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Lutherans angered by Pussy Riot honour

The Local · 10 Oct 2012, 14:25

Published: 10 Oct 2012 14:25 GMT+02:00

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Officials in Wittenberg, eastern Germany nominated the jailed activists of Pussy Riot for the 2013 "Fearless Word" award in honour of the Protestant theologian Luther, who launched the Reformation there nearly 500 years ago.

Theologian and one-time East German dissident Friedrich Schorlemmer blasted the recommendation as an "outrage" and highly offensive to Christians.

"A Luther town should not honour blasphemy. The protest against the regime of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin as well as the close ties between the Church and politics in Russia are indeed justified," he told the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung.

"But they chose the wrong place for their provocation."

He added that the name of the band itself was scandalous. "You only have to translate it to the letter. Pussy Riot sounds offensive and indecent," he said.

The Lutheran Church's state commissioner for Reformation and Ecumemism in central Germany, Siegfried Kasparick, said Pussy Riot had trampled on the feelings of the faithful.

And the Wittenberg chapter of the Christian Democratic Union, the conservative party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, called for the town to withdraw the nomination.

However town mayor Eckhard Naumann, of the Social Democrats, defended the choice of Pussy Riot.

"We're sticking by our recommendation," he told public broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur.

He said that while he understood that some Christians might be offended by their demonstration, town officials "admired the young women's courage to stand by their protest, even under repression."

An alliance of 16 towns in which Martin Luther (1483-1546) lived or worked will award the Fearless Word prize in April 2013 in Eisleben, where the future monk was born.

The award, founded in 1996 and dedicated to Germans or foreigners "who risk hardship for brave action", carries a €10,000 ($12,860) cash prize.

A jury will decide among 16 nominees next month.

The editorial team at Russian muckraking newspaper Novaya Gazeta won the prize last year.

A Russian appeals court Wednesday ordered the release of one member of Pussy Riot after giving her a suspended term but ordered two others serve two years in a prison camp.

The trio were convicted for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred over their performance of an anti-Putin song at Moscow's main cathedral in February.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:07 October 10, 2012 by lucksi
Is there beeping anything that doesn't anger a religion these days? Jesus Christ!
03:25 October 11, 2012 by Eric1
Christians are don't use violence when defending their religion unlike Muslims, Climate Change, and environmental religious nuts.
08:17 October 11, 2012 by ChrisRea
Burning books count as peaceful act, right? No violence at all?
09:36 October 11, 2012 by zeddriver
@ChrisRea

Care to back that up with facts. As it has been a very long time indeed since the "Christian Church" has issued a book burning order. Yes there have been individuals or even groups of people that call themselves Christians that have burned books. But not at the order of the Christian church hierarchy or the pope. The church might even make recommendations on books one shouldn't read or ban them for member of said church. But orders to burn. You seem to be stuck in the middle ages.

The church leaders are in fact free to express their dissatisfaction with this award. It's when they (the church) try to force "in an illegal way" their wishes that things become bad.
13:58 October 11, 2012 by StoutViking
It's sad to see whom the west recognizes as heroes these days...

A 14 y/o from Pakistan, who fought for the right for education for girls and women in her country, gotten a bullet in the head yesterday. And she's just one out of thousands, but I don't see the hearbleeding do-gooders riot for them. Howcome? Perhaps there isn't enough pussy (=rating) in it.

Pussy Riot = PR = Public Relations
13:58 October 11, 2012 by mitanni
"Christians are don't use violence when defending their religion unlike Muslims,"

Christians have used violence to impose and "defend" their religion for 2000 years. One third of the German population was killed during the 30 years war between protestants and Catholics. Christianity is responsible for the conquest and destruction of indigenous cultures around the world. And Christian groups like the Calvinists were worse than the Taliban. It was enlightenment philosophy, secular government, and the rule of law that finally put an end to the murderous and intolerant ways of Christianity. If a religion as brutal and intolerant as Christianity used to be can be tamed, Islam can be tamed as well.
14:53 October 11, 2012 by raandy
The church is threatened by the Pussy Riot, this is blasphemy because a few religious zelots deem it so.
16:59 October 11, 2012 by zeddriver
@mitanni

And the 30 years war was almost 400 years ago. The last Christian crusade was King Louie IX of France in 1270 some 742 years ago. Living in the past I'd say. Your 2000 years is clearly quite a bit off. Christianity had pressure from inside as well as outside to change. Which is something sorely lacking in Islam. The will of it's own members to oust the trouble makers from within. There are those fighting the good fight from within Islam. But the number is small.

