New on AlterNet: The Religious Right Loves Putin

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Meet the American Religious Right Figures Thrilled by Russia’s Brutal Anti-Gay Laws. In it, I report on Russia’s sharp turn towards authoritarianism, its government’s violent and repressive anti-LGBT laws, and the American religious right figures who couldn’t be happier about it all. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:

Russia has become a dangerous place for dissent. Its ex-KGB president, Vladimir Putin, has accomplished what Republicans in America only dream of: he’s built an electoral majority by appealing to the most religious and conservative elements of society, including by courting the alliance of the Russian Orthodox Church. With his victories, he’s becoming increasingly autocratic, dispensing with even the pretense of democracy.

Besides his notorious sidestepping of term-limit laws, he’s presided over show-trial prosecutions of political opponents and reformers on flimsy or trumped-up charges. He’s brought down the wrath of the state against artists who mock religion. He’s looked the other way as crusading journalists have been brutally beaten and murdered, and his government may have been directly involved in at least one such killing. In the classic tactic of dictators everywhere, he’s diverting attention from his own authoritarianism by painting a marginalized minority as a powerful and sinister enemy corrupting society from within. In this case, the invented enemy is Russia’s LGBT community.

Continue reading on AlterNet…

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Fractal Heretic

    The only thing more horrifying than witnessing these atrocities is hearing the sound of applause from behind you.

  • Religious Right Watch

    RRW will highlight this article Sep. 23.

  • L.Long

    The Fundies have been so slapped down from the middle ages, they can’t hate much of anything anymore. The gay is about it. The nice thing about the gay is that the latest group they use to hate – Blacks – have joined the joined the fundies in their hate, even though the fundies still hate the blacks.
    I just wished the xtian sheeple would realize that what is in the middle east and in russia is what the fundies want HERE!!!
    With the states controlling what is happening about the gays and abortion, we are getting the russia thing here one state at a time.

  • Andrew

    I propose an exchange program: their LGBT folks for our fundies.

  • Jason Wexler

    That doesn’t really work well for Russia or the fundies… Russia losses out on a category of people to scapegoat and marginalize, and the fundies end up someplace where their unwillingness to speak anything but English won’t be tolerated.

  • Alice Robertson

    My nephew lives there and doesn’t recognize the statements in this article. But with Putin getting divorced how does that tie in with all those fundies who are supposedly overjoyed with glee over the purported new turn right?

  • Y. A. Warren

    If the Christians are still attempting to find an anti-Christ, perhaps Putin is their man.

  • Ani J. Sharmin

    Excellent article. The people who support the religious persecution in Russia have a weird contradiction within their claims. They try to claim, for here in the USA, that their discriminatory beliefs don’t actually have bad effects, that they don’t want to hurt anyone, that they just care about “traditions” and “family values” and so on and so forth. They say they would never do stuff like use violence or put people in jail, they “just” don’t want them to get married and have certain legal rights. But then, even when they see stuff where violence is happening, they support it. Or they think the violence and persecution is an acceptable price to pay, if it means stopping same-sex marriage.

    I think I made this point in response to a different post of yours (“The Harms of Same-Sex Marriage”), but to repeat: A non-Christian group that did this (spoke positively about a theocracy of their own religion, especially if it was one that persecutes Christian) would be accused of supporting terrorism and violating human rights.