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In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page 324

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-the-eu dept.
First time accepted submitter etash writes "A bit more than a year ago a man was arrested in Greece for satirizing a dead monk, after the far-right party golden dawn, petitioned for his arrest. A couple of days ago he was given a ten-month sentence. What actually enraged the religious Greek blogosphere was not the satire. He wrote a fictitious story about a miracle done in the past by this specific monk. The story was then sent to [a religious blog] and then in a matter of days it was copy pasted and presented as true by most of the religious and far-right blogs and news sites. The final act of the dramedy took place when he came out and revealed that the story was not real; he intended to show the absurdity and the lack of reliability of these sites."
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In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

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  • Violation of ECHR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:25PM (#46007641) Homepage
    EU law covers freedom of speech/expression. The question is whether he can stay out of jail while appealing this bullshit. The Mediterranean countries are our own domestic third world, but with really good food.
    • Not neccesairly (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      EU or specific member countries also have laws that prohibit certain types of speech. For example you can't deny holocaust or promote Nazi ideology. I believe some of EU countries have specific laws that prohibit denigration of religion.

      • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:4, Informative)

        by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:42PM (#46007761) Homepage
        The "denigration of religion" is a messy situation which still needs clear legal decisions; this case might lead to one.
        Denying the Holocaust is illegal here in Germany not because of opinion but because it is a false statement, clearly and irrefutably documented. However, what was supposed to be the big deciding case -- Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria -- was denied because her statements weren't determined not to be simply thoe of fact:

        It is the opinion of the Court that defaming Mohammad was a primary purpose of the seminars, rather than the purported purpose of providing factual knowledge of Islam. Thus, the seminars have made no meaningful contribution to discussions that would be of public interest, but instead had a primary purpose of defaming Mohammad, an icon of a legally recognized religion.

        Secular as so many EU countries are, there are problems due to "legally recognised religion", a natural progression stemming from the inclusion of some sort of religion in the countries' constitutions.

        • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:5, Informative)

          by Smauler (915644) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:06PM (#46007919)

          Denying the Holocaust is illegal here in Germany not because of opinion but because it is a false statement, clearly and irrefutably documented.

          No, it's because it's the Holocaust. Just making a false statement is not illegal.

          • I wonder just how far that extends because if someone claims global warming/climate change is a big load of bullshit... is that the same thing as denying the holocaust? Both are equally false statements according to different (or the same) groups of people.

            I'm just using those as examples.. those are not my personal opinions.
          • by jazcap (1125477)

            No, it's because it's the Holocaust. Just making a false statement is not illegal.

            It's because it's the Holocaust and *they are Germany*

        • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:10PM (#46007953)

          Denying the Holocaust is illegal here in Germany not because of opinion but because it is a false statement, clearly and irrefutably documented.

          Careful with that there.... some future benevolent leader may get elected and questioning their authority maybe considered illegal due to a clearly and irrefutably documented "election process." Stipulations in Freedom of Speech rarely turn out well. Freedom of any and all speech should be a fundamental human right.

          • Re:Not neccesairly (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:38PM (#46008109)

            Stipulations in Freedom of Speech rarely turn out well. Freedom of any and all speech should be a fundamental human right.

            Thomas Jefferson and James Madison once had this same conversation. Jefferson had proposed that the Constitution protect the right to "speak the truth". Madison pointed out that this was a bad idea, because people in power could dictate what was "true". Jefferson agreed, and freedom of speech was written into the Bill of Rights without qualifications.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Xest (935314)

              It's an interesting tale, but does it matter in practice? Assange had to turn to Ecuador and Snowden to Russia.

              It doesn't really matter what your country does or doesn't say if your populace wont enforce it.

              Far better to focus on ensuring healthy leadership, than to ignore the growing incompetence of leadership whilst quibbling about "what if" scenarios that will happen regardless of what the law says if you let that dictator rise to power.

              Germany doesn't need to worry about what some theoretical dictator m

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cold fjord (826450)

            Even in the US one may be punished for yelling "Fire!!" in a crowded theater. Based on their experience of two World Wars, the Germans concluded that shouting "Heil Hitler!" and "There was no Holocaust" are similarly dangerous and merit controls ... in their country. That seems to be fairly narrow and tailored to address the problem.

