Friday, August 17, 2012

Spitting in the Face of Holy Russia: Pussy Riot



The desecration of Christ the Savior Cathedral by the Bolsheviks and its subsequent destruction is not something that features much, well actually at all, in the news stories about Pussy Riot. It was the dominant religious building in Moscow before the Revolution, its obliteration was the great triumph of atheism. The intention was to build a monumental "People's Palace" on the site but the plans never materialised, instead a swimming pool was built instead. The present was built after the fall of Communism.

For Russian believers this Cathedral symbolises the very heart of Christian Russia, reborn after the murder of  countless of believers and the wholesale destruction of religion in Russian. The demonstration against Putin was one thing but the blasphemy and mockery of religion in the Cathedral was a reminder for believers of the type of thing organised by the persecutors within living memory, it was spitting in the face of the holy Russia.
Can the fatuous western "supporters" of Pussy Riot understand the nature of their demonstration?

14 comments:

A Reluctant Sinner said...

I am completely baffled by the Western media's reporting of the whole Pussy Riot thing.

It seems that liberal journalists in the West are determined to portray this story as some kind of example of repression by Putin. But, in fact, the three women jailed this afternoon were done so because of their 'hatred' of Christians and their lack of tolerance towards worshippers in Christ the Saviour Cathedral. They committed a religious hate crime, yet ill-informed commentators here in the UK seem to think that it is the Orthodox Church that was the aggressor in all of this!! (As the judge said, anyone can criticize the Church, but people cannot just enter a sacred building and desecrate it – that’s hate.)

I thank God for Russia and the fact that her courts stood up for justice today. Two years is probably harsh, but these women blasphemed God in his holy house, using the most disgusting language and behaviour.

If some person in Europe or North America had rampaged inside a mosque, uttering all sorts of nasty words against the Islamic 'prophet' and his followers, most Western liberals would have called such action a 'hate crime'. When churches and Christians are targeted in such a way, though, it's the victims who get blamed!

Anagnostis said...

Father and Dylan - Bravo sou!

gemoftheocean said...

I can remember reading books by Hedrick Smith, Jerrold Schecter and others how Christians clandestinely used to baptize believers in the pool that had been built.

Jessica Hoff said...

I agree. The reporting here is out of kilter. These women profaned a holy place. Had they done it in a mosque, I doubt they''d be serving time - for the obvious reason. They committed the crime and should be willing to serve their time.

Independent said...

Remember the Anti-God Museum.

lx54 said...

Two interesting facts I've read today, while hoovering up various viewpoints on the incident:

1) the "anti-Putin" protest doesn't appear to be anti-Putin. Those lyrics were added to the video. The "live" performance was mostly profanity.

2) The Orthodox Church made no comment after the arrests, so as not to accidentally influence the trial. The day after the trial (ie, today), the official response indicates that the Orthodox Church also thinks that they were sentenced too harshly.

3) "Pussy Riot" is not a punk band, it's a political protest group.

4) Real punk bands - ie, actual music/performance artists have said and done much worse, and have not been arrested because they could rightly say that they were exercising their freedom of artistic expression.

KimHatton said...

'Spitting in the face of Holy Russia'? Is there anything holy about Russia that has anything to do with this demonstration? No. It was all about Putin and so is the sentence.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Kim,
That is ridiculous, have yo bothered to listen or read the text of the song?
Have you seen the antics of these women, it was much more a profanation of a sacred place as a demonstration against Putin.

Varese said...

Father Ray- have you seen the actual video of the protest? The women were next to the altar for less than a minute, and sang 'our lady, chase Putin out' only. They were then dragged out, and one managed to get on her knees and pray. They didn't sing the song whose lyrics you've read.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Varese,
The women were actually outside of the iconastisis, but in the place reserved for clergy, my Russian doesn't do crudities but I think a little more was said than 'o[O]ur l[L]ady, chase Putin out'. The crudity of the song was matched by the crudity of the gestures.

BJC said...

These are the lyrics of the song. Its a disorganised rant but its clearly profane in places and that's apart from the antics of the group in the cathedral. Its also clear that Putin isn't the only one who is being targeted.

“Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away” Lyrics (translated from Russian)

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners crawl to bow
The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB, their chief saint,
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!
Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist
Become a feminist, become a feminist

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!

Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

Varese said...

Father Ray; I do have a little Russian. They shouted the 'Our Lady, Chase Putin Out' slogan before being ejected. Footage of the stunt, from start to finish, can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEBLskpDWQ

The rebuilding of the Cathedral was achieved through money gained from some dubious sources. Patriach Kyrill is also the subject of much gossip, much of which is probably untrue. It is worth asking where his personal wealth comes from though. He is certainly not afraid to use his political influence when it suits him, and vice versa.

This episode is a lot murkier than many of your commenters seem to realise. I, for one, am saddened that a mother is to be separated from her offspring at the least.

I personally am put in mind of the words of a prayer I have said many times:

'Fecit potentiam in brachio suo:
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede:
et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis:
et divites dimisit inanes.'

JARay said...

I think that they deserved all they got. As for a mother being separated from her offspring, well she should have thought about that before she began this display of hatred of Christianity.

Amfortas said...

I am torn on this one. I abhor what members of Pussy Riot did but I also abhor the increasingly repressive nature of Russian society. The autocephalous Orthodox churches are by nature nationalistic. The Russian church is too closely allied to Putin who is only too happy to wrap himself in a holy shroud. As I said, I abhor what Pussy Riot did but I am deeply disturbed by western Catholics cheering the Russian authorities on.