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Friday, August 17, 2012

Justice for Russian Punks

There is no basic human right to barge into a church to make a political statement, jump around near the altar, and shout obscenities. But there is most certainly the right not to lose your liberty for doing so, even if the act is offensive.
This has got to be one of the dumbest statements I have heard for awhile. It begins an article on CNN about the poor, poor punk rock musicians who are being sent to prison for violating the religious freedom of the Russian Orthodox. People told the Church there that they ought to be merciful, but mercy has to come after justice. No, there is no right to not go to prison for doing evil things.

Why did these women decide that their impromptu concert had to be played in the sanctuary of a Cathedral? Did they simply try to come up with the most offensive possible location? Or did they hope to trade on the publicity that it would surely draw? A Church sanctuary is a place set aside from the world, a place to be kept holy. Though we are told that it is too much to ask the world to respect the boundaries of decency, it is not too much to ask the world to respect the simple boundary of a sanctuary. The world cannot understand why we would be upset. A sanctuary means nothing to them; if it means nothing to us either, then there is no place left for holiness in this world.

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