Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
Just when I was fresh out of outrage, more international news garbage:
Poland's supreme court has issued a landmark judgment against a heavy metal musician who tore up a Bible at a gig in 2007. Although the judges conceded that Adam Darski, AKA Nergal, did not intend to offend his audience, they ruled that he could still have "offended religious feelings", violating Polish law. If found guilty, the singer could face up to two years in prison.
Darski had released eight albums with his band, Behemoth, by the time of their notorious performance in Gdynia on 13 September 2007. Appearing in full costume and makeup, Darski tore up a Bible and described the Catholic church as "the most murderous cult on the planet".
"We'd been doing that for two years on tour before it happened in Poland," Behemoth bassist Tomasz Wróblewski told Decibel magazine (via Blabbermouth). "We [were] not offending any particular person. We [were] just offending the religion that we've been raised in."
Despite this intention, Darski was pursued by Polish courts for having offended Catholic fans. After being cleared by judges in 2010 and 2011, the singer/guitarist is again on trial. Officials in Gdansk asked the supreme court how Darski could be "offending religious feelings" if most of Behemoth's fans expected theatrical sacrilege?
"The crime of offending religious sensibilities is committed not only by he who intends to carry it out, but also by he who is aware that his actions may lead to offence being taken," the court said. Prosecutors have been permitted to pursue with the criminal trial.
"One should respect the court's verdict," Darski told journalists. But the Catholic church is also "immature", he said, "trying to gag people … [and] freedom of speech". Speaking to Reuters, Darski's lawyer said they would continue to oppose the charges: "We are still arguing that we were dealing with art, which allows more critical and radical statements," Jacek Potulski explained
Wait – so religious feelings are protected by law? Yikes. Didn’t the Polish Constitution ratify freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly? Because you can’t have freedom of religion, unless you have freedom from religion.
It’s a book, people. Once upon a time, I would’ve said it’s a book, a good book, but not necessarily the only book. Now? I sing a very different tune.
It’s a book of bright shadows, of ancient but convincing lies: its ubiquity in our (and other societies) is frightening. It is better fit for the lighting of fires than use as an operating manual for life. The whispers of ghosts that never were, that spawn bigotry and death and destruction and ignorance, it is a blood-soaked Necronomicon, a grim grimoire devoted to death but pretending to shed light and rainbows. A paean more to Man’s abysmal ignorance and arrogance in the days of darkness, than to our species eventual ascent from the muck of madness.
It is time that those of us who are members of the Abimelech Society should take a stand. Rise up, take the next bible that’s handed to you, and tear it to shreds. Do it with a smile. The pre-amble goes a little like this: “First, I’m going to tear out the parts with incest” [riippp!], “Then I’m going to tear out the parts with genocide” [riippp!], “Then I’m going to tear out the parts with slavery” [riippp!]…I think ye ken me drift here.
If you rip up one bible in your life, you’re likely sparing the pollution of some gullible young mind, and maybe, just maybe, begin a counter-ripple in the great lake of life.
Till the next post, then.