which at the time it was done could have been offensive only to a telepath.)

In other words, you want to criminalize an action which was legal at the time it was made, because some other action was later taken elsewhere, which, viewed in isolation, would have been equally legal.

That's a seriously sketchy precedent you want to set here.

My issue is not blasphemy, it isn't criticism of the patriarch or any other clergyman either. My issue is the insult to the ordinary church members.

Ordinary trade unionists are regularly insulted. You don't see them getting all prissy about it.

Of course, trade unions aren't used to being cuddled and not having to defend their views from detractors who disagree with the merit of their views, or even the legitimacy of their raison d'etre.

I guess ideology is one of those areas where protectionism really does make you soft and unable to cope with the rest of the world.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The words of the text were never spoken in the church.
 

And you know for sure what has been spoken in the church? Evidence please.Tape?
But even that does not matter because the words are on YouTube making people to THINK that they are spoken in church.

So it should only be legal to pray in church if you believe in prayer? Thoughtcrime, in other words?

 You do not have to prey in church if you are tourist non believer visiting it as a historical place. But it is a matter of respect not to go against the rule of the place you are visiting. And if you hate religion that much why would you even care to enter the church? For the protest? Wrong place. Find better one for that purpose.
Try to insult some Union the way they insulted believers and tell us what happened.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:24:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you know for sure what has been spoken in the church? Evidence please.Tape?

I don't need to prove a negative. You need to prove that they did speak the words in church. The YouTube video isn't proof, because they doctored the sound in post.

But even that does not matter because the words are on YouTube making people to THINK that they are spoken in church.

So what?

This would also have been true if they had used stock footage of the church and mixed the clip in a server room in Vladivostok, without ever coming within half a continent of the church in question.

But then, we already did establish that you demand the right to sue people for uploading YouTube videos you don't like.

Well, you can fuck off to Iran or North Korea with that sentiment, because it doesn't belong in Europe.

Actually, I take that back. It doesn't belong in North Korea or Iran either.

You do not have to prey in church if you are tourist non believer visiting it as a historical place. But it is a matter of respect not to go against the rule of the place you are visiting.

Again we have religious people demanding the privilege of defining the rules of public spaces. And again we have religious people whining that they don't get no respect.

Well, newsflash: Respect is earned by acting respectably. And the Russian Orthodox Church hasn't earned any.

And if you hate religion that much why would you even care to enter the church? For the protest?

That's a perfectly valid reason.

But I also happen to like choir music, Gothic architecture and medieval history.

What I feel about religion generally (mild bemusement) or the Orthodox Church in particular (that it is a pox upon Russian society and in dire need of the Atatürk treatment) really has nothing to do with it.

Try to insult some Union the way they insulted believers and tell us what happened.

I don't need to. I see people do that every day.

Unless you want to claim that Pussy Riot's insults were garnished with extra special sauce that makes them a doubleplusungood form of thoughtcrime.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:34:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if the performance was less noisy in the church than the video that they published suggests, all other elements were there: the writhing at the altar is enough.

What did they shout instead?

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 02:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They didn't. They mimed.

And if writhing at the altar is illegal, then I guess glossolalia or religious trances could also be.

Get a fucking grip. What you want to persecute these women for is offending your sense of the sacred by uploading a YouTube video you don't like.

And actually, I find that really fucking objectionable. I even find it insulting of my feelings regarding religion. Does that mean I get to sue you for insulting my religious feelings?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:25:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Defacing the altar justifies no harsher penalty than community service. Except for the fact it is an altar.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:27:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well not everyone is a feminist even amongst so called " progressives".
Do I have to be a feminist necessarily to look intelligent in your eyes?
Can't I be offended if someone calls me feminist?
Just asking...Do not get me wrong I am all for women rights but does that necessarily makes me feminist?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:14:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that is stuff for the next diary...
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 02:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not saying you should become a feminist, but would it be insulting to incite you to become a feminist?

So, is proselytism insulting in general, or only when not practised by people your own ideology?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:38:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am against proselytism as such...be it my religion or ideology...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You said offending the pope is political speech. Without any exceptions. And political speech is protected against accusations of libel.

Then argue that political speech should not be protected from accusations of libel. Not that the Pope should have a super-special Pope Loophole in the ordinary law.

But yes, reminding people that the Pope is, in the end, just another man - in fact, that he's just another pathetic asshole of a man - is political speech, because the Pope claims to be exalted above other men, and that this exalted station has political relevance.

He is perfectly free to take off the stupid hat and debate like a normal person who is given no deference not accorded any other offensive, octogenarian bigot.

No, it's not all you are demanding. Additionally you demand that laws that protect religious communities be scrapped.

Laws that protect religious communities without offering equal protection to everyone else, yes.

I'm a big fan of the whole "equal before the law" thing.

Insulting the Virgin Mary would probably fall under blasphemy laws, which is an entirely different subject (and btw not something I support).

And how do you make a practical distinction between "blasphemy" and "insulting the feelings of religious people?"

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then argue that political speech should not be protected from accusations of libel. Not that the Pope should have a super-special Pope Loophole in the ordinary law

Nope. I argue that political speech must be protected. I have never argued that the Pope should have a super-special Pope Loophole in the ordinary law, and I am not aware that anyone else does, so what the fuck are you inventing there?

And how do you make a practical distinction between "blasphemy" and "insulting the feelings of religious people?"

Blaspheme away, I don't care. I believe almighty God is well able to cope, and if you are not immediately struck down by a lightning, that's just because she is too bored by you to react.

But invading a church and the altar and screeching obscenities there ought to be punished. You can utter the same words elsewhere for all I care. I object to the behaviour ("performance" you know) in this place.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So if they had shopped their performance over stock footage of the same altar, you would have seen no problem whatever with their performance? It is exclusively the fact that they mimed out the performance (with no sound - that was added in post) which is significant to you?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They had no business entering the altar for any purpose even to prey to God and even dressed like Virgin Mary. How hard is this to understand?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too hard if you are blinded by antireligious bigotry
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 02:54:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they trespassed. And they were ejected by security. And yet they were not prosecuted for trespassing, or sentenced for it.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They trespassed by not just that...there is more in this story...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That they trespassed is the only thing that all observers can agree to without qualification, and the only thing they were not charged with.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, they didn't trespass. They were invited in. They behaved in a way that was found unbecoming by the custodians and left when the custodians escorted them out.

Just like you're not trespassing if I invite you into my home and then throw you out for smoking in my living room. (And if they had been smoking in the cathedral, that would have been an outrage, because that actually damages the building. Not just believers' mental image of the building.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:04:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I interpret this hooliganism charge as including trespassing.
by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, and writing on the altar.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I think hooliganism in russian law encompasses some other charges that in other jurisdictions would be more specified.
by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:00:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, so now you're going to check whether people possess adequate amounts of piety before they approach the altar.

You're getting farther and farther into thoughtcrime territory every time you put finger to keyboard.

And no, I will not accept thoughtcrime. Ever. Under any circumstance. No matter how much thoughts "offend the religious feelings" of thin-skinned bigots.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"And no, I will not accept thoughtcrime. Ever. Under any circumstance. No matter how much thoughts "offend the religious feelings" of thin-skinned bigots."

What if someone's thoughts could be read and recorded and played back objectively by a computer?  (Sorry, I had to put my popcorn down for this one, because it seems like an interesting problem for the near future)

by njh on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 09:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you'd either be doing it with the consent of the person principally involved, in which case I see no meaningful difference from ordinary speech.

Or you're not, in which case it's an intrusive invasion of privacy, for which reason it cannot be admissible in a court of law.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 11:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FWIW, suposedly Catholics can sin by "omission, thought, word or deed". So thay have to confess "sins by thought" and be forgiven. So thoughtcrime is entirely consistent with Catholic teachings. I'm not sure about Orthodox or Lutherans.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 10:16:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
their own special laws.

Where are they? They have no any special laws. Their rights are as special as other organization and group let alone institution.
If I enter for example Commerce association (for the lack of better example) in their own property with few members sitting there before their session with a huge cross and dressed like Virgin Mary and I approach their " altar" and start preaching how they are criminals and ask for God to punish them I would probably end up in a mental hospital and at best in prison (all tho maybe not for 2 years). If it is group of us we may end up like public enemy or even terrorist...because we are organized...
They have no special laws. It's a law that would have us respect others.
If I/my group  stand in front of Commerce association with a cross and say the same stuff I will end up with fine for disturbing by passers (if I do not have permit to protest). Dare to see the difference?
Or I have to draw it?  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They have no special laws.

