back to article Christians vs metalheads in FB flame war

If you want to start a contemporary religious war, what better place to launch it than through Facebook? Residents of Sydney, Australia who had been looking forward to a "black metal festival", scheduled for next weekend, must now find other entertainment, as Catholic group, Catholics Taking Action (CTA), successfully mounted …


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  1. Alexander Vollmer

    Human Rights Violation

    Don't they have laws against religious discrimination down under? They should sue the RSL, may be in Strasbourg for mass boring and discriminating people, there must be a single European concert-goers and if he or she is discriminated ...

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse


    Why don't the Christians simply forgive them, after all isn't tolerance and forgiveness what that cult is mostly all about?

    It seems so obvious.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      Depends on your reading.

      If you're more of the protestant, evangelical bent then you forget the new testament (with its forgiveness) and stick to the old one (godly ire, eye-for-eye swaps, etc).

      I fail to get fired up about either of these two here, their own imaginary friend and disparaging the other's.

    2. mafoo


      I remember at RocSoc back at uni, we had a complaint formally lodged against us by members of the Christian Union that we were quote "Baby eating, granny rapers".

      The great irony was given a few drinks, the members of the Christian Union were far more promiscuous than any of the nerds that made up rocksoc.

  3. S Larti

    I'd bite the head off a bat!

    But the aussies are having enough trouble with their batting already!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      see title

    2. Anonymous Coward

      What's the bat done to you ?

      Leave the poor bats alone! I'd far rather bite the head of a Christian :-))

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    By a hundred hanging popes!

    That X-tian description would make me expect that Lovecraft's body animated by Nyarlatothep would be making guest appearances during episodes of especially deep bass accompanied by the mad piping of blind, ghoulish metal groupies.

    Otherwise I would ask for money back.

  5. SG76


    Catholics protesting against bizarre rituals to please make-believe entities? Irony fail?

  6. nathharper

    whoa whoa whoa!

    are you saying that you can't be a metalhead AND Christian?

    1. Michael C

      List of Christian metal bands

      this is FAR from a complete list...

  7. hplasm

    Respoding via Facebook? Pah- use traditional methods...

    Release the Lions!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Keep us Romans out of this

    2. S Foster

      Lions ?

      No, welease Bwian instead.

  8. Jimbo 6

    Godsquad vs 'Satanist' saddoes ?

    Really not sure who I most want to lose - that's got to be the most difficult call since we saw London Riot Police vs Foxhunters several years ago.

    Flying Spaghetti Monster icon, please.

  9. Fuzzysteve

    Inverted Crosses! Oh no!

    Who'd want to follow a man that sits on a throne with an inverted cross?

    Other than the Catholics, I mean.

  10. Jim 59


    Rock musicians have used scary themes to add to the wildness of their music, Black Sabbath being the most obvious example. On balance, this event seems more like genuine Satanists trying to pass themselves off. Rock music is creative, joyful, wild and free. Genuine Satanism is none of these. Get out of here you spooky b*stards.

    1. markfiend

      Genuine Satanists?

      No such thing. There's only kids for whom "Mum, I don't believe in god" didn't have the expected impact.

      Before I get downvoted, I'd like to point out that this is not intended as a slur against non-believers. I'm an atheist myself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Genuine Satanists

        It might have been that way in the early 90s with the handful of nutters who committed murder or burned down beautiful old churches, but you're more likely to find people into Nietzsche now which has far more in common with your La Vey Satanists. After all what is more anti-Christian than the belief that we aren't all equal nor is there a god.

    2. Nuffnuff


      Satanism, as an offshoot of Christianity, could most likely be classified as a subsect of Catholicism. They share the same belief structures and are effectively the same thing. Probably best to leave the respective devotees to their (comparatively small) difference of opinion and enjoy the show.

  11. LuMan

    Irony.. or hypocrisy?

    Ignoring the differences between Catholics and Christians for the moment, it seems odd that a group who has had so much media coverage for non-holy actions should start pointing the finger.

    So much for the modern Church being open to the views and beliefs of others. And a MASSIVE "shame on you" for the powers that be crumbling like a soggy digestive and cancelling the gig. Totally spineless!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So much for the modern Church being open to the views and beliefs of others."

      When did they say they would be open to the views and beliefs of others?

      It's more a case of "I'm open to your views, if they are the correct ones". I'm sorry but that's just the mindset that organised religion seems to encourage. And I qualify it with the word organised quite deliberately.

      Having a religion in and of itself doesn't corrupt your thinking (I'm not an atheist of the pompous militant ass variety) but seeking to regularly associate with people based on those beliefs seems to lead inexorably to a feedback loop of crazy bullshit ideas. You go to church once a week and its a great big stroke-fest of people saying "yes I feel really compassionately about your situation, by the way did you know I am only here to avoid going to hell?" It's sick in a way.

      I believe that any one member in a group of people is only as intelligent as the dumbest, least productive member of that group. You let one idiot in (usually the priest) and sooner or later everyone's licking the windows. Of course the world is full of idiots so going to church inevitably involves under-clocking your brain by a factor of at least 12. It's the same in any organisation btw; school, work, ass to mouth club. Church just happens to be a particularly nice example.

      1. Winkypop Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        "sooner or later everyone's licking the windows"

        Stained-glass windows!

  12. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    It Is Easy To...

    ...go on about freedom of speech and freedom of religeon as long as "they" are not too different than you.

    Fringe acts such as this test our belief in our own professed standards. .

    Not a Satanist myself, athough a friend says the virgin once a month is a lot of fun.

    The truly evil thing about all this is that one would need to join Facebook to participate.

  13. NB


    motherfucking self-righteous moral crusaders. If they don't want to listen to some metal they don't have to go to the fucking concert. Fuck them and the anally retentive high horse they rode in on.

    1. Marvin the Martian


      Their targets are also a famous bunch of w*nkers, play-acting believers in an even less coherent worldview not even propped up by good intentions like the commandments.

