Showing posts with label Orthodox Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orthodox Church. Show all posts

Friday, January 21, 2011

Russian Orthodox Archpriest Calls for National Dress Code

     When absurdity rules...

      A top official of the increasingly powerful Russian Orthodox Church has triggered a storm of outrage by calling for a "national dress code" that would force women to dress modestly in public and require businesses to throw out "indecently" clad customers.
     Women, said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, can't be trusted to clothe themselves properly.
     "It is wrong to think that women should decide themselves what they can wear in public places or at work," he said Tuesday. "If a woman dresses like a prostitute, her colleagues must have the right to tell her that."
     "Moreover," Archpriest Chaplin added, "if a woman dresses and acts indecently, this is a direct route to unhappiness, one-night stands, brief marriages followed by rat-like divorces, ruined lives of children, and madness."
     One could substitute any number of things for "if a woman dresses and acts indecently" in that statement and it would make more sense from what we've seen repeated throughout history.  For example, try the sentence substituting "a political career" or "celibacy" or "a nasty goatee" or "religious power" or "Christianity."  The list could go on and on.

     "Archpriest Chaplin's comments sound absurd," says Irina Shcherbakova, head of youth programs for Memorial, Russia's largest human rights organization. "Instead of dealing with real social issues – such as the rise of ethnic hatred – and teaching tolerance, they busy themselves with this nonsense. Most women will ignore this but, especially since Islamic religious authorities are in support, it does threaten a serious attack on women's rights."
     Chaplin's remarks have not generated the groundswell of public fury that would erupt in a Western country, but that doesn't mean it's likely to gain much public traction either, says Masha Lipman, editor of the Moscow Carnegie Center's Pro et Contra journal.
     "The average Russian woman will just shrug this off and regard it as having nothing to do with her life," she says. "In post-Soviet times the church has enjoyed much more success at winning concessions from the state than it has in winning souls.... Polls show that the majority of Russians respect the church as a traditional institution but not as a moral authority over their lives."
     Though Russians have for centuries been told what to do and how to behave by clerical and state authorities, Ms. Lipman argues that those days are past.
     "One big difference between today's Russia and the USSR is that, though the state is politically authoritarian, it no longer attempts to interfere in peoples' private lives," and it's not likely to empower the church to do so either, she says.
     If only the United States, the greatest nation on earth, where all are supposedly created equal, could practice such separation of church and state. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Pride for Gays of St. Petersburg

     The Christian leadership in St. Petersburg, Russia, is proudly waving their hatred and bigotry of gays.  In name of their Orthodox Christian god and their interpretation of the "Natural Law," a coalition of religious and nationalist groups has called for the the cancellation of St. Petersburg 2010 (gay) Pride festival.  Those calling for the god-inspired ban on free speech and freedom of expression include: Intellectuals of the Orthodox Church, Russian Imperial Movement, Movement For Faith and Fatherland, People's Cathedral, and the Imperial Russia Union.

     Here is the text of their hate letter, as reported by Gay Russia:
     “We are categorically against holding any public events, which in any way present a propaganda of sexual perversions.
     “Any parade is a demonstration - demonstration is a form of propaganda. As a result, a gay pride is a propaganda of homosexuality.
     “Love between a man and a woman exists only for one purpose – to give birth to a new life but gay pride is the propaganda of death
     "But why does no one remember that holding these actions grossly violates the right of the majority and is doubtful from the point of moral action?
     “After all, for the majority of our country and, in particular, for our city, homosexuality is an unacceptable deviation from the norm, a moral rejection and a disgust.
     “We are constantly told that democracy is the government of majority, but it turns out that the interests of the majority would be sacrificed to a handful of people with unnatural sexual orientation.”
     Here is a tragic fact that these gay-bashers have overlooked, when it comes to the downfall of St. Petersburg's morality.  St. Petersburg is one of the most popular sex tourism destinations for those seeking child sex slaves.  Knowing that, why are they rallying against a bunch of peaceful homosexuals and not against the people selling their precious children in the streets, alleys, and hotels of St. Petersburg?

