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Sep 24 2012

#FreeGeronPastitsios

Another state with an archaic blasphemy law on the books is Greece, and they recently cracked down and arrested a 27 year old FaceBook user for using a mocking pseudonym, “Gerontas Pastitsios”, for some famous Greek Orthodox monk. He faces up to two years in prison for “malicious blasphemy”.

There is a petition to have him released and most importantly, abolish pointless laws against free speech.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    a3kr0n

    “The unnamed suspect set up a Facebook page using the mocking name Geron Pastitsios, which is a Greek pasta dish.”
    Pasta dish? I love it!

  2. 2
    rq

    Yes, but does it fly?

  3. 3
    Felis Mediterraneus

    It’s even worse than that. The police was pressured to mobilization by the nazi “Golden Dawn” party MPs. Didn’t think I would miss the days they used to worship Ares and Pan. Nowadays they’re all going mainstream and stooping to Christianity, it seems.

    -

    #2 rq: Oh, yes, most certainly so. Geron Pastitsios had declared himself a Pastafarian on a number of occasions.

  4. 4
    diagoras

    Actually, he was doing a lot more than using a mocking pseudonym. He was properly trashing the elder and the entire religion with him. But that’s still free speech.

  5. 5
    melody

    Agree with Felis. It’s just as disturbing that the Greek neo-Nazis are behind this. The government and the whole country is going in the toilet.

  6. 6
    AJ Milne

    (Checks calendar.)

    Huh. Yep. 2012.

    Man. What were we thinking, letting Voltaire retire?

    (/Signed.)

  7. 7
    billyeager

    Some of the comments at the original article are arguing the toss over whether the Monk was made a Saint by the Greek Orthodox Church.

    The discussion appears to miss the point that it DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER whether the old goat had the, utterly bollocks, label attributed to him or not. Saint or otherwise, nobody is above ridicule.

    Nobody has the right to demand to never be offended.
    Nobody has the right to demand to never be insulted.

  8. 8
    Q.E.D

    How does the Greek government have time for this shit when it is having a fire sale on its assets

  9. 9
    Slugsie

    You’d think that given how completely fucked up Greece’s economy is that they’d really balk at the idea of putting someone in prison and thus being a financial burden on the state. What a bunch of loons.

  10. 10
    alexanderz

    It’s remarkable how a country with Middle-Eastern profanity laws, a strong Neo-Nazi party, routine pogroms against foreigners and a failed economy is still a part of the EU and the Euro zone.
    Eurocrats should have kicked Greece out years ago. Lets see how they protect their “blood and honor” on their own, with Turkey breathing down their necks.

  11. 11
    holytape

    As a member of a pasta-based religion, I find it terribly upsetting that Greek Orthodox church would considered it an insult for one of their patron saints to be associated with what looks like a delicious pasta dish. This can be taken as no less than insult to my deepest held religious belief. This pure hatred towards my religion, and therefor all religion and therefor all people can not stand. Would we let a axe-wielding murder who went on a ramage in a pre-school to go free? I say no. And how is this insult to Pastarafarians* everywhere any different? I say it isn’t. Justice must prevail!!!!1! 1

    I demand that the entirety of the Greek Orthodox religion be arrested and charged with a hate crime against pirates and pasta-based deities.

    (*It is okay to blaspheme, the first reformed church of the latter day pastarafarians. As they believe that a second rigatoni-based deity visited the new world, which is a blasphemy to all true believers of FSM. )

    FSM and Love

  12. 12
    seleukos

    “It’s remarkable how a country with Middle-Eastern profanity laws, a strong Neo-Nazi party, routine pogroms against foreigners and a failed economy is still a part of the EU and the Euro zone.
    Eurocrats should have kicked Greece out years ago. Lets see how they protect their “blood and honor” on their own, with Turkey breathing down their necks.”

    To be fair, it was the economic crisis that led to a Neo-Nazi party getting into parliament, and their MPs were the ones who pressed for this archaic law to be put into effect. It’s more of a recent downward spiral of shit than something that characterized Greece under normal conditions.

