Religious Controversy Sparks Album Recall

Offensive artwork from Canadian pop punk band Living With Lions promotes mass recall of their newest album.

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If you haven't heard of the recent controversy surrounding Canadian pop punkers Living With Lions, now would be a good time to catch up. The band recently released their latest album, titled Holy Shit (The Poo Testament), last week. Somewhere within the packaging lies a picture of a rather large piece of excrement dressed as Jesus. As if this wasn't bad enough, the album cover itself is printed in the style of a traditional bible and the "song lyrics [are] written like Scripture or biblical verses". Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore criticized the band for their offensive packaging. According to Moore's spokesperson, "the content of this CD is offensive and the fact that it is clearly designed to offend a group of Canadians based on their faith is simply wrong." Not only was the band criticized, but FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), was also called out for the $13,000 grant they provided to Black Box Recordings to record and promote Holy Shit. As a government institution, FACTOR uses taxpayer's money to fund projects for recording artists, and as such, is liable to the taxpayers for the use of their money. Since the incident, FACTOR has expressed their "profound disappointment" with the content. Black Box Recordings owner Ian Stanger was the first to speak out from the band's camp. "I'd like it to be well understood that the lyrical content on this record makes no reference to any religious themes whatsoever... there's a tongue-in-cheek element of this record people may be missing." He also stated that the album was not meant to promote anti-religious themes in any way. A week after Holy Shit's release date and the ensuing controversy, Living With Lions and Black Box issued this update via the Black Box Recordings official website: In light of the recent controversy regarding the artwork for Living With Lions' album, Holy Shit, the band and label have voluntarily agreed to return the loan of $13,248.00 in its entirety, which was offered in support of this record. The product will be withdrawn from the domestic market immediately, and we requested our international partners to withdraw product internationally as well. We understand the band's desire to maintain their creative integrity. Therefore the album will be re-released as a non-FACTOR supported project in the coming weeks. The material was not intended to be offensive, though we regret it was interpreted that way. Further, we regret the negative attention that this matter has brought to FACTOR. FACTOR is an integral part of supporting and sustaining Canadian music domestically and internationally, and their support of our work and that of other Canadian musicians is invaluable. - Ian Stanger While it certainly is a setback for Living With Lions, FACTOR is in the hot seat as well. Now other Canadian punk musicians are worried that FACTOR may lose funding from the conservative right or even be wiped out entirely. Joe Keithley of D.O.A. says "I think you can kiss FACTOR goodbye... Or at least they're going to get their funding cut in half. Here's the bottom line... If [the music] doesn't qualify, then the Conservatives won't give you the money and unfortunately that's the way they think... It's unfortunate we've got four years of this BS to deal with." By Jay Brown

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    AngryGoldfish
    sacamano79 wrote: Im all for a good joke, but this seems a little tasteless
    +1 It's not funny to me to take a shit on a fat man lying on his face with a squirrel stuffed up his ass. So why would this be funny? Tongue in cheek? Tongue in cheek takes a long time to perfect. Comedians and professional writers know this. This band are clearly clueless. And actually rather selfish if it means the Canadian people will complain and demand FACTOR be removed from the scheme, which may subsequently affect loads of other bands and artists negatively. Bad joke that may cause people to lose their jobs. Nice one, pop-punkers. Seriously, that genre is a joke to me anyway. There are few pop-punk bands that I'd even listen to let alone buy from. The name pop punk just makes me squirm. I'd rather listen to straight up pop music.
    SkaryGary
    Brendan.Clace wrote: SkaryGary wrote: bottom line if there was a magical man named jesus that raised the dead and was so awesome dont u think there woulda been more books and tablets and statues made about him insted of the only place the guy is ever mentioned is in da christan bible?? evidence > belief HA. Ignorance is HILARIOUS. In fact, a lot of comments on this article are almost as hilarious as this one. Considering the Bible is THE MOST accurate "history book" ever written, with more supporting manuscripts of any book ever (including King Arthur, which most people seem to believe) I would have to say that Jesus was a REAL man. Also, he is mentioned by historian Josephus, as well as in the Qu'ran. You would know these things if instead of jumping on the "we hate Christianity" band wagon and read a book once in a while. People need to understand, they are not withdrawing the album because of the criticism from the "religious nuts". They are withdrawing the album because it was paid for with a huge grant from a government organization who gave them tax-payer money. Therefore, it has to be UN-OFFENSIVE content in every way shape and form. It cannot promote any form of offensive content. The fact that the organization found out about the content only after the album was released makes it even worse. Please people, do your homework and actually read some things before coming on here and spewing your random, non-sensical, band-wagoning hate speech.