      Like the EDL creating an atmosphere that helps recruit fundamentalists, the two deserve each other but make it worse for the more sane rest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Define "good".

        "Their targets are also a famous bunch of w*nkers, play-acting believers in an even less coherent worldview not even propped up by good intentions like the commandments."

        The Satanists I've met (ok so most of them were from one small group with their own specific ideas) have had a more liberal, open-hearted and open-minded set of ethics than your average human. They just like doing what they want to do, and tend to do it whether society thinks it acceptable or not (largely because they've taken the time to evaluate the effect of their actions). It is precisely because their interests are some way from the mainstream that they understand the currency of suffering, and don't feel the need to add more of it to the world. And that includes a bit of pomp and ceremony. Because, you know, dressing-up games are fun.

        Judge not, lest ye be the kind of individual who thinks drinking over-priced beer by the tard-load of a Friday night, or spazzing out to who won the football, or group-fondling matt-black plastic at Computer Con is the height of entertainment.

        And I rather like science, so don't thumb me down for being a Believer. You really wouldn't have a clue what I know or believe or hold to be somehow and somewhat valid (where "valid", in case you hadn't noticed, is pretty much a function of a long series of value judgements and is a long way from any sort of "truth").

        And on the subject of incoherent world views: Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.

  14. jake Silver badge

    Christians ... Just ask yourselves:

    Which version of Creation do you believe in? The one described beginning at Genesis 1:1, or the one beginning at Genesis 2:4?

    They are clearly different.

    Until you can justify this difference, kindly shut the fuck up. Ta.

    1. foo_bar_baz

      For most Christians today, probably neither

      The bible isn't a technical manual. Only unthinking fundamentalists and trolls like yourself would read it literally.

      But congrats, you managed to read about 5 pages of the Bible and you gained 10 troll points for the achievement "Found a Contradiction in the Bible". You probably think you're the first to find one.

      Quick tip before bible-baiting Christians the next time: use the New Testament instead. The Old Testament is about as relevant to Christian beliefs as The Silmarillion is to LOTR. See, Jesus (you know, Christ as in Christianity) doesn't feature until the New Testament, so his teachings are kinda absent in Genesis.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Might I suggest that a rather large part of the US southern Christians actually believe in the literal truth of the WHOLE bible, regardless of the inconsistencies and illogicality thereof. And large parts of Africa and the east.....

        I find the idea that someone thinks that Christianity as an expression of truth is fine as long as you only believe the bits of the Bible that make sense rather bizarre. You either believe the bible or you don't.

        I think the fact that many Christians are dropping large parts of the Christian doctrine over time as they realise the futility of it is very telling indeed. Eventually, they will join the rest of us in the 21st century and realise that there is more to life than living it in some dreamy lie that is religious faith and actually getting out and living your life to its fullest for the right reasons, not because some deity says you should.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Okay You Primitive Screwheads ...

          ... listen up.

          The spiritual point of a "god's word" or "absolute truth" is have to a fixed, known point, around which the universe can be turned.

          No. You don't ever believe it to be absolutely true, you make-believe it to be so, as it makes life, language and learning a damn sight easier. Similarly, at any given moment, the current science is "true". It isn't actually true, we just pretend it is. Have we got it now? Clueless fucking fundies.

          As for living life to the fullest, don't make me laugh. Try whooping up the God Void on a mountain top with your balls out and your mind so legally fucking high it hurts and no clue as the to right or wrong of anything but the aliveness of now just because you happen to fancy it might be a amusing thing to do.

          All Hail Eris.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            @John Dee

            Wow, are you being sarcastic or do actually believe all that boll*cks you just spouted?

            > You don't ever believe it to be absolutely true, you make-believe it to be so, ...

            Erm, I beg to differ. A good few people out there Do believe it to be so and literally. Some go through the motions of believing without actually doing so because they want something mystical to cling to. I don't say they're wrong to do so though. Whatever floats your boat.

            Christianity and religion is general is in a bit of a transition at the moment. You see this everywhere. I see a lot of analogs with smoking. Most people are turning away from it, but there are some die-hards who still cling to it, despite the general tide.

      2. OrsonX

        er... what is your point?

        not sure if I should be up-voting or down-voting you?

        Are you saying that because the contradiction is in the "betamax" part of the bible it doesn't matter, and that real Christians only belive in the perfect recordings of the VHS New Testament segment? And therfore everything is okay with the bible after all????

        Or, are you (I hope) saying it's all BS and it should have gone straight to DVD?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Space-time. Discrete or continuous?

          Or how about wave-particle duality? Just because we now have that term, doesn't mean any of the wave-like questions were stupid or wrong.

      3. jake Silver badge


        "The bible isn't a technical manual."

        Actually, in a way, it is. It's a carefully compiled set of codices, designed to confuse the un-educated.

        "Only unthinking fundamentalists"

        Careful, you'll get yourself lynched ...

        "and trolls like yourself would read it literally."

        Who is trolling? I read the silly thing when I was about eight years old ... and questioned the shaman "in charge" over what I saw as logical errors. I was promptly banished to a lifetime of care-free Sundays. Oh darn.

        "But congrats, you managed to read about 5 pages of the Bible"

        I've read it cover to cover, actually. Not only in English, but in the original Aramaic, Koin Greek, and Latin. Can you say the same?

        "and you gained 10 troll points for the achievement "Found a Contradiction in the Bible". You probably think you're the first to find one."

        Who is trolling? The Bible is full of errors. Always has been, always will be. This is a fact. Commentarding on this fact isn't trolling, it's (potentially) educational.


        Who said anything about "evil"? Aren't you quick to draw conclusions ...

        "Quick tip before bible-baiting Christians"

        You really don't get it, do you?

        "the next time: use the New Testament instead."

        Can do. Did Matthew, Luke, or John get the last words of Jesus right? Why did Mark decline to comment? As a result, can any of the four Gospels be considered useful insight into the day-to-day life of Jesus, at least from the point of view of the proverbial "thinking man"?

