In 2019, a 51-year-old Polish woman was arrested for the worst possible crime imaginable: She allegedly hung up posters depicting the Virgin Mary… with a rainbow halo on her head. In fact, three women were eventually arrested for the crime of blasphemy for that same reason: Elżbieta Podleśna, Anna Prus and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar Podleśna
Because blasphemy is still a crime in Poland, each of the women faced up to two years in prison. Here’s how the ruling party justified the arrests at the time:
“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children — the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” said the PiS leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, speaking to supporters last month. “This is imported, but they today actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.”
Those three women began their trial on Wednesday, which means blasphemy and LGBTQ rights will be at the center of attention in the repressive nation.
The trial will add to Poland’s problems in Brussels, where there are already worries that the government is backsliding on democracy.
“Imagine you show this image and then face up to 2 years of prison for ‘offending religious feelings’. Unbelievable? This is happening right now — in the middle of the EU,” tweeted Terry Reintke, a German Green MEP.
There’s absolutely no good reason for these women to spend another minute feeling bad, much less in jail, for what they did, and the Catholic Church ought to be among their biggest advocates. These women did something the Church has failed to do: They made religious icons look good. And for that, they’re being treated like heretics.
(Thanks to Ed for the link)