Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’


Christian terrorists stage truck attack and set cars alight in fury over erotic film in Russia
Matilda, a film about Tsar Nicholas II’s relationship with a ballerina, sparked outrage among extremists.
Josh RobbinsBy Josh Robbins

Christian terrorists in Russia have been blamed for a string of violent protests in recent weeks against a big-budget film about the last king of Russia and his ballerina mistress.

In February, the ultra-orthodox group Christian State-Holy Rus warned that “cinemas will burn” if Matilda – an erotically charged account of Tsar Nicholas II’s relationship with Mathilde Kschessinska – was publicly screened.

The film was due to premiere in Moscow on 11 September. However, the screening was pulled for “technical reasons” after burnt out cars were left by the offices of lawyers representing the director along with a note reading: “Burn for Matilda”, Fontaku.ru reports.

Nicholas II was canonised by the Orthodox Church in 2000, prompting groups like Christian State-Holy Rus to claim award-winning director Alexei Uchitel’s film is a blasphemy.

His studios in St Petersburg were attacked with petrol bombs on 31 August while on 4 September a truck was driven into a cinema in the central city Yekaterinburg, setting the building on fire, in an attack police linked to Matilda. So far no one has been injured.

The film had its first screening on Monday in the eastern city of Vladivostock. Audience members were required to arrive 30 minutes early to go through enhanced security checks.

It is due to go on general release in late October, but the protests show no sign of abating.

Christian terrorists Russia Matilda
Burnt out cars were left by suspected Christian terrorists Facebook / Konstantin Dobrynin

MP Natalia Poklonskaya, a senior member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, has called for the film to be banned, contesting that the film breaks the 2013 law of “insulting the feelings of religious believers”.

Konstantin Dobrynin, the lawyer whose offices were targeted by the burnt out cars, said on Facebook: “While Poklonskaya is telling everyone about some lawsuits by relatives of the holy tsar and trying to ban the film, her supporters continue throwing petrol bombs and start fires.

“And all this is happening simultaneously. Today they showed their face to Moscow and Muscovites, and came to our office. At 5.30am. Have a nice day, Russia.”

Holy Russia and Putin

St Isaac's cathedral St Petersburg
General view of St.Issac’s Cathedral. St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St.Petersburg Getty

Orthodox Christianity is undergoing a revival in Russia – decades after religion was suppressed by Soviet communists. Religious conservatives in Russia are fearful that without the church their country will descend into a decadent hellpit full of homosexuals and paedophiles like – in their view – western Europe.

In this climate, several extremist groups like Christian State-Holy Russia – who made the initial “cinemas will burn threat” – are blossoming.

Holy Russia leader Alexander Kalinin, 33, told Eurozine: ‘If they spit at my church, humiliate my faith, and everything that is holy, then by the law of God, I am forbidden to tolerate this.”

When asked about the being labelled a “Christian terrorist,” he replied: “That’s fine. Let them.”

President Vladimir Putin approved the 2013 blasphemy law, which is believed to be supported by around four fifths of Russians. He has previously urged artists to show “tact and respect” when dealing with religious subjects.

 

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Fox News Airs Fake Story While Slobbering Over Another Foreign Dictator

Fox News

Now it is King Abdullah of Jordan who warms their cockles. During a segment of Fox & Friends (video below), the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes let their emotions spew forth about the Jordanian he-man who they were fooled into believing had personally stormed into battle against ISIL. The news that King Abdullah piloted air strikes in Syria was never authenticated, but that didn’t stop Fox from trumpeting the bravery and conviction of the monarch. Steve Doocy led off with the undeserved praise, followed quickly by an overheated Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

Doocy: Now this morning there is news that the King, who is also a trained pilot, the Jordanian media is reporting that there is a possibility that the King could have taken part in some of the air strikes.
Hasselbeck: He is stepping up with strong leadership and clarity. So what is our president doing?

First of all, a Jordanian spokesman made it clear that the King did not participate in the air strikes. What’s more, they said that it was incorrect to suggest that he is or ever was a fighter pilot. So virtually everything that Doocy said was wrong. That’s a state of affairs with which he should be quite familiar by now.

Secondly, the slap that Hasselbeck took at the American president was evidence of both her ignorance and her utter disrespect for America and its leadership, as well as her adulation of foreign dictators. The argument that Jordan has done more to fight ISIL is rooted in open disdain for President Obama.

