(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
Polish pop star Dorota “Doda” Rabczewska was recently fined 5,000 zlotys ($1,450) by Polish authorities for defaming the Bible in a 2009 interview, which shows, observers say, that Poland still clings to its strong Roman Catholic roots even as it faces a more secularized culture.
In a 2009 interview, Rabczewska said she had trouble believing the Bible “because it’s hard to believe in something that was written by someone drunk on wine and smoking some herbs,” according to The Blaze.
Doda received much flak from the religious community at the time of her comments.
“It is clear that Doda thinks that the Bible was written by drunkards and junkies,” said Ryszard Nowak, chairman of the Committee for the Defense Against Sects, an organization dedicated to protecting Christian values.
Nowak submitted his complaints to the prosecutor's office handling Doda's case, as reported by the Telegraph in 2010.
“I believe that she committed a crime and offended the religious feelings of both Christians and Jews,” Nowak added.
Doda’s ex-fiance, death metal vocalist Adam Darski, came under fire during a 2007 performance in Gdynia, when he ripped out pages from a Bible, saying, “I'm so glad to see that intelligence won over religious fanatics in my home country,” according to music fanbase Revolver Magazine.
Darski was found innocent of offending religious feelings, as the court deemed his Bible-ripping as a form of artistic expression and a part of his heavy metal performance.
Poland, with a Catholic population of 89.9 percent according to the CIA World Factbook, continues to struggle to maintain its Catholic roots in an increasingly secular country.
In comparison to the freedom of religion, freedom of speech is a new concept to Poland, with Parliament outlawing censorship only recently, in 1990.
The movement toward a secular society is not only seen through freedom of speech; recently, more liberal poitical parties have gained substantial ground in Poland.
In Oct. 2011, one of every 10 Poles voted for the libertarian-style Palikot Movement party in parliamentary elections. As The New York Times reported at the time of the election, this vote illustrated Poland’s drift away from conservative Catholic values to a more secular state, more closely resembling Western Europe.
Although many considered the founder of the party, Janusz Palikot, to be controversial and untraditional, others argued that he addressed the country’s social issues, which had previously been ignored.
Palikot campaigned to create civil unions for homosexuals, legalize abortion and end religious education in state schools, according to The New York Times.
Based on statistics provided by the Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales, the communication agency of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, the number of Poles entering the seminary decreased by 5 percent from 2008 to 2009.
The number of seminaries also decreased from 4,773 in 2000 to 3,732 in 2009.
Although Poland struggles to reconcile its evolving secular culture with its traditional Catholic roots, it continues to hold strict laws regarding blasphemy, imposing the maximum punishment of two years in jail along with a fine, for those found guilty of the offense.