Federation Council approves jail terms for insulting religion

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The Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, has approved a bill introducing criminal liability for insulting the feelings of religious devotees, stipulating a punishment of up to three years behind bars.


The document implies a new edition of the Criminal Code's Article 148 (Violations of the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion).

The proposed forms of punishment for public actions that are openly disrespectful to society and offensive to the feelings of believers, including actions undertaken at sacred sites, places of prayer and other religious rites, include up to three years in prison, fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($15,510) and compulsory and correctional labor.


continue to source article at rapsinews.com

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  1. Russians now stand at a cross-roads.

    Will they be able to defy their history, will they be able to break free?

    They teeter on the brink of a new age of dictatorship.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    Peace.

  2. Russia will never change. That country has always been foreign to democracy and can’t be expected to be able to design an internal policy of tolerance. Religion will take advantage of this law to impose its agenda on the country; if anyone protests they’ll be accused of insulting religion. At this pace soon we’ll see Putin turned into a Czar and backed by the official religión.

  3. It doesn’t take much to insult the feelings of a religious devotee. Point out that the water dripping from the feet of a statue is actually coming from a urinal and never mind 3 years, you have to leave the country. Only in the context of religion do you get to think, talk and behave like a complete and utter frazzled neuron tit head and get legal protection from the incredulity of your observers.

    A geographer cannot claim his feelings are hurt if some drongo tries to argue the world is flat, no palaeontologist can report a young earth creationist to thought control police for causing him grief. Failed philosophies must be able to pull a lot of strings in order to get the free passes they enjoy.

  4. You would think after generations of atheism, this sort of thinking would be long gone. It came back not in one of the istans, but in Russia.

    I smell some sort of collusion between the Russian Orthodox church and Putin that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion on Putin’s part.

    • In reply to #10 by Roedy:

      You would think after generations of atheism, this sort of thinking would be long gone. It came back not in one of the istans, but in Russia.

      I smell some sort of collusion between the Russian Orthodox church and Putin that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion on Putin’s part.

      By the Lord Harry, Roedy, you’re a sharp fella!!

    • In reply to #10 by Roedy:

      You would think after generations of atheism, this sort of thinking would be long gone. It came back not in one of the istans, but in Russia.

      I smell some sort of collusion between the Russian Orthodox church and Putin that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion on Putin’s part.

      There was no atheism, really. You can’t stop people’s religiosity by making it illegal. It still went on behind closed doors.

      Atheism wasn’t state law, just no religion allowed in public, which is totally different. People were not forbidden to believe in a god, just forbidden to practice religious nonsense.

      • In reply to #19 by ArloNo:

        In reply to #10 by Roedy:

        You would think after generations of atheism, this sort of thinking would be long gone. It came back not in one of the istans, but in Russia.

        I smell some sort of collusion between the Russian Orthodox church and Putin that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion on Pu…

        Well, it was a bit more complicated than that. I’m certainly no expert, but from how I understand it, Russia under Stalin and the USSR banned religion because the organizations didn’t fit into their goals of building a communist society. They were considered potentially subversive and a threat to both their aim to restructure society and to the government’s power base, just as non-approved art was something that had to be “removed” (i.e. censored) to preserve ideological purity throughout the country. And when you’ve already got an ideology to promote, competing belief systems are certainly not welcome, even if they are religious rather than political.

        Also, given that Marx wrote about religion as a kind of catharsis for the oppressed lower classes, I think that religion was regarded as no longer necessary once the revolution came for the proletariat, or was considered an impediment to the success of the proles in the class struggle.

        As you point out, it’s not clear that they were against private worship or could do much about it even if they were, but officially organized religion was a Very Bad Thing.

        Take my explanation with a grain of salt, though. I’m very much a dilettante when it comes to history.

    • In reply to #10 by Roedy:

      You would think after generations of atheism, this sort of thinking would be long gone. It came back not in one of the istans, but in Russia.

      I smell some sort of collusion between the Russian Orthodox church and Putin that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion on Putin’s part.

      The idea that Russia was full of atheists is untrue. Even though the Communists were against the church, what they did mostly was dilute it’s political power but never banned it completely. Eventually, even they realized the usefulness of religion with the general public during WWII. I don’t fully know what the relationship is between Putin and the church but I have little doubt that it’s sort of a give and take. Putin, I’m sure realizes the usefulness of religion as well in keeping the masses in a state of blind obedience. Similar to what goes on in the USA and other countries that use this tactic.

      I have very little doubt there are atheists and secularists in the Russia, this will undoubtedly be a blow to them.

  5. Why dose the council not approve a bill that protects science from religious attack. Fuck them and the unproven fairy tails that they spend their life defending. They can whistle on the street for their $15,510 fine.

  6. Russia is so fucked up nothing this country does could suprise me. It supports dictators because it despises democracy, it supports the church only because it can use it as an excuse to imprison people on a flimsy pretext. Putin you are a fucking arsehole.

  7. “Violations of the Right to freedom of conscience and religion” – This is Russian for ….No peoples rights and no conscience on Putin’s part

    Its the opposite to separation of church and state – what game is Putin playing and why is he bending to accommodate religion all of a sudden ?

  8. It’s funny. The Russians I meet tend to be interesting, super intelligent people with a broad world-view. Goes to show what sorts of Russians I hang out with.

    Anyway, I wonder what the threshold is for “insulting the religious feelings of devotees”? The article talks about “actions undertaken at religious sites [and so on],” but are those physical actions only or do verbal ones count too?

    If I paste a poster to my window saying “God does not exist” will that be considered offensive and, if so, is it as offensive as, say, holding a placard, which says the same thing, in front of a church?

    How will they determine that a person’s feelings are hurt? Will the “hurt” person’s opinion alone matter or will there be some objective way — a kind of “reasonable man on the Kolstevaya Line” argument — to measure “hurt feelings”?

    Will a book such as TGD be deemed as illegal as calling forth the wrath of Odin (of Norse mythology fame) on all Orthodox Christians?

    So many questions, I know, but this is all very confusing. Shall I put off that planned trip to Russia ;)

  9. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, there are strong correlations between religiosity, and inequality and financial insecurity. The disastrous reforms forced on Russia after the Soviet collapse have at least as much to answer for as “national character” and a historical lack of democracy. If those were the sole determining factors, there would be no democracies at all.

  10. OK then, fuck religion and fuck the council.

    If the religious are to be permitted an obsession with bad sci-fi, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed one with the good kind. I was only speaking metaphorically.

  11. The proposed forms of punishment for public actions that are openly disrespectful to society and offensive to the feelings of believers, including actions undertaken at sacred sites, places of prayer and other religious rites, include up to three years in prison, fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($15,510) and compulsory and correctional labor.

    From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    The realm of rights of rights to believe, to feel and to want are the realms of epistemic, of affective, and of conative rights. Together with the realm of rights of conduct, these are the four realms of rights. Each of these four realms of rights defines a separate conceptual space: there are no epistemic rights to act, and no affective rights to believe. What is distinctive about the three realms of rights beyond the rights of conduct is that they contain only privilege-rights (Wenar 2003). One may, for example, have a privilege-right to believe what one’s eyes tell one, and a privilege-right to feel proud of what one has done. It is interesting to consider why these epistemic, affective, and conative realms contain no claims, powers, or immunities.

  12. I wonder if this law will apply to minority religions like Judaism considering Russia’s long history of antisemitism? For some reason I imagine that the law will be used only to extend Putin’s appeal to practicing Orthodox Christians and to muzzle critics who question Putin’s relationship with the Church.

    Leaving Putin and his cronies to loot the state and Russia’s resources in peace.

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