August 21, 2020

Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium removes misinterpreted statue

Filed under: Art,History,Religion,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:06 am

Much in the same way that the swastika went from being a religious symbol to being a Nazi one, the official olympic salute with extended arm stopped being used after WWII because it resembled the ‘Hitler greeting’.

That being said, the statue by The Hague sculptor Gra Hueb at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium was inaugurated in 1928 for the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and had nothing to do with the Nazis. It was placed in honour of Baron Van Tuyll van Serooskerken, the first chairman of the Dutch Olympic Committee who successfully brought the Games to the Netherlands. The stadium is not too far from 24 Oranges HQ and is still in use.

As a sign of the times – for better or worse – historians and the Olympic Stadium folks decided to remove it and place it somewhere else in the stadium instead of prominently at the entrance.

(Link and photo:

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April 24, 2019

Utrecht’s Dom church attic open to the public

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 11:24 pm

On 5 May, the attic of the Dom Church (“Domkerk”, in Dutch) in Utrecht will be open to the public for the very first time. And as of that date, people can enjoy one-hour tours every Sunday starting at 14:30. RTV Utrecht went and took a peek:

The Dom Church is about 32 metres high, up to the highest part of the choir vault. Half way up there’s a gallery where nobody has ever been before until now. Utrecht’s well-known symbol was once the Netherlands’ largest church, but the nave collapsed in a storm in 1674 and has never been rebuilt, leaving the tower isolated from the east end.

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March 1, 2019

Religious party object to ‘satanic’ metal festival

Filed under: Music,Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:12 pm

Religious political party SGP (Protestant reformists) are collectively clutching their pearls in disgust, knowing that black metal festival ‘Helvete Festival’ is coming to their town this weekend and would like the event to be cancelled. Held at music venue Estrado and organised by heavy metal fan volunteers, the Helvete Festival is the town of Harderwijk’s first black metal festival and I would image they are pretty excited about it.

The SGP is taking aim at local band Sator Malus ‘with their satanic and misanthropic lyrics’, but not the other four bands, which is odd, making me wonder how much of it they listened to and where before they decided to be outraged.

The complaints about ‘the youth should not be exposed to this’ are first of all, way too late, as the promotion was doing the rounds on social media for months, but apparently the SGP missed it. Secondly, do you really think kids won’t find anything they want on social media? You’re the ones who apparently act like social media doesn’t exist – again, where did you hear the band?

The city council is wondering what they can do against the festival and if they even want to because they have no legal leg to stand on. Usually music venues are subsidised for many festivals, but not this one, which means hurting them in the wallet is also not an option.

As opposed to the luddites, the organisers say it’s not about the lyrics, but more about the music. They even explain that the artists are also people with houses, families, pets and normal obligations, not satan worshippers. It’s all an act.

The SGP are the people who recently brought us the very hateful Nashville Statement and got called out by most of the country.

The SGP have clutched their pearls over ‘swearing’ at a previous metal concert in 2007 even though it has fuck all to do with them.

The SGP complained about paid parking on Sunday, but had no issues letting others pay for it. Again, go visit on another day than Sunday.

The SGP tried and failed to hinder the start of the Tour de France in 2009 on a Sunday.

(Link:, Photo:

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February 27, 2019

More fraudulent research from Tilburg University

Filed under: General,Religion,Science by Orangemaster @ 2:09 pm

Back in 2011, we told you about Professor Diederik Stapel who was disgraced from the Tilburg University for making up a whopping pile of research, and eventually went corporate in 2013.

The Tilburg University is back in the news with another PhD student making up research. Mohammad Nazar Soroush obtained his PhD with research into the lives of young Salafists in the Netherlands. However, he was caught faking conversations as well as visits to mosques that never happened, but may keep his PhD title. Professor Ruben Gowricham who helped Soroush can no longer be involved with granting PhDs and Soroush’s doctoral advisor has been reprimanded as well.

Gowricham has a business that makes money from doctoral candidates such as Soroush to the tune of thousands of euro a year. As well, Gowricham would receive 35,000 euro from Tilburg University per successful doctoral candidate. Two Islamist associations complained about the PhD, saying things in it were fabricated. Soroush used a supposed Salafist logo that is in fact not used by Salafists, and more of these kinds of details raised many red flags.

Although Soroush may keep his title, he has been asked not to distribute his thesis. He has also been asked to publish the fact that his thesis is based on insufficient evidence. People are surprised that he can still keep his title at this point, but the university claims that revoking it goes a bit too far. His credibility is definitely questionable, which will follow him around for a long time.


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August 15, 2018

Pastafarians cannot adorn colanders on official photos

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 7:29 pm


Today the Dutch Council of State Administrative Jurisdiction Division has ruled that Pastafarianism, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is not a religion, which means wearing a colander by the adherents of this social movement cannot be regarded as an expression of religious belief.

Before I get into this, we told you back in 2016 that the Utrecht Chamber of Commerce had recognised the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, citing there was not a sufficiently solid legal basis to continue to refuse them status. However, the Pastafarians booked a loss.

The whole story hinges on a woman from Nijmegen who had applied for an ID card and a driving licence by submitting photos in which she was wearing a colander on her head, as a holy symbol of Pastafarianism. The mayor of Nijmegen refused to issue the requested documents because the woman’s head was covered, saying they did not meet the applicable legal criteria. Long story short, Pastafarianism does not have the required ‘seriousness and cohesion’ expected from a religion according to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This Batman’s Joker wannabee from Hellevoetsluis had his picture taken hat and all, which is also not allowed, but when he argued it was ‘for his religious belief’, he was allowed to leave it on at the time.