        • by Jawnn (445279)

          The "denigration of religion" is a messy situation which still needs clear legal decisions

          It needs one, and only one; the one where finally agree that any argument (prosecution or plaintiff) that is based on a variation of "It says in my holy book...", is thrown out of court, automatically, with no chance of appeal. And yes, the mess is already made when a country's constitution includes "some sort of religion" as source from which it derives it's authority. And for those of you who slept through your civics classes in the U.S., no. Our constitution may reference deity, but it very carefully avo

        • by mrmeval (662166)

          You use the same constitutional provision the Nazi's used to stifle free speech. You've not stopped being evil.

        • Denying the Holocaust is illegal here in Germany not because of opinion but because it is a false statement, clearly and irrefutably documented.

          Freedom of speech is limited in Germany as an act of oppression: to keep the Nazis from rising again. That is a good goal, but we should be aware that it is, in fact, an act of oppression, and not something we necessarily want to follow other places.

      • by dryeo (100693)

        Most countries ban things like advertising arsenic as a cold cure as well.
        National Security is another reason to suppress speech including jail time for someones speech.

    • by gelfling (6534)

      The EU criminalized speech that defames Islam and in some rare cases, Christianity.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      EU law covers freedom of speech/expression. The question is whether he can stay out of jail while appealing this bullshit. The Mediterranean countries are our own domestic third world, but with really good food.

      Even in the EU, speech/expression with the intent to commit fraud (which is actually what this case is about) is not protected speech. The religious overtones of this case are irrelevant. He could just as easily posted falsehoods about various investments (and there have been cases along those lines, with much harsher penalties).

      • by gd2shoe (747932)

        I don't know about specific law, but I thought that there needed to be a benefit to the liar for it to be fraud. If I started spouting lies in favor of company XYZ, but I have no stake in the company, know no employees, owners, stake holders, clients, suppliers, etc, etc, then how is it fraud?

        Posting falsehoods about investments typically have some financial motive. The typical pump-and-dump scheme, for instance. Now that is fraud.

        "Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain... A hoax is a distinct concept that involves deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving the victim."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud [wikipedia.org] (Yes, I know, a very weak source. Bu

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          I don't know about specific law, but I thought that there needed to be a benefit to the liar for it to be fraud. If I started spouting lies in favor of company XYZ, but I have no stake in the company, know no employees, owners, stake holders, clients, suppliers, etc, etc, then how is it fraud?

          Posting falsehoods about investments typically have some financial motive. The typical pump-and-dump scheme, for instance. Now that is fraud.

          "Fraud is a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain... A hoax is a distinct concept that involves deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving the victim."

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud [wikipedia.org] (Yes, I know, a very weak source. But it shows that I'm not the only one who sees it this way.)

          In the case in question, he did it to intentionally discredit the religious types. The unlawful gain secured, does not have to be monetary. For instance, committing or saying things falsely against a competitor does not necessarily bring one immediate gain, but it is not a hoax. Fraud can involve altering the status quo by devaluing the other. Also, a false report that denigrates some other organization but bolsters one's value in the eyes of another can also be fraudulent, particularly if the others net v

          • Your version of fraud (completely uncited by the way) is so broad as to effectively eliminate any satirical speech.

          • by epine (68316) on Monday January 20, 2014 @07:04AM (#46011889)

            Also, a false report that denigrates some other organization but bolsters one's value in the eyes of another can also be fraudulent, particularly if the others net value, including goodwill is harmed.

            Dude, eristic [wikipedia.org] argument is the mainstay of civilization. We're always engaged in the internecine struggle to discredit other parties to our own ends. I'm doing it right now.

            More interestingly, this is perhaps the founding principle of the human language capacity.

            The Argumentative Theory [edge.org]

            The article ... is a review of a puzzle that has bedeviled researchers in cognitive psychology and social cognition for a long time. The puzzle is, why are humans so amazingly bad at reasoning in some contexts, and so amazingly good in others?