The truth is that Jordan executed a couple of prisoners who were already sentenced to death, and then flew some missions to bomb terrorist fighters in the field. Obama has been doing that for months. His campaign against ISIL has already resulted in over 6,000 terrorist casualties, including more than half of their top commanders.

And yet, the Fox News crew thinks that Obama should be more like King Abdullah. For Obama to do that he would need to scale back his current efforts considerably and only step forward when some tragedy occurs. For the record, the U.S. score vs. ISIL is about 6,000 to 3.

Let’s face it – Nobody at Fox is going to give this President credit for anything, even when the facts show that he is by far outperforming the international community’s response to global terror. Their only goal is to belittle the President, and by extension, America, in order to advance their bitterly partisan and purely political agenda. How exactly do they think that it helps our nation when they insult our Commander-in-Chief and accuse him of being weak? It’s a veritable invitation to the enemy to escalate their attacks. And that is how patriotism is practiced by the right-wing zealots who run and watch Fox News.

 


Vladimir Putin’s Fifth Column in the West
Spencer's favorite leader, Vladimir Putin.

Catholic fascist Robert Spencer’s favorite leader, Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin’s fifth column in the West

DOUG SAUNDERS (Globe And Mail)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin uses military force to menace Ukraine’s democracy and seize chunks of its territory, when he uses authoritarian laws to crack down on homosexuals and minorities and imprison dissidents, there are those among us, including a record number of elected politicians, who cheer.

A generation ago, Moscow’s fans and enablers would have all been on the far left. Today, with the exception of a marginal group of leftists motivated by anti-Americanism, Mr. Putin’s cheerleaders are all conservatives – some in the United States and Canada, and a record number who have just come to power in Europe.

Last week’s European Parliament elections saw a record number of Putin-admiring and Putin-emulating parties elected to Brussels. Some of these parties are anti-European Union, some are anti-immigrant, some are outright racist and anti-Semitic. They don’t tend to get along with one another, but one thing that unites them is an outspoken admiration for Mr. Putin.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the suddenly powerful United Kingdom Independence Party,used a magazine interview during the campaign to praise the Russian President, calling him the world leader he most admires. “Compared with the kids who run foreign policy in this country, I’ve more respect for him than our lot,” he said at a public event.

In words widely reported in the Russian media, he added that the EU has “blood on its hands” for supporting the democracy movement in Ukraine. Rather than posing a threat to Europe, Mr. Farage said, Russia has fallen prey to Europe’s “activist, militarist and expansionist foreign policy.”

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front (which sent the lion’s share of French representatives to Brussels) is an even greater admirer. “I think he puts the interests of Russia and the Russian people first, so in this regard, I have the same amount of respect for him as for Ms. Merkel,” Ms. Le Pen said this week, adding that “a lot of things are said about Russia because for years it has been demonized on U.S. orders.” She, like her comrades across Europe, wants to end sanctions against Russia and restore “traditional, friendly” relations.

Geert Wilders, the mop-haired head of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, has blamed the conflict in eastern Ukraine not on Russia but on “shameless Europhiles with their dreams of empire.” Ukraine’s democracy movement and the pro-European government it elected last week, he said, are run by “National Socialists, Jew-haters and other anti-democrats.” (In fact, extreme-right and anti-Semitic parties attracted about 2 per cent of the vote in the recent Ukrainian election.)

In the minds of such politicians, Europe’s response to Moscow’s incursions hasn’t been slow and mild; it’s been excessive. “We have always been told the European Union stands for peace,” Mr. Wilders said. “Now, we know better – the EU stands for war-mongering.”

These Westerners aren’t backing Mr. Putin out of pure Russophilia. Rather, they admire his embrace of a Christian and mono-ethnic identity for greater Russia, and his aggressive action against what they see as their enemies: European diversity and open borders, and minority groups – especially homosexuals and Muslims. Like them, Mr. Putin embraces the old conspiracy holding that Muslims are secretly plotting to take over Europe, a key plank for these parties.

That’s why North American right-wing anti-immigration activists, generally affiliated with the Republican Party and the right fringe of Canada’s Conservatives, have rushed to back Mr. Putin and the European parties that admire him.

American anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer made a point of appearing on the Russia Today network (shortly after most of its American staff had quit and denounced it as a Kremlin propaganda outlet) to attack the United States and endorse Mr. Putin’s approach toward Muslim minorities. “Barack Obama is somebody who has been embarrassed on the world stage by Vladimir Putin more than once,” Mr. Spencer said.

And Ezra Levant, the right-wing pundit with Canada’s Sun Media,cheered France’s National Front, Britain’s UKIP and the other Putin-backing parties for their European election victories, praising their embrace of Putinist ideas: “The EU’s de facto abolition of borders … has let millions of migrants move from the poorer parts of the EU to the richer ones,” he explained, warning of “mass Islamic immigration that contains large elements refusing to accept Western, liberal values.”

Their victory is, he said, “a rejection of Obamaism, and a return to common sense, national conservatism. You could say it’s a bit of Stephen Harperism.”

To be fair, Mr. Harper has never endorsed such ideas. It is actually a bit of Vladimir Putinism.

Follow  on Twitter: @dougsaunders


When the right loved Vladimir Putin

When the right loved Vladimir Putin

Back when Putin was in the news for oppressing LGBT people, many conservatives said he had his virtues

Following Russia’s de facto annexation of Crimea this weekend, Republican leaders have begun forcefully criticizing President Obama, blaming his supposed weakness and tendency toward indecision for Putin’s aggressive move while suggesting that Russia’s autocrat wouldn’t have seized Crimea if he were more intimidated by U.S. power.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has long been one of Obama’s most hawkish Republican critics on issues of foreign policy, said on CNN that America has “a weak and indecisive president,” a situation that “invites aggression.” GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, meanwhile, complained on Fox News that Putin was “playing chess” while the U.S., under Obama’s leadership, was merely “playing marbles.”

Yet all this tough talk from Republican circles is obscuring a salient fact: Until recently, conservatives were far more divided when it came to their estimation of Russia’s president. While no high-ranking Republican in his or her right mind would ever praise Russia itself, it wasn’t so long ago that many conservatives — especially those of a more socially reactionary bent — were celebrating Putin for his country’s controversial anti-gay laws, which they described as being interested primarily in saving Christianity and “traditional” values rather than discriminating against LGBT people.

Here are just a few examples of right-wingers cheering on Putin:

The American Conservative’s Pat Buchanan and Rod Dreher

Back in December, the former strategist and speechwriter for Richard Nixon won some attention for a column in which he asks, “Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative? In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us?” After a lengthy diatribe expounding on all the ways unelected judges and perfidious progressives had forced their radical, secular morals on the rest of the country, Buchanan comes so very close — just a centimeter away, really — from answering his own questions in the affirmative and welcoming Russia’s president into the paleocon fold. “While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites,” Buchanan writes, “Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.”

The American Conservative’s socially conservative blogger Rod Dreher, meanwhile, also had kind words for Putin, writing that the Russian leader “may be a cold-eyed cynic” but was nevertheless “also onto something.” Acknowledging that he’s merely putting forward a “guess” as to Putin’s motivations, Dreher writes, “If Russia is going to have a future, [Putin] must figure, it must be built on organic Russian traditions, which includes Orthodox Christianity.” Dreher went on to guess that Putin “believes that Russia’s rebirth depends on its rediscovery of a life-giving Christianity, which depends on rebuilding a sense of social respect for and trust in the Orthodox Church and its teachings.” Dreher also seems to endorse this reasoning, writing that “Orthodox Christianity is the only coherent basis for rebuilding the Russian nation from the ruins left by Bolshevism.”

The Weekly Standard’s Christopher Caldwell

Writing for the Financial Times in early February, one of the neoconservative magazine’s editors, Christopher Caldwell, reprimanded Putin’s critics in the West for focusing on “a short list of causes beloved of western elites” instead of all the good things Putin’s done. “Certainly Mr Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best,” Caldwell grants, but then goes on to argue that those in the West who opposed Putin’s anti-gay laws are hypocrites. As evidence, he cites the fact that some of the most prominent opponents of Putin’s anti-gay law were previously supporters of an anti-blasphemy law that passed in the U.K. in 2006.

