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First they targeted homosexuals, then the Pastafarians. Now Russia guns for ‘atheist extremists’.

“FOREIGN sponsored atheist extremism” has been identified by a group of Russian Orthodox Church activists as posing a threat to the country, and to religion in particular.

To combat this evil they plan on setting up a centre against “atheist extremism” in Moscow.

According to this report, the decision was announced this week at a meeting between city residents and deputies of a district council. The conflab was held near the pilgrimage centre of the Moscow Patriarchate, in south-west Moscow. The new group later issued a statement saying:

Atheist extremism is currently rearing its head. It is sponsored by various funds and NGOs with roots outside Russian borders.

The group claims that their enemies are opposing citizens’ lawful right for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, guaranteed by the Constitution.

Gay rights activist Kirill Kalugin was attacked in St Petersburg earlier this month while staging a one-man protest of Russia's anti-gay law. He was roughed up by former servicemen who had gathered in in the city to celebrate Russian Paratroopers Day.

Gay rights activist Kirill Kalugin was attacked in St Petersburg earlier this month while staging a one-man protest of Russia’s anti-gay law. He was roughed up by former servicemen who had gathered in in the city to celebrate Russian Paratroopers Day.

In particular, the activists listed incidents when “certain people” protested against the construction of new churches. This created:

An artificial psychosis and pumped up hysteria by intimidating the public.

The statement emphasised the fact that “atheist extremists” were often acting on behalf of local residents by creating grassroots groups, but:

The real masterminds preferred to remain in the dark.

The Moscow City authorities, together with the Russian Orthodox Church, are currently implementing the so-called “Program-200” –  a plan that calls for the erection of  200 Orthodox churches throughout the capital in the next 10 to 15 years.

Pastafarian and proud: Russian authorities failed to see the humour in a march of Flying Spaghetti Monster devotees, and violently broke up the parade. Click on pic for report.

Pastafarian and proud: Russian authorities failed to see the humour in a recent parade of Flying Spaghetti Monster devotees, and violently broke up the parade. Click on pic for report.

Russian mass media estimated that the cost of the programme would be around $1 billion. Financing would come from a non-government fund. The architects of the scheme claimed that after it is implemented there will be a church for every 20,000 residents located one kilometre or less from residential areas.

The scheme is said to be popular among the religious lobby but it has already met resistance. The Communists and the veteran pro-democracy party, Yabloko, officially voiced protests against new churches and many citizens believe the scheme is unnecessary.

Also, the Program-200 is being carried out, according to the report:

In times of especially sharp discourse between religious and agnostic parts of the Russian society. It first started in mass media but became much more real after several girls who called themselves feminist punk band Pussy Riot launched a short gig against the merger between the church and the state in Moscow’s main Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

The punks were put on trial and sentenced to two years each for aggravated hooliganism. After the incident Russian legislators passed a law on protection of believers’ feelings – making any public insult of an official religion a criminal offence punishable with up to three years behind bars.

The Pussy Riot trial and the fresh law prompted an even broader wave of protests across the country – sometimes taking radical forms, such as the felling of memorial crosses in several villages. More often, however, journalists and bloggers gave critical appraisal to the lush lives of church hierarchs and even ordinary clerics, like the case of Hegumen Timofey – a dean of one of Moscow churches who gained notoriety in mid-2012 by causing a major car crash while driving drunk in a BMW Z4 with diplomatic license plates.

In September 2012 the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill said in a public speech that Christianity was under a concerted attack from forces who opposed the national revival of Russians, noting that the alleged merger between the church and the authorities was a deliberately created myth.

 

 

30 Responses to “First they targeted homosexuals, then the Pastafarians. Now Russia guns for ‘atheist extremists’.”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    “…atheist extremism” has been identified by a group of Russian Orthodox Church activists as posing a threat to the country, and to religion in particular.”

    It seems that Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks would agree – apparently everything that’s wrong with the world is down to ‘secularism’.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23825465

  2. Har Davids says:

    AgentCormac, it’s so hard to disagree with these observations: religion has a great track-record for doing the right thing since the first con-man invented the first deity. It’s a good thing Nazi-Germany and Soviet-Russia didn’t really get along; just try to imagine what the result would have been.

  3. Pete H says:

    Ironic that a church group suggests that atheists are “..opposing citizens’ lawful right for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, guaranteed by the Constitution.”

    I hate to break it to you fellas, but opposing freedom of thought is what you specialise in, not us.