Wrong, there are numerious explicit mentions of "religious feelings" in legal codes. So ordinary legal protections are felt not to suffice when it comes to religion.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
explicit mentions of "religious feelings" in legal codes

Yeah ,same way as they mention rights of minorities, gays , political parties, whatever. But I do not know of specific / special laws that would protect specifically religious feelings. Maybe that's different from state to state...Maybe you can direct me to one of these laws?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Denmark and Ireland have laws against blasphemy. Spain probably has as well. Poland almost certainly does, but I'm not going to dumpster dive in the wretched hive of fundagelical idiocy that is Polish religious law. Clergy has a special right to consultation at the EU level which is not extended to any other private clubs of unelected old men. And of course, in Russia you can apparently get charged with uploading YouTube videos that believers don't like.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only that nobody has defended blasphemy laws here... No matter for you, you can't be bothered to distinguish blasphemy laws, laws to protect the exercise of religion, or libel laws. All you are interested in is your missionary zeal as a secular.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:41:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're defending the right to prosecute on the basis of offending the feelings of believers.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:44:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
exactly. As opposed to blasphemy.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:31:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, goodie. You admit that you advocate censorship on no basis other than that it offends religious people.

Get on the train to the 21st century, will you, because you're obviously stuck somewhere in the 18th.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:37:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, goodie. You admit that you advocate censorship on no basis other than that it offends religious people.

I do not see it like that. Censorship is one thing , prosecuting people for wrong doing is the other.
And doing this in this particular way inside of the church is wrong.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:44:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prosecuting people for offending other people's sensibilities is censorship. No two ways about it.

And again, what actual actions did they do inside the church which should be a crime? (Aside from defacing a building, which we obviously agree on.)

You still haven't told me whether you think heathens praying in church should be a crime, and how you're going to prove that they're heathens without invoking general habitus which is not in itself criminal.

Heresy trials FTW. Welcome back to the 17th century.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:28:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny. If you disagree with a law you call it censorship. Are laws against racist hate speech censorship too?
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are laws against incitement to violence and there are laws against offending people. And then there are the laws protecting personality (from personal insult, defamation, etc).

So inciting people to burn down a church is not the same as insulting churchgoers, which is not the same as saying Mother of God, Virgin, become a feminist in front of the churchgoers.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to be technical about it, yes.

If you want to be technical about it, quotas for women on corporate boards is discrimination.

If you want to be technical about it, requiring employers to have a union contract with a real union is a restriction of their freedom of association (at least that's what the court in Strassburg thinks).

But of course in the real world, the point of hate speech laws is not to censor honest opinion, it is to prevent a politically and socially dominant group from intimidating and legitimizing violence, discrimination or repression against a politically and socially dominated group.

It is, in other words, about redressing an imbalanced power relationship between non-state actors.

Which is totally irrelevant to a Russian punk band offending the Russian Orthodox Church, because the Orthodox Church is the dominant, and punk culture the dominated, group in that power relationship.

This should not be difficult to understand. But apparently it is.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only that nobody has defended blasphemy laws here...

vbo is.

No matter for you, you can't be bothered to distinguish blasphemy laws, laws to protect the exercise of religion, or libel laws. All you are interested in is your missionary zeal as a secular.

I have never complained about religious people suing according to the ordinary libel laws that are open to everyone (well, I have complained about the British libel laws, but that's a problem with the British libel laws in general, not special treatment of religious bigots).

The thing is: When they sue according to the real libel law, they almost invariably lose.

I never complained about laws protecting public gatherings and free association for any purpose, including the exercise of religion. What I complain about is religions demanding extra-special privileges which are not extended to trade unions, tennis players and collectors of horse porn.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:53:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only that nobody has defended blasphemy laws here...

vbo is.

??? If you call me mentioning how I feel offended by few porno stars (calling themselves artists ???) naming my religious feelings "God's shit", than yes.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
??? If you call me mentioning how I feel offended by few porno stars (calling themselves artists ???) naming my religious feelings "God's shit", than yes.

I don't object to you being offended.

I object to your offensive, narcissistic obsession that offending you must be made a criminal act.

Your words (bold mine):

Putting the whole shit on YouTube is another story but not less offensive...to ridicule believes of so many millions of people pointing what they ( those few so called artist, huh, fucking their political position in the museum before) happen to think about " God's shit" is definitely criminal act.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I object to your offensive, narcissistic obsession that offending you must be made a criminal act.

If it is just me it would not be necessary. But we are talking about quite a few millions of people...

And let me tell what I object about your view and your so called "progressive" group of people who are minority in practically all societies. I object your offensive, narcissistic obsession with telling everyone what to think and feel and trying to define for everyone what moral, intelligence etc. is in your narrow view.
People are different and in this time in many places free to think and feel what they want (or it seems to be the case to degree). So live with it. As they say "live and let others live". You as atheists are protected enough and just live with a fact that others can have protection too, not necessarily sharing your view.Respect and tolerance...that's what we need.
I wouldn't like PR for simple case of bad taste anyway so even if they had good message to share they would be irrelevant in my eyes. Putin made a mistake of making them martyrs.I can't see how they can make any advance for your ideology...unless it is because you like porn...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:32:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is just me it would not be necessary. But we are talking about quite a few millions of people...

So let's have an auto da fe in a public square, then. Or a lynching.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is just me it would not be necessary. But we are talking about quite a few millions of people...

Appeal to popularity is not a valid argument.

And let me tell what I object about your view and your so called "progressive" group of people who are minority in practically all societies. I object your offensive, narcissistic obsession with telling everyone what to think and feel

I'm not telling you what to feel.

I'm telling you that mere feelings are not valid arguments for prosecuting people.

People are different and in this time in many places free to think and feel what they want (or it seems to be the case to degree). So live with it.

I have nothing against you thinking and feeling anything you like.

I object to you wanting to use the courts to force me to agree with you.

As they say "live and let others live".

Quite.

Seems like the Russian courts did not get that memo.

You as atheists are protected enough

But not equally as well as religious people.

I guess that "separate but equal" is OK in your mind.

and just live with a fact that others can have protection too,

I object to a "protection from being insulted," because that means that the most reactionary prude (or the millionth most reactionary prude - same shit) gets to define the limits of legal speech.

Respect and tolerance...that's what we need.

Tolerance I quite agree with. But apparently, in your view "tolerance" does not extend to punk bands uploading YouTube videos?

Respect, as I've said before, is something you earn. And the Russian Orthodox Church hasn't earned any.

I can't see how they can make any advance for your ideology...unless it is because you like porn...

The Russian Orthodox Church is a reactionary political organization, and as such my enemy. Any nonviolent action which harms the Russian Orthodox Church therefore has my full support.

Liking porn has nothing to do with it (not that there is anything wrong with liking porn, though I don't think I'd share Pussy Riot's tastes in that genre).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:06:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing wrong in you/or PR hating Russian Orthodox Church.And you can attack it at wish using lawful tactics.
Any nonviolent action

PR violated Church's property and rules for their goals so how is this not violent. Do they need to kill someone?

Oh I am getting tired and I start to sound to my self as an echo. It is enough for now unless we have something new to say on this...Obviously there is no way for us to come to any conclusion here. Not even that we "agree on disagreeing"...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the contrary, we're very close to clearly delineating everyone's frames and, given that this is a clash of frames, agree to disagree. The disagreement is not actually about the facts of the Pussy Riot case. It's the frame through which the facts are interpreted. And the difference in frame through which to interpret evidence is invulnerable (almost by definition) to evidence.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:16:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing wrong in you/or PR hating Russian Orthodox Church.And you can attack it at wish using lawful tactics.

I'll ask again, since neither you nor Katrin has ever provided a clear and unambiguous answer to this question: Which of Pussy Riot's precise, concret acts inside the church should be illegal?

Don't give me vague generalities about intent and insincerity. Concrete, actionable actions only.

Oh, and you never did give a clear and unambiguous answer to the question of whether it should be criminal to upload a YouTube video with a song you don't like set to background footage of a church. Should it?

PR violated Church's property and rules for their goals so how is this not violent.

Um, because violence requires you to actually, you know, cause bodily harm to somebody.

Do they need to kill someone?

No, slapping somebody would suffice.

Disrespecting the subsidized property privileges of the church... not so much.

Not even that we "agree on disagreeing"...

No, "agree to disagree" is not a possible outcome when one side insists on demanding that the courts repress the other side.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never complained about religious people suing according to the ordinary libel laws that are open to everyone

Yes, you have. The complaint, possibly charge, but not conviction in the Kissing Pope Photo Affair which you cited excessively and falsely for the power of the Vatican suppressing political speech.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:38:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that complaint was clearly about offending the religious feelings of Catholics, and attacking the dignity of the Pope.

At least that's what the Vatican claimed they were suing over. Again, I don't read Italian, so I don't know whether the Vatican was lying in its press release (admittedly a strong possibility - the Vatican does tend to lie like a rug).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:53:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC article YOU linked to in your pathetic attempt to prove that political speech about the pope was prosecuted does not bear that out:

The Vatican statement said the ad was "damaging to not only to dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers"

So, if you have information what the actual complaint was about (if any), how about sharing it?

