In 2006, I attended a Behemoth concert at
’s Opera House with two Christian friends. If you are unfamiliar with Behemoth, they are a Polish death metal band that tends to sing about the evils of organized religion. They also profess that they have the freedom to vociferously speak their minds. Toronto
Each of us was familiar with Behemoth and their opinions prior to going to the concert, so it came as no surprise when the band performed some of its most popular songs like “Christians to the Lions”.
Despite titles like this, my friends chose to attend the concert because they enjoyed the music and could easily ignore anything they found hurtful or offensive.
But about halfway through Behemoth’s set, it became very difficult to ignore the content of the band’s message. In the silence between two songs, the band’s lead vocalist instructed the Christians in the audience to raise their hands. A few poor souls did. Then the lead vocalist instructed the rest of the audience to find a self-professed Christian and tell them “f*** you”.
I wish that I could somehow accurately convey how intimidating this must have been for those people that actually raised their hands. Unless you’ve been to a metal concert, I don’t think that I can sufficiently explain it. It is one of those things you have to experience for yourself.
Thankfully, my friends were not foolish enough to identify themselves as Christians. The dimly lit venue was packed full of testosterone and beer fuelled concert-goers, and lead vocalist’s request could easily have resulted in violence.
As unbelievable as it may seem, had this concert been in
, the Alberta Human Rights Commission would have found that Behemoth’s instruction was not discriminatory. Even though Behemoth singled out a religious group for public ridicule and contempt, because Christians are not a disadvantaged group, they are afforded no protection from discriminatory acts. Alberta
I previously wrote an Op-Ed on this issue that was published by the Vancouver Sun and Troy Media. You can read it on this blog here.
I don't have the time right now, but I will soon write a blog about why I think that Christians should be interested in protecting Behemoth's right to express a strident anti-christian message.