The Spanish Inquisition: Actor Becomes Latest Blasphemy Target In The West

913px-Santo_Domingo_en_oraciónI have previously written about the continued use of blasphemy laws in the West, including Spain and Ireland.  The continued enforcement of medieval concepts of blasphemy as evidenced by the detention of Willy Toledo, who was accused of ridiculing God and the Virgin Mary in court. Toledo is being targeted due to comments made on social media in support of three women who are being prosecuted for blasphemy.   It is chilling to think that an actual judge would hold such a hearing in modern times.  The nation that gave us the Spanish Inquisition still claims the right to imprison people for insulting God.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws as well as blasphemy laws.

A Spanish actor accused of ridiculing God and the Virgin Mary has been detained for questioning by a judge, police have said, in the latest high-profile case to raise freedom of speech fears in the country.

Toledo posted a July 2017 Facebook message in defense of three women who paraded in the southern city of Sevilla with a giant vagina.  The protest simulating a religious procession was dubbed the “Coño Insumiso” or “Insubordinate Pussy”.

Toledo responded in a clearly intentional insulting and vulgar way:  “I shit on God, and I have enough shit left over to shit on the dogma of the sanctity and virginity of the Virgin Mary. This country is unbearably shameful. I’m disgusted.”

I find Toledo’s posting obviously crude and offensive, but that does not lessen the protections that should exist for such exercises of free speech.  We do not need free speech for popular speech.  Moreover, religion is the most common area for state repression of free speech.

It is equally disturbing to see the involvement of lawyers in leading the mob to target unpopular speakers.  The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers denounced Toledo for  “covering God and the Virgin Mary with ridicule” and is seen as supporting the prosecution.

Toledo has thus far ignored the summons.  

77 thoughts on “The Spanish Inquisition: Actor Becomes Latest Blasphemy Target In The West”

  1. The God I worship teaches that the one true way to reach heaven is to follow his teachings on insulting all religions.
    Failure to ‘blaspheme’ is blasphemy. By committing blasphemy I am only following the edicts of my religion. Preventing me from doing so is a violation of my religious freedom

    1. if you picked the top 10 films about the Spanish Civil War, every one would be pro-Republican and anti-Franco. And not one would reveal the truth of the 50,000 priests nuns and other Catholic clergy murdered by the Republicans.

      If one can’t tolerate anything which even faintly praises the rebels, then at least read George Orwell’s diary of his service in the Catalonian militia, which he says was basically betrayed by the Stalinists.

      Too bad for Trotsky.

      Then there is another film lionizing Spanish speaking Trotskyites out there, Frida, not worth watching except for hearing Chavella Varga sing “la Llorrona”

      oh and the part where Stalin’s assasin shivs ole bespectacled Lev.
      That was a good scene too.

  2. With all that’s going on now, all JT can think to write about is some blasphemy prosecution in Spain? What’s the matter? Can’t he think of some way to positively spin Trump’s dispute with the death toll in Puerto Rico, a dispute based solely on the fact that the true numbers make Trump look bad? Why not write about the lack of a Republican backlash to this baseless dispute and lack of sympathy it shows? According to Trump, if you don’t get killed by being struck by a storm surge or swept up into the wind and throttled, your death wasn’t caused by the hurricane, even if you drowned, had a car wreck, a heart attack or other medical emergency, but couldn’t get to a hospital, or if you died of exposure or other causes that resulted from the hurricane. And then, there’s the allegation that Kavanaugh tried or did sexually assault a woman, with others, while a student at a tony Catholic prep high school in Maryland. Also, there’s the consistently low polling numbers, plus allegations that Kavanaugh has lied under oath. There are lot’s more important and relevant stories than a blasphemy prosecution in Spain.

    1. i can agree on that last proposition, mostly, but probably if Kavanaugh pinched a fanny in high school that is not one of the more consequential stories.

      it’s pretty funny that a high school student’s alleged bad conduct is now grounds for an FBI investigation decades hence. shows how insane the METOOers have become.

      Like BLM, it started out as people with a legit gripe, and has morphed into a monstrosity.

