Blasphemy

Mighty_Emperor

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Just a genral thread for when the religious types get their panties in a bunch over something like this example of alleged abuse of the Wigwam:

'Blasphemy' outrage as Cathedral used in ad

Apr 5 2004


By Louise Davies Daily Post Staff


AN ADVERTISING campaign featuring a "crucified" semi-naked model with Liverpool RC Metropolitan Cathedral in the background has sparked anger amongst the city's religious leaders.

The image, which is promoting a new range of designer T-shirts, has been condemned as "blasphemous".

The photograph features former Page 3 model Debbie Turpin, 23, on a cross with Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the background and bears the caption "Don't sacrifice your style".

Liverpool-born model Ms Turpin is covered by just a T-shirt printed with the logo and her tortured facial expression has been described as reminiscent of the controversial Mel Gibson movie, The Passion Of The Christ.

The photograph, which was commissioned by Chester-based internet fashion company bdbx, can be seen on the firm's website http://www.bdbx.com

Monsignor Peter Cookson, Roman Catholic dean of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, said: "It's bad taste, disrespectful and, if you are a believer, it is blasphemous.

"People think they can do anything they like with religious imagery these days and I'm upset that anybody should be using a distasteful picture like this, with our cathedral in the background, to sell their products.

"The boundaries of what's acceptable to use to sell goods has drawn back, but I have never seen anything as outrageous as this, certainly not something which uses our building.

"The cross is a recognised Christian symbol and it is very tasteless.

"We would certainly not give anyone permission to take a photograph like this outside the cathedral.

"But I doubt if there is any law preventing this, so it seems there is not much we can do about it. But it is very distressing."

Monsignor Cookson was backed by Church of England Canon Anthony Hawley.

He said: "It is a shameless marketing ploy. It is nearly Easter and this is in very poor taste.

"It should be a time of reflection and great joy at the resurrection of Christ and this is appalling, it is outrageous.

"It is something that we would like to see removed from the website."

Council leaders said the stunt was an attempt to cash in on Liverpool's Culture City status.

Cllr Warren Bradley, executive member for Leisure & Tourism, said: I'm disgusted. It is Easter and we should be reflecting on Christ's teachings. We are celebrating the Year of Faith in Liverpool and we don't want to be associated with this type of image.

"It's not something we will be supporting as a city. We are the European Capital of Culture and there are so many good things going on in the city.

"This is not something we want to be associated with.

"It is just rank commercialism at its worst."

Bdbx was set up by 20-year-old fashion designer Alec Stacey who said he stands by the campaign.

He added: "This fashion range is all about youth culture, being in your face, not being afraid to break the rules and challenging convention.

"The photograph reflects the rebellious nature of youth culture and I think the young people who see it will understand where we are coming from. Liverpool's the city of culture and bdbx is about youth culture and I thought it was appropriate."
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Melf

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so its ok to say:-

"all i said was, even jehover would have enjoyed this nice peice of halibut" :D

well if the cathedral isnt copywrited/registared/copywrited etc by the the church then tough.

but at least the building is being advertised for free.
so lighten up guys
 

escargot

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The cross is a recognised Christian symbol and it is very tasteless.
Couldn't agree more.
 
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Anonymous

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Uncle Howie said it best...

...with such pale-pink brains that even a club of supposed [ Forteans] gets shudders and convulsions if a picture goes beyond the feelings of a Beacon Street tea-table!
The picture has been withdrawn fromthe web-site, its publicity function now completed...
 

brianellwood

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People are always p***ing about with my pentagrams, nicking my broomstick and pointy hat, dancing around my stone circle at the top of my lane. Bloody blasphemy!!
 

ignatiusII

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Had it been an advert ridiculing Buddah, Shiva or mohommed there would have been outrage, however, as they were insulting Christ, it was probably thought that no one would object...why is it that one is expected to have tolerance and respect for EVERYBODY'S religious beliefs - unless, of course, the religion in question is christianity?
 

escargot

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Here in the UK, the only religion which is protected by law against blasphemy is xtianity.

Other religions can legally be denigrated and ridiculed to one's heart's content without fear of prosecution.

The National Secular Society has plenty to say about this.

