Classes were cancelled today, and I also forgot to bring my external hard drive home. So now all I can do is blog and cook. Which wouldn't be that bad if it happened at any point in the semester. Well, I'll stop complaining now.
My reader Canukistani brought it to my attention that the most recent bizarre pronouncement by a priest of the increasingly radicalized Russian Orthodox Church has made the news in the US:
A top official for the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday proposed creating an “all-Russian dress code,” lashing out at women who leave the house “painted like a clown” and “confuse the street with striptease.” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has angered women’s groups recently with his comments about female modesty. At a December round table on interethnic relations, he said a woman wearing a miniskirt “can provoke not only a man from the Caucasus,” the predominately Muslim region on Russia’s southern border, “but a Russian man as well.” “If she is drunk on top of that, she will provoke him even more,” he said. “If she is actively inviting contact, and then is surprised that this contact ends with a rape, she is all the more at fault.”
This nice Christian priest is convinced that victims of rape are responsible for the actions of their rapists and has no problem with saying it in public. The same high-ranking Russian Orthodox Church official recently suggested that the way women dress today resulted in
to short-term marriages, which are immediately followed by ratlike divorces, to the destruction of children’s lives, to solitude and madness, to life-catastrophe.
It's easy to dismiss Chaplin as a crazed individual who is experiencing a very public psychotic break. However, to think so would entail underestimating the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in the country.
Russian Orthodox Church has a history that is nothing less than shameful. It collaborated with every oppressive regime that ever existed in the country. During Soviet times, Orthodox priests collaborated with the secret police. They routinely broke the seal of confession and informed on the parishioners who questioned the regime. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Church has been making money by engaging in untaxed sales of alcohol and cigarettes. Just think about it. The same Church whose officials blame destruction of lives on women's clothing thinks nothing of selling alcohol and cigarettes in a country where mortality rates due to alcoholism are sky-high.
Russian Orthodox Church uses its influence with the Russian government to promote discrimination against people of other religious persuasions in a country that is supposed to be secular. It routinely opposes all measures to promote contraception and introduce sex ed classes for high school students. The Church also promotes a profoundly nationalistic rhetoric that often borders on fascist. In short, it is one of many institutions that help turn Russia into a racist, fascist, misogynist state.