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't. But the quote you cited proves my point: The Vatican's lawyers clearly think that offending the Pope justifies a frivolous lawsuit.

I disagree.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:21:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You said the law was on the Vatican's side in this point. Which isn't true. So this was a complaint about personality rights: is it legal to show the kissing and twist the meaning a bit?

Additionally the Vatican claimed that Catholics were offended by a connection of their pope and the notion of sex, especially gay sex. They had to find the hard way that after the child abuse scandal this is no longer true. This will doubtless influence their decisions when to lodge complaints in future.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, considerations of realpolitik makes the Papacy less trigger-happy with the frivolous lawsuits against people who piss off the Pope.

The Thirty Years War also made the Papacy less trigger-happy with prosecuting heresy. That doesn't make the existence of statutes against heresy not-a-problem.

Either they are not invoked, and can therefore be excised without loss of generality. Or they are invoked, and must therefore be excised to protect the human rights of heretics and blasphemers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:48:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't know, let's start with the Spanish constitution [PDF]
Section 16

Freedom of ideology, religion and wors-
hip is guaranteed, to individuals and communi- ties with no other restriction on their expres- sion than may be necessary to maintain public order as protected by law.

So, implicitly, "religion" and "worship" are a separate category from "ideology" since protection of ideology doesn't suffice.
No one may be compelled to make sta- tements regarding his or her ideology, religion or beliefs.
Section 27
The public authorities guarantee the
right of parents to ensure that their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance with their own convictions.
There is no equivalent protection of the right to have your child educated free of pseudoscience.
Section 14

Spaniards are equal before the law and may not in any way be discriminated against on account of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.

Religion is, again, not opinion, nor covered under "other personal or social condition or circumstance".

Now, this is fantastic. Article 16 is developed in its own law, but only as it pertains to freedom of religion and worship (not freedom of ideology). Now check this out:

La Libertad Religiosa y de culto garantizado por la Constitución comprende, con la consiguiente inmunidad de coacción, el derecho de toda persona a:

Profesar las creencias religiosas que libremente elija o no profesar ninguna; cambiar de confesión o abandonar la que tenía; manifestar libremente sus propias creencias religiosas o la ausencia de las mismas, o abstenerse de declarar sobre ellas.

...

Quedan fuera del ámbito de protección de la presente Ley las actividades, finalidades y entidades relacionadas con el estudio y experimentación de los fenómenos psíquicos o parapsicológicos o la difusión de valores humanísticos o espirituales u otros fines análogos ajenos a los religiosos.

The Freedom of Religion and worship guaranteed by the Constitution encompasses, with the consequent immunity from coercion, the right of any person to:

Profess the religious beliefs they freely choose, or not to profess any; to change confession or abandon that once held; to manifest freely their own beliefs or the lack thereof, or to abstain from declaring on them.

So you're free to be or become non-religious, however
Outside the scope of the present law are activities, ends and entities related to the study and experimentation of psychic or parapsichological phenomena or the diffusion of humanistic or spiritual values or other analogous but not religious goal.


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:14:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not see any problems here...Religion is mentioned amongst ideology, moral etc. And you are even protected of coercion...What is wrong there? Is it the fact that you are ALSO free to be religious as well as atheist?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:26:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that is mentioned separately and has its own special code of protection.

Protection of ideological freedom has not been developed in its own law.

Also, did you notice the bit where the law explicitly says that "protection of religious freedom" does not extend to "humanistic or spiritual values which are not religious"?

So, riddle me that. What, specifically, is the part of religion which is not about spiritual values and yet justifies special protection as religion?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In what you put here I do not see special law or code that protects religion.
Rather I see that you are FREE to be or NOT to be religious...what more you can ask for...
So, implicitly, "religion" and "worship" are a separate category from "ideology" since protection of ideology doesn't suffice.

What do you mean? Religion IS separate category from ideology and ideology has been mentioned in that same sentence. Nothing wrong there.

There is no equivalent protection of the right to have your child educated free of pseudoscience.

Hah you really know how to twist things. As a parent you can choose where and how to educate your child. What else do you want? You can exempt your child from religious classes if you want so why would you scrap right of those religious that want their kids to attend them? And you are privileged because religious parent CAN'T excuse his child from classes that teach Darwinism.

Religion is, again, not opinion, nor covered under "other personal or social condition or circumstance".
 

Oh that's what bothers you...you want religion to totally disappear from law...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:51:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In what you put here I do not see special law or code that protects religion.

Can you read?

Non-religious groups are explicitly, in so many words, denied protections which are extended to religious groups.

Rather I see that you are FREE to be or NOT to be religious...what more you can ask for...

That any and all laws protecting religious sentiments apply equally to collectors of horse porn, or not at all.

Including the right to appoint teachers in schools.

What do you mean? Religion IS separate category from ideology

Not when preachers preach partisan political propaganda from the pulpit.

Only totally and utterly apolitical religion is in any way distinguishable from a political ideology.

As a parent you can choose where and how to educate your child.

No. You can't. At least not according to this law.

You have the inalienable right to choose religious indoctrination. You don't have the inalienable right to choose no religious indoctrination.

Gee, difference.

What else do you want? You can exempt your child from religious classes if you want so why would you scrap right of those religious that want their kids to attend them?

I don't.

I just want them to (a) pay for them themselves, and (b) not use school buildings for it.

If you have a hard time seeing why that's reasonable and obvious demands, then you really need to buy a ticket to the 21st century.

And you are privileged because religious parent CAN'T excuse his child from classes that teach Darwinism.

There are no classes that teach "Darwinism."

And if you can't tell the difference between classes to teach children science and classes to indoctrinate them into a particular religious sect, then you need to open your fucking eyes and look at an almanac to see what year we're in.

Oh that's what bothers you...you want religion to totally disappear from law...

I don't see anything about religion which requires any protection not accorded free assembly, free speech, free association and freedom from discrimination on grounds of exercising any of the above.

And since there is no actual religious activity that doesn't fall within one or more of those protections, explicit reference to religion is either superfluous, and should therefore not be made where concision is valued, or it indicates that religious prejudice is set above free assembly, free speech, free association and non-discrimination on grounds of the above. Which is totally, utterly and absolutely unacceptable.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religious indoctrination in education is constitutionally protected. However, there is no constitutional right to an education in the natural sciences free from, say, flat earthers, evolution deniers, or other pseudoscience.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:34:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are twisting things and hard. Yes you are protected and even privileged as I said above. You have a choice...that's your protection. What you want is to take that choice for those who do not follow your ideology.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:54:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm not, I'm quoting
The public authorities guarantee the right of parents to ensure that their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance with their own convictions.
There is no specific language anywhere to guarantee the right to ensure children receive evidence-based natural science instruction.

There is general language to protect the right to education. And then the constition drafters feel the need to make an explicit mention of the right to religious indoctrination.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:03:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe but it is already there well established in practice of education.
Same way I can argue that I have not protection for my child to be exposed to Darwinism...all tho you are protected for your child to attend compulsory religion classes.
Do not get me wrong I have nothing against science as such and I do not see antagonism between science and God ( as churches and many of them used to preach for centuries). It was wrong. Science can be very wrong too often.We are witnessing how thanks to new developments in science science itself corrects itself.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:15:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe but it is already there well established in practice of education.

Appeal to tradition is not a valid argument.

Same way I can argue that I have not protection for my child to be exposed to Darwinism

Appeal to pseudoscience is not a valid argument.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Appeal to tradition is not a valid argument.

Custom is one of the wellsprings of law, though.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It's the law" isn't, in and of itself, a valid argument either.

It's also against Swiss law to publish the names and account statements of tax frauds. That's not an argument for not doing it, it's an argument for making sure you get paid well enough that you never have to go back to Switzerland again.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:07:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It's the law" isn't, in and of itself, a valid argument either.

That depends on the frame you're arguing in.

Natural rights? Legal positivism? Others?

But the choice of frame is at the level of conviction. Once you ascertain that (say) you're a legal positivist and the other guy is a natural rights advocate, that's pretty much the end of productive discussion.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:39:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"It's the law" can be trivially refuted by reducto ad absurdum: The law is not always consistent, so A and NOT(A) can be illegal at the same time. Meaning it can't be a valid argument in any frame that does not recognize copious use of special pleading as a valid argument.

(As a corollary, any authoritarian frame has to rely on special pleading for those cases where the authority - being human, and therefore imperfectly consistent - makes both A and NOT(A) taboo at the same time.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:45:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 "their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance with their own convictions."

That seems to give the parents the right to educate their children according to their own convictions.

