Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

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What generally desribes your religious beliefs?

Agnosticism
6
8%
Atheism
32
42%
Bahá'í Faith
0
No votes
Buddhism
1
1%
Christianity (including LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses)
8
11%
Confucianism
0
No votes
Hinduism
1
1%
Islam
1
1%
Jainism
0
No votes
Judaism
3
4%
Shinto
0
No votes
Sikhism
0
No votes
Taoism
1
1%
European polytheism
3
4%
Wicca
0
No votes
New Age spirituality
1
1%
Other
6
8%
None
13
17%
 
Total votes: 76

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Varislintu
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Varislintu » 2013-08-25, 19:36

yggdrasil wrote: BTW, if you support cursing in a church I would ask you about the details of that particular "ideology" you sympathize.


One where young people making a stand against ideas and policies loudly but nonviolently doesn't land them forced labour for two years.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-25, 19:37

Varislintu wrote:Heh, I recently saw a documentary on the Pussy Riot case. In it, I saw these Russian Orthodox men from some kind of Orthodox fan club. They had beards, but dressed a bit like bikers,and on their black shirts there were skulls and the text "Orthodoxy or death". They walked around carrying enormous crucifixes and other symbols. I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cry, or just be stunned.

They were saying how mortally offended their religious beliefs were by Pussy Riot, and how in the olden times, the girls would have been burned at the stake.

If I have to choose, my sympathies are with the ideology of the loud young women in colorful ski masks any day.


They are just really confused. In the olden times in Western Europe they would have been burned at the stake. In the olden times in Russia there was no capital punishment.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Varislintu » 2013-08-25, 19:40

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
They are just really confused. In the olden times in Western Europe they would have been burned at the stake. In the olden times in Russia there was no capital punishment.


Cool to learn, that's new to me. :)
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-25, 20:10

yggdrasil wrote:This is quite simple. Just let them go would be a real bad choice, because that would be perceived by them as an incentive to go further.

To do what? What heinous crimes do you think they are capable of? Murder?

Keep in mind that footage has been shown in the West of thugs attacking peaceful protestors in Moscow and St Petersburg while Russian police look on or even join in. It doesn't make sense to us that they are allowed to do this while two young mothers get prison time for a protest in which no one was injured.

Moreover, I just don't buy slippery slope arguments of this kind. You can justify arresting virtually anyone by saying it was done to prevent some possible future crime. But that's not how it works in a free society.

yggdrasil wrote:What they did was actually an insult to millions of believers and non-belivers as well. How could it be otherwise?

Wait, that's a crime in Russia? So why hasn't Aleksei Zorin been prosecuted for saying "We deplore those who are led astray--those Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ's robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ's holy coat." Don't you think that 800 million Protestants would find it an "insult" to be compared to the heathens who killed their Lord and Saviour?

yggdrasil wrote:They performed an act of vandalism in a place, which is perceived as the most sacred by many Orthodox believers.

What did they vandalise? What was the value of property damage you claim they did? (Again, in my country, vandalism is routinely punished with a fine: The value of the property plus court costs and an added penalty. Why wasn't that appropriate here?)

yggdrasil wrote:This is a cold-blooded calculation. And that must have been stopped. Next time they will think twice before doing anything of that kind.

What do you mean by "doing anything of that kind"? Exercising free speech rights in public?

yggdrasil wrote:It is quite understandable that the outside world does not understand the essense of the conflict and tend to see Pussy Riot as minor offenders. In fact this was an act of spiritual war. BTW, the name of the group is VOINA, which speaks for itself.

"Spiritual war"? What does that even mean? If it's spiritual, it can be handled in the spiritual realm. God can strike them down and cast them into the fiery pit all on his own if he chooses to, he doesn't need the Russian state to come to his aid (unless everything the Christians have taught about his powers all this time is just some hollow lie).

But this is exactly what I was talking about in the post your first quoted: The Russian Orthodox Church has an unhealthily close relationship with the Russian state, close enough that it can enlist it to fight its "spiritual battles". We used to do that in the West, too. Then after the Thirty Years' War, where something like 20% of the population of Central Europe perished, we decided it wasn't such a great idea after all.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Varislintu » 2013-08-26, 8:30

yggdrasil wrote:Actually one has not to chose between those "girls" and these "guys".


Well, that's true, but in the end it boils down to two sides:

One side which is 'offended', thinks their buildings can be more important than people, wants not justice (a reasonable sentence, like a fine and possibly an apology [which they got in this case, but which meant nothing to them]) but revenge (teach them a lesson no matter what the law says, make sure they suffer because we were offended), wants conservative values respected and protected by heavy consequences, wants conservative values to be the only acceptable values in their society and the only thing that is allowed to be vocally supported, etc.

