29 November 2015

Putin's Christian crusader

After 9/11, the Americans declared war on terrorism. Now Russia has gone them one better. According to the Very Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, prominent spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, “The fight with terrorism is a holy battle, and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it.” So it’s official. Christianity has spoken. We are on a crusade and Putin wears the cross.

ISIS has already responded to the challenge, claiming responsibility for the bombing of the Russian passenger jet which went down in the Sinai and triumphantly celebrating the deaths of the “Russian crusaders.” Russia has acknowledged that the airliner was brought down by fighters challenged, at least in part, by Chaplin’s “holy battle” comment.

And if ISIS welcomed the deaths of 224 people, including children, so did Archpriest Chaplin. He explained, “The plane crash in Egypt was necessary for Russian society. Society saw death and realized that life in pursuit of entertainment, material well-being, holidays, and so on, is the incorrect way to live. ... If a person does not understand this, then God will remind him of it.” So there you go. God cannot let a vacation in the sun go unpunished.

Aside from war-mongering, gay-bashing and evolution-denying, Chaplin refuses to pray with Christians of other denominations. This idiot priest sounds not a little like his counterparts in ISIS, a reminder that Christianity, too, has its depraved zealots.

Vladimir Putin has made a considerable effort to restore the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, frequently commenting on the importance his deep Christian faith holds for him. If Archpriest Chaplin is any example, the Church is a good fit with a former KGB thug.

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