Offending religious feelings

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Silvestre's picture
Offending religious feelings

Hello heathens. I'm new to this site and would like to pick your brains about this article:

The background story here is that an atheist disrupted an ongoing church service by flashing a sign that said "Damaso". Damaso is a fictional priest in Jose Rizal's novel "Noli me Tangere", with Damaso depicted as a sleazy, corrupt sex-offender. The book was written toward the end of the Spanish Colonial government in the Philippines.

The atheist was found guilty of violating the penal code for "offending religious feelings"

Just how stupid is that law and are there any similarly absurd laws that relate to religion in your country?

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Sky Pilot's picture
If you live in a Catholic or

If you live in a Catholic or muslim country you're pretty much hosed when it comes to religious freedom.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
No different to Muslim Sharia

No different to Muslim Sharia "law" . If you subscribe to any Abramaic religion and legislate its precepts then you are well and truly fucked. So are your nine year olds.
But hey you can have slaves, so, must be all good right?

Cognostic's picture
1. There are no religious

1. There are no religious feelings. (I'm feeling religious today?) It makes no sense. Are you asserting that the religious have special feelings that the rest of us do not have? I suggest "Offending the feelings of the religious."

2. The man went to a church service and disrupted it. He was charged with a crime and rightly so. There is no crime of "Offending religious feelings" that I know of, however, there is disrupting the peace and trespassing. These laws were made specifically for instances like this. People have a right to assemble. Churches have a right to do business without being interrupted. Had the guy stood outside on the public sidewalk, he would have every right to do so. His mistake is attending the sermon with the rest of the congregation in his protest. Imagine Christian protesters screaming and holding up signs inside an auditorium where Hitchens was speaking. (Wait a minute, there is a You Tube video with just that happening. They were removed from the auditorium. I have no idea if they were charged with disrupting the peace but the charge would have been fair.)

jonthecatholic's picture
Agreed. To your first point,

Agreed. To your first point, it’s actually just the language used by our laws which I don’t get myself. But yeah. The language is kinda funny.

Grinseed's picture
From the article supplied in

From the article supplied in the OP:

"Celdran was earlier found guilty by the Manila Metropolitan Court late January for violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (offending religious feelings) after he disrupted a service at the Manila Cathedral on Sept 30, 2010."

It very much appears to be a law in Manila and violating it is a crime.

Better he were charged for 'disturbing the peace' than some perceived insult to a group of people.

In Australia, there is no blasphemy law at the Federal level. However blasphemy laws are still on the books in several states. The Law Society has tried to have these laws repealed arguing they are dead issue items.
The blasphemy law in NSW covers offending religious people by insulting them or their god. I am guilty of multiple infractions of that law and could be charged in a court of law should anyone feel sufficiently offended by my candid observations of their belief. I doubt it would be worth their time.
However at this very time a closed federal government commission is being conducted to determine if religious freedoms in Oz need legislative protections in the wake of the recent same sex marriage legislation that has horrified the minority religious communities, especially the christians whose favourite go to is "being persecuted". (This surprises me a little as their Jesus told them they would be persecuted in his name. They should welcome it, not legislate against it.)

Rizal was an amazing guy and his execution was unjustified, as he took no physical part in the rebellion. He was murdered for what he wrote.

Sushisnake's picture
Yep. We're going to protect

Yep. We're going to protect religious freedom ( the only freedom actually enshrined in the Australian Constitution) and prosecute political satirists. Nothing wrong with our priorities.

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
I agree been fighting it but

I agree been fighting it but our pollies with a few notable exceptions all are baa ing their way to the fleecing.

jonthecatholic's picture
I’m a Filipino and I

I’m a Filipino and I recognize the news bit you’re referring to. It’s actually because this act was done during a religious service. Had it been done elsewhere like on social media and on his editorial column, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.

mickron88's picture


I'm a Filipino too...well i was raised from a catholic family, but wasn't born sensitive..

maybe it depends on the personality and how you handle things i'm an atheist!
perhaps i'm the one who's insensitive..hehe...i have no idea, i tend to say sarcastic things, or maybe this is just who i am

its nice to meet a fellow filipino here in AR..
..masaya toh..

LogicFTW's picture
Seems a bit harsh for just

Seems a bit harsh for just flashing a sign with a single word that is not even considered offensive.

People have the right to meet on private property and not be disturbed in anyway like this.

But, if it is like the US, where churches operate tax free, and supposedly open their doors and invite anyone, I think the churches trying to enforce people not holding up signs is operating on shaky legal grounding.

jonthecatholic's picture
It would actually seem like

It would actually seem like the word isn’t insulting. But any Filipino who’s familiar with Rizal’s books (practically all Filipinos above 15 years of age) know what the protester was trying to say.

Filipinos just have this hatred for Fr. Damaso for his role in a fictional book. He’s the central figure of the west trying to force its superiority over our people.

Tin-Man's picture
@JoC Re: "He’s the central

@JoC Re: "He’s the central figure of the west trying to force its superiority over our people."

Yeah! That's right! Damn Fr. Damasco for trying to force his superiority over people! Because that is something the Catholic Church would NEVER DO to anybody!..................*hic*....... *snort*.............. *sniggle-snort*....... Bwaaaaaaaaah-haaaaaaa-haaaaaaaa....!!! (I tried to hold back the laughter. I swear!)...Bwahhhh-haaaaa-haaaaa.....!!!

jonthecatholic's picture
That’s actually part of it.

