"A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God" – says the message on a billboard standing near Górczewska street in the western city district of Warsaw. It’s a verse from the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament.
Joanna Gierzyńska, a psychology student and a local council member representing the Razem party, posted a picture of the billboard on her Twitter.
The billboard space was paid for by the far-right organization Stowarzyszenie Roty Niepodległości (”rota” being an archaic word for a small military unit and “niedpodległość” meaning independence). “Warsaw says NO to the aggressive LGBT ideology! Today, our billboards were set up in the capital city to remind people of what is normal and what is deviant and perverted. We do not give our consent to the aggressive and violent actions of the rainbow flag activists” – the campaign’s initiators wrote on the organization’s Facebook profile, posting a picture of another billboard with a Biblical quote.
The far-right organization has been founded in May of last year by Robert Bąkiewicz- one of the leaders of the National Radical Camp (ONR) and the president of Independence March Organization (Marsz Niepodległości). Bąkiewicz has left the National Radical Camp claiming he couldn’t accept the overly aggressive discourse it promoted.
Fighting sexual minorities and demanding war reparations from Germany
During the inaugural meetings promoting his organization, Bąkiewicz declared that the idea behind his new movement is to be less radical. –Throughout the last 30 years, we’ve been lonesome warriors fighting a powerful anti-Polish propaganda machine that had raised generations of hedonists caring only about their material well-being – he explained.
-We must try to get through to these people, we must show them the truth. Their awakening will scare them, but we must wake them up nonetheless. We need them to join us in saving our country. We must try to love them. Love will be our weapon. Only then, we will manage to convince them to join our fight- he added.
Robert Bąkiewicz announced that his organization aims to promote a national discourse and reach as many Polish towns and villages as possible. –We will build local cultural centers and establish independent media outlets; we will publish our own newspaper and books, we will run public-awareness campaigns promoting patriotism. And in the future, we will also organize traveling workshops and establish our own, independent schools- he listed the initiatives.
How does the “less radical” activity of his organization look like in practice? For instance, only last month, members of the organization picketed in front of the German embassy demanding war reparations, they organized an anti-LGBT event in Toruń, and held a conference with the title “The Battle of Warsaw- forbidden truth”.
More Christian billboards
On Monday, „Wyborcza” wrote about another billboard campaign promoting gospel messages. Billboards featuring the image of Jesus Christ and slogans such as “For he must reign", "Salvation can only come through belief in almighty God”, "Jesus Christ King of Poland", "Christ, reign over us!", or "Lord, save us! We are perishing! Let’s put our trust in God, not in man", appeared in 12 major cities across Poland.
Six of them are, or still will be, located in Warsaw and its surrounding area, three of them in Kraków, two each in Białystok and Częstochowa, and one each in cities such as Gdańsk, Łódź, Lublin, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Wrocław, Poznań, and Olsztyn. The campaign was financed by a Polish American radio based in Chicago.
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