In fact I'm off there now for a read. ;)
 
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Anonymous

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ignatius said:
Had it been an advert ridiculing Buddah, Shiva or mohommed there would have been outrage, however, as they were insulting Christ, it was probably thought that no one would object...why is it that one is expected to have tolerance and respect for EVERYBODY'S religious beliefs - unless, of course, the religion in question is christianity?
I think that 'The Passion of The Christ' marketing machine was the point of the 'satire', rather than Christianity as a whole... but it wasn't that well executed.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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And more religion insulting:

Patent Office sniffs at 'Buddha Boogers'


Yomiuri Shimbun

"Buddha Boogers," a candy inspired by the giant statue at Todaiji temple in Nara had its registered trademark revoked by the Patent Office following the temple's claim that the name is insulting, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Thursday.

The candy, which has been manufactured by a firm in Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture, for the last three years, is nevertheless still being sold at souvenir shops.

According to a statement from the temple, the statue is an object of worship and the candy's name disgraces the image of Nara, so the firm should stop selling the product as a matter of conscience.

Made from starch syrup and raw sugar, the round candy is about seven centimeters in diameter and takes its shape from a spiral curl on the statue's head. It sells for 500 yen.

The temple learned that the candy's trademark was registered two years ago and filed an objection with the Patent Office. The registration was revoked last August.

"We never intended to insult the Buddha statue. We hoped it would be accepted with open minds," a spokesman for the firm said.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20040514wo31.htm
 
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Anonymous

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escargot said:
Other religions can legally be denigrated and ridiculed to one's heart's content without fear of prosecution.
Does this mean that just because people can; makes it acceptable? I think the fact that the ad was shite is less acceptable...but that's just me getting annoyed at some of the shite we accept from graduates fresh out of college these days. Dull, unimaginative ad campaigns is just one of my bug bears, so excuse the following rant.

Perhaps it's more a case that people should quell surprise that this has caused outrage (since that's what was intended...it is after all a press ad. Can't exactly imagine the creative on this one thinking, "hmmm, that'd make a nice image". More like "yeah, that'll spark controversy and get the ad in the papers".

Shocking it may be, provocative may be its intention, but the real issue here is it's a "HND graphic design" of an idea when it comes to a good ad campaign. Obviously got caught up in the fever of benneton ads back in the nineties.

It's shite, but no doubt people say, "yeah but it worked"....yeah because it took the cheap route and got others to advertise for it by making their complaints. Is it fair to cause outrage in order to sell t-shirts?

Next graduate please!

Loved the serious tone the article takes when it says "condemned as "blasphemous"".... Quality reporting :rolleyes:
 
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Anonymous

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escargot said:
The National Secular Society has plenty to say about this.
You hit the nail on the head with "The National Secular Society has plenty to say about this" but sadly that's it. All they ever seem to do is beat the hornets nest and not offer any solutions. Or have they improved?
 
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Anonymous

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Hook Innsmouth said:
Loved the serious tone the article takes when it says "condemned as "blasphemous"".... Quality reporting :rolleyes:
I think they had edited out the 'burn ithe heretics and take their property' bit :D
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Posted on Sat, May. 22, 2004


Man guilty of urinating into church's holy water

By Jacqueline Soteropoulos

Inquirer Staff Writer



A 27-year-old homeless man was convicted yesterday of urinating into fonts of holy water at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Center City.

In a nonjury trial, Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi found Joseph Canty guilty of institutional vandalism, defiant trespass, harassment, and simple assault for pushing a priest.

Msgr. John Close, the rector of the basilica, testified that Canty had been harassing worshippers for a year, asking for money and frightening older worshippers. Last fall, Close said, Canty rammed his shoulder into him outside the church.

And on March 11, Close testified, he spotted Canty standing by a font of holy water.

"I thought, what is he doing there?" Close testified. "It looked to me as if someone were standing at a urinal."

He said he did not see Canty urinate into the font, but a short time later an employee saw that the water in two basins had been fouled.

Detective James Seymour said Canty confessed to urinating in the fonts. "He said he was really mad at them [the priests] because they kept asking him to leave... . He felt he was being harassed and he just wanted to live there," inside the cathedral, Seymour testified.

Canty is scheduled to be sentenced July 14. Assistant District Attorney Eileen Hurley said she would ask DeFino-Nastasi to sentence Canty to a secure facility with mental-health treatment. "I think probation would definitely be inappropriate here, because of his escalating conduct and possible mental-health issues," Hurley said.
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escargot

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That's just taking the...........
green, fur-lined hood, ripped pocket, ta.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Shiva wedgie?

Harrods apology over Hindu bikinis

By Rajesh Priyadarshi
BBC Hindi online

London's Harrods department store has apologised to its customers for selling controversial underwear bearing images of Hindu goddesses.

Harrods removed the underwear and swimwear range from sale after a protest by a Hindu pressure group.

