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Thread: Italian Fined for Blasphemy for Pointing Out the Goriness of Catholic Imagery

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Italian Fined for Blasphemy for Pointing Out the Goriness of Catholic Imagery

    I’d love to visit Italy, but I don’t think I could afford the fines - PZ Myers
    noting Italian photographer convicted of blasphemy after comparing the Church to a masochist club
    Oliviero Toscani is an Italian photographer famous worldwide for his powerful photos used in many Benetton’s advertising campaigns. In 2014, during a radio show called La Zanzara (“the Mosquito”), Toscani said the following sentence:

    Imagine to be an alien who has just landed in Italy. You enter in a beautiful Catholic church, without knowing anything about religion. You enter and you see a bloodied man hanged and nailed to a cross, an altar with naked babies flying, Saint Bernard without the skin… I believe that a masochist club wouldn’t be such at the upfront.

    During the same show Toscani has also underlined the sexist nature of the Catholic Church (“a men-only club”, he said) and the fact that, while he was a kid, he had been molested by a priest.
    Five years later, he was found guilty of blasphemy, article 403 in Italy's penal code, and fined EUR 4000.
    Defining Christ on the cross as “someone hanged” is a manifestation of the profound disrespect for the values of Christianity, disrespect comparable only to the worst propagandist language of a Muslim fundamentalist preacher.

    The judge also added that, by making fun of the Crucifix (“highest expression of the trinitarian and saving God”) Toscani has overstepped the boundaries of the law with “overflowing and striking surplus”.
    PZ Myers:
    I’m not an alien, and I was raised as a tepid Lutheran, but I have to say that’s exactly right. That’s how I’ve always felt about Catholic churches — the iconography is brutal and extreme, with bizarrely explicit statues of a dying man writhing on a cross, and worship of saints who died grisly deaths. Catholic churches in North America aren’t even the worse — I visited a cathedral in Quito that had the most horrible illustrations of Hell proudly displayed all around. An Edward Gorey book is less infatuated with miserable deaths than the Catholic church. I find a John Wick movie less unsettling than a Catholic ‘Lives of the Saints’ book.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    There's something odd: why should depictions of Jesus Christ being crucified be so central. I can't help but think of Buddhism, where the central bit of iconography is of the Buddha sitting and meditating. The closest thing I can think of anywhere in Xianity is the big statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Showing JC standing with his arms outstretched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    There's something odd: why should depictions of Jesus Christ being crucified be so central. I can't help but think of Buddhism, where the central bit of iconography is of the Buddha sitting and meditating. The closest thing I can think of anywhere in Xianity is the big statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Showing JC standing with his arms outstretched.
    This gets me too, and it's not just Catholics. Many years ago, when that horrible movie, "The Passion of the Christ" came out, one of my elderly patients had gone to see it and she wanted to tell me about it. ( No, I've never seen the movie and never wanted to see it ) She got herself all worked up telling me about the horrors of the crucifixion. I remember these words, "and they beat him and beat him and whipped him" etc. I started to feel almost nauseated at watching this woman in her 80s get all worked up over the cruel aspects of the movie, so I asked her to please stop as I had heard enough.

    It always gets me when women wear crosses, a symbol of execution. I love jewelry but I prefer to wear a little heart pendant, the symbol of love.

    This attraction to the crucifixion is sick, imo. I wonder if Christians really think about. The entire idea that a god/man sacrificed himself so they are spared from eternal torture is totally fucked up. It's obviously another version of the blood sacrifice, commonly found in the mythology of many different religions. When I was a child, I was taught to believe that we were saved due to the sacrifice of Christ, I never gave it much thought. I do wonder if many Christians ever seriously think about how nutty the concept is or do they simply accept the concept of the blood sacrifice without much thought?

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    There's something odd: why should depictions of Jesus Christ being crucified be so central. I can't help but think of Buddhism, where the central bit of iconography is of the Buddha sitting and meditating. The closest thing I can think of anywhere in Xianity is the big statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Showing JC standing with his arms outstretched.
    It is worse than just the adoration of bloody torture and death. Christians also add cannibalism with their communion ritual where they eat the body and drink the blood of their savior.

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