25. Burn The Promised Land
Written by Fabiano Penna Correa
Performed by Rebaelliun
From the CD Burn The Promised Land (Hammerheart Records, Holland 1999)



We lead the battle to conquer
We bring the inverted cross to burn the Promised Land
Behind a line drawn in the sand
They’re all afraid… this is the end!
Overflowing with fever
Overthrowing believers
Legions march in attack
Spawning the disease
Burn! Burn! Burn!
Slander… we want revenge for the centuries of lies
Surrender… the beast takes me, and I am reborn
Vengeance will lead this night
A new throne will arise this dawn
As we kill all the enemies in fight


Death Metal Against Christianity

Burn the Promised Land is an album by the Brazilian death metal band Rebaelliun. The Encyclopaedia Metallum says they’re no longer extant, but here’s an extract from an interview with their songwriter Fabiano Penna Correa, conducted in 2000 by Jeffrey Kusbel in Canadian Assault which, succinct as it is, goes some way to explaining the fury that impels the song:

Jeffrey Kusbel: There are some anti-Christian lyrics and symbols used on your album, are REBAELLIUN meant to be perceived as a Satanist or anti-Christian band? What do you think of Christianity and its influence on the world?

Fabiano Penna: REBAELLIUN is an anti-Christian band. Christianity goes against the freedom and honour of the men, and these are two of the most important principles in our life. Christianity is just responsible for hundreds of crimes against humanity, their empire is even more rich and stronger than on the last centuries. They’re not doing this for their god or Jesus Christ, they do this for the money and for the domain.’


‘Why I’m Not A Christian.’

…and here is an extract from a text which precedes both Correa’s views by some seventy odd years. It is by the Welsh philosopher Bertrand Russell, and it is called Why I’m Not A Christian and was published in 1927. About Russell, Wikipedia offer the following -

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. Although he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died.

Russell was an influential philosopher and mathematician. He led the British ‘revolt against Idealism’ in the early 1900s and is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his protégé Wittgenstein and his German elder Frege. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay ‘On Denoting’ has been considered a ‘paradigm of philosophy.’ Both works have had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics and analytic philosophy.

He was a prominent anti-war activist, championing free trade between nations and anti-imperialism. Russell was imprisoned for his pacifist activism during World War I, campaigned against Adolf Hitler, for nuclear disarmament, criticised Soviet totalitarianism and the United States of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, ‘in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.’

Should you wish to read more of Why I’m Not A Christian you can find the complete text at the Bertrand Russell Society website

Here is the extract:

The Moral Arguments for Deity

Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called the moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason; but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother’s knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasise — the immensely stronger hold upon us that our very early associations have than those of later times.

Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. It has all sorts of forms. One form is to say there would be no right or wrong unless God existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are in this situation: Is that difference due to God’s fiat or is it not? If it is due to God’s fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God’s fiat, because God’s fiats are good and not bad independently of the mere fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will then have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. You could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God that made this world, or could take up the line that some of the Gnostics took up — a line which I often thought was a very plausible one — that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refute it.’


On Christianity in Brazil

On the subject of the role and presence of Christianity in Brazil, we thought you might be interested in a story posted by Carlos Dutra on the website of Dutch based non profit organisation Global Voices Online. But before we begin, it just occurred to us that as combative and well intended as Correa’s sentiment that Christianity goes against the freedom and honour of the men may be, the story we want to share with you provides evidence of that, at least in Brazil, Christianity preys with a very particular cruelty on women and girls, especially those who happen to be poor and black. As for Christianity’s treatment of certain kinds of men such as those featured in this story, well, read on…

From Global Voices Online – http://globalvoicesonline.org:

Brazil: On the Vatican’s condemnation of raped-child’s abortion. Posted By Carlos Dutra On 2009-03-12 @ 17:32 pm In Brazil,

In the last week of February, a 9-year-old girl of just 79 pounds in weight and height of 1.33 meters, from the lower-middle class and a poor area in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, complained to her mother of severe stomach pains. They went together to a health unit, where they discovered the girl was 15-weeks pregnant, expecting twins. Only then, the girl confessed to her mother that her stepfather had been raping her and her older sister, aged 14, for the last 3 years. The stepfather has been detained and has admitted sexually abusing the girl since she was 6 years old. He may stay in jail until the end of the investigation.

