Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taking offence

It would seem Muslims are not the only ones to take offence at anything they consider derogatory to their religion. Christians ain’t that far behind. Admittedly they don’t go in for mob violence so much but it still doesn’t take a lot to light the fuse. In Pakistan an eleven year old retarded girl was in danger of her life from the mob until protected because they accused her of blasphemy. Now a Greek man has been arrested accused of “malicious blasphemy and insulting religion.” He was arrested by the cybercrime police. What was his blasphemy? On Facebook he took a dig at a deceased Orthodox monk. Under the Greek penal code anyone who publicly and maliciously blasphemes God or the Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerated in Greece can be imprisoned for up to two years. Have the cybercrime police nothing better to do? And how do you blaspheme God if you don’t believe in God?
US nuns, who have come under fire from the Vatican, say they will hold further talks with church leaders but will not "compromise their mission". The Vatican has said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (?) violated church teaching on birth control and homosexuality, among other issues. Church officials have appointed three US bishops to oversee and overhaul of their organisation. "Dialogue on doctrine is not going to be our starting point," Sister Farrell said. "Our starting point will be about our own life and about our understanding of religious life." A Vatican report accused the nuns of adopting "certain radical feminist themes". The nuns, who say they have been unjustly criticised, returned to the US from Rome at the end of the talks to decide what to do next. They know they have the support of many ordinary Catholics in the US, who have been organising vigils outside churches. After the report was released, there were protests outside the Vatican embassy in Washington, and over a hundred members of the US Congress sponsored a resolution to commend the nuns for their service. Just as well the Inquisition no longer exists – or does it?
A theatre in the south Russian city of Rostov has dropped a production of Jesus Christ Superstar after protests by Orthodox Christians. A Russian company was due to stage the rock opera at the Rostov Philharmonic this month. Protesters had complained the opera projected the "wrong" image of Christ. News of the cancellation baffled members of the cast and caused indignation among commentators wary of Church interference in public life.
Local Russian Orthodox protesters lodged their complaint with prosecutors in Rostov-on-Don, citing a "new law protecting the rights of believers", they described the musical as a "profanation" and said any such production should be submitted to the Russian Orthodox Church for approval. It is unclear to which law the protesters were referring. The lower house of the Russian parliament is currently considering a bill which would make it a crime to offend the "religious feelings of citizens." Religious sensitivities became a real political issue in Russia this year with the prosecution and jailing of three punk musicians, from the band Pussy Riot, for performing a political protest song inside a Moscow cathedral. (You have to admit that was rather asking for trouble.)
The award-winning rock opera has been performed across the world, with several film versions produced. Russian theatres have been staging it for more than two decades.
You really do have to be careful as to what you post on Facebook. Back to the mob. Muslims protesters have attacked Buddhist villages in Bangladesh after an image said to show a burnt Koran was posted. Witnesses said angry crowds set fire to homes and temples in the Cox's Bazar district, forcing families to flee. The man accused of posting the image is in protective custody. Police say he was tagged in the photo but did not post it himself. Buddhists in the area said their possessions were stolen before their homes were destroyed.
"Before they set fire to my home, they looted everything," a resident said. "They took our possessions, money, gold and even computers. Then they torched the house. I am now living under open sky."
Hundreds of protesters are said to have rampaged through Buddhist neighborhoods, smashing statues, burning down monasteries and attacking houses. The violence spread to the outskirts of the port city of Chittagong, where a Hindu temple was also attacked.
Well, well, who would have believed it? What will the religious get up to next?

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Our local city councillorine has refused to vote in favour of gay marriage because she says its is "hitting God in his heart". I'd have thought that, if He has a heart, he must also have a fine pair of gonads, which it was far more likely to hit, apart from giving him a lot of pain and grief (no more virgin births).