Title: To Russia, With Loathing Credit: Craig Young Comment Sunday 3rd June 2007 - 4:39pm1180845540 Article: 4530 Rights
At a time when Brian Tamaki is ruminating about 'religious treason' and Christianity as somehow being an 'established religion' here, the Moscow Pride violence has taught us the dark implications of the latter. As I have remarked before in this column, Orthodoxy is one of the most benighted tributaries of Christianity. It engages in vague mysticism and is noted for its magnificent icons, but it is also rabidly nationalist, and never underwent the Enlightenment, as liberal Protesant denominations (and to a lesser extent, Catholicism) did. Therefore, it is immune to propositions that moral and ethical frameworks need to be evidence-based. Instead, after the fall of the Soviet Union sixteen years ago, it has been earnestly trying to recapture its lost obscurantist stranglehold over Russian society and culture. The outcome is predictable. Anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant racism are bubbling away in a toxic cauldron, religious freedom is severely impaired, and Russian Orthodox priests saw nothing wrong with blessing violent racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic skinheads and other neofascist Russian nationalist extremists before they attacked the Pride marchers for the second consecutive year this week. One would hope that this latest event leads mainstream Protestants and Catholics to suspend ecumenical cooperation and demand that their Orthodox counterparts re-evaluate their beliefs and practice. And then there's the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bosnia and Kosovo during the Balkan Wars of the nineties, where it condoned violent nationalist aggression, religious persecution and genocide against Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians. This indicates what this branch of Christianity is capable of, and bodes ill for the current experience of victims of Russian Orthodox bully pulpit tactics. That is what established religion means. It is not always warm, cuddly and vaguely muddled like the Church of England in the United Kingdom. Bear witness, Brian Tamaki and allied New Zealand fundamentalists. Recommended: Oliver Bjorksetter-Blaylock: "State of Hate" DNA 81 October 2006: 46-51. Jerome Taylor: "Holy Terror:" Attitude September 2006: UK Gay News Craig Young - 3rd June 2007    
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