Patriarch Kirill Blasts Gays

In characteristically vigorous language, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has blasted gays, describing their behavior as symptomatic of the end of the world and a contributing factor in the downfall of societies.

Speaking in July, after a liturgy in Moscow’s Kazan cathedral, Kirill weighed in against so-called gay marriage rituals, “This is a very dangerous apocalyptic symptom, and we must do everything in our powers to ensure that sin is never sanctioned in Russia by state law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on a path of self-destruction.”

Kirill went on to urge Russians to fight against sin and defend freedom, “fight for freedom from sins. Where sin is elected through freedom, there comes death, terror and dictatorship.”

According to polls, 58% of Russians believe that homosexuality is wrong and should be criminalized. In keeping with this, Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has cracked down on gay behavior, passing several laws against it.

On July 3, it became illegal for Russian-born children to be adopted by gay couples, or by anyone living in countries that allow gay marriage. Another recent ruling has made it a crime to promote gay lifestyles and engage in “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” Anyone guilty of pro-gay propaganda will be liable to a fine of up to 5,000 roubles for an individual and 1 million roubles for an organization.

These measures have sparked outrage in the U.S. media. Popular talk show host, Jay Leno, described the draconian Russian laws as Nazi, “Suddenly, homosexuality is against the law. I mean, this seems like Germany. Let’s round up the Jews. Let’s round up the gays. ... I mean, it starts like that.”

The Washington Post described Putin’s anti-gay stance as “medieval” and “part and parcel of his lapse into xenophobia, religious chauvinism and general intolerance.” President Obama also reacted strongly. 

“I have no patience for countries that treat gays or lesbians ... in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them,” said President Obama, “Nobody is more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you’ve been seeing in Russia.”

While the U.S. President stopped short of withdrawing from Russia’s upcoming Winter Olympics, he stated that Russia would win more sporting events if it allowed more gay athletes. Some, such as the L.A. Times, suggest that Russia’s anti-homosexuality legislation amounts to the beginning of a new international conflict. 

“This all feels,” stated the politics section of the L.A. Times, “like just the start of a new international struggle. On one side are the mostly Western countries that are finally beginning to recognize the full citizenship rights of non-heterosexuals. On the other side are countries in Africa and the Islamic world where gays are subject to imprisonment or even a death sentence.”

Despite media and celebrity protest, none of the gay Western countries, such as England and America, show any sign of boycotting the 2014 Olympics. David Cameron, England’s Prime Minister, explained the reason for this in a Twitter message to Stephen Fry, who is famous for being gay and an actor. 

“I share your deep concern,” tweeted England’s Old Etonian leader, “about the abuse of gay people in Russia. However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting, the Winter Olympics.”

Regardless of these threats, Russia remains firmly behind its new Church-backed family values legislation and threatens to arrest anyone making a gay disturbance at the Olympic Games. 

“Law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbour a non-traditional sexual orientation so long as they do not promote homosexuality to minors, do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully,” stated a spokesman for Russia’s Interior Ministry.

Patriarch Kirill shows no sign of backing down in the face of pro-gay pressure from the Western nations and Russian Orthodox clergy are in agreement. 

Parish priests like Sergei Sveshnikov believe with Kirill that the gay movement is apocalyptic.

“How should the Orthodox Church approach such changes in the world today?” stated the Orthodox pastor, “All these changes show the apostasy, the decay and the irreversible processes of the corruption of society. In the words of Deacon A. Kuraev, temporal history will end with Christianity almost completely defeated, with the triumph of evil and the reign of the Antichrist (just as the earthly life of Christ ended with the triumph of the devil and of theocides), before the Resurrection and the advent of the ‘day without eve’ of the Kingdom of Heaven. So in this sense, this is to be expected anyway.”

Along with the Orthodox Church, Roman Catholicism teaches that homosexual behavior is sinful. Pope Benedict XVI taught that homosexuality was a “strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.” 

Traditional Anglicanism is in agreement with Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, distinguishing it from denominations like The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America.

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