If "an education in the natural sciences free from, say, flat earthers, evolution deniers, or other pseudoscience".  is part of their own moral convictions, I don't see the problem.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:41:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But then you have to argue that evidence-based natural science is a moral conviction.

And then we're back to trying Galileo in a religious court for the temerity of looking at the world with his own eyes and drawing rational conclusions.

So, from an epistemological point of view, the law protects faith and doesn't protect evidence.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:58:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So it isn't your moral conviction that evidence based science should be taught?

It certainly is one of my moral convictions.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:06:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be the conclusion of this whole debate that yes, politics reduces to moral conviction in the final analysis. Even the role of evidence depends on having the conviction that it plays a role.

And once a discussion gets to the point of ascertaining that the discussants have different convictions, maybe it's time to stop it as no more light will come out of the heat. as in this case.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get your position on this.

Let me reformulate the constitution:

Parents have the right to expose their children to evidence based science.

What is gained in this expression that is not already included in "their convictions"?

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:40:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing. Children should have the right to be exposed to evidence-based education.

In principle, I'm not sure what's gained by giving parent the power to indoctrinate children in their own convictions.

Except that your wording would allow parents to fight a state school teacher who peddled prejudices not based on evidence in a science class.

Private schools are, of course, a different matter. If you don't like sectarian teaching don't take your child to a sectarian school. Which is why those kinds of legal protections of parent's rights to a particular kind of education for their children imply the need for state schools where the appropriate teaching is delivered.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In principle, I'm not sure what's gained by giving "parent the power to indoctrinate children in their own convictions."

That is another question regarding the balance of the power of the state to educate children and the parents power to educate children.

And this right to determine the religious and moral education according  to their convictions only makes sense in context of a state education system.

So you interpret this article as a right of parents to interfere with state education of their children only in the realms of religious and moral education, but not in all other school subjects.

So they couldn't complain about teaching of creationism in biology because this is not a religious or moral subject.

Yes, that is an plausible interpretation.

I interpreted moral convictions probably to generous. Is someone tried to argue that proper science education was part of his moral convictions it probably wouldn't work.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:05:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the article doesn't say "education on the basis of moral convictions", it says "religious and moral education on the basis of their convictions".

So generic "convictions" are protected, but only in the realm of "religious education".

Anyway, let's quote the full article for context:

Section 27 1. Everyone has the right to education.
Freedom of teaching is recognised.
2.    Education shall aim at the full development of human personality with due respect for the democratic principles of coexistence and for basic rights and freedoms.
  1. The public authorities guarantee the right of parents to ensure that their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance with their own convictions.
  2. Elementary education is compulsory and free.
  3. The public authorities guarantee the right of all to education, through general education programming, with the effective parti- cipation of all sectors concerned and the setting-up of educational centres.
6.    The right of individuals and legal entities to set up educational centres is recognised, provided they respect constitutional principles.
7.    Teachers, parents and, when appropriate, pupils shall participate in the control and management of all centres supported by the Administration out of public funds, under the terms established by the law.
8.    The public authorities shall inspect and standardise the educational system in order to ensure compliance with the laws.
9. The public authorities shall help the educational centres which meet the requirements established by the law.
10.    The autonomy of Universities is recog- nised, under the terms established by the law.
[PDF from Spain's Congress]

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I[f] someone tried to argue that proper science education was part of his moral convictions it probably wouldn't work.

That's interesting. Why?

(I actually agree, but you're the lawyer :-)

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:19:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance with their own convictions."

That seems to give the parents the right to educate their children according to their own convictions.

But only in the realm of religious and moral instruction. In other realms, the parents' convictions don't matter, apparently?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:43:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I enter for example Commerce association (for the lack of better example) in their own property

So posting the video on YouTube should not be illegal?

Now you're contradicting yourself.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:47:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So give them a restraining order to not come within x metres of a religious building.

But 2 years in jail to (paraphrasing the judge) reeducate them out of their individualism, stubbornness and penchant for bright, provocative clothing?

For reeducation and reparation, as far as community service goes, and given that they caused no physical damage whatsoever unlike the Femen leader with her chainsaw, there's very little they could be sensibly required to do.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have REPEATEDLY said that I don't support the particulars of this sentence, especially the extent of the penalty. I am saying that these women are guilty of behaviour that must be criminalised. It would be perfectly okay to fine them, give them a suspended sentence or a restraining order or whatever.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am saying that these women are guilty of behaviour that must be criminalised.

Are we talking about antisocial behaviour generally, or specifically incitation to religious hatred? Just to know whether we actually agree or not.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"antisocial behaviour" is a much better description than "incitation to religious hatred", so I think we largely agree.
by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:12:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...and there are fines too to be applied.
I am not arguing here that punishment is not draconian. I do not think it will stand and in the end it will go against Putin, judge and church because they already became "martyrs". So it was stupid on Putin/State side but they are yet to learn about this stuff. Milosevic learned after few attempts to even bit opposition leaders in custody. Not to mention that same opposition leader was later in his government...Grr...That made me feel stupid because I was the one protesting against cordon of police for his right not to be bitten as political opponent. We all learn...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... you're absolutely free to "condemn" their actions. I don't give a shit about your "condemnation."

What I challenge is your support for criminalizing their actions.

Condemn all you like. You have freedom of speech. But if you want to prosecute people for posting YouTube videos, you need to make a case that the videos are libel. Not just that they hurt the feelings of an over-privileged, thin-skinned gaggle of intolerant prayer-mumblers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right: condemn and criminalise, and damn this language.

But if you want to prosecute people for posting YouTube videos,

Again! You are doctoring the facts, because they don't support your view.

the feelings of an over-privileged, thin-skinned gaggle of intolerant prayer-mumblers

More precisely, persons you are biased against, which makes you think they are not entitled to the protection of the law. I see.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 10:48:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again! You are doctoring the facts, because they don't support your view.

No, that they were prosecuted for posting the YouTube video is the only interpretation that the chronology of events can support.

More precisely, persons you are biased against, which makes you think they are not entitled to the protection of the law.

I have repeatedly said that they are perfectly entitled to equal protection under the law.

What I will not accept is that they are entitled to special consideration, or that offending someone's feelings can be a criminal offense.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:13:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
over-privileged, thin-skinned gaggle of intolerant prayer-mumblers.

Oh oh oh...how xenophobic is this...and how rude...You really need to learn about tolerance and watch your language.
I may sue you, you know, haha. Or worse I can be nasty too...but I am older so I am not going to fall down on that level.
Didn't your parents teach you better about respect?


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:48:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Respect is earned.

People who want to ban swearing in church haven't earned any.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:17:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and now even takes us to homeopathy

Hah...this is just great! Hahaha
Let us go farther and see who else they see as an enemy of their "progressive" ideology...
How about those high rank scientists who are religious?
Ah sorry it must be my fantasy...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thin-skinned old grannies.

I see that you have "appropriate" names for all others who are not believers in your "progressive" ideology. Great. Now who is a racist, homophobic etc.? Believers are nuts in your eyes etc. You people definitely need to learn about tolerance and ironically enough tolerance is what you are preaching...huh...talking about hypocrisy...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that expression reveals misogyny. Whining at having to take women's views into account, and old women at that. Someone is feeling very superior.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 03:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Believers are nuts in your eyes

People who demand the right to censor me based on their religious bigotry are nuts.

I have nothing against believers per se. Just don't get in my face about it, and don't expect me to observe your silly tribal taboos.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:16:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"In other words, protesting child labor in front of a Nike store whose storefront faces a public street is legal, but the same protest against the same store would be illegal if it were located in a private covered arcade."

And you needed me to find that out?

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 12:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I already knew that.

I just think that it - like "gated communities," domestic servants and all the other ways to bribe your way out of having to interact with the hoi polloi - is bullshit and needs to go.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 01:08:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, in more practical terms, why is "no anti-war protesters in the [private] park" any different from "no black people in the [private] park?"

In even more practical terms, where do you find private parks, and who would want to hold a protest there? The exclusion of blacks would violate laws against racism, I guess.

If your trade union holds an assembly in a location they own or rent, they can kick out people who want to voice dissent. If they hold an assembly in a public place, they must tolerate dissenting political speech, but not attempts to disturb the assembly by violence. Why is the difference so difficult for you to get?

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If your trade union holds an assembly in a location they own or rent, they can kick out people who want to voice dissent. If they hold an assembly in a public place, they must tolerate dissenting political speech, but not attempts to disturb the assembly by violence. Why is the difference so difficult for you to get?

It's not difficult for me to get.

I just don't agree that political activism should enjoy fewer protections just because it takes place on "private property."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 09:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you don't want different degrees of openness to the public? How would you protect the trade union assembly in a rented room against being hijacked by a busload of speakers for an employers' organisation then?

