Ivo Skoric on Tue, 4 May 1999 19:40:01 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> ivogram 050499 [digest]: Slovene spin, German spin

From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 00:36:55 +0000
Subject: Slovenian Marilyn Manson and Christians

Slovenia: A Peek Into America's Future?

by David R. Parvo 

Members of the Slovenian alternative rock band Strelnikoff are in
danger of going to prison for 5 years. Their offense? Releasing their
CD entitled Bitchcraft, which has on it's cover an image of the Virgin
Mary holding a well-fed rat in her hands. The Roman Catholic Church
reacted negatively, of course. In the Catholic weekly paper Druzina
(Family), Archbishop Franc Rode said, "Mother, what did they do to
you?", and that Slovenian Catholics were deeply wounded. The Young
Christian Democrats and State Prosecutor Anton Drobnic, who is a
leading member of the Christian Democratic Party, demanded that the
government prosecute the members of Strelnikoff because of this
"offense against religious sensibilities." They then demanded that the
records be banned and confiscated, threatening a boycott if they were
not. The band was interrogated by the police. 

Archbishop Rode, whose sermons on abortion were sampled by the band,
organized a special mass to ask forgiveness for the blasphemers. At
the mass, which drew over 7,000 people, Rode preached that "believers
continually suffer under the enormous burden of insults." It has
reached the point where Janez Markes, a writer for the political
magazine Mag, called for the members of the band to be lynched and
that they "should not seek the protection of the police if someone
throws a Molotov-bomb at them during their concert" on national
television. Other articles simply ask for a ban and a long prison
sentence for the members of Strelnikoff. 

At the moment, two petitions are circulating, both of which strongly
demand that the group be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The Catholic weekly newspaper Druzina, at the urging of Archbishop
Rode, opened a website on the Internet, where young believers could
express their anger at Strelnikoff's actions. It was closed due to the
pro-Strelnikoff stance of many of the responders, who were ostensibly
in favor of freedom of expression and speech. Fortunately, the band is
half-heartedly supported by President Kucan who, according to AP
reports, said "We should react with acts and words of tolerance and
cooperation . . . we shouldn't react with suppression and censorship."
According to Vasja Ocvirk, a member of Strelnikoff, it appears that
the District Attorney will not press charges against the band, but
State Prosecutor Anton Drobnic "probably will, because he is one of
the instigators of this whole witch hunt." 

With the rise of the Christian Right here in the United States of
America, the separation of church and state is being threatened daily.
What is happening to Strelnikoff in Slovenia is eye-opening and
sobering; it could be a glimpse into the future of the U.S.,
especially if the Christian Right has it's way. There are many bills
being introduced by legislators around the country, the content of
which seeks to demonize music and popular culture in general. Anything
that is new, original, or seeks to question the status quo is
immediately deemed offensive and attacked. Does that sound familiar?
It is quite similar to the tactic being used in Slovenia by the
Christian Democratic Party against Strelnikoff. What is happening in
Slovenia should serve as a reminder to the citizens of this country
that our right to freely express ourselves is sacred and should be
fought for tirelessly. Without it, we would exist in a virtual police
state, dominated by the oppressive and repressed Christian Right,
where every belief, idea, opinion and action is examined thoroughly.
And that is a very frightening thought indeed. 

To contact those who are opposed to freedom of expression in Slovenia,
and thus anti-Strelnikoff, use the following: 

The Christian Democratic Party (SKD) and the Young Christian
Democrats: skd@eunet.si 

The weekly newspaper Druzina:
http://www.druzina.si/english/index.htm (the English site) AND
http://www.druzina.si/mail.htm (the mail page of the Druzina) 

To contact the editor of Druzina:

The members of Strelnikoff have been victims of a campaign, where they
receive offensive letters and even dead rats in the mail. They
strongly request that you send no offensive mail to their opponents. 

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 00:48:36 +0000
Subject: German Spin on Etnische Sauberung

Check this out:

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