Streetwise Professor

April 24, 2012

The One Kind of Propaganda the Putinist State Hates

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 11:07 am

Various legislative bodies in Russia have either passed, or are considering, legislation outlawing “gay propaganda”.  This legislation reflects widespread hostility towards gays in Russia:

St. Petersburg’s parliament was the latest to enact such a law, which imposes fines of up to $17,000 for spreading “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism among minors,” and the national parliament in recent weeks has taken up similar legislation. In a country where a 2010 poll by the respected Levada Center found that 74 percent of Russians deemed gays and lesbians “morally dissolute or deficient,” advocates for gay rights worry that the laws could rapidly become more common.

These efforts have received the official endorsement of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I would be most interested to learn how people who preen about their hatred of bigotry, but simultaneously laud the Putinist state and the tolerance of Russians, and defend the Holy Church against the blasphemies of Pussy Riot, explain this wave of anti-gay legislation.

I would also be interested in hearing non-tendentious explanations of this phenomenon.

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15 Comments »

  1. Great subject for Assange’s next show, don’t you think? Alas, he won’t touch it as his employers might disapprove.

    Comment by voroBey — April 24, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  2. As an Orthodox Christian, I would be very concerned about any witch hunt as to gays – banning speech is the first step. If I was a celibate in the Orthodox clergy (from which Bishops and higher are chosen in most Orthodox communities), I would be very concerned.

    Yes, practicing homosexuality is a sin, but no more so than adultery, prostitution, etc. All were punishable by death in the Old Testament. I thought the teaching of the Christ was to hate the sin, but love the sinner. I can see the hate, but not the love. I guess the hate is useful: it rallies the bigots, sucks up to the higher clergy, and “draws the Line” where the majority’s sins are left un-criticized while a minority is attacked – a weak enemy is always a plus in pseudo populist governments.

    That the Church plays into this selective, politically motivated promotion of virtue is disgusting: it brings to mind the words of St John the Chrysostom,one of THE three Hierarchs of all Orthodoxy: “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests with the skulls of Bishops as the road markers.”

    Comment by sotos — April 24, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  3. My Russian friend call Putlers Orthodox useful and well paid serfs bloody bigots . Orthodox clergymen Putin’s Hezbollah – Some clergymen have tried to steer a middle course. They have condemned Pussy Riot group actions as sacrilegious and warned that this sort of behavior should not be trivialized, particularly in the context of Soviet history. This point is not to be taken lightly. After all, it was widespread tolerance for antireligious bigotry at the turn of the century that fed the organized antireligious violence of the 1920s and 30s. Perhaps there is even some significance that we are not yet aware of to the fact that the group chose to stage their act in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the very same church built on public donations that Stalin had demolished in 1931 as a sign of his victory over religious superstition.

    Comment by Anders — April 24, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  4. Is there any attempt within the legislation to define the word “propaganda”?

    Comment by Steven Christopher — April 24, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  5. No attempt Steven, but I guess Russia knows propaganda when it sees it.

    Here is the English text of the bill (it’s short): http://www.comingoutspb.ru/assets/files/homophobic%20bill/StP_law.pdf.

    Comment by andrewi31 — April 24, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

  6. Also noted this article http://www.comingoutspb.ru/en/en-news/Day_of_silence “POLICE CONSIDERED A PROTEST AGAINST STATE HOMOPHOBIA AS PROPAGANDA”, so any sort of gay rights demonstration it is possible to getarrested for this. Already 2 have been arrested for this propaganda; one case was dismissed as his arresting officer failed to show at court, and as for the other, he was charged only with disobeying police orders. The judge claimed “she had neither evidence, nor protocols regarding that issue” in regards to the propaganda offense.

    Comment by andrewi31 — April 24, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  7. Thanks andrewi31. Note the near equation of homosexuality and pedophelia.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 24, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

  8. РПЦ, ака The Russian Taleban, is the worst “church” of them all. It never had the cleansing experience of the Reformation. It sided with Ghengis Khan, it sided with Hitler. The greedy, illiterate, corrupt, horny priest is a staple of Russian folklore. After the revolution, when priests were strung up and churches torn down, no-one came to their defense. They may cop it yet again.

    Comment by So? — April 25, 2012 @ 5:30 am

  9. S/O better tone down his Putin-love at risk of running afoul of these laws.

    Comment by pahoben — April 25, 2012 @ 5:46 am

  10. No comment from Subslime?

    Comment by Basilisk — April 26, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  11. No, Putins groupie is staying well away from this one.

    Comment by Andrew — April 26, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  12. @Andrew, Basilisk-go figure.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — April 26, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  13. Could the SWP Hive make up its mind already?

    One group of bots (e.g. MJ) urges all to ignore me. Another – Basilisk, Andrew, on occasion, SWP – begs for my opinion. It is all rather confusing.

    No, I don’t like this law against gay propaganda to minors. But the majority of Russians clearly support it (“very educated, intelligent, kind, generous, decent people” – according to MJ). As if a non-Putinist state would act differently.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — April 27, 2012 @ 2:10 am

  14. But the majority of Russians clearly support it…

    Ah, never mind freedom and liberty for all enshrined in law. We’ll have the tyranny of the majority instead.

    Comment by Tim Newman — April 28, 2012 @ 1:53 am

  15. LOL. Russians are not “very educated, intelligent, kind, generous, decent people” as a general rule.
    Quite the opposite in fact, given that more than half the worlds neo-nazi population live in Russia, the most popular kids school notebook features “Our Russian hero Stalin” on the cover, and they think Stalin was a great leader….

    Comment by Andrew — May 2, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

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