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

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the welcome-to-the-eu dept.

Censorship 324

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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Violation of ECHR (3, Insightful)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 6 months ago | (#46007641)

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 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007685)

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 (3, Informative)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 6 months ago | (#46007761)

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 (4, Informative)

Smauler (915644) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Not neccesairly (2)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 6 months ago | (#46008629)

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.

Re:Not neccesairly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008641)

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.

Doesn't that rather depend on the circumstances under which it is made?

Re:Not neccesairly (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#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 (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#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:Not neccesairly (2, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46008121)

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.

Re:Not neccesairly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008647)

No. The yelling is still protected, intentionally and negligently creating a panic which reasonably will cause harm to others is a crime. The cases are -very- clear about this matter.

Education, not laws (0)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 6 months ago | (#46008015)

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

Do you arrest people who deny evolution or climate change? These are clearly and irrefutably documented facts. The reason that denying the holocaust is illegal is entirely because of public opinion - or rather public fear as to what it might lead to. It happens to be a false statement too but that is justification after the fact otherwise why single out just the one false statement from all the other false things idiots say?

The danger with laws like this is that they try to force individuals into thinking or believing a particular thing. No matter how well intentioned it is this simply does not work. The only way to fight ignorance, even willful ignorance, is with education not laws. Think of it like a vaccination: education does not seem to take hold in everyone exposed to it but so long as it reaches enough of the population there is sufficient immunity that stupidity and ignorance can't become dangerous and spread.

Re:Education, not laws (2)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46008127)

Except for the part where education doesn't work with religious fundamentalists. "Thou shalt remain ignorant of anything not printed in this book" is a tenet of most religions, and is dogmatically followed by the fervent believers.

I'm not saying you should pass a law making religious people believe a thing or not believe a thing. I'm just saying you shouldn't have any laws at all regarding religion, especially those that promote respecting it, honoring it, denigrating it, or providing tax evasions for those that practice it.

Re:Education, not laws (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about 6 months ago | (#46008507)

"Thou shalt remain ignorant of anything not printed in this book" is a tenet of most religions, and is dogmatically followed by the fervent believers.

Including Atheist fundamentalism, apparently...

Re:Education, not laws (4, Insightful)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 6 months ago | (#46008515)

"Thou shalt remain ignorant of anything not printed in this book" is a tenet of most religions, and is dogmatically followed by the fervent believers.

I'm going to quibble over this point. It is not a tenet of most religions. It is a tenet of a few religions, and some of them have been very loud.

(They've also made good villains with which to smear other religionists. You've been suckered.)

Re:Education FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008135)

In the EU THOSE people would...!

Re:Education, not laws (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46008205)

The reason that denying the holocaust is illegal is entirely because of public opinion - or rather public fear as to what it might lead to. ... why single out just the one false statement from all the other false things idiots say?

Germany outlaws both Holocaust denial and various expressions of Nazi culture. They rightly recognize that the danger those pose is political and those would be rallying cries to restore the threat to being a present danger again. There are still neo-Nazis in Germany waiting for their chance. Do you want to give it to them unimpeded? Anti-Semitism is on the rise again across Europe already despite the mass slaughter that is still within living memory and taught in schools.

Re:Education, not laws (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46008499)

There are plenty of neo-Nazis here in the good ol' US of A. The difference is that we have freedom of expression, where if a handful of skinheads goosesteps up and down the street yelling "Sieg heil!", there are a hundred non-skinheads who yell "go home you morons" at them.

The rest of us watch them on the TV, and either abhor, admire, or ignore the actions of one side or the other.

It's important that these idiots be allowed to express their stupid opinions. The basic idea is that it helps avoid creating the "poor suppressed martyrs" who use that to draw other people who feel outcast into their secret clubs.

Does this strategy work? Well, the neo-Nazis here are very marginalized.

Re:Education, not laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008431)

Do you arrest people who deny evolution or climate change? These are clearly and irrefutably documented facts. The reason that denying the holocaust is illegal is entirely because of public opinion - or rather public fear as to what it might lead to. It happens to be a false statement too but that is justification after the fact otherwise why single out just the one false statement from all the other false things idiots say?