    That is not to say our constitution doesn’t need rewriting to expunge the links between church and state; or that a lot of Greeks (too many for comfort) don’t have a worrying attachment to religious authority. But things have long been at a level where we could still sneer at our eastern and southern neighbours with some semblance of rational superiority.

    Needless to say, I’ll be signing that petition and doing anything I can to protest this ruling.

  13. 13
    holytape

    Why does the “Gold Dawn Party” sound like something you have to pay $50 to get, and have to get a shot of penicillin afterwards?

  14. 14
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    It’s remarkable how a country with … routine pogroms against foreigners

    Source?

  15. 15
    alexanderz

    Here is a Human Rights Watch report about the problem. Note that attacks did indeed appeared/increased after the economic collapse, just like seleukos said.

  16. 16
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Thanks for the link, alexanderz.

    But that report can’t be right. Greeks are Xians, and we know that Xians don’t do that sort of thing….

  17. 17
    postman

    Signed as well. As a fellow greek, I have to agree with seleukos’ point. He paints a very accurate picture of the situation. I would just add that the government is obviously very eager to distract from the real problems and scapegoat those who are less accepted in the society.

    @alexanderz, you do understand that Greece like Turkey is a part of NATO, right? That has been the case for 60 years, long before the EU even existed. A conflict would be very unlikely.

    Would a war make you happy? Or does the suffering of people of which you know nothing about please you? I am one of those people so yes I take it somewhat personally. I don’t like the fascists one bit but that’s not about them. It’s about the people who would suffer from a war. It’s about you using the threat of war to score a point or something. Please think more before writing like that again.

  18. 18
    Fred Salvador, Onion Jumbler

    It’s remarkable how a country with Middle-Eastern profanity laws,

    Pornography is technically illegal in the UK and blasphemy is technically illegal in Ireland.

    a strong Neo-Nazi party,

    Most European nations have those. I believe far-right parties have been in charge in Belgium and Austria at least once in the last two decades, and there’s a lot of right-wing nationaliost sentiment pretty much everywhere nowadays.

    routine pogroms against foreigners

    Like they do in Germany, you mean? Or maybe Nick Greiger and all those videocameras were lying when they told the sorry tale of 1,000 German Neo-Nazis attacking and burning down an asylum centre. Twice.

    Or maybe you were on about charming Italia, which has a healthy and active right-wing nationalist movement that shoots Ghanain market traders and doesn’t afraid of anybody. Even the police. They shoot them, too.

    Or Spain, where being part of an antifa demonstration is enough to get you stabbed to death, and the nationalists are SO nationalistic that they routinely attack students from far-flung places like Chile, El Salvador and Mexico for being “foreigners”.

    Which would be like me beating a Canadian for daring to be Canadian in the UK.

    and a failed economy

    Ireland, Spain, Italy, various other places, and I’m sitting here in the UK, whose economy is almost entirely reliant on mathematical banking bullshit for exports.

    is still a part of the EU and the Euro zone.

    There are worse offenders. Greece just happens to be the one that everyone wants rid of at the moment. They’ll be fine. Greeks are fantastic people on the whole, just like people from anywhere.

    Eurocrats should have kicked Greece out years ago. Lets see how they protect their “blood and honor” on their own, with Turkey breathing down their necks.

    Someone already mentioned NATO, and if Turkey’s EU application does end up going through they’ll also be EU members together.

    It won’t, because nobody in Europe wants the “bridge between worlds” that the increasingly-Islamic nation of Turkey (with it’s Middle Eastern blasphemy laws, appalling human rights record and frequent pogroms against foreigners) claims it will provide – nobody except the Americans and, curiously, the British (fancy that! Special relationship, old bean!) – however I’m fairly sure engaging in a war of aggression against an EU member state would only hurt their chances further than the Armenian Genocide Wait No It Was A Simple Relocation Of Refugees We Didn’t Know They Were All Going To Die When We Shot Them which Turkey still won’t own up to.