            From the text itself:

            We do all these irrational things, and despite mounting results, people are not really changing their basic assumption. They are not challenging the basic idea that reasoning is for individual purposes. The premise is that reasoning should help us make better decisions, get at better beliefs. And if you start from this premise, then it follows that reasoning should help us deal with logical problems and it should help us understand statistics. But reasoning doesn't do all these things, or it does all these things very, very poorly.

            But for some reason, psychologists are unable to challenge this basic premise that reasoning really is supposed to help us. And that's why Dan Sperber came up with the idea that reasoning doesn't have this function of helping us get better beliefs and make better decisions. Instead, reasoning is for argumentation. Dan's basic idea is that the function of reasoning, the reason it evolved, is to help us convince other people and to evaluate their arguments.

            What this fellow did is conduct a hack against pompous insularity. Take a turd, disguise it with some food colouring, put it on their plate when they aren't looking, then watch the gobble it up while the pound the table exclaiming "We don't eat turd!"

            What you end up demonstrating is that they distinguish turd from non-turd mainly by social optics, and not by its sensory quality.

            Always the rule with those engaged in pompous insularity is that no outsider has standing to challenge their practices unless first vetted by the gatekeepers of the pompous insularity itself.

            In order to achieve this, you'll have to master the extremely arduous standards of the profession (prestige barriers are usually high) in the pursuit of an outcome (deflating the eminent within that profession) that will have you black-listed from any form of employment where you could ever hope to receive a personal gain in exercise of the mastery you slaved to achieve. And then the gate keepers mock you when you say "thanks, but no thanks".

            It's so much easier to sneak a poop pie onto the buffet table and watch them eat it smacking their lips.

            It's the same deal with a packet filter in network security: hard crunchy outside, soft chewy inside. The professional walls are exceedingly hard to breach, but the defences inside those walls (which involve hard intellectual work to sustain) have long since gone to the dogs, yet they behave externally as if their house is in perfect order. This is an eternal story.

            What it comes down to is whether one regards this kind of hack, which begins with a small deception, as a valid form of whistleblowing.

    • EU law covers freedom of speech/expression.

      Sort of. In practice punishment over various forms of speech regarding religion is a problem in Europe. What makes this so unusual is that it relates to punishment for disparagement of a Christian figure. Punishment for expression of views related to Christianity is the general rule.

    • Just good food? Who gave your country democracy? The USA? Philosophy and art would be nowhere without the Mediterranean countries.
    • by peppepz (1311345)
      Non-mediterranean countries mustn't be faring too well if a racist comment with no connection whatsoever to reality gets modded up to +5.

      Try tweeting about bombs in the UK, promoting nazism in Germany, communism in Poland, "making homosexual propaganda" in Russia, and see the freedom of expression you enjoy in the mythical North.

      Which is not to say that censorship is acceptable or that people who'd like to be ruled by "golden dawn" are sane, it's just that being "mediterranean" is not one of their probl

    • Re:Violation of ECHR (Score:5, Informative)

      by psymastr (684406) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:15AM (#46011325) Homepage

      In Greece, judges are required to suspend all non-felony sentences, unless the convicted has a criminal record. Even if you have a criminal record, the sentence can be still suspended, and even if it is not then, for non-felony sentences, you can buy the prison time for 10 euros per day.

      If you get a suspended sentence it does not show on your public criminal record, only to the one available to judges.

      So there is no chance that this guy will go to prison, and the conviction is very likely to be reversed when the appeal is heard.

  • Language (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:27PM (#46007655)

    He wrote a fictitious story about a miracle done in the past by this specific monk.

    If he really wrote it then it wasn't fictitious. You may be looking for the word "fictional".

    • by tftp (111690)

      fictitious, adj
      1. not genuine or authentic; assumed; false: to give a fictitious address.
      2. of, related to, or characteristic of fiction; created by the imagination

      Link [thefreedictionary.com]. Usable here, IMO, though "fictional" may still be more appropriate.

      • by innerweb (721995)

        Okay, I just had to bite.

        The real problem is not the word, but the grammar.

        Change it to read:

        He wrote a story about a fictitious miracle done in the past by this specific monk.

