Pastafarians Detained in Russia After Complaints from Orthodox Church Group

Russia’s government is technically a federal, semi-presidential republic, much like the United States.. It has a history of being very secular, explicitly atheist while under Soviet rule. However, in recent years, the church has become a powerful institution, quite the change for a once-Communist country.

Earlier this year, Russia passed an (unopposed!) anti-LGBT law. Russia also has very strong anti-blasphemy laws (as demonstrated in their arrest of punk rock band Pussy Riot) and a new law to essentially protect the feelings of religious believers.

Despite the growing number of visible “Pastafarians” over the last few years, Russia’s Orthodox Church does not find the satire funny at all — nope, not one bit. While Russians are not necessarily known for their sense of humor, this response goes overboard.

Pastafarians march (Roma Yandolin – Corbis)

On August 17, there was a Pastafarian march in Moscow. People were armed with “colanders on their heads and pasta in their mouths.” They claimed that their goal was to “promote happiness, cheerfulness and harmlessness.” There were around 100 people marching in what was supposed to be a lighthearted event, however the response was anything but.

Members of the unregistered Orthodox Christian group “God’s Will” alerted the police to the procession, according to Alexei Romanov, a member of the Pastafarian group. They were knocked down to the ground and eight of them were later charged with organizing an unsanctioned rally.

Critics accused the “spaghetti worshipers” of insulting the religious feelings of believers — an accusation that could mean three years in jail if upheld by a court.

Dmitry Enteo, the founder of God’s Will’s, even posted on his Twitter feed that “Pastafarianism is a blasphemous smear against Christianity.”


None of this is very surprising considering how close Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Church have become. During a meeting with top clerics in July, Putin said: ”We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people.”

All of the backwards thinking is especially disheartening when Russia has a legacy of leaders who promoted westernization and progressive ideas. There were certainly failures, but none were as spectacular backwards as these last few months.

About Kelley Freeman

Kelley is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina. She is a former president of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina and a former intern for both SSA and Foundation Beyond Belief. Kelley is also a board member for both Camp Quest South Carolina and the Carolinas Secular Association, a Volunteer Network Coordinator for the southeastern region for the SSA, runs a vlog series called Secular Start Up, sometimes does stand up comedy and can crochet like a fiend. She's on her way to becoming a Jane of All Trades. Follow her on twitter @ramenneedles

  • indorri

    Y’know, I always thought the anti-clericalism of the French Revolution went too far.

    Now I’m not so sure.

    • Spuddie

      Its the same anti-clerical feeling which ran through Russia during the revolution, Spain during its civil war, and the scene with Friar Tuck and the Bishop in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

      When the churches act as organs of state repression, divert money which could be used to relieve destitution, people have no problem directing anger towards them during times of political upheaval.

    • UWIR

      The current actions of the Orthodox Church point to the fact that much of what is labeled “anti-clericalism” is actually anti-tyrannical-assholes-who-are-an-integral-part-of-the-oppressive-power-structure-who-also-happen-to-be-members-of-the-clergy.

  • Guest

    Nothing should bring a glint of pride to atheists more than pointing to the USSR as an explicitly atheist state (which it was, of course). I mean, if anything shows that getting rid of religion in a state will lead to better times, that should!

    • pRinzler

      You’re not working off a very large data set. Also, are you controlling for all the variables?

      • Guest

        Since atheists don’t tend to sweat the details when it comes to examining religion and religious history, I don’t feel obliged to return the favor.

        • 3lemenope

          This must be more of a piece with: “two wrongs don’t make a right, but come on“.

          Also known as: “I can be a hypocrite and still feel good about myself so long as I sound exasperated.”

          • Guest

            No, this is atheists telling themselves lies and believing them, or knowing it’s bullshit and covering it up. I don’t think the church should do such things. But since most atheists don’t step up to the plate and admit atheism’s darker side, my sympathies are very limited.

            • 3lemenope

              That sounded like a fantastic set of excuses for being a flaming hypocrite. Of course, if you’re looking for such excuses, you’ve already gone wrong somewhere.

              “So, about your behavior…”
              “MY OPPONENTS ARE MEAN AND EVIL AND THEY CHEAT!!!”
              “But we were talking about your behavior.”
              “AND THEY SMELL! HOW CAN YOU STAND THEM AND THEIR SMELLY SMELLINESS?!”
              “[sigh]“

              • Guest

                Again, more denial. More denial. But then, what can ‘atheism is the hope of humanity because religion is hateful and evil’ do in the face of the USSR?

                • 3lemenope

                  When beating a strawman, do you usually go ‘standard baseball bat’, or do you jazz it up with more obscure and exciting melee weapons?

