By Hermes C. Fernandes
In times of political polarization, splinters were expected to fly everywhere. The problem is aggravated when those who present themselves as champions of morals and ethics unfairly attack their opponents. What is worse is that they instigate others to undertake a true hate crusade in order to demoralize those who dare to think differently.
I want to take some examples, both from the artistic world and from the religious world, especially from the evangelical world.
Recently, the journalist Rodrigo Constantino, a former columnist for Veja, published a list of artists who, in his view, should be boycotted for speaking out against President Dilma’s impeachment. His suggestion was given in an imperative tone: “Don’t buy anything else from them. Don’t watch their programs, don’t read their columns. Don’t buy their books, don’t go to their plays, don’t buy their CDs. They need to know that it won’t go unpunished. attempt against Brazilian democracy. Xô, Petralia! “
Among its targets are great and recognized talents in music, theater, and journalism. People from Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Wagner Moura, Gregório Duvivier, Jô Soares, Camila Pitanga, Marieta Severo, Luís Fernando Veríssimo, Alcione, Beth Carvalho, Tonico Pereira, Dinho Ouro Preto, Chico César, Marcelo Adnet and Letícia Sabatella.
Letícia Sabatella and Wagner Moura, perhaps due to their visibility and their engagement in social networks, were two of the main victims of this witch hunt. Letícia’s profile on Facebook, which was suspended, suffered several attacks by trolls that distilled her unjustifiable hatred with baseless accusations, insults, and profanity. Anyone who follows her as I have been doing for some time knows of her tough, yet docile and balanced stance, which does not allow for this type of stupid and stupid reaction.
One of the accusations that her detractors make concerns the fact that Leticia and other artists who oppose impeachment are benefited by the Rouanet Law as if it had been sanctioned by the current government. This law was also enacted under the government of Fernando Collor de Mello, and it is nothing more than the granting of the right of artists to collect private funds with tax incentives to enable the performance of their artistic work, aiming at ensuring that the population has access to culture and art as a basic need for a democratic society. Any artist, regardless of their political position, has the right to resort to this law. Some of the artists most engaged in favor of impeachment were also contemplated by the Rouanet Law, among them, Lobão and filmmaker José Padilha.
It doesn’t matter which side of the trench they are on, but the talent they express in their art. It is not fair to destroy the reputation of artists who have already provided us with unforgettable moments, either with their music or with their performance in the theater, in the cinema or on TV. They should be the national pride and not cause for mockery and unscrupulous attacks by those who are jealous of their talent.
The same has happened in the religious world, and in particular in the evangelical world.
Recently, Dom Odilo Scherer, Archbishop of São Paulo, was attacked by a woman during the celebration of a mass at the Catedral da Sé. In addition to the scratches on his face and dropping his miter, Dom Odilo was called a communist. Shouting, she said, “You and the CNBB are undercover communists; you can’t do that to my church.” Grotesque attitudes like this are encouraged by a hate speech like that found in one of Olavo de Carvalho’s videos on his YouTube channel, where the philosopher who became the guru of the Brazilian right voices against Dom Odilo, calling him an excommunicated communist, and saying not to recognize him as bishop. Many of the haters who work on the internet drink from this source, using bad words and other insults so common in Olavo’s videos. It is sad to know that most of those who follow him are Protestant Christians.
In the evangelical environment, the spokesman for this type of posture is, without a doubt, Pastor Silas Malafaia. In a recent video, he said that pastors who signed a manifesto against impeachment would be receiving money from the government. From then on, pastors like Ariovaldo Ramos, Ed René Kivitz, Neil Barreto and others became targets of attacks by “brothers in Christ”. They were called “false prophets”, sold, mercenaries. All because they defend the rule of law and are contrary to the way the process is being conducted. These are men who have not been enriched by the ministry. They are not seen crossing the skies in their own planes. Unlike some of your detractors.
Silas himself, who is now campaigning ostensibly to overthrow the government, not long ago, surprised his viewers by thanking President Dilma for the sanction of Provisional Measure (MP) 668, which not only extended the tax exemption for churches, including commissions paid to pastors as a living allowance, but it also freed many denominations from millionaire fines. Silas Malafaia and missionary RR Soares were two of the main beneficiaries of the MP, thanks to the work of none other than Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ). Silas got rid of a R $ 1.5 million fine, while the president of the Igreja Internacional da Graça got rid of a R $ 220 million fine. Among the beneficiaries would be Robson Rodovalho, bishop of Sara Nossa Terra, and Mário de Oliveira of the Foursquare Church. In light of that,
I did not expound such facts to make others credible at the cost of discrediting others, but with the aim of demonstrating that it is not worthwhile to resort to defamation to impose your position at the expense of others. On both sides of the trench, there are good people, but there are also evil people, who only aim to get together, even if they have to see the circus on fire.
What violates the credibility of a minister or an artist is not his political or ideological positioning, but his lack of ethics, decorum, acting inconsistently with what he professes.