Following a show by the band Dark Funeral at Rock Castle, Romania (a country that upholds the controversial figure Vlad the Impaler as a savior of Western civilization) has recently announced that all future metal shows in the area will have to be approved by the orthodox church. How ironic.
This is part of the greater narrative between metal and the church in Eastern Europe and Russia. With events such as arresting and then deporting Behemoth, sending a military unit to break up a cannibal corpse show while banning the bands lyrics and artwork, and more recently Russian Orthodox Priests spitting on metal bands at the airport – it’s safe to say the orthodox church has a stranglehold on both the government and culture of the area. Conflict between the church and extreme metal artists is not new – and often quickly reported on by independent metal media. And up until this point, the conflict has been centered on specific bands – and metal media has been quick to report on such things.
So why is it that now, when ALL METAL is being targeted by a cooperation between the government and church of Romania, is metal media silent about this? This isn’t targeted towards a specific band – they’ve literally declared that all metal shows must be approved by the church. This sort of censorship hasn’t happened in Western Culture since the fucking dark ages. Where is the metal media when it is needed the most? Where are the Social Justice Warriors/Hipsters who bitch about minor isolated occurrences in the metal scene and make them out to be such grand struggles?
I’ll tell you where they are. While parts of the world are working hand in hand with the church to ban metal music and oppress thousands of metal fans – sites like Metal Injection, MetalSucks, Blabbermouth, Pitchfork, Lambgoat, and the like are busy promoting a band that calls itself black metal while spewing a manifesto that goes completely against the spirit of the genre. They’re literally promoting a band that would see black metal reduced to a socially acceptable construct, free of the transgression inherent in the DNA of the genre.
I guess it’s only worth writing about if it effects a rich American white kid who pretends to be edgy and like transgressive art. It’s a sad day when the metal media is so self absorbed that they miss something as huge and culturally significant as what is going on in Romania right now.
Thank god the members of Dark Funeral have the fucking balls to stand up for transgressive art and freedom of speech and expression in an area that obviously needs it.
Both the Romanian government and metal media should be ashamed of themselves for their conduct (or lack thereof) towards this situation.
A note to the Romanian people,
I am not writing this in any way, shape, or form to insult the Romanians as a whole. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on a disturbing situation that is unfolding in your country.
Recently there was a festival at Bucovina Rock Castle with roughly 10,000 attendees. Following the show, the cultural association “Saint Metropolitan Dosoftei” caved to pressure put on them by a local priest.
The reaction was to grant him the ability to decide which bands are allowed to play in the town. This is in violation to several sections of the Romanian Constitution.
It violated article 15 (All citizens enjoy the rights and freedoms granted to them by the Constitution and other laws, and have the duties laid down thereby) by giving the priest and his congregation the freedom to take away the freedom of the 10,000 concert attendees.
(1) All citizens enjoy the rights and freedoms granted to them by the Constitution and other laws, and have the duties laid down thereby.
It violated Article 16 (Citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination) in the same manner as article 15.
(1) Citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination.
(2) No one is above the law.
It violated Article 29 almost in it’s entirety by forcing the religious ideals of one group on the masses.
(1) Freedom of thought, opinion, and religious beliefs shall not be restricted in any form whatsoever. No one shall be compelled to embrace an opinion or religion contrary to his own convictions.
(2) Freedom of conscience is guaranteed; it must be manifested in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.
(3) All religions shall be free and organized in accordance with their own statutes, under the terms laid down by law.
(4) Any forms, means, acts or actions of religious enmity shall be prohibited in the relationships among the cults.
(5) Religious cults shall be autonomous from the State and shall enjoy support from it, including the facilitation of religious assistance in the army, in hospitals, prisons, homes and orphanages.
(6) Parents or legal tutors have the right to ensure, in accordance with their own convictions, the education of the minor children whose responsibility devolves on them)
It violated article 30 by allowing censorship of the freedom of expression of the 10,000 concert attendees:
(1) Freedom of expression of thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, and freedom of any creation, by words, in writing, in pictures, by sounds or other means of communication in public are inviolable.
(2) Any censorship shall be prohibited.
(3) Freedom of the press also involves the free setting up of publications.
(4) No publication shall be suppressed.
(5) The law may impose upon the mass media the obligation to make public their financing source.
(6) Freedom of expression shall not be prejudicial to the dignity, honour, privacy of a person, and to the right to one’s own image.
(7) Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression, to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, or public violence, as well as any obscene conduct contrary to morality shall be prohibited by law.
(8) Civil liability for any information or creation made public falls upon the publisher or producer, the author, the producer of the artistic performance, the owner of the copying facilities, radio or television station, under the terms laid down by law. Indictable offences of the press shall be established by law.
It restricts access to culture guaranteed under article 33…
(1) The access to culture is guaranteed under the law.
(2) A person’s freedom to develop his/her spirituality and to get access to the values of national and universal culture shall not be limited.
(3) The State must make sure that spiritual identity is preserved, national culture is supported, arts are stimulated, cultural legacy is protected and preserved, contemporary creativity is developed, and Romania’s cultural and artistic values are promoted throughout the world.
It opens the door to economic restrictions on local metal bands not approved by the priest, and allows for the possibility of future violations of your citizen’s rights by limiting their access to the local economy in violation of article 45.
Free access of persons to an economic activity, free enterprise, and their exercise under the law shall be guaranteed.
And the town council members are in violation of articles 54 and 57 through this act…
(2) Citizens holding public offices, as well as the military are liable for the loyal fulfilment of the obligations they are bound to, and shall, for this purpose, take the oath as requested by law.
Romanian citizens, foreign citizens, and stateless persons shall exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms in good faith, without any infringement of the rights and liberties of others.
So, while I might not live in Romania – the internet allows access to your laws. And your constitution is obviously based on the United States constitution (which I am very familiar with).
Maybe instead of getting angry at a person you will never meet over the internet you can focus your energies on protecting the rights of the 10,000 people who had multiple constitutional rights violations perpetrated against them to silence a dissenting priest and his congregation. Nothing about this action is OK.
When anyone acting under the authority of a government (even a public arts council who appropriates government funding) – they are acting for that government. The Suceava Council (elected officials) have responded to a letter from a pastor – stating they will allow him to have some say in who does and does not get to play in the country. So, when I say “Romanian Government decrees” that is exactly what I mean, and it is 100% true. Because, until your government says otherwise – this is the will of the Romanian government and people. You’re allowing the church to remove the rights of taxpayers, and to dictate the use of your tax dollars into cultural events that have to be approved by the church. That’s not democracy – that’s oligarchy.