    dude i went to catholic my whole life believe me i know the bible, the new testement was written hundreds of years after jesus died so theres no eye witness testimony plus the church only picked storys they felt fell in line with what they were teaching, the old testement is a differnt story and isnt relevent to this convo cuz jesus isnt in the old testement. my point stands theres no evidence this man ever exsisted outside of a book of giants, talking snakes,and zombies
    A CATSHOVEL
    Samhuinn wrote: $13.000 grant!? So the album cost $13.000.000 to make? .. XD
    *Facepalm*
    morciu
    sweet jesus so many of you really miss the point. It's not like they made the album illegal. They deserved it, if you want to be all badass and offensive be a man about it and do it on your own money. It's not about freedom of speech. It's really simple, if you wanna have a picture of a jesus turd on your cover you cant expect to place it on the shelf next to a miley cirus cd. Hell i wouldnt want to see gay porn on the shelf when I go shopping, it's the same thing. And government funded punk rock bands is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. I've never heard this band but I bet they're as creative as my toenail clippings.
    queenslander47
    Sounds like a publicity stunt to me. No better than Gaga's Judas film clip. "Hey, nobody cares or knows about our band, what should we do?" "Let's put a turd dressed as Jesus on our album booklet, that will get us noticed." Although I will say, Holy Shit is a hilarious title haha
    zlatsky
    Samhuinn wrote: $13.000 grant!? So the album cost $13.000.000 to make? .. XD
    $13,000 canadian dollars. So like $20 american.
    PeenieMcGee303
    I hate religion. ALL OF THEM and I really hate that I have to teach the know it all bible thumpers about their own bible. All the "apocolypse" theories are based off the bible, which by itself is non-historical and non-scientific. It's a story. Now throw in the FACT that most of the "apocolypse" theories are from a part of the bible called...THE APOCRYPHA! Here, I don't feel like typing anymore, I'll just copy and paste the definition.... The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical" i.e. NOT TRUE! It's labeled in the book of made up stories as the UNTRUE part. LOL!
    Masterofpirates
    Too bad you can't do that with Mohammad or you'll get death threats. Funny kind of double standard we got going on.
    nazznate
    I like punk. I get the whole scenario. Everybody is fair game. Jesus is also someone that many people hold very dear to their heart.So Ian Stanger doesn't understand how someone would be offended by such images? No difference between Holy Shit album art and images of someone he loves (wife, daughter, son, father, mother) being raped and shat upon. That would be an awful thing to experience. I am in no way suggesting or wishing any such act on his family or anyone else, but I hope my point is properly taken.
    myownenemy
    I am extremely offended about this, as I am a Christian, but I think they shouldn't have their album recalled. I think they should have the right to express their opinions, and not have it taken away by anyone, not even their label. Maybe that's the American in me, but I would think it'd be obvious that they should have that right.
    PerfectChaos337
    The "As if this wasn't bad enough..." line implies that the author of the article is biased in a way that favors the side against the band. At least be neutral writing something like this. PS - Living With Lions totally rule. One of the best bands in pop punk, and they have been for a long time. If you're not in the know, you need to wake up, because you're sleeping.
    bluto62
    GrungeHippie26 wrote: that wasnt funny or cool at all. Why dont you make a statement against hate or racism. Why do you feel you have to mock a religion.
