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The charge was, indeed, of hooliganism inspired by religious hatred, punishable by a maximum of seven years.

As I recall, the prosecutor repeatedly spoke of "terrorism".

As for "religious hatred"... well, I don't know. Hatred with respect to Putin and to both the Patriarch and patriarchy in general. No disrespect that I can see to either the Virgin or to God :

Pussy Riot's Punk Prayer is pure protest poetry | Books | guardian.co.uk

Punk Prayer, English version by Carol Rumens

(Chorus)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin, banish Putin,

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish him, we pray thee!

Congregations genuflect,

Black robes brag gilt epaulettes,

Freedom's phantom's gone to heaven,

Gay Pride's chained and in detention.

KGB's chief saint descends

To guide the punks to prison vans.

Don't upset His Saintship, ladies,

Stick to making love and babies.

Crap, crap, this godliness crap!

Crap, crap, this holiness crap!

(Chorus)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Be a feminist, we pray thee,

Be a feminist, we pray thee.

Bless our festering bastard-boss.

Let black cars parade the Cross.

The Missionary's in class for cash.

Meet him there, and pay his stash.

Patriarch Gundy believes in Putin.

Better believe in God, you vermin!

Fight for rights, forget the rite -

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!



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 04:35:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it sounds much better in English, or at least in this translation. I assure you the Russian text has nothing to do with poetry. And, well, 'God's shit' (what they actually said) doesn't strike absolute majority of Russians as respectful of God.

In other changes, congregations are 'crawling to bows' rather than 'genuflect', and the Patriarch isn't called a 'vermin' - it's a 'bitch'.

What non-Russian speakers don't realize is that Russian swear words are much more offensive than their English analogs. For example, were I to use a straightforward translation of "pussy' into Russian in a polite society, my reputation as a dinner guest would be ruined immediately. Everyone is trying euphemisms, more or less creative, or just stick to PR. In their texts, PR don't have such scruples. They just tell it as they see fit, which is about as offensive as their porno-session in a museum.

by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 05:24:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you follow the link in my post, there's a discussion of all these points, and more, by the translator.

Pussy Riot's Punk Prayer is pure protest poetry | Books | guardian.co.uk

The Russian word "sran" becomes English "crap" in my version, rather than "shit". This line, particularly offensive for some, has been translated as "shit, shit, the Lord's shit". Not only is this ambiguous (it could mean either "the Lord is shit" or "shit from/of the Lord"), it's inaccurate. Derived from Gospod, meaning Lord, "gospodnaya," is an adjective. It could be translated as "religious", though I tried something different. "Crap" has a stronger metaphorical dimension than "shit" and comes a shade closer to "bullshit". The song is simply saying that all this state-controlled religious stuff is bullshit. It's interesting that these disgraceful sentiments would have represented, until recently, the official Communist party view of religion.

Beyond the actual vocabulary, which is indeed designed to shock, what is striking is that the song is constructed to avoid actual insult to religion.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 07:39:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. To my ear - of a native Russian speaker and someone who lives in English-speaking environment for longer than I care to remember - this translation is a heavily sanitized version.
Derived from Gospod, meaning Lord, "gospodnaya," is an adjective. It could be translated as "religious", though I tried something different.
Sorry, this one is just pathetic.
by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 08:30:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, this one is just pathetic.

You mean "gospodnaya" is not an adjective?

I accept that the language used is insulting to the hierarchy of the Orthodox church, and that religious people may find that it is insulting to their religious feelings, insofar as the make no separation between the church hierarchy and the religion.

However, I see it as legitimate propaganda technique, given that the Church is becoming increasingly active in politics, where (and here I cast aside all cultural relativism and speak sententiously in absolute terms) it has no business.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 09:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll just note that if they actually constructed their lyrics so as to not insult religious feelings then I'm revoking their punk license effective immediately.
by generic on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 10:22:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw the video and I found their music offensive. I'm not quite sure if that was because Pussy Riot is crap, or Punk Rock is crap.

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 Aug 28th, 2012 at 10:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would sentencing them to two years of compulsory music lessons be an acceptable compromise for you?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish Putin had thought of that.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:47:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aesthetic totalitarianism.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A statement that "sran gospodnya" could be translated as something including so ordinary a word as "religious" is pathetic and reflects a total lack of feeling for Russian language.

On propaganda, opinions differ - I personally strongly object to strong obscenities being used in public discourse. Especially from porno artists who are trying to teach someone a "moral"lesson.

by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 10:26:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond the actual vocabulary, which is indeed designed to shock, what is striking is that the song is constructed to avoid actual insult to religion.  

I am sorry but this statement is BS...
And explanation of translator is even more then BS.
The only statement close to truth in this text is
It's interesting that these disgraceful sentiments would have represented, until recently, the official Communist party view of religion.

OK how is that that you are not linking them to a communist party then? They are sharing so many views including a bit of feminism because Communists loved to call girls comrades and to send them to hard work in factories and building sites ( but not on executives positions) to show them how they are equal to men.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:36:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK how is that that you are not linking them to a communist party then?

Well, they are left-wing feminists. There is a certain amount of the communist legacy which is positive (anyone who claims to be on the left will recognise this), and much of this is being thrown out with the bathwater. The breaking of the power of the Church over the population is definitely in this category of positive legacy, in my view. I am for freedom of conscience, I am for restoration of historic churches, but I am definitely against according any temporal or political power whatsoever to any religious hierarchy, be it Orthodox, Catholic, Shiite or whatever.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 04:52:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am for freedom of conscience, I am for restoration of historic churches, but I am definitely against according any temporal or political power whatsoever to any religious hierarchy, be it Orthodox, Catholic, Shiite or whatever.

I do not know where did I say that I think different? This on the other hand does not mean that I would in any way (let alone using force as communists did) restrict people's right to be religious. Do you even know what communists did with churches? They confiscated a lot of them and made them places for live stoke (like cow or sheep sheds) or storages for ammunition...They used to ride priests like donkeys in front of whole village and stuff like that...no it is not positive in any way...

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:26:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you even know what communists did with churches? They confiscated a lot of them and made them places for live stoke (like cow or sheep sheds) or storages for ammunition...

Confiscation of church property has been a constant of European civilizing efforts, from the Reformation, through the French Revolution, to Atatürk. As has the public humiliation of church officials.

Pretty? No.

Necessary? Usually.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Necessary? For what purpose?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To break the pathological political and economic power of the church. When the church controls a quarter of all arable land and nearly a third of all economic activity, as was the case in some European countries prior to the reformation, then its economic power must be destroyed if you are to have any hope of having a genuinely secular society. And a secular society is a prerequisite for democracy and human rights.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:39:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You call the public humiliation of human beings necessary and part of civilising efforts. Wow. I am speechless.

Somehow I suspect you see it differently if your political enemies do it to you. So human rights depend on political expediency?

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You call the public humiliation of human beings necessary and part of civilising efforts.

Yes.

I also call the beheading of the French nobility in 1793 and the execution of Nazi war criminals a necessary part of a civilizing effort. For that matter, I am not going to condemn Che Guevara and Fidel Castro for trying to assassinate Batista.

That doesn't mean I have to like political assassination or public humiliation of priests. I just means I like the alternatives less.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Charlotte Corday was a heroine.
by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worse things happened in the French revolution. Overall, when an entire population is enslaved by religion, then there is no freedom of conscience. Today in Russia, there is relative freedom of conscience (atheists are allowed to be atheist, Orthodox are allowed to be Orthodox, not sure about Moslems). When the dominant Church starts interfering in politics, you can be sure that freedom of conscience is on the way out. This is what PR is protesting.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And when atheist start pushing their " religion" / ideology on others then same thing happens...freedom fly away...What a heck is concept of freedom in your mind?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:01:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well obviously, the communists did not believe in freedom of conscience. They replaced one kind of slavery with another. That's part of the bathwater.

PR, however (to get back to your question) are not communists. They are left-wing feminists, and liberals with respect to freedom of conscience and other personal freedoms. Me too.

In the US, no president can be elected without professing to be a devout Christian. This is not the case in most parts of Europe. In Iran, you have to prove your Islamic credentials before they let you stand for election, and the official religion governs every aspect of society. I think Putin and the Orthodox church are tending towards this model. But even if they are only tending towards the American model, I think that's a bad thing. Nobody should use their religious beliefs to try to impose standards of behaviour on others.

That's my concept of freedom.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well do you really think that Putin (ex KGB agent) is a man of God? Religious Orthodox Christian? Huhh.I can't even imagine this in my wildest dream... He is using Church same way like others...Church is using him.

They are left-wing feminists, and liberals with respect to freedom of conscience and other personal freedoms. Me too.

Huh ...How contradictory this is...They/you do not respect my and personal freedom of many Russians and you are simply "demanding" that I/them have to think the same way you do about conscience...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh ...How contradictory this is...

Not at all contradictory. Mockery and derision are not repression, and do not at all challenge your freedom of conscience. Imprisoning people for mockery and derision is repression and does challenge their freedom of conscience.

Freedom to practice your religion does not mean freedom from criticism of your religion. Nor does it mean freedom to impose your religion on other people. On the contrary, freedom of conscience means that you don't get to impose your religious doctrines on the rest of society.

