Behemoth’s Nergal Praises Ricky Gervais’ Takedown of Blasphemy Laws
In many parts of the world, committing blasphemy is still punishable by law, with some countries even serving the death penalty to those found guilty of offending religious sensibilities. Comedian, atheist and free speech advocate Ricky Gervais has spoken out against blasphemy laws around the world, getting the attention of Behemoth’s Nergal, who is currently fighting a new blasphemy charge in Poland.
Nergal has publicly faced blasphemy charges in the past. Even the Polish Supreme Court got involved in a case of the Behemoth frontman tearing up a Bible onstage. In 2021, however, Nergal caught another blasphemy charge after posting a photo of himself standing on a picture of the Virgin Mary. He was later found guilty of "offending religious feelings."
In response, Nergal founded the Ordo Blasfemia Fund, which aims to raise legal defense funds for individuals facing similar blasphemy charges in court. Nergal received worldwide press coverage for Ordo Blasfemia, and as of this posting, has raised over £38,000 ($53,000) via GoFundMe.
As for Ricky Gervais, the comic posted a scathing criticism of blasphemy laws on Facebook, likely in response to a British schoolteacher receiving death threats for showing a cartoon image of the Prophet Mohammed to students. The incident sparked protests outside the school’s gates and the teacher is now believed to be under police protection after being suspended from his job.
“Blasphemy? Fucking Blasphemy?” Gervais writes. “It's 2021 for fuck's sake. What next? People being punished for insulting unicorns?”
“I’ve always liked that guy but now... I gotta fuckin’ love him for speaking out on 'blasphemy case' and enlightening the mob,” Nergal responded on Facebook while hashtagging Ordo Blasfemia. “Bring it on @rickygervais !!”