Hindu Human Rights said the garments, created by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, insulted the religion.

The store said: "We apologise to those customers who have been offended or distressed by the situation."

Signatures

Hindu Human Rights, a group which says it "safeguards the religion and its followers", lodged a complaint with the store on Monday seeking the removal of the range.

When we see any image of goddesses we bow our heads with respect and here they were displayed in such an insulting way
Amitabh Soni,
human resources executive
"When we heard that Harrods was selling such garments, we registered our protest. We cannot bear the insult to our religion," said spokesperson Sheila Church.

"Our goddesses are revered by millions of Hindus. How can somebody use them for such purposes? We sent Harrods a large number of signatures protesting against it."

The summer range has been on sale for some time but the controversy started on Sunday when an Indian human resources executive, Amitabh Soni, saw mannequins bearing the brightly coloured bikinis.

"I was shocked to see them," he told BBC Hindi Online.

"When we see any image of goddesses we bow our heads with respect and here they were displayed in such an insulting way", Mr Soni said.

He is now happy at the outcome, but said the store had not listened when he asked it to remove the garments.

"So I got in touch with Hindu Human Rights," he said.

Controversies relating to Hindu icons are not new.

Hindu Human Rights is also protesting against the new film by Ismail Merchant, Shakti, in which rock singer Tina Turner plays the role of goddess Kali.

Last year another department store had to apologise for selling toilet seats with images of a Hindu deity.

Selling slippers with Hindu symbols created trouble for a third London-based retailer.

A number of designers have been attracted by the richness of Hindu iconography and the fad for exotic ethnic patterns.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/3790315.stm

Published: 2004/06/09 11:56:01 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

TheQuixote

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Buddha Bikini Backlash

I am hopeless at puns I'll admit, so I thought a nice bit of alliteration would do.


Sri Lanka bans offensive images

Customs officials and police and customs in Sri Lanka have been told to seize Buddha Bar music and bikinis with Buddha images, officials say.


The music - which originates from a nightclub in Paris - and the swimwear have been deemed by the authorities as potentially offensive to Buddhists.

Some Buddhists have called for a strict enforcement of laws that stop the commercial use of religious symbols.

Buddhists comprise nearly 70% of the island's population of 19m people.

Commercial exploitation

The attorney-general ordered the seizures after Buddhist monk Daranaagama Kusaladhamma petitioned the Supreme Court to ban bikinis with Buddha images.

The monk argued that prohibitions should also be placed on candles in the shape of the Buddha and Buddha Bar albums which carry pictures of the Buddha.

Buddha Bar music is mostly instrumental lounge music which originates from a Paris night club that has become so popular that similar establishments have opened up all over the world.

Mr Kusaladhamma argued in court that the commercial exploitation of the Buddha's image hurt the sentiments of most of Sri Lanka's population.

The court on Tuesday said no new ban was needed. But it accepted the attorney-general's arguments that police and customs should strictly enforce existing laws which prevent the exploitation of religious symbols.

Pirated CDs of the Paris Buddha Bar are sold in Sri Lanka for just over a dollar.
BBCi News 10/06/04


and a related Hindu report:


Harrods apology over Hindu bikinis

By Rajesh Priyadarshi
BBC Hindi online



London's Harrods department store has apologised to its customers for selling controversial underwear bearing images of Hindu goddesses.

Harrods removed the underwear and swimwear range from sale after a protest by a Hindu pressure group.

Hindu Human Rights said the garments, created by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, insulted the religion.

The store said: "We apologise to those customers who have been offended or distressed by the situation."

Signatures

Hindu Human Rights, a group which says it "safeguards the religion and its followers", lodged a complaint with the store on Monday seeking the removal of the range.

"When we heard that Harrods was selling such garments, we registered our protest. We cannot bear the insult to our religion," said spokesperson Sheila Church.

"Our goddesses are revered by millions of Hindus. How can somebody use them for such purposes? We sent Harrods a large number of signatures protesting against it."

The summer range has been on sale for some time but the controversy started on Sunday when an Indian human resources executive, Amitabh Soni, saw mannequins bearing the brightly coloured bikinis.

"I was shocked to see them," he told BBC Hindi Online.

"When we see any image of goddesses we bow our heads with respect and here they were displayed in such an insulting way", Mr Soni said.

He is now happy at the outcome, but said the store had not listened when he asked it to remove the garments.

"So I got in touch with Hindu Human Rights," he said.

Controversies relating to Hindu icons are not new.

