Going up to Funchal's Monte neighborhood in a cable car is very picturesque. But the way down is all about fun. Two gentlemen dressed in white and wearing straw boaters will take you downhill at relatively high speeds in these large wicker baskets they call "toboggans."
The racy pastry scene in the holiday shop window in the city of Seville is no joking matter in the traditional Catholic country. Now "Josephallus" and family might land this local wafflemaker in court.
La Vergueria is a small shop located in the heart of old Seville and its specialty is waffles — erotic waffles, to be more precise. Their desserts are shaped either into vaginas (vergofre) or penises (chochofre) and covered in the topping of your choice. Their unusual menu, which gained them some national notoriety and steady LGBTQ+ support, also includes other kind or sexually-referenced sweets, such as boob-shaped lollipops or fruit-flavored ice pop penises for summer.
On normal days, La Vergueria's window is decorated with an assortment of random stuffed genitalia, but as Christmas approached this year, the owner went for a very un-traditional nativity scene with his X-rated products. So now in the store window, passersby see a "Josephallus" and "Vagina Mary" looking over the little holy one.
Needless to say, the off-color biblical adaptation was not appreciated by all. A formal complaint against the shop was filed by the far-right Vox party and the Foundation of Christian Lawyers, reports Spanish daily La Rázon. The applicants consider this nativity scene an offense to religious sentiments, a form of blasphemy, and the lawyers’ association claims the intention was to ridicule traditional figures and consciously hurt believers, as well as exposing children to pornographic images.
La Vergueria waffle shop in Sevilla
Derision of religious feelings
In Spain, where some 68% of the population identifies as Catholic, joking with faith is risky. In fact, the Penal Code clearly mentions derision of religious “feelings” as a punishable crime in article 525.1: "They will incur the penalty of a fine of eight to twelve months those who, to offend the feelings of the members of a religious confession, make publicly, orally, in writing or through any type of document, derision of their dogmas, beliefs, rites or ceremonies, or vex, also publicly, those who they profess or practice them.”
The possible existence of a criminal offense.
Judging that there was indeed a “possible existence of a criminal offense”, a Seville court has agreed to open preliminary proceedings against the waffle shop. The second complaint, filed by Vox, has also been taken up by the courts.
The shop was also subjected to a popular blasphemy “trial” of sorts on social networks, where many users expressed their outrage towards a “grotesque” representation of the nativity scene, and pointed the finger at the pastry shop’s bad taste. “Is it respectful of the beliefs of many citizens? ” asked a woman on Twitter.
The Christian lawyers’ group, Abogados Cristianos, is confident that the courts will force La Vergueria to withdraw said Bethlehem scene. Interviewed by Antena 3, shop owner Andrea Suárez defended his decoration by saying “Joseph, Mary and Jesus have genitals. And if they procreated Jesus, then they made it the only way we know how, right?”
Well, it seems Suárez may be mixing up the details of the Gospels, though he also expressed his own personal holiday feelings: “I think we should take it all with a little more joy and humor.“
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