Why the Christian Right Loves Putin

Why the Christian Right Loves Putin December 11, 2017

One of the reasons why the Christian right supports Donald Trump so strongly may be because of his affinity for Vladimir Putin, a man some (but not all) of them view as leading a return to traditional Christian values (bigotry, mainly). Roy Moore expressed that attitude perfectly a few months ago:


In August, Roy Moore told an interviewer that the United States was “the focus of evil in the modern world,” because “we promote a lot of very bad things,” such as same-sex marriage. Told by the interviewer that Vladimir Putin makes the same argument, Moore replied, “Maybe Putin is right.” The interview has resurfaced on social media. This is not a strange, discursive gaffe. Like many of Moore’s controversial utterances, this is a more blunt and more extreme formulation of a recognizable strand of right-wing conservative thought.

Vladimir Putin has cultivated a role as the leader of an international far-right movement. Earlier this year, Franklin Foer detailed the ideological and geopolitical currents that allowed the Russian dictator to assume this role. “A 2013 paper from the Center for Strategic Communications, a pro-Kremlin think tank, observed that large patches of the West despised feminism and the gay-rights movement and, more generally, the progressive direction in which elites had pushed their societies,” he wrote. And so Putin “could become,” as the paper’s title blared, ‘The New World Leader of Conservatism.’”

But not just conservatism, specifically Christian conservatism. Despite his own background as head of he KGB during the last days of the Soviet Union, they view Putin as leading a Christian revolution against godless communism. The truth, of course, is that Putin reestablished the Russian Orthodox church largely because it is a useful tool of social control for him. Like Trump, he uses religion as a tool of political manipulation but otherwise couldn’t are less about it.

But the Christian right is easily conned. You couldn’t ask for an easier group of marks to con out of their money or their freedom. That’s why you get people like Bryan Fischer declaring Putin to be the “lion of Christianity.” It’s about raw political power, which they crave badly. And it’s about their crying need for a harsh daddy figure to control everything, which is pretty much the basis of their entire religion.

And let’s also note the incredible irony of the same people who lose their damn minds over Obama’s mythical “apology tour” but then call America the focus of evil in the world. As always, it reminds me of this brilliant bit by David Cross:

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