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Nov 21 2012

Another Blasphemy Charge in Greece

Once again we have evidence that support for blasphemy laws is not limited only to Muslims or Muslim-dominated countries. Greece has canceled a performance of a Terrence McNally play and filed charges against those involved in the production for insulting religion.

A production of “Corpus Christi” in Athens was canceled this month after weeks of almost daily protests outside the theatre by priests and right-wing groups, including deputies from the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party.

Charges of “insulting religion” and “malicious blasphemy” have been filed after Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus lodged a lawsuit against those involved in the play, the officials said…

If found guilty, Vasiliou and the other defendants could face several months in prison. A trial date has not been set yet.

They also formed a mob to keep the play from being put on:

Dozens of demonstrators, including some from Golden Dawn, blocked the entrance of the theatre and clashed with police on the night of the play’s premiere last month.

Bearded black-robed priests holding crosses were shown on television tearing up posters promoting the play. A powerful institution, the Orthodox Church plays an influential role in Greek society.

Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi political party, which is not surprising since this behavior is quite fascist.

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  1. 1
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    You’d think if they had any faith at all they’d just say “Yup, you blasphemed, but there’s no punishment here on Earth that can match up to the eternal agony of Hell that surely awaits you so we’ll let God take care of it in his own sweet time.”

    What does God want with a starship blasphemy law?

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    Well at least they won’t force them to drink hemlock…
    That’s at least a bit less shitty.

  3. 3
    John Hinkle

    You’d think if their religion was so Rock Solid True, it could withstand challenges and criticism effortlessly.
     
    But if they were insecure about their religion, they’d want something like – oh I don’t know – blasphemy laws, so they could persecute those who criticize.

    Their lack of faith is disturbing. It probably really pisses off their god.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    Blasphemy laws serve only to protect the power, prestige and authority of those who have power, prestige and authority because of religion. God is entirely irrelevant.

  5. 5
    peterh

    The supposed birthplace of rational dialogue enforces blasphemy laws? Grist for the drama mill there.

  6. 6
    d.c.wilson

    On the other hand, we finally found something about Greece that the right in America would like to copy.

  7. 7
    Sastra

    d.c. wilsom #6 wroe:

    On the other hand, we finally found something about Greece that the right in America would like to copy.

    Yes, look for fatwah envy to be supplemented by Grecian jealousy.

    “Oh yeah? Well, I bet you wouldn’t dare say that in GREECE!!”

  8. 8
    Nick Gotts

    The most alarming thing about Golden Dawn, who are genuine 24 carat Nazis – here’s their logo – is that they have extensive connections with the police, around half of whom are said to have voted for them in the last elections. Golden Dawn thugs beat up perceived “immigrants” on the street with impunity, and if the police receive a complaint about members of ethnic minorities, they are said to refer the complainant to Golden Dawn. There is a very real danger both Greece and Hungary (where the already racist and authoritarian government is challenged by the fascists of Jobbik) will fall victim to outright fascist regimes in the near future.

  1. 9
    Yet Another Reason to be Thankful for the US Constitution « Foster Disbelief

    [...] groups insist that their “right” to not be offended trumps any right of free speech.  Today’s blasphemy law story, brought to us by Ed Brayton and Dispatches from the Culture Wars, is frightening not only because of the actions of the state, but due to the grassroots fascism on [...]

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