Hindu Human Rights is also protesting against the new film by Ismail Merchant, Shakti, in which rock singer Tina Turner plays the role of goddess Kali.

Last year another department store had to apologise for selling toilet seats with images of a Hindu deity.

Selling slippers with Hindu symbols created trouble for a third London-based retailer.

A number of designers have been attracted by the richness of Hindu iconography and the fad for exotic ethnic patterns
BBCi News 09/06/04

Interesting to note that when this article first appeared on Thursday it included photos of the offending bikinis. Nice one Auntie Beeb.
 
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Anonymous

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ignatius said:
Had it been an advert ridiculing Buddah, Shiva or mohommed there would have been outrage, however, as they were insulting Christ, it was probably thought that no one would object...why is it that one is expected to have tolerance and respect for EVERYBODY'S religious beliefs - unless, of course, the religion in question is christianity?
That's quite an assumption to make. If your point is that Catholics would not have said anything if an image of Buddha was used, then yes, point made. But likely many Buddhists would have been vocally unhappy and rightly so. And so on for other religious iconography. Using a revered figure or symbol to sell designer t-shirts is tasteless in the extreme, be it a Christian or another religion or even a historic or political figure. But tasteless does not equate to legally actionable or I suspect there'd be a lot of my coworkers in court before I could blink.

The ad agency had a right to use that imagery, tasteless or not, nad the Christian guy had a right to bitch about it. And frankly, if either was wrong so was the other.

And in answer to the lst question quoted above: why is everyone's religion off limits, unless it's Christianity and they "hey folks, looky it's one of them loony jesus freaks, let's bait 'em and then look all innocent when they object!"

Get real.
 
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Anonymous

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The Japanese are known for their fastidious attitude to any bodily function.

IIRC, they view the western habit of blowing your nose on a hankie and then tucking that hankie up your sleeve as indescripably filthy.

Giving a sweetie a snot related name must be commercial suicide :D.
 

TheQuixote

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'Blasphemy' trial held in Moscow

A prominent human rights activist has gone on trial in Moscow accused of inciting religious hatred by exhibiting allegedly blasphemous artworks.


The head of the Andrei Sakharov Museum, Yuri Samodurov, organised an exhibition last year featuring a depiction of Christ on a Coca-Cola advert.

There was also a sculpture of a church made from vodka bottles.

Vandals defaced the exhibits just days after they went on display, but charges against them were later dropped.

Mr Samodurov could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

Two others who helped organise the January 2003 exhibition "Caution! Religion" are also on trial.

Mr Samodurov insists he had no intention of causing insult to believers, saying the case against him is absurd and a direct challenge to such fundamental principles as freedom of conscience and expression.

His supporters say it also highlights the growing power and influence of the Orthodox Church in what remains, constitutionally, a secular state.

Defence lawyers told the Taganka district court that the accusations failed to specify which artworks incited religious hatred and against whom and why.

"If what the church believes to be blasphemy is seen as a crime in a secular state, it means that this is a political trial," said Mr Samodurov.

The Sakharov Museum was founded to promote democracy and human rights, as championed by the late Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.
BBCi News 15/06/04
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I most wholeheartedly agree with the hankie thing! Ugh! But then pulping millions of trees to satisfy a hygiene- and throw-away obsessed society is just as foul. And then, so is snorting it direct onto the ground like most footballers, these days, seem to favour! I think we should eat it.;)

And anyway...why worry about all the heathen blasphemers? They'll all go to hell so why waste the energy?

And I agreed with that other poster about the student-thing? I went to see an art exhibition once, 'a new talent' and it was all couples having sex huge penises everywhere and I thought 'Oh here we go again...this kind of thing is only shocking when you're a teenager and think you're the first generation to discover sex!' The only thing I could think to write in the comments book was 'Left me indifferent - Sister Bernadette' :D
 

Leaferne

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The only thing I could think to write in the comments book was 'Left me indifferent - Sister Bernadette'
:rofl:
 

carole

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IMO, any religion - be it pagan, Christian, Moslem Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, whatever - should have the right to be regarded as a no-go area when it comes to tasteless actions of this sort.

I am religious to a certain extent, it's something I keep strictly to myself, but I personally am rather touchy about things like this.

Carole
 

Mighty_Emperor

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This could have probably gone under cirses or strange crimes but it fits here:

Jesus statue burner gets year in prison

By Michelle Durand, Daily Journal Staff

A transient who torched a San Bruno church’s ceramic statue of Jesus Christ last fall to remove its “curse” will spend another month in jail. He must also register as an arson offender.

