Russian Orthodox Group Goes After Apple Logo

There seems to be something about the relationship of religion to fruit that causes problems. First we had the student assembly of Reading university freak out over a pineapple named Muhammad, now a Russian Orthodox group is demanding that the Apple logo be replaced because it is blasphemous.

A group of Christians in Russia says the ubiquitous bitten apple is too symbolic of the idea of original sin and should be replaced with the symbol of Jesus Christ.

And they may have the law on their side.

Technology website xbitlabs.com says Apple “may run into problems” if Russian parliament passes a set of laws designed to protect citizens’ religious and spiritual values from “blasphemy and insult.”

The problem here is that, in an age of PR speak, neither the company nor the Russian government can tell these nutballs what they ought to tell them, which is to go fuck themselves.

41 comments on this post.
  1. eric:

    My guess is that the Russian government will use the excuse of this religious complaint to extract money from Apple – assuming Apple wants to continue to do business there, which they almost certainly do. They’ll have to pay a fine or make a donation or something, and then the problem will magically go away.

  2. Michael Heath:

    It’d be interesting to understand the relationship between the emergent Russian rightwing authoritarians and the Russian authoritarians who ran the Soviet regime and Communist party within Russia. Not so much in terms of individuals but instead demographics. Specifically whether the two sets are distinct or overlapping and if the latter, how much.

  3. Brett McCoy:

    But the Bible never says it was an apple, right? Just a piece of fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

  4. dingojack:

    Wait till they find out that there’s a theory that it’s a veiled reference to the death of a homosexual (Alan Turing)*.
    Verily, there will be a great clutching of the pearls and much swooning onto the couches.
    Dingo
    —–
    * it isn’t, BTW, Steve Jobs just liked the image

  5. leftwingfox:

    Only one solution.

    Bring back the rainbow Apple logo.

  6. slc1:

    How much business does Apple actually do in Russia? Seems like pretty small beer compared to China, the EU, and North America.

  7. Gregory in Seattle:

    Never mind the fact that apples are not indigenous to the Middle East, nor the fact that Genesis simply mentions a “fruit,” not a specific kind: it is popular assumption, not religion, which says it was an apple. In fact, given the prevailent iconography of Middle Eastern religions 3000 years ago, the unnamed fruit was almost certainly a pomegranate.

  8. Abdul Alhazred:

    … the unnamed fruit was almost certainly a pomegranate.

    A statement that only makes sense if the story really happened.

    Otherwise it’s whatever the believer thinks it is.

    Apple, banana, whatever.

  9. a miasma of incandescent plasma:

    A group of Christians in Russia says the ubiquitous bitten apple is too symbolic of the idea of original sin and should be replaced with the symbol of Jesus Christ.

    Using an image from the bible = bad

    Using a different image from the bible = good

    ?

  10. Gregory in Seattle:

    @Abdul Alhazred #8 – Fair point, so let me rephrase: the author of the story most likely had a pomegranate in mind, not an apple.

  11. dingojack:

    Interestingly, the ‘fruit’ of Malus is technically classified as a false fruit.
    The bit you think is the fruit, isn’t (the apple-core is the fruit, the apple is just a swollen covering of the fruit itself).
    So Adam & Eve didn’t eat the fruit of any kind of tree.
    Dingo

  12. DaveL:

    So the image of an apple is blasphemous, but the idea of a JesusChristPod is not?

  13. richardelguru:

    Abdul, the events almost certainly did not happen, but it is likely that the person or persons unknown who made up the story and the ones who heard it probably thought “I be that was a pomegranate—Yeah! Sounds like a pomegranate…”

  14. markus:

    Why do they not go al the way and demand to rename the products, too?

    Jpad…
    Jphone…

  15. reverendrodney:

    But without original sin there would be no Christianity! The Russian Orthodox church should be grateful for every reminder of original sin. For they are reminders to go to church and pay, er, pray.

    Besides which the forbidden fruit was most likely a fig. And, another aspect of the story was meant to demonize elements of competing religions: snakes, trees, and sharing of fruit.

  16. Raging Bee:

    It’d be interesting to understand the relationship between the emergent Russian rightwing authoritarians and the Russian authoritarians who ran the Soviet regime and Communist party within Russia.