    Perhaps it is because many religions are based on underlying feelings of hate, and followed devoutly by racists?
    almario1402
    I'm Catholic, but I really don't think the album really deserves a recall, they can sing whatever they want and we won't care because it's a pop punk band XD Jk, but seriously, music is art, and you should be able to say whatever you want.
    symbolic actor
    nazznate wrote: I like punk. I get the whole scenario. Everybody is fair game. Jesus is also someone that many people hold very dear to their heart.So Ian Stanger doesn't understand how someone would be offended by such images? No difference between Holy Shit album art and images of someone he loves (wife, daughter, son, father, mother) being raped and shat upon. That would be an awful thing to experience. I am in no way suggesting or wishing any such act on his family or anyone else, but I hope my point is properly taken.
    I pretty much agree. I'm all for people making whatever statements they want as long as they are handled with some level of maturity or good humor. But doing the whole Jesus is shit thing is just insulting in all the bad ways, and I'm not even Christian. I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like they were thinking, "omfg dood! jesis r shit lol!!!," and forwarded that thought to the album's cover artist
    Dime6String
    Ok so why is it that when non-religious people speak out of mock religion, religious people play the "I'm offended" card but when I get offended by religion (wich I do find quite offensive) I just have to deal with it?!
    jrandmb
    I think the opposition to this album need to realise it's a joke, it's tongue in cheek. The band haven't come out and said, 'we hate christians' or something along those lines. Comedians write jokes about christianity and religion every day. Also, if you google something like 'funny jesus picture' there are loads of images taking the piss out of Jesus. How is this worse?
    MT_Obsidian
    Like I Is wrote: Eifler121 wrote: The Dragons are mentioned in Revelations to begin with, which comes from a man's dream about the Rapture and the end of the world. It''s the same chapter that describes God's tongue as a sword. Ever hear of a sharp tongue? Dragon is typically understood to be more like a Dinosaur, since the word Dinosaur didn't come about until long after the Bible did. Two different names for a big lizard. That chapter is just full of metaphors, and on top of that, it isn't always accepted by all Christian institutions. The term demon doesn't describe any specific thing aside from an evil force. Demons are also mentioned as Angels in places of the Bible. The fire and brimstone definition of hell is a way of trying to describe an abstract place where spirits go in physical terms. It's more about the effect than a precise definition. It's like thinking that God actually looks like an old white man. Behemoth simply means something big. It could be an elephant or a giraffe even. The story of a deity's son coming to rescue mankind is almost universal to all religions/myths. That's how Christians got the Nordic people to convert. They found a lot of similarities, and then told them Ragnarok had happened already, that Thor's tree was the Tree of Good and Evil, and that Adam and Eve survived Ragnarok by hiding inside of the Tree. The story of Jesus on the cross is also meant to teach more than that Jesus died for our sins. He also speaks to the thief being hung next to him, who was never religious, and lived a very sinful life, and tells the thief that he would be in heaven someday. So it isn't as black and white that people who aren't Christians or Jews or people that sin don't go to heaven. Jews also don't believe that Jews are the only people to go to heaven. I can't explain the miracles, like Moses parting the red sea or the sea of reeds, but the Jews escaped Egypt somehow. Doesn't seem like it would be that easy to just get up and go do. I acknowledge that the Bible was written by a bunch of people trying to make their story more convincing, but just watch the History channel once in a while, and you can see that there is a lot that says the Bible isn't just full of things that didn't happen. There are certainly some things that are true in it. I'm not trying to convert anybody, but don't act like people are idiots for believing in God or any other religion. Especially when every single point you bring to the table is crap. It seems to me that when you questioned EVERYTHING, you didn't actually look for any answers either. ^ Everyone needs to read this before they post anything else.
    I agree, Like I Is. After scrolling through the entirety of this comments page, I have to say that this is probably the best comment I see here. Very reasonable and well thought out.
    EFGuitar
    and so yet another joke is taken way too seriously and all hell breaks loose...people need to chill.
    Eifler121
    CoolMcAwesome wrote: I'm going to keep this short and simple (no need to write a ****ing book like those above): Don't like it? DON'T BUY IT! If you find it offensive, other may not,so DEAL WITH IT! N00bs. You don't have the right to no be offended.
    Haha, sorry. I have a lot of time on my hands, and I hate that so many people hate religious and spiritual people.
