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Your post was a collection of claims with a dose of arrogance (your remarks on what I haven't understood). Claims without arguments to back them: I call that belief.

You know practically nothing about my beliefs, but feel free to tell me that I was "relying on supernatural entities to justify [my] ethics. Bullshit. I needn't justify my ethics. I just mentioned what they are founded in.

If you want to argue rationally, fine. Do so. Are there any reasons why someone can force churchgoers to supply the location and background for a performance? Can churchgoers force you to tolerate the equivalent where you hang out?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 02:53:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My post was based on the fact that you plainly ignored most of the points I've been making and were simply repeating comments I'd already responded to - especially about the political elements of religious belief.

And I'll remind you that you were the one arrogant enough to claim that I have no idea what 'progressive' means.

I know about what your beliefs exactly what you've said - which is that they're founded in what you call religious principles.

If you're claiming those religious principles have no supernatural element whatsoever, I'll admit that's an interpretation of 'religious' I've never met before.

As for your question - performance of what, exactly?

I tend not to gatecrash the services in the village church here because hardly anyone goes to them anyway. While the vicar's wife disapproves of my morals - we got off on the wrong foot when she asked to come hunting and my response was less than enthusiastic - what goes on at that end of the village has no effect on what goes on inside my house, so there's no particular need to Dada a protest against it.

I find the CoE ridiculous, but its political influence in the UK is far less significant than it thinks it is.

The new breed of US-style megachurches are far more dangerous - especially the ones teaching a 'prosperity gospel.' But there aren't any near here, and I don't think interrupting them on stage would be as useful as trashing them in print.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 03:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VBO said a few days ago that there seemed to be an attitude that progressives couldn't be religious and you confirmed this suspicion. Bullshit. Yes,

I believe that there is something beyond our powers and I have often felt it when I was in situations when I didn't know a way out but felt sure I could trust some way would open for me. And so it always did.

I don't care at all if anyone shares beliefs or not, but I don't think I have to put up with mockery or have performances such as Pussy riot's forced on me or any other believer. To get back to the point that started the whole debate: I want PR's behaviour criminalised for these reasons.

If an action is directed against political statements of clerics or hierarchies I have no issue with them. It's the activists responsibility not to take the church members hostage. PR did that and that's what I want punished.  

I notice all right that you are forever telling me about US American TV preachers and other reactionaries. If that is not meant to insinuate that you find political influence of religious is necessarily right-wing, what else do you want to tell us then?

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:17:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't care at all if anyone shares beliefs or not, but I don't think I have to put up with mockery or have performances such as Pussy riot's forced on me or any other believer.

What, precisely, about their performance in the church do you object to? It can't be the "screeching," because the sound was added in post.

Apparently, nobody found their dress or miming sufficiently offensive at the time to warrant any action beyond telling them to fuck off. Which they did, without further ado.

To get back to the point that started the whole debate: I want PR's behaviour criminalised for these reasons.

For what reason? Dressing provocatively in church? Filming a video in church? Staging a miming act in church?

Or posting a song you don't like on YouTube?

If an action is directed against political statements of clerics or hierarchies I have no issue with them. It's the activists responsibility not to take the church members hostage.

It is the laity's responsibility to not associate itself with reactionary clergy. To not give their time to reactionary clergy. To not go to the sermons of reactionary clergy. And to not give money to reactionary clergy.

If they won't do that, they own the policies, and they get to live with the criticism.

I have no sympathy at all for someone who claims to be offended by Pussy Riot and then meekly shuffles along to hear the Patriarch incite hate crimes against homosexuals, and peddle partisan political propaganda. No sympathy at all.

Just like I have no sympathy at all for people who are members of the British National Party "just for the rock concerts."

PR did that and that's what I want punished.

How did they take worshipers hostage? There were mostly tourists in the church at the time, and what they actually did while they were in the church didn't even merit a disorderly conduct charge.

Can you take people hostage retroactively, by publishing a video on YouTube?

I notice all right that you are forever telling me about US American TV preachers and other reactionaries. If that is not meant to insinuate that you find political influence of religious is necessarily right-wing, what else do you want to tell us then?

That if you argue for the right of religious people to not be insulted, you are arguing for the prosecution of people who say that gays are people too. Because there are religious people who find that sentiment to be a mortal insult.

And they are many. And they vote. So that is really not a precedent that any progressive with two neurons to rub together wants to set.

Add to this the fact is that the political influence of religion is predominantly right-wing, and it becomes really glaringly obvious why it is stupid and short-sighted to demand the right for religious groups to censor people they don't like on no other basis than that they don't like them.

Censorship is also morally wrong, but that argument doesn't seem to carry much weight with people whose religious knickers have gotten into a twist.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"It is the laity's responsibility to not associate itself with reactionary clergy. To not give their time to reactionary clergy. To not go to the sermons of reactionary clergy. And to not give money to reactionary clergy."

Thanks for confirming that you are quite comfortable with taking the church in their entirety hostage.