(Link:, Photo of a Pastafarian worshipper in full regalia by Dennis van Zuijlekom, some rights reserved)

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July 9, 2018

Tax office loses fight against Dutch preacher

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 8:51 pm

A preacher of the Reformed Congregations (Protestant) from Amersfoort, Utrecht got into it with the Dutch tax office over wanting to deduct a dress jacket he used for special occasions like weddings as work clothing, which the tax office refused.

The 354,95 euro jacket was bought in 2013 and claimed as work clothing that year, but the tax office claimed it could also be worn casually, therefore it could not be deducted.

The preacher brought the matter before a court in Gelderland. He claimed he only wore the jacket for very specific work occasions, not in his spare time. The court also turned down his claim.

Not finished pleading his case, the preacher appealed the lower court’s decision, and the court of Arnhem-Leeuwarden took his side this week. Due to the buttons and other specific traits of the jacket, the court clearly saw a different type of garment that just a jacket and sided with the preacher who was then allowed to deduct it as work clothing. It was also bought at a very specific shop for that very same reason.

The preacher was refunded the money he spent fighting the case in court and can now adjust his tax return.

(Link:, Photo by Johan Wieland, some rights reserved)

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March 11, 2018

Dutch Middle Age altarpieces found in Norway

Filed under: Art,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 5:49 pm


Up until recently, altarpieces from the Middle Ages found in churches along the coast of Norway have been called Lübeck altarpieces, as experts assumed they were imported to Norway by the Hanseatics from Lübeck, Germany.

After analysing the altarpieces using advanced technical equipment such as an infrared camera, UV camera and electron microscope, research by Kristin Kausland of the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo (the only person to have a Ph”D. in conservation from a Norwegian university) has shown that major parts of these pieces were in fact made in Norway and not in Northern Germany. Paint fragments as well as gilding, type of wood, hinges and type of paint are some of the elements have helped reveal where an altarpiece was made.

The biggest surprise is that instead of figuring out if the altarpieces came from Norway or Germany, it turns out a lot of them were made in the Netherlands. In fact, 10 of the 60 altarpieces Kausland studied were made here, which is a big deal since according to her, almost all the altarpieces in the Netherlands were lost during the Protestant Reformation when the decision was taken to destroy church decorations. There’s also talk of a possible exhibition in the Netherlands at some stage to see what the fuss is all about.

(Link and image of a Dutch altarpiece from Western Norway:

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May 1, 2017

Labour tax credit is discriminatory, says professor Teunissen

Filed under: General,Religion by Branko Collin @ 12:03 am

coins-branko-collinLast January an appeals court in Den Bosch heard a couple from Landgraaf, Limburg who claims that couples of which only one partner works still have a right to the full labour tax credit for both partners.

Currently only people who work, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur, enjoy this arbeidskorting (employment credit). The maximum credit you can receive this year is 3,223 euro per person.

According to law professor Jos Teunissen, who represented the couple in court, this is discriminatory and a violation of human rights (the article doesn’t say which human rights are violated specifically — one assumes he is talking about Aticle 12 of the ECHR which guarantees the right of partners to found a family the way they see fit).

In an article for Reformatorisch Dagblad, Teunissen argues that families in which one partner works can pay as much as 5 times as much income tax as families in which both partners work.

Teunissen finds support from former junior minister for Finance Martin van Rooijen who thinks the labour tax credit is discriminatory towards pensioners. In a opinion piece for Trouw in 2015, Van Rooijen argues that discriminating against pensioners is discrimination on the basis of age, which is also plumb illegal.

The labour tax credit was introduced in 2001, when it helped to replace a generic credit. According to Teunissen in a recent article in Trouw, its goal is to stimulate labour force participation of women. It is probably not a huge surprise then that it is mostly opposed by religious parties.

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February 22, 2017

Dutchman houses Bible museum at home

Filed under: Literature,Religion by Orangemaster @ 9:32 am

Erik de Kuijper from Breukelen has collected some 600 bibles of all kinds and has decided to start a museum. However, his idea of a starting a museum is just come on over and check them out, although you’ll have to find out where he lives.

De Kuijper apparently has bibles that are very tiny, written in Braille and really old ones. He explained that his wife bought a stack of bibles from the charity shop one day and that’s how he started his collection.

The photo above is my Metal Bible, handed out at the entrance of the Into The Grave metal festival in a few years’ back.

(Link: rtvutrecht)

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February 6, 2017

Unique Jewish Frisian wedding caught on film

Filed under: Film,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 12:37 pm

A film of the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust is currently doing the rounds, and “comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.”

This unique black-and-white, silent document from 1939 shows the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide, and was shown on Frisian public broadcaster, Omrop Fryslân. In late January the film was placed on YouTube by the Frisian Film Archive. The film reel was discovered by the couple’s children in their late mother’s suitcase in 2008, but they needed all those years to process its content.

Just a year after filming, the people in the movie would come under the Nazi occupation that decimated the Frisian Jewish community, along with 75 percent of Dutch Jews — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.

The Dutch government’s policy of storing information about its citizens enabled the Nazis to efficiently murder as many Jews as possible. Against all odds, this couple survived. Watch images of the wedding of Barend Boers of Amsterdam and Mimi Dwinger from Leeuwarden, Friesland.

(Link: timesofisrael, Photo by Jacques Lahitte, some rights reserved)

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