      1. Like BLM, it started out as people with a legit gripe,

        There was no legitimate gripe. It was sorosphere rent-a-crowd operating under the assumption that blacks are some sort of aristocratic class who can properly attack white civilians and police officers with impunity.

        1. I am trying to be charitable about that Spas.
          My actual opinion is rather like what you said.
          I was hoping you wouldn’t force me to say so.

          The analogy is still apt; some incidents were exaggerated into a “movement” that legitimatized whatever basic complaint was at the foot of it.

  3. even physicists agree with the miracle of Creation. Let me explain:

    they can’t explain what caused the Big Bang– it just happened.

    That reminds me. There is a new speculation among computer geeks and so forth: we live in a simulation concocted by Aliens. Musk just mentioned this, google nick bostrom if you want the works.

    It seems to me that this is a lot like the Creation story: strikeout God and insert “advanced alien civilization” created the universe….

    It kind of seems like since physics could not explain the big bang, computer geeks have innovated their own geeky version of “the Creation myth” and made it their own.

    So, life is complicated, that is for sure.

      1. We’re just physical awareness as a result of some clever coding. The Germans did some experiments a while back and feel there was enough disturbance “flicker” to conclude it may be a possibility. After I take the time to eat in the company of other humans this evening, I’ll try to look that up.

        Or I might just have a beer instead. Bundesliga was already on today.

    1. Reminds me of a funny story from a while back:

      Some scientists claimed that they had figured out how to create life. So God said, “Okay, show me”. So they bent down and picked up some dirt, and God said, “Oh no. Make your own dirt.”

  4. The poor Spanish can’t catch a break. While it’s true that the Inquisition was nasty, so was the burning of witches and others across Europe and even early America. Such religious fervor did little beyond impoverishing countries with closed minds. In terms of this case, while Blasphemy Laws are out of step with modern sensibilities, at least they land the accused before a judge. Of late in the US, trying to express unpopular speech, expressing support for historical public works of art, or even wearing a MAGA hat can land people in front of a violent mob. We should not get on our high horses and look down our politically correct noses at the Spanish until we resolve growing violent opposition to non-PC speech in our own country!

    1. “We should not get on our high horses and look down our politically correct noses at the Spanish until we resolve growing violent opposition to non-PC speech in our own country!”

      Nothing wrong with pointing out historical events. It’s good, that’s how we learn (except for those folks who already know the underpinnings of the universe. People really aren’t that smart (see Nutacha), and need many illustrations to learn something. They bless us with their short-sightedness regularly.) Another example illustrates why we need to “resolve growing violent opposition to non-PC speech in our own country.” Maybe if the enlightened teacher who hit people with a bike lock might have a moment of reevaluation after he hears about examples of suppressing thought (hopeful, but I doubt it).

      1. read about the “Red Terror” of the 1930s in Spain where crazed leftists terrorists murdered as many as 50,000 priests, nuns, and other religious.

        We hear about the Inquisition from 500 years ago but nothing about that. That was about 90 years ago. Funny how ‘history books” chose their content.

        1. “read about the “Red Terror” of the 1930s in Spain”

          That’s a good point. Not much on that, it’s usually treated about the level of a “false alarm; everything is OK, nothing to see here, turn the page…”

  5. For those denying the existence of natural rights, if Spain or France or the United States established blasphemy laws, what would be the basis to argue they were unjust?

    1. Nicely said Olly. The visceral leftists will have to learn it all over again. They are already becoming victims to their own newly defined standards… “first they came for… then they came for…” You know the rest…

    2. Canada and 17 EU nations have blasphemy laws: in these nations persons who contradict the Western narrative of “holocaustianity” are imprisoned. Articles like this one today are welcome, but I truly wish Turley would attack the subject of “blasphemy against holocaustianity” (holocaustianity thought crime) with the same fervor and gusto.

      Also how about tackling the “Israeli” “crime” of males being wrongly born to Palestinian parent: “Israeli” law prohibits such person from attaining Israeli citizenship. How about the proposed Israeli law wherein every citizen must sign a document and declare public allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish” (religious) State? Persons who declined would lose citizenship. If that’s OK, then certainly it’s OK to imprison this Spanish “blasphemer” in Spain, which once upon a time banned all Judaics.