                • Guest

                  When denying reality (and trying desperately to avoid the point), how do you know what strawmen are in the first place?

                • Spuddie

                  You tell us. You obvious have no problem with endorsing oppressive acts on their own facts. So what have the Pastafarians done to anyobody? Nothing. Feel free to take your head out from your sphincter and discuss the issue on its own facts.

                • 3lemenope

                  Everything else aside, that comeback was extremely lame.
                  “How do you beat strawmen?”
                  “I dunno. How do you even know what strawmen are? Huh?! Checkmate, atheist.”

                • Spuddie

                  I prefer a wooden mallet covered in flaming kerosene so I get my blunt force mixed with the purifying energy of fire.

                  Its amazing how many iterations guest can come up with for the Tu Quoque rhetorical fallacy.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I’m guessing a three-headed flail with a double-bladed lightsaber attached to the butt. That’s the only way that he could be hitting himself in the face so often.

            • Sweetredtele

              LOLZ lets examine history. I’m all in.

        • pRinzler

          Two wrongs don’t make a right. Period.

          If you’re not on board with that, then our conversation is over. I’m not going to have a conversation with someone who says upfront that they are not bound by honesty and integrity. Why would I? I would support your decision not to engage with an atheist who made explicit that stance you just did.

          The proper thing to do is to end the conversation, not make the same mistake as your opponent.

          • Guest

            So far, we only have one wrong, don’t we. Atheists are jumping all over what the Church did. But bring atheistic Communism, French anti-clericalism, or the track record of secular philosophies of the 19th and 20th centuries, including brutal oppression and murder of religious believers in their wake, and atheists shuffle their feet in the dirt, put their hands behind their backs, and then retort with 1. atheism is not anything, so it doesn’t count, 2. it’s because atheists and secularists treated their secularism like religion (yeah, that’s the ticket), or 3. Hey, let’s not be hasty, let’s parse this and break out the details and spend a few decades analyzing the multiple and complex variables (as opposed to ‘it’s religion, it’s bad, that proves religion is evil! Case closed!).

            Which is especially odd because when atheists do get out of control and go overboard, and religious people point it out, so many atheists are quick to say ‘yeah, well look how rotten religious zealots treated gentle non-believers, so deal with it!’ You can’t have it all ways for your convenience.

            • Quintin van Zuijlen

              4: fuck you, I don’t care about guilt by association

            • Tom

              You can rage against point 1 all you like, and how unfair it seems, but that won’t stop it from being true. Atheism prescribes nothing. It has exactly one tenet: there is no god. This is a truth statement about reality; it takes no moral stance whatsoever. You *can’t* get from that to anything like “persecute the religious” without introducing other external ideas, and atheists do not attempt to derive or justify other actions via that one tenet, because we *don’t*, by and large, treat it like a religion.

              This is unlike religions, whose followers typically try to derive and justify everything they do from their myriad tenets and combinations thereof, many of which hurl around accusations of sinfulness or immorality, particularly at non-believers, and prescribe punishment and intolerance. So stop trying to paint us as being just as bad as them.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              I’m curious: are you ever in your long, persecuted life going to work out that your own argument requires you to accept that Christianity is responsible for all atrocities committed by Muslims, Hindus, etc.?

              No?

              You’re a desperate hypocrite who doesn’t examine his own arguments?

              Shocker.

            • Sweetredtele

              I’m not shuffling my feet. Lets discuss the reasons for the atrocities. Let’s examine the evidence. You keep hiding and not responding to my umpteen posts and requests for evidence.

            • Michael Harrison

              Considering that The Communist Manifesto was written out of concern for class inequity, I would say that the notion that atheism was the cause is utterly stupid, and any attempt to use this to draw parallels between atheism and religion is silly.

              That said, I am of the opinion that abuses of power in Communist regimes are based in similar reasons to abuses of power in America: those in control maintaining control.

        • Anna Marin

          I would contend that we actually DO sweat the DETAILS when it comes to examining religion and religious history.. details often overlooked by the religious. :) But you came here looking to fight… and it seems the atheists here will respond with logic and reason and actual facts.. so have fun. Have a nice day “guest”

        • mudskipper5

          LOL! Translation: “I don’t actually have any facts at my disposal, so I will just ignore all presented information contrary to my position and continue blathering on and on with my unsubstantiated nonsense. Maybe I can get away with that?”

          Uh… no.

    • Quintin van Zuijlen

      If we wanted to eliminate religion, we’d establish a state church.

      • Guest

        Beside the point, ain’t it. That’s what’s called ignoring the point because, well, you don’t have much to say to it.