And don't try to claim that your idea would remove an advantage of the rich: it's not true. Every organisation can afford to rent a room.

by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you talking about an assembly open to the public, open to any company employee, or open to a card-carrying member of the union?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
open to the public that is interested in enhancing the right to strike
by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:18:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then no, there is no reason to expect State-enforced protection against entryism.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:22:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
C'mon. We are not that far down the road yet.
by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 01:57:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we talking "in principle"? In principle if you organise a public meeting open to all, you cannot then complain if the opposition outnumbers you at your own meeting. If it's members-only then it's not a private meeting.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 02:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, there is also something in between: I can invite members and people who have sympathies for my cause. I can organise a meeting with an agenda and invite debate how the agenda can be achieved. I can expel people who come only to sabotage this agenda. The rationale then would not be numbers of supporters or dissenters, but property rights: if I own or rent a room I can ultimately decide who speaks in there.
by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 02:15:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought you objected to property rights because they were the basis of neoliberalism.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 02:52:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I object to private property of the means of production, not to any property. And I am living now and using the laws and rules that exist, even if I want them changed.
by Katrin on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 03:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where did I say that you had to provide a microphone to protesters? Or, for that matter, that protesters were allowed to disturb the gathering? (But then, protesters aren't allowed to disturb public gatherings in public either.)

But if someone wants to, say, hand out leaflets against striking at such a meeting, or stand in front of the podium with a banner against striking, I would be hard pressed to find any solid grounds for prohibiting that.

Now, I could very easily find a solid argument that people who were being paid to do that could be excluded. "Open to all non-commercial activities" is a perfectly valid restriction, and astroturfing is a commercial activity.

But then, I don't believe in protecting paid speech anyway.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 10:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the word "dedicated". It means it has to be a single-use facility to be protected.

That is not the meaning of dedicated. And the original text obviously doesn't say dedicated anyway. Gewidmet surely says anything about single-use.

And that both churches in question are regularly used for worship can hardly be denied.    

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 05:34:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, defamatory mischief and disturbing a service are not the same, that's why they need to be listed separately.

By the way, what in the world is "defamatory mischief"? "Disturbing a service" actually means something.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Mischief" is everything condemnable that wasn't listed elsewhere. Sentencing entirely depends on the Zeitgeist. And "defamatory", well, that means not any mischief.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So "being a naughty boy in church", pretty much, is a crime in Germany?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, being a defamatorily naughty boy is. Apparently the section isn't used very often.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 01:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the mischief ha to be defamatory or insulting, that is supposed a bit more. This part of the law rarely used, there are also very few court decisions interpreting it.
by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
defamatory [dɪˈfæmətərɪ -trɪ]
adj
(Law) injurious to someone's name or reputation
defamatorily  adv

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 01:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait, so if a German preacher makes a political speech in their church and they make defamatory statements about some politician or other, they are liable under this law?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 01:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not know but I can tell you that making political speech in a Church mostly means that people will avoid that specific church and priest (maybe not in USA). Happened in NZ with our priest during Milosevic time...We ended up going to Greek church (there was no another one Serbian). So it goes kind of against them. People are not imbeciles (well most of them)and they do not come to church for political reasons (well most of them).

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. With a clear background of political speech I can't imagine they would be found guilty. Or if they were, by a lowly Amtsgericht, this wouldn't survive the appeal.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:10:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about German legal tradition, but either in the preliminary legislative workings or in precedence their is an answer. Which is probably 'No'.

It is fun to twist legalese, but it has its own system to tackle the ambiguities of language. I don't think this text is that had to parse, if you do enough stuff to mock, humiliate or somesuch the church (synagogue, mosque, party HQ (see the last bit)) you are in, you can be found guilty.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" party HQ (see the last bit))"

LOL. No, that's a translation issue. That means a ceremony of a non-religious association. Jugendweihe instead of confirmation and so.  

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:47:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see.

I think it is a smart clause anyway, it gets around defining religion. After all it was the fact that Swedish law had a way to register a religion (and nothing but a religion) that allowed the Missionary Church of Kopimism to register as a religion (after a couple of attempts).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 05:12:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. They are using their own church, after all. This law protects from disruption/insult from outside.

They could be liable under the common libel laws, though.

There was a special law for this kind of situation once, though:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulpit_Law

 

by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An astonishing false note for the Femen, who have been generally pretty astute in their targeting until now.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:19:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then again there are different opinions:

http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/west-s-hypocrisy-over-pussy-riot-is-breathtaking-1.1065845


West's hypocrisy over Pussy Riot is breathtaking

For the British and US governments to get on high horses about the sentencing of the Pussy Riot band members is hypocrisy; both countries don't walk the talk on liberty and freedom of speech
...

The same sentiment a year ago motivated English magistrates to play to the gallery by jailing 1,292 people for stealing bottles of water or trainers or tweeting idiot messages during the dispersed rampage dubbed `urban riots'. Hysterical ministers raced home from holiday to tell judges to send messages. Judges duly ruined the lives of hundreds of young people, at great public expense and to no advantage to their victims. I have no sympathy for these people either, but again the politicised response to crime was disproportionate.

A month before, a London court jailed a stoned Charlie Gilmour after he swung on a union flag from the Cenotaph memorial to Britain's war dead and tossed a bin at a police car, thus causing widespread outrage in the offices of the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. The judge sent him down for 18 months to send a message carefully designed to wreck his university career. Yet again we need have no sympathy for Gilmour. But there is no such thing as a rap over the knuckles in jail. Judges know that any term in prison is a sentence for life.

How can British politicians, whose statements clearly seek to influence pliable judges, criticise other sovereign states for doing likewise? Last week, the Foreign Office professed itself "deeply concerned" at the fate of Russia's Pussy Riot three, jailed for two years for "hooliganism" in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral.  



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:43:05 AM EST
I am moving this from the old thread here:

Eurogreen:

Interestingly enough, your religious-inspired values appear to be sufficiently compatible with those of secular humanists to make discussion possible

Yes. Our values here in Europe have been shaped by philosophical and theological thought in the Church(es). Humanism didn't evolve in a philosophical vacuum, it is standing on the shoulders of older thought.

Oddly, you seem to imply or presume that this is the general case for religious-inspired political activists. Would that it were so!
What about the USA? Russia? Iran?

I've tried it. Engaged US American religious nutters and market taliban in debate. They squeaked and whined and became blue in the face and ran out of arguments quickly. If humans were created godlike, is there any justification to show less respect (and that includes some material aspects) to a disabled person than to God? Theologically there is only one answer to that: Christianity is not compatible with free marketism.  

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:38:15 AM EST
Humanism didn't evolve in a philosophical vacuum, it is standing on the shoulders of in opposition to older thought.

FIFY.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:46:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both, and that's how it should be.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:48:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Man is the measure of all things vs. God is the measure of all things.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but if man is the measure of all things, why?
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because. It's an ideology.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:31:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A faith
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever. Not entitled to legal protection on the basis of being one.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:34:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An ideology.

A faith.

A narrative.

A frame.

An axiom.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religious nutters... Well, quite. You have engaged in a spirited and courageous blanket defense of religious-inspired political activism, illustrating it with your personal values of tolerance etc...
The problem is that, worldwide, at a WAG, 90% of religious-inspired political activists are right-wingers, often extreme right wingers, and almost always with a strong authoritarian bent. (The patriarch Kirill, Putin's pal, is a case in point.)

I have no intention of according special political privileges to such people (or to you) because they are religious.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:31:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are right-wing authoritarians. See altemeyer.

He makes the point that in the former Soviet block the right wing authoritarian were authoritarian followers of the state communism ideology. That didn't make religious dissidents necessarily left-wing, because the Russian Orthodox Church remained throughout just a different right-wing authoritarian structure, just one out of power. In some former communist countries the local church continued to be tolerated and so provided a haven for left wing dissidents (in the vein of liberation theology, I suppose, but it would be interesting to study what fraction of the left-wing dissidents who operated under the church umbrella while in opposition to state communism remain within the church fold for their left-wing politics after the fall of the communist regime liberated the church hierarchy to be the right-wing authoritarians overtly).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:41:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which country are you thinking of? I think especially Poland is an example of the local Church surviving as a force but remaining right-wing during communism; while the Lutheran church in Eastern Germany is an example of a haven for left wing dissidents whose hierarchy did not transform into a right-wing authoritarian club.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:08:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er ...
Religion, specifically Christianity, in Western Europe is tolerable to non-adherents because we've had 500 years of telling it to go stand in a corner when it misbehaves.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:14:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'fee-market christianity' and 'christian free-marketing' are a frankensteinian hybrid mutant that got out the lab and are now chomping down on anything that we hold dear and sacred moves.

this has turned into a very interesting vintage ET discussion. both katrin and jake are doing an impressive brinking dance around incivility.

elegant calibration...