    3. Always start by understanding what the law is in a jurisdiction, before you get to wehther it is just or not. Olly makes a question that relates to justice and specifically mentions natural rights.

      Well long before the Enlightenment had its secular version of natural rights, .Catholicism had a philosophy of natural rights, rooted in Aquinas, who drew on Aristotle. .And if I understand it correctly, it considered that blasphemy was properly unlawful. And these are Catholic states. And cultures, even though they are secular states. They are democratic in similar ways to the US, but they are their own sovereign realms. They have what laws they have.

      Personally, I dislike insults to religion. I thought it was good to arrest Pussy riot for parading naked in churches in Russia. They are not my heroes just obnoxious people. I would consider that action both legal and just.

      Here it is a little different because the law iinvoked is not tresspass. So perhaps it is a little bit more into the questionable range. On an emotional level, personally, I have no problem with it. He will get a slap on the wrist. Save your ire for countries like Saudi where they would execute him for blasphemy. There is zero chance Spain will produce a new Franco any time soon. And keep in mind the particular religious history of Spain in the 20 century: the Civil war say occasions of Republican partisans confiscating Church lands, and raping and killing Catholic religious. So their experiences with “blasphemy” are rather different than ours. On balance I worry very little about the accused.

      What he said is disgusting, to me. Very offensive. Of course he could say it here in the US but if he says it in Spain he will get some trivial punishment. Spain is Spain, America is America. It’s not my business to Criticize Spain.

      In many EU countries if you raise your right hand and say “Hail” you can go to prison for a a long time. Germany and a few others. And there are many people who have spent terms in prison for that. I find “hail” a less offensive remark than what this creep said.

      But it’s not my business to criticize Germany either. I’m American.

      Probably the Spanish left, will make a cause celebre out of this potty mouth fool. He will be fine, don’t lose too much energy worrying about him.

      1. Well long before the Enlightenment had its secular version of natural rights, .Catholicism had a philosophy of natural rights, rooted in Aquinas, who drew on Aristotle.

        Long before Catholicism had its version of natural rights, long before Aquinas and long before Aristotle, long before the creation of any religion, man the cave dweller had his own version of natural rights. The natural right to try everything to survive.

        So what has changed over the thousands of years of man’s existence? Human nature; no. Natural rights; no. Barriers to the security of natural rights; yes. Since the Enlightenment, and specifically since the DoI, more and more countries have evolved towards more security of those rights. Some countries are slower to accept it and some have actually gone in the other direction.

  6. “atheism” is not a thing. It makes no sense to describe someone by what they are not. When describing people by whether or not they are religious, the correct descriptions are: normal people and religionists.

    1. It makes no sense to describe someone by what they are not.

      Why don’t you take your complaint to whoever is is that supervises the dregs of Madelyn Murray O’Hair’s outfit?

  7. When religion uses the mechanism of the state to enforce its beliefs and shut down criticism, it threatens all of us whether we live in that country or we don’t. Blasphemy laws are offensive and viewing them as a normal activities for government in the 21st century is mind boggling. It doesnt matter what religion is privileged by a state in this way, the US should speak up. Unfortunately, there are some in the US who seek this kind of privilege and have already been successful in a number of areas although we are currently spared the burden of blasphemy prosecutions.

        1. I suppose our local Judaic Police Authority above would label anti-Zionist Rabbis like in this video as “Self hating Jews:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKplabTRuak

          James Sobran authored the best definition for anti-Semite: “Not someone who hates Jews, but rather someone hated by certain Jews.”

          By definition, if anti-Semitism exists, then the opposite must also, “anti-goyim.” It’s interesting that all or most persons who promote the term “anti-Semite” deny that the existence of “anti-goyim.”

          The holiest of all Judaic holy books is The Talmud. I wonder how our local Judaic Police Authority above would classify this verse from The Talmud: “Even the best of the goyim deserve only death?” Is there any scent of anti-goyim hidden in there, I wonder?

