Friday, December 9, 2016

Putin And The Faith



There's a strange blindness in conservative Christian circles when it comes to Russian strongman and former KGB Colonel, Vladimir Putin. For example, I was talking with a political philosopher who I'd heard had given an excellent talk on exercising political power while remaining a Christian. No easy feat. "Who did you use as examples?" I asked, "The Emperor Constantine and Putin?" Shocked silence. "No, I didn't use either of them as examples. Is Putin a Christian?!?"


Well That's Not Christian

If being baptized, attending the Eucharist, asking for the intercession of the Saints, professing the Creeds and promoting the Church makes you a Christian, well, count Putin in. Seriously, the Church in Russia is active, strong and a part of society in a way not seen since before the Bolshevik revolution. 


How Very Unchristian

Something like 1000 churches have been built in Russia every year for the last decade and Orthodoxy is established across the spectrum of the state - in schools, the military, law enforcement and government itself. All this under the political aegis of Vladimir Putin. If he's not a Christian he certainly does a good job of hiding it. In America, by contrast, Christianity is banned from public schools and increasingly pushed out of the public square. Bake that cake, God Freaks, or we'll sue you and your business into the ground, with the not so tacit approval of the Supreme Court.


Look! Three Atheists!

But what about politics? Perhaps Putin's exercise of temporal power negates his apparent Orthodoxy? Like the way he's a nationalist who puts his country first, or legislates in favor of Christian values, like, how weird, heterosexual marriage. And, when a crew of Lena Dunham fans blaspheme in a Cathedral they get locked up. How very unchristian, except that it's not.


Oh no. A Secular Humanist.

Then again, maybe positioning yourself as an autocrat, like a King or a Tsar, is unchristian, which would put the Russian leader at something of a disadvantage when it comes to Christian governance. Right, classical liberal 18th century parliamentary democracy is mandated by Sacred Scripture and Apostolic tradition, said the Christian Monarchs of the Christian centuries never.


Well That's Not Christian

So why the animosity and shock when it comes to Putin? Because he's not a Westphalian product of the Enlightment so much as the son of Holy Mother Russia? Because he actually legislates in favor of the Church as though it was an objective good, as opposed to a subjective affair of the mind? Or maybe because he's Russian, and therefore an enemy communist threat, albeit subconciously, in the American conservative psyche. 

A Typical Scene of Putin Being Unchristian, at the Holy Sepulchre

But look, the Red menace is over. In fact, America's far more red than Russia at the present moment. So get over it, conservatives, unless in reality you've gone socsymp and see conservative, populist, Christian nationalism as a threat. In which case stop pretending to be something you're not.




I'd argue that Christian conservatives share more than a few basic values with Putin and should ally themselves with him and Russia against the common enemy. That would be Islam and its curious friend, aggressive, millionaire socialist, NWO globalism.

Mind how you go,

LSP

21 comments:

LL said...

I have close friends who are friends with Putin's closest people within the Greek Orthodox Church. He attends church, he professes faith and receives the sacrament. I think that settles the matter.

Barack's participation in Rev. Wright's Black Liberation Theology of white hatred on the other hand barely counts as a church. Then again Barack may be a Muslim for all I know.

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

"...parliamentary democracy is mandated by Sacred Scripture and Apostolic tradition, said the Christian Monarchs of the Christian centuries never." You're KILLING me!

Well, as my nom de guerre represents a Christian monarchist at the time of the horrors of the French Enlightenment and Napoleonic Wars, I have a hard time disagreeing with you about Putin. Authority, even authority that is ruthless to its direct enemies, is not inherently bad. Wouldn't it be great if authority could be overtly Christian again? Subject to God? Hmmm.

I commend you for your depth of history, Parson.

LSP said...

LL, people say that Barack isn't a Muslim. I guess that's why he's called Hussein.

LSP said...

Thanks, Grunt. As I understand it, Putin is the ONLY world leader of any note to actively encourage and promote the Church. Others may be Christians, but they're very quiet about it. They're rather less quiet about welcoming millions of Muslims into their countries. Perhaps that's telling...

Brig said...

Interesting info about Putin.

LL said...

Barack is "the Light Bringer", he's the child of hope/son of promise, yada, yada, yada. Criticism of Barack means that you are racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and you likely hate women and non-blue dogs as well.

Mattexian said...