Matthew McCoy, 26, was sentenced to one year in county jail but receives credit for 327 days served since his arrest Nov. 12, 2003. That leaves just more than one month behind bars for McCoy.

He must also pay ,748.44 to St. Bruno’s Catholic Church and remain on supervised probation for three years. Under the terms of his probation, McCoy must enroll in a residential treatment program, register as an arson offender and give a blood sample for DNA matching.

McCoy faced up to four years in prison after pleading no contest in early May to felony arson. The plea was given in return for the dismissal of vandalism charges and the likelihood he would avoid prison time.

The sentencing ends McCoy’s unusual case in which he declined plea bargains twice, was mentally evaluated and tried unsuccessfully to fire his court-appointed attorney.

McCoy has a history of psychiatric issues, according to police. He was well known by parishioners and employees of the church at 555 San Bruno Ave. because he frequently went there to pray.

On Nov. 15, McCoy allegedly left the church premises, bought some gasoline and returned with an intent to destroy the life-size statue of Jesus. With a catechism class of 20 children under way nearby, he reportedly pried open the statue’s Plexiglas case and doused it with gasoline just before 9:30 a.m. He allegedly ignited the statue but fled when somebody spotted him in the act. He was quickly identified and apprehended by San Bruno police. McCoy told police he believed the ceramic statue of Jesus in the parking lot was cursed and had a high fever.

McCoy initially pleaded not guilty and, after a preliminary hearing on the evidence in December, was sent to trial. Prosecutors offered McCoy a plea bargain afterward but he opted for trial. McCoy then had criminal proceedings against him halted once when his court-appointed attorney questioned his competency. Two doctors confirmed McCoy was able to aid in his own defense and McCoy then tried unsuccessfully to fire his attorney, Connie O’Brien.

McCoy has no criminal record but does have a history of psychiatric issues, authorities said.

He has remained in custody in lieu of
Jesus statue burner gets year in prison

By Michelle Durand, Daily Journal Staff

A transient who torched a San Bruno church’s ceramic statue of Jesus Christ last fall to remove its “curse” will spend another month in jail. He must also register as an arson offender.

Matthew McCoy, 26, was sentenced to one year in county jail but receives credit for 327 days served since his arrest Nov. 12, 2003. That leaves just more than one month behind bars for McCoy.

He must also pay $3,748.44 to St. Bruno’s Catholic Church and remain on supervised probation for three years. Under the terms of his probation, McCoy must enroll in a residential treatment program, register as an arson offender and give a blood sample for DNA matching.

McCoy faced up to four years in prison after pleading no contest in early May to felony arson. The plea was given in return for the dismissal of vandalism charges and the likelihood he would avoid prison time.

The sentencing ends McCoy’s unusual case in which he declined plea bargains twice, was mentally evaluated and tried unsuccessfully to fire his court-appointed attorney.

McCoy has a history of psychiatric issues, according to police. He was well known by parishioners and employees of the church at 555 San Bruno Ave. because he frequently went there to pray.

On Nov. 15, McCoy allegedly left the church premises, bought some gasoline and returned with an intent to destroy the life-size statue of Jesus. With a catechism class of 20 children under way nearby, he reportedly pried open the statue’s Plexiglas case and doused it with gasoline just before 9:30 a.m. He allegedly ignited the statue but fled when somebody spotted him in the act. He was quickly identified and apprehended by San Bruno police. McCoy told police he believed the ceramic statue of Jesus in the parking lot was cursed and had a high fever.

McCoy initially pleaded not guilty and, after a preliminary hearing on the evidence in December, was sent to trial. Prosecutors offered McCoy a plea bargain afterward but he opted for trial. McCoy then had criminal proceedings against him halted once when his court-appointed attorney questioned his competency. Two doctors confirmed McCoy was able to aid in his own defense and McCoy then tried unsuccessfully to fire his attorney, Connie O’Brien.

McCoy has no criminal record but does have a history of psychiatric issues, authorities said.

He has remained in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at San Mateo County Jail since his arrest.
http://www.smdailyjournal.org/article.cfm?issue=06-23-04&storyID=32101

and:

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 3:35:55 AM PST

San Jose man who burned Jesus statue repentant

He will pay St. Bruno's Church $3,748 for damages

By Tim Hay, STAFF WRITER

REDWOOD CITY -- Matthew McCoy is a personable 26-year-old who has spent the past year in jail for committing a strange and upsetting crime: He walked into the courtyard of a Catholic church in San Bruno, doused a statue of Jesus with gasoline and set it on fire.

