Archive for the ‘Orthodox Christianity’ Category

Yet another case where the Christian Fundamentalists in Greece can use the law to abuse artists and creators.

  • First there was “Corpus Christi” (you can read about it here, here and here) I think they were acquitted, but I’m not entirely sure; I can’t find any sources to that.
  • Then there was “Elder Pastitsios” (here, here and here) who was eventually convicted in 2014 to 10 months in prison (suspended for 3 years).
  • Then there was Dionysis Kavalieratos (here) who had his art exhibit invaded by more or less the same people who got offended and dragged him to court as well in 2013. Thankfully, he was acquitted.

And now there’s a new case to add to this list. A few days ago an Old Calendarist monk, well-known for his semi-hillarious, semi-worrying antics* led a small group of people in protest against a “blasphemous” theatrical play in Thessaloniki; “The Hour of the Devil” by Portuguese playwright Ferndando Pessoa (written in the early 20th c.; Pessoa died in 1935).

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A friend of mine and organizer of the 1st Greek Mythicist Conference asked me today to translate the following article from their blog concerning a censorship attempt by the greek far right Golden Dawn party. The attempt was of course doomed to fail, as the Greek Constitution does not permit such interventions in private events, and it is more likely that the attempt was made at all just to placate the fundamentalist Orthodox base of the party, but it is still an unpalatable and troublesome development. Keep reading for the Greek Mythicists announcement.

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Now this is something you don’t see every day.

The Atheist Union of Greece (AUG) typically makes press releases and sends letters to public officials regarding matters in its fields of interest, but this was the first time a meeting was arranged face to face with an elected representative.

On August 6th two members of the AUG, the president (Fotis Frangopoulos) and the treasurer (Antonis Markouizos) met with the Deputy Minister of Culture, Education and Religions (Tasos Kourakis) and discussed several issues, the most important of which was the continuing problems students face when trying to get an exemption from religious education in all three levels and 12 years of public education (elementary school, junior high and high school).

The Deputy Minister was reportedly friendly, the discussion lasted about 30 minutes and and the AUG was promised that the Ministry would try to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible. I should note that a promise from a politician pretty much means jack shit in Greece (pardon the French) even under normal political conditions, let alone the current tumultuous situation (as I’m writing this the government has resigned, trying to renew its approval with national elections on September 20th). In any case, however, it was a first step and that should not get overlooked.

I have translated the text presented to the Deputy Minister below, but before you read it you should probably check out this article first, since it describes the various ways Orthodox Christianity intersects with school life in Greece. Originally it was intended to be included here, but it grew rather lengthy and I placed it apart. If you want to learn even more about Orthodoxy and its role in the modern Greek State, you can check out this article as well.

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This article started as a synopsis of the role of Orthodox Christianity in the Greek School Life, as a part of this article on the visit of representatives of the Atheist Union of Greece to the Minister of Education, but it grew rather lengthy in the writing so I’m putting it here separately. If you want to learn even more about Orthodoxy and its role in the modern Greek State, you can check out this article as well.

The owl: symbol of Athena, goddess of Wisdom, used regularly by educational organizations in Greece (like the pictured logo of the now defunct “Organization for the Publication of Educational Books”, which used to publish all school manuals).

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Hello guys and gals. Those of you well-versed in the intricacies of christian sects may be aware that the Catholic and Orthodox Easter do not always coincide and yesterday it was Easter here in Greece. In honour of that, I present for your viewing pleasure two comic strips I personally find hillarious.

I’ll be honest: I find most atheist/religious attempts at humour generally pathetic and for in-group consumption only. I don’t know if the artist that produced the following samples is an atheist or not; and frankly nor do I care. I just love the strips and he was kind enough to allow me to translate them in English for those of you not proficient in Greek (which should be most of the planet).

His name is Antonis Vavayannis and he runs a web comic called Κολυμπηθρόξυλα (pronounced /coh-lee-bee-THROH-ksee-lah/). This translates as “floatsam”, but trust me when I say that the word sounds really funny and chaotic in Greek (come to think of it, so does in English).

The first strip is pretty straight-forward religious humour. The second parodies greek easter customs; namely a game of banging dyed boiled eggs together (to see who is the last one standing), lighting firecrackers right after midnight during the easter service, and the unfortunate thing TV programmers have for old epic movie reruns during the easter holidays.

That said, enjoy! Click on the images to enlarge them.

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