And an other side, where there are people who want to be able to protest the status quo and try to change all the things they see that are very wrong with it (how the church and state are too close, how patriarchal religion is the only accepted kind of religion, how Putin has too much power, how people are hypochritical in how they want to hide sex and sexuality when everyone has it and does it anyway, etc).

Of these two roughly defined sides, my own views land me on the latter, the one that wants more openness and honesty and freedom. It must be suffocating to have liberal, secular or feminist opinions in the current Russian cultural atmosphere. It's not surprising that a group has enough and pulls a stunt like flash mobbing a church to play critical punk music. It's like an inevitable consequence, and a reasonable society (especially one which is supposed to have Christian values) would have some compassion and understanding for it.

The women from Pussy Riot said in the documentary I saw that when the group was forming, the idea of ski masks came up, but someone said "We can't wear black ski masks, people will think we're some kind of bad guys". So they decided to wear colourful ones. But apparently protest performance stunts like this are an unfamiliar phenomenon in Russia (whereas in the West this kind of thing has long traditions), so they were harshly condemned by the public anyway.

Still, I'm glad if the Orthodoxy or Death guys are seen as weirdos by ordinary Russians. That's a relief.
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-27, 19:18

linguoboy wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:This is quite simple. Just let them go would be a real bad choice, because that would be perceived by them as an incentive to go further.

To do what? What heinous crimes do you think they are capable of? Murder?

Keep in mind that footage has been shown in the West of thugs attacking peaceful protestors in Moscow and St Petersburg while Russian police look on or even join in. It doesn't make sense to us that they are allowed to do this while two young mothers get prison time for a protest in which no one was injured.

Moreover, I just don't buy slippery slope arguments of this kind. You can justify arresting virtually anyone by saying it was done to prevent some possible future crime. But that's not how it works in a free society.


I think they are capable of vulgar idiotic stunts. Unfortunately for them that does not make imune to legal persecution. As for the policemen who allegedly joined the attackers if that was true they must be stripped of their ranks and decorations and kicked out of the police for incompetence.

yggdrasil wrote:What they did was actually an insult to millions of believers and non-belivers as well. How could it be otherwise?

Wait, that's a crime in Russia? So why hasn't Aleksei Zorin been prosecuted for saying "We deplore those who are led astray--those Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ's robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ's holy coat." Don't you think that 800 million Protestants would find it an "insult" to be compared to the heathens who killed their Lord and Saviour?


Why not? If it were prohibited by law it would be absolutely legal to persecute him for his words when he appeared on a territory under particular jurisdiction.

yggdrasil wrote:They performed an act of vandalism in a place, which is perceived as the most sacred by many Orthodox believers.

What did they vandalise? What was the value of property damage you claim they did? (Again, in my country, vandalism is routinely punished with a fine: The value of the property plus court costs and an added penalty. Why wasn't that appropriate here?)


You don't understand? Of course they have not destroyed anything material. But do you think that only material objects should be protected from attacks? What about peoples feelings? I don't think a fine would stop them. Their previous "artistic career" has proved it clearly.

yggdrasil wrote:This is a cold-blooded calculation. And that must have been stopped. Next time they will think twice before doing anything of that kind.

What do you mean by "doing anything of that kind"? Exercising free speech rights in public?


Do you agree that freedom of speech has its limits? For example this forum has clear-cut rules of conduct. If someone started insulting other members using derogatory language he/she would be immediately banned. And it served him/her right.

yggdrasil wrote:It is quite understandable that the outside world does not understand the essense of the conflict and tend to see Pussy Riot as minor offenders. In fact this was an act of spiritual war. BTW, the name of the group is VOINA, which speaks for itself.

"Spiritual war"? What does that even mean? If it's spiritual, it can be handled in the spiritual realm. God can strike them down and cast them into the fiery pit all on his own if he chooses to, he doesn't need the Russian state to come to his aid (unless everything the Christians have taught about his powers all this time is just some hollow lie).


The duty of the Russian state is to protect peace and order in the society. If it does not we don't need such state.

But this is exactly what I was talking about in the post your first quoted: The Russian Orthodox Church has an unhealthily close relationship with the Russian state, close enough that it can enlist it to fight its "spiritual battles". We used to do that in the West, too. Then after the Thirty Years' War, where something like 20% of the population of Central Europe perished, we decided it wasn't such a great idea after all.


You judge from your own perspective. Russia has lived through a different history. I know you even burned your witches at the stake, while we did not. We even learned somehow to live with them in harmony :-)
After all it is up to us to decide what is healthy and what is not for our own society.
You have not presented any proof of why exactly it is harmful to the society when the church has close relationships with the state. BTW, I don't think they are too close.

