Unholy Toledo—Blasphemy Prosecution in Spain

"The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers has announced that it is also planning to ask the judge to consider investigating Toledo for hate crimes after he said during a television interview that if people were shot for their religious beliefs and Catholic churches burned during the Spanish Civil War, it was because they 'must have done something."'

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

El Pais reports:

A Madrid court has issued an arrest warrant for Spanish actor and activist Willy Toledo after he twice failed to show up in court, where he had been summonsed after a lawyers' association accused him of offending religious sentiments.

The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers filed a complaint with the public prosecutor after Toledo published a post on Facebook in 2017, in which he expressed his indignation over a court probe into three women in Seville who, in 2014, paraded a large model of a vagina through the city streets, in an imitation of a religious procession, dubbing it the "coño insumiso," or "Insubordinate pussy."

On July 5, 2017, Toledo posted a message on Facebook in which he called the judge in charge of that case "possessed by the devil" for not having shelved it. "I shit on God and have enough shit left over to shit on the dogma of the saintliness and virginity of the Virgin Mary. This country is unbearably shameful. I'm disgusted. Go fuck yourselves. Long live the Insubordinate Pussy." …

The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers has announced that it is also planning to ask the judge to consider investigating Toledo for hate crimes after he said during a television interview that if people were shot for their religious beliefs and Catholic churches burned during the Spanish Civil War, it was because they "must have done something." …

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

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    1. You can’t beat Kevin Underhill for snark.

  1. A few months back the Smithsonian history magazine ran a blatantly one-sided version of Spain’s conscience issues today regarding their Civil War. The atrocity stories and photos were all emotionally skewed from the Barcelona side and every mention of Franco had him as a mini-Hitler and the walking face of Fascism, don’t you know! (Also a good deal of outright Catholic-bashing was apparent in the piece.)

    I wrote the editors a nasty letter pointing out that Joseph Kennedy Sr. (father of JFK, Bobby, Ted, and dead war hero Joe Jr.) was the most ardent political and financial supporter of the Madrid regime and General Franco in America.

    For good reason the allies immediately forgave Franco for anything pre-1939 and welcomed Spain under his rule into NATO. The fact of the matter is that through out the early stages of World War Two Franco showed tremendous courage in denying Hitler’s armies passage through Spain to attack Gibraltar. Franco showed equal stalwartness in stalling off Nazi demands to participate in rounding up Jews.

    Before March, 1945. when American troops finally liberated the death camps, Francisco Franco saved the lives of far more Jews than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and at far greater personal risk. Berlin was always much closer to Madrid than it was to the White House, after all, and up until D-Day Franco could not know who was going to win.

    1. I, um.

      You’re pro-Franco?!
      Your myopic metrics of not liking the Nazis kinda lets the USSR off the hook for all their self-inflicted deaths as well.

      You never cease to amaze.

      Are you also pro-Pinochet?

      1. By your reasoning, one must be pro-Stalin if not pro-Hitler, or pro-Communist if not pro-Nazi.

        Most people try to differentiate levels of evil.

        1. That isn’t my reasoning; it’s how I explained how his reasoning proved way too much.

      2. “You’re pro-Franco?!”

        Franco’s side was the least bad side during the Civil War.

        He, for whatever reason, did not side with Hitler when he could have easily done so.

        Perhaps because his family might have been a Converto one, he let his diplomats save Jews.

        By restoring the monarchy, he set the stage for Spanish stability after his death.

        History is complicated. Franco was a bad guy who did some good things.

        A guy whose avatar used to be a far more brutal dictator ought to appreciate that.

        1. Allowing the Nazis to test bombs on villages is supporting Hitler. What many folks ignore about some of the murdered priests is that many priests were using the confessional to get information and supply it to the Monarchists and Loyalists.

          1. Now explain away murdered nuns.

        2. History is complicated. Franco was a bad guy who did some good things.

          I don’t disagree with that as a general proviso for most great people throughout history.

          That doesn’t mean Michael Cook’s white-knighting for Franco is at all okay, though.