"Add to this the fact is that the political influence of religion is predominantly right-wing,"

Small wonder with the attitudes one finds among so called progressives.

I find that generally the right wing has too much impetus these days, but hey, hearing you one must get the impression religion is the cause.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 05:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for confirming that you are quite comfortable with taking the church in their entirety hostage.

The patriarch already did that with his political propagandizing.

If the laity is not equally offended at the patriarch's hostage-taking as they are at his detractors, then it is difficult to interpret that as anything other than assent to the particular party line the patriarch is preaching.

I see no reason a Catholic should get a free pass from being a member of the same political organization as the Pope, when a Sinn Fein member does not get a free pass from answering for being a member of the same political organization as Gerry Adams.

And all the contrary assertions you've brought to this discussion have been special pleading.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 08:25:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to argue rationally, fine. Do so. Are there any reasons why someone can force churchgoers to supply the location and background for a performance?

Nobody has ever claimed that you have the right to disturb a religious ceremony.

What has been objected to is the religious obsession with demanding the privilege (lit: private law) of restricting any and all activities in public spaces - such as museums and historical buildings - which they happen to use for their ceremonies.

If a labor union uses a publicly available room in a historical steel mill to hold gatherings, it does not expect to be able to exclude a prayer group from holding a silent vigil after the trade unionists have gone home. Apparently the Russian Orthodox Church wants to prevent people from holding a silent performance after service hours in a historical church which is open to everyone who does not disturb the peace. Which it is difficult to argue that a silent performance after service hours does, any more than a silent prayer vigil in a closed steel mill does.

Because the (open to the public) location has some historical or emotional significance to them.

I call chicanery, as would you if prayer groups were excluded from every site of historical, contemporary or cultural significance to any organization which happened to disapprove of your prayer group.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has been objected to is the religious obsession with demanding the privilege (lit: private law) of restricting any and all activities in public spaces - such as museums and historical buildings - which they happen to use for their ceremonies.

No, that has not been objected to. We have never debated public spaces, we have debated Pussy Riot's despicable behaviour in a church.

What do you think is gained by your pretending that we hadn't discussed this same point for what feels like 500 posts? Endless repetitions of the same point make no argument.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely what part of Pussy Riot's actions inside the church at the time do you find such grievous disturbances of the public peace that they must be criminalized?

No vague generalities about "offending believers" or "taking worshipers hostage," please. Only concrete, well-defined actions which could have been clearly stated ahead of time.

If you do not, in fact, object to any of the actual actions they took in the church at the time, then do you believe that an action can become criminal retroactively? That you can have some jigsaw of in and of themselves perfectly legal actions which, taken together, transsubstantiate into a crime?

Because then you're in seriously shitty company: That's the line that the Danish terrorist police has been peddling every time they pick up some chap with excess melanin and a taste for recondite Islamic theology.

Fun fact: They tend to win in the lower courts, then lose on appeal.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 04:57:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the Russian Orthodox Church wants to prevent people from holding a silent performance after service hours in a historical church which is open to everyone who does not disturb the peace.

Huh... you simply do not know what you are talking about...Church is NOT public place open to whoever pays for it like some public hall. It is place of worship. The fact that it is open for tourists to see its historical value does NOT mean that tourist do not have to obey with rules of this specific place. C'mon, is it so hard to understand?
And this was hardly silent performance...and even if it was, and even if we ignore dress code, the fact that they hijacked altar is a huge thing in the eyes of believers...And I do not even ask you to understand this cause it is beyond of your "progressive"mind.
Putting the whole shit on YouTube is another story but not less offensive...to ridicule believes of so many millions of people pointing what they ( those few so called artist, huh, fucking their political position in the museum before) happen to think about " God's shit" is definitely criminal act. They can do that in public hall tho (if they pay to rent it for their performance) and still some of believers or church can sue them. All tho the punishment is draconian. But it is to make case for others in the future and this is well known in UK, USA end elsewhere, so be it.


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

by vbo on Sat Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Church is NOT public place open to whoever pays for it like some public hall. It is place of worship.

Totally irrelevant.

It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people. You don't get to exclude non-communists from visiting Lenin's tomb, or the memorial to the fallen of the Great Patriotic War either.

The fact that it is open for tourists to see its historical value does NOT mean that tourist do not have to obey with rules of this specific place.

They have to obey the secular rules.

What we're discussing here is whether the Orthodox Church should get to make the rules for how to use a public historical site which it happens to use for ceremonies.

C'mon, is it so hard to understand?

No, I just don't agree with granting religions that sort of undeserved, unearned and discriminatory privilege.

And this was hardly silent performance

Actually, it was. The sound was added in post.

and even if it was, and even if we ignore dress code, the fact that they hijacked altar is a huge thing in the eyes of believers

So what?

The eyes of believers do not matter. Only the eyes of disinterested secular observers. And no disinterested secular observer can find anything particularly special about the alter, aside from the fact that it can be seen from most of the church. But that is also true for a great many other places in the church.