        • Quintin van Zuijlen

          Is your point not that eliminating religion is immoral? Well then, your point is entirely irrelevant as we already know the method you’re imagining is inneffective to the point of increasing religiosity, as evidenced by the religiosity of most of Eastern Europe, and we, as secularists, oppose the method we know to be effective.

        • Sweetredtele

          I’ll discuss. You must not have much to say because you keep ignoring me.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Oh good, another one too stupid to understand that Soviet Communism was a parareligious ideology.

      Marx explicitly said that Christianity had to go in order for for his ideas to succeed because it was competition. Read a book.

    • Sweetredtele

      Currently, the three most atheistic european countries are highest in life quality. Did you factor that in to your personal opinion about whether no religion leads to better times?

      DId you factor in Stalin and his political ambitions?

    • mudskipper5

      I disagree with the use of the term “atheist” as Freeman has
      used it here, and that you have mimicked for your own purpose. The Soviet Russian government wasn’t “atheist”. It can’t be. A person can be
      an atheist, which means lacking a belief in god… a government cannot
      lack a belief in god, so it cannot be “atheist”. A government can be non-religious, which more accurately describes Soviet Russia.

      However, the problems that developed in Russia arose not because they were non-religious, but because of the problems innate in the system of communism that they attempted to create. The lack of any overt religious ties was a characteristic of Communism, not a prime cause of it’s failings.

      Finally, you completely ignore the fact that the problems discussed in this post are directly related to a blatantly open relationship between the current government system under Putin and an unofficial state religion. So you hype a non-existent causal relationship and ignore an existing one.

    • Spuddie

      Obviously your knowledge of Russian history doesn’t extend further than 1917-1938. Your knowledge of the USSR doesn’t go much further than fundamentalist Christian tracts using Stalin as the ur-example of atheism and ignores the history of the Orthodox Church completely.

      By your logic (“they did it first”), the Orthodox church cannot actually play the victim card during the days of Lenin to the Great Terror because they were instruments of the Czar’s rule. The Czars ruled by divine right bestowed and consecrated by the Orthodox Church.

      During the centuries of Czarist rule, that church encouraged and enabled organized massacres and wholesale destruction of communities against Jews, against the Polish Catholic Church, and the genocide of Central Asian Muslims and indigenous cultures. If we go by historical example of bad deeds, the Orthodox Church has no excuses for its behavior even using your rhetorical fallacious argument.

      Your spiel is a perfect example of what happens when people use an argument from history but are plum ignorant about the facts in question. The only thing you have proven to everyone is that you are a fool who looks to excuse attacks on the liberties of others.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        *Snort* You remind me of a scene in one of the Vorkosigan books, where a terrorist group is trying to, well, do bad things (I prefer not to spoil in case anyone wants to read later).

        To paraphrase:
        Hostage: Why are you doing this?
        Terrorist: Barrayar did bad things when they invaded and occupied our planet! Thousands died!
        Hostage: Well, if you want to get technical about it, you let through the invasion force that occupied our planet and collaborated with them throughout that 20 year war. Millions died, and the planetary infrastructure was destroyed in many places.
        Terrorist: … that was longer ago.
        Hostage: Playing the victim card is a fool’s game and a losing one. Justifying current atrocities with past ones just means the cycle never ends.

        • Spuddie

          Now I have to update my reading list!

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yes, yes you do. Bujold’s Vorkosiverse is truly wonderful.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Oh shit, I forgot about that. The word “pogrom” actually comes from the Russian. You know, from the deeds of that TIMID church.

        • Spuddie

          Its a personal sticking point. My family was originally from Russia. The came to America fleeing the pogroms.

    • UWIR

      Of the Tsarist system, the USSR, and the current system, two out of three had the backing of Christianity. None of them had the backing of Pastafarianism. In fact, every single genocide in the history of the world has been committed by apastafarians. Why do you continue to be an apastafarian, when this group has been behind every genocide in history?

  • Guest

    On a side note, it couldn’t be because the Russian church suffered brutal oppression under that rather atheistic state of the USSR, and seeing these proud to be atheist types marching down the street would look to those who were oppressed by the rather atheist state of the USSR about as pleasing as Rabbis seeing a march by people saying maybe Eugenics wasn’t all that bad. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but come on. It’s not like anyone with their head out of their ass wouldn’t know why the Russian church might be a little timid around an atheist rally.

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      Timid? Are you fucking serious? The orthodox church and its supporters are anything but timid when it comes to things like this.