        "The Old Testament is about as relevant to Christian beliefs as The Silmarillion is to LOTR. See, Jesus (you know, Christ as in Christianity) doesn't feature until the New Testament, so his teachings are kinda absent in Genesis."

        Oh. I see. You're re-writing the book in your own image ... and using pulp-fiction to justify your belief. Can you understand why this is a problem, from a logical point of view? On the bright side, you're probably helping to keep your local shaman warm, dry & in kibble. Someone has to, I guess. Carry on.

      4. Big-nosed Pengie

        What a load!

        Here's a quiz. Who said the following?

        "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

        For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

        Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

        For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

        Give up? It was Jesus. Try reading your bible before you go telling us atheists what it says.

        Oh - in case you find it hard to understand, when Jesus talks about "the law" he's talking about his holy book - what you'd call the old testament.

      5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        For most Christians today...

        "The Old Testament is about as relevant to Christian beliefs as The Silmarillion is to LOTR."

        Various church councils of the first millennium disagreed with you on that point and I'm not aware of any major church that has kicked the OT out of the canon. Jesus may not feature, but Christianity is not Jesus-worship. (Well, your flavour might be...)

      6. Mariano

        Practice skepticism

        The more that someone appeals to the more they discredit themselves as is saturated with fallacies of every sort and has been discredited: here is some of the evidence with a true and honest skeptic will take the time to consider:

    2. ItsMeInnit?

      They're the same?

      Don't geddit? They are blatantly not contradictary.

      There are a sh1t load of contradictions in there, so choose a better one, like how the gospels differ on the way Judas died.

  15. Ragarath

    They rented

    The place for a gig / festival / whatever and they pulled the plug 2 weeks before? Me thinks someone will be getting a big legal bill (they probably have clauses in the contract but I am sure they can be overcome.)

  16. Gordon Pryra


    Surely the line "On the other hand, a medieval Facebook might have made the crusades a whole lot less bloody?" is totally incorrect?

    The whole point to this story is that the weird religious types used facebook as a tool to force their oppressive views onto others.

    Wasn't that the entire point of the crusades?

    I reckon if we had a medieval Facebook we would have had the same affect as some of the "face book party's" you see nowadays.

    Unfortunate Arab parents coming home to find their hose trashed by the Christians turning up with a free open house invitation garnered from a foolish child's facebook page.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >Wasn't that the entire point of the crusades?

      No. The Crusades were staged (initially, at least) in an effort to roll back Islamic military conquests in the Levant, which had subjected the population to Islamic rule (where non-Muslims had the choice to convert or pay heavy 'infidel' taxes.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As opposed to ...

        ... Christianity's "convert or die".

        I'm with the OP on this one.

      2. Kamal Hashmi

        re Crusades

        > No. The Crusades were staged (initially, at least) in an effort to roll

        > back Islamic military conquests in the Levant, which had subjected

        > the population to Islamic rule (where non-Muslims had the choice

        > to convert or pay heavy 'infidel' taxes.)

        Read a real history book, dimwit.

        Four hundred years is a long time to wait to 'roll back' conquests.

        The Crusaders were a lot less tolerant of other religions than the Muslims.

        And the tax is the equivalent of the 2.5% Muslims have to pay for the poor - so it evens the field rather than discriminates against non-Muslims.

    2. Steven Knox

      FaceBook vs FaceMace

      "The whole point to this story is that the weird religious types used facebook as a tool to force their oppressive views onto others."

      I think the point of the line was that the weired religious types would be able to use facebook as their tool, rather than swords, maces, crude explosives, siege engines, et al.

      If I had to choose, I'd opt for being oppressed via HTML rather than via a heavy sharp object to the base of the neck.

      1. Joe H.


        "If I had to choose, I'd opt for being oppressed via HTML rather than via a heavy sharp object to the base of the neck."

        I will one day learn not to read the comments section on an article with diametrically opposite viewpoints while drinking coffee. YOMANKB

  17. David Given

    I thought they'd be all for it...

    ...given that the inverted cross is the symbol of St. Peter (apparently he wanted to be crucified upside down because he was not worthy, or something).

    Given that Peter can be considered to be the first Pope, this is doubly ironic coming from Catholics.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The results should say enough.

    It seems that the RSL fears this christian group more then the 'evil black metal Satanists'.

    At least they are right in that concern.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why is it

    that the evil protesters always get their way.

    Protest against someone's freedom and you will win every time.

    Protest for everyone's freedom and the police will beat you mercilessly as your fellow man stands laughing.

    Why can't you losers protest the internet censorship? Oh yeah I guess Satan runs the internet too! Fucking idiots.

    Honestly life is wasted on the living.

    1. Sillyfellow


      astutely observed and well stated. good man. thank you. :?)

  20. Tom 7

    I wish we could get the same done to

    piped christmas music everywhere.

  21. HP Cynic


    When will the anachronism that is Christianity (or any organised Religion) roll over and stop interfering with people's lives, stymieing science and polluting children's minds with their utter nonsense.

    No matter what imagery the festival used, it was simply harmless, heavy-metal fun. There is no satan, god, heaven or hell and no amount of praying/dancing/summoning is going bring them into being.

    I feel sorry for the Australians who had their freedom restricted by these morons.

  22. JDX Gold badge

    Not news.

    Does anyone know if the festival in question is just a typical metal thing with 'satanic glitter' as part of the image? Or is it genuinely a gathering of real satanists? The former makes one side look silly, the latter would make it seem more reasonable to protest/complain.

    Nice how they aren't above bringing gay rights and abortion into the argument to swing opinion!

    1. CD001

      It's Black Metal

      Close enough.

      Satanic imagery is part of the deal - hell there might even be some genuine Satanists into BM - though I've never met one.

      1. Panix
        Thumb Up

        Then you haven't heard of Kristian Eivind Espedal

        aka Gaahl, vocalist for Gorgorath.

        \m/ icon please.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        How would you know?