Holocaust denial in the EU is criminal because it comes hand in hand with criminal agenda, not because of the criminalization of the expression or the statement itself. If you don't believe in evolution or climate change, you're most likely not a member or supporter of an illegal organization. Those engaging in Holocaust denial very frequently are (it's hard to imagine someone looking at the historical evidence and brushing it aside completely in good faith).

Re:Not neccesairly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008173)

It's bad law either way. Why not arrest flat-earth believers?
I know these laws were well-intentioned, and probably owe their existence to misplaced guilt, but they are a terrible idea in a free society. It's the sort of garbage one would expect from middle-eastern countries.

Re:Not neccesairly (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 6 months ago | (#46008325)

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 avoids citing that deity as the source of the government's authority to rule. Indeed, it lays out quite the opposite.

Re: Not neccesairly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008327)

Making a false statement is illegal? Sounds like the case of the unladen Swallow to me.

Re:Not neccesairly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007821)

You can't deny Holocaust because it's a documented event. Denying it implies having a political agenda connected with your second point. Your second point, promoting Nazi ideology, is illegal because it violates the various laws that are probably different in all EU countries but all aim to criminalize what my country's law explicitly calls "support and promotion of movements provably aiming to limit rights and liberties of citizen", not because it is some random speech. If you believe that we have "specific laws that prohibit denigration of religion", you better cite them.

Re:Not neccesairly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007905)

It's illegal because it violates the law? Wow, great explanation.

Re:Not neccesairly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008537)

You suck at reading comprehension.

Re:Not neccesairly (1)

sabri (584428) | about 6 months ago | (#46008085)

You can't deny Holocaust because it's a documented event.

So is creationism. Let's ban all the scientists!

Truth of the matter is that the "freedom of speech" in Europe has the same protection as the fourth amendment in the US. Both are empty promises.

Re:Violation of ECHR (2)

gelfling (6534) | about 6 months ago | (#46007739)

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

Re:Violation of ECHR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007795)

You know what would really defame Islam? Loading all of our transport aircraft with pig shit and dropping it all over Mecca, especially on the Kabaa. They literally believe Mecca is protected by a holy force-field. It would cause a mass-awakening on a global scale, and would be of net benefit to humanity.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008535)

Or it might start World War 3. Do not underestimate the propensity for insult to lead to violence, especially in the middle east.

Re:Violation of ECHR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007849)

This is what happens when your entire country is bred by means of anal sex. That's why they call it "going greek."

Re: Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007969)

Thanks for proving that people like you, racists and probably homophobes, are as stupid as a plank and do know nothing about biology, sociology and the rest of it.

Please STFU, GTFO and never cone back. Seriously what's up with the influx of racists assholes here on /. lately??

Re: Violation of ECHR (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46008389)

Dude he's just joking, lighten up. Besides, Greece isn't a race. It reminds me of the jokes I crack at the Canadians I hang out with about living in igloos, and jokes about Americans being fat.

I think being politically correct douchebags on a large scale causes worse problems than people making offensive/racist jokes on a large scale. At the worst the later might offend somebody so they hang out somewhere else, but the first has a tendency to make life suck because you have to take things too seriously at every possible place you can work at because if I make a joke about my 50 year old friend having one foot in the grave, or telling him he has a severe case of old, (which even he laughs at) I could get fired.

Re: Violation of ECHR (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 6 months ago | (#46008563)

It was one AC responding to another AC. It might even have been the same person. It was either a troll being fed, or a political drive-by.

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007931)

When? Where?

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008017)

Which is a good thing. The xtians that rule over that sad place constantly defame the Religion of Peace. They claim that religion is violent when it is xtianism that is the most violent religion in the history of the world.

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008183)

>The Religion of Peace
Can you be any more muslim?

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008277)

That's a special sort of Obama peace, maybe.

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008593)

I hope you're not a native English speaker. (I also hope I'm not feeding a troll) The word "is" means now, at this point in time. I think you wanted the word "was"... as in, no longer is a particularly violent religion.

And Christianity gets a bad rap for historic violence when other, more violent, now declined religions get a pass.

