It’s only a ruddy cooking lesson

It’s good to see the Catholic church and all its offshoots and helper organizations and enablers finally learning some humility and even remorse.

Just kidding.

No, they’re not doing that, they’re doing the same old thing only more so. In Spain it’s another one of those reactionary legal associations named after Thomas More (fan of torture for heretics), prosecuting an artist for a film he made…34 years ago. Prosecuting him for what? For “offending religious feelings” – the stupidest “crime” on anyone’s books.

One of Spain’s leading underground artists is due to appear in court today facing up to a year in prison over a film short he made in 1978 on “how to cook Jesus Christ”.

Javier Krahe has been taken to court by a Catholic legal association, the Centro Juridico Tomas Moro, for “offending religious feelings” – a little-known offence. The Catholic association says the law has never before been applied in Spanish legal history.

The film is what the title makes it sound like – a jokey cooking lesson, ending with the punchline, “After three days inside, he comes out of the cooker by himself!”

And some falangist assholes think that merits a year in prison.


  1. 'Tis Himself says

    If Jesus is upset then why doesn’t he take care of the problem? A lightning bolt or two will Krahe not to mess around with The Big Guy In The Sky™.

  2. David says

    Article 19

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Should cover it

  3. carpenterman says

    Here in the states, it’s sometimes easy to forget that church law and secular law were the same thing for so long. And when I think of how many of my countrymen would be just fine with that, it turns my stomach.

  4. Emptyell says

    @ David

    “Its not left overs , its the New Spanish Inquisition”

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Do you think they’ll go all out and reinstate the…COMFY CHAIR!!!!!

  5. says

    David says:

    Its not left overs , its the New Spanish Inquisition

    That’s satire but, in fact, the current pope, Joseph Ratzinger (currently known as Benedict XVI), was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This is in fact the continuation of the Holy Roman Inquisition. I don’t know what the duties are specifically but I don’t think they involve burning heretics anymore.

    However, looking at Wikipedia points out that it’s the office which has the ultimate responsibility for dealing with such things as pedophile priests:
    “In effect, it is the ‘promoter of justice’ who deals with, among other things, the question of priests accused of paedophilia, which are periodically highlighted in the mass media.”

    So the scandal regarding how these things have been handled for decades and decades goes all the way to the top and the fellow who was at the top from November 25, 1981 – April 2, 2005 was none other than the current pope (as has been noted in the occasional media story).

  6. Brigadista says

    Some more details. Krahe and a group of friends made the short film for their own amusement (he says it was never meant for public broadcast) in 1977. It was included as part of a film entitled “10 Observations”, from which a clip was used in a programme profiling Krahe on a pay-per-view channel in 2004 (hence the recent interest). The film has already been the subject of two failed actions, and the opinion of the public prosecutor’s office is that there isn’t a case to answer. Nevertheless, the CJTM pressed ahead with a private prosecution under article 525 of the Revised Criminal Code (the first time it has been cited since it entered the statute books in 1995), and following a hearing a week ago the case is now pending judgement. We are becoming used to these minority extremist groups bringing legal actions here. A particularly nasty bunch of fans of the former regime, Manos Limpias (yep, it really does mean “Clean Hands”) were responsible for the action against Garzón that got him disbarred. In this case, they used the 1977 amnesty on all politically motivated crimes prior to 1976 (part of the deal made during the transition to try and smooth the path to democracy and assuage the fears of the old guard) to accuse Garzón of misusing his authority by opening an investigation into crimes against humanity.

    There is a fantastic irony in the fact that while the government’s response to public outrage over its recent actions has been to whittle away at the advances made over the last 35 years by increasing the number of public order offences, removing the right to protest or gather, cutting into workers’ rights, etc., a bunch of minority interest groups who hanker after the old ways are able to use the provisions of the democratic constitution for their own ends.

  7. kev_s says

    Re: Irene Delse June 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    “It’s scandalous that Spain even has this kind of “offence” on the books…”

    Well in fairness the UK abolished blasphemy as an offence only in 2008 and instead legislated against ‘hate crimes’ which sometimes seems to amount to the same thing.

  8. Ray says

    Won’t the Streisand effect kick in and cause this obscure and forgotten film to go viral on Spanish Youtube?

  9. rikitiki says

    “If Jesus is upset then why doesn’t he take care of the problem? A lightning bolt or two will Krahe not to mess around with The Big Guy In The Sky™.”

    I’m with ‘Tis Himself here: couldn’t the defendent simply ask
    them to produce the one he’s accused of offending (Jesus) for
    questioning on this? Then simply ask the case be thrown out
    for lack of that witness?

    No, I’m not a lawyer, nor know about Spanish law, but that
    could set a wonderful precedent.

  10. Brigadista says

    I agree Rikitiki, it would set a wonderful precedent, but unfortunately the wording of the article (inevitably) doesn’t require the elusive big guy to be present. You can be charged merely with “… offending the feelings of members of a religious denomination …” and “… ridiculing their dogmas, beliefs, rituals or ceremonies …”. As if they weren’t entirely ridiculous in the first place.

  11. says

    rikitiki said:

    I’m with ‘Tis Himself here: couldn’t the defendent simply ask them to produce the one he’s accused of offending (Jesus) for questioning on this? Then simply ask the case be thrown out for lack of that witness?

    The law is about punishing the hurting the feelings of members of a religious group (or even atheists).

    “Artículo 525.

    1. Incurrirán en la pena de multa de ocho a doce meses los que, para ofender los sentimientos de los miembros de una confesión religiosa, hagan públicamente, de palabra, por escrito o mediante cualquier tipo de documento, escarnio de sus dogmas, creencias, ritos o ceremonias, o vejen, también públicamente, a quienes los profesan o practican.

    2. En las mismas penas incurrirán los que hagan públicamente escarnio, de palabra o por escrito, de quienes no profesan religión o creencia alguna.”

    A very, very quick and dirty translation follows.
    “Article 525.
    1. The penalty of a sentence of eight to twelve months will be incurred by those who, in order to offend the feelings of the members of a religious confession, publicly, orally, in writing or by any type of document, engage in the derision of dogmas, beliefs, rituals or ceremonies, or ill treat, also publicly, those who profess or practice.
    2. The same penalties will incur ridicule those who do publicly, orally or in writing, of those who profess no religion or belief.”

    So I guess you could use this law against someone mocking atheists (though I doubt that one would be able to easily find any atheists who’d want such an absurd protection).

  12. says

    Javier Krahe was acquitted friday.

    It’s in spanish…

    Strange, I thought I had already posted this.

    See also, for example:

    Basically, the good guys won!

    Both Javier Krahe and the producer were acquitted of the charges. The charges were separate and Krahe has maintained all along that he didn’t even know ahead of time that the piece was going to be broadcast (the magistrate agreed that it can’t be shown otherwise).

    It appears that the judgment (which is available somewhere but which I have not bothered to read) appeals to lack of intent to offend. In the case of Krahe, the magistrate considered it the “legitimate exercise and broadcast of an artistic expression which, with a comical component, created a criticism of the religious phenomenon in our society” and thought that “it has not been proved that any of the accused had the intent to belittle, humilliate, or hurt the religious feelings of third parties”. The judgment also explains that the intent of the producer was to conduct an interview with a figure of public relevance, like Krahe, who in making his commentary was responding to the “request formulated by the presenters of the segment that he describe that which, without his previous control and lacking his foreknowledge, was being shown”.

    The judgment also appeals to satire and resorting to irreverence being legitimate and allowable forms of expression and notes that religion has traditionally been associated with power “and has therefore been object of legitimate criticism”.

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