  4. Ivan says:

    Under the circumstances I’m surprised to see that the Russian paratroopers in their tight stripy blue muscle vests, cute as a button caps and simply “must have” camo trousers have seemingly hired Gok Wan to do their kit makeover. You go girls!

  5. Barry Duke says:

    Meanwhile, Scotland’s going down the pan too, pandering to uber-leftists who favour ‘free’ education through university, unilateral nuclear disarmament, steeply progressive taxation and the eradication of poverty

    The whole of Scotland, says Mona Charen “a former speechwriter for Nancy Reagan”, was “dip-dyed in socialism”.

    Oh and the loopy right-wing Republican hack simply hated the offerings at the Edinburgh festival:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/mcreds-under-the-bed-why-scotland-scares-right-wing-american-republicans.21954729?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    To the Russian Orthodox Church: please do tell me more about your views of foreign groups bend on your destruction…

    http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/2013/04/russian-orthodox-church-official-stresses-importance-of-dialogue-with-islamic-iran/

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    “Atheist extremist”.

    Just what is an atheist extremist? I don’t believe in gods, how can I go beyond that? I extremely don’t believe in gods, or I don’t believe in extreme gods! Neither makes any sense.

    @Ivan: Yesssss, they look soooooo pretty dressed up like that!

  8. barriejohn says:

    “Steadfastly heterosexual” Russian paratroopers enjoy a day out in Gorky Park:

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01689/moscow-splits_1689500i.jpg

  9. Broga says:

    I have come across yet another kind of atheist. I refer to the “self-declared atheist” conjured up by the incoming editor, Daniel Trilling, of the New Humanist. Amidst all the people or groups he might have taken to task he decided to criticise Richard Dawkins.

    Daniel objected to Richard Dawkins’ statement that all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. Trilling thought this was “disingenuous in the extreme.” For me, at least, an inauspicious precursor to his editorship.

  10. JohnMWhite says:

    @Barry Duke: On yersel’ Scotland! Put the wind up em!

    Being a Scot with some experience of America, it is rather humorous to see the right-wing finally starting to notice that Scotland isn’t just some quaint village with pretty castles in the north of England. I have had numerous Republicans say to me that Obama is a socialist, to which I can only laugh and say “not even close, pal.” They are then stupefied when someone from an ‘ally’ country describes a homeland where the sick are treated for free at the point of service and where students are not crushed with tens of thousands of pounds in debt for daring to dream of a job as a bloody office clerk.

    @Broga: What a strange thing for a humanist to object to. Are facts anti-human now?

    As for Russia, they seem to have caught on to one idea from Western governments: you can make the people squabble amongst themselves all you like, because the people making these stupid decisions will never have to face the consequences. No Patriarch is going to have to worry about the enormous tension between communities the government is fostering by criminalizing thoughts and words, because they are insulated from having to ever even see the rabble except through very thick windows.

  11. Broga says:

    @JohnMWhite: I won’t pursue the New Humanist comment as the new editor hasn’t started his job yet. I hope he does a great job.

    However, I notice that a certain kind of flaky atheist loves to put the boot into Richard Dawkins. I know a couple and they are very keen to “come to an accommodation” with Christians and “there is more that joins us that separates us”. They seem not to notice the many privileges that the religious establishment enjoys, the endless attacks on secularists and atheists being seen as the source of the problems on the world.

    This pair think Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitches, Sam Harris etc do harm by “antagonising” those with whom we should cooperate. My view is that it is only by challenging religious beliefs and privileges that secularism has made an impact.

  12. L.Long says:

    I love Russia!! One of the places we can all admire.
    1st…The Czar thought they were gods and the peasants SCUM!
    2nd—The Commies thought they and the state were god and the peasants are scum.
    3rd+++the church thinks it talks for gawd and peasants are ignorant scum that should kill gays, Pastafarians, & atheists (ya know independent thinkers. Hopefully none of the Jedi go there.

    Notice the common thread thru their history?
    When are the sheeple going to get it?? THEY ARE SCUM!!
    If they ever wake up it will be easy to over thow the church….stop going!@!!!!

  13. JohnMWhite says:

    @Broga: Amen. I have come across numerous atheists and agnostics who fall into similar patterns and in particular see Dawkins as some boorish oaf who exists solely to browbeat the ‘vast majority of harmless moderates’. While I also see on occasion a penchant for lionizing the 4 horsemen among hardcore atheists, that’s fairly rare. More often the appeasers completely forget that Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist of significance in his field; he has better things to do than complain about Christianity, and has been doing them for decades. He’s not a one-trick pony, but his critics usually are. They simply bash a pinata version of him in the hope that they will look ‘reasonable’ compared to his ‘militant and strident’ attitude, and forget that the audience they are playing this pantomime out for thinks they are going to burn in hell for eternity.