The rest of society may decide to shelter your religious doctrines from the harsher forms of dissent, but this is an extraordinary privilege, not a right, and the quid pro quo for that privilege is that the religious doctrine cannot be made the basis for a political platform. Once you make the religious doctrine the basis for a political platform, it is entitled to no more protection from mockery and derision than Tory Bliar or Bush the Lesser.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:47:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you can criticize my Church as an institution and priests / as they are just men/ as much as you want but you cannot shit on my God / no matter how imaginary he may look to you/ and on my religious feelings. Mockery seems to be very weak word in this case.

freedom of conscience means that you don't get to impose your religious doctrines on the rest of society.

I may not be well informed but I do not see that anybody is IMPOSING his religious doctrine either here on ET or in Russia. In contrary, seems like some people here (and those girls in Russia) would like to IMPOSE their ideology on others. It is not critic...not even mockery...ans certainly does not look like freedom.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:05:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I may not be well informed but I do not see that anybody is IMPOSING his religious doctrine either here on ET or in Russia.

Well, that's the misunderstanding : you've got it backwards. You seem to see the Pussy Riot political theatre as oppressing Orthodox Christians, and somehow lessening their freedom of conscience. But it's completely the opposite :  the ideology they would like to IMPOSE (or preserve) is freedom of conscience. They are protesting against the re-establishment of an Official Religion.

You may deny that this is happening, but at the same time, you don't claim to be well-informed... I would inform you of how things are changing in Russia, but you won't allow me to use "liberal" information sources!

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the ideology they would like to IMPOSE (or preserve) is freedom of conscience.  

This is where we differ a lot and to use same vocabulary as your "stars", for me it is shit. And in a great light of "liberalism" ( there is very few thingies more right of the center in today's politic) they seem to be paid for what they are doing...obviously by west...So it is not only shit it seems to be fake...

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should religious feelings be the only feelings enjoying special protection against 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:35:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not think they should be the ONLY feelings...
But to answer your question maybe it is because Freedom of religion is one of fundamental human rights...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:41:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The freedom to practise religion is not the same as the freedom to silence others on the basis of your feelings being hurt.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because when someone uses offensive language (not just real critic) with obvious purpose to offend your feelings you can take him to court and have him responsible for it ( even if it is not about your religion at all). In this case you probably wanted to ask why state/government is protecting church instead church having them in court?
Probably because church is still considered an institution and police is obligated to protect it...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because when someone uses offensive language (not just real critic) with obvious purpose to offend your feelings you can take him to court and have him responsible for it ( even if it is not about your religion at all).

Not in any civilized jurisdiction.

Most civilized jurisdictions protect you from people spreading knowingly mendacious falsehoods about you. But this is a much, much higher standard than mere insult and provocation.

Probably because church is still considered an institution and police is obligated to protect it...

In other words, the church has no claim to special treatment compared to any other political institution, which you can freely mock or insult at your pleasure.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:09:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
compared to any other political institution, which you can freely mock or insult at your pleasure.

Huh...try...and tell us what happened...

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in any civilized jurisdiction.
-------------
I would not say that you are very well informed on this one...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He just has a high standard of "civilisation".

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Public humiliations?
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:19:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who did PR humiliate apart from themselves?

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 02:37:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am referring to the "he" in your post, Jake. He called public humiliations "necessary" and advancing civilisation.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He also called them regrettable.

But his point is that blasphemy laws are not civilised...

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 03:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's nonsense. Blasphemy laws are superfluous, but they don't fit in the paradigm "civilisation"
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:37:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely.

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 08:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because when someone uses offensive language (not just real critic) with obvious purpose to offend your feelings you can take him to court and have him responsible for it ( even if it is not about your religion at all).

I don't think that's the case always and everywhere. But what's revealing is that the protection of religious feelings is usually a separate section of legal codes from libellous or injurious statements.

So my feelings as a vegetarian are not explicitly protected, but religious feelings are.

We have had a case of someone feeling personally violated by political criticism of the Catholic Pope's statements on AIDS. I honestly don't think "protection of religious feelings from offence" should shield the Pope from public criticism.

Recently in Spain, a singer was prosecuted (and had to post bail to avoid pre-trial imprisonment) for making a home video 30 years ago in which he cooked a crucifix, after the video was used without his knowledge for a documentary about his life which was then aired on TV. That was a pretty ridiculous case, but also quite scary (you can have whackjobs force you to post €200,000 in bail for making a home video because it "offends religious 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:16:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(for the record: I'm not a vegetarian)

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you can criticize my Church as an institution and priests / as they are just men/ as much as you want but you cannot shit on my God / no matter how imaginary he may look to you/ and on my religious feelings.

You don't get to tell your detractors which parts of your organization and creed they can and cannot criticize.

In contrary, seems like some people here (and those girls in Russia) would like to IMPOSE their ideology on others.

The loss of extraordinary privilege is not an imposition on you. It is a loss of your ability to impose on others.

The fact that religious people take such grave offense at revocation of their special, unearned privileges (in response to religious groups' violation of the quid pro quo implicit in such privilege) is an argument for not extending such privileges in the first place.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the contrary, freedom of conscience means that you don't get to impose your religious doctrines on the rest of society.

And you not your anti-religious doctrines on the rest of society! Don't you forget that.

The rest of society may decide to shelter your religious doctrines from the harsher forms of dissent, but this is an extraordinary privilege, ...

Do you find it right or wrong to prosecute persons who drive a pig into a synagogue?

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you find it right or wrong to prosecute persons who drive a pig into a synagogue?

On what charges?

Animal cruelty?
Endangering public health and safety?
Trespassing?

Offending people's feelings?
Offending people's religious 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:02:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Offending people's religious feelings
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:12:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure. I think the synagogue would have a better chance of convincing me by claiming trespassing or health and safety issues. I'm sure places of worship can bar people from entering as if they were any other public or private place.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:19:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure places of worship can bar people from entering as if they were any other public or private place

Oh yes, can they? Even a church in Russia, a band of kakophonous obscenity-spouting women? And if they refuse to go and have to be forcibly removed (you have seen the video)? Mind, I am not talking about the extent of the penalty or the Russian penal system in general. My point is that PR don't deserve support.

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:51:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they were successfully removed by security.They were not charged with resisting being removed, or with assulting the security guards. (Interestingly, according to Wikipedia The cathedral is not owned by the church, which rents out space on the premises)

They were then charged with hooliganism, whatever that means. "Religious hatred" was cited by the sentencing judge, presumably as an aggravating factor.

I mean, some of the quotes here are pretty ridiculous

Judge Marina Syrova said the women may be corrected "only with a real [prison] sentence."

...

Syrova's describing one of the defendants' "mixed psychological disorders," including, according to Time magazine correspondent Simon Shuster writing on Twitter, "individualism, stubborn expression of opinions, unwillingness to cede positions."

...

Judge Marina Syrova is currently reading evidence of people offended as Orthodox believers by the Feb. 21 performance by Pussy Riot in Christ the Savior Cathedral. As legal news agency Rapsi notes, in the testimony of all the victims, it is noted that the women were dressed in bright, provocative clothing, which is "prohibited in church." Rapsi also cited the testimony of one of the cathedral security guards, who said the Pussy Riot women during their performance yelled "Virgin Mary, become a feminist!"

Horrors!

In any case

On Thursday, Tolokonnikova had said she was "not bitter about being in jail". But, speaking through her lawyer on Twitter, she said: "Politically, I am furious."
She knows she broke the law. The question appears to be one of selective enforcement. Did the weight of the law fall on them like a ton of bricks because Putin personally decided he was offended by the video, as has been claimed?

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Archived Live Blog: Verdict to Be Announced in Pussy Riot Trial | News | The Moscow Times
Bloggers took particular note earlier of Syrova's describing one of the defendants' "mixed psychological disorders," including, according to Time magazine correspondent Simon Shuster writing on Twitter, "individualism, stubborn expression of opinions, unwillingness to cede positions."

(my bold)

By that standard, each one of us on ET is liable to two years in Russian jail. Describes us to a tee, don't you think?

by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 04:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
women were dressed in bright, provocative clothing, which is "prohibited in church."
*
Horrors!
 

Look are you now going after dress code of various Churches? How about you protest then about Amish's dress code? Well, some Churches are more "conservative" and sticking more to old tradition and some are not. This is even case with some priests and not with some other at the same Church. I had trouble with some more traditional priests in my own Church about dress code and other things that I believe should modernize but all I can do is to express my feelings. There is no democracy at the church and we can like it or not.

Off course judges are not that much independent in Russia and of course they will be biased if you are going after institutions...and people in power. Of course one have all the rights to protest but not by offending other people not relevant to this problem.

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look are you now going after dress code of various Churches?

No, we're going after churches who presume that it's the courts' job to enforce their parochial dress codes.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can like it or not but they can enforce their dress code when one enter their church. I personally do not like it but...What exactly can I do if I want to enter some fancy restaurant in my swimming suit or shorts and they do not allow me to enter?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How often does it need to be spelled out for you: Political protests get to violate private property privileges in ways you don't get to do if you're just being a dick.