          1. His name was Joseph Sobran and he began to decay intellectually in 1986 and by 2002 was issuing public encomiums to the director of the “Institute for Historical Review” a holocaust denial outfit. He wasn’t ‘hated’ by anyone. He blew up his own career by trading in crank-nonsense other people did not wish to broadcast and publish and with which they did not wish to be associated. The Jew he fancied hated him was Norman Podhoretz, who made the case to Wm. F. Buckley that Sobran did not merit a position on the masthead of National Review. Sobran’s reply was a newspaper column in 1993 in which he all but dared Buckley to fire him. After he was dismissed, he learned the hard way that his association with Buckley was why his writings were salable to commercial publishers and broadcasters.

            1. I like a lot of what Sobran wrote, but I think Spastic has the employment picture correct. If you defy the boss you will get fired, that’s how jobs work.

              I recall one of my acquaintances saw Sobran not long before he died and he just said one word about how he looked: “weird.” He was suffering from something, who knows what.

              They say that the Jewish people suffer a higher level of heritable mental illness than some other ethnic groups. Maybe that is true. Of course mental illness and genius often run in the same families.

              I also suspect that people who make a hobby out of criticizing Jews often have a higher level of mental illness than the gen pop too.

              Some people recoil at what is deemed antisemitic, and others run towards it like mosquitoes to the firelight. remember the old adage, “in all things moderation”

              1. He was a resident of the Fairfax Nursing Center from 2008 to 2010, if I understand correctly, no longer ambulatory due to diabetic neuropathy. I’ll wager he didn’t look well. After he died, his friends offered remembrances of him that included details which indicated he hadn’t handled daily life well in quite some time. A birdseye review of his life suggests he’d never been a practical man and that Buckley was to some extent sheltering him during his 21 years on the staff of NR.

            2. Sorry for the first name error. Still awaiting to see the Land Title with _od’s signature granting Palestine to the Jews 2k years ago.

              I can only presume, that by ignoring the Judaic Talmudic verse I quoted, that you have no reply. Do you approve of the verse? Is it anti-goyim? Why can’t you answer these simple questions?

              1. I can only presume, that by ignoring the Judaic Talmudic verse I quoted, that you have no reply.

                I didn’t reply, because I don’t care. No one who isn’t a kook has an issue with Jews in New York or Jews in Jerusalem because of obscure passages in the Talmud.

                That aside, I wouldn’t begin with the assumption that you quoted it correctly, that you quoted it in context, or that you consulted any commentaries on the passage in question, or that you apply any sense to the interpretation of scripture other than the one that gets you what you want.

                Still awaiting to see the Land Title with _od’s signature granting Palestine to the Jews 2k years ago.

                You want a divine land title? Who else has one?

              2. the question was not addressed to me. but here is what i have read about it. supposedly it means “kill even the best gentiles during wartime”

                I can understand that and cut the rabbis some slack. that’s what happens during war. it’s ugly. The Hebrews were good at war or else they would not have survived the centuries… Same thing true of any other people still alive and kicking.

                http://www.viciousbabushka.com/2009/06/tob-shebbe-goyim-harog-what-it-really-means.html

                WASHINGTON – An elderly gunman opened fire…… James Von Brunn, a white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting……
                Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic Web site and wrote a book titled “Kill the Best Gentile.”

                — AP News

                The Text
                Talmud Sofrim 15:10

                תני רבי שמעון בן יוחי הכשר שבגוים בשעת מלחמה הרוג

                R. Shimon ben Yochai taught: Kill [even] the good among the gentiles in wartime.

                While this passage seems to advocate the genocide of all non-Jews, it must be remembered that this is a single passage extracted from a thorough study. Without seeing it in its original context, a simple reading is both incorrect and unsound scholarship. Let us look at the full original passage as recorded in a number of places.

                The original teaching is part of a study of the book of Exodus. At this point, the Jews have left Egypt but have not yet crossed the Sea of Reeds. The Egyptian people, after suffering through ten long and difficult plagues, have decided to pursue the Jewish people rather than let them go.