        I believe this communicates the intent correctly. The story is real, the miracle is not.

  • Not here! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DadLeopard (1290796) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:28PM (#46007669)
    Thankfully the Separation of Church and state is still "mostly" intact in the USA. Though Texas and several other States like Louisiana and Missouri are working to change that, and a couple have been bitten in the butt by their attempt to get state funded religious Schools mean that ALL religions get to have them!
    • Re:Not here! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by residents_parking (1026556) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:39PM (#46007741)

      This is nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with politics and Golden Dawn. The Euro has pushed Greece to the edge, and GD are seeking to exploit the ferment. It's a damn shame, and IMHO the sooner the whole experiment is declared a failure the better, especially for nation states such as Greece. Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France face similar difficulties, on a sliding scale.

      • by manu0601 (2221348)
        Well, you are right, but at least in France, church and state are separated, and blasphemy is not an offense. Except in Alsace and Moselle, which were not part of France territory when state and church were separated.
    • Re:Not here! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:54PM (#46007837) Journal

      Really? To me, it runs just below the surface.

      Abortion, still pursued with varying vengeance at the state and federal level to deny access to it across the US
      ACA has all kinds of religious exemptions written into it
      In court you swear to a particular diety.
      Education, a bunch of states, some of which influence purchases across the US, keeps having trouble with this separation, slipping in and out of teaching a specific religion

      Hell, I'm still not sure why here in Canada we publicly fund a parallel Catholic school system along with our public schools.

    • Re:Not here! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by x0ra (1249540) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:59PM (#46007873)

      What separation ?

      Your presidential oath is finished by a beautiful "So help me God", as is the citizenship oath, and every coin and bank note feature a the famous "In god we trust". So I really don't know what you are talking about...

      • Is the country ruled by a committee designated by the Church? Is the supreme ruling authority a council of priests? Is there an official state religion? No? Then that is what is being talked about.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The president can take the oath however he likes. He does not need to use a bible or have the words so help me god included. Granted No non-christian would ever get elected but if they did there is no requirement for a bible or mention of god.

      • Re:Not here! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @08:26PM (#46008843)

        What separation ?

        Your presidential oath is finished by a beautiful "So help me God", as is the citizenship oath, and every coin and bank note feature a the famous "In god we trust". So I really don't know what you are talking about...

        The degree of separation between church and state in the USA is in theory guaranteed by the first amendment to the US constitution, specifically the 'Establishment Clause' which has generally been understood to prohibit congress from designating a national religion and to forbid the US government from preferring one religion over the other. In reality, however, the extent of this separation has been the subject of fierce debate. It is clear from the private correspondence of US founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson that they wanted "a wall of separation between church and State". Even so there are powerful forces at work trying to minimise the height and thickness of that wall and as you pointed out they have already chiseled a few gates into it.

  • by etijburg (684177) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:29PM (#46007677)
    This is just more proof that religion is just evil. It is a means of controlling what you believe. This is why the religious right in the USA is determined to get creation in the schools. So they can indoctrinate children before they learn critical thinking and realize that it is just a means of controlling them.
    • I've got news for you -- politics is religion. It's memes spreading to assemble large groups of people so you can dictate, in detail, everybody's life, especially those of a different "religion".

      It's just been stripped of appeals to god, evidently an unnecessary part of it.

      As with religion over millenia, freedom from the dominant form is treated as an evil. Freedm from control using religion as argument is sadly just a brief window until controlling memes readjust and adapt and resume business as usual.

      • by Jawnn (445279)

        I've got news for you -- politics is religion.

        Bullshit. All religion is based on the supernatural. Politics is not. The fact that the two are often overlapped does not make them one and the same.

      • by ruir (2709173)
        Politics, football and religion are all the same...
    • by mc6809e (214243)

      This is just more proof that religion is just evil. It is a means of controlling what you believe. This is why the religious right in the USA is determined to get creation in the schools. So they can indoctrinate children before they learn critical thinking and realize that it is just a means of controlling them.

      Zealots of all sorts need to be held in check and kept away from the children, IMO, even those on the left.

      The state shouldn't be pushing any kind of faith.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Right, the sate should be barred from running schools entirely not providing them.

