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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

And another one.

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

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

Extraordinary claims, that have no base in reality.

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

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

Told ya so.

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

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

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

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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

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

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

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


Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:27:11 AM EST
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