/meta

religion is the straw man here though, this goes deeper even, to the rights of people to private spaces to gather in, the line between public/private, whether dissent is ever polite to everyone, and the ugly underbelly of soft fascism, 2012 style.

PR serve to show very well how 'soft' that really is.

the older democracies have really screwed the pooch by throwing away so many of our own civil rights, putin's still catching up.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:17:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PR being Pussy Riot, not Public Relations... Which in the context of this discussion lends itself to ambiguity...

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:32:55 AM EST
The full name "Pussy Riot"  lends itself to ambiguity, too, so what?

Here are some attempts at finding a German equivalent of the name, pointing at the hypocrisy of German politicians who applaud the performance against Putin but would never say "Mösen in Aufruhr" or "Regensburger Domfotzen"

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:04:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just that in a bunch of earlier comments seen out of context in the "recent comments" page, I thought PR stood for Public Relations. It took me some time (and looking at the thread the comments were attached to) to figure out PR was Pussy Riot.

PR is just a euphemistic form to avoid having to type 'pussy'.

Pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy pussy.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:10:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:23:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom!



If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(blaireau!)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:40:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or to let people behind "family" filters read your article?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Filter" is the wrong metaphor.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have it your way.

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was going to be about Proportional Representation. You know, something that actually interesting ...


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:02:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am probably a small 'c' christian, in that I accepted many of the values of my parents. As a child, I could hardly resist ;-)

Those values were and are: hard creative work, fairness, honesty, helpfulness, respect, tolerance, inquisitiveness and a sense of humour (very important in our home, as in many). Both my parents were churchgoers and I sang in the church choir of St John the Baptist.

I've grown up to be an atheist. None of my family ever questioned that because (see previous list). I didn't quite understand and thus was not able to explain my atheism fully until I discovered self-organizing systems. Life is emergent, and it stops when the system decays or is damaged beyond repair. There is no homunculus, nor any need for one.

This short-termism absolutely does not detract from my inspirations from the act of living now. I feel only privileged to be alive, even while knowing it will end - permanently.

The only immortality I can hope for is that some people will remember me as a good person. It won't matter what people think of me because I won't know - but the last bit of 'belief' left in me hopes that it would be so.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:17:23 AM EST
So similar to what Pullman calls himself: "Church of England Atheist".


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's get this out of the way
First of all let us talk about PR because all this started with them. What exactly some of you like about them and their actions? And what exactly few of us dislike about them and their actions?
I don't like their punk rock, I don't like their leotards and I don't like their previous public sex "performance art". I don't like the disproportionate sentences they were handed down, nor the ridiculous justifications in the judge's statement. I like the No Pasaran! T-shirt.

They're obnoxious. They claim they are engaging in political protest. I don't particularly like obnoxious actions, especially when they are directed at random bystanders (a bunch of babushkas in a church) rather than authority figures (Putin and the Patriarch of Russia). But that doesn't mean I think they deserve 2 years in jail, nor do I believe wearing leotards is a personality disorder that can only be straightened out wit jail time, nor do I believe jail is good therapy for personality disorders.

Their behaviour could be described as antisocial, however as far as antisocial behaviour goes it's pretty harmless (they didn't engage in vandalism, they didn't beat anyone up, heck, apparently they didn't even damage their eardrums because the music was dubbed into the video in post production).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 12:53:17 PM EST
Well, that was good.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 01:20:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would add just one thing: commandeering the place of others should be punished. But not that hard.
by IM on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 06:18:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was accosted in the street the other day by a handful of obnoxious drunks (or soon-to-be-drunks, who can tell).
At the time I very much wanted to punch someone in the face. Now? Have calmed down, pretty much.

Adolescents occasionally need to be told to shut up, or to be temporarily restrained for the safety of themselves and others.

I suggest community service.

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Aug 31st, 2012 at 08:09:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I grew up in "compulsory atheism". There I learned that religion is a "Poisson for masses" and that I should believe in Marx, Engels and Lenin (Stalin was already expelled from our books).
I ended up being something more like religious person (it would be pretentious for me to say that I am devoted Christian). Still I have religious feelings and I want to have my right to be respected as such a person.
Church as an institution in my eyes is created by men and there for I feel free to criticize it as well as I can criticize any other man made institution.
But I really feel offended to be treated like an idiot just because I have religious feelings. My believes are my private matter but also I want to be able to go to my Church freely without being offended. My Church hasn't been built with tax payers money and is not state owned (except when it is confiscated) so PR or similar have no right to get in and offend me. They may have right to enter Parliament or some similar state owned property and protest as much as they want. They may offend Patriarchy as a public person but not my religion as such. Because it is an offense (religious hatred as they are convicted of). They knew it and they did it in their right mind...and are paying the price (all tho draconian but it is Russia so be it).      


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 01:15:07 PM EST
vbo:
I grew up in "compulsory atheism"

and it wasn't pretty. maybe opium is good for some people.

the official church is the other face of the same medal as communism was.

communism said there was no soul, religion said there was, but you didn't have the right to it until you surrendered independent, critical thinking and swallowed gallons of their flava koolaide.

the takeaway seems to be bad religion may be better than no religion.

or religion, with all its warts, carbuncles, nose hairs and funny smells is better than the total desoulment proposed by atheist governments.

no wonder we're so screwed up...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vbo:
"Poisson for masses"

as inadvertent puns go that's pretty funny...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:22:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gimme some pain with that poisson.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:23:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who believes this video should be a criminal offence?



If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 04:51:20 AM EST
How can you compare this with what happened in Russian Church? Not comparable.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If "Virgin Mary, become a feminist" is an offence, then so is that "after three days in the oven, the Christ comes out on its own".

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:24:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly comparable. An amateur video was produced which offended religious people. Then...

An extreme right-wing "trade union" called "clean hands" sued singer-songwriter Javier Krahe for his role in making this video. The courts accepted the lawsuit and initiated proceedings. The judge ordered preventative prison [intended for dangerous criminals or when there's risk the accused will flee the jurisdiction], which Krahe avoided by posting €200,000 in bail. Eventually the case was thrown out. Read more about it here.

God is busy with bigger things, but the arrogance of men makes them feel obligated to defend him, Penal Code in hand.

On the basis of that legislation, a Catholic association named after the Renaissance philosopher Thomas More took two people to court: the singer-songwriter Javier Krahe and Montserrat Fernández, director of a television program that aired an old movie about Krahe's life which included a humorous sketch showing viewers how to "bake" a crucifix in the oven.

The trial sparked a flood of comments by supporters and opponents of the legislation; there was also heated debate regarding the fact that the offending events were so old -- Krahe's crucifix short was released in 1977, and the television program dates from 2004.

Clean Hands shoud have been laughed out of court in the first instance. Barring that, Krahe should never have been asked to post bail to avoid preventative prison.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:23:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Laughed out of court, forced to pay the entire court costs, and then slapped with a million € or so in punitive damages for making self-evidently frivolous lawsuits with the clear intent to suppress free speech and harass their detractors.

Europe seriously needs anti-SLAPP statutes. And needs to make the presence of "offending religious feelings" or any similar garbage in the complaint or the press release accompanying it prima facie evidence of a SLAPP.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:38:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I confused the Clean Hands "trade union_ with the Thomas More Centre for Legal Studies "think tank", obviously.

It's so hard to keep all the astroturfers straight, these days.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:53:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea. Does anybody believe that?
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:48:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have not read the followup comments, have you?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, this is a bit too quick. Another instance of not separating blasphemy laws, laws to protect the exercise of religion, and personality laws, though.

For a Lutheran the making, not the cooking, of an image is the problematic act, by the way.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:09:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Lutheran interpretations of blasphemy are okay, but Catholic ones are a bridge too far?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:12:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You asked for a subjective answer, mind. The point is, there are different interpretations of the video.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You still haven't answered whether the video should be a criminal offence. Neither has vbo, by the way, who simply protested at the juxtaposition of that video with the PR case.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First of all I do not have a clue what this woman is talking in this video.It may be offending...may not.
Second this video has been made in private kitchen.Sooo different of what PR has done.If they have done it in their bedroom first of all not many viewers will be interested to even watch it and it would be irrelevant. There is a lot of lunatics on Youtube, you know.
If there is no offending language in my believes that wouldn't be worth going in to the court and it is OK with me that case was dropped. Not every case is the same.
If someone yelled at me going out of my church that I am religious nut I wouldn't care to go to court. There are intolerant people out there and I can live with it. But if some group of "artist" come to MY CHURCH to scream the same shit in to my face...that's different story.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First of all I do not have a clue what this woman is talking in this video.It may be offending...may not.

If you want, I'll translate the string of religious double entendres so you can decide it you're sufficiently offended.