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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby Saim » 2013-08-27, 20:56

yggdrasil wrote:I know you even burned your witches at the stake, while we did not.

Don't forget that they lynched Negroes, too!

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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-27, 21:59

Saim wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:I know you even burned your witches at the stake, while we did not.

Don't forget that they lynched Negroes, too!


Thanks! I tried to be polite... But if you say so...

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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-28, 0:17

yggdrasil wrote:Unfortunately for them that does not make imune to legal persecution.

Ah, so looks like we may be in agreement after all!

yggdrasil wrote:As for the policemen who allegedly joined the attackers if that was true they must be stripped of their ranks and decorations and kicked out of the police for incompetence.

Here's an example. Were the Marines who attacked a peaceful protester stripped of their ranks and discharged? You're in a better position to find out than I am.

yggdrasil wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:What they did was actually an insult to millions of believers and non-belivers as well. How could it be otherwise?

Wait, that's a crime in Russia? So why hasn't Aleksei Zorin been prosecuted for saying "We deplore those who are led astray--those Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ's robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ's holy coat." Don't you think that 800 million Protestants would find it an "insult" to be compared to the heathens who killed their Lord and Saviour?

Why not? If it were prohibited by law it would be absolutely legal to persecute him for his words when he appeared on a territory under particular jurisdiction.

What do you mean "if it were"? You brought up Pussy Riot's alleged "insult to believers" as the reason for their arrest and prosecution. If that's reason enough to arrest them, why isn't it reason to arrest Zorin?

yggdrasil wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:They performed an act of vandalism in a place, which is perceived as the most sacred by many Orthodox believers.

What did they vandalise? What was the value of property damage you claim they did? (Again, in my country, vandalism is routinely punished with a fine: The value of the property plus court costs and an added penalty. Why wasn't that appropriate here?)

You don't understand? Of course they have not destroyed anything material. But do you think that only material objects should be protected from attacks? What about peoples feelings?

What about them? You can't help hurting people's feelings. It happens all the time. Should the state get involved every time two friends have an argument? Show me where in the УК РФ is says it's a crime to "hurt people's feelings".

yggdrasil wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:This is a cold-blooded calculation. And that must have been stopped. Next time they will think twice before doing anything of that kind.

What do you mean by "doing anything of that kind"? Exercising free speech rights in public?

Do you agree that freedom of speech has its limits? For example this forum has clear-cut rules of conduct. If someone started insulting other members using derogatory language he/she would be immediately banned. And it served him/her right.

It's a poor comparison. You have to choose to join this forum. When you register, you agree to abide by the code of conduct, which is clearly spelled out. If you don't like it, there are thousands of other fora you can join instead--or you can blog your ideas, or tweet them, or post them on a social network like Facebook or LiveJournal.

It's totally different when we're talking about limits to free expression in society at large. The state's responsibility is to prevent real measurable harm. That's why you aren't allowed to seriously threaten somebody with rape or murder or say things which will cause a stampede in a public place. I keep asking you what harm came of Pussy Riot's actions and literally the only thing you can come up with is, "They hurt my feelings." In that case, go ask your mama for a hug.

yggdrasil wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:It is quite understandable that the outside world does not understand the essense of the conflict and tend to see Pussy Riot as minor offenders. In fact this was an act of spiritual war. BTW, the name of the group is VOINA, which speaks for itself.

"Spiritual war"? What does that even mean? If it's spiritual, it can be handled in the spiritual realm. God can strike them down and cast them into the fiery pit all on his own if he chooses to, he doesn't need the Russian state to come to his aid (unless everything the Christians have taught about his powers all this time is just some hollow lie).

The duty of the Russian state is to protect peace and order in the society. If it does not we don't need such state.

This isn't an answer to the question I asked.


yggdrasil wrote:
But this is exactly what I was talking about in the post your first quoted: The Russian Orthodox Church has an unhealthily close relationship with the Russian state, close enough that it can enlist it to fight its "spiritual battles". We used to do that in the West, too. Then after the Thirty Years' War, where something like 20% of the population of Central Europe perished, we decided it wasn't such a great idea after all.

You judge from your own perspective. Russia has lived through a different history. I know you even burned your witches at the stake, while we did not. We even learned somehow to live with them in harmony :-) After all it is up to us to decide what is healthy and what is not for our own society.
You have not presented any proof of why exactly it is harmful to the society when the church has close relationships with the state. BTW, I don't think they are too close.

