I have something in common with these guys. That’s the Polish death metal band Behemoth, and you can see that they look like real atheists: cadaverous, lots of black leather and spikes, with nice metal jewelry in odd places on their clothing.
Uh, none of that is at all like me.
Here they are in performance. I rather like it, but be warned: it’s loud and harsh. See if you can spot the resemblance now:
OK, I’ll explain, since I guess it isn’ quite so obvious. At the beginning of that clip, the lead singer, Nergal, is tearing up a Bible and throwing the pages out to the audience. Hey, I’ve done that in some of my talks!
Remind me, though, never to do that in Poland. Poland has a law on the books making it a crime to insult the Roman Catholic Church. Offend a Catholic priest, and they can throw you in jail for two years. It’s an even vaguer version of a blasphemy law, and it’s actually being used to silence a marginal and slightly weird critic of the church.
Oh, sure, Nergal looks scary and fits a certain stereotype. But he’s nowhere near as horrifying as this fellow:
That’s Marcial Maciel, good buddy to Pope John Paul II and Pope Ratzi, leader of an obscenely rich conservative organization called the Legion of Christ, serial pedophile, and vile monster.
Nergal has been charged with insulting the Catholic church and faces a trial that could put him away in jail for a few years. If he dodges that, or when he gets out, I think he should change his act for safety’s sake. Instead of dressing like a refugee from hell and tearing up Bibles, he ought to put on a priest’s cassock and clerical collar and rape a child on stage. Not only would it be more frightening, but it’s behavior the Church does not find offensive. Unless you’re caught, of course.