Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lucia Putin co-opting conservatism and religious messianism gather world-wide support and sympathy

A new Forbes article (Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox Church And Russian Exceptionalism makes shocking reading.

[...W]hile much attention has been paid to the growing authoritarianism of the Kremlin and on the support for Putin’s regime on the part of the Russian oligarchs whom Putin has enriched through his crony capitalism, little has been paid to the equally critical role of the Russian Orthodox Church in helping to shape Russia’s current system, and in supporting Putin’s regime and publicly conflating the mission of the Russian state under Vladimir Putin’s leadership with the mission of the Church. Putin’s move in close coordination with the Russian Orthodox Church to sacralize the Russian national identity has been a key factor shaping the increasingly authoritarian bent of the Russian government under Putin, and strengthening his public support, and must be understood in order to understand Russia’s international behavior.

The close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Russian state based upon a shared, theologically-informed vision of Russian exceptionalism is not a new phenomenon. During the days of the Czar, the Russian ruler was seen as God’s chosen ruler of a Russian nation tasked with representing a unique set of value embodied by Russian Orthodoxy, and was revered as “the Holy Orthodox Czar”. Today, a not dissimilar vision of Russian exceptionalism is once again shared by the ROC and the Kremlin, and many Russians are beginning to see Vladimir Putin in a similar vein – a perception encouraged both by Putin and by the Church, each of which sees the other as a valuable political ally and sees their respective missions as being interrelated.

John Schindler wrote something similar at the end of 2014: Putin’s Orthodox Jihad, while as Brian Whitmore (of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty from) wrote Vladimir Putin, Conservative Icon a few months earlier. I strongly recommend interested readers go through both of these articles as well, for much of what these authors talk about are patterns that I myself have noticed.

As many readers of this blog know, one of my co-bloggers has very strong Russian Orthodox beliefs and has exhibited on numerous occasions a type of Putin hero worship. Therefore, he and I existing on the same blog after Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year has created a rift between us, so to speak.

Fulton Sheen, many years ago predicted that in the future there would be a co-opting of Christianity to political aims. It seems to be a very constant temptation. The Russian Orthodox Church and Putin are doing this very thing. Rather than the ROC being a balancing religious voice in Russia acting as a moral brake on the excessive authoritarian tendencies of the Kremlin, it instead acts as an enforcer of the politics.

Putin has also tried to make himself look like a conservative, moral and religious man; but it's as if he is playing a part rather than living these aims. The conservatism, morality and religious sentiment is very shallow. All of it was pretty much obvious to me prior to the Ukraine invasion, but I ignored it. I thought the man is trying, I'll let him be and not criticise. After all you have to give people a chance, despite how something looks.

No more chances now, though. With everything that has happened, Putin is looking more and more like another anti-Christ than a reincarnation of St Paul, as is believed by some in Russia.

4 comment(s):

Andrei said...

Putin has also tried to make himself look like a conservative, moral and religious man; but it's as if he is playing a part rather than living these aims. The conservatism, morality and religious sentiment is very shallow.

Oh dear Lucia Maria, do you really think you know the state of Vladimir Putin's soul better than Our Lord Jesus Christ?

Do you think a hack reporter working for a newspaper owned by a rich wall street banker and sometime politician does?

The title of the piece is pure projection: "(Un)Holy Alliance: Vladimir Putin, The Russian Orthodox Church And Russian Exceptionalism"

Russian Exceptionalism is a term that has never been used by any Russian politician or writer to my knowledge, rather it is "American exceptionalism" we hear bandied about on a regular basis

What is talked of is Russian Civilization and in this context Russian Orthodoxy is considered part of that civilization, so is Islam, interestingly enough as well Judaism and Buddhism.

Unlike the secular post Christian West religion is considered part of society, not something to be hidden away and that religious belief has something to add to the development of a well ordered. peaceful, functioning society populated by civic minded citizens.

The post below mentioned the ancient Russian city of Kazan, what it didn't say was that the population of Kazan is a 50/50 split between Russian Orthodox people and Muslims who have there lived side by side there in peace for more than 500 years - that is Russian civilization at its best.

I heard a discussion on the radio earlier today about Ireland's referendum of "Gay Marriage" and the commenters were positively gloating how the Catholic Church in Ireland had been marginalized in this debate due to the "sex abuse scandal" and most likely their view would not have any impact on the result

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSX2ALtIejw

Lucia Maria said...

Andrei,

Oh dear Lucia Maria, do you really think you know the state of Vladimir Putin's soul better than Our Lord Jesus Christ?

No. Maybe Our Lord sees some good in the man, because I don't. He speaks lies and acts in the exact opposite way a good Christian man would.

When he does speak truth it's only to use it to his ends, as in all the stuff about Christian civilisation. It's a means to gather those who believe in all that stuff to himself, yet those doing so are following a false prophet.

Colin Craig tried to do a similar thing in NZ, co-opt conservatism to get himself into power. Yet it was always about him and not the greater good, and it's the same on a much larger scale with Putin.

The post below mentioned the ancient Russian city of Kazan, what it
didn't say was that the population of Kazan is a 50/50 split between
Russian Orthodox people and Muslims who have there lived side by side
there in peace for more than 500 years - that is Russian civilization at
its best.

Great.

I heard a discussion on the radio earlier today about Ireland's
referendum of "Gay Marriage" and the commenters were positively gloating
how the Catholic Church in Ireland had been marginalized in this
debate due to the "sex abuse scandal" and most likely their view would not have any impact on the result

Yes, that is something that the West going through right now, as I well know. That clip that you've given, with Putin saying, "...there is no place for sovereign states. Such a world needs merely vassals." Well, that sums up his worldview right there.

Andrei said...

Ireland has said 'yes' to gay marriage and 'no' to Catholicism




The Irish referendum on gay marriage was about more than just gay marriage. It
was a politically trendy, media backed, well financed howl of rage against
Catholicism

Mainstream Mike said...

Right. And such a disaster would never, ever, be permitted in Russia under Putin. The fact of the matter is that Putin is far stronger in support of all kinds of traditional Christianity than any Western leader (except perhaps Netanyahu)

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