Church and State: May 2006 Archives

May 21, 2006

Lordi! Lordi! Lordi!

Greece/Finland: A heavy metal band has demonstrated that the best way to win the Eurovision Song Contest is to upset religious authorities:

Their fearsome appearance and religious references led to some protests in Finland and host country Greece before this year's contest.

Father Mitro Repo, an Orthodox Christian clergyman in Helsinki, described the band's use of the name Lordi"as "sacrilege.

And a group of Greek protesters known as the Hellenes called on the Finnish government to intervene.

We ask the Finnish Commission of the Eurovision Song Contest to cancel the procedure and choose another song, they said. This evil and satanic Finnish band is not welcome in Greece.

But they still won. The last time a performer offended supersitious sentiment, transexual Dana International took the crown for Israel.

The UK gave Lordi the full 12 points, helped by the votes of those attending the Eurovision party at Prattle Towers.

Update (21st May, 15:48): For the benefit of those outside Greater Europe who don't know what we're going on about, here's Lordi's winning performance. And for the record, here's Dana International, plus an article about reaction to her from certain quarters.

How horror rock conquered EuropeBBC News, 20th May 2006.

May 6, 2006

Established church terrified of miniscule competition

Greece: Approximately 2000 Hellenic Pagans are now legally allowed to exist in Greece, but all is still not hunky dory, and followers of the old gods are now seeking the right to worship at their sacred sites:

The followers, who say they defend the genuine traditions, religion and ethos of the ancients by adhering to a pre-Christian polytheistic culture, are poised to take their battle to the temples of Greece.

What we want, now, is for the government to fully recognise our religion, Vasillis Tsantilas told the Guardian. We will petition the Greek parliament, and the EU if that fails, for access to worship in places like the Acropolis, for permission to have our own cemeteries and, where necessary, to re-bury the [ancient] bones of the dead.

Greece only allows Orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam, having apparently not read the European Convention on Human Rights when it became a signatory to it, and especially not Article 9:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

Needless to say, the established church is unhappy at the idea that a tiny number of Greeks might have a different set of imaginary friends:

Father Eustathios Kollas, who presides over the community of Greek priests, said: They are a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion who wish to return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past.

Greek gods prepare for comebackThe Guardian, 5th May 2006.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from May 2006.

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