McCoy is getting out in about a month. He insists his outrageous act was not meant as a sacrilege, and says he won't do it again.

"It was because of a woman," he said Tuesday in the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.

On Tuesday, Judge Craig Parsons sentenced McCoy -- who pleaded no contest to arson after his November 2003 arrest -- to one year in the County jail. He also gave McCoy 327 days credit for his work in the jail and time served. Finally, the judge put McCoy on probation for three years and ordered him to pay $3,748 to St. Bruno's Church for the destroyed statue.

McCoy called his action "delusional."



"I was a sick person when this took place," he said. "There were suicidal issues going on. I lost this girlfriend, my heart was hurting. My unemployment had run out, and all these emotions came out."

A religious person and a self-styled Bible scholar, McCoy said the statue of Jesus of Nazareth at St. Bruno's had been bothering him for a while.

"I thought I knew all about Jesus Christ from reading the Bible, and I thought I was doing a good thing for this church by removing an evil symbol."

The Jesus of Nazareth statue features Jesus wearing a silver robe and bleeding from the head without a crown of thorns -- a posture unfamiliar to McCoy, and one he said he thought might symbolize something occult.

"I hit it as hard as I could with a chair," he said. "I hit it two more times trying to break through the plexiglass. Then I got nervous. ...I heard a guy yelling 'Hey, stop!' I knew I had to burn it. I poured the gasoline (from a water bottle) and flicked my lighter. There was this big old fireball, and boom!"

Ironically, McCoy has learned from other jail inmates that Jesus of Nazareth is supposed to be wearing a silver robe and be bleeding from the head.

"I was totally out of my mind to think I could take religious matters into my own hands and harm the church with fire and vandalism," he said.

Prosecutors agreed, and originally charged him with about two dozen counts of felony endangerment. But the charge was later reduced to arson.

The pastor of St. Bruno's was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

McCoy, who is from San Jose and once worked at the In-and-Out Burger in Daly City, also has been picked up in the past for grand theft auto, being drunk in public and being under the influence of a methamphetamine.

He said his jail time was "a great experience," in that it kept him sober for a year and furthered his religious studies.

Though he was declared competent to stand trial, he said he got little in the way of psychiatric help.

When he gets out, he said, he hopes to be admitted into a residential drug treatment program, such as Project 90 in San Mateo.
million bail at San Mateo County Jail since his arrest.
http://www.smdailyjournal.org/article.cfm?issue=06-23-04&storyID=32101

and:

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 3:35:55 AM PST

San Jose man who burned Jesus statue repentant

He will pay St. Bruno's Church ,748 for damages

By Tim Hay, STAFF WRITER

REDWOOD CITY -- Matthew McCoy is a personable 26-year-old who has spent the past year in jail for committing a strange and upsetting crime: He walked into the courtyard of a Catholic church in San Bruno, doused a statue of Jesus with gasoline and set it on fire.

McCoy is getting out in about a month. He insists his outrageous act was not meant as a sacrilege, and says he won't do it again.

"It was because of a woman," he said Tuesday in the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.

On Tuesday, Judge Craig Parsons sentenced McCoy -- who pleaded no contest to arson after his November 2003 arrest -- to one year in the County jail. He also gave McCoy 327 days credit for his work in the jail and time served. Finally, the judge put McCoy on probation for three years and ordered him to pay ,748 to St. Bruno's Church for the destroyed statue.

McCoy called his action "delusional."



"I was a sick person when this took place," he said. "There were suicidal issues going on. I lost this girlfriend, my heart was hurting. My unemployment had run out, and all these emotions came out."

A religious person and a self-styled Bible scholar, McCoy said the statue of Jesus of Nazareth at St. Bruno's had been bothering him for a while.

"I thought I knew all about Jesus Christ from reading the Bible, and I thought I was doing a good thing for this church by removing an evil symbol."

The Jesus of Nazareth statue features Jesus wearing a silver robe and bleeding from the head without a crown of thorns -- a posture unfamiliar to McCoy, and one he said he thought might symbolize something occult.

"I hit it as hard as I could with a chair," he said. "I hit it two more times trying to break through the plexiglass. Then I got nervous. ...I heard a guy yelling 'Hey, stop!' I knew I had to burn it. I poured the gasoline (from a water bottle) and flicked my lighter. There was this big old fireball, and boom!"

Ironically, McCoy has learned from other jail inmates that Jesus of Nazareth is supposed to be wearing a silver robe and be bleeding from the head.

"I was totally out of my mind to think I could take religious matters into my own hands and harm the church with fire and vandalism," he said.