In the end, Caldwell implies that Putin’s critics aren’t much better at the whole democracy thing than he is, writing, “Those countries lecturing him about ‘healthy democracy’ … have lately shifted power from legislatures to executives and from voters to bureaucracies. In Europe it has been done through delegations of power to the EU. In the US, it has been done through judicial reversals of democratic election results (including on gay marriage) and congressional abdication (on trade, warfare, healthcare and intelligence gathering).” Caldwell finishes his column by claiming that the distance separating civil rights in the West and Russia “is not quite so obvious as it was 10 years ago.”

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer

These two hardcore social conservatives both praised Putin for his anti-gay laws. In a December column for WND.com, Barber wrote that, during the Obama years, Putin has been able to claim for Russia “the mantle of world moral leader” and that Putin’s anti-gay laws were an example of his being able to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” He describes the controversial laws as banning “sexual anarchist propaganda.”

Fischer, for his part, was even more effusive in his praise for Putin, calling the Russian a “lion of Christianity” back in October. Putin, according to Fischer, is “the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian value.” Fischer went on to describe Russia as “more advanced spiritually than the United States.”

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.


Fischer Praises Putin, Calls Him A ‘Lion of Christianity’

by Miranda Blue

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer began his radio program yesterday by reading a series of quotes from a mystery public figure, asking his listeners to guess “what country do you think this guy is the president of?”

The big surprise is that the quotes – encompassing such topics as European rejection of “Christian values that underlie Western civilization,” the pursuit of policies that “put large families and same-sex partnerships in the same category” and “excesses of political correctness” – are from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has escalated his crackdown on LGBT people in recent months.

“Who is it?” Fischer asked. “Which president is the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values? Those, ladies and gentlemen, are quotes from Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.”

“The contrast between that president and our president could not possibly be more striking,” Fischer continued. “Just a bizarre day. To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States. I mean, it’s just staggering to see what is happening to this country.”

Back in August, when Putin signed a ban on gay “propaganda,” Fischer gushed that “this is public policy that we’ve been advocating and here is a nation in the world that is actually putting it into practice.”

Fischer has not yet commented on reports that Putin’s increasing embrace of a theological hard line has also threatened the religious freedom of evangelical Christians.


Putin’s Unholy Alliance With Orthodox Church To Persecute Gays
by Susie Madrak

Vladimir Putin is not your typical head of state. He’s a thug, and Russia is a state run by gangsters. Frank Schaeffer, who (having grown up in the bosom of the Christian right) knows a thing or two about religious hate, writes about Putin’s unholy alliance with the Orthodox Church to persecute gays:

With the disgusting acquiescence of the Russian Orthodox bishops, Vladimir Putin has accomplished what Sarah Palin, Franklin Graham and Michele Bachmann could only dream of doing in America. He’s made it okay to persecute gay people people in Russia. Putin has built his power base of corruption and terror with the help of the religious and conservative elements of his society. He’s become expert at courting the alliance of the Russian Orthodox Church. And here in America conservatives are lining up to defend Putin. For instance, writing in The American Conservative,  in an article called Culture War Goes Global, (August 13, 3013) Patrick J. Buchanan writes:

As Father Regis Scanlon writes in Crisis Magazine, in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated Catholic doctrine that homosexuality is a “strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” an “objective disorder.” That homosexual acts are unnatural and immoral remains Catholic teaching.

Thus, if we seek to build a Good Society by traditional Catholic and Christian standards, why should not homosexual propaganda be treated the same as racist or anti-Semitic propaganda? …. “The adoption of Christianity,” declared Putin, “became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped turn it into one of the largest world powers.” Anyone ever heard anything like that from the Post, the Times, or Barack Hussein Obama?

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, took to TV to say that “liberalism will lead to legal collapse and then the Apocalypse.” On another occasion, he called Putin’s rule “a miracle.” When convening the heads and senior members of 15 Orthodox Churches for an unprecedented meeting at the Kremlin in the summer of 2013, Putin praised the moral authority of the church. “It is important that relations between the state and the church are developing at a new level,” Putin said in televised remarks, with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill by his side. “We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people,” he told the clerics.

Alongside Kirill, those present included Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria, Theophilos III of Jerusalem and Ilia II of Georgia. Also present were the heads of the Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish and Cypriot Orthodox Churches. Together they represented more than 227 million faithful.