If the restaurant is part of a conglomerate which holds a publishing house that publishes swimsuit magazines, and you protest the exploitative nature of such magazines by staging a swimsuit protest at the restaurant, then you are well within the norms of ordinary political discourse. The fact that the restaurant is "private property" or has a dress code has fuck all to do with it. You don't get to hide despicable political views or actions from criticism simply by paying for a cordon of "private property" around your despicable views or actions.

Because that leads to a version of "democracy" where wealthy wankers can bribe their way out of criticism.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:55:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
>Political protests get to violate private property privileges in ways you don't get to do if you're just being a dick.<

Legally speaking, no. Not at all.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:01:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Inasmuch as the law is that which is written on paper, you're right.

Inasmuch as the law is that which is actually enforced in really existing jurisprudence, you're wrong.

(Of course, this also has a layer of class privilege, because the people who commit political crimes tend to be higher class than the average criminal brought to trial.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes, can they? Even a church in Russia, a band of kakophonous obscenity-spouting women? And if they refuse to go and have to be forcibly removed (you have seen the video)?

Usually, yes. But not if the church wants to use it as a major tourist attraction, which happens to hold services once in a while. And not if church officials have used that particular church to peddle partisan political propaganda.

Mind, I am not talking about the extent of the penalty or the Russian penal system in general. My point is that PR don't deserve support.

I think anybody who receives a sentence which is clearly unreasonably harsh deserves support. You don't?

Objecting to a month-long prison term or a hundred thousand €-Mark fine for littering on the street does not imply support for littering on the street.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A campaign for an amnesty or so would have my support, but not a campaign saying that this group was perfectly within their rights.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK so this is Jake's theme, it isn't mine.  Ever since you revealed your own shady past as a wannabe theological terrorist, I have been trying to engage you on the subject of guerilla political activism as a means of shifting people's attitudes. And you have been sidestepping, ignoring my questions, refusing to respond.

You have admitted that it is not illegitimate in all cases to intervene in a sacred place, to interrupt a religious ceremony, to humiliate people and insult their religious sentiments, in order to challenge them to change their attitudes and to attempt to shift the balance of power.

You have even acknowledged that challenging the alliance between Putin and the Orthodox hierarchy is a legitimate political stance (I'm not sure you agree with their challenge however).

You have asserted that politically, PR's stunt was ineffective. I have presented material that tends to demonstrate otherwise; you have ignored it, and you have not presented any sources to back your own assertion (I can help : look here, or here, ou here. This is the level of information that most Russians are likely to have about PR : all those who get their news from state TV, for example.)

You have demonstrated that special protection for religion (religious places and the sentiment of worshippers, in particular) is very important to you.  I remind you that basic human rights are not respected in Russia : for example the right to a fair trial; the right to organize politically without persecution; the right to organise demonstrations, and many other rights that we in the west have acquired, and which require constant vigilance to defend.

Don't you have the feeling you're on the wrong team?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:33:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The actions I took part in were clearly inside the church. Many of the participants were gay and feminist theology students and all of us had the aim to move the church we identified with (in varying degrees) towards progress. That meant to attack some well organised reactionaries within that same church. I wouldn't have dreamt of doing the same in a Catholic church, because that would be foreign territory for me.

You can't compare that to the action of a group that most emphatically does not belong to the church they try to influence (I expect applause for the diplomatic wording here) and worse, are stooges of an enemy country (Btw, what of Clinton's political aims do you think I would support?!)

I have seen your assertions that PR was effective. Western media tend to interview passers-by in front of the Moscow office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung who are just leaving the building. Don't get too excited about the results. The overwhelming majority of Russians does not live in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

Religious communities must be allowed to function in their own system of values and norms. It's not necessary that people outside a particular religion share or even understand the norms, but religious communities can demand that their norms are respected, so that they have their own religious sphere. In the political sphere a base in religion is as valid as any other base of values.

I know that basic human rights aren't respected in Russia. You seem to think that forcing the Orthodox Church to tolerate the antics of some atheists emitting obscenities in one of their churches changes that. Come off it.

No, I am definitely not on the wrong team.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:22:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The actions I took part in were clearly inside the church.

Indeed, PR were not insiders. But they were not confronting the internal functioning of the church (which, arguably, would have been illegitimate interference) : they were confronting it as a political force. That is why their action is valid. It seems that you demand special religious protection for the political action of the church, against its political adversaries.

and worse, are stooges of an enemy country

Seriously, I want to see your sources on this. Unqualified controversial assertions get disregarded here.

I'm not categorically saying they aren't. I just want to see some evidence.

Religious communities must be allowed to function in their own system of values and norms.

So you're OK with Moslem men regulating the access of their women (wives and daughters) to the outside world? You are OK with excision as a religious rite? Buggering choir boys? I'm sure that, in practice, you accept that secular society has a right to intervene. But this is a complete side-issue with respect to PR, by the way. PR are protesting the intervention of the Orthodox hierarchy in the  political sphere. It's not even about whether Orthodox men are allowed to beat their wives or not (this may be a protected religious practice too?)

In the political sphere a base in religion is as valid as any other base of values.

So you're OK with the political set-up in Iran?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Look up the think tanks that support and fund PR, if Clinton's words aren't enough for you. Here's a list: http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2012/08/pussy-riots-stunning-victory-over-kremlin/

So you're OK with ...

Sigh. Can you stop putting words in my mouth? What has the behaviour you describe to do with values and norms in any religion?

So you're OK with the political set-up in Iran?

And where did I say that? Why are you distorting my position? Are you getting hysterical because I openly say that I derive fundamental values I adhere to from religion? Running out of arguments, perhaps?

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This only shows that the Helsinki group Moscow and the for human rights group are supported. But they only comment now on the trial. Like we do.

Voina, voina (Moscow group) and pussy riot have so far done their direct actions on their own, as far as we know.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:25:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you running out of excuses to avoid answering my questions?

What has the behaviour you describe to do with values and norms in any religion?

These activities and behaviours are routinely defended as being prescribed by religion. Why do you have trouble acknowledging this? Ever heard of a burqa?

Religious communities must be allowed to function in their own system of values and norms.

In the political sphere a base in religion is as valid as any other base of values.

I'm trying to establish whether, in your system of values, it is ever possible to place any limits at all on the autonomy of religious communities. Buggering choirboys has been within the norms of the Catholic community for centuries, for example. And whether it is ever legitimate to restrict the political activities of religious groups. Because if the answer to the second question is no, then this logically leads to religious totalitarianism in the majority of cases (not only in Iran, but in much of the Arab world, deviation from the religious norms of the majority religion are punished, irrespective of the beliefs of the offender).

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:36:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democracy Digest » Pussy Riot's `stunning victory' over Kremlin
The Moscow Helsinki Group and For Human Rights are supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.

As IM notes, you'll have to do better than that.

Some human rights groups (that you don't approve of, apparently) support PR. That is something that PR has no control over, as far as I can see; and if there's a money connection, it isn't mentioned in the article.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:39:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Being supported by Washington (group) tells it all...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:53:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Madonna likes them... Does this prove that Pussy Riot likes Madonna's music?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't have dreamt of doing the same in a Catholic church, because that would be foreign territory for me.

In other words, direct action against the Catholic Church's repression of human rights, spread of HIV/AIDS denial and general bigotry is off-limits to me because I am not and never have been a member?

I don't accept that. If the Church wants to shelter bigots, crackpots or rapists, it opens itself to the full spectrum of direct action tactics, by anybody and everybody.

If the Catholic laity does not like that, it can stop giving money and man-hours to bigots, charlatans, quacks and rapists. Which, as it happens, a lot of the Catholic laity is doing these days.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The direct action would have to be different: you are not part of a discourse inside that church. You come from the outside. That's legitimate, but it is not the same, and needs different sorts of direct action.

If the Catholic laity does not like that, it can stop...

This sounds as if you are aware that the action you have in mind does not only attack your target, but lay church members as well, as a kind of hostages or collateral damage. You are attacking the church, not some behaviour you have an issue with.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's legitimate, but it is not the same, and needs different sorts of direct action.

<crumble>

That's the sound of your assertion of the illegitimacy of PR's action turning into dust.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The direct action would have to be different: you are not part of a discourse inside that church. You come from the outside. That's legitimate, but it is not the same, and needs different sorts of direct action.

Possibly. Probably, even. But totally beside the point.

If the Catholic laity does not like that, it can stop...

This sounds as if you are aware that the action you have in mind does not only attack your target, but lay church members as well, as a kind of hostages or collateral damage. You are attacking the church, not some behaviour you have an issue with.

I attack the organization which takes actions I have issue with. For the same reason I protest at Shell's gas stations, not at Shell's drilling platforms or at Shell's pipelines in Nigeria.

I don't have any particular objection to Shell selling petroleum distillates. I object to them dumping platforms and starting wars. By your standard for legitimate protest against a transnational corporation or religious group, I should direct my activism exclusively against those parts of the operation I dislike. Because customers who just want to buy gasoline and a hot dog might be inconvenienced or offended.

