Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Dark Ages, redux.

I really wondered whether the crazies in the US were alone, or if there was some virus or other bug that would eventually infect the rest of the world.

The wait is over!

I am surprised, though;  I never expected it to rear its ugly head in Germany, of all places.  I mean, come on, Germans are such practical people.  I oughta know, I married one, and if there is one word in the English language that describes my wife, that would be "practical".  (Yes, there are others, all of which are complementary, my dear, so pull your claws in...)

There is an excuse, though, this particular bit of crazy is brought to you by the Roman Catholic Church, in the person of one Bamberg Archbishop Ludwig Schick, who, on Wednesday, opined that the one thing Germany badly needs is a blasphemy law, to protect the tender sensibilities of the poor, oppressed religious folk.

“Those who injure the souls of believers with scorn and derision must be put in their place and in some cases also punished,”
I wonder if he's got burning at the stake or strangling in mind?  Was there some other punishment accorded those who insulted religion?  Back in the heyday of Catholic power and authority, I mean.  Not today, when church authorities no longer have the power to throw you in prison.

But the idea of a blasphemy law was slammed by the Green Party, whose parliamentary leader Volker Beck said satire and irony could not be banned. 
“Bishop Schick obviously feels motivated to move against democratic rights to freedom,” he said.  
He said that ironic or satirical statements might not be popular among those targeted, but they could not be forbidden.  
“Believers do not need any greater criminal legal protection against defamation, slander and attack than other social groups,” he said.  
Respect for other religions and views should be encouraged socially, not ordered legally he said. 
 Well, that's a relief!  At least some Germans still have the same belief in freedom as some Americans do!

Sarcasm aside, this is so wrong on so many fronts and in so many ways, it is hard to fathom that any modern denizen of a Western Industrial nation could contemplate such a thing, certainly not in public.  The Catholic church has been embroiled in so much scandal and misconduct in its ranks due to poor judgement on the part of the church leadership, it is difficult to think that one of them would open his mouth and utter such hogwash.  It tarnishes the image of the church and reinforces the impression of the church hierarchy as being out of touch and living in their own little world.

But then, those of us who are accustomed to using ridicule and scorn to show the nakedness of the emperor aren't easily impressed by such minor temper tantrums.

They kind of illustrate our point...


Edward Haines said...

When our freedoms are removed, it will not be our weapons that are first removed, it will be our right to speak freely and to congregate together (whether for religion or for having fun)

Edward Haines said...

PS, you would get more comments if the hurdle to commenting was not so "hard." LOL

Robert Ahrens said...

Ok, you're on. I'd already ended moderation, and have now ended the captcha requirement.

If I start getting spam, the captcha is going back on!

(And, yes, I agree with your statement. Which is why speech and religious freedoms were in the first amendment and guns were in the second!)

Edward Haines said...

Yea! Posted today without needing to read the scrambled text (not easy with my elderly eyes). I am opposed to capital punishment as you know. However, in the case of spammers, I might be persuaded as to its value.

Robert Ahrens said...

I'm moving in that direction myself. I should probably post something about that. My views have evolved in recent years.

But, yes, spammers might be on the short list. Maybe we can come up with something truly modern and appropriate for them...