Prosecutors agreed, and originally charged him with about two dozen counts of felony endangerment. But the charge was later reduced to arson.

The pastor of St. Bruno's was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

McCoy, who is from San Jose and once worked at the In-and-Out Burger in Daly City, also has been picked up in the past for grand theft auto, being drunk in public and being under the influence of a methamphetamine.

He said his jail time was "a great experience," in that it kept him sober for a year and furthered his religious studies.

Though he was declared competent to stand trial, he said he got little in the way of psychiatric help.

When he gets out, he said, he hopes to be admitted into a residential drug treatment program, such as Project 90 in San Mateo.
http://www.sanmateocountytimes.com/Stories/0,1413,87~11268~2229663,00.html

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Mighty_Emperor

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Coffin desecrater avoids jail

A 19-year-old student who was high on drugs when he desecrated a pensioner's coffin as it lay in church has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence.

Barry Gamble broke into St Agnes's Catholic church on the Andersonstown Road in Belfast in September 2002 and threw Maureen Melly's coffin to the ground.

He also tore crosses from the casket and the confessional box, broke a window and smeared excrement around the Sacristy, Belfast Crown Court was told on Monday.

The funeral of 85-year-old Mrs Melly, from Belleek in County Fermanagh, was due to be held the next day.

However, her family were forced to move it to nearby St Michael's church in Finaghy.

Gamble, from Brooke Drive in west Belfast, caused £5,000 of damage to the church.

It simply underscores the evil that drugs wreak in our community at a time when people are calling for it to be down-graded and reclassified
Judge Marrinan
A prosecution lawyer told the court that the smearing of excrement around the Sacristy had outraged and appalled the community.

However, she told Judge Marrinan no-one was arrested over the incident for 12 months until police were able to match Gamble's fingerprints in relation to another incident.

A defence lawyer said Gamble had been out with friends that night and had taken "what he believed" to be an ecstasy tablet, adding that from then "his recollection is very clouded".

He told the court that "it was the first time and the last time" Gamble had taken any illicit substances, adding that he was "extremely apologetic for his behaviour".

When he was eventually arrested and questioned about the attack on the church, Gamble made a "clean breast" of what he had done, said the lawyer.

He pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the church and to possession of ecstasy.

Suspending his two-year jail term for two years, Judge Marrinan told him his actions "must have been very disturbing" for Mrs Melly's family and added that he was satisfied it had been "totally out of character" for him.

"It simply underscores the evil that drugs wreak in our community at a time when people are calling for it to be down-graded and reclassified," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/northern_ireland/3847443.stm

Published: 2004/06/28 14:42:55 GMT

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ROBBERY SUSPECT MAY BE INVOLVED IN DISTURBING RITUALS

A search warrant of a house in Haskell uncovers much more than Saline County Sheriff's deputies ever expected.


Last Friday Haskell officer Brandon Carter discovered his tires had been slashed and sugar had been poured into this unit's gas tank. The investigation led to the arrest of, Derek Pike, 23, of Haskell and also uncovered deeper, darker crimes.


In a nice, quiet Haskell neighborhood, Saline County investigators solve a shocking crime. A mutilated statue of the baby Jesus that was stolen from the manger of a nativity scene was found in the home. The statue was stolen last Christmas from the First United Methodist Church in Benton and was found inside Derek Pike's house. Saline County Sheriff Phil Mask tells Fox 16 the evidence that Pike is part of a satanic group is overwhelming. "They were really dabbling into it trying to get something going and it scares me to think of what they possibly could or would have done if it continued to happen," said Sheriff Mask.



More disturbing is all the guns and knives recovered from Pike's home, all believed to have been stolen in many robberies and home burglaries. Sheriff Phil Mask tells Fox 16 they're also investigating the involvement of three juveniles believed to be members of this satanic group. One is now in juvenile custody.



Sheriff Mask tells Fox 16 the most disturbing of satanic rituals is the mutilation of the baby Jesus statue. First United Methodist Church leaders tell Fox 16 they have no comment about the crime that happened here last Christmas and they have no comment about the presence of a satanic group in their community.



Haskell police officer, Brandon Carter, is talking and tells Fox 16 he never guessed the group slashed his tires and never would have guessed what deputies found inside Pike's house. Officer Carter's car has been repaired and Pike is so far charged with one count of criminal mischief, four counts of burglary, and two counts of theft by receiving and this investigation isn't over yet.
http://www.klrt.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=B40F6215-3699-4C45-B529-BF4BAAAF5882
 

TheQuixote

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Company recalls offensive sandals

A footwear company has apologised for displaying the sacred Hindu 'Om' symbol inside its sandals and withdrawn the offending product.

