God and Mr. Putin

Patriarch Kirill, Vladimir PutinPat Buchanan, writing in Human Events, appears to suggest that Vladimir Putin may, so to speak, be on the side of the angels:

In his Kremlin defense of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin, even before he began listing the battles where Russian blood had been shed on Crimean soil, spoke of an older deeper bond.

Crimea, said Putin, “is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”

Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying.

This speech recalls last December’s address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West:

“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”

Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?

…Author Masha Gessen, who has written a book on Putin, says of his last two years, “Russia is remaking itself as the leader of the anti-Western world.”

But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia’s role, in Putin’s words, is to “prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.”

Would that be the “chaotic darkness” and “primitive state” of mankind, before the Light came into the world?

This writer was startled to read in the Jan-Feb. newsletter from the social conservative World Council of Families in Rockford, Ill., that, of the “ten best trends” in the world in 2013, number one was “Russia Emerges as Pro-Family Leader.”

In 2013, the Kremlin imposed a ban on homosexual propaganda, a ban on abortion advertising, a ban on abortions after 12 weeks and a ban on sacrilegious insults to religious believers.

“While the other super-powers march to a pagan world-view,” writes WCF’s Allan Carlson, “Russia is defending Judeo-Christian values. During the Soviet era, Western communists flocked to Moscow. This year, World Congress of Families VII will be held in Moscow, Sept. 10-12.”

Will Vladimir Putin give the keynote?

In the new ideological Cold War, whose side is God on now?

On the corruption of the Russian Orthodox Church: nothing.

On the bullying of other (non-Orthodox) Christian denominations: nothing.

And on so much else: nothing.

People believe what they want to believe and they see what they want to see.

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3 Responses to God and Mr. Putin

  1. BehindTheLines says:

    Putin assassinates people, invades other countries, rules as a dictator, but hey, at least he doesn’t like gays. I don’t think that’s the best the West has to offer.

    I doubt Putin spends mauch time thinking about Jesus anyway.

  2. BehindTheLines says:

    i meant “much”

  3. Dan says:

    My take is that Putin is a utilitarian who attitude toward secularism is, ‘been there, done that, didn’t work.’

    The future belongs to those that show up for it. The Russian birthrate is now equal to the American birthrate, and they are moving in opposite directions.

    You can be strongly pro-religion and personally secular if you think religion is a wellspring of social and cultural capital for building civilizations. That is my best guess for what is inside Putin’s head.

    That would also probably have been the view of many leading Victorians Britons, as well as the founders of the United States. There’s a lot to be said for that perspective, considering that both nations led the world all out of proportion to their numbers in the wake of those builders.

    Religion is, at the very least, a big source of optimism. Whether misplaced or not, such optimism is very good if you want your nation to rise. Secular Russia in modern memory was utterly pessimistic with average life expectancy of men cut by a decade from alcoholism. Therefore Putin’s perspective to me is understandable. In any case, the recent turn by Russia is extremely popular with Russians.

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