      • Guest

        Why should they be? Most atheists I know deny atheists ever did anything wrong (or if they did, you can’t blame atheism since it doesn’t really exist, or because those rascally atheists treated their atheism like religion – yeah, that’s the ticket). If atheists even showed a modicum of responsibility for things done against religion in the last 200 years, I would be harsher in my criticism of the church’s actions than I am.

        • 3lemenope

          Translation: “If you concede your side of the argument, I promise I’ll be more patronizing towards your auxiliary points.”

          Gee, I wonder why we won’t do that. Stubborn, or in shameful rebellion against God’s chosen servant, Guest?! You decide.

          • Guest

            Some more unwillingness to admit the bleeding obvious on the part of atheists. How typical. But then, if I’d hung my hat on the whole ‘religion is evil and kills, atheism is the hope of mankind’, and had the USSR staring me in the face, I would get a tad uncomfortable.

            • 3lemenope

              But then, if I’d hung my hat on the whole ‘religion is evil and kills, atheism is the hope of mankind’….

              Not entirely sure who you’re arguing with, but for my part I have never said anything that even approaches such sentiments. So unstuff your straw and try again.

              • Guest

                Then that makes you one in the crowd, since almost all modern atheist discourse centers around ‘mean, evil religion…good, sweet atheism.’ If you deny that, there is nowhere to go. Heck, read the freaking blog you’re on and see how many posts are ‘evil religious types do bad things, beautiful atheists are so wonderful and do great things.’ An approach popularized by the likes of Hitchens, Harris, Myers and others.

                • 3lemenope

                  Perhaps the fact that you seem incapable of untangling “religious people, in the name of religion, seem to do some pretty awful things” from “religion is bad and evil” as very distinct claims indicates a bit of what’s going on behind the curtain as to why you seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding what is being said more generally.

                • Guest

                  No, it’s a cop out. The fact that you reject the claims of belief and call them bad and evil is a personal claim. Many look at things advocated by many atheists (abortion for example) and consider them as bad and evil. The only way to build the case is to do what this blog does, and hunt down any examples of religious people doing bad/atheists doing good. Duh. That’s what this blog is. Day after day of stories ‘look at that religious type, he’s mean/bad/evil/hateful…look at that atheist, she’s sweet/loving/smart/wonderful.’ That you are on a blog and don’t even see that suggests your’e the one missing the logical ramifications of ‘religion is bad and evil’, not me. One need only listen to the HItchens, Harrises, Myers and others to have the point driven home. Which is why when the terrors of atheistic USSR are brought up, we have what we have here, desperate attempts to evade the subject at hand. If it was just what you said, atheists would have no problem saying ‘obviously atheists did horrible things in the name of atheism’, as opposed to what we’re seeing.

                • Sweetredtele

                  I’m trying to engage on the subject of the the USSR and you seem to be evading me. Did you have any documents, speeches, or military kit with atheistic slogans or insignia?

                  It seems you don’t understand between atrocities committed by a coincidently atheistic regime in the name of politics versus a coincidentally political regime that does terrible things in the name of atheism.

                • 3lemenope

                  That’s what this blog is. Day after day of stories ‘look at that religious type, he’s mean/bad/evil/hateful…look at that atheist, she’s sweet/loving/smart/wonderful.’

                  I was wondering when you’d notice.

                  It’s almost like, hey, there are these dominant stereotypes in American culture about how nice and sweet and wholesome religious people are, and how mean, nasty, and just plain not fun atheists are, and so someone has decided to counter these stereotypes with real world examples.

                  If you want examples that confirm your particular prejudices, you are looking in the wrong place. This site is for highlighting how those prejudices are dumb and wrong and don’t match reality.

                  That you are on a blog and don’t even see that suggests your’e the one missing the logical ramifications of ‘religion is bad and evil’, not me.

                  LOL

                • Tom

                  Except the USSR *didn’t* do bad things in the name of atheism. It did it in the name of a Stalinist interpretation of communism, which was itself a massive betrayal of the original principles of communism.

                • Spuddie

                  Plus the Orthodox Church wasn’t destroyed by Stalin. Stalin just stole all the good property for his state. He had zero problems with supporting it when it was politically convenient.

                  Guest, get a fucking clue and read a book on the subject the next time you try to use a historical example. (I suggest Simon Seabag Montifiore’s books Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin) You don’t know jack about the subject you brought up.

                • Groid

                  There are theists who advocate for the right to abortion. In fact, there are theists who advocate for quite a few of the things that atheists advocate for. People in your religion and denomination =/= all people in all religions and denominations.

