Some of my compatiots are somewhat excited about a scandal in the world of culture. The National (meaning Moravian) Theater in Brno, Czechia's second largest city, has sanctioned a play titled "Our Violence and Your Violence" ["Naše násilí a vaše násilí"] by a smaller "Goose On a Rope" ["Husa na provázku"] theater.
The play was directed by the Croatian film director Oliver Frljić and the actors are Slovenian. Some sources say that most of these Slovenian actors are actually Muslims – so it's natural for them to defend Islam and attack Christianity and Muslims see nothing wrong if the lies are the key weapons to do so. Clearly, the message of the play is that we shouldn't ever criticize Muslims and violence they make – because we're doing the same thing. Well, not really. And they claim that we are ultimately responsible for the Islamic violence in Europe. But what kind of "arts" is used to convey this untrue point?
In the theater play, Jesus Christ is raping a Muslim woman. (There's no reason to think that Jesus has ever raped somebody and organized Christian soldiers weren't allowed to rape anybody for very many centuries.) Also, an actress extracted the full Czech flag out of her genitalia. You may imagine, it's a yummy play that is full of nudity. See some screenshots here.
The plot includes the hanging of Pope John Paul II, too.
A shocking aspect of this play – one that makes the public dissatisfaction more justified – is that this "cool arts" is actually subsidized by the taxpayer (from Brno's municipal budget, CZK 280,000 i.e. about €11,000). Fine. So what are the reactions of the people?
There are lots of people – politicians from Christian and not so Christian parties – who are extremely angry. A group "Decent Folks" ("Slušní lidé") has been organizing protests and tried to prevent the performance. Nationalist leaders Mr Sládek (the top one around 1990) and especially Mr Okamura (the current one) have made speeches about the play that sound... presidential, I would say.
As you can imagine, I am much more liberal than the typical critics are. I do think that even such plays must be allowed – not only in theory but also in practice – in our theaters when they pass some quality checks by the experts. And I see some similarity between the Czech critics of the play and those who attacked Charlie Hebdo for those Mohammed cartoons – although our Christian side is substantially less emotional and violent about it, of course.
But such a play wouldn't be OK according to my judgement. I think it is a cheap piece trying to get all the points from its being scandalous.
Four years ago, Dr Tomáš Halík, a theologian, Catholic priest, and left-wing intellectual, won the Templeton prize, GBP 1.1 million, from the Templeton Foundation. In the mid 1990s, I must have liked or admired this guy in some way – in fact, Miss Dora K. – a Catholic friend of mine from the student hostels – made me attend a mass in his St Salvator Academic Church near the Charles Bridge.
Well, he looked more rational to me than the Evangelical priests I was also exposed to – I thought that the Catholics were less fanatical and more compatible with the modern world than the Evangelicals. OK, at that time, I probably didn't view him as a left-wing intellectual. At least, it seems impossible. These days, Mr Halík is just an arrogant pile of stupid trash in my eyes.
Someone asked him to say something about the play. He said that he had to watch it. And he must have loved the play – so he has seen it twice! When he was finished, he has praised it as a "cool" play in the postmodern genre of arts that is making us think. The rape of the Muslim woman by Jesus isn't the point, he said. Instead, the point is that we're living in a crazy world in which religious symbols can produce hatred among the peoples, we were told.
Now, give me a break. Religious symbols have always produced hatred among the peoples. It has always been the case simply because believers care about God (and also the fundamental moral rules etc.) – and staunch disbelievers care about their non-God – which is why they find it important when other people disagree about these fundamental matters. After all, the answers to these questions decide about the very broad direction in which the mankind culturally, morally, and socially evolves. Nothing essential could have changed about these matters. Mr Halík just shows a complete misunderstanding of the human nature, psychology, and history if he says that religious differences only create passions today.
And he has also praised the play because it conveys the point that all the religions and their believers do the same thing. The fact that Jesus hasn't actually raped anybody – instead, He was supposed to bring us the new contract that ended the violence of the New Testament – also doesn't seem to be known to this Catholic priest. Or it doesn't impress him much.
In fact, Mr Halík has attacked the Czech Christians (starting from the re-appointed, 75-year-old archbishop of Prague, Mr Dominik Duka – although Duka wasn't named) who dared to criticize the play. According to Halík, they're just "simple believers" or "simpletons" and he's concerned about their criticism. On the other hand, he's much more than that. He isn't a simpleton, he is a Templeton winner. ;-)
Morons such as the regular Christians shouldn't go to the modern theater, the Catholic priest has pointed out, because they're just too stupid filth that doesn't have the mental capacity to understand how great it is when a nude actor representing Jesus Christ rapes a Muslim woman. Needless to say, lots of other people - starting from politicians across the political spectrum – have denounced Mr Halík's attitude.
