tribute to Pussy Riot

pussy riot cartoon drawing by nakedpastor david hayward

PUSSY RIOT

I was invited to contribute some of my art to the Free Pussy Riot cause by a group working to free the three women of Pussy Riot who are imprisoned. I am more than pleased to help.

I have a lot of respect for Pussy Riot, a punk band made up of several women who stormed a famous Russian Orthodox cathedral and sang a prayer to Mother Mary to please remove Putin from power. Their prayer song lasted around 30 seconds before they were arrested. They’ve now been charged with 2 years of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. I love them for their courage to do it dead center in the belly of the beast!

A question: how much different are things here in the West?

They are true graffiti artists on the walls of religion. But more than that, they are graffiti artists especially were religion colludes with the State. You can read Nick Cohen’s assessment of their slimy symbiosis in The Guardian.

Purchase the original drawing, or buy a print of the cartoon.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • shelly

    YES! o/

  • Liza

    Very nice tribute to them.

  • http://www.chrischristodoulou.net Chris Christodoulou

    So the Russian Bear is wearing a cross while holding a hammer and sickle because…?

    Russia is communist? Communism and religion go hand in hand?

    I don’t see how that is anything but historically and politically crippled.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    sure they do chris. christianity goes with anything.

  • Gary

    Really Chris? Many communist nations have an official state religion.

  • http://dmthinktank.wordpress.com Daniel Manastireanu

    Plus, the Eastern Orthodox Church has at the basis of its relationship to the State the concept of harmony. It’s a theological way of saying ‘we kiss the hand that feeds us’. It is true in all nations where there’s a Eastern Orthodox majority. A major part of their protest was against the inability of the Russian Church to be prophetic against the State.

  • http://www.chrischristodoulou.net Chris Christodoulou

    @nakedpastor: Christianity goes with anything… What does that mean? Are you trying to depict modern-day Russia as a communist country? And it’s not about what christianity goes with that I am concerned about—unless you think that communism goes with anything too.

    @Gary: Firstly, show me one. Secondly, it’s not about “many communist nations”, it’s about Russia. Russia is not a communist nation. And communism and orthodoxy are not in the best of terms as far as I know.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    as far as you know chris? have you read the story on Pussy Riot? it’s an obvious collusion of church and state to crush opposition, which is what the cartoon depicts.

  • Tell

    Christianity like communism can be seen and goes along with anything. Any of those typical “labels” can go along with … ANYTHING and everything.

    Being sixty years old I don’t have the rights and freedoms in the new west of America that I had forty years ago, or five years ago. I blame that on religions, the USA being controlled by a foreign nation, special interest groups and corrupt government on all levels. I can see all those labels like fascist, communist, tyrannical socialist, imperialist, totalitarian, usurpers of basic God given rights, restrictive, malevolent, corrupt, social engineering, militants and extremist in all flavors and denominations. As far as I’m concerned we/I live in a ever-growing police state and losing more freedoms every day. So so much for the west which in more like the old Soviet Union than most want to see.

    I don’t agree with the Orthodox church comment being part of the problem. Not all. There is at least one putting his head on the chopping block in America telling the truth and standing against the controllers and this corrupt government wanting to control our freedom of speech, truths, and thought. So we can’t say all just like I can’t say all “feminist” are man-hating trolls wanting special rights and allowances rather than equal rights and pay. Not all. Like not all believers are of the same mind in many issues and not all benefit or want to benefit from merely fitting in or agreeing with everything that comes along or is said.

    I see the sickle over the American flag and not only the bear.

  • Gary

    OK Chris an official state religion may be a stretch in the sense of officially sanctioned…but certainly not that much. China for instance is in a massive campaign to rebuild Buddhist temples earlier destroyed by former regimes and Buddhism is very favored while other religions are still banned. And as Dave would suggest…your comment appears as if you have not even read the article concerning the band and their present plight.

  • http://www.chrischristodoulou.net Chris Christodoulou

    @nakedpastor David, you don’t seem to understand my problem with the drawing. I know the story behind the Pussy Riot incident and it has nothing to do whatsoever with Communism. My beef with you is that you are equalising the current Russian Church and State with a political ideology that is no longer in government. You are more or less implying that it’s Communism (and Orthodoxy) that arrested and sentenced Pussy Riot (or that it’s Communism that they were protesting against, something equally false). The Russian bear has not carried a Hammer & Sickle for quite some time but the “west”—as you put it—is constantly trying to deny that Russia is just another capitalist country like most of the rest.