                Mechilta, Beshalach 2 (on Exodus 14:7)
                [Exodus 14:5-7 “It was told to the king of Egypt that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharoah and his servants became transformed regarding the people, and they said, ‘What is this that we have done that we have sent away Israel from serving us?’ He harnessed his chariot and attracted his people with him.] He took six hundred elite chariots [and all the chariots of Egypt, with officers on them all.”]

                From whom were the animals that drove the chariots? If you say they were from Egypt, doesn’t it say (Exodus 9:6) “and all the livestock of Egypt died [from the fifth plague]”? If you say they were from Pharoah, doesn’t it say (Exodus 9:3) “[Moses said to Pharoah]: Behold, the hand of G-d is on your livestock that are in the field”? If you say they were from the Jews, doesn’t it say (Exodus 10:26) “And our livestock, as well, will go with us- not a hoof will be left”? Rather from whom were they, from the Egyptians who feared G-d [and were not affected by the plagues]. We now see that the livestock of the G-d-fearers that escaped the plague caused great hardship for the Jews [by being used for chariots to pursue them]. From here R. Shimon [ben Yochai] said: Kill [even] the good among the gentiles.

                From the above teaching we see that R. Shimon ben Yochai was discussing a case of war. The G-d-fearers among the Egyptians allowed their animals to be used in battle against the Jews. Presumably, these people went along with their animals and drove the chariots. We now see that the G-d-fearers, the “good” among the gentiles, were doing battle with the Jews. To this R. Shimon ben Yochai said that, when in battle, do not try to spare the lives of those opposing soldiers who are fine, upstanding people. Kill any enemy soldier, regardless of their character. This contextual approach to understanding R. Shimon ben Yochai’s statement is how the post-Talmudic literature has read this statement [see Tosafot, Avodah Zarah 26b sv Velo; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Avodah Zarah 10:1]. Reading R. Shimon ben Yochai’s teaching as a single-sentence imperative to kill all gentiles is simply wrong and is not how Jewish scholars have ever understood it.

          2. these days, mostly just Naturei Karta and some other extreme orthodox Jews harbor anti Zionist opinions; but, interestingly, a lot of religious jews were very much against Zionism in its infancy. It was considered a “forcing of Gods Hand” or something like that. even today haredim are exempt from military service in Israel. Israel was essentially a secular state in its founding and not a religious one.

            this article describes how the haredi have come to increasingly support the state of Israel over time, but some hold out against it

            https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-last-jewish-community-holding-out-against-zionism-1.5443981

            I like Alan Dershovitz on this point. he is an atheist but he frankly recognized how the Jewish religion has aided the Jewish people in sticking together, having families, and so forth, in his excellent book “The Vanishing Jew.” Of course a lot of Jews hate him too, and that book.

            You know the old proverb: “two jews, three opinions” here is a good column by a rabbi about that.

            https://www.ou.org/torah/parsha/rabbi-weinreb-on-parsha/rabbi-weinrebs-parsha-column-korach-two-jews-three-opinions/

            I have been called antisemitic just for studying Jewish topics and talking about them. Other people called me philosemitic just for studying them. You can’t please everyone. I don’t worry about it. You make your points and they are valid and well reasoned, or not. Don’t worry about all the name calling.

      1. If you call out the Zionist agenda they hide behind the “anti semetic” shield. Not all Jews are Zionists which is a political movement rather than a religion, There are also plenty of goys who identify as Zionists. The world is waking up though.

        1. Abby Martin is a beautiful young woman with a sharp mind. And she had an interesting show on RT, but she’s not done very well since. Another example of how you can get too exercised about certain things, and it’s bad for you.

          1. Abby outgrew RT – it was a good run for her but ultimately too confining. She has a show called “Empire Files” which until recently was hosted on Telesur. Right now she’s on various indie shows – most recently on Jimmy Dore.

        2. If you call out the Zionist agenda they hide behind the “anti semetic” shield

          No, you get called an ‘anti-semite’ because you’re fixated on a country with a population and productive base smaller than Belgium’s and babbling on as if there was something nefarious about the ordinary particularism and the ordinary activities in the realm of self-defense of the inhabitants of that small country. .