I am providing the left-wing TRF readers with this picture of Mr Halík because he may turn out to be a helpful mirror. If you're an arrogant leftist, the example of Mr Halík could help you to understand why most of your compatriots want you to die as soon as possible. I think that even if you're left-wing, you will end up hating Mr Halík if you spend half an hour with this giant aßhole.
Dominik Duka, the beloved head of the Czech Catholics, was happy about the petition against the play and the Czechs' dissatisfaction with the premiere (that has taken place, anyway). He said that not even Nazis and communists have ever attacked Christianity in this way. Duka has rightfully complained that our (and Western) elites are much less good than the common people when it comes to their ability to distinguish the good and evil.
Michael Žantovský, an aide to the late ex-president Václav Havel, has also attacked Mr Halík and his hypocrisy. Žantovský reminded us that Halík has actually criticized the Mohammed cartoons in Charlie Hebdo! I haven't realized that – or I forgot about it. It's rather incredible. This "Catholic priest" obviously wants the Islam to be allowed much more in our society than the religion that he pretends to be his own. What makes this comparison even more insane is that the unflattering stories from Mohammed's life are true while Jesus' rape is not.
We're a tolerant nation so the play was premiered on May 26th, during the "World of Theaters in Brno" festival, after all. The Slovenian, mostly Muslim actors were unhappy about the petition and protests, anyway, they contacted the ambassador and/or Slovenian ministers, and they want Slovenia to kickstart a diplomatic conflict with Czechia because they weren't sufficiently encouraged in their raping of Muslim women by Jesus' central limb. Holy cow. What is the Slovenian public thinking about it? Given the arrogance of these scumbags, it's pretty clear that the political atmosphere in Slovenia is far more politically correct and treacherous than the atmosphere in Czechia. Slovenia is the wealthiest and most Westernized post-Yugoslav country – and lots of the typically Western deterioration comes with it. Well, now I see that Slovenia has 2.4% of Muslims; we only have 0.1%.
If you have strong nerves, you may watch a 5-minute Templeton-sponsored monologue in Halík's Czenglish answering the question whether Christians should embrace atheists. He ended up saying that atheists are better than agnostics because by struggling against the non-existent God, they show that they care about Him. Lots of extra arbitrary junk was added to that, however.
P.S.: I found a web page of the play. It says it's funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation – that's what you should have expected in the first place. The ticket costs CZK 250, around €10.
Here is the abstract:
The play questions not only the situation in the world, it also challenges Europe as a whole, its exclusivity, and its isolation at the same moment. It asks lots of unpleasant questions to the viewers: Do we know that our wealth depends on thousands of dead in the Middle East? Do we mourn victims of terror attacks in Paris and Brussels equally as the dead in Baghdad and Kabul? When was the exact moment when we decided that we're right and our God is more powerful than the others' Gods? What theater is needed at the moment of the self-evident return of fascism? Director Oliver Frljić who is famous for his provocative production is bringing a play to Brno, one that has ignited sharp voices in the world. In Slovenian with subtitles. SOLD OUT. The play will be recorded by the Czech Television.OK, so let's react one by one. First, only savages question the European civilization as a whole. The questions are not only unpleasant. They are deceitful. The statement that the wealth of the West depends on thousands of dead in the Middle East is just a complete lie. It is a fundamental lie about a rather serious topic and I simply despise individuals who spread lies about such points. We don't even need the fossil fuels from the Middle East these days.
Yes, we mourn European victims more than those in the Muslim world because Europe is our world – while the Middle East is not. So the events in the Middle East are somewhere in between events in our civilization and those that affect the extraterrestrial aliens. Another reason is that the human life is much more valuable in the Western countries than in the Muslim countries. That's why not only we but maybe even them care about the casualties in Europe more than they care about casualties in the Muslim world.
Jesus said that you can judge the trees according to their fruits. Our God or core beliefs underlying the Western civilization are more powerful than the Islamic ones because we got further. We can produce more food, live longer lives with a greater amount of smile, get further in investigating string theory, our theory of everything. The Western civilization is a superior one and I personally started to see this fact as a kid, as soon as I became familiar with the existence of other civilizations.
None of these facts has anything to do with fascism. More generally, fascism has nothing to do with any facts. On the other hand, Islam is an ideology that has a lot to do with fascism – which is why the more general ideology using Islam to dictate the societal norms is also called the Islamofascism.