                  And yes, this blog focuses on terrible things done in the name of religion — because religion typically gets a free pass in our society. If you call yourself Christian, then you can get away with a lot, because people won’t believe that you’re capable of doing bad things (case in point: the Christian homeschoolers who’ve killed their kids. Despite all evidence to the contrary, their fellow Christians refuse to believe that they could have done anything wrong). That sort of rationalization is dangerous, for everyone. Even you.

                  Very few people here are dodging the subject of the “atheistic USSR.” What they are trying to tell you is that the terrors you referenced were not committed in the name of atheism, and that you are confusing the presence of a certain group in a regime with the regime acting on behalf of that group. Lenin withdrew government support from churches not in the service of atheism, but in the service of communism. And Stalin was not trying to make people atheists; he was trying to replace the worship of God with the worship of /him./ His people even arranged for small “miracles” to occur in his name, to demonstrate to children that the power to give and to take away lay solely with him. He committed atrocities in the name of himself and his personal desire for power.

                  The reason atheists have a problem saying that “atheists did horrible things in the name of atheism” is that it hasn’t happened. Atheists have done horrible things, but not in name of furthering an atheistic agenda. This is an important difference.

                • WillBell

                  The thing is atheism in the USSR is to atheism nowadays as stalinism is to pre-Russian Revolution communism. That is to say it was a pale reflection, a reflection that replaced the false belief in a deity with a false belief in the state, rather than with a healthy respect for reason.

                • Psychotic Atheist

                  You haven’t been paying attention to the atheist blogosphere very long if you think all stories about other atheists are positive in nature.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Confirmation Bias: It’s what’s for dinner! And breakfast, lunch, brunch, snacks, second breakfast, fourth meal…

                • Tom

                  You’ve evidently not been paying much attention to said modern discourse. We point out the evils of religion, but we do not extol the virtues of atheism, because it has none; it is entirely morally neutral. Kindly don’t bother replying without a counterexample.

            • Sweetredtele

              Doesn’t make me uncomfortable. Lets discuss and present evidence. You keep saying we are evading the subject, yet you don’t seem to want to discuss it.

        • Sweetredtele

          Evidnece for things done in the name of atheism? Lets discuss.

        • Tracy Robinson

          What exactly have atheists done to believers. Please, enlighten me for I fear I am ignorant of this side of the story. All I read about are Muslims blowing up Christians, Christians murdering Jews, extremist religious zealots killing everyone all around. Where can I find the information on these wicked menacing evil atheists attacks on religious groups?

          • Crazy Russian

            But, but… Timothy McVeigh was an atheist! Of course, he was also a right-wing nutjob, and his attack had shit to with atheism, but ATHEIST!! So, there.

            • Spuddie

              I thought he was a Christian Identity follower. He at least had a great appreciation for their views and had no problem hawking their literature.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              And by his own account, he wasn’t an atheist when he planned and committed terrorism. But why should they Google or anything? :P

        • DougI

          Given the vast crimes against humanity the church conducted against the people the entire institution should have been abolished generations ago. Yet the criminal empires continue because sheeple always bleat to support the crimes done by people with funny hats.

        • EuropeanCommunist

          Please present comprehensive a list of things atheists have done against religion in the last 200 years. Before you do so, let me remind you that being an atheist does not automatically make you a part of some sort of global atheistic organization, much like not collecting stamps does not make you a part of the Worldwide Not-A-Stamp-Collector Community.

          Therefore individuals who were atheists and did horrible things do not count, just as individuals who were a part of a religion and did horrible things would not count. It’s only a problem once an individual does terrible things while being part of an organization that condones doing horrible things, for example priests sexually abusing children and the Church’s attempts to keep it secret.

        • guest

          Communists and atheists ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Being a communist involves buying into a lot of ideology that most atheists here do not believe in. Atheists have a vast range of political beliefs- some are conservative, some of them are liberal democrats, some are libertarian. It’s true that most communists were atheists (although not all, look up ‘liberation theology’) but it’s not true to say that most atheists are communists. To be a communist you have to believe in what Marx wrote and see all of history through the lens of class struggle and believe that revolution and communism is the only way to get a kind of secular utopia for mankind. Pastafarians don’t believe this, they believe in challenging dogmaticism, as it says in the article. That makes them the opposite of Stalinists, who brutally repressed any dissenting voices.

    • 3lemenope

      Two wrongs don’t make a right, but come on.

      Incredulity: It’s a goddamned superpower.

      • Guest

        You’re saying nothing ever really went bad in the good old USSR?

        • 3lemenope

          I’m saying that stating “two wrongs don’t make a right” and then negating the sentiment in the very same sentence takes a special kind of special to pull off.