Second this video has been made in private kitchen.Sooo different of what PR has done.If they have done it in their bedroom first of all not many viewers will be interested to even watch it and it would be irrelevant. There is a lot of lunatics on Youtube, you know.

But then 27 years later it was spliced into a documentary on the life of Krahe and aired on national TV. The producer of the TV program was a co-defendant in the case, and was also forced to post bail before being acquitted, like Krahe.

If there is no offending language in my believes that wouldn't be worth going in to the court

But if there is, you would go to court?

If someone yelled at me going out of my church that I am religious nut I wouldn't care to go to court.

But that would be harassment. The question is whether the religious character of the harassment should count as an aggravating circumstance in the eyes of the law.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:05:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Second this video has been made in private kitchen.Sooo different of what PR has done.

So you would have had absolutely no problem with Pussy Riot if they had made their video using stock footage of some church they had never set foot in?

If there is no offending language in my believes that wouldn't be worth going in to the court

So now you believe in censoring coarse language on YouTube.

Joy.

But if some group of "artist" come to MY CHURCH to scream the same shit in to my face...that's different story.

Pussy Riot did not scream in church. The sound was added in post.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. I can't answer if the video should be a criminal offence because I am not offended by it. I would have to hear from the offended to decide if hurts people in an important part of their identity.

I think that is what Jake consistently underrates: how much matters of religion are related to identity, which makes offending religious feelings particularly humiliating.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On what objective grounds do you distinguish it from the present case?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My first knee-jerk reaction is "what is the context?" while the hijacking of the church and the mock prayer of PR speak for themselves.

I'm not forced to watch the video, while people in the Moscow church had no freedom of a decision. And then I'm a Lutheran with strict views on making images... :-)

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, precisely, happened in the church which should be a crime?

That a heathen approached the altar? That someone dressed provocatively in church? That a heathen prayed in church?

That's all thoughtcrime, based on the fact that their piety was insufficiently sincere. Something you could only ascertain based on either their general habitus - religious profiling, if you will - or long after the fact, once they had added sound to the performance and uploaded it on the internet.

Well, I'm not a fan of retroactive criminalization of otherwise legal actions, and I'm not a fan of religious profiling.

As far as I can tell, the only substantive charge here is that they painted graffiti in the church. Which is a real and substantive charge, aggravated by the fact that the church in question is a building of historical and cultural significance.

It's also not what they were charged with.

So what exactly happened in the church, which was obviously criminal at the time (except for defacing a building, which is a crime everywhere, not just in church)?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What, precisely, happened in the church which should be a crime?

A violation of space that serves the exercise of religion. The arrogant violation of rules Christians want to see observed in their churches. The altar has a significance, and don't tell me PR didn't know what they were doing. That was intent, not accident.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:31:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not concrete.

Which of their concrete actions would you prohibit?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it would be analytically correct to divide this action into its components. Note how carefully PR have composed (not sure if I like the word here) it.
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, there are quite clearly at least two distinct actions here: One is filming a mock prayer in church, and the other is adding a song you don't like.

Otherwise, you are entering the murky netherworld of banning general habitus which would not in and of itself be criminal, based on some future action which may be taken at some future date, or some past action which in and of itself was also legal.

Or, to put it concisely: Thoughtcrime.

Besides, the only applicable delineation on the act in its totality is that it offends religious sentiment. Which was established around the time of the French Revolution to not be a valid argument for censorship.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:24:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is more or less objectively true that Javier Krahe's home video can be construed [by assuming intent to offend] as falling under the language of Article 525 of Spain's Criminal Code, whereas Pussy Riot falls under the language of Article 524 [assuming what they did counts as acts of profanation] which covers acts in a house of worship.

If I'm not misreading, in the hands of the right Spanish judge (such as the one who imposed a €200,000 on Krahe for cooking a Christ), Pussy Riot could have been sentenced to 6 to 12 months in prison or a fine of €720 to €288,000.

Which (before anyone argues I'm Spanish therefore I must agree) doesn't make the PR sentence in Russia right, it makes Spain's criminal law wrong, in my opinion.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:37:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the one who imposed a €200,000 bail on Krahe

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:50:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spanish criminal code: Crimes against the constitution
Article 525.

1. Those who, in order to offend the feelings of the members of a religious confession, make public scorn, by word, in writing or by means of any kind of document, of their dogmas, beliefs, rites or ceremonies, or vex, also publicly, those who profess or practice them, will incur a fine of 8 to 12 months.

There is an monetary equivalence of time for the purpose of fines: 2 to 400 euros per day, at 30 days per month. So we're talking a fine of 480 to 144000  euros. But what's really interesting about this is that the law requires the intent to offend. It doesn't require the effect of offending. And how do you prove the intent to offend?

To be fair, the same protection is extended to scorn of nonbelievers

2. The same penalties will be incurred by those who make public scorn, by word or in writing, of those not professing any religion or belief.
The real problem with this law is that it's an instance of thoughtcrime.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:24:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how do you prove the intent to offend?

Maybe not easy in court but for me it is obvious...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:08:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So let's do away with the courts, then. Justice was so much easier in the 17th century.

The point is you have to prove the intent to offend to the court's satisfaction. Sorry to have to break the news to you this late.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hah...Calling my religious feelings " God's shit" is like if you call me "idiot". And there is no "Ops". I haven't heard them apologize. I believe apologizing is what makes a difference with intent to offend as opposed to something that was not intentional to hurt...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, calling you an "idiot" is defamatory. Calling your beliefs "shit" is not.

You are not your beliefs and your beliefs are not you. Defaming your beliefs does not defame you, and defaming you does not defame your beliefs.

I don't even know the name for the fallacy of mistaking attacks on your views for attacks on your person, but "inverse ad hominem" seems appropriate.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:33:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now again you are trying to be smart.
We are not talking about my VIEWS that anyone can attack at wish. We are talking about my religious feelings. But it is really hard to explain to someone who simply hates word religious and is not aware of the fact that some people have these feelings too.
I am sorry but I do not see my feelings and my believes if you wish as not being part of me.
And mental abuse in the eyes of law now is almost equal to physical abuse. And damage may be even worse.
We are not talking here about our views in politic , we are not even commenting brother social issues...
Luckily they put much more consideration in making laws that you "progressives" would.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are not talking about my VIEWS that anyone can attack at wish. We are talking about my religious feelings.

So, religious beliefs are not just opinions, they are something more essential?

Of course religious people will make that claim, but what makes it true?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:57:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course religious people will make that claim, but what makes it true?  

That's what you are not able to understand and probably never will because you are lacking a bit of spiritual component in your soul ( no offense). There is nothing that can be done here. So I give up.
How do I give you an evidence of feelings...it is not material...it's not science...I simply do not have will to drag this conversation any farther...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying I don't have feelings?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what you are not able to understand and probably never will because you are lacking a bit of spiritual component in your soul

Um, why should the law take it on your say-so that such a difference exists?

Particularly when it looks, to all empirical investigation, as though the disparity in the severity of your reaction is due to nothing more than the fact that the beliefs in question are not regularly questioned, whereas your other beliefs are?

That would rather argue for more challenges to your religious beliefs, to make you not break down into dysfunction whenever someone tells you that Creationism is idiocy or that God is dead.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:45:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are not talking about my VIEWS that anyone can attack at wish. We are talking about my religious feelings.

Ding! I'll have "distinctions without a difference" for 1,000.

I am sorry but I do not see my feelings and my believes if you wish as not being part of me.

Then you are not mature enough to take part in a democratic debate.

Global warming is real. Evolution is real. HIV causes AIDS. Vaccinations work. Homeopathy does not work, nor does chiroquacktic. If you don't believe these facts, then you believe bullshit fairy tales.

Pointing that out is not an attack on your person. It is an attack on bullshit fairy tales that you happen to carry around in your head.

And mental abuse in the eyes of law now is almost equal to physical abuse. And damage may be even worse.

I know people who have been victims of mental abuse.

You comparing "God is shit" to mental abuse is offensive in the extreme to anybody who has ever actually been abused, physically or mentally. Equating "God is shit" to the systematic breaking of a human spirit demonstrates total cluelessness, incredible arrogance or such towering privilege as is difficult for me to wrap my mind around.

We are not talking here about our views in politic , we are not even commenting brother social issues...

The Patriarch made that a political subject when he peddled partisan political propaganda from the pulpit.

If you don't like playing by the rules of political discourse, write the Patriarch and tell him how disappointed you are that he drags the Church into petty partisan politics.

But don't genuflect before his petty partisan political propaganda peddling out of one side of your mouth and then out the other condemn people for treating the Orthodox Church as they would any other European ugly party.

That's dishonest special pleading.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:08:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you don't like playing by the rules of political discourse, write the Patriarch and tell him how disappointed you are that he drags the Church into petty partisan politics.