After much opposition from the Catholic Church, a legal abortion was performed by a medical team. Brazilian law bans abortion except in cases of rape (up to the twentieth week of pregnancy), and when there is risk of death for the mother. Her case ticked all the boxes.

Nevertheless, the case has lead to a social battle involving the Roman Catholic Church and the judiciary: supported by the Vatican, the archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Dom José Cardoso Sobrinho, excommunicated the mother, the doctor and the whole medical team responsible for the operation. The girl was spared, as Catholic Church law says minors are exempt from excommunication. The archbishop, however, did not excommunicate the stepfather, and declared that ‘a graver act (than rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life.’

The news has rekindled the abortion issue in Brazil, and in addition, highlighted the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the personal and judicial decisions of a secular state, stimulating the Portuguese-speaking blogosphere. Sebastião Nunes, in his Responsa de Pedra blog, says:

‘The hypocrisy involved in this inquisitional trial performed by the Catholic Church is amazing. A raped child in her body and rights, abused since the age of 6, facing a high risk of death if the pregnancy is not interrupted, must accept the beauty of the miracle of life and death if necessary, because this was God’s will, as per the stupid decision of cardinals. And then the Catholic Church will not understand why people leave their ranks. According to the Church’s trial, God’s will has made the girl’s cowardly stepfather rape her. A sad God, this one is.’

With a pinch of irony, Lele Teles, on his Technosapiens blog, laments that the cleric has punished a fragile victim right on International Women’s Day:

The most disgusting thing is that on International Women’s Day, a little religious man appears to show that his world is still sexist, and that sexism should dominate the State and science. The bishop wanted the child to bear another child just because he says he supports the right to life. But as the 9-year-old girl was at risk of death if the pregnancy went on, so it is understood that the bishop protected the life of the… rapist.’

Vitor Lessa’s blog has a publication called ‘Ignorância’, and asks if the Catholic Church knows that we live in a secular state, and if they know that not everybody belongs to their institution and many question the points of views ‘suggested’ by the Vatican.

‘[…] He [the Cardinal] is saying we should return to the Middle Ages, back when the state and church were together and the clergy dictated the rules supposedly laid down by God. When millions of people were burned in the name of God, when the church said that men should serve their feudal lords just because God wished so, and many other facts. He has never thought that Brazil is not only inhabited by Catholics, that Brazil is a secular country (without a set religion) and its inhabitants have elected a legitimate constitution to govern the country and its people. The bishop has never remembered that we no longer live in the Middle Ages and that, above the institution to which he belongs, there is the State that should meet the needs of all its citizens. After all, everyone is equal before the law and pays taxes to support the nation. I do not think that this is the isolated action of a bishop, it is a stance supported by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is not only against abortion in cases of rape, but also against the law protecting homosexuals, who pay taxes and are legally equal to the bishop. So if the church accepts that law protects the oppressed minorities (such as women who are beaten by their husbands), why can’t another group, such as homosexuals, be protected too? After all, are we equal or not? The Catholic Church also forbids the use of condoms or birth control methods.

Daniel Braga talks about the issue on his blog Mausoléu do Gargula in a post called ‘Religious Blindness’. In this post, he asks a series of questions that deal with not only the physical conditions of the girl, but the financial conditions and feasibility of someone having two children at the age of 9:

‘I think that religious blindness is one of the worst things man has invented. Note that I am not talking about religion itself, because this is really important to people, but the absurd dogma that eventually causes religious blindness. […] Questions arise and I will not in any way answer them, leaving the task to all of you, so everybody can reflect on the possible answers:

* Could this girl continue with her pregnancy without her body being more damaged than it is already?
* Could this high-risk pregnancy lead the children to death, all three of them?
* How could a child raise these two children?
* What is the future social damage for this family?
* How is the mind of this poor child who should be playing with dolls but was the target of abuse from a rapist?
* How is the structure of the family this girl lives with?
* How would this same family structure be afterwards, if these babies were born?
* What should be the role of religion in this case? A punitive role or a comforting one?
* Being punished, directly or indirectly, by religious representatives, how does this child feel now?
* Does she have physical problems, is she taking the responsibility on herself of this heinous fact?’