You're holding activism against a pathological religious organization to a standard that you do not hold attacks against a pathological transnational corporation to. And I'm not buying that distinction.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:59:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More precisely: violating rules that have no base other than religion
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:14:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How is religion different from any other 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Basically it is a way of defining where we are, and how we relate to other creatures. And I treat all attempts to do that defining, including the ones that don't need a deity, equally. Can you do the same? I have no sympathies at all for people who want to replace compulsory religion by compulsory atheism.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:34:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no sympathies at all for people who want to replace compulsory religion by compulsory atheism.  

Bravo! That was my point...I used to live and I grew up in "compulsory" atheism and I do not like it one bit.
I do not understand how some people here can even imagine democracy with compulsory atheism? Democracy ( not being perfect at all) is about choice...Using stand of "freedom of consciousness" to achieve what? "Dictatorship of the majority" ? I already lived in " dictatorship of proletariat" and tank you very much I wouldn't like to experience more of dictatorships in my life.

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake :
How is religion different from any other ideology?

Katrin:
And I treat all attempts to do that defining, including the ones that don't need a deity, equally. Can you do the same?

That's precisely what Jake is advocating : no special protection for religious ideology.

(And can you give me a list of people here who are advocating compulsory atheism?)

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"(And can you give me a list of people here who are advocating compulsory atheism?)"

Several of you argue that religion has no place in the political sphere. Of course political demands can be rooted in one's religion. What is wrong in emphasising that?

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:33:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many of us believe that religion is exclusively a private matter. This means that explicit reference to religion in public affairs is always suspect, and must be subject to regulation, because it is almost always coercitive in nature.

This is not "compulsory atheism". This is "what goes on inside your own head is your own business".

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:54:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many of us believe that religion is exclusively a private matter. This means that explicit reference to religion in public affairs is always suspect, and must be subject to regulation, because it is almost always coercitive in naturepractice.

FIFY.

But this guy said it better than I could:

Guard against those men who make a great noise about religion in choosing representatives. It is electioneering intrigue. If they knew the nature and worth of religion, they would not debauch it to such shameful purposes. If pure religion is the criterion to denominate candidates, those who make a noise about it must be rejected; for their wrangle about it proves that they are void of it. Let honesty, talents and quick dispatch characterize the men of your choice.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:31:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This means that explicit reference to religion in public affairs is always suspect, and must be subject to regulation,

So certain sub-set of speech is suspect and should be regulated? that isn't a good idea, generally.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just because it's suspect doesn't mean it's subject to regulation.

Or maybe it does. Like advertising is subject to regulation and misleading or mendacious advertising can make you liable to administrative, civil or even criminal penalties.

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 10:16:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Several of you argue that religion has no place in the political sphere.

You need to name names, here.

Of course political demands can be rooted in one's religion. What is wrong in emphasising that?

Nothing, in principle. As long as you don't claim any special treatment for your religious beliefs that is not extended to, say, Randroids. Or to the Marxian doctrine of inevitable proletarian revolution. Or to collectors of horse porn.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... unless you boss is a fundagelical.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"You need to name names, here"

You, strongly. Eurogreen and Migeru, partly.

Your link may be work-safe, but is silly. If you want religion kept away from children like horse-porn, you would have to prove it is damaging for children. Actually it seems to be you who claims special repressive treatment for religious beliefs, the speciality being repression.    

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:54:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you should argue against what we are actually saying, rather than your ... extrapolation of it. This is a good starting point :

eurogreen:

explicit reference to religion in public affairs is always suspect, and must be subject to regulation

If you assert that it should never be subject to regulation, then you have to address the question of how you are going to prevent oppression of minorities, religious or not, by a majority religion.

If, on the contrary, you agree that some regulation is necessary, then we can simply discuss where to set the bar.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assert that reference to religion in public affairs is as suspect as reference to atheism in public affairs! How am I to interpret your statement other than that you suspect religion, but not atheism?
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how frequently do you see reference to atheism? As opposed to secularism (which is not the same, the inability of some fundies' to tell the difference notwithstanding).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:31:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FWIW I never argue politics on the basis of atheism, and I think Richard Dawkins is being a fool, except when it comes to argue the point that non-religionists are people, too, and capable of moral behaviour, just like religionists, and should enjoy freedom of conscience.

You don't hear many atheists claiming the monopoly of morality as you hear religionists claiming that without religion humans would descend into sociopathy.

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 09:32:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dawkins has three distinct projects, which he tends to fail to distinguish between.

One is debunking religious apologetics. Which he does very well. Though perhaps that is mostly because it's a little like hunting dairy cows with a high-powered rifle and scope.

Another is organizing an Atheist political community. This has been moderately effective, and it is absolutely necessary in places like the US, where attempts are regularly made, and occasionally meet with success, to relegate non-Christians to second class citizens. In France or Denmark, it's a distraction at best, and a nuisance at worst. But Dawkins is an Anglophone, so I find it hard to blame him for doing Anglophone politics.

The third is making his own apologetics for Atheism. Which are embarrassingly, nay insultingly, bad. Godawful, even.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't hear many atheists claiming the monopoly of morality as you hear religionists claiming that without religion humans would descend into sociopathy

Claiming that the behaviour is less typical for atheists than for religionists? Sure of that?

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You, strongly.

You need to prove that. With quotes.

What I have said, repeatedly is that IF religious groups want to make their religious beliefs the basis of political activism, THEN they have to submit to the full range of criticism which can be leveled against any political group.

You don't get to preach politics in church and then piss and moan about people who attack your religion.

Your link may be work-safe, but is silly. If you want religion kept away from children like horse-porn, you would have to prove it is damaging for children.

The context of that link is the American political system, in which people demand the privilege of imposing religion on other people's children.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:10:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"What I have said, repeatedly is that IF religious groups want to make their religious beliefs the basis of political activism, THEN they have to submit to the full range of criticism which can be leveled against any political group"

In combination with your view that religious communities lose the right to their buildings then, because these morph into being public buildings if the community or any part of it issues a political statement, mind.
And yes, I have a quote for that: "As it is, they performed a stunt in a public building, at a time when it was not being used. This is not equivalent to staging a protest at a party headquarter. It is not even equivalent to staging a protest at the city hall. It is closer to equivalent to staging a protest in the square in front of the city hall."

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:08:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In combination with your view that religious communities lose the right to their buildings then, because these morph into being public buildings if the community or any part of it issues a political statement, mind.

But of course that's not what I said.

What I said was that high-profile buildings, such as historical cathedrals, become part of the public space when high-profile representatives of the church, such as the pope or patriarch, make political endorsements. Just like churches that widely advertise that they invite bigots to speak become part of the public sphere.

You can't take steps to insinuate yourself into public life and then claim to be an exclusive, private gathering once public life takes you up on that attempt.

A random crackpot on the internet who claims divine endorsement for his crackpottery does not open every parish church to protest, for the same reason that bin Laden does not open every mosque to protests of his actions: They have no claim to speak for the organization. But the patriarch is not some random crackpot typing away in his mom's basement. Any reasonable observer will assume that he speaks for the Orthodox Church unless either he or the Church takes obvious steps to dispel that notion. Because, well, that's what it says on his job description.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My religion says I can't work more than three days a week. Is it religious discrimination to force me to work on Mondays if I want a job?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why should you be better off than adherents of other religions? Are you telling me that in Denmark (or elsewhere) people are entitled to a job that respects which day of the week they want have free?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People usually will accommodate others' religious observances. But the question Jake is posing whether you're entitled to sue an employer for discrimination (or for hurting your religious feelings) for not making accommodations for your particular religion's holy 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Employers have to accommodate their employees wishes if reasonably possible, and religious holidays are on the list of priorities. So are voluntary fire fighters or family duties, at least ideally. If Jake wants to pray on Mondays or you want to play in the football club that happens to meet every Thursday, obviously both is equally important, and what is wrong with that?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing's wrong with that, and I'll have the dude who wants to pray on Mondays' back, so long as the dude who wants to pray on Mondays has my back when I want to play chess on Thursdays.

But people who claim the right to pray on Mondays and then just shrug when I want to play chess on Thursdays, they really piss me off.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:48:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Intimidation and unlawful threats, with a side order of trespassing and disturbing the peace.

Context matters here. Neo-Nazis throwing a pig into a synagogue in Düsseldorf is intimidation and threats. Human rights activists throwing a pig into a synagogue in Tel Aviv is political activism. Because in the one case, Judaism is a disfavored minority with a history of being repressed. While in the other case, Judaism is a favored majority (if only barely) with a history of oppression.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:25:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are avoiding the point. I am not asking about the context. I am asking if the law reflects that the people who run the religious building have special rules, or is putting a pig into a synagogue the same as putting a cat there?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:46:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is bringing a pig into a synagogue the same as bringing an animal in front of someone with a phobia of the animal?

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are people entitled to find one animal more disgusting than another without having their reasons examined by Jake or a committee of atheists or Peta?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that doesn't make it more of a crime.

However, if you know a particular person, through psychological disorder or through religious belief, is unsettled by a certain animal and you deliberately bring it in front of them to cause them distress, that probably qualifies as intent to harm in legal terms.