    Adam_Harrison9
    It's amazing how much people have suddenly decided this censorship is okay. Firstly, have you ever thought a percentage of the taxpayers who fund this project might be anti-religious? Secondly, in relation to that, don't you think this album is only a small percentage of anti-religous sentiment put out by said organisation? All in all, I'd say this reflects a certain percentage of taxpayers and that means for it to be a fair system it should be allowed to be released. I'm pretty sure more pro-religous stuff will have been released by said organisation. What are you all moaning at?
    C O B H C
    Minivirus2 wrote: As a government institution, FACTOR uses taxpayer's money to fund projects for recording artists, and as such, is liable to the taxpayers for the use of their money. As a Canadian tax payer, this royaly pisses me off. Why the **** am I working my ass off daily so that the government can give my tax dollars to horrid little indie bands. Hell, I wouldn't want my tax dollars funding ANY music. What right does the government have to take my money and give it to others to make money. I want to move. The conservatives are going to drown our country... Though I would support them in destroying this foundation.
    Good; please, get out. This foundation is a fantastic way for the arts to flourish in all communities, specifically poorer ones. Also, I have never seen so much butthurt on the Internet. This is hilarious.
    badmojobrian
    It's a bit sophomoric, but I don't see anything wrong with what they did. I always love how there appears to be this double standard where everything is okay to make fun of, except religion...which is the biggest joke ever.
    PeenieMcGee303
    All religions and all religious people are stupid. My proof? Take a guy who's sort of an enemy of Christianity. Like a Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie. If one of those guys came out tomorrow, cleaned their "look" up and starting spewing non-sense like "I have seen the light, Jesus has shown me the way" They could literally start a cult based on lying to stupid religious people. Your ordinary citizen couldn't pull this off but if you're seen as the enemy and suddenly proclaim "you've seen the light" the sheep will follow with dollar bills in hand....AND IT'S ALL TAX FREE!!!
    xVyKariousx
    I'm a Christian but also a fan of freedom of speech. Although, I just find it tasteless and stupid that they said "we never intended for people to be offended" etc... If the lyrical content has nothing to do with the imagery, then why put it? It just seems like an uncreative marketing ploy to shock people into liking their music. But, they failed.
    xVyKariousx
    Also good for the organization that took their money back, people shouldn't have to pay for something they might be offended by.
    Eifler121
    Scorpyin wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: SkaryGary wrote: bottom line if there was a magical man named jesus that raised the dead and was so awesome dont u think there woulda been more books and tablets and statues made about him insted of the only place the guy is ever mentioned is in da christan bible?? evidence > belief HA. Ignorance is HILARIOUS. In fact, a lot of comments on this article are almost as hilarious as this one. Considering the Bible is THE MOST accurate "history book" ever written, with more supporting manuscripts of any book ever (including King Arthur, which most people seem to believe) I would have to say that Jesus was a REAL man. Also, he is mentioned by historian Josephus, as well as in the Qu'ran. You would know these things if instead of jumping on the "we hate Christianity" band wagon and read a book once in a while. People need to understand, they are not withdrawing the album because of the criticism from the "religious nuts". They are withdrawing the album because it was paid for with a huge grant from a government organization who gave them tax-payer money. Therefore, it has to be UN-OFFENSIVE content in every way shape and form. It cannot promote any form of offensive content. The fact that the organization found out about the content only after the album was released makes it even worse. Please people, do your homework and actually read some things before coming on here and spewing your random, non-sensical, band-wagoning hate speech. holy shit i almost missed this one.... youre kidding right? you do know that the story of jesus is actually taken from another even older religion? look up an egyption god named horus and tell me if you notice any similarities... besides that, you dont actually believe that everything in there happened, do you? you know that the bible features things like dragons, behemoths, and other demon-like mythical creatures, and youre trying to say the bible is the most accurate history book ever?? have you even read a history book before?? all im saying is question EVERYTHING before you just decide its true just because everyone says so.... i was raised in a very christian enviroment and have noticed far too many flaws in the religion for me to give it any credibility at all. a god who loves all his children unless you dont worship him and follow all his rules, then hell condemn you to eternal suffering... thats not a god i want anything to do with