Young mothers locked away in prison because old men in robes demanded it? I think that's a pretty clear cut example of harm. Moreover, the Orthodox Church uses its influence with Kremlin to get privileges and gifts which are denied to other religions, who find it difficult even to find places to worship without harassment from the government.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 13:59

Yggdrasil has touched on an interesting issue that I have thought somewhat about. Is "the West" carrying something of a white man's burden? I do realize that Linguoboy and the rest of you are convinced that it would be best (for everyone in the world) to become much more tolerant and democratic, to respect human rights and accept some, if not all "Western" values. Hell, even I think that. But, your ancestors were spreading Christianity, Christian morality and civilization to the savages because they too were convinced that by doing that they are actually helping people. They thought that they helped a lot, just like you think that you are helping a lot. But how much did they really help, seen from the perspective of the savages? How much are you really helping, seen from the perspective of the non-Westerners?

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Marah » 2013-08-28, 14:21

From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-28, 14:33

Marah wrote:From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.

This. As Varislintu says, there are, broadly speaking, two sides: those who are beating people in the streets and those are being beaten. In this situation, I'm on the side of those being beaten and I don't really care whether what's best for them is also best for the thugs and hooligans (or for the quiet majority who, by not vocally opposing their violence--and in fact supporting the policies which encourage it--are tacitly enabling them).
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 14:53

Marah wrote:From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.

Even that is questionable. If you look at it more closely, it was Peter I, the great modernizer (read: westernizer) of Russia, who banned gays from joining the military and began the tradition of stately discrimination of gays, followed by Nicholas I who banned homosexual practices alltogether. Lenin removed all those bans. Who did Europe and USA like better?

In the modern days it was the Council of Europe who made Russia liberalize its laws regarding LGBT persons. Russia considers itself a superpower and a country for itself, not a follower, but a leader. Not, like Peter I who considered Russia to be a part of Europe, a very backwards part of Europe. Now, by doing what you are doing you are effectively trying to make Russia into a very backwards part of Europe. You are trying to force Russia to follow your rules instead of letting them make their own rules. They consider themselves a free and independent subject, while you consider only the West to be a free and independent subject and try to make Russia follow the will of the subject. This is among other things a power struggle and the reaction of Russians is a natural one: resistance.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 15:12

linguoboy wrote:
Marah wrote:From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.

This. As Varislintu says, there are, broadly speaking, two sides: those who are beating people in the streets and those are being beaten. In this situation, I'm on the side of those being beaten and I don't really care whether what's best for them is also best for the thugs and hooligans (or for the quiet majority who, by not vocally opposing their violence--and in fact supporting the policies which encourage it--are tacitly enabling them).

In what way is that viewing the issue from a different perspective?

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-28, 15:19

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Marah wrote:From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.

This. As Varislintu says, there are, broadly speaking, two sides: those who are beating people in the streets and those are being beaten. In this situation, I'm on the side of those being beaten and I don't really care whether what's best for them is also best for the thugs and hooligans (or for the quiet majority who, by not vocally opposing their violence--and in fact supporting the policies which encourage it--are tacitly enabling them).

In what way is that viewing the issue from a different perspective?

So what do you think the issue looks like from the perspective of the Russian gays and lesbians as opposed to from the perspective of the Russian heterosexual majority? Do you think they'd prefer we tell them, "Sorry, this is something your society needs to work out for itself"?
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 15:39

linguoboy wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Marah wrote:From the perspective of the gays I guess we're helping a lot.

This. As Varislintu says, there are, broadly speaking, two sides: those who are beating people in the streets and those are being beaten. In this situation, I'm on the side of those being beaten and I don't really care whether what's best for them is also best for the thugs and hooligans (or for the quiet majority who, by not vocally opposing their violence--and in fact supporting the policies which encourage it--are tacitly enabling them).

In what way is that viewing the issue from a different perspective?

So what do you think the issue looks like from the perspective of the Russian gays and lesbians as opposed to from the perspective of the Russian heterosexual majority? Do you think they'd prefer we tell them, "Sorry, this is something your society needs to work out for itself"?

Yes. What you are doing is making it worse. Europe and USA are Russia's rivals. By supporting the gays and lesbians you are making them into a tool in the hands of Europe and USA that is used to weaken Russia and destroy Russia's moral and cultural independence.