        You had met a satanist - not all of us have bad taste in music....

    2. Tom 35

      Nice how they aren't above bringing gay rights and abortion

      Well the other side always brings Satin into the argument about gay rights and abortion so fair is fair...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting how ...

    ... the view of facebook/twitter campaigns alters depending on whether you agree or disagree with what they are saying. Looks to be a case of

    I am an individual making an intelligent response to something I oppose

    You are ordinary people showing how you feel

    They are a lobby group trying to get something shut down

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Australia is Fucked!

    Self-righteous, small minded, selfish, ball-less bastards actually make spiders living under your toilet seat seem positively cute behaviour.

    Metal is the rock genre that can't die, like a roach, so the attack of the fundies won't hurt for long, but how come anti-social behaviour (persistent/driving noise pollution and parked car investigations that are both sudden and pronounced) is okay if you have an imaginary friend?

    1. Thomas 4

      I've been giving this a lot of thought lately

      It seems to me that we need some sort of international equivalent of Social Services, where a country can be monitored for signs of abuse (such as dictatorships), neglect (resource starved Third World countries) and the galloping crazies (where religious fundamentalists seem to have taken control). These countries would then be put into care until their governments can learn to look after them properly.

      1. foo_bar_baz


        First you colonized them to bring Christianity, now you want to colonize them again to take it away?

        Because your world view du jour is always the right one.

    2. Big-nosed Pengie

      Not completely

      Australia is one of the least religious countries on the planet, so there's hope yet.

      Sadly a loud, well-resourced tiny minority exercises a power well beyond what it should.

    3. S Foster

      Send them to the colonies!

      Kind of makes sense when you think we sent all our criminals and ne'er do wells to down under.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it religious persecution?

    If a person, or group, is persecuted by a religion?

  26. Colin Guthrie

    Social Media does not Cause Social Change... discuss

    This article in the New Yorker seems particularly relevant to this:

    It discusses how all major social change has been connected to strong ties and that social media such as Twitbook and MyFace etc. are really weak ties and thus don't involved real social change. Obviously this doens't apply at small-scales as in this case, but it's still an interesting opinion.

  27. Blofeld's Cat

    Four Horsemen of the Outback

    an "unholy spell to be cast upon the city of Sydney" featuring the "ultimate of soul possessing occult revelations...unbridled blasphemy... [and] a union of all things unholy"

    So they expect a coalition government then.

  28. Richard Porter

    This sort of thing makes me soooo angry

    that I'd better count to ten before saying what I want to say.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    If these bloody god-botherers had just kept quiet nobody would have known about the event apart from those taking part and maybe a few people in Sydney. Now world+dog knows. I hope they're happy, though I doubt if they can be having had their sense of humour surgically removed at birth.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      There is that...

      ...having foolishly brought the fight on to Facebook does the Streisand effect come in to play?

      Well I'd by a ticket if they can reschedule the gig; nothing more fun hanging out with folk in heavy black clothing during the height of the Australian summer. ;^)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What ever happened to "sectioning" people?

    CTA! Seems this disease, this mental illness is spreading, and the Aussies have it BAD.

    2010 and the lunatics are still allowed out.

    1. Edagan


      Strange things start happening to logic when you build arguments on dates. Implying that things should be different because of what year it is rarely makes for a convincing premise. And besides, if you look, you'd see that the trend has been away from the detention of those who're mentally ill. (I offer no view on whether that's a good or bad thing.)

      There's also the question of whether the habit of equating religious belief with mental illness is an indication of genuine concern for patients' well-being or merely self-indulgent and intellectually unchallenging abuse.

      All that said, I'm with the earlier commenter who wasn't sure whose side to take. I don't agree with anyone who uses their own religion to try to restrict the freedoms of others; but then again I'm not sure there're many good reasons for adhering to a subculture whose purpose appears to be to annoy another group. To my eyes 'Satanists' don't seem to have much identity of their own: they seem to define themselves purely by what they're not.

  30. hacker dot

    Religious intolerance FTW!

    Seriously, what is going on "down under"? They've been hammering away over the past year or two at the right to have legitimate porn. Now one can't listen to a satanic tune or two in a public space?

    So much for the right to free speech in those parts...

  31. copsewood

    Try to do that in a Muslim country

    And you'd get locked up or stoned or something. (The nasty kind of stoned that is.)

    @Alexander Vollmer: I don't see any human right in being able to hire a private or public venue where offensive stuff someone wants to do is unwelcome. What about the human rights of those running the venue who don't want to piss off their local community ?

    @Aristotles: Forgiving Satanists for their Satanism is indeed what Christians must do, regardless of whether the Satanists have repented of it, though repentance of evil certainly makes forgiveness much easier. But you misunderstand forgivenss which is for the perpetrator. Forgiveness of the perpetrator of a sin doesn't make the sinful behaviour being forgiven in any way acceptable. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to want Satanists to practice Satanism within your community, or that local Christians have no right to make their abhorrence of Satanist events and practices known to local venue operators.

    Christians have freedom of speech for this purpose as much as anyone else.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @copsewood, 19th November 2010 13:13 GMT

      I think you missed an important point, the event is _NOT_ taking place in a Muslim country. So why bring it up? trying to make Christianity look like the lesser evil?

      1. copsewood

        @AC 13:13 GMT

        The point about lack of basic human rights in most Muslim regimes is worth making.

        The reason non Christians have any freedom of speech in most countries is because democracy developed in Protestant Christian countries before anywhere else, followed soon after in Catholic Christian countries. The Christian Gospel is about freedom from slavery (slavery to sin and Satan). It is therefore hardly a surprise that his Christian faith inspired William Wilberforce to campaign successfully to abolish slavery.

        No other faith position can make such claims. Atheists still dream they can create a more perfect society, but the human rights track record of the atheistic regimes of the last century and earlier is pretty appalling.

        1. David Barrett

          Examples, or I dont believe you.