Re: Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007819)

This isn't a problem of the mediterranean countries, it's a problem of countries where orthodox church rules (almost all eastern europe), intolerance and violence everytime someone dares to criticize tue church.
Look at the pussy riot case...

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007867)

Greece breaks EU law all the time. No-one cares.

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007887)

Freedom of speech does not protect you from wilfully harming others, which is exactly what this person did. He deliberately harmed anyone who believes in a particular religion.

It's no different than running a fake competition where someone random wins a million dollars, and then refusing to give them any money.

Re:Violation of ECHR (1)

belmolis (702863) | about 6 months ago | (#46008235)

Actually, freedom of speech is intended to protect people who, by their speech, upset other people. Otherwise virtually any expression of an unpopular view could be prosecuted since somebody would be upset by it. The Holy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies of the Greek Orthodox Church to this day ascribe to Jews such as myself the guilt for the death of Christ. Naturally, we find this upsetting. Do you think that the Greek Orthodox Church and its priests should be prosecuted? That is why in countries with strong protection for freedom of expression there are strict limitations on the ability to retaliate for speech, e.g. requiring that defamation be objectively false in order to be actionable.

Re:Violation of ECHR (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 6 months ago | (#46007937)

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).

Re:Violation of ECHR (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46008001)

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.

Re:Violation of ECHR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008147)

Uh, plenty of European countries ban particular types of offensive speech and have done so even for decades.

It's all greek to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007647)

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.

The golden dawn petitioned for the arrest of a dead monk, so this guy satirised the monk and got arrested for that?

Re:It's all greek to me (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 6 months ago | (#46007815)

The golden dawn petitioned for the arrest of a dead monk, so this guy satirised the monk and got arrested for that?

thank you. i was really stumped by how to parse that sentence. Your interpretation is correct. the only question is how this heinous crime got pinned on this guy. Golden Dawn must know people in the police dept and planted evidence.

Language (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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".

Re:Language (2)

tftp (111690) | about 6 months ago | (#46008471)

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.

Serious matter (0, Flamebait)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 6 months ago | (#46007661)

Yeah, this is serious matter

[/satire]

Not here! (4, Interesting)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about 6 months ago | (#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! (4, Insightful)

residents_parking (1026556) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Not here! (5, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46007837)

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! (4, Insightful)

x0ra (1249540) | about 6 months ago | (#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...

Re:Not here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007939)

Well, here, we can openly say "Fuck God, Muhammad was a pedophile, and Jesus liked the company of whores" and not be the slightest bit worried about going to prison. Something that cannot be said of the 'enlightened' EU.

Re:Not here! (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 6 months ago | (#46008043)

Yeah, but the thing is Jesus did like the company of whores - he was criticised by the religious elite of the day for associating with "tax collectors and sinners". That and the "he who has no sin cast the first stone" thing...

Re:Jesus did like the company of whores (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008203)

Blasphemous

Re:Not here! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#46008111)

Now try saying that and running for elected office.

Clueless racist detected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008571)

Anyone who thinks the EU is a single country (or uniform in any way) clearly has never left his mom's basement.

Re:Not here! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46008025)

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:Not here! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008315)

Was there any US president who openly denied being religious? Just wondering, haven't done any research myself yet.

Re:Not here! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46008503)

That clearly isn't the same.

Re:Not here! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008145)

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.

Contradicting yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008583)

If they wouldn't get elected, then clearly there IS a requirement.

Proof the religion is the true evil. (5, Insightful)

etijburg (684177) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 6 months ago | (#46007883)

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. Yes, this means u, fine reader.

You got it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008053)

Religion is politics. Religion was the first form of government. Had a dispute? Go to the priestess and she would tell you what God(s) say should be done. It's just ludicrous that in the 21 st century people stiil worship these Iron Age mythical gods.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 6 months ago | (#46008355)

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.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (1)

mc6809e (214243) | about 6 months ago | (#46007903)

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.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 months ago | (#46007981)

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

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (5, Informative)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 6 months ago | (#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).