    • by umafuckit (2980809) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @06:23PM (#46008041)

      I'm Greek but haven't lived there permanently since I was I child, so someone who's currently living there may have a different take on this: What you have to understand is that religion in Greece is approached somewhat differently to countries like the US or the UK. If you're Greek then it's pretty much a given that you're also baptised Christian Orthodox. It's only recently, amidst controversy, that "religion" has been removed from the national ID cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_identity_card).

      The link between nationality and religion is particularly strong because of the recent history of the country. What was to become the modern state of Greece begun its revolution from the Ottoman empire in 1821. Religion was an important factor in helping to create the "us vs them" mentality required to rise the people against the Ottomans. Following the revolution, religion was one of the tools used to bind the nation together. Religion and history were used a vital social glue, since the post-revolution Greeks were having a hard time organising and governing themselves without squabbling. Furthermore, the 19th century was the first time Greece existed as a state in its own right, so this was a particularly difficult period. Before that "Greece" was part of the Ottoman empire, before that the Byzantine (which was, admittedly, Greek speaking), before that it was the Romans, before that it was city states. Over the course of its history, different parts of Greece have also been occupied by the Venetians, the Franks, and the English.

      As a result of this turbulent history, Greeks now take their national identity very seriously and religion is part of that identity. Most Greeks aren't truly religious and few go to church regularly. There isn't any crazy religious extremism like the Bible belt US and there is little preaching in church: the priest does the liturgy (same every day) then he leaves. However, the extreme right wing Golden Dawn have, predictably, hijacked religion as it's a good way of mobilising Greeks against the dark skinned immigrants and gays they so detest. So none of this really about religion at all and religious Greeks can cope with satire of the sort discussed here. All of this is about the Golden Dawn seeking every opportunity to flex its muscles.

      The Golden Dawn are pretty fucking crazy. They've yelled "Heil Hitler" during a parliament session (http://www.euronews.com/2013/05/17/golden-dawn-and-syriza-clash-over-heil-hitler-cries-in-greek-parliament/) and their PR guy smacked a far-left politician in the face on live TV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi6TbLmeFoQ) and later claimed, again on TV, that he was defending himself and that she hit him first (I don't have an English language link to that movie).

  • by msobkow (48369) on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:37PM (#46007725) Homepage Journal

    One sheep's "blasphemy" is another man's truth.

    Government and law should stay the hell out of religious debates.

    • One sheep's "blasphemy" is another man's truth.

      Government and law should stay the hell out of religious debates.

      Historically its' been the other way around hasn't it? It's religion that had trouble staying the hell out of government and law.

  • "Never and by no means did he insult the Orthodox church."

    So what if he had? Oh, right, insulting religion is illegal in many European countries.

    after portraying the late Father Paisios as a pasta-based dish

    A Pastafarian after my own heart. You WILL be touched by HIS noodly appendage.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 19, 2014 @05:48PM (#46007793)

    Well -since i am a Greek- let me explain.
    That guy did a hoax/satire using a dead Greek Christian monk highly respected in my country - it wasn't his first hoax/satire against Christianity...
    That was noticed by a right-wing political group and they used an old law for "protecting the religious beliefs/feelings of people against mockery" (created many decades earlier for protecting the Muslim minority) to instil -in an ironic way... we are Greeks...- a sense of logic!
    The guy said in an interview he gave in the Greek media that even the police officers and the prosecutors were really upset that they had to charge him... but "dura lex, sed lex" - don't worry, he is not going to jail or anything like that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I am also greek but don't share your perspective. In Greece is according to the constitution a christian orthodox country. In the school, the army the courts of law and many other institutions, christian symbols are forced on people. I have been forced to pray and attend mass both during my school years and my mandatory military service. It might seem trivia for someone who shares the faith but for me and many greeks who don't feel christian, those are practices against their dignity.

      The greek church is the

    • Why the hell does /. show me 100+ comments of "USA this, USA that" before i get to a post that actually discusses THE STORY?