    The Dragons are mentioned in Revelations to begin with, which comes from a man's dream about the Rapture and the end of the world. It''s the same chapter that describes God's tongue as a sword. Ever hear of a sharp tongue? Dragon is typically understood to be more like a Dinosaur, since the word Dinosaur didn't come about until long after the Bible did. Two different names for a big lizard. That chapter is just full of metaphors, and on top of that, it isn't always accepted by all Christian institutions. The term demon doesn't describe any specific thing aside from an evil force. Demons are also mentioned as Angels in places of the Bible. The fire and brimstone definition of hell is a way of trying to describe an abstract place where spirits go in physical terms. It's more about the effect than a precise definition. It's like thinking that God actually looks like an old white man. Behemoth simply means something big. It could be an elephant or a giraffe even. The story of a deity's son coming to rescue mankind is almost universal to all religions/myths. That's how Christians got the Nordic people to convert. They found a lot of similarities, and then told them Ragnarok had happened already, that Thor's tree was the Tree of Good and Evil, and that Adam and Eve survived Ragnarok by hiding inside of the Tree. The story of Jesus on the cross is also meant to teach more than that Jesus died for our sins. He also speaks to the thief being hung next to him, who was never religious, and lived a very sinful life, and tells the thief that he would be in heaven someday. So it isn't as black and white that people who aren't Christians or Jews or people that sin don't go to heaven. Jews also don't believe that Jews are the only people to go to heaven. I can't explain the miracles, like Moses parting the red sea or the sea of reeds, but the Jews escaped Egypt somehow. Doesn't seem like it would be that easy to just get up and go do. I acknowledge that the Bible was written by a bunch of people trying to make their story more convincing, but just watch the History channel once in a while, and you can see that there is a lot that says the Bible isn't just full of things that didn't happen. There are certainly some things that are true in it. I'm not trying to convert anybody, but don't act like people are idiots for believing in God or any other religion. Especially when every single point you bring to the table is crap. It seems to me that when you questioned EVERYTHING, you didn't actually look for any answers either.
    Ghost_Dancer
    I just don't see why people have to go to these lengths to try and get rid of something they don't like? I'm ok with standing up for what you believe in all, but seriously? I think there are other, better things to get upset about than some crude pop punk band.
    CoolMcAwesome
    I'm going to keep this short and simple (no need to write a ****ing book like those above): Don't like it? DON'T BUY IT! If you find it offensive, other may not,so DEAL WITH IT! N00bs. You don't have the right to no be offended.
    Like I Is
    Eifler121 wrote: The Dragons are mentioned in Revelations to begin with, which comes from a man's dream about the Rapture and the end of the world. It''s the same chapter that describes God's tongue as a sword. Ever hear of a sharp tongue? Dragon is typically understood to be more like a Dinosaur, since the word Dinosaur didn't come about until long after the Bible did. Two different names for a big lizard. That chapter is just full of metaphors, and on top of that, it isn't always accepted by all Christian institutions. The term demon doesn't describe any specific thing aside from an evil force. Demons are also mentioned as Angels in places of the Bible. The fire and brimstone definition of hell is a way of trying to describe an abstract place where spirits go in physical terms. It's more about the effect than a precise definition. It's like thinking that God actually looks like an old white man. Behemoth simply means something big. It could be an elephant or a giraffe even. The story of a deity's son coming to rescue mankind is almost universal to all religions/myths. That's how Christians got the Nordic people to convert. They found a lot of similarities, and then told them Ragnarok had happened already, that Thor's tree was the Tree of Good and Evil, and that Adam and Eve survived Ragnarok by hiding inside of the Tree. The story of Jesus on the cross is also meant to teach more than that Jesus died for our sins. He also speaks to the thief being hung next to him, who was never religious, and lived a very sinful life, and tells the thief that he would be in heaven someday. So it isn't as black and white that people who aren't Christians or Jews or people that sin don't go to heaven. Jews also don't believe that Jews are the only people to go to heaven. I can't explain the miracles, like Moses parting the red sea or the sea of reeds, but the Jews escaped Egypt somehow. Doesn't seem like it would be that easy to just get up and go do. I acknowledge that the Bible was written by a bunch of people trying to make their story more convincing, but just watch the History channel once in a while, and you can see that there is a lot that says the Bible isn't just full of things that didn't happen. There are certainly some things that are true in it. I'm not trying to convert anybody, but don't act like people are idiots for believing in God or any other religion. Especially when every single point you bring to the table is crap. It seems to me that when you questioned EVERYTHING, you didn't actually look for any answers either.
