To be in Russia, gay or gay friendly, or anti-Russian Orthodox Church is to now be a target

To be in Russia, gay or gay friendly, or anti-Russian Orthodox Church is to now be a target.

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reports on a bill which Vlad Putin signed into law which strengthens penalties (and with the use of the word “strengthens” I’m lead to think that there were already existing penalties) for spreading information promoting homosexuality and also, not coincidentally, imposing fines for “insulting the religious sensitivities of believers.”

Laws against blasphemy are a degradation, an insult to the human person, a war upon the mind and upon free expression. There can never be such a thing as a just blasphemy law. The crime of blasphemy is always wielded by the powerful against those with minority opinions or contacts. 

It’s not surprising at all that a law against blasphemy is coupled here with a law against homosexuality. The only refuge, the sole source, of opposition to gay people now is superstition. In this case and in the case of the “Western world” the superstition is the Christian one, whichever local flavor is practiced. 

Just a couple of days ago the “Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion” ie Bureaucratic Hack claimed that secularism, the separation of religion from government, is itself tyrannical. Interfax News Org reports this quote from the Russian Orthodox representative:

“Free will of citizens is a preconditioned, not absolute characteristic of a democratic state. For example, two European states – the Great Britain and France – have recently legalized unisex marriages. For comparably short time, after the parliament approved this law, France has become a stage for protest demonstrations with millions of people participating. However, the state consciously and demonstratively ignored demands of people and used tear gas to disperse them,”

I will certainly allow that governments very often overreact to protesters and they may very well have done so in these cases. But the Patriarchate rep here is playing the same game that we here in the United States have grown used to seeing Catholic and Right Wing Protestant leaders play. They cry with all the drama that they can muster that rights for others (usually gay rights or women’s rights) are an attack on their, the religionist’s, freedom of religion. Of course they also threaten that equality for gay people and families, and women, and the freedom to criticize their particular superstitions, will bring down curses upon all of society.

Let’s not forget also that the Russian Orthodox Church is a firm supporter of tossing anyone who challenges them into a hole. 

It is a ridiculous, cynical, and ultimately futile game being played by powerful clerics the world over. Unless they can burn down the modern world and toss us back into the dark ages, the clerics will lose. Too many people have too much access to information for them to keep their grip on our minds.


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