          1. The inhabitants of Palestine are Palestinians. The illegal European terrorist immigrants are not inhabitants but squatters.

            1. Palestine, Palestinians are made up fake constructs.

              With current DNA tech of the bones from the graves tell us who was there before.

              Anyway, here is the agreement made between the Arabs & the Jews & I seem to recall the Arabs got something like 98% of all the lands.

              BTW: I don’t trust wiki:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration

              Also, I didn’t know at one at one point there were many more whites in the middle the DNA is reported as showing.

            2. The inhabitants of Palestine are Palestinians.

              1. There is no such place as ‘Palestine’, nor were there any such people as ‘the Palestinians’. The British government assembled 3 Ottoman sanjaks and referred to the whole as the Mandate of Palestine. The territory assembled was bound together as such from 1920 to 1948; the term was not used before or after. You had a set of local Arabs there present and you had an Arab immigrant population which entered between 1920 and 1946. There wasn’t anything which distinguished these Arab populations from adjacent Arab populations (most of whom favored Levantine dialects and some of whom favored Eastern Bedawi dialects). Some regarded themselves as Syrians, some as Arabs, and some identified with their lineages or locality.

              The illegal European terrorist immigrants are not inhabitants but squatters.

              There are no such people outside your imagination. There are Ashkenizic Jews in Israel. There are also Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews in Israel. They built the country. What the Arabs in Gaza, on the West Bank, and in the UNRWA shanty towns elsewhere in the Levant refuse to do is build anything.

              As in your other posts, you conjoin arrogant self-confidence with gross ignorance. How does it feel?

          2. self defense? the Lebensraum settlement expansion? Killing medics/journalists and protesters “armed” with rocks and flaming kites? Preventing medical supplies from reaching Palestinians? Last I checked no other country has such an influence on our foreign policy or as much financial support.

            1. the Lebensraum

              You’re in a hole. Quit digging.

              settlement expansion?

              Jewish settlers are confined to Zone C of the West Bank, which contains about 10% of the Arab population. ‘Expansion’ means someone adds a prefabricated cottage to an already existing settlement. 77% of the settler population lives in settlements founded prior to 1987; 17% live in Modin Illit, which is smack on the Green Line nowhere near any Arabs. Another 6% live in settlements founded more recently. That’s a grand total of 25,000 people you’re whinging about. The population of settlements founded in the last 20 years is less than 5,000. You want the settlements dismantled, tell the brigands you fancy to develop a plan and make an offer (or is that to practical and constructive for Arab partisans?).

              Killing medics/journalists and protesters “armed” with rocks and flaming kites? Preventing medical supplies from reaching Palestinians?

              You’re violent with the police, somebody’s going to get hurt. You don’t want trouble, don’t make trouble.

              Last I checked no other country has such an influence on our foreign policy or as much financial support.

              Well, check again. Iraq and Afghanistan get more aid. Israel receives no economic aid. It receives $3 bn in credits to purchase military equipment from American manufacturers. While we’re at it, the number of American soldiers billeted in Israel is numbered in two digits. There are 39,000 American troops billeted in Japan. Billets mean expenditure in that venue.

              Of course, you haven’t a clue how to measure or discern ‘influence’ over our policy. People whinging about da Joos have their assumptions about how the world works, all of them inane.

    1. “Unfortunately, there are some in the US who seek this kind of privilege and have already been successful in a number of areas although we are currently spared the burden of blasphemy prosecutions.”

      I believe you are referring the Democratic party as of late. They seem to have replaced religious ideals with their own self-serving solution. Pick your poison and be consistent. If you don’t believe in worship, don’t worship the state. Prove your point with rational analysis with the tools you have on hand.

    2. Saying you poop on God and the Virgin is incredibly offensive.

      Putting aside the legalities and justice of crime and punishment, this potty mouth blasphemer may find himself in trouble from extra judicial punishment meted out by private vigilantes. Maybe. Spain is weak compared to what it used to be but there are still people there who have starch in their sails.

      Observe that he said it on Facebook. Not in public. In some public places in Spain, had he the courage to state his blasphemy aloud in the presence of others, the punishment would have been quick and fierce and he would have been praying to the God he presumed to defecate on, to send police to save him.