But note I am putting psychological phobias and religious belief in the same category. Because you can cause a phobia in someone by indoctrination, religious or otherwise, or conditioning, or torture.

Oh, dear, did I just liken religious teaching to conditioning or brainwashing?

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think you did. How short-sighted of you! I don't find that the demand to avoid cruelty of animals and to consider what one keeps animals for the same as conditioning or brainwashing. A ritual to remind people of this is quite in order too.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that why the pig in the synagogue is an issue? I think 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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:54:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that is the background. A chicken while alive gives eggs, and then you can butcher it for the meat too. A cow while alive gives milk... Only the pig is of no use while alive.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was about trichinosis and porcine fever.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:59:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, the text itself claims that it's because pigs have the wrong number of toes. Or something like that. I fell asleep halfway through Genesis from the horribly tedious writing style.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:05:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The list of taboos is a list of things crossing their definition boundaires, similar to the Minotaur in Greek mythology or well, a toiletbowl shaped serving plate in modern context. Would you eat out of a toilet bowl if it has never been used as such? Taboos are interesting as they say something about how we think.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:34:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So there's a thin line between taboo and humour.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are people entitled to claim fear of gays as an extenuating circumstance in hate crimes? If they claim that their fear of gay is the result of religious indoctrination, does it make it more acceptable? Or is it unacceptable to find one person more disgusting than another and act accordingly?

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:11:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why are you bringing up hate crimes here?

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:55:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you're arguing for one law for people who claim to be offended on religious grounds and another law for every other puke who claims to be offended for whatever reason.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:01:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Spontaneously" thinking of religious justifications for bullshit, or bullshit justifications for finding stuff "disgusting". And of said bullshit being protected because otherwise "feelings are hurt".

Now, are certain religious people justified in shunning women at certain times of the month (or all the time) for being religiously "unclean"? Is calling them on the bullshit a breach of their right not to have their religious "feelings" "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 Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see your straw bear and raise you a Struwwelpeter!



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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is... subtly horrifying.

I'll forward it to a guy I know who likes playing fairies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:12:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Struwwelpeter, also on Project Gutenberg (and in German)!

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the blackest of black pedagogics. Keep you finger-nails tidy or your fingers will be cut off.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a castration fantasy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very appropriate for a 3-year old.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know why Mig brought it up here, though.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Struw sounds like straw to me. Bad language joke.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:30:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was just a clever trick to fix the margins...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:32:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
struwwelig
Rechtschreibung Worttrennung: struwwelig Adjektiv Bedeutung strubbelig 5 Synonyme zu struwwelig strubbelig , struppig , unfrisiert , ungekämmt , zerzaust Aussprache Betonung: strụwwelig
http://www.duden.de/suchen/dudenonline/strubbelig
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:37:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trying to scare the discussion off into a new diary?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:24:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did read or rather looked at one of the stories as a child and was horrified for years. Couldn't look at that story of Struwelpeter.
by IM on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:55:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The most remarkable thing about this is that the author (in the mid-1800s) thought this was all wholesome material for the moral education of his child and for teaching him to read. It's absolutely flabbergasting.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the author was of course - a liberal! Now we are back on topic.

More astonishing: It is still used as a children book

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Hoffmann_(author)

"One of the short stories contained within Der Struwwelpeter, "Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher" or "The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb" is the loose basis for the song "Scissor Man" by the British band XTC. The story involves a little boy whose punishment for sucking his thumbs is getting them cut off by the tailor. The song was more popularly covered by Primus."

And that was the story that scared me.

We shouldn't talk about Pussy Riot, we should talk about how XTC and Primus tried to violate my feelings.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 02:18:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My mother told me the stories without the pictures, and that was bad enough.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also:

Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 04:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, because a cat would lack political content. You can't excise the context from political activism and consider it in some abstract vacuum. That leads to silly shit, like Gandhi claiming that anti-Nazis should have practiced only non-violent resistance.

A graffiti saying "Kilroy was here" on the ECB building is vandalism. A graffiti saying "Brünning was here" on the ECB building is a political statement.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A pig lacks political content too, but it has a religious significance.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When religion presumes to speak on political subjects, the pig's religious significance becomes political significance.

That's why it's a hate crime in Nürnberg and political activism in Jerusalem.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:20:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
like Gandhi claiming that anti-Nazis should have practiced only non-violent resistance.

[Source needed]

No, not for the discussion at hand, but if anyone has one I would be interested. I have seen this claim from time to tiem, but never a source (and I have been looking).

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

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Political Compass site, who are generally reliable in their facts, source the quote

The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs?

to Gandhi, by way of his biographer Louis Fisher.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.gandhiserve.org/e/information/writings_online/articles/gandhi_jews_palestine.htm

(I've not read all of it. Martin Buber's letter is interesting.)

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you not your anti-religious doctrines on the rest of society! Don't you forget that.

Demanding that religion either remains non-partisan or submits to the same rules of public discourse that govern every other partisan political organization hardly strikes me as an imposition of anti-religious doctrine.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So according to you churches in Bishop Tutu's see are no longer entitled to protection after his political statement.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without seeing the concrete statement, I can't tell whether he spoke in his capacity of bishop and couched the refusal in religious terms, or in his capacity of human rights activist and couched it in secular terms.

But ultimately, yes: He is no longer entitled to special protection from criticism of his religious views, because he uses those religious views as a justification for political action.

You seem to think that removal of the special, unearned respect accorded religious views is some sort of grave loss of liberty. It's not. It's society saying that if you want to argue politics like a grown-up, the rhetorical training wheels have to come off.

And I don't think Desmond Tutu is particularly afraid of having his views subjected to the ordinary criticism that everyone else has to live with. Nor that he would find it any grave imposition on his rights.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not about Tutu's rights, it's about the church's rights.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the church believes, on balance, that Tutu is a net liability, then they should distance themselves from his political activism.

If they don't, then they are complicit, and fair game for critics of that activism.

Now, this particular activism is something that all decent people should be proud to be complicit in, but that doesn't make it not-politics, nor that those who endorse it through their actions or inaction don't open themselves to criticism (such as it is and what there is of it).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If militarists want to target a bishop because of his promotion of peace, I'm pretty sure the ordinary laws of South Africa will suffice to protect him in any required manner, without having to invoke any religious arguments. This was not always the case.

In any case, it's perfectly clear to me that he was speaking as a noted peace activist rather than as a bishop. He came to prominence in the 1970s because being a bishop gave him a pulpit (!) from which to make political pronouncements. That's because he was living under a regime that denied human rights, but respected special religious privilege (this often goes together).

I can say that the love I have felt for Tutu since I first saw him speak in the late 70s has no religious dimension. But I'm glad he has a day job that enables him to be politically active.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is using Church same way like others...Church is using him.

well, exactly! And Pussy Riot are explicitly calling them hypocrites in their text :

Patriarch Gundy believes in Putin.

Better believe in God, you bitch!

So we're all on the same page now!

But it's always been like this, since at least the Dark Ages : the men of power and the men of religion strike pragmatic alliances to keep the people enslaved. It doesn't change anything if they are actually atheists.

you are simply "demanding" that I/them have to think the same way you do about conscience...

Damn right I'm demanding it! Freedom of conscience is not negotiable. A country which doesn't have it is a backward country (most of the moslem world, for example). A country which in danger of losing it, like Russia... well, that's what this whole fuss is about.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:14:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn right I'm demanding it!Freedom of conscience is not negotiable

Oh yeahh now I understand you want to change whole world in an image "of yours"...because you only know what freedom ( of conscience and otherwise) looks like. You want to be God himself...Great!

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 08:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure that we can agree on a definition of freedom of conscience. It's not really a very controversial concept.

I have freedom of conscience in France. You have freedom of conscience in Australia. Iranians do not have freedom of conscience. North Koreans do not have freedom of conscience.

In various other countries, the situation is more complicated. We appear to disagree about the situation in Russia, but not about the concept itself.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have freedom of conscience in France.

In practice most people don't, because opinions are shaped by the media and by peer groups (including churches and corporations) and every culture has its blind spots.

I'm not sure what a culture with true freedom of thought looks like. I'm not convinced we've ever had one.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:12:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of France : The only exception to freedom of conscience, commonly accepted but with limits, is the right of parents to indoctrinate their children. The existence of closed communities where individuals do not have freedom of conscience is actively repressed (anti-sect legislation). The right asserted by certain Moslem men to exclude their wives and daughters from society is a subject for political and social debate, because it denies freedom of conscience.

Other than that, every person has the right to associate with whomever or whatever they wish. Football clubs, churches, brands, news media, whatever. No society is perfect, but to imply that no country is any good in this respect and that therefore "slight" differences are no big deal is to do a grave disservice to the notion of freedom of conscience.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:46:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
every person has the right to associate with whomever or whatever they wish. Football clubs, churches, brands, news media, whatever.  

I am under impression that this is the case in Russia today too...otherwise PR , War and similar wouldn't exist in Russia.
It is different story how much of the power and influence any of those associations actually have in different countries...
And as TBG said we are not even aware how much our mind and opinions are formed through media/propaganda /education etc.
 