@raandy

I see no problem with a church saying something is blasphemy. It's an internal matter. How ever. If the church does somehow get blasphemy put into civil law and it becomes a crime. Then that is a horse of a different color. If that happens I as a Lutheran will join to denounce imposing a religious tenet (blasphemy) upon everyone in the form of a civil law.
01:10 October 12, 2012 by wikiloooks
Die Evangelische Kirche will den Luther-Preis vergeben um Gott zu beleidigen.

Pussy Riot hat in der Kirche "Scheisse Herrn (Gott)" geschrien.

Sie haben auf dem heiligsten Platz der Kirche gestanden wo dieKommunion gespendet wird. Die Frauen haben dort nicht gesungen sondern nur geschrien "Scheisse Herrn".

Journalisten der "Novaja Gazeta" haben spaeter einen Gesang gegen Putin und den

Patriarch Kyrill dem Video der Pussy Riot zugefuegt.
04:18 October 12, 2012 by mitanni
@zeddriver "And the 30 years war was almost 400 years ago. ... Living in the past I'd say. ... Christianity had pressure from inside as well as outside to change. "

Christianity has been violent and intolerant far more recently; just look at places like Northern Ireland or Uganda, or the roles of Catholicism and Protestantism in Nazi Germany for that matter. The point is that Christianity by itself is an amoral, intolerant, violent religion, just like the other Abrahamic religions.

The only thing that makes any Abrahamic religions peaceful is if they are stripped of their political power and their violence and intolerance is limited by secularism and the rule of law. Once that happens, the religious fervor of their followers can be channeled into something more positive for society.
13:11 October 12, 2012 by Firmino
Wasn't Luther considered a blasphemer by the Catholic Church? Seems appropriate. The Church gets upset about everything. Losers.
14:20 October 12, 2012 by raandy
@ZED

M point is that it is their opinion, not everyones, and it is theirs that gets the juice.

I never said the "Church" has no right making or stating it,s biased opinion.
19:08 October 12, 2012 by Spike3
@Mitanni

You seem a bit confused regarding history. While the nazis may have claimed their cause was influenced by Christianity, there was nothing in the bible sanctioning their actions which were clearly unbiblical.

"They shall be known by their actions". Is Protestant-Catholic violence supported in any way by the bible? No.

Someone mentioned the Crusades as if "well, I'll give you that one, but that was a long time ago." Anyone out there study history as opposed to revisionist history? The crusades began as a reaction to the mistreatment of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Not having an army, Pope Urban II called for a crusade to retake the Holy Land after Islamic invasion. It was not simply an act of conquest of previously inviolate lands. Islam did not take over the Holy Land by peaceful conversion. It conquered and ruled by the sword.

You've got to learn the difference between what people claim, and lying for greed, bigotry, and power lust.

"Christianity" is dangerous when it's twisted and perverted from what is in the bible. Islam is dangerous when it adheres to its "holy book".
22:09 October 12, 2012 by zeddriver
@mitanni

The conflict in Ireland was first and foremost between those that advocated separation from the UK (who tended to be catholic) and those that wanted to stay under UK control (Protestant). It was not per see a "religious" war. The Pope never declared a "crusade" against the Protestants nor did the world Protestant leaders declare a crusade against the Catholics.

The same with Uganda. Bad people do bad things for power and money. Then later try and justify said bad behavior through some "religious dogma" that has no backing by the holy book they profess to believe in. Or take a snip-it of holy text completely out of context for the sole purpose of bending it to fit "their" needs. This is not the fault of the religion they misused. It is the fault of evil people using a religion to cover up or justify their misdeeds.

Quoting your post. "The only thing that makes any Abrahamic religions peaceful is if they are stripped of their political power and their violence and intolerance is limited by secularism and the rule of law. Once that happens, the religious fervor of their followers can be channeled into something more positive for society."

I will very much agree with you that governments should be secular in nature. A religion as a form of government has never had a good outcome. I am a Lutheran. No way would I support the formation of a Lutheran run government. I just can't come to trust a mere mortal, fallible, easily corrupted human to properly administer via the interpretation of Gods word. And due to this. One can never ever question this mortal religious government person. As this would be interpreted as questioning God himself. Then you will be burned at the stake for heresy.
10:26 October 13, 2012 by mitanni
"You seem a bit confused regarding history. While the nazis may have claimed their cause was influenced by Christianity, there was nothing in the bible sanctioning their actions which were clearly unbiblical."