    @Gary: I can’t see how “a massive campaign to rebuild Buddhist temples” can be seen as a bad thing. It’s their cultural heritage and it should be kept. Temples are buildings. The fact that China might ban other religions only strengthens my point that Communism and Religion don’t walk hand in hand. (And that is not because the “communist demon” wants to kill religious people but just because Socialism, Marxism and Communism as ideologies have no reason to support religion since they see it as something backward and unscientific—which of course it is).

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    chris: I get your point. The hammer and sickle was intended to symbolize the state of Russia, along with the bear. I realize the hammer and sickle normally are associated with communism, which wasn’t the intent of the cartoon. I appreciate your input.

  • Gary

    Chris…where would you get the idea I was implying it was a bad thing?

  • http://brainatthedoor.blogspot.com Hugh

    How about this as a different view of the situation:

    http://www.ibenedictines.org/2012/08/18/pussy-riot-and-the-holiness-of-place/

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Hugh: According to her view, yes… but what if we don’t believe that any place is any more sacred than another. Even if it is in the orthodox mind, it isn’t necessarily true. And what Pussy Riot did was necessary in the center of the corruption. Sure, what they did was against the law, but that’s exactly why they did it.

  • Wezlo

    I dunno David, asking, “What if we don’t believe that any place is any more sacred than another?” smacks of, “Screw them, they’re wrong.”

    The charge is and sentencing are over the top – the action itself shows a profound lack of empathy for the theology of liturgical, particularly the Eastern tradition where the assembly mystically becomes the throne room if God.

    Pussy Riot broke in an sang a song to Mary to remove Putin from power – this is a lament and is fully part of Christian prayer tradition. Storming into a church and paying a song as a political protest..no. The only way I can see justifying it is if you think worship is nothing more than a town meeting and insist your view is the right one.

    The action broke the Law, and at most it should be a misdemeanor for disturbing an assembly – which is fine and I’m sure the band could accept that. These charges are over the top and are an example of Church and State working far to chummy to secure power (the most appropriate response the Church should have would be to weep at the violation of their sacred moment and invite the band to stay for the rest of the liturgy). I don’t the think we need to dump on a theology of worship in order to make this point.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    I don’t mean to knock their theology of worship. What Pussy Riot did was against the law. Of course! That’s why they did it! And in a country where such things are against the law, they will pay the consequences unless leniency is shown. But that’s the whole point of their protest: to raise the awareness of us. They accomplished that. Hopefully change will result. I admire those courageous and intelligent women who have discernment and know how to prophesy effectively.

  • Chris

    Why does Pussy Riot need a tribute? They are a bunch of perverts who go into shops, steal chickens, put them in their vaginas and upload it to YouTube. Then they hold public orgies all in the name of “protest”. Fine, they can do those things if they want, but doing their stupid stunts on the high altar of the cathedral is just plain offensive. They could have done it outside the church and made the same point without getting arrested.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    if they did it outside they wouldn’t have gotten arrested

  • Chris

    Errr… If you’re going to get arrested for breaking a law, shouldn’t it be a bad law? If you get arrested for breaking a good law, then you are just a jerk, right? Or do you think holding impromptu punk rock concerts on the altar of the cathedral ought to be acceptable behaviour? Basically, you’re an anarchist then?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Their getting arrested was what brought the corrupt relationship between the church and state to light. dramatically.

  • Chris

    Did it? You could probably easily summarize for us in a paragraph the nature of that corrupt relationship, since you say it is so clearly brought to light.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    read my posts about Pussy Riot. I don’t have time to write them all over again. And there’s links to news articles.

  • Chris

    Read them. Read the links you gave to articles. All I saw is that Putin is bad, and they want more freedom of speech to complain about that. Totally irrelevant to your claim of a corrupt relationship. By this argument if Obama is bad, I’ve got the right to walk into any church in America and cause a disturbance.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    You do have that right.

  • Chris

    You are so so wrong. Read section 302 of the California penal code. Disturbing the solemnity in a place of worship is an offence. Was that really your best effort to defend the indefensible?


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