          "No other faith position can make such claims. Atheists still dream they can create a more perfect society, but the human rights track record of the atheistic regimes of the last century and earlier is pretty appalling."

          Evidence, Please.

        2. GrantB

          democracy developed in Protestant Christian countries

          Really? copsewood, you really must tell the greeks who invented the word 'democracy' quite a long time before Christian sect split from the Jews.

          The irony of post claiming Christians invented free speech in response to an article about Christians suppressing another groups right to religious expression is amusing at best.

          As for Christians wanting freedom from slavery, you might want to check the bible again. Start with the question, 'Why can't I own Canadians'?

        3. Snapper
          Thumb Down


          "No other faith position can make such claims. Atheists still dream they can create a more perfect society, but the human rights track record of the atheistic regimes of the last century and earlier is pretty appalling."

          Pretty selective. If you take a good long look at the history of most religions, and in particular the Christian churches of the last 2,000 years, and again in particular the utterly vicious misogynism of the middle ages when an estimated 1.5m innocent women were tortured until they 'confessed' to witchcraft and were then burnt to death, I think you'll find Atheists have really only been following some examples of human cruelty refined by Shamans throughout recorded and un-recorded history.

          Not justifying the Atheists position you understand, but you can't ignore centuries of hypocrisy and unspeakable cruelty because it suits your argument.

    2. James Hughes 1

      On the other hand

      The Satanists (or whatever) appears to have had their freedom of speech (i.e. their concert) taken away by the Christians because of freedom of speech.

      1. foo_bar_baz
        Thumb Down


        "Free speech" doesn't' exactly apply here, but let's not critical thought get in the way of some good bashing.

        You want to force a business to accept a client they decided was bad PR for them? Don't blame the fundie religious people for asking, blame the business for accepting.

    3. Jean-Luc
      Thumb Down


      It might be a legal right for those running the venue not to hire out their hall in order not to piss off the community.

      Maybe. Some countries have laws against refusing to sell things if the buyer is legitimate and can pay. For example, Canada has ruled against (Christian) B&B owners refusing to take on gay couples.

      But refusing to honor a contract is another. I hope they get sued.

      And what's with the Muslims? How did they get dragged into it? Aren't our countries supposed to be more tolerant in any case?

      Hey, let's outlaw Halloween and Harry Potter while we are at it. I know some tolerant Christians who also object to those.

      I agree though that dragging Human Rights into every disagreement possible dilutes the meaning of Human Rights.

    4. Gavin 2

      @Copsewood 'Try to do that in a Muslim country'

      It must have been all a delusion when I went to the Dubai Rock Festival in 2007 and saw melodic death metal band In Flames.

      You really are an idiot.

    5. Michael C

      wrong on so many counts

      1) They BOOKED the location, it being fully aware of the nature of the event, and with all the proper permits in place. If the venue said "hell no you satanists" from day 1, I;d agree with you, but the fact they not only booked this event, but have a history of booking metal, alternative, and other underground shows, and they in fact CATER to that crowd, no, this is BS. The "local community" has supported that venue a long time...

      2) on the forgiveness front, some Christians believe that, very few follow it in practice. Hypocrisy needs to be the 8th deadly sin.

      As far as those 7 sinsI prefer the original list (of which only pride is included in the current one), this "church" broke most of them. From the bible these are having "A proud look, A Lying tongue, A heart that devises wicked plots, Feet that are swift to run into Mischief, A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and that soweth discord among brethren." The last of which, it is written not only that God "hateth" but that "His soul doth Detesteth." On the current list, they at leasdt tick off Wrath, Envy, and Pride. "Lying" seems to have been removed as a sin... Pride specifically is associated with the spirit of Lucifer.

    6. David Barrett


      " I don't see any human right in being able to hire a private or public venue where offensive stuff someone wants to do is unwelcome."

      It is not possible to be offensive, it is only possible to take offence. So really the issue lies with the group taking offence rather than the "Offender".

      With regard to your comments about a muslim country... Im not sure that you're right about that, in fact I think that you may be buying a little too much into the BNP/EDL 'Anything not white and Brittish is Evil Kill it, Kill it' mentality.

      On a more general note it would be useful for Christians etc to realise that Satanism is really just an extension of their own faith, without their god there could be no satan, to believe in one you must believe in the other so really this event was a validation of their faith... just not the side of it that they follow.

      Of course its all bollocks and the sooner that we all accept that and get on with our lives the better!

  32. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Oh for flip's sake! Don't you love stereotypes, eh?

    We don't all praise this bloke called "Stan"! What we support is the right for an individual to make up their own mind about what they believe in. Religion is generally seen as the opposite view point, enforcing it's views and removing all traces of free thought. Come along to say an Opeth gig and in the 5,000 strong crowd you'll find a massive cross section of people from society, black, white, male, female, old, young, gay, straight, bi, christian, agnostic, atheist, hindu, jewish and a multitude mixture of any of these.

    I love metal, been listening to it since I was 11 years old. I am now almost 40 years old, short hair, wife ( she's a Coldplay fan, well you can't have everything! ), kids, mortgage, career in IT, all the trappings of the button-down lifestyle. However I still go to gigs in dingy clubs at weekends to listen to my "dog-music" as my beloved calls it, due to the vocals often sounding like a pack of feral canines, just to escape the usual worries of my normal mundane life for 5 minutes.

    It's pure escapsism, nothing more! We all look bloody stupid when we put on the corpse-paint, or wear camo or leather gear. We know we look daft, most of us can laugh at how daft we look when we support our music. We've put up with it since we were at school, other kids laughing at us, you get used to people laughing at you for your taste in music.

    More often than not anyone involved in metal music who constantly bangs on about praising Satan usually full of **it, has very little talent for music or showmanship and is simply trying to make up for it by drawing attention to themselves, rather then letting their music speak for them.

    Most of us outgrew the fake Satanic cobblers many moons ago.