     A 2007 article in the Japan Times by Cesar Chelala, M.D., reports [I added the bold for emphasis]:
     According to the Russian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Russia is now one of the main producers of pornography in the world, and registers a significant number of incidents related to child prostitution or child trafficking for sexual purposes.
     Although the real number is difficult to assess, experts believe that tens of thousands of children are involved in the production of pornographic materials in Russia today. These materials are frequently produced by small criminal groups, each fulfilling a specific task to keep the costs of production low compared to those of a regular startup business. The production and consumption of these materials are particularly pronounced in big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.
     According to experts, almost a quarter of the pornography on global Internet sites contains child pornography. Among these, almost 50 percent include child pornography from Russia. Nowadays, it is possible to buy videocassettes of child pornography at any railway station or in several stores in these cities.
     St. Petersburg and the northwest region of Russia report a high incidence of sex tourism, which is widely advertised on the Internet and aimed at people from neighboring Scandinavian countries. Prostitution is the most common form of child exploitation in the region.
     It is really a travesty that the vindictive, wrathful, sadomasochistic, amegalomaniaciac "prophets" of the Old Testament god didn't have the sense for a commandment stating "Thou shalt honor thy children and protect them violence and abuse of all types, including sexual."  Instead, the Old Testament calls for the killing of cheeky children.  And Christians are surprised when people violencence to children?  Have they not read their own bible? 

     Of course, it's easier to ignore your child sex/porn trade and tourism and focus instead on the gays.  Shove them back into some dark, shameful closet, just like you do you do your teens.  You hypocrites!

But this is neither a demonstration npropagandanda? 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pop Goes the ELCA (Again)

     The AP reports that another Protestant denomination is spliting in the wake of the LGBT civil rights movement.  This time it's the nation's largest Lutheran denomination, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and its 4.8 million members.

     Back in August, delegates of the ELCA voted 559-451 to allow gays and lesbians in monogamous, committed and life-long relationships to serve as lay leaders and clergy in the ELCA.  Previously, as in the Catholic church, only celibate gays were allowed to serve as clergy.  Interesting too is the fact that there are divorced and remarried heterosexual clergy in the ELCA, and didn't Luther, a Catholic monk, run off with a Catholic nun?  So much for monogamous, committed and life-long heterosexual clergy in the ELCA.

     On Wednesday, motivated by their belief that the ELCA's allowance of openly homosexual clergy is in direct contradiction to scripture, the leaders of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal (CORE) met and moved to begin drafting a new constitution for their official break from the ELCA.  CORE has drafted an eighteen page "resource" explaining their beef with the ELCA's "sexuality proposals." You can even get socks with the CORE logo to promote their schism!

     Ryan Schwartz, of Washington, D.C., has been charged to organize the new denomination.  The AP quotes:
    "Many of us have spent years now struggling to call the ELCA to remain faithful to the Orthodox Christianity of the last 2,000 years," Schwarz said.
     The last 2,000 years, Mr. Schwartz?  Is it just me, or didn't the Protestant Reformation take place 500 years ago?  So, does that mean you believe that the 1,500 years of Catholic history that predate your Protestant history are the true "Orthodox Christianity"?  Will CORE be adapting all of the pre-Luther teachings of the Catholic church?  You gotta love the primacy of Rome, Marian devotion, priestly celibacy, and the Lateran Councils.

     Also, if you claim to be a member of "Orthodox Christianity," does that mean your going Greek and joining the the Orthodox Church that came out of the Great Schism in 1054?  I think that they have history and semantics on their side when it comes to claiming the phrase "Orthodox Christianity."   Mr. Schwartz, you do a great disservice to history with your lazy rhetoric.

     Pope Ben's chops are probably dripping at the site of more wayward conservative Protestant factions to be gobbled up into the Catholic fold.  Who would have thought that we gays and our intrinsically depraved acts would be responsible for a new era in Catholic ecumenism?