          • Guest

            I’m saying two wrongs don’t make a right, but I sympathize with the Church just like I might sympathize with Rabbis who might want to ban a scientist for discussing eugenics in a university. I don’t think banning discussions in a university is good, but I’d get why they were bothered. I think the Church is wrong, but I get why there is that sentiment. Atheists, who will admit no wrong in the name of atheism (since so much emphasis has been placed on the great ad hominem ‘religion is evil/atheism the hope of humanity’), simply reinforce why my sympathies, as well as condemnation, are with the church.

            • Fred

              Are you purposefully being stupid, or does it just come naturally? You’re a “special kind of special” indeed.

              • Guest

                All I’m seeing now is personal insults and desperate attempts to avoid the subject at hand. He made a devastating point! Quick, insult him and call him dum (misspelled on purpose in tribute to the level of responses I’m seeing)! Typical. Especially on this blog.

                • Spuddie

                  Insults and abuse is the price one pays for making dishonest fallacious arguments like yours.

                  There are only so many iterations of “I am going to ignore those bad acts because they did it first”.

                  If it makes you feel better I will just tell you to fuck off. This way you can say I was just being immature and you can go away self satisfied.

                  To paraphrase Poet Laureate Vincent Neil, You don’t have to go away mad, just go away.

                • Sweetredtele

                  You must have closed your eye to my post with evidence and a request to see your evidence.

                • 3lemenope

                  It stands to reason that a person inured to evidence would be inured to the evidence that someone tried to provide them evidence.

                  It’s like meta-ostrich, or something.

                • Sweetredtele

                  lolz. I’ve clogged the thread responding to the many “You don’t want to discuss it and are shuffling your feet” by trying to discuss it.

                • 3lemenope

                  (S)he went awfully quiet awfully quickly after you told them you actually wanted to talk details.

                  Someone must’ve mentioned the devil is in ‘em.

                • Tom

                  Zing!

                • Sweetredtele

                  “Since atheists don’t tend to sweat the details when it comes to examining religion and religious history, I don’t feel obliged to return the favor.”-Guest

                  We need a new term. Irony is too subtle.

                • Spuddie

                  Irony meter repair would be a booming industry here.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  There should be a way to fit a “It goes to ELEVEN!” joke in this somewhere.

                • Sweetredtele

                  “Which is why when the terrors of atheistic USSR are brought up, we have what we have here, desperate attempts to evade the subject at hand.”

                  I keep asking to discuss, yet you keep evading.

                • Fred

                  Some people after rolling a natural 20 on a dodge check feel they never have to roll another one again and can just keep that one forever.

                • Fred

                  Do you mean your finally done avoiding the shit others have called you on? Or have you got enough martyrdom in for the day.

                • Carmelita Spats

                  You CHOSE to come here as a shit salesman with a mouthful of samples. I am atheist and I would have fared no better in the USSR as in my country, Mexico, under the tutelage of the Roman Criminal Church. My art would have been censored as “decadent” in BOTH systems…Look at the debates on aesthetics and literature that took place in the Soviet Union in the 1920s…It’s not an “atheist” thing, it’s authoritarianism…Pussy Riot would have fared the same fate, for different reasons, 80 years ago…

                  http://freepussyriot.org/about

                • Groid

                  You think you made a “devastating point?”

                  My goodness, quite full of ourselves, aren’t we?

                  If you’re annoyed at the people who are just hurling insults, why have you not responded to the people who are tackling the subject at hand? Or, by “desperate attempts to avoid the subject at hand,” did you mean “desperate attempts to not agree with me?”

              • 3lemenope

                “Lady, this is a big fucking gun.”

                “Hey, this ain’t no ham on rye, pal.”

                “What the hell are you doing?”

                “Saving your ass. Woulda done it sooner, but I was busy thinking up that ham on rye line.”

                “Were you always this stupid, or did you take lessons?”

                “I TOOK LESSONS!”

            • Sweetredtele

              Please, I’d like evidence that wrongs have been done in the name of atheism, as opposed to evil regimes that happened to be atheistic.

              If you bring up Nazi Germany, that regime was very Christian- and I can provide evidence if you would like- firstly would be pictures of Hitler and others attending Mass. The “God with Us” belt buckles as well. There are other examples if you would like.

              As far as Stalin-it was because of the religious background of the country that he was able to change the icons and worship from religious figures to political ones. He did his things out of paranoia and a drive for power. I can’t find any speeches where he talks about doing anything in the name of atheism. Please provide me with any evidence where atheism was the reason for the atrocities of the Stalin regime.

            • Guest

              Well insults and abuse is the price one pays for making dishonest fallacious arguments like yours.