    1. Michael C

      metal bands openly supproted by or conforming to churches

  33. Anonymous Coward

    OMG, for Christ sake & WTF





    Human Trafficking

    Sex trade slaves

    Profit before people


    And all these self important religious folks care to shout the hardest about is a rock concert?

    Where can I sign up to a non-thinking belief system? I must be missing something great here...

    Sorry for the not-very-Friday comment...

  34. Anonymous Coward

    It's not the first time...

    In the 80s it was Iron Maiden being protested against in America. The reason? The Number of the Beast. Very strange considering that none of them are satanists (the drummer is a born-again Christian!). The song itself is about having a nightmare where satan takes over. Not about worshipping him in any way!

    Back in the 70s (in America again) they protested against Black Sabbath. Strange, considering that they took their name from an old horror film (that no-one protested about) and that the lyrics of the song Black Sabbath are about a nocturnal visit from what is presumably the devil - again it's not portrayed as being pleasant in any way.

    So the pattern seems to be this: religious fundamentalists protest against things that they don't like the sound of - without actually doing any research at all into the subject in question.

    ...and just to prove that the pattern holds true, just look at some of the opinions the religious right have on evolution!

    The opposite is also true - they believe in things that the evidence proves did not ever happen. The flood being a prime example. There is absolutely no evidence that a flood that covered the entire earth ever took place. In fact, there is good evidence against it in the form of rock and fossil layers. Of course, the argument against this is that the fossils were put there by the devil to confuse us... Common sense can never win against religious fundamentalists!

    1. Just Thinking

      To be fair

      "The flood being a prime example. There is absolutely no evidence that a flood that covered the entire earth ever took place."

      In those times, people had a very restricted idea of the extent of of the world. A very bad flood might easily have been assumed to cover the whole world, they didn't have Google Earth to check. Anyway, if the flood washed away your house, drowned half your family and destroyed all your food, it might as well have covered the entire world.

      Not that I believe a word of the bible, but someone wrote it and they must have got their ideas from somewhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Some one wrote it and they must have got their ideas from somewhere"

        In a thousand years people will look back and wonder what we did with all the dinosaurs we created in Jurrasic Park... Or what happend to Hoggwarts.

        By your logic anything written must have some element of truth...

        Im just glad that the martian invasion was wiped out by the common cold back in the 1900s, can you immagine where we would be now if the martians had taken over?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Behind the times much?

    I thought we'd gone through all the Metal = Satan stuff back in the 80s? True, Black Metal has expanded somewhat since then and there's been all the church burnings in Scandinavia and what not but really, who amongst us hasn't wanted to burn down a church from time to time? (I think that's Monty Python there, apologies :o)

    On the Black Sabbath thing, it's very much an image, one that people from the church/moral majority etc created themselves. How many songs (from the Ozzy years) actually mention Satan? There's maybe 3 that I can think of, along with one that has the line "They should realise before they criticise that God is the only way to love". lol, real devilish stuff.

    Also, Opeth rock! Commiserations on the Coldplay wife though, youre a true gent to put up with that :o)

  36. Jim 59


    I count about 10 thoughtful, good quality comments here. The rest are decidedly of the Andrew Marr "foam flecked" variety. It is a sign of how far anti-Christianity, aided by Dawkins et al, has come in our society, that many of the comments are knuckle-dragging, ribald and incoherent, with many posters preferring even practicing Satanists to Christians who are, after all, a pretty mild bunch. Take the mickey out of Ned Flanders, but he makes a pretty good neighbor.

    On a less pompous note, I like a little AC/DC before getting the Led out.

    1. Gordon861


      Dawkins and co don't single out Christianity, instead they are anti anyone that still talks to invisible friends instead of using their brain to realise that none of the 'invisible friends' actually makes any sense.

    2. OrsonX

      that knuckle-dragger Dawkins...

      "It is a sign of how far anti-Christianity..... aided by Dawkins"

      he is a bit of a neanderthal that Dawkins bloke.... just offering incoherent grunts and all.

      So he has written an eloquent masterpiece that happens to point out the idiocy of all the religious works, yet you single the efforts of one man out as fuelling "anti-[religion]" hatred, what about all those stupid books that fuel religion? The bible, koran, etc

      Perhaps you need to read TGD and have your conciessnouss raised?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Please take a moment to think...

      You have posted another shining example of the hate and anger that's vented as soon as any sane questions are posed to a "believer". It's not just Christianity, this behavour is a fundamental to keeping a religion alive. Other essentials are bothering mothers into christenings ect and makeing the most of people's deaths at funerals. If there weren't so many of you nut jobs out there, the few that are left would be sectioned.

      Try harder next time, your imaginary friends may help if you get on your knees, put your hands together whilst colsing your eyes and attempt to contact them telepathically.

      in b4 more anger/passive aggressive pompous comments.

      1. Edagan

        Re "Please take a moment to think..."

        "It's not just Christianity, this behaviour is a fundamental to keeping all religions alive."

        Except it plainly isn't. So many mocking and derisive comments are made by self-professed rationalists about religion and religious believers, so often based on some variant of the assertion that people who believe in some sort of higher order or divinity are irrational fools who can't reason.

        And then those same people, so proud of their boasted logic and intellect, can make a comment like this one above.

        No, not all religions count this behaviour as fundamental. Not all religions expect non-believers to conform to their rules. Not all religions believe in evangelising their belief. Not all religions require the rejection of scientific discovery. In fact, if you bothered to research the subject, you'd find that the variety of religious beliefs out there is absolutely vast; and they don't all conform to a single template. But whether for their own intellectual convenience or out of genuine failure to understand this, too many passionate railers-at-religion simply assume that all religion is basically fundamentalist Christianity with slightly different dressing.

        This is why Dawkins doesn't make as good a case as his acolytes like to make out: he attacks Christianity by highlighting the flaws in some elements of it, then not only extends that criticism to the religion as a whole, but to all religion, whatever its form, whether it bears any resemblance at all.