Even President Lula has talked about the issue, saying he is Catholic and personally against abortion, but as a head of state he supports the practice in cases like this (and as a health care issue). He has also criticised the Catholic Church’s position:

‘[…] Medicine did what had to be done, saved the life of a 9-year-old girl, […] As a Christian and a Catholic, I find it deeply lamentable that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude.’

The Catholic Church’s lawyer said that he would file a complaint for murder against the girl’s mother, based on Articles 1 and 5 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantee the inviolability of the right to life. He said that ‘in addition to considering our religious beliefs, our complaint is tied to the Constitution.’ But the public prosecutor in Pernambuco has spoken about the case:

‘The Public Prosecutor of Pernambuco, through promoter Jeanne Bezerra, along with the Executive Secretariat of Women and the NGO Curumim, is following up the case of the 9-year-old girl made pregnant due to rape in Alagoinha. According to information made available by the promoter, the girl is receiving medical, psychological and social care guaranteed by the Child and Adolescent Statute. Until now, no judicial action was necessary from the MPPE9 (Pernambuco’s prosecuto). As Brazilian law allows abortion to victims of rape until the twentieth week of pregnancy (according to the STJ (Supreme Court)), the procedure can be performed under medical evaluation, independent of judicial authorization, and therefore of the opinion of the prosecutor.’

Most of the reactions on the blogosphere are critical of the Catholic Church’s attitude, but there were a small group of bloggers supporting the Brazilian archbishop’s decision to excommunicate all involved in the abortion. Among them, Jorge Ferraz, from Pernambuco, has written an open letter to Dom José Cardoso Sobrinho and received over 100 comments, both supporting him and against the Church’s decision. And in another, earlier open letter, Maite Tosta, who is also a mother, says that the Church’s decision could not be more correct:
‘At the moment, when this girl needed support, aid, medical, psychological and why not, spiritual care, voices were raised to point out an ‘easier’ way, they wanted us to believe it was the only reasonable one…

Logically, the situation of the child is worrying. But what about the twins? Don’t they deserve our attention? Our concerns? Non-born human life is as much life as in born humans, and deserves the same care. Because they were fruits of a violent relationship, which should not have been consummated, are they not human? Does it mean that a foetus is a person when it is wanted, and when it is not desired it is just a thing?

What is easier for those involved? Providing assistance, care, monitoring? Or ‘eliminating the problem’?  But… I wonder, easier for whom? After all, this girl will grow up, not without marks left by this episode. Despite all the people around her saying that it was better that way, that her body had no condition, that it was a risky pregnancy, that the children were fruits of violence and she did not need to live with them, that the law would not punish her… she will always have on her mind the fact that she consented to the death of her children… this is a memory that never goes, and that has a bitter taste.’

Unfortunately, this was not the first nor, probably, the last case of its kind. Another stepfather has been arrested under suspicion of rape, this time in Rio Grande do Sul. The 11-year-old girl is seven months pregnant, has been hospitalised in Rio Grande do Sul and her pregnancy brings the risk of death. The investigations are ongoing in both cases.

As you might expect, the story was covered by the global media. The New York Times’ coverage, by Alexei Barrionuevo, provided a few facts that put the whole affair into a wider and no less disturbing context. Barrionuevo’s account begins in the Pérola Byington Hospital in Sao Paulo, a women’s health clinic which treats victims of sexual violence, averaging around fifteen such cases a day – almost half of which involve children under twelve.