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

by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:08:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am under impression that this is the case in Russia today too...

Well, in that case you should ask the people who try to form political parties or hold street demonstrations in Russia. Your impression might change...

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can see there are political parties in Russia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_Russia
Last years there were only 7 parties in Russia and every new attempt to register new independent party was blocked, but after 2011-2012 Russian protests the law was changed and the number of registered parties quickly increased to more than 35 on August 2012, about 200 parties are in creation stage now.

I am not saying it is ever easy job to make multiparty system after so many decades of one party system and I am not against the protests (I protested too) but there are so many different ways to protest and to be activist it is only that I don't like the one PR is using.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 06:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand that Christians are afraid about losing the freedom of religion that they have acquired since the fall of the eastern bloc. This explains your fear (and Katrin's apparently).

But you should understand that Russians do not have the other aspects of freedom of conscience that we do : forming political parties, demonstrating, freedom from arbitrary harassment and arrest, a fair justice system etc. And now non-Christians can legitimately fear the loss of other freedoms : a return to a pre-Revolution time where the Orthodox patriarch reigns like an ayatollah.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:41:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. I am afraid of something else: a liberal image of humanity. The demand that humans have to be useful or else. You can't imagine how much that scares me.  

What is your image of humanity, and where do you derive that from?

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, to avoid having to publish a novel-length definition of what I believe, here's a starting point : the Amsterdam Declaration.

Humanism is my basic definition of what I believe. I don't think that's what you're frightened of (unless you've misunderstood humanism badly). I can't really grasp what current of thought you're referring to.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 04:54:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Katrin means the commodification of humans as is common in liberal economic thought. Human resources and all that.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 05:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:20:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, my point in asking you where you derive your values from was something else: We all have some values and these have a source. The unpleasant portion of secularists does not accept religion as a source of values that lead to political demands.
by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:32:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, secularists realise that using religion as a justification for political demands is meaningless because so many religionists disagree with each other so completely about ethical fundamentals.

I'd guess we agree with your values here. But we disagree - as you do - with the values of other religionists.

So what are religious values, exactly? Which values and ethics are religious, and which aren't?

Claiming that your values are religious while the other person's aren't is a futile exercise, because they'll just turn around and say the same about you.

All religionists believe their values are correct because they're religious and they somehow personally know what god wants.

But get a room full of them together and fights will break out. (Often literally.)

This makes the whole business a little unlikely.

As for politics - claiming to be speaking for god is a great tool for persuasive rhetoric, but usually questionable as a matter of fact.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All religionists believe their values are correct because they're religious and they somehow personally know what god wants.  

I wouldn't think so...they know what they want...the same way atheists know what's the best for the world...things that they want.

But get a room full of them together and fights will break out. (Often literally.)

Same with atheists...


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

by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but atheists will argue a point by - er - arguing a point. Like we do on here.

Religionists say 'I want what god wants and therefore it should happen, just because.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 06:55:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again I disagree. Why? Because religious people are not ( all, as you assume) brainwashed by "God's will"...they simply agree with moral stand that Bible "recommend".
Also (some) atheist may be very well brainwashed by propaganda, education etc.
Point? What do you mean by point in the area of moral?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, when arguing a point, it sometimes happens that I see merit in the argument of the other party, and my own views end up changing. Or else we end up finding some compromise that we both can agree with.

This is fundamentally impossible when your arguments are dictated by God : you're not allowed to change your views, and you're not allowed to compromise.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:53:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is fundamentally impossible when your arguments are dictated by God : you're not allowed to change your views, and you're not allowed to compromise.  

I wouldn't say so. We can witness how some of the churches modernize their views according to times all tho fundamentals are just that- fundamentals and are not going to change...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, when religiously-inspired people compromise, change their views, modernise... it's generally because they are not in a position of strength. When they are in power, they see no need to modernise their views. The Ayatollahs in Iran are an example.

The moral of the story : ok, you can discuss things with religiously-inspired people... just don't let them take power.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:17:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do we actually know how many leaders worldwide are actually "religiously inspired people"? In this country I have seen both right and left leaders being very religious and not hiding it at all...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In certain countries, such as the US, it is almost impossible to be successful politically without at least pretending to be "religiously inspired", as standard political discourse if full of religious language. In France it is highly unusual for politicians to talk about their religion in political statements - Sarkozy at the very least attempted to change that trend, though it's too early to know if he succeeded.

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 09:05:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again I disagree. Why? Because religious people are not ( all, as you assume) brainwashed by "God's will"...they simply agree with moral stand that Bible "recommend".

The use of scare quotes around "recommend" is rather telling.

Point? What do you mean by point in the area of moral?

Thank you for making my point for me.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:01:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I said recommend because obviously religious people are not saints automatically...
I prefer to think that those "recommendation" may help me to realize my mistakes...as opposed to atheist who think of themselves I suppose as saints...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:10:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Absolute rubbish. Atheists will whine that it's unfair to found a point on Christian (or another religion's) values. And then they will become nasty and demand one hides where one's values come from.

I assume you largely share my view that the respect for human life is not subject for that life's economic usefulness. We both fight against attempts to exclude the disabled, the old, whoever, from financial support and active participation in society. My respect for human life derives from religion. I don't know where yours comes from, but I don't know why one approach should have less value than the other.

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolute rubbish. Atheists will whine that it's unfair to found a point on Christian (or another religion's) values.

The atheists you hang out with must be of a lower quality than the atheists I hang out with.

Because the atheists I hang out with will point out that a point founded on religious grounds is not convincing to anybody who doesn't share your particular parochial perspective, and therefore is not particularly relevant to any discussion of politics in which they participate. Since you don't get to demand that anybody accords your particular parochial perspective any respect that it does not earn on its merits.

Which leads to a similar conclusion, of course, but for vastly different reasons.

I assume you largely share my view that the respect for human life is not subject for that life's economic usefulness. We both fight against attempts to exclude the disabled, the old, whoever, from financial support and active participation in society. My respect for human life derives from religion. I don't know where yours comes from, but I don't know why one approach should have less value than the other.

Precisely.

Conversely, I don't see why your religiously based view should be insulated from the sort of criticism that any other political view may be subjected to.

Because that's what we're talking about here: You're protesting a direct action against the Orthodox Church that you would not have protested if it had been carried out at, say, the Shell or Newscorp headquarters.

And I don't buy that distinction.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly enough, your religious-inspired values appear to be sufficiently compatible with those of secular humanists to make discussion possible.

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?

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what about MLK? the society of friends?

we know from historical experience that religion can take one to many different places. We also know from historical experience that people who adhere to some religion or other are still entirely competent to compromise.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Religion is an ideology like any other. Which is rather the point.

Well, not like any other. Religions tend to be totalizing ideologies, claiming to encompass everything from cosmology to anthropology to politics to ethics. Most political ideologies just claim to concern themselves with the good society.

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 10:14:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is your values are your values. You're calling them religious, but in fact there is demonstrably no such thing as 'religious values.'

Not to the point that you can get a room full of religionists to agree what they are, anyway. (I've spent a lot of time debating with Christians and it's ridiculously easy to prove this empirically - sometimes to the point of comedy, because if you leave everyone talking for long enough they eventually realise they literally have no beliefs in common about anything, especially not about the fundamentals.)

The entire history of religion is one long series of schisms, reinterpretations, power plays, pogroms, persecutions, debates, disagreements, wars, and general unpleasantness.

So ethically, there is no such thing. Most religions, especially the Abrahamic ones, are pure meta - a rhetorical process by which adherents justify values and/or prejudices they already have to themselves and to other people, and by which they get to feel included in a wider community.

But for every relgionist who believes the poor should be protected you'll find some random number who believe gays are evil, women are inferior to men, and abuse of children and foreigners is justified by the bible.

The only thing religionists have in common is the process by which they gain an unshakeable belief that their religion justifies their values, justifies their interest in promoting the values to others, and gives their values - and sometimes their actions - special protection from outside scrutiny and censure.

Obviously the latter is a useful thing to have, especially politically.

But spiritually justified it ain't.

The usual argument at this point is 'Well, all those others who don't share my values aren't true believers like me.'

But unsurprisingly, everyone says the same thing. So who is?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:48:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The entire history of religion is one long series of schisms, reinterpretations, power plays, pogroms, persecutions, debates, disagreements, wars, and general unpleasantness.

You could say the same about Trotskyites, though.

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 09:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you making some sort of distinction between Trotskyism and religion?

</snark>

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

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is the obvious answer.

>I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well, are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are your Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, Me too! Are your Episcopalian or Baptist? He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are your Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord? He said, Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are your Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum!" and pushed him off.<

 

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 10:12:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 11:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because religion is politics by another name, like economics.

That doesn't make it a bad thing, it makes it politics. Cue back to JakeS' argument about religious privilege in political speech.

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 10:11:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, my point in asking you where you derive your values from was something else: We all have some values and these have a source. The unpleasant portion of secularists does not accept religion as a source of values that lead to political demands.

I've never actually met a Jacobin in real life.