    @L.Long – the people of Russia got it a couple of times before, but the trouble is that Czars, communist officials and clerics are people. Greedy, elevated people, but people nonetheless.

  14. T says:

    Russia is a cesspit of corruption run by a dictatorial bully boy who has empowered the pious to do his dirty work for him and who allows corruption on an almost incomprehensible scale by politicians and cartels of organised criminals to ensure that he can stay in power. Step out of line or even threaten to and your punishment will range from a beating, blackmail, incarceration or politically sanctioned murder. That’s how Russia works.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Broga: These people are not the enemy. We are all on the same side!

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/08/25/chief-rabbi-lord-sacks-i-am-not-heartless-i-understand-gay-peoples-fears/

    I am not heartless towards them, I really seek to understand them and they seek to understand where I am coming from…

    I’ve not come out strongly, I’ve simply said that in Judaism we don’t do it.

  16. barriejohn says:

    PS I have been attacked in the same way as Prof Dawkins on other blogs. Apparently, due to my atypical experiences with a “somewhat extreme sect” I have a distorted view of Christians, and carry a large chip on my shoulder. In reality they are all rational, reasonable people who desire the best for everyone, and we have no right to vilify and ridicule them over their sincerely held beliefs!

  17. Matt+Westwood says:

    “When are the sheeple going to get it?? THEY ARE SCUM!!
    If they ever wake up it will be easy to over thow the church….stop going!@!!!!”

    This is all very well, but I don’t hold out much hope that before long they will make regular non-attendance at church a criminal offence.

  18. Albert Yome says:

    Read between the lines, “FOREIGN sponsored atheist extremism”, “sponsored by various funds and NGOs with roots outside Russian borders” and “forces who opposed the national revival of Russians” and what you have is a thinly veiled rant against – The Jooze of course.

    Unless atheists are the new target, this is the stuff that neo-nazis and other anti-semites love; foreign conspirators, money and subterfuge by the secret cabal that controls world capital. Beria and Goebbels would be proud.

    They seem to have been catching up on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Watch out for the Blood Libel come Passover.

  19. Angela_K says:

    Those who criticise Richard Dawkins tend to be those who have most likely never read any of his Biology books and have probably only read “The God Delusion” or reviews of it – rather like the religious. The far left don’t like him because he dares to speak the truth about Muslims.

  20. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: My knowledge of Richard Dawkins lies more in his informative and so readable scientific books than his atheism. The books led me into “The God Delusion” which was, and is, stunning. It should be in every school library.

    I began to notice his restraint in debate and his courtesy to his opponents. I recall one television programme which included his detached amusement at the threats and insults which poured in to him. So very different from the view of the foaming at the mouth rabid atheist pushed by his religious opponents.

  21. barriejohn says:

    I’ve got to post this again, just in case there are some who haven’t seen it before!

    http://youtu.be/-ZuowNcuGsc

  22. barriejohn says:

    Angela: The atheists who are criticising Richard Dawkins obviously know little about religion – particularly in countries like the USA!

  23. Just Some Goy says:

    Everybody knows the priesthood is a hotbed of homosexuality and has been for all of recorded history.

    Homo erotic, waxed bare chested Putin and his women hating KGB friends just want a Russian Orthadox church to help control the feeble minded serfs.

    It’s no different than the self-hating man whore hiring Republicans in the US using religion to manipulate people.

  24. cfisher2833 says:

    Ironic that the guys arresting the gay activists look like they’d be a perfect fit in the Village People.

  25. Pete says:

    Over here in my country, they go for believers as gay and lesbians among atheists dictate the terms of social policies.

  26. Iestyn ap Robert says:

    Program-200? More like Pogrom-200…

  27. Broga says:

    @Just Some Goy: I remember reading that Thomas Cromwell, whom Henry V111 told to get rid of the monasteries, commented on the prevalence of homosexual monks in the monasteries.

  28. Spetsnaz says:

    I bet a lot of russians now miss the old Soviet Union.;-)

  29. […] “FOREIGN sponsored atheist extremism” has been identified by a group of Russian Orthodox Church activists as posing a threat to the country, and to religion in particular. To combat this […]  […]