    Not to mention that, as someone whose ex was a counsellor for Kosovar Albanian refugees during the Kosovo War, the idea of giving Serbs an excuse to “aid their Orthodox bretheren” in battle is pretty horrifying.

    tl;dr: Your post was stupid and you should feel stupid.

    Also the fact that a person has been arrested for blasphemy in an EU member state is an abject travesty that needs to be protested.

  19. 19
    alexanderz

    @postman

    I didn’t say anything about a war. Since both countries are part of NATO no conflict will ever arise. The comment about Turkey was a jab at Greek insane paranoia when it comes to Turkey and Turks.
    Just to make things clear – no, war would not make me happy. Seeing Greece sort its issues would.

    @Fred Salvador

    Pornography is technically illegal in the UK and blasphemy is technically illegal in Ireland.

    Which means that those countries don’t enforce those kinds of laws. My point stand, though I must correct it a bit, most of Asia and Africa has the same problem too. There, do you feel better now to know that Greece is in such lovely company?

    Most European nations have those. I believe far-right parties have been in charge in Belgium and Austria at least once in the last two decades, and there’s a lot of right-wing nationaliost sentiment pretty much everywhere nowadays.

    Correct, but that’s not what I said. All countries have Neo-Nazis (hell, even Israel has them) and all countries have far-right parties. But, as far as I know, Greece is unique in that their far-right party is both blatantly Nazist and has entered the parliament. A better comparison could be drawn with Hungary far-right extremists (Jobbik party) that also sits in the parliament, but those at least try to maintain some distance from Nazism, whereas the Golden Dawn went ahead and put a modified Nazi Germany flag.

    Like they do in Germany, you mean?

    No, I mean even worse that Germany. Read the report. Greek Neo-Nazis wage war against foreigners while the authorities turn a blind eye. Spain is similar, but again, is that where you want Greece to be?

    Ireland, Spain, Italy, various other places, and I’m sitting here in the UK, whose economy is almost entirely reliant on mathematical banking bullshit for exports.

    This is wrong on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin. First of all, all other struggling European countries were very fiscally responsible during the good years and maintained a budget surplus and lower debt than France and Germany. Greece is the only country to have been systematically problematic, which means that Greece is probably the only country in EU that really does have a structural problem.
    Second, UK can thank Cameron for the ongoing crisis. It too doesn’t have any structural problems and a good Keynesian approach could have pulled UK out of this depression, but this what the economy looks like when the Tories are in power.

    There are worse offenders.

    When you’re caught lying about your finances to ECB, there really isn’t much lower you could fall. People pick on Greece because Greece really is unique when it comes to the economy. It’s true that Greece’s purely economic impact is rather small, which is why Greece was allowed to carry on as usual these past couple of decades, but the political impact is very significant.

    Someone already mentioned NATO, and if Turkey’s EU application does end up going through they’ll also be EU members together.

    See my reply to @postman.
    btw,

    Turkey (with it’s Middle Eastern blasphemy laws, appalling human rights record and frequent pogroms against foreigners)

    Hey, we’ve found Greece’s soul-mate! Maybe they should kiss and make up finally.

  20. 20
    postman

    And how was anybody supposed to know that it was a jab to the right wing paranoia over Turkey and not just a mean-spirited comment? Especially since the previous part of the post showed a somewhat negative attitude towards Greece. I mean you said “kicked out”, not really showing any sympathy there. You should think more about how your comments come across. People can’t just read your thoughts.

    In this particular case you sounded like an ignorant bigot, who thought war would be a nice punishment for being lazy freeloaders, common perception of greeks in some parts of the world. I personally am.:) But stereotypes like those have more to do with a corrupt and incompetent state.

    To comment further, on the actual post. I was kind of shocked to hear about these news. I mean this guy could have been me, if I had more of a penchant for ridiculing the ridiculous. Also, I don’t remember to have heard of a similar case in Greece. I worry a lot about where we are heading.

  21. 21
    ChristineRose

    Pastitsio is awesome, well worth the work. I’ve had it in a family-owned restaurant, but the owners retired long ago and the kids “innovated” it out of business. It’s all in the spices though. The name means “Elder Pastitsio.” We all know to respect our Elders.

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