Tag Archives: blasphemy

The mini-iPad and original sin

Ever thought about the religious significance, or imagined significance, of trade mark logos?

I was reminded of this recently when I saw the above image on Facebook (Thanks to Atheists of New Zealand). It brought to mind a recent article about controversy in Russia with the current move to strengthen anti-blasphemy legislation. Titled Russian Christians boosted by Pussy Riot law spank ‘sinful’ Apple logo, it had the subtitle Nuts replace fruit with crosses.

“Apparently some “Russian Orthodox Christians have defaced the logos on Apple products because they consider the bitten Apple to be anti-Christian, says Russian news agency Interfax (in Russian).”

These characters choose to see the Apple logo as promoting original sin.

“The radical Christians have replaced the Apple logo with a cross, claiming that the current Apple logo – well-known around the world and often voted one of the world’s most popular logos – symbolises the original sin of Adam and Eve and is generally insulting to the Christian faith.”

The work of the devil, and it’s not just fandroids who think so

The article, in The Register, suggests that although this could be “an unusual example of grassroots marketing by a rival mobile-marker, it seems to be a genuine concern for these believers, who according to the reports include members of the Orthodox clergy.”

And it suggests there could be commercial impact, even a sales ban, if Apple fell on the wrong side of the new anti-blasphemy law.

Apparently Apple is a little unsure of how to respond. The Register’s article finishes with:

“We’ve asked Apple if it considers its logo to be promoting original sin, but it has declined to reply.”

Freedom of expression and offence – religious or otherwise

In New Zealand we seem to have few overt problems with offence to religious sensitivities. There have been issues like the “Virgin in a condom” and the South Park Episode. Brian Tamaki’s Destiny Church occasionally bursts into activity on issues like their demand that New Zealand be recognised as a Christian Nation. I can still remember the protests against screening of that classic film “The Life of Brian.” However, there have not been the big, and sometimes violent, demonstrations observed overseas (as for example around the Danish cartoons, or Salmon Rushdie’s Satanic Verses).

New Zealand’s National Statement on Religious Diversity is non-dogmatic on the issues of freedom of expression and religious sensitivity. The relevant clauses are:

4. THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media are vital for democracy but should be exercised with responsibility.


7. RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCES. Debate and disagreement about religious beliefs will occur but must be exercised within the rule of law and without resort to violence.

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