That’s actually part of it. Admittedly, the Philippines was made Catholic through conquest. However, if you’re familiar with the story, the initial converts weren’t forced into it.

You must remember. The Catholic Church didn’t conquer the Philippines. Spain did. Maybe you weren’t talking about the Philippines. What specific case are you referring to?

bigbill's picture
People or a particular person

People or a particular person doesn`t have the right in a crowded theater to shout fire, nor does that give an self proclaimed atheist the right to disrupt a service. There is a time and place for descent but the holy church is not one of them .that's infringing on the worshippers rights. They shouldn`t have to tolerate that. The punishment was sufficient here.

Sushisnake's picture
If holding a up an

If holding a up an inoffensive sign panics Christians the same way yelling "Fire!" panics theatre goers, then their faith must be pretty damn shaky to begin with.

Poor little snowflakes! They must have been so fwightened.

CyberLN's picture
Fig, you wrote, “...nor does

Fig, you wrote, “...nor does that give an self proclaimed atheist the right to disrupt a service”

Would you say the same for this at a military service member’s funeral?


Attach Image/Video?: 

Sheldon's picture
"There is a time and place

"There is a time and place for descent but the holy church is not one of them ."

Quite fucking right, in an elevator for instance. You never disappoint Billy, fair play. Or did you mean dissent?

Randomhero1982's picture
Well in that case, can you

Well in that case, can you tell evangelicals and other god botherers to fuck off from my TV... I don't want to listen to people singing shite in churches, nor do I want to see the pope getting about in his vehicle that looks like an ice cream van for the king of the peadophiles..

Also from hanging around shopping centres, from posting bollocks through my letter box and knocking on my door.

Just to name a few...

mykcob4's picture

There is no right to build a church in the first place. It is an abomination!

bigbill's picture
Are you serous here!!!!!!!!!!

Are you serous here!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus Christ and the great saint Paul of Tarsus would deeply disagree. Since saint Paul started Churches and was an advocate for Christian thought and principals, And of course JESUS who said to go throughout the world and build his church and neither you ATHEIST or any other DEVIL or the gates of Hell itself will prevail against it.

LogicFTW's picture
Oh no, an imaginary person

Oh no, an imaginary person and a long dead person would disagree!

What ever shall I do?

Oh I know, nothing.

Christianity is dying out (at a pretty fast pace lately, in terms of how long Christianity in some form has been around.) May not be in my life time, but natural course of dying religion will definitely "prevail against it."

Grinseed's picture
FIG, Mycob4 is not a devil.

FIG, Mycob4 is not a devil. Creating devils out of fellow human beings is not a teaching of Christ, its part of that legacy of the Roman Catholic Church you mentioned elsewhere, but it should stop and you can start, right now if you want. Stop branding people as witches, warlocks, demons and devils or whatever.
Granted Mycob4 can be a bastard sometimes, but he's a likeable funny one at that.

BTW, Paul was a habitual liar, who demonised the original 12 apostles and promoted his own gospel and beyond the bible itself there really is no evidence anywhere about what Jesus actually said or didn't say but demanding the 12 go and build a christian church network while he himself was a devout Jew (you know, "I have come to fulfil the law") doesn't seem probable, does it?

bigbill's picture
he may have studied under one

he may have studied under one of the best in Gamiel but after paul was converted read the 7th chapter of the book of Acts he was a true die hard Christian. Also he got and named the way , In Antioch he called the followers of the way CHRISTIANS. He died violently beheaded by Nero in the first century around 67 AD. Most of the disciples learned ones later changed to apostles sent ones died believing in the faith of Christianity and of course believing in Jesus life death and burial and resurrection from the grave.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture

Can you write a coherent sentence? Have you tried proofreading? Or do you enjoy serving word salad?

Very politely FIG,your above paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.

XyberEX's picture
The more I read this guy's

The more I read this guy's posts, the more I'm convinced he's a troll. So you might just want to stop replying to him.

Tin-Man's picture
@Jesse. Re: FIG

@Jesse. Re: FIG

Howdy, Jesse. Welcome back.

Yeah, we are all aware of good ol' FIG. ("FIG" being his most recent moniker. He's had several.) Believe it or not, he is actually toned down a bit compared to prior behaviors. Sure, he can be a little annoying at times. Kinda like that pestering younger sibling who always wants to tag along with the big kids. But you sorta get use to him after awhile, and - oddly enough - he does sometimes come in handy in a bizzare sort of way. Personally, I love having the little guy around. He can be so adorable sometimes you almost want to pinch his chubby little cheeks. *chuckle*

LogicFTW's picture
What was his previous

What was his previous monikers? As you know I was not on these boards much for about 6-7 months. Just curious if I debated with this guy in the past.

Tin-Man's picture
@Logic Re: FIG

@Logic Re: FIG

When I came on board back around the first of December he was known as Devout Christian. A few weeks later he changed to Agnostic Believer (He often talked greatly AGAINST the church during that time, by the way.) It is only recently that he became Faith In God. Guessing he must have gotten back into the kool-aid. Oh, and he sometimes refers to himself as Billy.

LogicFTW's picture
I think I know who this is,

I think I know who this is, and he has been doing it for over a year now. Certainly seems like someone I debated to over a year ago, that would flip flop back and forth and change his name every so often.

His profile "big bill" has 765 replies, and who knows if he created other profiles here before the big bill profile.

Tin-Man's picture
@Logic Re: FIG

@Logic Re: FIG

The great thing about him is that he is consistently inconsistent. *grin*


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