Aug 18 2010

Living in sin causes wildfires?

This is the newest example of Specific Religious Rule That’s Not Particularly Morally Wrong Causes Deadly Natural Disaster:

A Russian tycoon has told 6,000 workers at his private dairy company that they’ll be fired if they’ve ever had an abortion, or if those who are “living in sin” don’t get married within two months.

Vasily Boiko, who officially changed his name to Boiko-Veliky, which means “Boiko the Great,” has set a deadline of October 14 — a Russian Orthodox Church holiday — for any of his unmarried employees who live with a partner to get married, or get fired.

“We have about 6,000 employees, most of whom are Orthodox, and I expect them to be faithful and to repent,” Boiko told Reuters last week. His order came in an internal memo to workers at Russkoye Moloko, which means “Russian milk” and whose products are sold in many Russian supermarkets.

Boiko told Ekho Moskvy radio that a woman who’s had an abortion “can no longer be an employee of our company … We don’t want to work with killers,” according to Reuters.

The ultimatum also comes amid Russia’s worst drought and wildfires on record, in which suffocating heat and smog have doubled the normal summertime death rate in Moscow. More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by fires, and a third of Russia’s wheat crop has succumbed to the drought. The government has banned grain exports for the rest of the year, and promised subsidies to farmers and agriculture businesses like Boiko’s.

The tycoon blames Russia’s extreme weather this summer on what he called a lack of ample religious faith. “Such an extreme situation is punishment for the Russian people’s sins,” he told daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, according to The Daily Telegraph. “I need to take extreme measures including looking at the way my employees treat God.”

It’s a shame that these employees are going to get fired. How does he even know who’s had an abortion or is living with their unmarried partner? Spy cameras? And why does it seem like so many Christians just can’t grasp that concept of leaving the judging to God?

Shackingupinferno? Hm, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Not to mention if we did a boobquake every time someone said something superstitious like this, we’d have a “holiday” every single day.


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  1. 1

    Dang, if I wasn’t already married, I’d gladly join up for the cause. At least we should have some sort of love-in. That said, all the wildland firefighters I’ve ever known (and that’s a LOT of them) have probably done their fair share to contribute to their own job security by living in sin. I never realized the two things were connected!

  2. 2
    Peter B

    I worry that as the world warms up in coming decades, such attitudes may become more common, in all parts of the world. Outbursts of religious righteousness do seem to correlate with natural disasters – a year and a half ago there were devastating bushfires in the state of Victoria here in Australia, and one Christian minister (Danny Nalliah if you feel the urge to Google the story) put it down to the state government passing laws decriminalising abortion. And I seem to remember similar accusations being levelled at the burghers of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

  3. 3
    Mike O'Brien

    I just think you need to have a “Stupid stuff religious fanatics say” t-shirt printed up and have an annual “Boobquake” to memorialize all the stupid stuff like this every year. Boobquake started it and should be the standard by which all other dumbass stuff gets measured against.

  4. 4
    Christine E Crain

    I lived with my husband for two years before we got married. No major fires in our area.. SURPRISE!

  5. 5

    So Jennifer, who are you moving in with for the day?

  6. 6
    Gus Snarp

    Given the amount of “sin” in the world, shouldn’t the whole thing be on fire?

  7. 7

    If you’re a fire fighter living in sin (I might just know one or two…), does that cancel it out? Or is that sort of like when fire fighters set fire (like in Backdraft) so that they get to be heroes putting them out? So they should be all the more scorned?*******What I love about rules like this is how people make conflicting rules that create an incentive for people to do EXACTLY the opposite of what you want. I’ll be fired for living in sin, but I’m hiding that fact. I get pregnant. Well, if it comes out that I’m pregnant and not married, I’ll be ‘outed’ and fired. But I don’t want to get married. Maybe I would have considered keeping the baby or adoption, but I don’t want to get fired. So that means I have to have an abortion. Brilliant.

  8. 8

    Is there ever a BAD excuse for an orgy?

  9. 9

    if I wasn’t already married, I’d gladly join up for the cause.How about the two of you spend a night at a motel, to give it that illicit-affair feel? Could be fun.

  10. 10

    The effect is non-local: shacking up in Oregon causes wildfires in Southern California.

  11. 11
    Peter Madsen

    Damn it, lol. You Oregon peeps get to have all the fun, and I’m here in California stuck with the bill.

  12. 12

    Good one! Um, oh, maybe it will be… Ha-hah! THAT explains “Global Warming”!