        I don't expect anyone to believe anything that doesn't ring true for them. If you think I'm a fool for believing something you don't then so be it. And if that's the case then you're free to tell me so. But please don't rely on specious generalisations and expect me to consider you any less driven by blind faith than the people you're attacking.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Nothing for christmas - cause that is what Jeezers is all about.

    "Yes if you don't believe in god, then your going to get nothing for christmas - because that is what Jeezers is all about....."

    Speaking as a formerly very "lost individual", and having looked at many silly ways to think your only OK if you do THAT this way, or that way, or standing up, sitting down, on your knees etc....

    Well I went to a self help group - it's called Cathaholics Anonymous, Step 3. Admitted to myself and another compentant human being that I am responsible for pulling my finger out of my arse and getting my own shit together.

    Jesus was so pissed off that he put in another non appearance and he did nothing because I was so lacking in faith.

  38. Tom 13

    Simple Solution:

    Call it Heavy Metal Festival or Black Heavy Metal Festival. Catholics worldwide practice Mass. Muslims don't practice Mass. Jews don't go to Mass. Protestants don't go to Mass. Mass is a distinctly Catholic practice. And Black Mass is a distinctly anti-Catholic stance.

    Don't attack the Catholics and they won't stand up for themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      taking offence

      Getting offended has never helped anyone, with any problem, ever. It is an irrational and unproductive emotion. If someone puts a naughty word* next to a word that you like, why does that make you sad? Is there any good reason why it should?

      *not that I'm saying "back" is a naughty word.

      It's pointless. If people spent a little less time saying "Do what I want because I am offended!" and a little more time asking themselves "Why am I offended? - I better keep my mouth shut until I know the answer" the world might actually be a nice place.

      Or you could run around spouting off about your feelings, because hey, everyone cares about your feelings don't they?

  39. Bunglebear

    Understand the foam flecked

    I'm glad that some people are passionate about opposing organised religions trampling on freedoms, whether their discourse is a cutting argument or a little less controlled. Accusing someone who opposes your view of hysteria is rather low, look through the hysteria and respond to what they are saying.

    The core of this argument is that a religious group lobbied against a festival due to the content being distasteful to themselves. In reverse, black metal fans would not be able to shut down a church service for the same reasons, however much they oppose the antiquated bigotry found within. This religious privilege of a vocal minority is unjustifiable and wrong in a Western democracy in the 21st century, and I sincerely hope the festival proves via legal challenge so it is unlikely to happen again.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Christian Intolerance..

    ahh just perfect.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    WHOOOOSH! Am i in the 80's? We know the aussies are in a different time zone, but not another century.

    Who listens to metal nowa days? Men with ladies hair do's doesn't really appeal to any one.

    My older brother loved it, and I remember at the time he insisted that I'd grow to like it, never did! Even now he agrees that it was rubbish.

    Time has passed the angry youth, now they all wanna be gangstas and (c)rap stars.

    Oh its so sad.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There were some old people protesting outside the hellfest metal festival in france, who had pictures of the pope & nuns

    It wasn't until we went up to them that we realised the pope had a dildo on his head and the nuns were half naked.

    They were protesting FOR the event (in case there was any christians about) and against anti-free speech laws.

  43. The Original Ash

    New Facebook Page

    Australian Chart to be topped by Akercocke's "The Horns of Baphomet" for Christmas.

    Make it so.

  44. Stephen 1

    Satanists ARE Christians

    They share the same creation myth. The Christians should be pleased that the Satanists are spreading the word.

    1. John Gaunt

      Satanists != Judeo-Christians

      If one reads the writings of Anton LaVey and assumes that they are at least half-serious, then one learns that his version of Satanism is highly individualistic, non-theistic, and humanistic. LaVey did not believe in an afterlife or supernatural beings.

    2. S Foster

      Huh ?

      If you are talking about "The Church of Satan" then you are just showing your total lack of knowledge. LaVeyan Satanists do not accept Satan as a anthropomorphic being, more as a role model.

      It has nothing to do with God, Jesus or The Devil. None of them exist. Except of course in South Park where he is totally awesome with a sensitive side to him. Just ask his boyfriend.

  45. informavorette

    Who is meeker, metalheads or catholics?

    "Blessed are the meek", says the Bible. Politicians don't lose metalheads' votes for letting Mass happen. They lose catholics' votes for letting a metalfest happen. Who is meek here, and who isn't?

    Also, consider the following:

    "In Catholic catechism, the seven virtues refer to one of two lists of virtues, most commonly referring to the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, and courage or fortitude, and the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope, and love or charity."

    Is banning someone's metalfest an instance of faith, hope, prudence or courage? No, it's unrelated to those (well, it maybe takes a bit of courage in case Varg Vikernes finds out where you live).

    It is the opposite of justice, because it is meddling in someone's affairs which don't concern you.

    It is the opposite of restraint of temperance, because bad temper is about the only effect a metalfest has on a non-attending catholic.

    It is the opposite of "love or charity", which is defined as "an unlimited loving-kindness toward all others".

    So according to catechism, the banning of the metalfest is about as virtuous as the Spanish inquisition. Yet the CTA feel that it is what a good catholic should do. Doesn't it feel... ridiculous?

    I am off to obsessively reloading Jesus and Mo in the other tab, their reaction will be worth it.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    just wandering...

    ... but who sent the letters the block the event? people living near-by, and therefore had the right to complain, or people from all over the place?

    I understand the need to adore to complains in order to avoid a PR mess, specially if it is made by people who are very loud. But if many of the people complaining are in no way harmed by the event, shouldn't they be excluded from the count? Or does the PR department have to be mindful of those *extras* as well?

    forgive my ignorance, but I was wandering about this small detail.

  47. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    @ Copsewood

    You should have subtitled your post as "or, what I think Jesus meant to say was..." I think then we'd all understand better that this is YOUR interpretation of Christian dogma rather than the non-twisted, simple and pragmatic view attributed to our fictional hero at the time of these fables being pulled together into a *cough* coherent *cough* whole 500 or so years after his fictional death.



