Christian Engström, Pirat

12 augusti 2013

Kopimism, the Pirate Party, and separation between church and state

Filed under: English,kopimism — Christian Engström @ 13:47
Pirate P Yin-Yang symbol

Religion and politics can fit together even if they are separate, or especially then.

(This is a continuation of the Kopimist Creation Myth. This sermon has previously been published in Swedish.)

The Pirate Party is a religiously unattached political party that wants to see a secular state where the state and religion are separated.

Freedom of religion, i.e.: everybody’s right to believe in what he or she wants (or nothing at all) is a fundamental human right (Article 9 in the ECHR), and quite rightly so. Everybody shall have the right to practice and live by their own religion, as long as it does not infringe other people’s human rights.

The state should not be a part of the church, and the church should not be a part of the state.

Kopimism is a politically unattached young religion that has official status as a religion in Sweden, after a decision by Kammarkollegiet — blessed be its name! The Missionary Church of Kopimism is a church that is also politically unattached, and wants to see the Kopimist ideas spread over the world by copying.

So far, there are no problems, of course. But to complicate things, there appears to be a quite obvious overlap between people who are active in the Pirate movement and Kopimism, respectively. Many have pointed this out, and nobody has denied it.

The Missionary Church of Kopimism was started by Isak Gerson and Gustav Nipe, both active Pirates. Nipe’s daytime job is to be the chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party’s youth organization Young Pirate. That is admittedly a link.

Me, I am a member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party. I mostly blog about pirate politics, but I have also written a number of blog posts on Kopimism, and intend to continue doing so. Both the Swedish Pirate Party’s founder Rick Falkvinge and our current party leader Anna Troberg have been blogging about Kopimism, Swedish Wikipedia notes.

So it would be slightly silly to try to deny that there appears to be quite a strong personal union between the two movements.

I see no conflict between being politically active in the Pirate Party for a secular society, and being a Kopimist. On the contrary, I see it as to parts that fit perfectly together. If I want the right get to heaven my own way and to believe in what I want (like Kopimism), then it is natural that I defend that right for everybody. ”First they came for the Jews, but I wasn’t a Jew…” etc.

If you are a follower of a religion (in particular a small unpopular religion) the smartest thing to do is to be in favor of the secular state, for purely egoistic reasons if nothing else. If you let the religion that happens to be the strongest at a particular time get control of legislation and police force, you never know where things will end up. Or more accurately: You know precisely, because that has already happened far too many times in history, and is still going on today.

”Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s,” Jesus said in his days. If he meant that state and church should be separate, I agree with him. That is how it should be.

  • The Pirate Party does not think that file sharing should be legalized because Kopimism sees free copying as something holy. We think that file sharing should be legalized becuse it’s a good idea from a democratic, economic, and cultural perspective, on purely political and humanistic grounds.
  • Kopimism is not trying to get some sort of religious exception for Kopimists only, that would give us a special license to share files without risking punishment. This is most clearly demonstrated by the fact that the Kopimist church has been founded by people who are politically active in the Pirate Party, and are already working to legalize file sharing for everybody.

The Pirate Party and Kopimism are two different movements, a political and a religious one, that have different goals and work in different areas. But that doesn’t prevent any individual from being active in both, if he or she feels like it.

And remember, it’s only religion we’re talking about. Religion is never more serious that you choose to see it. What is one person’s most sacred belief, may be just a more or less silly joke to another. This is how it’s always been for all religions, and Kopimism is no exception.

To all who see Kopimism as a joke, I hope that you at least think it’s reasonably funny. If not, all you have to do is to surf on to something else.

As long as we all remember to treat each other in a nice and respectful manner, even if we happen to have different opinions on religion or anything else, it’s not a problem that we are all different. This is an asset, and just how it should be.

Copy and Share!


Read the entire Kopimist Creation Myth.