Huh I can't stop my self.
How do you know that I didn't do something similar? I did write to my Patriarch when I wasn't able to accept how my Church welcomed war/and other criminals in to the service, for example.
That did not make me less religious person.
I boycotted going in to my Church when priest was preaching politics during Milosevic.
That did not make me less religious person.\
But what definitely is going to make me rude and very impolite is if I continue this conversation with you.
And I am not going to fall that low.
So Goodbye!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:24:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you know that I didn't do something similar?

I don't. Congratulations to you if you did.

Sadly, you lost. You have my sympathy. I know very well how it sucks to see reactionaries hijack an organization you love.

But the fact that you lost means that those reactionaries are now the ones who control the Russian Orthodox Church. And that makes the church a valid target.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 08:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I know it when I see it" is a valid standard to acquit, but not to convict.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:13:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

This debate is bound to go on and on without reaching resolution of any kind.

It would be good if the level of heat were to be reduced.

We have had analogous discussions on ET that have ended in considerable upset and hurt feelings. The participants in this epic are all responsible enough to avoid that outcome, I hope.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:23:52 AM EST


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:40:55 AM EST
It's OK. Humor is allowed as far as I am concerned...



Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:19:48 AM EST
Who gets to decide what counts as humor?

I for one find the Pussy Riot performance immensely funny. Well, not so much the performance itself as the reaction of the audience. But as any good performer will tell you, the reaction of the audience is a part of the performance.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:23:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who gets to decide what counts as humor?

I hope it's not in a hands of "progressive" bunch only...

reaction of the audience

There was different reactions but it seems you have seen just that one you liked or that one that has been presented by "free" western media.For them in order to catch reaction of opponents of this act they must make big public protest...to be seen.  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:33:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not an answer.

Who gets to decide what counts as humor, and is thus protected from the ayatollahs' blackout ink?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this caricature. It makes me smile. If your intent is to offend... you're going to have to try a lot harder!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 08:35:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One question I thing the debate touches on, is one of tribal identities and choice. Is the identities as for example chess player, communist, lutheran, skin color, gender and sexuality perceived equal when it comes to choice? Obviously, when I put it this way the answer is no but I think a closer look is in order.

Hobbies - if you take up or quit chess, fotball or stamp collecting it is seen as a perfectly normal thing, priorities change.

Politics - you can change a number of times during your life, but not to often or it will be weird. Party can be changed more often then ideology.

Religion - you are generally born into a religion and unless you join another one you are implicitly still in that one (see Church of England Atheist). Joining another religion is supposed to either come from following your subgroup in a schism ("we are staying true, it is the others who are leaving") or from a deep spiritual experience. Joining another religion because they have great looking hats is absurd enough to be featured on Seinfeld.

Gender and sexuality - you are not really supposed to chage, and if you do it is only once and must be explained in terms of being true to who you really are.

Skin color - you are not supposed to change. (See Michael Jackson)

I think that the less choice you are perceived (by society at large) to have over a building bloc of your identity, the less of a fair target it is. I think this is part of what Katrin and vbo is trying to get across. (When it comes to law, I don't think choseness should be grounds for a distinction, I would rather see one based on power and the level of threath posed. But legislation is often not what I think it should be.)

More importantly perhaps religions status as mostly unchosen places limits on effective activism around religion, but that is nothing new, effective activism is almost always an uphill struggle. I have no opinion really on how effective Pussy Riots stunts are, perhaps it will turn out that the state prosecuting them is more effective for the transmission of their views then their actions are. Would not be a first.

When it comes to how fair it is that certain views are considered religious and unchosen when other views on the same topic is non-religious and chosen, it may not be fair. However I think it reflects a clever strategy in creating agnosticism and atheism as not-religions, thus not demanding conversion or abandonment of the previous group.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:41:55 PM EST
I think that the less choice you are perceived (by society at large) to have over a building bloc of your identity, the less of a fair target it is. I think this is part of what Katrin and vbo is trying to get across. (When it comes to law, I don't think choseness should be grounds for a distinction, I would rather see one based on power and the level of threat posed.

This.

Roll your eyes at Pussy Riot for being in bad taste. But no sane and sober observer can claim that the balance of power between Pussy Riot and the Russian Orthodox Church needs legal redress in favor of the latter.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 02:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason I put the legal bit in paranthesis is that I think you are all discussing different things.

I think Katrin and vbo primarily is discussing religious sentiments, while you are primarily discussing policy.

This is kind of how I read the last days discussion:

n=1
print "vbo: new diary, religious sentiment"
While (n<500)
{
     n++
     Jake: religious sentiment? law!
     Katrin: law? religious sentiment!
     If(n is evenly divided by twenty)
     TBG: Hierarchial organisation!
     If(n is evenly divided by thirty)
     Migeru: PN
}

(In an attempt to divert the discussion this is intentionally inconsequent coding. Also: attempt at humor. May backfire if temperaments are still heated, hence disclaimer.)



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 01:27:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that Katrin and vbo repeatedly insist that their particular religious sentiments must be protected by the force of law.

That makes it a discussion about policy, not whether their sentiments are justified as sentiments (a much lower standard).

I personally reserve judgment on the merits of their outrage because I have not seen the performance, and am not particularly interested in the performance. I just note that outrage, no matter how sincere, is not a valid basis for policymaking.

Bluntly put, legislating based on momentary outrage gives you shit laws. Religious outrage might make those laws God's shit, but they'll still be shit.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 07:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's another case: Spain's Supreme court confirms the dismissal of the case against Leo Bassi for parodying the Pope in Valladolid.

Apparently the Rector of the University of Valladolid organised an event called 'The Judeo-Christian roots of the West: a historical fraud to be fought', with the participation of comedian Leo Bassi. Professors and Students complained in advance to the Rector that "crimes perfectly detailed in the criminal code could be committed in the show", but he went ahead. The comedian dresses as the Pope, consecrated condoms and distributed them among the audience. Two catholic associations sued the Rector (and the comedian as an accomplice). The case was admitted by an investigative court, then thrown out, a decision that was apealed twice.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:08:28 AM EST
Well, that's progress, since the case was summarily dismissed.

Ultimately unsatisfying, because Spain apparently doesn't have proper anti-SLAPP laws that allow targets of vexatious litigants to claim compensation for their time and costs. Preferably punitive damages as well. But the plaintiffs in the frivolous suit being laughed out of court is progress.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 09:35:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel: Regisseur Seidl wird Blasphemie vorgeworfen (04.09.2012)
Aufregung bei den Filmfestspielen von Venedig: Wegen einer Masturbationsszene mit einem Kruzifix in dem Religionsdrama "Paradies: Glaube" erstattete eine katholische Organisation Anzeige gegen Regisseur Ulrich Seidl und dessen Team.
Film director Seidl accused of blasphemy (04.09.2012)
Commotion at Venice film festival: because of a masturbation scene with a crucifix in the religious drama "Paradise: Belief" a catholic organization has brought a complaint against director Ulrich Seidl and his team.


If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:21:31 PM EST
Nobody here is defending blasphemy laws.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What if Christian moviegoers' fellings are offended?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:10:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yawn. They needn't go to the movies. They can stay at home and watch Bible TV. If they go and watch that film, they probably want to see it.

Come on. Don't exaggerate. There is a difference between PR's stuff in the church and a movie.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But in that case, Pussy Riot's lyrics can't form any part of the basis for condemning them, because the lyrics only appeared in a YouTube video which people could simply not-watch if they did not like it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:39:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They have argued that this, in its entirety, is their performance. Don't you find it a bit disingenuous to split it into its components now, just because this may lead to a lower punishment? Isn't being punished part of the performance too? Would they have liked it at all, if there hadn't been a reaction and a prosecution?

Now compare that with the movie, which was made for a movie-audience. Really.

by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uh yeah, I'll argue that it's not reasonable to condemn them for doing something in church that they did not, in fact, do in church. If I take a film of the mayor entering the city hall and then splice it with a film of the burning of a scale replica of the city hall, I don't get charged with arson or attempted murder.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:55:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect if I now point again at what they did in church: writhe in front of the altar and try to evade the people who expelled them, you will fall into your old bad habit of saying a church was a public place.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it should be.

But I'd also point out that if writhing in front of the altar is a crime, then anybody who falls into a religious trance and starts speaking in tongues would also be a criminal. And while running from the custodians is not precisely legally protected, nor is it an outrageous violation of the space.

That's the problem with outlawing things based on them being in poor taste: It leads to fuzzy laws which are only selectively enforced. Mob rule, in other words.

And the mob does not like gays, atheists or social democrats.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Congratulations, now two 500+ threads!

If you want to go on (not exhausted yet?), why not open a new diary?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 04:51:58 PM EST
Or a dedicated blog.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 01:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not about Pussy Riot, this one is about secularism, freedom of conscience and separation of church and state.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 02:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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