              There are only so many iterations of “I am going to ignore those bad acts because they did it first”.

              If it makes you feel better I will just tell you to fuck off. This way you can say I was just being immature and you can go away self satisfied.

              To paraphrase Poet Laureate Vincent Neil, You don’t have to go away mad, just go away.

              • Sweetredtele

                I’m not ignoring the bad facts that a coincidently atheistic regime used the mechanisms set in place by religion to further political goals in the name of Communism (Stalinism). Did you want to provide evidence that these were done in the name of atheism?

              • Matt D

                You’re nothing more than a liar with an internet connection and a chip on your shoulder.

            • skeptical_inquirer

              Why should I sympathize with a church that could claim victimhood until it perpetrated the very same kind of crime againt someone else because they were in control?

              It’s like watching a person who was rapist turn around and rape someone else then STILL claim they’re the sole victim in the vicinity.

    • DougI

      Brutal oppression? Hardly, they lost their state subsidy when Lenin took over which caused a lot of the churches to shut down due to a lack of finances (good luck fleecing the peasant population for money after the State got it’s share).

      The Church operated just fine then quickly rose back into power when Stalin endorsed the church and threw money back into their coffers.

    • Mikko

      USSR wasn’t a athestic state it was a communist state

    • The_Countess

      One of the very reasons Communisms came about was because it was a reaction to the the tzar AND the orthodox church hand in hand oppressing the people. keeping each other in power, and the population in check.

      abuse of power by the church is the reason communists were anti-religious in first place.

      of course then communism turned into its own religion replacing dear-god the all loving farther-figure who could punish you mercilessly and arbitrarily and that you should never question and that you should love unconditionally, and replaced it with “dear leader” the nations farther figure that could punish you arbitrarily and severally, that you should never question, and you should love unconditionally.

      you can see the similarities can’t you?

      this event makes it so obvious its painful. the church is once again saying “question us and feel the consequences!” just like they did before the communist revolution, and just like the communists did after that.

      so Its atheist who should be worried, its all people of sound mind who should be worried, because this new Russia is starting to look a like like the Russia before the USSR.

    • mudskipper5

      There is no such thing as an “atheistic” state. A person can be an atheist because they lack a belief in a god or gods. A state can’t have a belief (or lack one, for that matter).

      Soviet Russia was a non-religious or a secular state, but regardless the underlying cause of its “brutal oppression” was not its lack of religion. Unfortunately, humans are capable of depravity toward others, driven by greed and power, with or without a religion. Those states that are religious just benefit from being able to justify their depravity upon their religious beliefs.

    • guest

      There’s a difference between communists and pastafarians. Like, a huge idealogical difference.

    • UWIR

      That’s a bit like saying “Given all the white people who died in slave revolts, it’s understandable that Southerners instituted the Jim Crow system.”

    • Oswald Carnes

      The fact that the Russian church still exists shows that it didn’t suffer nearly enough.

  • observer
  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I do hope that Putin is just using the Orthodox church and once he is out of power the next leader realizes that it makes the country look bad to become a theocracy.

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

      And in what year do you predict Putin will lose power because I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    • DougI

      Putin gave the Church a lot of power and influence. It’ll be hard to contain the beast once it’s been let loose. Besides, the next leader will see all these useful idiots and use them for his own purposes.

      I doubt Putin will secede his power. The little fascist wants to be dictator and like Hitler he has the church behind him and a bunch of scapegoats to claim that the nation is under threat.

      • Tom

        Unfortunately, taking away a church’s political power isn’t always as easy as empowering it – share a bit of state influence with it for a while, and it’ll use that to reinforce its ideological control of your citizens; that control will then tend to remain even if you stop allowing the church to influence the government directly.

  • Cat’s Staff

    The Orthodox church didn’t disappear under communism. Unless you were a party member you didn’t need to profess to being atheist. Religion was restricted initially and large church properties were confiscated, but smaller ones were still functioning. At different times there was different amounts of tolerance toward religion. In WWII restrictions were loosened, as long as the church supported the government in the war. The Orthodox church, being the largest church, was the recipient of the most support, when the government did support religion, and other minority religions were easy targets and disappeared. So, after the recent revolution the Orthodox church was well positioned to flourish and work with the state. I’m not surprised at all with the crack down on GLBT activists and now Pastafarians.

  • DougI

    Christians hate competition and if they have the power they’ll use whatever means they can to suppress the opposition. The dictator Putin, like the Tsarist of old, partnered up with the Russian Orthodox Church to oppress the masses. Hopefully Russia will have another revolution and throw this thugs out of power for good.