You see, it is all about power. You can either be strong and choose your own destiny yourself or weak and serve the goals of the strong. Russia wants to be strong while you're not allowing them to do that. LGBT-rights has become a symbol of that struggle. The only way to make Russians support LGBT-rights now would be to subjugate Russia, to return it to the Russia of the Yeltsin-era. And I don't see that happening in the near future.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-28, 16:06

Russia is not a superpower and the reason Russians get so nationalist is because their country lost most of its power and influence two decades ago and is only now recovering from it.
Yggdrasil has touched on an interesting issue that I have thought somewhat about. Is "the West" carrying something of a white man's burden? I do realize that Linguoboy and the rest of you are convinced that it would be best (for everyone in the world) to become much more tolerant and democratic, to respect human rights and accept some, if not all "Western" values. Hell, even I think that. But, your ancestors were spreading Christianity, Christian morality and civilization to the savages because they too were convinced that by doing that they are actually helping people. They thought that they helped a lot, just like you think that you are helping a lot. But how much did they really help, seen from the perspective of the savages? How much are you really helping, seen from the perspective of the non-Westerners?
No, because a) those aren't Western values, but universally applicable and b) they're moral values, not a religion. I don't think many people believe in spreading them by force, so that's another way they differ from Christianization.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-08-28, 16:42

mōdgethanc wrote:Russia is not a superpower and the reason Russians get so nationalist is because their country lost most of its power and influence two decades ago and is only now recovering from it.

I said that Russians consider Russia a superpower. Russia has been recovering ever since Putin came to power and all this Putin-hate coming from the West is seen by many as an attempt to keep Russia weak and submissive. Majority of Russians don't want that, they want a strong and dominant Russia that won't have to do what foreigners say. A Russia that would be strong enough to decide for itself what it wants or doesn't want to do. LGBT-rights is a battle about that. If Russians give in to foreign pressures it would be considered a defeat and acceptance of submission to the West.

mōdgethanc wrote:No, because a) those aren't Western values, but universally applicable and b) they're moral values, not a religion. I don't think many people believe in spreading them by force, so that's another way they differ from Christianization.

a) Christianity is neither a Jewish, nor a European religion, it is universally applicable too. And yes, those values are Western, they come from the time of Enlightenment (a Western phenomenon) and have been in constant evolution ever since. Universality has always been a part of it, though.
b) Secularization is also a European phenomenon and one of the European values that should be spread alongside other moral values. What difference does it make if it's not a religous moral system, but a secular one? The West is spreading them mostly, but not always, with soft power. When that doesn't work, then they try coercion.

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linguoboy
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-28, 16:46

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
linguoboy wrote:So what do you think the issue looks like from the perspective of the Russian gays and lesbians as opposed to from the perspective of the Russian heterosexual majority? Do you think they'd prefer we tell them, "Sorry, this is something your society needs to work out for itself"?

Yes.

Sorry, but could you actually quote some LGBTQ activists in Russia saying that? I've heard criticism of the tactics adopted by Western activists from them (such as focussing on Stoli instead of campaigning for travel restrictions on anti-gay politicians) but I haven't seen any of them quoted as saying, "We've got this, stay out of it."

Ludwig Whitby wrote:What you are doing is making it worse. Europe and USA are Russia's rivals. By supporting the gays and lesbians you are making them into a tool in the hands of Europe and USA that is used to weaken Russia and destroy Russia's moral and cultural independence.

Why is that "weakening Russia"? Did it "weaken Switzerland" to adopt full women's suffrage? (Something Russian women had before American women, I might add.) Was it wrong to put external pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid? Did that destroy their "moral and cultural independence"?

Ludwig Whitby wrote:You see, it is all about power. You can either be strong and choose your own destiny yourself or weak and serve the goals of the strong. Russia wants to be strong while you're not allowing them to do that.

That's part of the problem: Russia can only view the struggle in an oppositional, zero-sum manner. If doing what's right happens to be something the West wants, then this is a "victory" for them and a "loss" for Russia.

Moreover, this whole view of a country as an organism with its own "destiny" is simply nonsense anyway. "Russia" is a high-order abstraction; Russians are actual people. Here we have a situation where a majority of the people living in Russia are oppressing a minority there. What about the rights of that minority to choose their own destiny (i.e. live, love, work--even marry and have a family if they want to)? Why should the need for "Russia" (as represented by the political elite) to exercise power and autonomy trump the need of Russian citizens to do the same.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Yasna » 2013-08-28, 17:01

I think standing up for oppressed people in countries like Russia or Iran is in principle a good thing. But it can be and is often overdone by countries like the U.S. and Britain. And when it is overdone, the knee-jerk reaction from Russia or other countries is often to paint those oppressed people as pawns of foreign powers and to be even more oppressive towards them. This can also have the effect of quelling whatever domestic social change was underway because no one wants to be associated with pawns of foreign powers. For example in the case of the American crusade for human rights in Iran over the past 30 years, I can't see an ounce of good that has come of it.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka


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