The local government of Urk has banned all strippers from the fundamentalist Christian ex-island, RTL Nieuws reports. If a bar breaks the new law, it has to close shop temporarily.
Last year a bar hired a female stripper who went the full monty, which apparently prompted this bout of legislation. Urk is the town with the highest concentration of fishermen in the country. Until 1939 it was an island–Urkers still say ‘on Urk’ instead of ‘in Urk’, according to Wikipedia.
(Photo of American burlesque performer Lola Bel Aire by Michael Albov, some rights reserved)
Tags: bars, fishing, islands, politics, Protestantism, sex industry, Urk
The granddaddy of the War on Fun must surely be Jean Cauvin (1509 – 1564), the French protestant priest who is seen around these parts as more influential than Luther himself. The man was a big believer in hard work and no (earthly) reward, so it is perhaps odd that the trinkets that are being sold in honour of his 500th anniversary are selling like hot cakes.
Brabants Dagblad reports (Dutch) that a small lake of Calvijn jenever has already been sold (500+ bottles), and that the 25,000 print run of the Calvijn glossy has completely sold out. The exhibition about his life in Dordrecht has so far attracted more than 60,000 visitors. It is unknown if all these people gorged themselves on nectar and ambrosia right after, but there are ten restaurants in Dordrecht that offer special Calvin meals. Perhaps just a pea on a plate, who knows?
Novelist Maarten ‘t Hart points out delicately in NRC Handelsblad (Dutch) that some of the rules of sobriety of Calvin derive from Roman stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger, who did not like music and dancing (“[there is] a time to dance”, Ecc. 3:4) and other exuberances, such as wearing anything other than dark clothes (“Let thy garments be always white”, Ecc. 9:8).
Meanwhile, in the same paper (Dutch) liberal politician Boris van der Ham points out that the celebration of 500 years sobriety is also the celebration of 400 years resistance against the Calvinist philosophy. The States of Holland had a session in 1608 in which theologian Arminius pleaded for the free will of people: “And so I think that man tries to think well, want well and act well.” But Van der Ham also points out that the Dutch reputation as being straight-shooters to the point of being rude is firmly rooted in Calvinism. “In other countries ‘sins’ were often allowed in a don’t-ask,-don’t-tell way, here the curtains were drawn wide open. […] If other countries sometimes look with bewilderment at our freedoms, it’s not because of the freedoms themselves, but because we are so open and honest about them, in what is essentially a Calvinist way.”
(Photo: Calvijn Dordrecht.)
Tags: anniversaries, Bible, Boris van der Ham, Calvin, calvinism, Dordrecht, jenever, luxuries, Maarten 't Hart, magazines, Protestantism, Seneca, War on Fun
In our vigilant reporting on the ‘Jihad against fun’ sweeping the Netherlands, some heavy duty Protestant (unintentional pun intended) towns in the provinces of South Holland and Zealand where the Tour de France is planning to kick off on 4 July 2010 are saying ‘non, merci’ to the great cycling event because it kicks off on a Sunday. The SGP (Political Reformed Party) do not want townspeople to be forced to work on a Sunday because, well, it’s Sunday, and according to them, you’re not supposed to work. Some law actually gives them the right to refuse to work on Sunday, which was surely a good thing back when people worked six days a week like madmen. Lucky for us, we could save face if the organisers and the SGP can agree on a route that would not disturb the people that really want to rest on Sunday.
It’s comforting to know that a small group of people are mainly thinking of themselves and not of the greater good of the Tour starting in the Netherlands again (Den Bosch, 1996). Or maybe they really enjoy getting press and making sure the rest of the world knows that that ‘being tolerant thing’ is just a tourist trap.
Before anyone says, “yes, but they have a right to rest by law…”, let me provide a concrete solution to the problem. If you can’t (won’t) do work on the Sabbath, you get/hire/ask someone to do it for you. It doesn’t stop the Jews I know, it shouldn’t stop a single Protestant, either.
(Link: depers.nl, Photo: Orangemaster at the finish line in Paris, 2007)
Tags: Protestantism, Sunday rest, Tour de France, War on Fun
In Veenendaal, part of the Dutch bible belt, the local chapter of the SGP is “shocked,” “insulted,” and “hurt” over an ad for cereal which depicts a famous scene from the Old Testament, reports RTV Utrecht (Dutch). The Kellogg’s advert that so outraged the conservative Protestant party displays a prudishly covered Eve amidst a sea of apples, watched by a snake, and under a banner which reads “Meer fruit dan vroeger” (more fruit than before).
The SGP, known mostly for its extreme misogynist stance for which it undoubtedly borrowed heavily from the Old Testament’s Garden of Eden myth, has asked the city’s executive to condemn the campaign to Kellogg’s, which must be rubbing its corporate paws in glee for such a predictive gift of free advertising.
The manufacturer’s campaign features a second ad which also depicts a scene from a fairy tale (Snow White, to be precise), but as far as I know no one has protested that one.
Via Geen Commentaar (Dutch).
Tags: advertizing, bible belt, cereal, fairy tales, politics, Protestantism, Veenendaal