What most "unpleasant" secularists insist is that if you make your religion out to be a source of political views, then we get to attack it with the same vigor and general unpleasantness that we get to attack Capitalism, Communism, Apartheid, Creationists, perpetual-motion cranks, and any other personal ideology or eccentric idea.

A great number of religious people find this extremely unpleasant, because they are used to having their religious ideas accommodated - even respected - by rote rather than because those ideas hold any discernable intellectual, moral or social merit.

This is not dissimilar to how businessmen who enter parliamentary politics often find themselves surprised and disgusted by news reporters who actually do their jobs: They are used to being fawned over uncritically in the business page fluff pieces where their word is taken as gospel.

Political reporters have many sins. But that's not one of them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 07:12:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I've never actually met a Jacobin in real life"

They live on the internet. :) More to the point, have you ever met a Christian or an adherent of any other religion in real life?

by Katrin on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:11:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. That is rather hard to avoid.

I've even met some who were pricks about it, but I tend to not hang out with them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 08:28:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lese-majeste, however, is not a punishable offense in civilized countries. That, in fact, is one of the cornerstones of contemporary European civilization.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 07:57:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - that's the theory.

Bradley Manning might have a different opinion about the practice.

The problem with Pussy Riot is the lingering suspicion they're useful as Western propaganda. Of course Russia is repressive, etc, etc.

But we might do better to recognise and support our own dissidents, including the conscientious objectors in the armed forces, the whistleblowers, the Occupy movement, and so on.

Most of those get much less media attention, for some reason.

And then there are the foreign horrors. I know some people in Zimbabwe, and after decades of rule by a sociopath the infrastructure of the country is close to collapse. Millions have already died, there's nothing resembling a functioning democracy, and it looks like there are more horrors to come.

And yet, barely a squeak about this from the media - possibly because as long as diamonds and platinum continue to be exported, no one important cares about the rest.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 08:24:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - that's the theory.

Bradley Manning might have a different opinion about the practice.


Or about whether the US regime counts as "civilized."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 09:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no offense called "insulting the Lord" in Russian Criminal Code, either. But public disorder in religious buildings is a crime, as it is in many European countries.
by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 08:33:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Disorderly conduct is not generally punished by several years in prison. And I fail to see the relevance of the building being used for religious ceremonies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 09:27:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We agree that several years in prison is completely over the top. We probably agree that the Russian penal system is inhumane. My point is whether Pussyriot's action deserves support.
by Katrin on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 09:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my own opinion is that progressive activism in a reactionary society is worthy of support, on general principle.

Your objection does not seem to be with either their tactics or their stated objectives, but rather with  what you see as their overall ineffectiveness. That is a legitimate position, but requires some sort of effort to see if we can determine if their action was effective or not. Many observers see some very positive effects :

Pussy Riot Case Promotes Public Debate | Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

Since the imprisonment of Pussy Riot in March, public opinion in Russia has been rife with various analyses of the merits of the case. Numerous newspaper reports, television and radio talk shows and internet blogs have given the case publicity and highlighted its political underpinnings. The result of this wide public debate bore fruit early: if the initial assessment of the stunt by the public was desecration and blasphemy (an opinion which state-controlled media propagated), by the end of the trial this had shifted to the opinion that the musicians first and foremost were protesting at the involvement of the church in politics. The punk singers have thus succeeded in conveying their message, which was to draw public attention to the increasing links between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and Putin's government and expose the anti-constitutional character of this relationship. 

Under Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the institution has become more authoritarian and rigidly administered. Its endorsement of the personalised political rule in Russia is more prominent. Although church and state are formally separate, the Patriarch takes part in pro-government political events while the government places the church at the heart of Russian national identity. Since Patriarch Kirill entered office in 2009, surveys show that public perception of the ROC's involvement in domestic politics has increased. At the end of the Pussy Riot case, 16% of the public said that their attitude towards the church had deteriorated. The ROC's silence on the case and its unwillingness to appeal for mercy, against the backdrop of the recent cases of minor offences committed by Orthodox priests that were ignored by law-enforcement officials, have also served to discredit the ROC in the public eye. 

The Pussy Riot case has also exposed the judiciary. Corruption and the lack of rule of law are widely-reckoned as the biggest problems in Russia. Citing `devilish movements' and quoting medieval church councils by a judge during the trial ridiculed the judiciary in the public eye. Surveys suggest that two thirds of the population found the prison sentence incommensurate to the offence, and the discrepancy between the crime and the punishment exposes the political dependency on the judiciary.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 12:37:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Progressives don't get the support of Hillary Clinton, so we can assume that Pussyriot aren't progressives. Western governments have a history of supporting Russian groups and policies against the interests of the majority of Russians, and if you think this is an exception you need very convincing arguments. But even if they were: Progressives must not alieneate their target audience. If they do they damage more than just the one point they were campaigning about.
by Katrin on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 01:13:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clinton will support anybody who can be spun to make Putin look bad, as long as they are not effective enough to replace him with someone better.

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, and all that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 01:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Progressives don't get the support of Hillary Clinton, so we can assume that Pussyriot aren't progressives.

You know, with an argument like that, you are your own worst enemy. In fact I can quickly prove it to you, with a diagram : just give me a short list of your worst enemies, and I'll play the "five degrees of separation" game.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 05:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Western governments have a history of supporting Russian groups and policies against the interests of the majority of Russians

Good lord (please excuse my blasphemy). Are we in a time warp? Is the Cold War still on? Is the Russian government alleged to be the ally of progressives everywhere?

Hilary bloody Clinton supports a wide range of causes, some of which even you would be obliged to agree with.

To be less flippant, and more precise : since his re-election, Putin has cracked down hard on civil society, and this absurdly over-egged Pussy Riot show trial is part of that. However, this part has badly backfired, according to most reports, and he must be bitterly regretting it.

If they do they damage more than just the one point they were campaigning about.

Time will tell, but for the moment, the results are looking very positive in terms of provoking debate in Russian society.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 05:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Western governments have a history of supporting Russian groups and policies against the interests of the majority of Russians
Yeah, like Yeltsin.

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 Aug 28th, 2012 at 05:10:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Cold War still on?

Uh - US missile defence shield? Mass military spending in Russia on improving their nuke capabilities and getting around the missile shield?

Russia, China and the US permanently at cross purposes at the UN security council?

We don't have tanks facing each other down across Check Point Charlie.

But we do still have an unnecessary nuclear stand-off, continuing resource conflicts, with a Russian president who wouldn't mind increased prestige, and elements of the US establishment who still think of Ruskies as a significant enemy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 05:58:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. And Putin manages this well, and the Russians appreciate that. Compare with Yeltsin or Gorbachev.
by Katrin on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 06:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, anything that Putin doesn't like (such as civil society, individual freedoms, aspirations to actual democracy ) is necessarily an evil plot fomented by the "West". And even if it isn't, it's a bad thing, because Putin doesn't like it, QED.

Thanks. It's all so much easier to understand now.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 07:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I note that when you start a sentence with "so", there will reliably be a grotesque distortion of my words following. Are you able to argue without resorting to such behaviour?

Western plots to weaken Russia do indeed give Putin the freedom to repress a lot of movements: Putin's authoritarianism is seen as the lesser evil.

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:45:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, what I tried to do was parse your statement :
Progressives don't get the support of Hillary Clinton, so we can assume that Pussyriot aren't progressives. Western governments have a history of supporting Russian groups and policies against the interests of the majority of Russians, and if you think this is an exception you need very convincing arguments

So what you are saying is that PR are Clinton's stooges, unless I can prove the contrary. I reformulated this as :

So, anything that Putin doesn't like (such as civil society, individual freedoms, aspirations to actual democracy ) is necessarily an evil plot fomented by the "West".

It's not a very great jump.

The really amusing thing is that the themes espoused by PR (feminism, gay rights, keeping the church hierarchy out of politics) are things that you are explicitly OK with. What you appear to be fearing is

  1. there is a hidden economic-liberal subtext that nobody other than you has been able to identify so far,
  2. introducing liberal moral values will weaken Russia, thereby strengthening the hand of the USA.

Again, I'm extrapolating, I'm trying to tease out the real reasons why you so vehemently oppose something which (according to your beliefs) you should be supporting.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:04:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The really amusing thing is that the themes espoused by PR (feminism, gay rights, keeping the church hierarchy out of politics) are things that you are explicitly OK with.

As a matter of fact they are doing some disgusting things, say it was about feminism, gay rights, against the church hierarchy, and are discrediting real movements by their shit.

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:07:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are punkers, in other words.

You may object to their aesthetics, tactics and even to their ideological shallowness. But when did any of those things become a crime?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 09:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political guerrilla tactics should be judged on their effectiveness, rather than on aesthetic values (for example, I think throwing a cake at someone is tacky, but that's only my opinion. I'm OK with it if it's an effective tactic).

From what I've seen, Putin's show trial (rather than the act itself, or even the video) has ignited a lively debate within Russian society about the place of the Church in politics. PR are also becoming a focus for dissent against Putin's renewed political and social clampdown. To me, that means that the action was hugely effective.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems that the trial has polarised attitudes with respect to the Church. So it is certainly not true that the PR action was ineffective. Whether the result is positive or negative is open to interpretation; insofar as the Church is now clearly aligned with the most reactionary forces, that's good. Because they can no longer hide behind a mask of consensus while enabling reactionary policies.