To my knowledge not one American Orthodox bishop protested this meeting. I’m reminded of the silence of most of the German churches during the rise of Hitler.As a member of the Orthodox Church, in this case the Greek Orthodox Church, I’m ashamed.

Where are the voices of Orthodox leadership, not only in Russia but here, denouncing this awful man and the terror he’s unleashing against gay men and women? Putin has presided over show-trial prosecutions of political opponents and reformers. He’s used the full weight of his government against artists who mock religion. He’s encouraged the liquidation of crusading journalists who have been beaten and murdered. Putin and his government may have been directly involved in at least one such killing.

Now with the approval of the Russian bishops Putin is inventing a new enemy to distract attention from his fascist takeover of Russia: Russia’s LGBT men and women. As Adam Lee, a writer living in New York City points out in an article published byAlternet, Putin’s “parliament” passed increasingly draconian anti-gay laws. Russian activists have even been arrested for just holding up a signs reading “Gay is normal.”A bill now under consideration would take away children (both adopted and biological) from gay and lesbian parents. With the Russian Church, parliament and Putin saying that LGBT people aren’t fully human, homophobes in Russia are emboldened. The torture and murder of gay people, by gangs of skinheads assaulting gay-rights protestors in public, with the police looking on,is happening. And American evangelical Christians think this is all great. So, apparently judging by their silence, do American Orthodox church leaders.NOW American evangelical and Roman Catholic right-wing haters are climbing aboard the Russian hate parade .

Click back to Adam Lee’s Alternet story to see just how eagerly right-wing Christians are fanning the flames.


Putin: West Equates “Belief in God with the Belief in Satan”
by Richard Bartholomew

Several months after announcing his divorce, Vladimir Putin turns to the subject of family values:

Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.

Putin was speaking at Valdai International Discussion Club; according to a blurb, the club “was established in 2004 by the Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti and the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. It has become an important cooperation venue for the Russian and foreign intellectual and political elite.”

Putin’s reference to paedophilia appears to relate to the legal status of a Dutch group called Stichting Martijn. According to Dutch News in April:

Last year, a civil court in Assen banned the paedophile lobby group Stichting Martijn with immediate effect, saying what the foundation does and says about sexual contact between adults and children contravenes the accepted norms and values in Dutch society.

The appeal court said texts and photos on the foundation’s website do not break the law.

The group has existed since 1982, and reportedly has about 60 members; an associated political party (the “the Charity, Freedom and Diversity Party”) was registered in 2006 and dissolved in 2010. Of course, Putin’s extrapolation from this case to the general outlook of “Euro-Atlantic countries” is absurd and in bad faith, but it’s part of an old Russian tradition of justifiying authortarianism in moral terms by invoking the decadence of the west. Putin may also have been inspired by an anti-gay group called “Russian Mothers”, which claims that paeodophilia is promoted in Norway; I wrote about this here.

Putin also discussed the place of organised religion in Russia:

Russia – as philosopher Konstantin Leontyev vividly put it – has always evolved in “blossoming complexity” as a state-civilisation, reinforced by the Russian people, Russian language, Russian culture, Russian Orthodox Church and the country’s other traditional religions. It is precisely the state-civilisation model that has shaped our state polity. It has always sought to flexibly accommodate the ethnic and religious specificity of particular territories, ensuring diversity in unity.

Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions are an integral part of Russia’s identity, its historical heritage and the present-day lives of its citizens.

Leontyev, according to an account by George L. Kline (1), has been described as “the Russian Nietzsche”:

Leontyev was a Russian thinker who, almost two decades before Nietzsche, offered a “Nietzschean” celebration of “the aesthetic” and an equally Nietzschaen critiqie of democratic and egalitatian values, “mass culture”, and ultilitarian and socialist ideas.”

However, unlike Nietzche, he was a Christian, and he called

for a struggle to the death against the “anti-Christ of democracy”

Shades here of the kind of thing that reportedly appears in Patriarch’s Kirill’s book Freedom and Responsibility.

(1) page 197 of Nineteenth-Century Religious Thought in the West, edited by Ninian Smart, John Clayton, Patrick Sherry, Steven T. Katz, Cambridge University Press, 1985. And there’s a profile of Kline – formerly Milton C. Nahm Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College – here.