Putting the whole shit on YouTube is another story but not less offensive

So putting a song you don't like on YouTube should be illegal?

to ridicule believes

Appeal to faith is not a valid argument.

of so many millions of people

Appeal to popularity is not a valid argument.

pointing what they ( those few so called artist, huh, fucking their political position in the museum before) happen to think about " God's shit" is definitely criminal act.

Ah, so you do want to make it a crime to upload a song you don't like on YouTube.

Thank you for clearing that up. You must be on Medieval Savings Time - when it's 12:00 in London, it's 1200 AD where you live.

Question: Do you support criminalizing drawings of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? Do you support criminalizing videos that insult Bush the Lesser? No? Then on what basis do you want to criminalize the particular videos that offend you?

They can do that in public hall tho (if they pay to rent it for their performance) and still some of believers or church can sue them.

Ah, so you want to make it illegal to sing songs you don't like.

Wonderful. Do you also want it to be illegal to wear provocative clothing, or to push elevator buttons on Saturdays? To get a divorce? For two men to kiss in public?

Where does your privilege to not have your parochial religious feelings "offended" end, and my freedom to not have to live in a fucking theocracy begin? And who gets to decide that?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.  

Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.

The eyes of believers do not matter. Only the eyes of disinterested secular observers.

And there is the core of our disagreement. There you say that we are not free to our beliefs. Only secularity is, if you have your will.

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:35:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.  
Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.
The cathedral is not owned by the church, which rents out space on the premises.


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 Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:39:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the reality is that as far as the majority of the population goes, we're still in the 18th century. Allowing Enlightenment political philosophy to inform your opinion on how society works may indeed lead to detachment from reality, sadly. Actual politics is a constant source of reality checks.

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 Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a historical site, and as such belong to all the people.

Wishful thinking. You have lost touch with reality.

So you want to exclude anti-Communists from protesting at war memorials for the Great Patriotic War?

Now, that's something that would actually deeply insult me. Does that mean I get the right to sue? Or is "deeply and sincerely insulted" only the standard for determining whether religious bigots get to sue?

And there is the core of our disagreement. There you say that we are not free to our beliefs. Only secularity is, if you have your will.

You are perfectly free to have your beliefs. That's called freedom of religion.

You're not free to demand that I submit to them. That's called theocracy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 05:47:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is that meant to be? Are Russian war memorials rented out to the communist party or what are you talking about?
by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does the Orthodox Church pay rent for using the church outside service hours? Do they pay the going market rate for square footage in central Moskva?

If they don't, then they are in receipt of an implicit state subsidy, and as such no different in any respect from any state-funded war memorial. They shouldn't get to discriminate even if they owned the place or paid market rent, of course, but at least that would be a problem with private property privileges rather than with religious discrimination.

But does it matter to your argument at all? I thought you were arguing that the real crime was offending religious feelings. Does the validity of religious feelings hinge on whose property the offense is made from?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The church is space for the exercise of religion. You don't like that, and that's why you always pretend it was public space.

If you want to construe an analogy with war memorials, then where the hell IS the analogy?

by Katrin on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 06:58:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So they pay full market rent for full and exclusive use of the square footage?

Because otherwise you're really stretching when you argue for rules of the church that don't apply to publicly funded war memorials.

Unless, of course, you think that religion should get special treatment over any other form of political party or social get-together.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:09:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's think about memorials a moment, though.

Yad Vashem  certainly is a memorial. What would happen if a group of Israeli Arabs would stage a protest there?

memorials while generally open to the public, are not public spaces in the sense that you can stage political demonstrations there.
And I don't really think the ownership of the cathedral on Moscow is relevant any how. The church seems to be the only and the permanent user and the owner is some foundation for the rebuilding of the cathedral.

by IM on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:30:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
memorials while generally open to the public, are not public spaces in the sense that you can stage political demonstrations there.

That very much depends on your jurisdiction.

And it's a silly rule in those jurisdictions that have it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 07:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This would actually be more appropriate that you realize given the bad taste (to give them the benefit of the doubt) of the selection of the location of Yad Vashem. From Yad Vashem, you can get a very good view of Deir Yassin.
It is unfortunate that so few Palestinians visit Yad Vashem. Understandably, many argue that they were not involved in the Holocaust and resent hearing again about Jews as victims of Nazis when the whole world has so long failed to recognize Palestinians as victims of Zionists. Many also believe that the Holocaust was (mis)used as a justification or rationalization for the creation of the state of Israel and for the conquest and confiscation of their homes and villages. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate because from Yad Vashem, looking north, is a spectacular panoramic view of Deir Yassin. The Holocaust museum is beautiful and the message "never to forget man's inhumanity to man" is timeless. The children's museum is particularly heart wrenching; in a dark room filled with candles and mirrors the names of Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust are read along with their places of birth. Even the most callous person is brought to tears. Upon exiting this portion of the museum a visitor is facing north and looking directly at Deir Yassin. There are no markers, no plaques, no memorials, and no mention from any tour guide. But for those who know what they are looking at, the irony is breathtaking.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 01:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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