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Journalist Vasev Called The Nativity Scene In The Lobby Of Radio-Television Slovenia A Sign Of Religious Fanaticism

The employee of the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia, Boris Vasev, who is employed as part of the MMC web portal, is known for his extremist statements and actions. Namely, he once compared a photograph of the then-Prime Minister Janez Janša with a scythe to a photograph of the Serbian war criminal Vojislav Šešelj as a butcher, with the caption “find the difference.” He also “joked” about how he would use flag poles to hang “traitors of the white race,” accused Janša of denying the genocide in Srebrenica, defended the terrorist Hamas, insulted and humiliated patriots, insulted the movie director Mitja Okorn, called for Slovenian flags not to be flown in front of schools and Radio-Television Slovenia, made antisemitic statements, insulted and humiliated his colleagues, publicly shamed Slovenian folk music, and much more. This time, he was apparently very bothered by the nativity scene under the Christmas tree in the lobby of the national media outlet’s building – so much so that he even reported the installation to the Advocate of the Principle of Equality of the Republic of Slovenia.

Here is what he wrote on Twitter: “Today, I submitted a complaint to the Advocate of the Principle of Equality about discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs because of the decision of the management of Radio-Television Slovenia to impose a religious symbol on everyone in the lobby of the public institution (!). I call on everyone who is opposed to the clericalisation of the public institution to do the same.”

He then added: “I would also like to know whether the Ministry of Culture will take action against the religious fanatics in the management of Radio-Television Slovenia.”

The nativity scene under the Christmas tree has been a Slovenian and European tradition for centuries and is so ingrained in the space that it has already transcended its original connotation of Christianity, as even people who are not strictly religious or belong to other religions identify with it, as a traditional cultural symbol. It is a constant of the European cultural “zeitgeist,” whose symbolic meaning (new life, new hope) also has a universal component. It is clear that it is actually Vasev who is the fanatic and the intolerant one, not the hundreds of thousands of Slovenians and hundreds of millions of European households who put the nativity scene under their Christmas tree.

If Vasev ever went to our neighbours (in any direction), he would soon realise that nativity scenes are displayed in almost all shopping centres, schools, and public institutions. Even in the European Parliament – the cradle of the European project – in the middle of the central building stands a large nativity scene from Murcia, designed by Jesús Griñán’s art studio.

The European Parliament is, of course, even more of a public institution than Radio-Television Slovenia. But that does not mean it should be ashamed of its Christian roots. Whether the intolerant like it or not, Europe is a Christian continent with Christian traditions, symbolism, values and folklore.

The Twittersphere did not stay silent when it came to Vasev and his public expressions of intolerance. The left and the right alike were unanimous that this was a reprehensible statement.

A user by the nickname “Gavčo” wrote: “This is intolerance. Of the militant kind.” Aleksander Bajc asked Vasev whether this was just stupidity or was it actual malice. “Do you ever cross the line?” he added. Another Twitter user wrote: “This guy is insane. Completely. Those of you who support this ‘cultural fight,’ think about this for a moment, think of what Western Europe looks like. The one we are trying to be like.”

Robert Šifrer wrote down the famous quote – “We used to be just shepherds, but under communism, we are everything! Internationale (we were NOTHING, let’s be everything).” In addition, another Twitter user pointed out the fact that the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia is apparently trying to abolish religious freedom. Meanwhile, Branko Grims, an MP from the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), wrote the following: “I suggest that the management team of Radio-Television Slovenia criminally charges this person for deliberately inciting intolerance against religious people. It is because of such people that

Slovenia and Slovakia are collapsing, and their conduct is in clear contradiction to Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.” Since Vasev was so bothered by the nativity scene, Božo Predalič asked him about the Christmas bonus – “What about the Christmas bonus? Will you reject it?” he wrote. And Franci Kek commented on the nativity scene by writing that it does not make sense to get all riled up because of the nativity scene, while Ivan Maček Novak pointed out the obvious – “Stop with this bullshit. The nativity scene is something beautiful and part of the Slovenian tradition for atheists, too.”

Another Twitter user jokingly wrote: “Clericalisation in all pores of Slovenian society. Where is our eraser. Djogić to the rescue!” Meanwhile, the user by the nickname “Libertarec” wrote: “Strike the iron while it is hot. If Ljubljana can fine anyone for talking out loud about the stolen Jewish villa, and if the municipality of Radenci can replace Independence Street (“Osamosvojitvena ulica”) with Tito’s Street three times, then the chances of banning the nativity scene are good, too.” Samo Vidovič wondered what it would look like if Vasev moved to Austria. “Would he still send such complaints? Here, they have crosses everywhere – in schools, hospitals, municipalities, kindergartens… He should see what kind of tree President Van der Bellen’s office is decorated with.”

Apparently, Vasev has reached a threshold of acceptability to which our intolerant progressives are allowed to go, who think that the only way forward is to completely “cleanse” our Central European culture of its Christian traditions. They want a society without the spiritual, a society without history and a society without morals. However, given the almost unanimous condemnation of his tweet, it is reassuring to see that some traditions are just too strong to be destroyed overnight by neo-socialist extremists.

Andrej Žitnik

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