    What’s more interesting is the similarity between Tsarism and the current regime — corrupt backward Orthodox state-serving religion and all.

  17. reverendrodney:

    Wait, I have more:
    If the apple logo were replaced by a cross, that might be insulting to Jews and Muslims.

  18. Michael Heath:

    Gregory in Seattle writes:

    Never mind the fact that apples are not indigenous to the Middle East, nor the fact that Genesis simply mentions a “fruit,” not a specific kind: it is popular assumption, not religion, which says it was an apple. In fact, given the prevailent iconography of Middle Eastern religions 3000 years ago, the unnamed fruit was almost certainly a pomegranate.

    No, the story is fictional. When you study the OT deeply enough you discover that even the story-tellers who kept this story alive through the generations, especially verbally and then less so in written form, almost certainly didn’t promote it as factually true. Instead the presentation which resonates frames it as a myth which provides some illustrative context to better consider philosophical questions. Similar to how greek philosophers leveraged their pagan mythology to make their points.

  19. timgueguen:

    I wonder if this isn’t a potential money grab by the Orthodox Church. Force Apple to use some sort of Christian symbolism instead of their current logo, and then claim copyright to said symbolism, forcing Apple to pay a licensiing fee.

  20. Trebuchet:

    @Michael Heath

    It’d be interesting to understand the relationship between the emergent Russian rightwing authoritarians and the Russian authoritarians who ran the Soviet regime and Communist party within Russia. Not so much in terms of individuals but instead demographics. Specifically whether the two sets are distinct or overlapping and if the latter, how much.

    Boris Yeltsin was a senior officer in the KGB. You can’t get much more overlappy than that.

  21. Modusoperandi:

    Update: Apple has given in. They’re changing the logo to a painting of Mohammad.

  22. chrisj:

    Dingojack:

    How do you know they didn’t eat the core? Were you there?

  23. dingojack:

    How do you they did? Were you there?!?
    Dingo

  24. Forbidden Snowflake:

    I knew reading the comments would be a good idea.
    #5 and #25 for the win.

  25. bmiller:

    I know its not considered orthodox science in any way, but I find the concept of the Bicameral Mind an interesting metaphor for the fall.

    Wikipedia: Bicameralism (the philosophy of “two-chamberedness”) is a hypothesis in psychology that argues that the human brain once assumed a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be “speaking”, and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind. The term was coined by psychologist Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3000 years ago.

    So…the evolution of conscioussness is the knowledge of good and evil and the breakdown of the bicameral mind.

  26. Abby Normal:

    Interestingly, the Russian Orthodox cross is not the simple ‘t’ shape we’re used to in the US. It has three crossbars, the bottom one tilted at an angle. It’s based on the older Greek Orthodox cross. As such, it’s a perversion of the Greek cross and offensive. I therefore demand that the Russian Orthadox church cease its blasphemous use of a perverted symbol. They should find a new symbol to represent their organization, perhaps the silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out.

  27. Moggie:

    Wait until they hear that the core of the Mac operating system is called “Darwin”. Also, it has daemons.

  28. baal:

    #24Forbidden Snowflake says:
    October 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I knew reading the comments would be a good idea.
    #5 and #25 for the win.

    Not only is the Snowflake Forbidden, but the flake can also time travel?

    I should say something relevant but the stories like this one are showing the Russian Orthodox church flexing a bit and getting away with it. It’s a banal point.

  29. abb3w:

    My personal suspicion is that the olive makes more sense as the fruit referenced. Mediterranean in origin; relatively high fat, promoting brain development; and the oil was also an early “biofuel” in classical Greece.

  30. busterggi:

    Nonsense, the apple is the symbol of Indunna and her Aesir relatives. Nothing to do with this Eve person.

  31. =8)-DX:

    Really, I find crosses too symbolic of the idea of ritual human sacrifice and execution. They should all be replaced by Ts (or just knock the tops off) so as not to disturb my delicate sensibilities.

  32. Bronze Dog:

    Really, I find crosses too symbolic of the idea of ritual human sacrifice and execution. They should all be replaced by Ts (or just knock the tops off) so as not to disturb my delicate sensibilities.