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008175)

No offense intended, but most non-native English speakers I know appreciate corrections to their English. The word "movie" explicitly refers to a "feature film." "Video" is the word you are looking for. Other than that, thank you for the informative post.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008365)

I am Greek also, living in Greece - most things you wrote are not very wrong (but not very right!).
Almost all Greeks are Orthodox Christians (not fanatics, but ALL -yes, even Atheist!- Greeks go to church few times a year) - even you, as a Greek living abroad you, should know that and you should admit that you go to church also!
It's true that Golden Dawn -a right-wing party- use religion for their cause but it's not a NaZi party (not in a Hitler's way at least) but a nationalistic (their political role model is Metaxas, a dictator that fought AGAINST Fashist Italy and Nazi Germany) - in the video you provide, the "Heil Hitler" during a parliament session was from a left-wing parliament member named George Pantzas (yes, that old actor) who admited to have said it in an ironic way to Golden Dawn members.

Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008103)

No, this isn't proof that religion is evil. It's simply proof that people turning off their brain facilities can be used by morally bankrupt con artists. If it wasn't for religion, then some other ideology will take it's place. Historically, we've already seen this happen through cult of personality, fascism, communism, capitalism and a few others.

People are hard wired to believe bullshit. Knee-jerking against religion achieves nothing but alienating the religious from your point.

Time to stop pretending .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007687)

... that Greece is not a backward society. That doesn't mean all Greeks are backward of course. Even a statement like that, if made in Greece, could be construed as anti-Hellenistic, and might even result in criminal charges?

Re:Time to stop pretending .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007799)

You're full of shit ... there is nothing criminal about making anti-Hellenistic statements.

You must be thinking of Turkey, where it is illegal to make anti-Turkey statements, or to speak ill of the founder of modern day Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -> Outlawing insults to the memory of the founder of modern day Turkey [wikipedia.org] .

The person in this news story was charged with making blasphemous statements. And it's worth pointing-out that this guy went out of his way to be deliberately offensive and to garner maximum attention. Had he not, his rantings would have been ignored, as are blasphemous statements made every single day in Greece.

And as someone else pointed out, in several other European countries (might I add, WEALTHY European countries such as France and Germany) it is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE to say "the holocaust never occurred", or to raise your right arm in a Nazi salute.

Re:Time to stop pretending .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007951)

Oh? Then why was Greece's criminal law against defaming Greece a major cause of concern at the inception of the European Arrest Warrant? Perhaps they repealed it. I think Germany and France have good reason to act against anything that even vaguely smells of a fascist resurrection.

One sheep's "blasphemy" (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#46007725)

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

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

Re:One sheep's "blasphemy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007909)

I don't think anyone is arguing against this...

Here, the problem is that religion should stay the hell out of government (law).

Re:One sheep's "blasphemy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007923)

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

I disagree. Government should make sure religious debates don't get out of hand, otherwise we'll end up with civil war.

This is clearly an example of someone taking it too far. The fact is, what he did made a lot of people extremely upset. That is enough to warrant punishment. Ten months may seem a bit extreme, but an example as public as this makes it worthwhile I think.

I put this in the same camp as writing a fictional story about a bomb on a particular airplane that's in mid-flight right now. Free speech law should not protect people who do things like that. Everyone should be held accountable for what they say, if their words cause harm then they should be punished.

Re:One sheep's "blasphemy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007997)

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

Religious debate should stay the hell out of government and law.
FTFY

Morraly retarded... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007733)

...monkeys!

Far right nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007743)

Maybe they shouldn't have just copypasta'd itnas true without even a few minutes research? This is why far-right nuts should just be shunned for civilized society. Let them go live in a theocratic paradise on some other planet.

insulting the church (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46007783)

"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.

Since i am a Greek... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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.

That logic's been tried before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007985)

I'm also terribly upset I need to beat these people up, breaking families apart, send them with trains throughout several countries, but it's not like they're going to gaschambers or anything...

By NOT acting, or complying with evil orders, you CAN be tried and convicted, as the Nuremberg trials showed.

Captcha: partly

Re:Since i am a Greek... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008061)

You mean prosecutors don't have any discretion in Greece *not* to charge him? That's hard to believe. Surely they could have just said they didn't see pursuing this as in the public interest or that the case had no merit and would lose in court. Surely they could drop the charges now. Or are they just covering their kolo? What if the judge also covers his or hers?

