The Corpus Christi Butterfly

Reader Radek from Poland (supposedly, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country) tells this story:

… Poles celebrate a holiday in June called Corpus Christi. It might not be as popular in the US, but here, traffic is banned in whole towns for hours because of the processions. These ‘parades’ can be very loud, take up police time, block traffic, and if any other religion or denomination wanted this kind of privilege, they would not be able to get it. Very recently, a brave person protested against that obvious religious intolerance by dressing up as a butterfly and running around during the procession.

Mind you, he touched no one, caused no harm or disruption, and was even quiet. Now he may be awaiting trial because a priest felt offended and reported a crime. Outrageous.

I don’t have any other details on the case, but the picture is priceless:

***Update***: This article has more information on the story. (Thanks, Preston!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Jude

    Few people could pull off a costume like that one, but he succeeds nicely.

    • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

      The first thing I though about the picture was that he had really awesome shoes…

      My college has de sensitized me to large men in various silly costumes. We had a banana suit day… It was for charity, though that priest probably would have crapped a brick . 

  • Thin-ice

    And Poland wants to be considered part of enlightened Europe? Any country where the police would arrest a flitting harmless butterfly man because a priest complained, has a looong ways to go to earn respect!

    • Radek

      I don’t think he was arrested, I might not have made myself quite clear. The priest reported a crime and the “butterfly” may be awaiting trial, nobody knows yet. He is looking at anything from a fine to two years in prison, but I don’t think he will be actually punished. If he goes to prisone, I go abroad.

  • Radek

    It’s not difficult to find sourcec citing 93 per cent of Poles as Roman Catholic (mostly Polish sources, but see: http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2001/poland01.html), the fact that is still used as an argument by church-goers and even church officials. When, for example, a group of high school students protested against crosses hanging in pretty much every classroom of their public school (a situation considered as normal here), they were bashed by our former Minister of Education, and current MEP and called “a group of spoiled brats” and a lot of people defended him citing this “93 per cent catholic” nonsense with no regard to our Constitution. If you think you have it hard in the US, then I suggest — come to Poland, a secular country with consitutionally guranteed religious freedom, by all means.

    • Radek

      something went wrong with the link there: http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2001/poland01.html

    • Radek

      something went wrong with the link there: http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2001/poland01.html

    • http://twitter.com/meyekael Meyekael

      Spoiled brats? That’s funny that’s exactly what I think of religious people – they’re spoiled brats who think they should get their way in everything, and if they don’t, they cry like babies about it.

  • David McNerney

    The Catholic Church needs to cop itself on.  Their right to march up and down the street has the same source as the butterfly guy’s rights.

    The law might protect them now – but a couple of appeals later and their privileged position is gone.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I gotta say it.

    Float like a butterfly, stink like a bee.

    • pureone

      sting  ;)

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Damn the beer, damn it to hell.

  • leanne

    i love that he’s also levitating.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard a lot of nasty things about Poland especially from Europeans. Some of it is probably deserved while some of it probably is not, but this man is a hero.

  • Preston

    Hemant, posted this on the Facebook page but I’ll put it here too. This article has more info on the “butterfly” for anyone interested.

    http://pushingtheborders.blogspot.com/2011/07/fluttering-on-outskirts-of-religion.html

  • Tortuga Skeptic

    Really, priests are offended by someone else’s costume, can someone please get them a mirror and maybe a picture of the pope.

  • http://nathandst.blogspot.com NathanDST

    I’m a little confused. What does the butterfly represent that a priest would be offended? What allows it to act as a protest, instead of some guy just acting weird?

  • rhodent

    I sincerely hope that more people will do this next year.  Do it just like this guy did: don’t touch any of the Corpus Christi participants, and don’t cause harm or disruption.  Oh, and be sure to dress up like a butterfly.  Let’s see if the cops are really going to crack down on this sort of thing.  They might, of course, but rest assured it will backfire if they do.

  • Simon

    I never tire of showing this to people: Poland may be 93% Catholic, but according to the European Union’s official polling agency, only 80% believe in the existence of a god.


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