  8. I do not see you covering the shutting down of conservative commentators in the United States by Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc. Clean your own house first Jonathon.

    BTW, their country, their rules. And who better than the country that brought us the Inquisition? That makes them highly qualified in this area.

      1. “Google, YouTube, Twitter, etc. are not government actors; they are private companies.”

        Are they now? Can you conclusively offer evidence that they HAVEN’T acted on behalf of government? Seems to me there is plenty of evidence to prove otherwise.

      2. Andrea Olmanson – what is their exact role as a private company/monopoly. If they are like a newspaper, they can be sued for libel for the actions of their contributors. If they are totally neutral, then they are just a conduit of information. Which are they going to be. Right now, I think the latest EO was a shot across the bow of the tech companies.

    1. I have noticed that the only posts on this site containing the character string “Baronelle Stutzman” were written by guest commenters.

      In truth, the injuries to a democratic culture of free deliberation find their source in academe, in the legal profession, in corporate HR, and in the media itself. Episodically, they do impose state penalties on people. Mostly, they just prevent them from communicating with the only cost-effective tools available.

    2. Americans have heard endlessly about the Inquisition but little about the Red Terror of the 1930s. Read this modest account from wiki

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Terror_(Spain)

      ?The Red Terror in Spain (Spanish: Terror Rojo)[3] is the name given by some historians to various acts of violence committed from 1936 until the end of the Spanish Civil War “by sections of nearly all the leftist groups”.[4][5] News of the rightist military coup in 1936 unleashed a social revolutionary response, and no republican region escaped revolutionary and anticlerical violence, but it was minimal in the Basque Country.[6] The violence consisted of the killing of tens of thousands of people (including 6,832[7] members of the Catholic clergy, the vast majority in the summer of 1936 in the wake of the military coup) as well as attacks on landowners, industrialists, and politicians as well as the desecration and burning of monasteries and churches.[7]

      A process of political polarisation had characterised the Spanish Second Republic, and party divisions became increasingly embittered and questions of religious identity came to assume a major political significance. Electorally, the Church had identified itself with the right, which had set itself against social reform.[8]

      The failed pronunciamiento of 1936 set loose a violent onslaught on those that revolutionaries in the Republican zone identified as enemies; “where the rebellion failed, for several months afterwards merely to be identified as a priest, a religious or simply a militant Christian or member of some apostolic or pious organization, was enough for a person to be executed without trial”.[9]

      In recent years, the Catholic Church has beatified hundreds of the victims, 498 of them on 28 October 2007 in a spectacular ceremony, the largest single number of beatifications in its history.[10]

      Some estimates of the Red Terror range from 38,000[11] to ~172,344 lives.[12] Paul Preston, speaking in 2012 at the time of the publication of his book The Spanish Holocaust, put the figure at a little under 50,000……”

      IN LIGHT OF THAT TERROR FROM THE LEFT NOT EVEN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, WHICH LEAD TO THE MURDER OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PRIESTS BROTHERS AND NUNS, IT SEEMS LIKE MAYBE THEIR LAWS ON BLASPHEMY ARE VERY MODEST!

      Oh, but you never hear about the crimes of the left in America much, just the nazis, nazis, nazis, nazis, nazis, nazis………… you don’t hear about the Red Terror in Spain, nor collectivization and the murder of and starvation of a million peasants in Ukraine….nor the Red Terror during the Russian civil war…. but yes the Germans heard about all that and they were scared of the Reds and for good reason, which may have lead into their excesses….. history gives context and without context, what did Santayana say?

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

      But of course, Santayana was a Spaniard.

  9. Religion doesn’t work as a power structure if it can be diminished; thus the issue of blasphemy. When a Dutch cartoonist did a drawing of Mohamed with a bomb in his turban, western heads rolled in Afghanistan in retribution. At least in Spain, the courts deal with it. In the West, religion is slowly being put in its proper place, private, personal, and unconnected to governance. It’s a slow process, evolution.

