“Mickey Mouse Jesus” Gets Art Curators Convicted Of Inciting Religious Hatred In Moscow

The LA Atheism Examiner reports:

Two art curators, Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev, were convicted Monday by a Moscow court of “inciting religious hatred’ for putting on an exhibet called “Forbidden Art” in 2007. A Mickey Mouse Jesus, a Coca Cola Christ with the slogan “this is my blood” and a Christ on the cross with an Order of Lenin medal in place of a head, were among the offending items. The two curators escaped jail sentences but were ordered to pay fines of of 200,000 roubles ($6,477) and 150,000 roubles ($4,858) respectively. They could have faced a maximum 3 year sentence.

Their actual crime was offending the Russian Orthodox Church, resurgent in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and believed to have a cozy relationship with the current Medvedev/Putin government. Gleb Yakunin, a priest who has severed ties with the church years ago, told CBS 13, “The church has become an instrument of censorship like it was during czarist times. It wants to control culture.”

After the Church pushed for the prosecution, it told the court through Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyanksy, press spokesperson for the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, that prison sentences would be inappropriate. “Any believer will tell you that they can be convicted for inciting religious strife,” Vigilyansky said, “but I think that their conviction should not lead to imprisonment. I’m asking the authorities to show clemency and leniency toward them.”

The full story is here.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.