Insult-to-Religion Prosecution Rejected in Poland

I blogged about the case when it was filed, but I’m pleased to report that a judge has thrown it out. From The Guardian (London):

[Judge Krzysztof Wieckowski] has found [death metal singer Adam Darski, of the band Behemoth,] not guilty of offending religious feeling … [by] ripping up a Bible during a show [in Poland] ….

He had been cleared by a court last year but prosecutors appealed that verdict…. According to the Polish news agency PAP, [Darksi] also called the Bible “a deceitful book” and the church a “criminal sect” ….

[The judge’s ruling] said it considered Darski’s actions “a form of art” consistent with the style of his band [and] that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticise religion.

Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.

UPDATE: Sorry, forgot to say this originally: Though I’m pleased at the result, I certainly think that expression shouldn’t be punishable on grounds of its anti-religious nature whether or not it is seen as “a form of art,” and whether or not it’s consistent with the style of the band.

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