    ^ Everyone needs to read this before they post anything else.
    HellsYeah
    Scorpyin wrote: Brendan.Clace wrote: SkaryGary wrote: bottom line if there was a magical man named jesus that raised the dead and was so awesome dont u think there woulda been more books and tablets and statues made about him insted of the only place the guy is ever mentioned is in da christan bible?? evidence > belief HA. Ignorance is HILARIOUS. In fact, a lot of comments on this article are almost as hilarious as this one. Considering the Bible is THE MOST accurate "history book" ever written, with more supporting manuscripts of any book ever (including King Arthur, which most people seem to believe) I would have to say that Jesus was a REAL man. Also, he is mentioned by historian Josephus, as well as in the Qu'ran. You would know these things if instead of jumping on the "we hate Christianity" band wagon and read a book once in a while. People need to understand, they are not withdrawing the album because of the criticism from the "religious nuts". They are withdrawing the album because it was paid for with a huge grant from a government organization who gave them tax-payer money. Therefore, it has to be UN-OFFENSIVE content in every way shape and form. It cannot promote any form of offensive content. The fact that the organization found out about the content only after the album was released makes it even worse. Please people, do your homework and actually read some things before coming on here and spewing your random, non-sensical, band-wagoning hate speech. holy shit i almost missed this one.... youre kidding right? you do know that the story of jesus is actually taken from another even older religion? look up an egyption god named horus and tell me if you notice any similarities... besides that, you dont actually believe that everything in there happened, do you? you know that the bible features things like dragons, behemoths, and other demon-like mythical creatures, and youre trying to say the bible is the most accurate history book ever?? have you even read a history book before?? all im saying is question EVERYTHING before you just decide its true just because everyone says so.... i was raised in a very christian enviroment and have noticed far too many flaws in the religion for me to give it any credibility at all. a god who loves all his children unless you dont worship him and follow all his rules, then hell condemn you to eternal suffering... thats not a god i want anything to do with
    Looked up the Egyptian god Horus. Didn't find any similarities with Jesus.
    Shadow914
    in the immortal words of George Carlin - "its all bulls**t folks, and its bad for ya"
    Laprevraven
    This is all very funny, but in time, if humans arn't as primitive and post modern as I think they are, eventually we will all become Deists and atheists, searching for questions or our own brand of faith...Until then I don't care.
    kurtshapedbox
    Shadow914 wrote: in the immortal words of George Carlin - "its all bulls**t folks, and its bad for ya"
    Yes. To hell with the religiously insane.
    ghostXguitar
    I have respect for any religion or a "GOD" or "Higher Power" no one is right or wrong. Not everyone will follow a "Religion" or follow what they say. Like every one breaks the law at a point or disobey their parents. This is BS let them put the album out, there are FAR worse bands out there on anti-religion music
    Horsedick.MPEG
    HellsYeah Looked up the Egyptian god Horus. Didn't find any similarities with Jesus.
    He's probably thinking about Osiris, or that's the only Egyptian God that died and was brought back to life.
    buddoggydogg
    I've always found it funny that both sides of the religious/non-religious coin have nothing better to do than piss and moan about the other side and how narrow-minded the other side is or how the other side doesn't see the bigger picture. Frankly there are more pressing issues than offensive artwork and religious/atheist/pagan riffraff. Just accept that none of you are right and none of you are wrong. All that shit is whatever you want it to be and tearing the opposing side down is just a waste of what is already a short life. If you're not religious, shut up and move on. If you are religious, shut up and move on.