Why Putin Wants to Punish Pussy Riot | The St. Petersburg Times | The leading English-language newspaper in St. Petersburg

By initiating a Middle Ages-style witch-hunt against three young women, the Russian Orthodox Church has caused irreparable damage to its reputation in the eyes of the educated class. Meanwhile, nationalists and religious radicals support the church's campaign. Puzzled and perturbed by the actions of church and government officials, intellectuals and cultural figures even wrote a collective appeal in defense of the three girls. Their petition was ignored.

The text of the prosecution's indictment was also from the Middle Ages, repeatedly citing church decisions that were originally adopted from that era. And finally, many observers following the case have concluded that the young women are not being tried for committing the political sin of calling for President Vladimir Putin's resignation, but for blasphemously committing indignities in a Christian holy place. They are de facto being tried for violating "religious statutes" that do not even exist in the Criminal Code and have no place in a country that is defined as secular in the Constitution.

Interestingly enough, if Pussy Riot members had committed the same crime during the Russian Empire -- clearly a more conservative era when the church played a more prominent official role in government -- they would have faced a sentence of only three to six months.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you deny a religious community the right to kick people out who misbehave in their place of worship?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Pussy Riot were kicked out by security.

They were not charged with trespassing or with resisting eviction.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you would be okay with those charges, but not with the charge of offending religious feelings (by the same act of trespassing and resisting)?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 10:57:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, pretty much.

Have you read the quotations from the sentence handed down by the judge? It's pretty ridiculous. "individualism" is a "personality disorder" and "wearing bright, provocative clothing" is an offence to religious feelings (apparently a hideous outfit of leotards and a balaclava is "provocative"). And these "tendencies" (to talk back and wear leotards?) can "only be corrected in jail".

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They were questioned by police after they were evicted, but not arrested. Apparently the police made a terrible mistake, letting go these people who deserved a two-year prison sentence.

In fact, the intervention in the church was a mere curiosity, which according to common sense, did not merit even arrest, let alone prosecution (though a fine for disorderly behaviour would have been perfectly appropriate).

The crime of PR was to dub music and lyrics onto the video (they only mimed it in church) and publish it on the internet. So they are doing 2 years in jail for publishing a clip on the internet.

The religious outrage about what happened in church is retrospective.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:16:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, now you concede it was disorderly behaviour. Good.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:30:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never denied it. Disorderly behaviour in a public place is often a misdemeanor.

Perhaps you would care to acknowledge that it was the video (and its popularity on the internet), not the events in the church, which caused outrage and led to the arrests?

We know this for a fact because of the timing of the events.

I think you'll find that it undermines your arguments substantially. What is being repressed is political speech (the clip on the internet), not outrageous behaviour in church.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your interpretation again. How about: What is being repressed is bragging about outrageous behaviour in church, that initially the church generously refrained from complaining about?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It didn't generously refrain from anything. It tossed them out of the building they were disturbing. Which it was well within its right to do. Bragging about being tossed out of a library for being noisy isn't particularly tactful, but it's hardly a criminal offense.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:47:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but it might well be the reason why the library lodges a complaint for disorderly behaviour, trespassing, or whatever illegal behaviour that was, although initially they would not.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:09:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that wasn't what they were charged with, and it would in any event never have merited imprisonment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:16:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's the stubbornly individualistic wearing of colourful leotards that warrants imprisonment.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:21:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never said their behaviour merited imprisonment. I said it didn't merit support.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:24:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But their unmerited imprisonment makes them merit support.

Which is the point of their whole act, I suppose.

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you want special laws to punish people who brag on the internet about misbehaving in church! (not what they were convicted for by the way)

It keeps getting better...

You have no qualms about freedom of speech?

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:48:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it true or not that the Church doesn't actually own the church in question?

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 Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:50:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea, but clearly they have the right to use it as a church. Property or lease, does it matter?
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shouldn't matter. The legal user - owner, renter, leasee - determines the use of the building. All other use is illegal and the user has the right to be protected against that.
by IM on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:47:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is being repressed is clearly a political crime, not a religious crime.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:14:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

Well, not resisting removal, because, eh, they didn't. That, and every time I see someone write "resisting arrest," or something similar, I read it as "vandalizing a police baton with his head." But maybe that's just me.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:24:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't.

I deny them the right to define what constitutes misbehavior in a historical site which is open to the public, and which they incidentally happen to use for their religious ceremonies.

If they hold their religious ceremonies in private, then I have no objection to them kicking out intruders. But they don't get to restrict the public's activity in public places just because they happen to use them to pray in, and it offends their thin-skinned sensibilities to have to share a public space with people they don't like.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:12:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I deny them the right to define what constitutes misbehavior in a historical site which is open to the public, and which they incidentally happen to use for their religious ceremonies.

They don't define it, the law does. You are free to advocate making museums out of churches, but so far they are churches. Open to the public as long as the public doesn't violate the special rules in a church. Not a public place.

by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:46:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The last time I entered a church (OK, a cathedral), they charged me a fee. That makes it a museum. That's ok with me, I wasn't there for religious reasons.

But they asked me to take my hat off. So I guess it's a church. Mixed use.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last time I entered our city hall, they charged me a fee for the concert in the yard. It's still our city hall, not a concert hall.
by Katrin on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 12:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you invite TV crews into your church and make political pronouncements from the pulpit, it's a public place.

The Patriarch invited partisan politics inside (do you dispute his authority to do so, or to speak on behalf of the Orthodox Church in such matters?), because he found it expedient to do so. And when you invite inside partisan politics, you invite inside all expressions of partisan politics, including ones that offend you. This basic principle should not be difficult to understand.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 11:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you invite TV crews into your church and make political pronouncements from the pulpit, it's a public place.

No, you don't. the convention center or stadium or whatever the republicans are using right now in Tampa isn't a public place in this sense either.

by IM on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if people want to stage a noisy political protest at the misogynistic apes gathering in Tampa, that would be perfectly fine.

Disrupting the proceedings would not be fine, but there were no proceedings being disrupted in this case.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the hypothetical turns into fact:

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/video-pro-choice-protester-thrown-out-of-ryans

"Paul Ryan's big speech at the Republican National Covention here Wednesday was briefly interrupted by protesters apparently angry at Ryan's stance on abortion rights.

"My body, my choice," the protesters reportedly shouted."

by IM on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A church is not really a public place. It is open only to worshipers (and sometimes tourists) according to the rules of the proprietors of the church.

Ant the same is true of shopping malls, museums, pubs and so on.  

by IM on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 02:52:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shopping malls, museums, pubs and so on is precisely the correct analogy here: The Pussy Riot stunt was not beyond the pale by the standard of, say, anti-sweatshop sit-ins in Nike stores.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 03:55:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I mentioned already above, under no circumstances will they spend more than about 18 months behind bars, and perhaps much less. I can't see "several" here, sorry. Please stick to the facts.

As Katrin mentioned below, Russian penal system tends to be very strict - there's a reason Russia is right behind USA and Georgia in prisoners per capita rankings. That's something that should be kept in mind when talking about the verdict. The bright side of the coin is that you could get away with copulating in a public space and then spreading reports of the performance for free - I'm not even sure they got a 500 rubles fine for that brave political statement.

by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 10:35:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I understand correctly, there's nothing about 'terrorism' in the verdict.

Some debates in Russian society are indeed revolving around presence of religious hatred. One theory states that you need to be religious yourself in order to experience religious hatred, thus the PR having no identifiable religion excludes this motive.

I'm now waiting for a clear expression of PR's regret or at least disapproval of the wave of church and cross vandalism that has swept Russia in the last two weeks in support of PR. Chances don't look good, as a significant portion of their supporters are finding ways of not condemning it.

by Sargon on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 06:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In desecration of crosses, Russia's Orthodox church sees dark warning - CSMonitor.com
But Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot activist and husband of one of the imprisoned women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, told journalists the group has no connection with the latest episodes of vandalism and doesn't approve of them.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Aug 28th, 2012 at 11:56:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about condemning
by Sargon on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 04:29:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You were talking about regret and disapproval, and followers not condemning.

Now, admittedly, "why don't you condemn them" is a much funnier game for you to play, since you can always demand a stronger denunciation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roughly speaking, I demand from my counterparties to share the same set of moral decency standards that could be learned in a kindergarten. Not expressing an outrage connected with copycat vandalism suggests to me PR weren't educated in the same kindergarten as I.

But I knew that ever since their first porn performances, so there's nothing new here.

by Sargon on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 05:33:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Copycat" vandalism suggests vandalism on PR's part, which I have not seen documented. They've made perfectly clear that those people are not associated with them, and that they do not support or endorse such activities.

I'm not sure what else you want from them? Or why you think they are somehow responsible for some punks who overreact to this injustice? (Or just use the travesty of such a blatant witch trial it as an excuse to be punks...)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 07:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you outraged by the political show trial PR were put through? By the refusal of the judge to let them call witnesses? I'm not sure if I remember you from kindergarten or not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 30th, 2012 at 03:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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