          1. Why not? He was completely accurate. A history magazine ought to get history sorta right.

            1. Bob, did you read his objections?

              emotionally skewed
              mini-Hitler and the walking face of Fascism
              Joseph Kennedy Sr….was the most ardent political and financial supporter

              His last two paragraphs provide some examples of how his dark existence has some silver linings. Which is legit, I suppose (though IMO you’d better acknowledged even a little bit of darkness when discussing the good deeds of notoriously murderous dictators).

              But his initial two make it clear his issue is any kind of more general condemnation of Franco. Which is not okay.

          2. An avatar is not like an endorsement, Bob.

            I just wish it weren’t so common to see conservatives on this blog defending murderous, authoritarian dictators.

            (You don’t seem to be one of them; I buy your nuanced take completely. The Mongols were horrors but really shipped Europe’s trade roads into shape)

            1. Plenty of liberals here defend murderous, authoritarian dictators too. So long as they are on the left or otherwise an enemy of the US [e.g. Iran].

              “An avatar is not like an endorsement”

              But you chose a communist dictator, you would never have chosen Hitler. Because dictators on the left are cool for some reason.

              1. You will have to take my word that if I liked Shitler more than Sarcastro I’d have pulled that trigger.

          3. Per Son and my white knighting for the Communists is fine though!

            1. I don’t white but for Commies you red bating tool.

    2. And while Franco certainly was a tinpot dictator and killed a lot of people and stifled freedom, it’s ludicrous to pretend the communists wouldn’t have been far worse if they had won.

      1. The Spanish Civil War involved a bunch of very bad guys killing lots of other very bad guys. I see no reason to speculate about their relative badness.

      2. We can look at Franco’s record and say that he was a pretty rotten scoundrel. His opposition to Hitler was very limited–he wanted food and other items (and retain control of Gilbralter). Hitler said no. He had opponents murdered, and banned minority languages. Oh, and the big lover of Jews, despite gathering lists of Jews for Himmler, didn’t send Jews to the Nazis. What a hero!

        1. He sent the lists, but the people were already in Portugal.

          1. The neutrality of Portugal, BTW, would not have lasted a micro-second without Franco’s protection. Absent that, and an essential plot element of the classic movie “Cassablanca” goes up in smoke, which would truly be a crying shame.

    3. If I may ramble on with a bit more WWII history, I am writing today from Seattle which has always been a hot bed of the far-left. I have visited the wall tomb of Wild Bill Haywood at the Kremlin (IWW founder) but Seattle also disproportionately sent young men to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and fight on the Republican (Madrid) side in Spain’s bitter civil war, alongside the communists and anarchists.

      For many years these Abraham Lincoln Brigade vets held a rather unique status in our local socio-political culture.

      The ironic thing is that only a few miles to our north in Vancouver, B.C. a rather large number of Ukrainian and German P.O.W.’s had been held during the war and/or became permanently relocated there afterwards.
      The Ukrainians were soldiers who had sided with the Nazi forces because they were still outraged at what the Stalinists had done to Ukrainian peasants during the Xolodor, the deliberate communist famine. When Hitler came along and announced the commissar rule, which meant any communist official caught in Ukraine would be executed on the spot, these guys were all for it.

      All this made for interesting editorial page conversations in the Pacific NW back in the day.

      1. I should add, the German soldiers stayed in B.C. after the war because even DURING the last stages of the war they were not held behind barbed wire all day but were out in local communities on work passes. I have always thought this is confirmation of a racist North American thing because the Canadians had deported their Japanese to the USA to be held in our alien detention camps. Some of these folks had been born Canadians!

        The German P.O.W.’s ended up marrying local girls and becoming Canadian citizens themselves!

    4. In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  2. The Spanish Republicans and Co were/are a pretty nasty bunch and another good example from the mountain of examples point to to illustrate how brutality comes just as much if not more from the antireligious side in history. Comparisons to how people treat those who praise Hitler in certain countries are warranted. That the vast majority of people don’t know or actually adore their ‘colorful’ history says a lot about the state this world is in.

    1. It’s almost as though using the power of the state to commit systematic purges is thought of as worse than killing civilians in war.

      Certainly both are bad, and no one who does either should be praised, but modernity has pretty clearly come down on the side of one of those actions being historically bad. Well, historically bad if you do it in Europe…

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