Russian Orthodox Leader: Marriage Equality is a ‘Sign of the Apocalypse’

The end is near, and it’s full of rainbow-colored wedding cakes.

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, told churchgoers at Moscow’s Red Square this past weekend that marriage equality is a terrible, terrible sign of what’s to come:

Patriarch Kirill

This is a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse… It means people are choosing a path of self-destruction.”

It’s a strange thing for him to be worried about, considering Russia is so far from legalizing marriage equality it’s not even funny. More pressing is the law recently signed by President Vladimir Putin that bans “homosexual propaganda,” including any public discussion or promotion of homosexuality and giving information about homosexuality to minors. Such crimes are punishable with hefty fines or even jail time.

According to The Advocate, the government is wasting no time acting on the law, even for non-citizens:

Four Dutch tourists were arrested in northern Russia this weekend for allegedly violating that law while participating in a “Youth Human Rights Camp” that discussed LGBT issues, reports Russian news outlet LentaThe Holland natives were released without being charged on Sunday, but are apparently the first to be jailed over the nationwide ban, which Putin signed into law last month.

A Google translation of the Lenta report claims Russian immigration officials charged the group with violating its stated reason for being in the country — getting acquainted with local culture — when in fact the group was filming a documentary about LGBT life in the town of Murmansk. Lenta notes that Russian officials seized the filmmakers’ footage, alleging that the team interviewed an LGBT teenager who was 17.

And that’s in addition to the recent slew of attacks against LGBT people in Russia. Things are so bad, gay rights groups have called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The International Olympic Committee has said it will “work to ensure” Russia’s anti-gay laws don’t affect any LGBT participants in or spectators of the games, but it’s hard to tell just what that means. (Other groups, of course, are calling for an Olympic boycott over the Edward Snowden case, but that’s a whole different story.)

So basically, this priest has nothing to be worried about. The only apocalypse taking place is the hell that LGBT Russians are going through right now.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • C Peterson

    The apocalypse, eh? When all the “righteous” vanish from the Earth? Sounds good to me…

    • Mario Strada

      I know. Sometimes I wonder why the freeways, cliffs and tall building aren’t full of Christians trying to jump. In fact, if I were Christian I would want to do it as soon as I was “Born again” just to avoid committing more sins.

      I think after all many know it’s just bullshit they came up with.

      • allein

        Conveniently enough, suicide is also a sin. The powers that be won’t sell much religion if everyone gets saved and then offs themselves.

    • Michael W Busch

      Russian Orthodox Christianity doesn’t assert the idea of a rapture.

      • busterggi

        Give them time, western Protestanism didn’t assert the idea of a rapture until less than two centuries ago and it didn’t become mainstream with them until about a century ago.

        • John

          Orthodoxy doesn’t change pal.

          • Michael W Busch

            Orthodoxy does. But the Rapture is rather unique to particular Protestant sects, which happen to have been popular in the US.

  • UWIR

    “Russian officials seized the filmmakers’ footage, alleging that the team interviewed an LGBT teenager who was 17.”

    In these days of digital media, it seems to me that with the proper precautions, “seizing footage” should be a thing of the past. Note to anyone planning on filming anything in Russia: be sure to have lots of backups. Perhaps the filmmakers simply refrained from disabusing the officials from the notion that there was a single copy to “seize”?

    • cr0sh

      Ideally, you should be streaming from your camera wirelessly to a server outside of the jurisdiction you are in. Drop it on multiple cloud servers via TOR if you have to; encrypt it as well.

      • UWIR

        Unfortunately, the need for such precautions apply even in the US. Most states claim the right to prohibit secretly recording the police, and some places claim the right to prohibit openly recording the police. Even if a court later rules that the cop overstepped their authority by deleting your video, it’s still deleted.

        • ragarth

          I user the police tape app from the new jersey ACLU.

  • Rain

    Love the hat! Great for holidays.

    • CharlesInSoCal

      George Carlin on hats and religion:
      “I think all religions should have one rule: hats optional”

      • Rain

        It’s a great hat but why does it have pictures of Tom Cruise plastered all over it? Weird…

        • allein

          And are those ears or pigtails on the sides?

    • curtcameron

      It takes a lot of guts to pose for a serious photo wearing a Dogbert hat.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Did you notice the antenna on top, so he can get his signals from the lizard people?

  • SeekerLancer

    I never understood Christians and their view of the end of the world. Some days they want it to happen and some days they lament that it’s coming. I realize there are a lot of different sects with different beliefs but even within single sects many can’t seem to make up their minds.

    And ultimately it doesn’t matter if they want the apocalypse or not. If they believe this is all God’s plan and everything happens according to that plan then who are they to think they can interfere with that plan?