Laceys footwear, in London, made the decision after it received complaints from the Hindu community.

The symbol is considered to be a manifestation of God.

Ramesh Kalidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said it is considered "deeply offensive" for people to "step" on the symbol.


The storm began after a member of the Hindu community spotted the sandals, which feature the symbol on the insole, in a shoe shop in Shepherds Bush Market, London.

Shock

The matter was then brought to the attention of the Hindu Forum.

Mr Kalidai said: "Hindus in Britain and around the world are shocked that a sacred symbol is being used in such an insensitive manner."

The footwear company has acted swiftly to end the controversy.

Michael Ridgway, a spokesman for, Laceys said: "I apologise on behalf of Laceys Footwear for any offence or hurt the design on the sandal has caused to any member of the Hindu community.

"We were completely unaware that the design could be read as a mirror image of the symbol. We are acting immediately to withdraw this shoe from sale."

Harrods

Several designers have provoked anger after being attracted by the richness of Hindu iconography.

In June London department store Harrods apologised to its customers for selling underwear bearing images of Hindu goddesses.

The controversy began when an Indian human resources executive saw mannequins bearing the brightly coloured bikinis.

Harrods removed the underwear and swimwear range from sale after a protest by a Hindu pressure group.

Hindu Human Rights said the garments, created by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, insulted the religion.

And last year another department store had to apologise for selling toilet seats with images of a Hindu deity.


BBCi News 16/07/04
 

TheQuixote

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Clerics condemn Kashmir pop song

Religious leaders in Indian administered Kashmir have sought a ban on a pop song by two Pakistani singers.

A line in the song, Kachi Pencil (Fragile Pencil), says God has written the fate of man with a fragile pencil.

The song has become popular with people across the disputed state, despite the protests by enraged clerics who say God would never do such a thing.

They have threatened to take to the streets in protest at the song, which is sung by Akram Rahi and Naseebo Lal.

'Blasphemous'

The BBC's Binoo Joshi in Jammu says the song has become all the rage with Kashmiri people for its melody and lyrics.

But clerics in Jammu told the BBC it was blasphemous.

"There is no question of Allah [God] writing our fate with a fragile pencil," said Moulvi Ghulam Rasool, who appealed to those owning the cassette to throw it away.

A similar message was given by other clerics at several mosques across the area.

But our correspondent says that despite the condemnation, the cassette is selling briskly.

"I play the cassette in my bus as it is popular with the passengers," one local bus driver said.

BBCi News 03/07/04
 

TheQuixote

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Thais plan etiquette book
Mon September 13, 2004 04:21 AM ET

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand, offended by a poster advertising a U.S. film that featured its director sitting on the head of a Buddha image, is drafting a Dos-and-Don'ts booklet for foreigners, officials say.

But the government of the mostly Buddhist country denied news reports it was preparing a blacklist to ban from the kingdom foreigners who have offended Thai culture, they said.

"We are combining cultural tips for foreigners from various places into a book, which will use easy-to-understand wordings and be distributed through various channels," Vice Minister for Culture Weerasak Kowsurat told Reuters on Monday.

Weerasak said state agencies were working on the manual, which would include tips to remind visitors that the head is the most respected part of the body. He said they hoped to launch the book next year.

"We believe such a booklet will help reduce cultural conflicts between foreigners and their Thai hosts," Weerasak said. "They can be aware of what we do and don't here, but it is up to them if they will believe and follow what we've suggested."

The Foreign Ministry sent a protest letter to Philippe Caland, writer, director and leading character of the YBG Productions film, "Hollywood Buddha", after he was depicted sitting atop a Buddha's head in the film's promotional poster.

Caland promised to withdraw the poster.

The film's Web site pulled a large image of the offending picture but kept a smaller picture with a cross mark through it along with an apology letter to "the Buddhists of the World".

"With much chagrin I have learned that an advertising image for my film, "Hollywood Buddha", has offended Buddhists by depicting the main character, me, sitting on a Buddha statue," Caland said on the film's Web site, http://www.ybg.com.

"I offer my deepest apology for this inadvertent insult and disrespect," the letter said.

The film is about an independent Hollywood film producer who struggles to keep his head above water as everything falls apart around him.

© Reuters 2004.
I would have thought someone would have remembered the furore surrounding that drrrty Xtina Aguilera's video offending the Thais.
 
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