Why The Christianist Right Loves Putin

Because he’s targeting gay freedom of expression and assembly:

“You admire some of the things they’re doing in Russia against propaganda,” said Austin Ruse, president of the U.S.-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. “On the other hand, you know it would be impossible to do that here … We want to let them know they do in fact have support among American NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on social issues,” he said.

Among others commending Russia’s anti-gay efforts was Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth,” LaBarbera said on his website.

I love that wistful line: “you know it would be impossible to do that here.” Damn that pesky First Amendment! Ruse, meanwhile, defends Putin at The Daily Caller. Richard Bartholomew has a must-read on the Orthodox-Christianist alliance for the fusion of church and state. Kirchick adds more detail:

“In an ironic reversal in time, as America has declared war on the church and Christians, Russians have come back to the church,” the Reverend Austin Miles wrote on the website of the Christian Coalition. “While America has allowed itself to be kicked into the gutter, Russia, the former Communist Soviet Union, has picked up the baton, rapped some knuckles and proclaimed sternly: ‘Do not foul religion or the church.’” What he and other defenders of Putin forgot to mention, however, was that the Pussy Riot protest was specifically aimed at the Church’s open and unapologetic collaboration with an undemocratic and oppressive regime.

So the next time you hear an American Christianist bemoaning gay freedom in this country, I suggest an old, familiar response to offer them: “Why don’t you just go to Russia? You’d love it there.”