Better than the micro-tyrants here, like the school principal in Killeen, right down the road from you, home of Ft Hood and the US Army First Cavalry, telling the school nurse she couldn't use the verse from Saint Luke's Gospel with the decoration of Linus from the Charlie Brown Christmas on her office door. The Governor and the state's Attorney General have both chimed in, reminding that administrator that such a decoration is not a violation of any so-called "separation of church and state," especially when it's the Chistmas season and all the school's door have some type of ornamentation, so it's not like there's a gubmint endorsement going on. I haven't heard a thing to indicate that the principal plans on eating Chinese food on December 25th.

Mattexian said...

Another thing, about the criticism of Putin as some type of Christian nationalist. What was one of the last-minute news reports about Trump, that he had the endorsement of a (*small*) group of White Christian nationalists, as if they would contribute to more than a sprinkling of votes in their home precincts. Sounds like the media is still stuck on that drumbeat about politically active Christians being a bad thing, and applying it universally. At least they're consistant?

Fredd said...

No wonder The Donald likes Putin. He's clearly not irredeemable if he takes the Sacrament (by definition).

BW said...

Queen Elizabeth is a truly Christian monarch, who promotes the church.

LSP said...

Putin's a Christian, Brig, and actively supports the Church.

LSP said...

LL, I'll report myself to the nearest reeducation camp.

LSP said...

Mattexian, they're a broken record. Emph on *broken.

LSP said...

Well said, Fredd. DJT's Russia stance, so far, makes sense to me, unlike the Hillary's "let's bring on WW3 so I can be President" garbage.

LSP said...

Love HRH,BW.

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

BW - I was thinking of that, too, actually. Glad you mentioned it. Gruntessa and I have been enjoying the Netflix season 1 of The Crown, about Queen Elizabeth. It's extraordinary how they portray the sacredness of her role as Christian Monarch, answerable only to God. That's truly wonderful.

I have mixed feelings about the position of the British Monarchy, however. My family was not always Catholic, but rather British Protestant (Anglican & Methodist). The reason I am Roman Catholic has less to do with the carnage over religion in the British Isles over the last few centuries but quite a lot to do with the position of St. Thomas More, who was quite close to the action when the first British Monarch made himself the head of the church - alone - and answerable only to God. I still don't see how that can be legitimate. Neither did More, and he put his neck where his thinking was. Christian Monarchs must answer to The Church, as well as to God.

Don't get me wrong. I have mixed feelings about it because I understand the need for renewal, reformation and even rebellion, even in Christ's Church. But any possibility of reconciliation seems to have been ruled out in the run-up to this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Settlement_1701
Which was followed closely by this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1703

Yet, reconciliation is important. Even Putin puts himself in a position of submission to the Russian Orthodox Church and stands, shoulder-to-shoulder, with other churchgoers in front of the Blessed Sacrament, as a believer and subject.

Queen Elizabeth is a good Christian Monarch, but not in the traditional sense. She was not crowned by Christ's Universal Church (or any church claiming to be), but by an Archbishop of HER church. She may as well have put the crown on her own head. She promotes HER church of which she is the supreme leader, and her family, which is the Hanover Family of Germany, has actively suppressed much of the wider Church.

But nobody's perfect. I don't mean any offense or mean to be overly critical. I'm only speaking up because I think LSP is right that the wider Church could actually be promoted MORE by Putin, who is setting himself up to be a Monarch in the sense of Christian tradition even more so than Elizabeth2.

LSP said...

Grunt, I'll leave BW to answer that but I think you're right. And look what's happened to state churches.

They've all conformed, unsurprisingly, to the State. That, in this instance, means becoming rainbow rider atheist. Hard enough for the Ubi Petrus ibi Ecclesia crew to stay on the straight and narrow, much less anything at a remove from that rock...

Still, if I were HRH I'd exercise some prerogative, chop a few bishops heads off (sorry Athenaeum Club) and reunite with the rest of the Church East and West.

BW... your turn.

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

You make a good point about state churches, LSP. They fail, and often fail utterly. Unfortunately, the Universal Church contenders often fail in many ways, pretty regularly. I'm not very happy with my own pontiff right now, and the other Orthodox Patriarchs have, perhaps, failed to put the Sack of Constantinople behind them, or we'd have a much more united and universal Church for HRH to attempt to unite with. I can hardly blame her for not being interested. The Devil works on us all pretty tirelessly, it seems. Still, I can't get 1 Cor.1:10 out of my head.

LSP said...

Well said, Grunt.

But look, I don't want to seem unnecessarily belligerent, but let's have Constantinople back. And Hagia Sophia. As LL likes to say, "We need the Bosphorus."

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

We do, indeed!

LSP said...

I might have to start a "popular grassroots campaign", Grunt...