Monday, April 18, 2011

Keeping Madrid's Atheists Off The Streets

A modest proposal by a trio of civic associations to hold an atheist procession in Madrid during Easter week has, perhaps not surprisingly, provoked a hugely over the top reaction. First off the mark was Madrid's ayuntamiento which called for the procession to be banned as a "provocation". Completely different, you understand, from a bunch of intimidating looking Catholics marching around all day dressed up as the Klan. Anyway, Madrid's rulers got their way as the national government's representative in the capital banned the event.

This ban, also not surprisingly, was not enough for some of the small but very vocal Christo-fascist organisations that yearn for the good old days when heretics were dealt with in a more summary fashion. Hazteoir submitted a judicial complaint accusing the atheists of genocide, whilst the christian lawyers association was keen not to be outdone and lodged an accusation of praising terrorism. I'm not inventing any of this and you have to remember at this point that Madrid's rulers called for the ban to be imposed in the name of "tolerance". I'll repeat that because I'm sure someone will think I missed some letters from the beginning of the word. "Tolerance".

Now in a sane judicial system Hazteoir and the christian lawyers would be told to organise their own procession taking them back onto the street and down to the nearest bar to drown their sorrows instead of wasting judicial time and money. However, in Spain there is a never ending stream of legal cases brought by ultra right-wing sects and grouplets because there appears to be an equally limitless supply of conservative judges who far prefer this sort of thing to any far fetched notions of dispensing justice to the average citizen. The judge in this case being the same one that happily keeps alive the hopes of those behind the 11-M conspiracy theories.

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