  48. yomchi86


    Using the "God Account"??

    Sorry, I'll get my coat...

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    The first crusade was due to the pope-of-the-day, having invited lots of heavily armed knights to help him deal with some troublesome vikings in Sicily suddenly needing somewhere safe to send the horde of blood thirsty hooligans before they started making too much mess in Rome.

    Later crusades were mostly a church land grab and an excuse to kill a few Jews.

  51. Brennan Young

    Pedantry alert...

    The inverted crucifix is, first and foremost, the symbol of St. Peter (who elected to be crucified upside down, to show everyone 'ow 'ard he was. Did I say 'ard? I meant pious, obviously.)

    The symbol is not uncommon in St Peter's cathedral in Rome. The catholics in this story evidently had too many other dogmatic details to keep in mind.

    1. Oninoshiko


      Seriously, who thumbed down this guy? He is absolutely correct. The story goes that St.Peter did not consider himself worthy enough to be crucified the same way Jesus was, and so insisted on being crucified up-side-down.

      I think (and feel free to correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth) the point is that maybe if the "Christians" in this story want to find a clear-cut symbol of Satanism, they probably should pick a symbol of that rather then one of sainthood.

  52. John Savard

    Breach of Contract

    Never mind discrimination; I'm sure they have laws against breach of contract down under. On the other hand, people are allowed to bow to force majeure, so I suppose if those Christians were threatening to bomb the place or riot, they'd have an excuse.

    But in that case, the relevant E-mails should be forwarded to the local constabulary.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I wanted to become a cathoholic.

    But when I told them I loved Jeezers so much that we were going to get married - well I think they all got a bit jealous, and wanted him for themselves.

  54. Panix

    Sounds like an advertisement for the festival

    ...come and partake in an "unholy spell to be cast upon the city of Sydney" featuring the "ultimate of soul possessing occult revelations...unbridled blasphemy... [and] a union of all things unholy".

    That totally sounds like it could be on the flyer hanging up in bars and whatnot. =D

  55. Lloyd

    Make it a double bill

    Get Stryper to do a double head-liner with them and see the Christians try to work out what to do.

  56. Jacqui

    Look out!

    its the austrailian inquisition!

    No its not a joke... :-(

    1. David Barrett


      No one expects the australian inquisition.

      Our main weapon is surprise... Surprise and facebook, our two main weapons are.. Look can we just come in and start again?

  57. Someone Else Silver badge

    What title?

    Where's 4chan when you need them?

  58. Triggerfish

    Surely the most

    Fun thing to do would be to relaunch the concert as some sort of Benefit gig for children abused by priests.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thanks El Reg !

    I live in a country that doesn't celebrate the 5th of November. (Bonfires and fireworks livening up a cold and dark time of the year, and now only historically related to religion and politics).

    A bit late but the comments on this article have more than made up for the lack of physical fires, explosions and the smell of sulphur on the 5th. Good work by all concerned!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How odd ...

      don't you burn Catholics by proxy, not even for fun?

      Takes all sorts I suppose, but have you ever wondered that popery is directly proportional to success in international footy?

  60. Anonymous Coward

    Who canceled the the BM concert?

    Was it he catholics or christians or was it....


    Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner!

    It was the RSL. What could the protesters threaten? Probably not much more than withdrawing later business.

    Now we get to it. The root of many forms of evil - the love of Money. Ah the irony - a sin spoiling the fun of those who ridicule catholicism, but such is the way of unprincipled business.

    When will these people learn that freedom of expression is only allowed for atheists?

    What? Do you expect BM artists to express themselves for free, in the street? Where is our God-given right to make money regardless of what the people around us think? Oh wait, did that come out wrong?

  61. Frumious Bandersnatch

    aren't Satanists ...

    just a sub-cult of the entire Judeo-Christian thingie? Or are they, like Satan himself, nothing more than a bogey-man invented to keep children scared and under control?

    Flames, cos that's obviously where I'm headed

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Stay firm ...

    ... in your belief.

    Limbo went titsup because of marketing problems in the third world. Today we hear condoms are ok ...

    I've just applied for a job at a Catholic school and I wonder WTF is my tax money doing?

    Aahhh .... I can accept I will die and become dust.

  63. S Foster
    Jobs Horns


    I love it, if I lived in Oz (or could afford the air fare) I'd be there like a shot.

    I'm sure it would be a great party and if the Christians don't like it, well they could always stick their fingers in their ears and hum really loud.

    Anyway I thought the Pope was supposed to be the Antichrist ? Its so difficult to keep up these days.

  64. gimbal

    Went a little far on the dramatic scene acting... a little drama in return. Well hohum, what's rock without some drama anyways?

  65. Anonymous Coward


    The heavy metal band Divines of the Holy Spirit will sing another one of their hits: Jesus raped my dog. Number 1 on the charts for 3 weeks now!

  66. Aussie Brusader

    I knew this handle would bite me in the arse one day*

    *I have nothing to do with who ever this group is, just seemed a cool name at the time. Please don't hurt me.

  67. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Down

    It's about time the Christians and Satanists grew up

    Their thousands of years old superstitions are embarrassing, pointless and pathetic.

  68. bugalugs

    Note from a NOBBFUCK*,

    It interests me that the RSL, frequently a bastion of bombastic nationalism but not normally censorious towards " th' yarts ", should take sides on such a moribund issue. Is there a connection between one or more of the CTA folk and one or more of the RSL folk ? This does look like another case of who you know etc. ?** We can only hope that the T&Cs allow the injured party to sue and that everyone's perspective is restored to normality soon.

    * Non-Observant Born&Bred Former Ultra Christian Kid

    ** Pater is an RSL grand poobah of some kind. One hears how these things can work sometimes.

    Oh, and could we please have a Professor Richard Dawkins icon ? The logic of evolution was always apparent to me but to have the mechanics so beautifully explained has been a precious gift for which he deserves the highest honour ElReg can bestow.

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