  13. 13
    Peter Madsen

    I can’t help but imagine his God looking down at him and saying, “Matthew 7:1, damnit! Matthew 7:1! How clear do I have to be?!”

  14. 14

    ” we’d have a “holiday” every single day.”Yes. And?

  15. 15

    This could actually be a great thing for America.Many of the religion-focused icons in our country, “In God We Trust” on the money, for example, were implemented because we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the goddless communists of Russia. So all we need to do is stir up some oldschool nationalistic rivalry, and boom! Atheist America!

  16. 16

    Goodness. Anyone know what the Russian is for: “…Tosser!” ?

  17. 17

    Why create a new shirt every year? You could just have one that says[a href="http://www.fstdt.net/"]Stupid stuff religious fanatics say[/a](Grr… Disqus won’t allow me to put in angle brackets.)

  18. 18

    ഞങ്ങള്‍ ഇവിടോക്കെത്തന്നെയുണ്ടേ…

  19. 19
    Peter R


  20. 20

    I’ve been living in technical adultery for 10 years now. Haven’t noticed anything burning in my neighborhood, knock on charcoal.

  21. 21
    Andrew Hall

    I have sinned… a lot.I’m not kidding and I can’t get into specifics, but yes there has been sinning.And I’m fine. No wildfires or earthquakes here.Long live Sin!http://laughinginpurgatory.blo

  22. 22

    I can see the headlines now:Chicago shack-up causes sinferno! Local couple gains notoriety on par with Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.

  23. 23
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    If we could come up with some sane boobquake-alike from this, sinferno would totally be the right name.

  24. 24

    We’ve had boobquake – where the world trembled (haha!) at the power of the cleavage.Now, dear friends, it is time for…THE BUSHFIRE…too much?

  25. 25
    Jay Walker

    I think instead of worrying about how his employees are treating God, he should be worried about how God is treating the Russian people. I’ve got a suspicion that not everyone who has or is suffering from drought and wildfires are sinners to the degree to deserve such treatment. Once again, the loving and merciful Christian God is engaging in indiscriminate carnage. That bastard!

  26. 26

    No it’s abortion that causes bush fires, sillyhttp://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/blame-the-http://the-riotact.com/?p=1466

  27. 27

    Russia is just becoming weird this way. There’s some sort of odd backlash against secularism and atheism, it seems to me that the older people in the Russian population felt stifled by communist rule and now are doing EVERYTHING religiously. Because if communism = atheism, and communism was bad, the opposite of atheism MUST be good, right?Obviously not everyone is like this, but the level it’s reaching is ridiculous. You can hardly buy a bottle of water in the supermarket without the label claiming that it’s been blessed by Orthodox Christian such-and-such, or it’s from the God-blessed spring X. When I was last there, I even remember seeing on TV the head of the Russian Orthodox church blessing some sort of great big missile (might have even been a nuclear warhead!) I mean, what the crap, man.I’m so glad that, at least of the family that I’m close to there, they’re atheists. I think people would like my grandpa, he loves ranting angrily about how the Bible is stupid, and he as an atheist knows that book better than the religious people themselves…

  28. 28

    I realise it’s purely anecdotal, but my 17-year feast of live-in homo lovin’ has not noticeably resulted in fires of any kind. I need some more data collection…Or maybe – alternative hypothesis! – it’s only straight sin that causes bushfires. Perhaps the Almighty punishes homosex with t-shirt weather, regular rains and mild winters, cos that’s the inference I’m picking up around here.Hmm…homosex and subtropical weather…I’m seeing initial patterns emerge…but why?

  29. 29

    “Perhaps the Almighty punishes homosex with t-shirt weather, regular rains and mild winters…”Umn, would you and your partner care to move near us?

  30. 30

    I’ll volunteer. For the cause, you know.

  31. 31

    A business owner treating his workers like crap, and using the state church as cover? I seem to remember things like this happening in Russia before. Maybe. eventually, the population will react the same way they did last time.

  32. 32

    Shaving will stop the brush fires.

  33. 33

    I feel fucking ripped off. I got married before I moved in with my partner, but every year or two huge fires rage through most of Southern California. I don’t understand.

  34. 34

    How come this god fellow waited till the end of the officially atheist USSR? If these are the worst fires since … um …god-only-knows he missed an opportunity there, unless it’s Russian Orthodoxy he hates.

  35. 35
    James Smith

    There’s nothing unusual here. Christians have always thought it was fine to impose their sick beliefs upon everyone else by threat of force (getting fired).The law, their own bible, and common human decency have no meaning at all for them. No wonder the are held in derision and contempt by rational people.

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