    • C Peterson

      Just like on a smaller scale they worry about their own deaths, while at the same time talking on about the wonderful afterlife that awaits them. Go figure.

      To be Christian requires a kind of schizophrenic viewpoint on life.

      • usclat

        Not “a kind of” but a definite schizophrenic view of life.

        • Michael W Busch

          No.

          Schizophrenia is a specific mental disorder. It is not the same as “asserting two mutually-contradicting beliefs” or “saying one thing while doing another”.

          You both were looking for a word such as “hypocritical”.

          • C Peterson

            “Schizophrenic” does not refer exclusively to a specific mental disorder. You should invest in a dictionary before your knee jerks so hard.

            • Stev84

              However, schizophrenia is very often confused with multiple-personality disorder. Schizophrenia is characterized by delusions, and often visual or auditory hallucinations. It does not mean having split personalities as often portrayed in popular media. That’s also where your use of the word comes from.

              • C Peterson

                Indeed. Nevertheless, one perfectly common and valid definition of “schizophrenic” is “maintaining contradictory or antagonistic qualities or beliefs”. It was the ideal word choice for my intended meaning (and “hypocritical” would have been entirely incorrect).

    • Stev84

      American fundamentalists are the most weird. They support Israel so it’s not destroyed in war. But that’s only because they want it destroyed in the apocalypse when Jesus returns.

    • John

      Well, Orthodox Christianity doesn’t have a view of the end of the world. This Patriarch is just talking out of his ass.

  • LesterBallard
  • Mikegalanx

    I don’t see how anyone could listen to a lecture against “the gayz” – or anything else- from a man dressed like that without bursting into laughter- which would probably get you arrested in Russia these days.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      But he can receive the holy transmission of Gods words with the Jesus antenna on top of his head.

      (It also conveniently picks up FM.)

      • C Peterson

        That’s important. Remember… God speaks on 39.17 MHz.

  • Lucilius

    I’m gonna write a “holy book” that predicts stupid hats as a sign of The End.

  • closetatheist

    Where is it written that teh ghays marrying are a sign of the end times? geesh, the liberties people take with their holy book in order to push their own agenda and incite fear is really pathetic.

    Also, unless this kid was lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered is it normal to refer to him as an LGBT individual? I’m just wondering.

    • Alice

      There’s a passage in Jude comparing the destruction of the world to the destruction of Sodom because of their “sexual immorality and perversion.” Not only does this Bible verse contradict many other Bible verses about why Sodom was destroyed (none mentioning sex), but it is ridiculous these people can’t tell the difference between gang rape and consensual gay sex.

  • Cake

    He looks like a Monty Python character.

    • Artor

      I’ve got my rock, I’m just waiting for him to say, “Jehovah.”

      • islandbrewer

        You said it! *WHOMP!*

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        ….

  • Noelle

    I thought the apocalypse was something Xians were looking forward to. Why would they try to stop it? What makes them think they can trick God from springing it whenever he wants anyway?

    • RJ (TO)

      In a nutshell, they think they can get god to change his mind if they bring mankind back in line with his laws (i.e. by putting them in charge of everything). Of course, the notion of an all-knowing god changing his mind is ludicrous, but good luck trying to explain that to them.

  • Nancy Shrew

    Seraphim are fucking terrifying. They put those monstrosities on hats?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Dear invisible sky wizard: Can you please make the apocalypse just happen so I can stop reading about it. Billions of people are willing to die and we all know earth could shed a few billion of people with ease.

  • DougI

    What is it with cults and their stupid hats? Are they thinking, “Hey, people already buy into this god crap and give us money. I bet they’ll do it if we wear really stupid hats too.”

  • freddieknows

    Forget the hat. I want one of them holy pickaxes like he’s holding.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Ah, Russia. It would make me sick to call myself a Russian the way everybody in Canada does just because I’m from the Soviet Union. Luckily for me, I am Ukrainian, and isn’t that just Ajax on the eyes of a Jew.

  • Miss_Beara

    I could never understand how someone could physically and verbally abuse complete strangers just because they are gay. So much hate. :(

    • Mario Strada

      It’s because they were taught that it was the right thing to do. Maybe they were bullied in school and called a “fag” or maybe they were the bullies and despised their victims.

      Once all grown ups, they continued the hate and they are incapable of seeing gays as full fledged humans. Once you successfully dehumanize a group of people you can do anything to them.

    • John

      Who did that? This message board is more hateful than a little rhetoric from a lone religious leader.

  • Mario Strada

    You know, if you were wearing a giant tampon on your head, odds are that you’d be a little crazy too.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Thank you, Fatherleader Kirill! Do more of that! Please cite more current events as “very dangerous signs” of the imminent En-n-n-nd Of The Wor-r-rl-l-l-ld!

