Here at NCS, we avoid the daily news like the plague (unless it involves metal), because it offers constant reminders that human beings are fucking nuts, and not in a good way. For every small step of advancement toward civilization, there seem to be about 10 steps in regression as the self-centered and the arrogant persist in reenacting acts of gob-smacking idiocy that have been a feature of the human landscape for millenia and inflicting their prejudices on people who don’t think or act as they do.
But there are just enough, just barely enough, episodes of rationality to keep hope alive that a day will come when most people will act like the higher-order creatures they are supposed to be, instead of just bigger-brained versions of water buffalo and warthogs.
This week we had news about the lifting of legal clouds in two criminal cases that most metalheads have come to know quite well — the murder case against the West Memphis 3 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and the prosecution of Adam Darski (a/k/a Nergal) of Behemoth for giving offense to religion in Poland.
According to this story, a Polish judge found Nergal innocent of offending religious feeling when he ripped up a Bible during a 2007 Behemoth concert, called the Bible “a deceitful book”, and branded the church a “criminal sect.” The judge held that Nergal’s actions were “a form of artistic expression consistent with the style of his band.” Duh. He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion. That’s an encouraging pronouncement.
Nergal can now go about the business of continuing to recover from leukemia and practicing for Behemoth’s next live performances this fall. No doubt, his detractors in Poland are seething over this turn of events, still stubbornly refusing to understand that trying to jail people who speak ill of churches, no matter how “offensively,” or who tear up “holy books,” won’t silence criticism of churches or religion. If people aren’t secure enough in their own faith to ignore what people like Nergal do in performances for their own fans, then enforcing laws against religious offense won’t save them. (more after the jump . . .)