  • LesterBallard

    Yeah it’s becoming a Orthodox Theocracy. With lots and lots of nukes and conventional weapons. Sounds like fun.

    • Mitch

      Thank goodness we in the good ol’ US of A don’t have to worry abou….. Oh, shit. Never mind.

      • LesterBallard

        I think Russia is much closer to being a theocracy than the United States is. If one of the batshit crazy Republicans is elected President in 2016, then I’ll worry a bit more.

        • Tainda

          Oh you KNOW that will happen. It gives me nightmares to think about who the next president is going to be. I have visions of Glenn Beck or Pat Robertson. The fundie ‘muricans are out for blood this time and I think they’re going to win.

    • newavocation

      I’m reminded of Montaigne writing about the time in France when the Catholics filled all the wells with the bodies of Protestants and claimed that God must have been fine with it since he didn’t stop them. Wonder if the same argument could be used to launch a few missiles.

      • Randay

        Funny you should mention it. A decade ago Slate Magazine published an article “Bush Unveils Faith-Based Missile Defense”.

        “President George W. Bush announced an initiative to develop a faith-based missile defense. “For too long, military planners have been denied the use of the supernatural in attempting to protect American citizens from attack,” Bush declared today in a speech to the National Association of Amateur Submarine Captains. “There is no reason why we cannot maintain a healthy separation of church and state while still calling on divine intervention for the Pentagon budget. Faith-based missile defense will be constitutional and fully consistent with the way the Founding Fathers expected this great nation to handle ICBM threats,” the president said.”…

        http://www.slate.com/articles/briefing/articles/2001/02/bush_unveils_faithbased_missile_defense.html

        From the Putin quote above, we can see where our government’s “faith-based initiatives” could lead.

  • Crazy Russian

    Of course. Leave it to God’s Gentle People to demand nonviolent protesters be thrown in jail for illustrating the ridiculousness of their bullshit beliefs. Again and again they demonstrate quite clearly that there can be no dialogue or discussion with fanatics: give them an inch, and they will go all the way to the freaking Moon while screwing you in the ass. Religious freedom enshrined in Russian constitution notwithstanding, the church is interested in nothing less than complete control of ciizens’ beliefs and actions. Watch and remember that, fellow Americans and members of progressive humanity elsewhere, in case you haven’t learned that already.

  • Jesus Was Jewish
  • Mikko

    >Insulting the religious feelings of believers
    orthodox church thugs are whiny children

  • Jim Jones

    The Russian Orthodox Church: whose priests have no faith in god since if they did, they’d know god created Pastafarians for his/her own mysterious purposes.

  • AskAnAtheistBecky

    “However, Moscow authorities did not sanction the procession which was
    disrupted by riot police and activists with the God’s Will Orthodox
    group headed by Dmitri Enteo, according to a message by Russian
    Pastafarians on a social networking website.” How come the activists from God’s Will weren’t arrested for their unsanctioned counter rally, huh??

    • ramenneedles

      According to Sharapov, God’s Will’s actions have been increasingly criminal, but uhh… Russian police have a tendency to turn a blind eye to certain things (especially if they’re paid off).

  • guest

    This is really disturbing. It seems like Russia keeps getting closer and closer to a totalitarian state. Beating up journalists, assasinating detractors, stigmatising gay people and now this. Where will it end?

    • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

      I’d hate to pull a Goodwin, but does the year of 1938 ring any bells?

      • Greisha

        For Russians it is 1937.

  • Nelson

    And people thought Stalin was crazy…

  • The Other Weirdo

    So Russia is becoming the Holy Russian Empire, then? Who could’ve thunk it, and without a zombie apocalypse to drive the change, too. From Tsarist rule to Communism back to Orthodoxy, one big procession of one religion after another.

  • Paula M Smolik

    supposed to be a lighthearted event, however the response was anything but.
    supposed to be a lighthearted event; however, the response was anything but.
    Two separate sentences. A comma isn’t enough.
    spectacular backwards adj/adj wrong

    spectacularly backwards adv/adj right

  • GeorgeLocke

    All of the backwards thinking is especially disheartening when Russia has a legacy ofleaders who promoted westernization and progressive ideas. There were certainly failures, but none were as spectacular backwards as these last few months.

    You have to be kidding. Ever heard of Stalin?

    • Siobhan McNeil

      Gorbachev was progressive and westernizing. Lenin decriminalized homosexuality and allowed women to enter government and all areas of study (and in fact encouraged it). Medvedev isn’t really a bad guy either, he’s just Putin’s puppet.

  • nigel

    How further backwards can Putin and the church push Russia?