Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Russian Religious Right?

When you’re emulating the Russians, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your position:

Moscow’s influential mayor said on Tuesday the city banned gay activists from holding a parade because it is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in “mad licentiousness”.

The gay activists tried to hold their protest against homophobia and discrimination at the weekend despite the ban, but were detained by police, abused by militant Christians and attacked by neo-fascists…

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said such an action would have been a desecration of the sacred monument, and rejected Western criticism of his ban as prejudiced and homophobic.

“Our way of life, our morals and our tradition — our morals are cleaner in all ways. The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness,” he told Moscow radio, according to local news agencies.

Ah, of course. You ban gays from holding a peaceful parade and if someone criticizes that decision, they’re the ones who are prejudiced. The religious right in Russia isn’t much more logical than ours.

Comments

  1. #1 Roman Werpachowski
    May 31, 2006

    If Luzhkov is “religious right” than I am a Maoist. Luzhkov, Putin, etc are the same thugs who were declared atheists in the old times. Now they cling to another ideology to strengthen their position. They’re not religious fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, they’re 100% cynics. Power and money, that’s all what they care for. Also, Russian strong anti-gay feelings do not necessarily come from religion. Gays were screwed in the communist times, too. On the other hand, gays comparing themselves to the soldiers who died fighting Hitler… it wasn’t really smart.

  2. #2 Mithrandir
    May 31, 2006

    They’re not religious fundamentalists like Pat Robertson…

    I think you give Pat “Liberian Gold Miner” Robertson too much credit for sincerity – to my view, he has more in common with the likes of Putin than you might have appreciated.

    I’m sure there are sincere American fundamentalists, but Robertson isn’t one of them.

  3. #3 BigDumbChimp
    May 31, 2006

    he has more in common with the likes of Putin than you might have appreciated

    Putin can leg press 2000 lbs.?

  4. #4 Roman Werpachowski
    May 31, 2006

    I’m sure there are sincere American fundamentalists, but Robertson isn’t one of them.

    OK. I meant him as an example. You can put someone else instead ;-) The point is, if you want to look for Russian religious right, take the head of the Russian Orthodox church. And he doesn’t like gays, too.

  5. #5 G. Stolyarov II
    June 5, 2006

    Thank you for the interesting and important report.

    I think that Luzhkov’s actions are far more egregious than those of even the most intolerant American religious rightists. Most on the religious right (and I am emphatically not one of them) do not advocate the forcible suppression of those who do not hold their views. Very few would endorse the type of action Luzhkov and the rabidly fanatical counter-demonstrators perpetrated.

    It is tragic that Mayor Luzhkov has permitted the suppression of a peaceful, civil, non-egregious demonstration. Whether one considers homosexuality to be morally proper or not, all individuals ought to enjoy the freedom to express their beliefs–true or false ones–without fear of government persecution. Many other commentators are similarly outraged over this. For example, Dr. Bill Belew at http://www.panasianbiz.com/2006/05/moscow_mayor_is_antigay.html discusses some frightening details of the incident that followed the protest:

    “Activists attempted to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just outside the Kremlin wall. However, they were greeted by about 100 religious and nationalist extremists who kicked and punched them. So…the police arrested the gay activists!”

    Who is less moral: the peaceful demonstrators who might have expressed certain controversial ideas some of us might disagree with or the violent brutes who tried to destroy the demonstrators for the mere act of speaking out?

    It seems that the Russian government has yet to learn the necessity of tolerating free expression of ideas–even unpopular, wrong, or bizarre ideas, no matter what guise they might take–so long as there is no coercion involved.

    See Dr. Belew’s Blog–PanAsianBiz–at http://www.panasianbiz.com for another place to discuss this saddening event.

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