And you seem to be a bit ignorant of history. The Catholic Center Party, headed by Prelate Kaas, voted Hitler into power and then proceeded to seek a financial and power deal with the Nazi government, knowing full well what kind of evil the Nazis represented. The German Protestant church for the most part just became the state church and ended up guilty of even worse crimes. (And Hitler was not even the last fascist the Catholic church supported.)

"The crusades began as a reaction to the mistreatment of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Not having an army, Pope Urban II called for a crusade to retake the Holy Land after Islamic invasion."

To translate this into 20th century terms: Pope Urban II called for a jihad and then had terrorist thugs from all over Europe descend on Islamic nations. After the dust settled, the Vatican used fatwas to bring political leaders to their knees and establish brutal theocracies across Europe. A few centuries later, the Christian equivalent of Shia/Sunni violence tore Europe apart. Threatened by modernity, Christians churches in the 19th and 20th centuries proceeded to seek and make deals with totalitarian leaders all over Europe.

Those are not the actions of an organization that stands for peace and respects human life. Religions that promote peace and respect human life call for calm and non-violence, no matter what happens. There are religions like that; the Abrahamic religions are not among them.

"'Christianity' is dangerous when it's twisted and perverted from what is in the bible. Islam is dangerous when it adheres to its 'holy book'."

The Bible is full of violence and intolerance, divinely sanction rape, incest, and genocide, and that is how Christian churches have behaved throughout history. You have to be brainwashed not to see it.
23:13 October 13, 2012 by zeddriver
@mitanni

You seem to be taking the actions of an immoral human(s) within a religion. And some how making a moral equivalency with the religion they misrepresented. In the Christian bible. Satan was once an angel. But his evil doings and fall from grace are not a tenet of nor are his actions endorsed by the religion itself. Since Satan was a bad representative of Gods kingdom. It does not mean that the kingdom he (Satan) once belonged to somehow becomes bad through his actions that are in contrast to the believes of the kingdom he misrepresented. The same can be said of a radical Islamist. Just as people in a democracy that do bad things in conflict with that democracy. Does not mean that a democratic government is always bad due the the misdeeds of a few.
07:46 October 14, 2012 by mitanni
"You seem to be taking the actions of an immoral human(s) within a religion. And some how making a moral equivalency with the religion they misrepresented"

Nonsense. I merely objected to Eric1's statement that "Christians are don't use violence when defending their religion unlike Muslims, Climate Change, and environmental religious nuts". In fact, Christians and their churches have behaved in exactly the same ways as Muslims do: they have engaged in widespread terrorism, created oppressive theocracies, murdered those of other beliefs, destroyed cultures, and supported dictators, and they have done so on an even wider scale.

"Just as people in a democracy that do bad things in conflict with that democracy. Does not mean that a democratic government is always bad due the the misdeeds of a few."

Christianity claims to proclaim and teach moral truths, therefore we judge it by whether it succeeds at doing so, and it is clearly failing. It is failing when, for example, a high-ranking representative of the biggest Christian church can vote to put Hitler into power, knowing full well what he was doing.

The purpose of democracy, on the other hand, is not to proclaim or teach anything, it is a practical way for people to work out their differences and live together, and it has succeeded at that.
14:00 October 14, 2012 by zeddriver
@mitanni

As per Eric1's post. I'll give you that one. Anytime a person uses an all encompassing word like never, Haven't, Don't. You will find yourself painted into a corner.

My main point would be this. When a person views all within a religious group as corrupt or the religion a group belongs to as being corrupt. Solely due to the actions of a corrupt person or group of people within a religion is disingenuous. I say it does not mean that all within this religion or the religion itself are corrupt by association. It takes time to change things. I would say that most of the individual practicing Christian people are not violent. The same holds true of most of the folks that are Islamic. I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
20:26 November 16, 2012 by BananaDog
what would you expect from the denomination responsible for the Holocaust? Martin Luther was a racist bigot whose last two papers paved the way for Jewish persecution in Europe. Lutherans don't like to hear that, they'd rather point their finger at someone - they're masters at "Justification by putdown" makes them feel better
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