Citing comments from doctors and health workers, Barrionuevo makes the important point that for all the furore surrounding the case of the nine-year old girl, her case is indicative of a widespread, often ignored, growing problem of sexual abuse of under-age girls by family members. And citing Brazilian government Health Ministry estimates, Barrionuevo informs us that the figures for legal abortions of girls aged 10 to 14 almost doubled in 2007.

Low as these official figures are – 22 to 49 out of 3,050 legal abortions – the Ministry of Health reckons there are around a million abortions carried out every year which are unsafe or clandestine; that’s the word he used. Is that the same as illegal or is it a consequence of the illegal status of the abortion in Brazil? Either way, it would explain the risky nature of the abortions: Brazil has some of the harshest abortion laws in Latin America. We read in Cecilia Sardenberg’s 2007 text for opendemocracy.net, The Right To Abortion: Briefing from Brazil, that in Bahia alone an illegal abortion is carried out every three hours: Sardenberg cites Brazil’s ministry of health estimates that in 2006 more than 26,700 women in the state were hospitalised after illegal operations, making illegal abortions the main cause of maternal mortality in Brazil.

Sardenberg reports that ‘Most of the victims are young, poor and black. Dr Greice Menezes, a researcher at the Federal University of Bahia’s school of public health, says: ‘Deep down, abortion is a portrayal of social exclusion: the law criminalises all women who practice it, but punishes with death only those who are poor and black’. Unlike middle- and upper-class women, such women cannot afford to pay for a clandestine abortion in modern, safe clinics.’

Incidentally, the byline for Sardenberg’s text reads – ‘A long campaign by feminists in Brazil to reform the country’s highly restrictive abortion laws is facing strong opposition from Catholic and conservative groups, says Cecilia Sardenberg.’ Here is Sardenberg’s account of the effect of pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Brazil in 2007 on the feminists’ campaign, and how feminists responded:

The pope’s visit intensified the debate on abortion in the country. It was clear to Brazilian feminists and many others that the centrepiece of the trip – the canonisation of Frei Galvão, the patron of pregnant women – was part of a broader plan by the church to curb women’s struggles for reproductive rights in Brazil.

The results soon became clear. In May 2007, more than 5,000 people connected to various religious groups staged a protest in São Paulo denouncing abortion as ‘murder’. They highlighted the case of a baby called Marcela, who although born without a functioning brain was still alive at four months, thus challenging medical claims that life outside the uterus is impossible for anacephalous infants. Such a case, they argue, invalidates arguments in favour of legalisation of abortion.

The response of Brazilian feminists to this counter-effort is – for the moment, at least – to avoid a head-on collision. This is a strategic choice: recent polls indicate that public opinion in Brazil has taken a strongly conservative turn in relation to abortion. In 1993, 54% of those polled defended the maintenance of abortion laws as they stood, while 23% supported full legalisation; a poll in Folha de São Paulo in October 2007 suggests that the percentage favouring legalisation has fallen to 16%.

A year after the publication of Sardenberg’s report, Brazilian MPs rejected a Bill proposing abortion reform. The BBC reported that one MP allegedly took a mock-up of a baby’s coffin into the debate in the Chamber of Deputies to display his opposition to the proposed bill. Things being as they are, the coffin could just as well have been for any of the number of girls – or for that matter, women – who died, figuratively or literally, because of the illegal nature of the country’s abortion laws.



Rebaelliun, Encyclopaedia Metallum, http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=601

Interview by Jeffrey Kusbel with Rebaelliun’s Fabiano Penna late May 2000, from Canadian Assault zine:

Bertrand Russell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell

Why I’m Not A Christian, by Bertrand Russell, 1927, from the Bertrand Russell Society website http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/brs.html

Brazil: On the Vatican’s condemnation of raped-child’s abortion, posted by Carlos Dutra

Amid Abuse in Brazil, Abortion Debate Flares, by Alexei Barrioneuvo, with additional reporting from Mery Galaternick, The New York Times, March 27, 2009

The Right To Abortion: Briefing from Brazil, by Cecilia Sardenberg

Brazil MPs reject abortion reform. BBC News: 2008/07/10



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