This sort of theater is one reason I'm not sure I like civil inquisitorial legal systems. In common law countries, prosecutors will often drop cases that are bound to get thrown out of court or plain lose because it's a fruitless waste of resources to pursue such cases and also because, in adversarial systems, losing sucks balls for their careers. If there isn't a good solid case against the accused, he or she should go free. At least in theory.

Re:Since i am a Greek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008113)

Then again, some of Greece's ideas of justice seem very strange to non-Greeks. For example, a few years ago the chief prosecutor told the media they should publicly "name and shame" suspected child sex abusers ie effectively no presumption of innocence. This is just as bad as the US's "perp walks" for tv cameras, which are seen as barbaric in some other countries.

Re:Since i am a Greek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008159)

Funny how this is the reaction when someone goes to jail for insulting Christians, while people going to jail for insulting Muslims is celebrated.

The point was to prove that leftists are scumbag cowards who love to tear down the framework of Western civilization but will only make fun of people who will not send suicide bombers to their houses. This point has been made by this article being published.

The guy should not go to jail, and nor should those who insult Muslims. But as long as it is good for the goose, surely it is good for the gander.

Re:Since i am a Greek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008163)

As i wrote that guy had made more than one such hoax/satire against Christianity until a right-wing political group used him to instil a sense of logic (in an ironic way) on the issue of free speech - that political group, by pressing charges that could not be dropped (i don't know the English term), forced the reluctant prosecutors to enforce the law designed, as other similar laws, to protect the Muslim minority from having their religious feelings hurt.
(by that "covering their kolo" i guess you are Greek related in some way!)

Re:Since i am a Greek... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008207)

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 descendant of the clergy that was appointed by the sultan to administer his christian subjects. Trying to compensate for that, the clergy has propagated the fictitious "hidden school" and been the spearhead of all sorts of nationalistic bigotry. In Greece all orthodox priests are paid as civil servants. In Greece children are tough religion every week for 12 years of schooling (Only one year, the 11th mentions other religions). The hold the church has over the state is incredible by any modern standard (except maybe for Italy).

Re:Since i am a Greek... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008461)

I am the parent "Anonymous Coward".
The Greek constitution guarantees freedom of (and from) religion and just accepts Orthodox Christianity as the prevalent religion (as it is in the population).
The clergy are paid as civil servants because the state nationalized the church fortune and in return promised to pay the wages - the church actually asks back the fortune!
In school is surely optional to pray and to attend the one hour per week religion class.
I have served in the special forces (you can surely say we were "nationalsts" enough) but i have never forced to attend Church.
That "hold of the church over the state" i can not see it - i don't claim that you are lying but you exaggerate the situation.

Re:Since i am a Greek... (1)

corisco (1038076) | about 6 months ago | (#46008323)

You just hit primary cause of a lot of problems with some European countries: "don't worry, he is not going to jail or anything like that". Laws that mean nothing or everything depending on which side of the fence you're standing. If the law is not to be applied then it should be scratched.

Ah, but is this story true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46007957)

...six months after this story is published the author will reveal that he made it up to show how unreliable stories of bloggers being imprisoned are...

Same laws in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008023)

When Tony Blair first rose to power, he immediately set to using the mainstream media to run a MASSIVE propaganda project that informed the sheeple that ANY 'offensive' behaviour was clearly wrong, and therefore should be potentially subject to criminal penalties. Since that time, the UK has introduced dozens of laws that generally define 'offensiveness' as purely the opinion of the self-defined victim. Obviously, only victims in certain well defined classes find that the police and State take an interest if they claim someone has 'offended' them.

So, for instance, a little time back a protester was convicted in a UK court of a serious criminal offence. The crime? The protester had shouted "WAR-MONGER" at an MP (member of parliament- like a member of the US house of Representatives), and this MP had previously voted for all of Blair's wars of aggression. The court ruled that the protester had 'offended' the MP, and therefore caused distress- a clear and serious criminal act.