    1. Not sure about Spain, but according to Pew Research, US affinity for religion (55%) is similar to the populations of poorer, developing nations – including South Africa (52%), Bangladesh (57%) and Bolivia (56%) – than people in richer countries (avg 22%)” Religion is useful to those unable to understand the notions of chemistry, physics, and human sciences.

      1. “Religion is useful to those unable to understand the notions of chemistry, physics, and human sciences.”

        You do have a point, despite your condescending presentation. Christ himself noted that the duties of religion help those not able to contend with the larger questions.

        I caution against blind adherence to science as well, as science is always INCOMPLETE. Partial truths can be just as dangerous as lies. Most good scientists realize this. Information provided by science can be presented in such a way as to manipulate to an end, like religion. Take the Harvard conspiracy over the negatives of fat compared to sugar in diet. That was presented as science, and has since shown to be an outright lie.

        I might add that there are a lot of positives in carrying on faithfully the moral and ethical guidelines set up over millennia by the western traditions. They have been proven to provide enduring value (far from perfect) that can build a civilization. Better that than worshiping transient and hollow human desires that is the hallmark of today. Religion at least asks you to be a better person, in general.

            1. slohrss29:
              Religion has a lot to answer for and a lot to explain. That said, science offers great achievements but eerily confers that lingering notion that maybe … just maybe … we’re simply fooling ourselves by trying to understand the world without first understanding ourselves.

        1. Moral and ethical guidelines and being a better person are typical of Freethinkers. Religionists tend more towards attacking anyone who is different from themselves.

          1. Moral and ethical guidelines and being a better person are typical of Freethinkers.

            In your imagination only. The one thing that is typical of vociferous atheists (as opposed to the religiously indifferent) is aggression and self-aggrandizing conduct in conversation. See PZ Myers.

          2. “Moral and ethical guidelines and being a better person are typical of Freethinkers. Religionists tend more towards attacking anyone who is different from themselves.”

            Typical. But I’ll do this once. It appears the left-leaning posters here (save a few) already know all there is to know, including a coming response to a statement. As a sidenote, I would add that maybe changing your handle will get your empathy for your generally poor arguments. How about “Visceral Kneejerks?”

            Back to the response.

            Evidently, you didn’t read my response to your post, or you would have put forth a relative response. Typical of your lot.

            But we can do this. “Religionists” are humans, and humans don’t do anything very well. I present the Rolling Stones. I wouldn’t lump all musicians together by holding them as the general example. Christ was very specific when he instructed that people were not to cast judgement. People fail to some degree in most endeavors. Are you 100% honest on your tax forms?

            1. slohrss29 – speaking of tax forms what are we doing about Fan Bingbing? She has not been seen since May 15 and is having tax difficulties. Seems they have a system in China of having two contracts, one for tax purposes, one for realzees. Both contracts for a movie she starred in were exposed on Chinese television. Uh oh.

        2. The greatest minds have lately been those based in the sciences but with a spiritual understanding. Where the problem starts is when the spiritual awareness gets enlisted by an organized, power based, parasitical religion. Any religion has to address the common goodness and evils, however every religion negates itself spiritually when it professes to be the ‘Only Way’, or the ‘Truer Way’. At this time it is an organization with need for power and adherents.

          1. Isaac they are like football fans in a way. If one didn’t think it was the best team for some reason, why bother?

            So in that light you can stop worrying about “organized religion.” Without organization most things would soon fail.

            a good example of this is disorganized old fashioned Chinese Taoism, versus the cultlike new age taoist dabblers of Falun Gong. Authenticity, or doctrinal coherence, Falun Gong has not much; but organization, plenty. Which is why the Chinese state ignores “traditional” Taoist whatever, and instead focuses its repression on the “organized religion” instead.

            you can’t blame the traditional taoist adherents too much for their eclipse, since a lot them were wiped out by Mao’s war on the “Four Olds”

            Mao, one of the most vicious critics of “organized religion,” if you don’t like it then you could make him your icon, perhaps. Get a little red book and a funny cap. That might seem a little dated, today however.

      2. Religion is useful to those unable to understand the notions of chemistry, physics, and human sciences.

        Vociferous atheism is useful for the world’s terminally self-aggrandizing people

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