    Nothing is as perishable as a prediction of the fast-approaching apocalypse or some other version of doomsday. They quickly develop an embarrassing smell similar to the last half pint in the milk carton that you left out on the kitchen counter too long.

    Let the Russian people hear Fatherleader Kirill say this rubbish, let them see that tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow keep coming, and let them begin to disregard more and more of anything else that Fatherleader Kirill or any of his fellow Fatherleaders babble on about.

    Loss of credibility precedes irrelevance. Irrelevance precedes extinction.

  • Timmah

    When your real life getup looks 1000x goofier than anything the World of Warcraft devs could dream up for the next tier of Priest gear, do not expect people to take you very seriously.

  • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

    I kinda want to sneak in and swap out the pictures on his hat with something else to see how long it takes for people to notice.

  • David McNerney

    Thing is… for religious people their beliefs are all that is important. Even their children come second in their lives.

    So for them, the end of their religion, while not necessarily a bad thing from the point of view of the undeluded, is like an apocalypse or end of the world scenario. And gay marriage is most definitely one of portents that these muppets are becoming more and more irrelevant and their entitlement to have their personal bigotry imposed on the general population is at an end.

    Verily I say, the end times for their drivel is nigh.

  • mikespeir

    When are we going to have the actual Apocalypse instead of just more signs. I’m getting impatient!

  • Abigail

    Well, the Dutch documentary makers (that’s how they got described in the Dutch media) entered Russia on a tourist visa, and got arrested while making a documentary. Entering a country on a tourist visa and then making a documentary (work) may get you arrested for visa violations in many countries.

    On top of that, they interviewed a minor about homosexuality. Talking about sex to minors will get frowns (or worse reactions) in many places of the world.

    And then they did this soon after the controversial law was signed. Regardless what one thinks of that law, it wasn’t a very smart action.

    And in the end, they got released without charge.

    I wonder, if Eastern Europeans had gone to Western Europe, or the US, on a tourist visa, and then started shooting a documentary, interviewing 17 year old girls about their sexual experiences, and then got questioned by the police, would we have had the same reaction as what has happened in Russia? Would they even have been released without charge?

    • Stev84

      Homosexuality != sex

  • busterggi

    To the believers everything that’s happened after 1300 CE has been a sign of the apocalypse.

  • baal

    “The only apocalypse taking place is the hell that LGBT Russians are going through right now”
    QFT
    The Russian government with the aid and mutual support of the Russian Orthodox Church have lit an anti-gay fire that we haven’t seen in a while. I want to reiterate just how bad and how fast the Russian culture is changing.

  • Amor DeCosmos

    Hmmm… Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 basically say the same thing; no one except the Father, including the Son and the angels, know when the end times will come… Maybe Patriarch Kirill thinks he is God and knows when the apocalypse is coming… or maybe he doesn’t read the Bible – if you believe in the Magisterium, you can make up any rules you like and screw whatever the Bible says…

    • John

      Do you know the concept of “rhetoric”?

  • Matt D

    So, it seems clear to me that many religious leaders purposely generate panic and anxiety to keep their followers malleable. I’m sickened by their behavior, but I’m sure all that money and influence is more precious to them than the truth.

    • John

      Orthodox Priests are monastics. They do not have money.

  • JA

    Say what you will about the Orthodox church, but they do have some amazing artwork in their cathedrals.

  • Mark W.

    OK, you have to admit, holy men generally have a twisted sense of reality, but they DO have the most interesting hats.

  • Foxhole Atheist

    really, how can you take anything seriously from someone dressed like that? It’s a crime that Russia is taking 100 steps backward…c’mon Russia it’s the 21st century for crying out loud!

  • Ryan Hite

    Oh my god… I don’t care what comes out of his mouth. At all.

  • Matthew Baker

    Its seems to be a great week for eschatological predictions–Cindy Jacobs, Pat Robertson, this guy.

  • CottonBlimp

    Apparently a sign of the coming apocalypse ISN’T a power-mad dictator with access to nuclear weapons capitalizing on religious bigotry and an increasingly violent and nationalistic society.

    Somehow the “path of self-destruction” DOESN’T include abusing or disowning your children, or attacking your society’s most vulnerable, or abducting and torturing innocence teenagers for fun as a temporary distraction from your own desperation and hopelessness.

    Theology allows us, as a society, to care about things that don’t exist as much that which does.

    • John

      Yeah, the United States is a bad place, but it doesn’t mean you should call Obama “mad” or Protestant Fundamentalists bigots, or Americans nationalist.

      Yeah, I went there.

  • randomfactor

    The good news: the Apocalypse will happen 13 days later for the Russian Orthodox.


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