CC-BY-NC Christian Engström

Illustration by Idee, CC0

5 kommentarer

  1. Thanks to mention me as someone who has done something. But all i did was a little help for a thought to become a visible, more or less good copy of itself. You, Christian, and others have done same work in mind or more:
    As ”CC0” expressly states: Do true copies of your thoughts as you wish. I don’t want to prohibt anyone doing so even a visible picture of a thought is almost limiting mind copies. You know it from books vs. films. Perhaps i should have drawn an image with this words:
    Circle including Yin Yang Symbol and replace dots with PIRATE – Logo and ”Ctrl-C/V” in it.
    But words have a language barrier, pictograms don’t. So (besides) this picto has a barrier for users with only non-american/english keyboard experience. In Germany it is ”Strg-C/V” a.s.o.
    As Christian mentioned here:
    A copy of a thought is a step for other people to go on. It would be a pain in the neck if people have to start all over again on their own.
    It is already bad as can be while every generation has to learn the knowledge accumulated from the past till now (minimum 2013 years) in 18 years. And with our technics we gather more and more knowledge. It will be really difficult for our next generations to learn. If we don’t start now to copy and paste our children grow up with only a glimpse of the knowledge out there.
    And respect the others as yourself: We are all more or less true copies of each other.

    Kommentar av Idee — 13 augusti 2013 @ 11:36

  2. ”The Pirate Party is a religiously unattached political party that wants to see a secular state where the state and religion are separated.”

    Varför är du då så för kopimismen? Det är PRECIS lika mycket en religion som alla andra… Där finns INGEN skillnad över huvudtaget… Om du menar allvar med ovanstående så sluta använda den politiska plattformen för att sprida religionen, om inte är ovanstående ren och skär lögn som bara skadar PP…

    Kommentar av EtherMan — 13 augusti 2013 @ 22:27

  3. @EtherMan:
    How do you know that someone is spreading religion on this platform? Isn’t it a political discussion about religion as it was about ACTA or other themes as well?
    Aren’t the words ”stop spreading” kind of a censorship scream? Isn’t the pirateparty a platform to spread one’s opinion for discussion reason. Christian opened the function to send comments for discussion to this theme, too, or? You can’t seperate someone’s believe from his mind. And for me it is better to know in what a politician believes.
    Why don’t you take these words as well:
    ”The Pirate Party is a religiously unattached political party that wants to see a secular state where the state and religion are separated.
    Freedom of religion, i.e.: everybody’s right to believe in what he or she wants (or nothing at all) is a fundamental human right (Article 9 in the ECHR), and quite rightly so.”
    PIRATES work with other non governmental organisations (i.e.:Musicpirates, Anti-Atom-Pirates, Trollpirates, Sex Workers) together to reach these objects. Swiss PIRATES for example want to support Sex Workers:,4309.0.html
    cause of this:
    ”This declaration was elaborated and endorsed by 120 sex workers and 80 allies from 30 countries at the European Conference on Sex Work,
    Human Rights, Labour and Migration 15 – 17 October 2005, Brussels, Belgium …
    In France, a sex worker’s child, upon reaching the age of majority, may be prosecuted with ‘living off’ the sex worker’s earnings…
    In Portugal (and many other countries) sexworkers loose custody of their children through social services or family courts solely because of their occupation…”
    Is it your opinion that:
    If someone’s Pirate religion is Sex he/she can’t support the Sex Workers because there must be a seperation between state and religion?
    And how can you practice the seperation state and religion?
    Christian don’t tell you to believe in kopimism…he just said: there it is, this is how it works, any suggestions?

    Kommentar av Idee — 13 augusti 2013 @ 23:54

  4. Putting pirate politics in a context of religion is very useful in countries where freedom of religion is paramount.. Some countries have the self-image that they once were saviors to people who came from far away and were persecuted on religious grounds in their home country…

    ”In Portugal (and many other countries) sexworkers loose custody of their children through social services or family courts solely because of their occupation…””

    In Sweden too. It’s really horrible. There was such a case not long ago when the father killed the mother (who was a sex-worker) when she tried to contact her child. Before all this the mother was decided LESS suitable as a parent than the father, who had been convicted for violent crimes before…

    Kommentar av gurra — 14 augusti 2013 @ 9:28

  5. My opinion is that Christian are missing his own point! Church and state should be separate. Well Christian you are argueing for that the church you thinks are appropriate can be involved in politics but not others!? This is a strange point of view. Then you probably thinks that the ruling turkish AK party is an excellent mix. Or? No Christian you are just mixing things as long as you are in favor. Im a pirate, member of party, and I strongly disagree!

    Kommentar av JoeyTribbiani — 21 augusti 2013 @ 16:30

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