Brazil Tries to Get it Right

On July 7, 2008 reported that a Brazilian judge has ordered the removal of a Catholic priest’s book from bookstores. Father Jonas Abib’s book, titled “Yes, Yes! No, No! Reflections on Healing and Liberation”, cautions readers about the dangers of the occult, which includes the Afro-Brazilian religion Spiritualism.

According to, public prosecutor Almiro Sena is quoted as accusing the Priest of “making false and prejudiced statements about the spiritualist religion as well as religions from Africa, like Umbanda and Candomble, as well as flagrant incitement to destruction and disrespect for their objects of worship.” Sena also added that “the State Constitution (of Bahai) says that it is the obligation of the state to preserve and guarantee the integrity, respectability, and permanence of the values of Afro-Brazilian religion.” The court agreed.

Man, where to begin. Banning books, censoring books, seizing books, it’s all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m sure I disagree with Father Jonas Abib, I’m kind of used to not being on the same page as the Catholic Church, that said, he should be allowed to spew out whatever nonsense he wants in a book. I highly doubt his book was going to change any minds. I suspect if you bought the book, you were already on his team. Let’s try this another way, David Icke, who for the record I just love, cranks out book after book of total artwork quality out there-ness. Yet, no one seems overly concerned about the impending lizard threat, and I’m pretty certain he’s sold way more books than Abib!

I find it noble, and wonderful, that the Bahai government is concerned about maintaining the “integrity, respectability, and permanence of the values of Afro-Brazilian religion” but, with all due respect, at what cost? Will it be at the cost of the other faiths in their state being denied those things? The courts also censored an organization that initiated a campaign to condemn homosexual behavior. And just in case you haven’t been playing along, I have no problem with homosexuality…I backed Dennis Kucinich for crying out loud! (One of the only Democrats who ran for the Democratic nomination for President who was for gay marriage. The other one was Mike Gravel.) Yet, they have the right to be against homosexuality, however wrong they are in their belief. I mean, however wrong I find their belief.

Although not always executed the way I would like, America has got it right Brazil. First Amendment, all the way. Protect all the religions and all the speech, and then let God, the free market, or the history books decide which of them has it right.