  • Is that the approx. 2000 year old Gospel accounts illustrate precisely that this behaviour occurs in organised religion, that it's not right, and that a good teacher teaches against such stuff. How can so many from so many Christian churches read their Bible regularly and not see this???

    • I don't see how Christians should be embarassed by atheists persecuting each other.

      The prankster is likely atheist.
      The right wing group persecuting him is provably atheist: being Christian is not defined by labeling yourself as such, proclaiming obedience. MT 21:28, MT 7:22. Forcing people to respect Christ is depriving them from the possibility of respecting its message freely, and that's not only atheist but anti-religious. Obedience is a value only if it comes from choice.

      I don't see why commenters here

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      Is that the approx. 2000 year old Gospel accounts illustrate precisely that this behaviour occurs in organised religion, that it's not right, and that a good teacher teaches against such stuff. How can so many from so many Christian churches read their Bible regularly and not see this???

      Most don't read it all. Most of those that do, only use it as a reference to support this or that preconceived notion. A significant portion of the group "Christians" can't read well enough to read their holy book, even if they wanted to, let alone comprehend it. So in answer to your actual question... because they don't want to.

      • by tftp (111690)

        A significant portion of the group "Christians" can't read well enough to read their holy book, even if they wanted to, let alone comprehend it.

        Most, if not all, holy books cannot be comprehended even if you know the language and can read the words. The books are just too illogical, and they are never written in a plain, simple language. Quite contrary to that ideal, they are written from multiple, conflicting viewpoints, and they depict the same events differently, and they use archaic phrases. Translat

  • by synir (731266) <arkandelNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 19, 2014 @09:29PM (#46009279)
    I'm Greek. What's really amusing is that the Golden Dawn party - right wing nuts that they are - are simply using a thin guise of Christianity themselves, and that only to better appeal to the masses. In the eighties the exact same individuals were in the same party publishing their material openly worshiping the ancient Dodecatheon. That's right, Zeus, Hera, all those deities. It came pack and parcel with preaching their nationalist superiority ideals.

    They were at best marginalized if not outright ridiculed until the financial crisis hit. Once they realized a whole lot of people were desperate and looking for someone to hate, someone to blame for their misfortunes they also figured out this was a prime opportunity for them to rise in actual power. They reshaped their speeches, packaged their image a little better to appeal to senior citizens and angry young men then pointed a finger to immigrants, Jews, you name it - while of course suddenly featuring a deep faith in all things Christian. Complete with hatred and barely restrained racism, because of course that's what Christianity is all about.

    The worst part of this? They have an excellent chance in being a kingmaker in the next elections. It will come down between the current conservative government and a leftist coalition of political powers in Greece, but it's quite likely neither will have the majority on their own. And the Golden Dawn is squarely third in the polls right now... and of course they'll be able to make a deal so that a government can be formed at all.

    Neonazis in power. It's a nightmare.

    Meh.
    • by laird (2705)

      According to TFA: "The charges against him, of insulting religion and malicious blasphemy, were filed after Christos Pappas, a politician from the far-right Golden Dawn party, brought the issue before parliament. Pappas is currently detained pending trial on charges of belonging to a criminal group, as part of a government crackdown on Golden Dawn."

      This is an interesting twist. The Golden Dawn is being cracked down on as a "criminal group:, and the person bringing the charges is in jail? Pretty wacky!

  • > He wrote a fictitious story about a miracle ... he intended to show the absurdity and the lack of reliability of these sites.

    So, its basically along the lines of Sokal Affair.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair [wikipedia.org] ...except for the arrest and incarceration of course.

  • by peppepz (1311345) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:29AM (#46011181)
    ...is stating that God should make an ill child live or die depending on whether he has done some blessed ritual with some kind of special water in a particular place. It's believing that God would cede a portion of his powers to some particular monk or priestess and have him or her administer them in his stead. It's believing that one can buy salvation in bottles or pullman tickets.

    The truth is that not even the various Churches believe in many of those supernatural gurus or miraculous places. But they can't deny them, because people like to believe in them and they can't afford losing more faithful; because locals earn a lot from religious tourism and the Churches get their share of that money; and possibly because advocating for rationality in religion-based matters for them would be like throwing stones in the proverbial glass house.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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