Russian Orthodox Patriarch Demands Authoritarian Power


In the wake of the Pussy Riot prosecution, the Russian government is almost certainly going to adopt a new law to protect the delicate feelings of Christians in that country from any offense. And the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church is enthusiastically behind the idea:

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill backed the idea of criminal prosecution for blasphemy similar the Pussy Riot’s punk performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral on Saturday.

“The law must protect not only symbols of secular importance, but also objects with sacred meaning for the believers and guard their religious feelings from insults,” Kirill said on Saturday, addressing the Orthodox clergy.

Uh, why? Why are your feelings so much more precious than anyone else’s that they must be protected from the opinions of others? Are you that insecure about them?

Comments

  1. ArtK says

    Why are your feelings so much more precious than anyone else’s that they must be protected from the opinions of others? Are you that insecure about them?

    Well… yes. One of the things that religion brings is security to people who are very insecure. Certainty in an uncertain world and all of that stuff.

  2. glodson says

    Uh, why? Why are your feelings so much more precious than anyone else’s that they must be protected from the opinions of others? Are you that insecure about them?

    I commented on this at JT’s blog. People like Kirill, many religious leaders, need this undue respect for religion. It creates a buffer. I doubt that I would be an atheist now if some of you more cantankerous atheists were forced, by law, to shut up. The doubts and questions would be dismissed. I could take any skill I have with logic and critical thinking and turn those tools to rationalizing a bad belief rather any actually examining in an honest manner. And I would never really confront my own beliefs.

    If they can silence dissent in the name of “respect,” they can protect their flocks from thinking too deeply, which is bad for religion.

  3. laurentweppe says

    The Pussy Riot prosecution was more about protecting the delicate feelings of Putin than the delicate feelings of Christians. I mean, last I checked, “Oh God, can’t we be rid of Politician X” is a thought expressed by countless Christians all over the world.

  4. says

    Wow. Just wow. Back in the early ’80s I wrote a science-fiction story that assumed the USSR would still exist (and be a spacefaring power) in 2084 AD (and even colonizing Mars by 2112 AD). Then the USSR fell apart, and I kinda gave up on the story. Recently, on a whim, I decided to try and revive that story, with a tiny reference to “the old Perestroika movement”…and shortly afterword, Russia started acting like it was 1905 all over again — Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality and all! Now the Communist Party is getting more popular again — gosh, I wonder why…I know life often imitates art, but in this case, can’t life at least wait until my art gets published?

  5. raven says

    Why are your feelings so much more precious than anyone else’s that they must be protected from the opinions of others? Are you that insecure about them?

    This is the contradiction in religion.

    1. Their gods are all powerful and can do anything.

    2. Their gods don’t do anything and need humans to do everything.

    It is an incoherent, contradictory mess.

    Putin seems to be copying the old Russian Czars pretty closely. I don’t see why. It didn’t work for them or Russia.

  6. laurentweppe says

    Putin seems to be copying the old Russian Czars pretty closely. I don’t see why. It didn’t work for them or Russia.

    The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia for three centuries: who cares if one’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandon ends up executed leaving the country he ruled in shambles

  7. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Raging Bee@6,

    Back when it came out in 1987, I read this book The Russian Challenge and the Year 2000 by Alexander Yanov, predicting a nationalist, authoritarian, antisemitic, anti-Western takeover in Russia if Gorbachev’s reforms failed (as of course, they did). I can’t recall how prominent a role he gave the Orthodox Church, but he certainly had a good go at Solzhenitsyn, who was an Orthodox fanatic. While Russia has not yet gone entirely fascist – this law will be one stride closer – that still seems a real possibility: open admirers of the Nazis are tolerated even as they murder Caucasians and other minorities in the streets. We face the potential prospect of a “fascist nuclear superpower” in Yanov’s phrase.

  8. serena says

    Seriously, 25-ish years after Sinead O’Connor ripping a pope picture on TV, and we’re still hearing this crap? ugh

  9. says

    Once this blasphemy law is in place, will they be able to carry out drone strikes in the US to punish blaspho-terrorists abroad? I realize this might encroach on the US’s now-exclusive domain of killing within other sovereign borders, which could be a problem.

  10. laurentweppe says

    Czar Vladimir I?

    Technically, he would Vladimir IV, I think

    Russian autocratic ruler conniving with GODbotherers, what could go wrong?

    To be fair, when russian autocratic rulers conspired against religious authorities, it did not exactly go right either. Methink that it’s the “autocratic ruler” which might be a problem.

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