Today, Tony Blair has ensured that the UK has far worse Laws restricting the Right to Protest than was the case in South Africa at the height of its Israeli backed Apartheid regime (recall that Israel provided the white Nazis of South Africa with nuclear warheads, should the apartheid regime choose to go down fighting rather than recognise black majority rule- the nukes were removed by the Americans when white-rule ended).

The 'MEME' of a 'polite' society being the only civilised society is taught in all UK schools Blair has direct influence over- which means most of them. 'Politeness' of course being a code word for permanent submissiveness to authority- you should not be surprised to learn that Tony Blair, in the midst of the very worst church scandals ever seen, very publicly 'converted' to a Roman Catholic.

Blair's Laws are being imposed ever more effectively across the entire EU. Each corrupt EU regime sees the incredible usefulness of Laws that force THEIR citizens to give up their right of effective protest- and when these laws are sold in the name of 'reasonableness', they are easily promoted in every form of mainstream media output in that nation. In Nazi Germany, "be passive, be polite, be patriotic, be receptive to mainstream media propaganda" worked incredibly well- understand that the German people, even as they gave absolute passive support to a truly foul regime, were individually about as decent as you could hope to experience. 'Niceness' is no defence against true evil, as Tony Blair truly understands.

Tony Blair is VERY close to over-turning a long standing tradition in UK Law- that written/verbal attacks against the dead are ALWAYS lawful. In UK Law, the dead are currently non-persons, but Blair is using the "common sense" (hahahaha) of the sheeple to have the sheeple themselves THINK they are demanding the same protection for the reputation of the (State approved) dead as the living get. However, this Greek case would have been just as unlawful under current UK Law, because Blair recently extended 'offence' laws to cover every form of general religion- so even attacking non-living religious individuals is a serious offence if ANY member of said religion claims 'distress'.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the blatant racism of Blair's mouthpieces- the newspapers and broadcast TV channels- is running at its most extreme level ever- even worse than the British press in the 1950s and in the 1970s (when the press was used to lay the ground for the election of Thatcher, by stirring up such racial tensions, the MI5 creation, the National Front, was able to claim significant ongoing electoral support- which by no coincidence utterly vanished when Thatcher gained power).

You may ask "what about Freedom of Conscience?" but this freedom is NOT defined by one's specific ability to attack the spiritual beliefs of others, even though most sheeple (including most of you reading this) think it is. Indeed Britain's extreme right-wing zionist, and absolute supporter of Israel- Richard Dawkins- is purposely used to give the idea of criticising established religions a very bad name, by the vile racist methods Dawkins uses in his speeches (only recently, Dawkins declared that all current Muslims were sub-Human in their abilities and achievements). By giving such religious criticism a bad name, Dawkins, on behalf of Blair, undercuts the ability of British moderates to fight the growing religious extremism from the three main Judaic religions in the UK.

Did you know that although Britain has compulsory RELIGIOUS EDUCATION in all UK State schools, 'atheism' is NOT part of the curriculum, and pupils are taught of the supremacy of organised religion over the concept of individual spiritual beliefs developed across an individual's lifetime. Tony Blair is head of a self-created multi-faith organisation that is used to recruit important potential opponents of regimes in target nations, like Libya and Syria. Blair's organisation provided cover for Britain and America to meet leading members of Libyan society, long before Blair waged his massively military campaign that utterly destroyed Libya.

Know this- as bad as things are today, they are going to be insanely worse tomorrow. Blair is within spitting distance of getting America's most psychopathic butcher, Hillary Clinton, the presidency. Obama has been unthinkably evil, but all his likely replacements are even more depraved.

FUCK YOU GOLDEN DAWN NAZIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46008027)

There, that ought to do it. Come at me homos!

The embarrassing thing for Christians (1)

John Allsup (987) | about 6 months ago | (#46008081)

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???

Re:The embarrassing thing for Christians (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 6 months ago | (#46008287)

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 don't attack Law also, since they attack Religion. Because Law was misapplied as Religion was ignored. Do you look for justifications for not following a religion? you do not need any, if you look for the truth honestly and don't find it there.

Re:The embarrassing thing for Christians (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 6 months ago | (#46008385)

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.

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