    Weren’t some crucifixes (crucifices?) T-shaped? I seem to recall some pictures like that, though they had a little sign on top, which I guess might have been there to describe the crucified’s crimes to better serve as an example.

  33. slc1:

    Re Trebuchet @ #20

    Boris Yeltsin was a senior officer in the KGB. You can’t get much more overlappy than that.

    Boris Yeltsin has been dead for 13 years. I think that Mr. Trebuchet is referring to current Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was a KGB officer during the reign of the former Soviet Union.

  34. caseloweraz:

    My first thought was of the logo for Fruit of the Loom, in which an apple is central.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_Loom

    Of course, it’s not just the portrayal of an apple that the Russian Orthodox Church objects to; it’s the fact that Apple’s apple has a bite taken out of it, thereby suggesting that “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”

    But wait: Isn’t Original Sin the central doctrine of Christianity, the reason for Jesus’s appearance and crucifiction (or, crucifixion)? Yes, it is. Thus it seems that the RO Church ought to be pushing for more sales of Apple products in their country.

  35. fastlane:

    I’m thinking some comments (including mine) somehow disappeared….?

  36. caseloweraz:

    =8)-DX wrote, tongue firmly in cheek: “Really, I find crosses too symbolic of the idea of ritual human sacrifice and execution. They should all be replaced by Ts (or just knock the tops off) so as not to disturb my delicate sensibilities.”

    To quote the Firesign Theater’s “Temporarily Humboldt County,”

    Priest: “D’ye know what I’m holdin’ over yer heads, lads?”

    Native American: “It’s a cross — the symbol of the quartering of the universe into active and passive principles.”

    Priest: “God have mercy on their heathen souls.”

  37. typecaster:

    Boris Yeltsin was a senior officer in the KGB.

    Yes, he had a very Checka’d career.

  38. CaNNoN:

    This is just outstandingly disturbing, stupid, and grotesque. Are these people not happy enough being allowed to believe in dangerous and murderous fairy tales? Nope! It’s never enough, not until they control every aspect of your life, of course in the “loving” name of Jesus… Not liking the logo is one thing, but demanding that they replace it with a logo of Jesus is just absurd and religious bullying (once again). And if apple’s are really so “blasphemous” then they better get busy cutting down every apple tree in the world! But I want to focus on their ultimate stupidity, just where in Genesis does it identify this fruit as an apple? I’ve read Genesis, and I haven’t found it, also read the rest of the bible and still nothing identifies the fruit! In Jewish thought on the matter, the fruit is said to be either a grape, fig, or wheat. And in christianity, the idea doesn’t stem from official church teaching, but was originally depicted in a work of art from central Asia. In which case, if the artist wanted to depict the scene from Genesis, well, he had to pick some kind of fruit to finish his work, just decided to go with an apple (I really wish it was a watermelon). It’s pretty disgusting that these christians would want to censor and control a company (in the name of God!) that does not belong to them, all because they want to hold to an artist rendering of what he/she only speculated was the fruit in Genesis. And over all, why the need to push your religion on everyone by force? Is Jesus really incapable of moving hearts, so you’re willing to push us all in the fire of your indignation? Sounds like Jesus is so weak and feeble that only primates can do his dirty work and force people into myth’s like a bunch of cowards. What’s next, were gonna have to be shady about watermelon’s because a religious person find’s a heretical problem with them? Like I said, absurd.

    CaNNoN~

  39. martinc:

    markus @14:

    I like the idea of the Jphone. It would presumably leave a message saying it’ll get back to you, then for nigh on 2000 years … nuthin’ …

  40. Stevarious, Public Health Problem:

    Next they’re going after Google, because the ‘+’ in ‘Google+’ looks like a cross.

  41. Timothy (TRiG):

    A group of Christians in Russia says the ubiquitous bitten apple is too symbolic of the idea of original sin and should be replaced with the symbol of Jesus Christ.

    It occurs to me that many Christians would not be at all happy with a company which had a symbol of Jesus Christ as the logo. It seems a strange cheepening of the man and his message (assuming you value that).

    TRiG.

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