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Just in: Poland convicts musician of near-blasphemy

Adam Darski is an idiot.

He’s a judge in the local version of Poland’s got talent, almost a definition of brainlessness.

He’s disrespectful to women. And he’s a member of a heavy metal band, Behemoth.

At one of its concerts, in 2007, he ripped up a Holy Bible on stage. Idiot? No question. Criminal damage? Guilty, m’lud.

But what the Polish supreme court convicted him of today is ‘offending religious feelings’. That’s a charge disturbingly similar to the one brought against the classical pianist Fazil Say in Turkey. It is nebulous, imprecise and medieval, inappropriate to the 21st century.

We should deplore and despise Darski’s actions and condemn him for the idiot that he is. But Darski deserves to be tried for a proper offence. And then returned to oblivion

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  1. Unlike Britain, Poland is a religious country. You therefore are not in a position to possibly understand or appreciate what ‘offending religious feelings’ means.

    • Robin O'Neill says:

      …”not in a position to … understand or appreciate what ‘offending religious feelings’ means”? I’m very interested to know why not?

      • How can one understand something that is no relevance or importance to them?

        • Brian, I don’t know if you are playing devil’s advocate, but that is exactly the argument that the Iranian and Saudi Arabian religious leaders use to defend their subjugation of women and persecution of religious minorities.

        • Robin O'Neill says:

          How on earth can you know if it’s relevant or important to me? It couldn’t be more important, and by the way, where have you been living? Are you comfortable with recent blasphemy cases in Turkey, Pakistan etc? I’m tired of religion demanding deference and respect from everyone, especially, it seems, from non believers. I wouldn’t waste my money on Mr Darski’s on stage antics (it’s not my bag) but I bet that most of those who attended his bible ripping show knew what to expect because he’d done it before – that’s his style. Should those in the audience who cheered face the full force of the law as well? In my opinion if you like it then go to his shows, if you don’t like it then stay at home – you don’t have to watch and if you we’re offended then leave and don’t buy any more tickets, albums etc. How many times do those of us who believe in free speech have to repeat the arguments? From where does religion get its neurotic need to take offence and where does “offence” end? Would the Polish legal system act the same way if a Koran were torn, or the Torah, the Talmud, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Vedas, the Pali Canon or Kangyur, The Kojiki, The Yasna, The Book of Mormon, the Mabinogion or the complete writings of L Ron Hubbard maybe? Personally I’d have to take issue with someone who tore up Thomas Paine’s “The Rights of Man” or “The Age of Reason” because they truly are revelations, man made revelations. The difference is that I wouldn’t demand fines or jail terms, I’d just want a reasonable conversation.

    • That’s what they say in Saudi-Arabia too.

  2. To make it a criminal offense to take a stand about religion that others don’t like puts Poland in the same camp as those other well-known countries that still think it’s the 13th century. .Why should we deplore and despise this guy’s actions and condemn him for what is, after all, a free speech matter? Who did he hurt? In a supposedly modern European country what is the government doing persecuting someone just because they refuse to flatter people in their beliefs in the supernatural? What is wrong with them? Clearly, if God disapproves of his act, He will take care of it in due time. Why is the government getting involved? Do they also prosecute other “sins” that offends their religious sensibilities? In the U.S., a politician in the state of Arkansas, Charlie Fuqua is endorsing the death penalty for rebellious children because this is the punishment that the Bible recommends. This is just insane.

  3. Unfortunately religion is still running havoc in our (not so) enlightened societies.
    Religion is a self created, virtual yet very potent, psychotropic drug and can be very harmful.
    Whenever it is practiced collectively it get’s even more dangerous, because there is a vicious circle in the people encouraging each other in their delusions.

  4. “But what the Polish supreme court convicted him of today is ‘offending religious feelings’. That’s a charge disturbingly similar to the one brought against the classical pianist Fazil Say in Turkey. ”

    …and the recent conviction of Pussy Riot in Russia for that matter…

  5. The problem with a “law” in regard to “offending religious feelings” is that it criminalizes an act that is wholly undefined (and, in fact, could not be defined). Under it, any act that anyone felt was disrespectful could be litigated. You don’t need to take a position for or against religion to see that the law itself is invalid.

    • The problem with the law is only a problem to those victimized by it. If you are the government, the law is just fine because you can claim that it means whatever you would like to mean as the circumstances warrant. More than that, it gives the government the ability to victimize anyone who utters an unpopular thought or, more to the point, challenges those in power. Governments don’t like that sort of thing – and, as the church has become more politically powerful in eastern Europe, the church and government are in bed together on this. This is the reason why civilized countries have disengaged church and state because it leads to corruption and tyranny.

  6. I don’t understand what makes someone an idiot for ripping up a bible onstage. Much worse things happen onstage all the time. Not everyone believes that the bible is worthy of respect, and furthermore the act of purposefully trying to shock people (especially for metal bands) is nothing new.

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