Russia

No, Putin Isn't a Defender of 'Christian Values'

The country is one of the most egregious violators of religious liberty on the planet.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has pitted much of the world into two teams, as war tends to do. The prevailing sentiment in the West appears to be pro-Ukraine. But among certain corners of the chattering classes, there's somewhat of a third team: one that isn't anti-Ukraine, per se, but also isn't anti-Russia. There is one foe, and it is America.

Its loudest adherents, ironically, are arguably U.S. nationalists—who to varying degrees admire Russian President Vladimir Putin's attempt at cultivating what they say is a more moral nation. "I actually support Putin's right to protect his people and always put his people first but also protect their Christian values," said Lauren Witzke, the Delaware GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020. "I identify more with…Putin's Christian values than I do with Joe Biden's."

Though Witzke took the fringiest route, she is not alone in her overall approach. Steve Bannon, once an adviser to former President Donald Trump, noted approvingly on his podcast this week that at least "Putin ain't woke." Fox News host Tucker Carlson similarly admonished his audience: "It might be worth asking yourself…what is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much?" he probed as he pushed back on the idea that the U.S. should intervene. "Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl? Is he trying to snuff out Christianity?" (The monologue was later recycled by RT, Russia's government-controlled television network.)

It may be true that Putin isn't "making fentanyl." But to defend an isolationist position, one need not make light of the Russian president's moral atrocities—which have less to do with critical race theory and more to do with allegedly jailing and murdering dissidents.

Perhaps most ironic about Carlson's last question—and also per Witzke's comments—is that Putin, while a self-avowed adherent to Russian Orthodoxy, has been no friend to religious expression. In 2016, he passed a law criminalizing evangelical efforts outside of church walls—a measure that hamstrings religious life in public, in the home, and online, and thus targets many Christians for displays of faith. Those displays don't have to be overt: In 2019, a Baptist pastor was charged with illegal missionary activity for having the audacity to lead a Baptist worship service, and two members of the same sect found themselves in hot water after handing out religious literature at a bus stop. Jehovah's Witnesses are often at the center of such prosecutions as well and can face up to 10 years in prison.

The restrictions also likely impact the Orthodox community, as the government requires that anyone sharing a faith have a permit to do so and constrain those efforts to religious sites. In 2017, a year after the law's passage, Russia earned an unenviable distinction on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's list of countries most hostile to the expression of faith. As of last year, it still sits atop that list, along with Syria, India, and Vietnam—places that perpetuate "systematic, ongoing, and egregious" violations of religious liberty.

Conservative expressions of affection for Putin's supposed moral clarity are perhaps louder than usual. That doesn't mean they're new. "While privacy and freedom of thought, religion and speech are cherished rights, to equate traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is to equate good with evil," wrote former White House Communications Director Pat Buchanan in 2013, as he approvingly summarized Putin's opposition to the latter. "No moral confusion here, this is moral clarity."

But once again, Buchanan et. al need not align themselves with a murderous despot in order to take a principled stand for traditional marriage—particularly when considering that the Russian president's positioning may be rooted more in strategy than in faith. "Putin is seeking to tighten his grip on Ukraine and Belarus, as well as expand Russian influence further into Eastern and Central Europe," wrote Alexis Mrachek and Shane McCrum for the conservative Heritage Foundation in 2019. That feels a bit prophetic now: "He will undoubtedly continue to promote Orthodoxy in the process. This is simply an attempt to seduce former Soviet republics back under the sway of Russia." The Soviet Union of Putin's younger days was staunchly atheistic and used secularism as a tool to secure state worship. That ultimately failed. In some sense, Putin has subverted the approach to religion—leaning heavily on it as opposed to eschewing it—to arrive at the same end goal: state worship.

"The reality is that Russia is not the most religious nation in the world as far as…American evangelicals would recognize," says David French, a senior editor at The Dispatch who writes extensively on religion and U.S. conservatism. "I think it's much more a 'the enemy of an enemy is my friend.'…[Putin's] opposition to some of the international forces that some folks on the right in the United States despise the most creates a dynamic where there's a strange new respect for Putin, or sort of perceived understanding of Putin, or a perception that Putin can represent a welcome rebuke to an international order that they dislike." The things they take issue with may range from the United Nations to pronouns in bio.

In that regard, Putin has been waging a different war for years—a cultural one, where he has strategically placed himself at the front of the battlefield and succeeded in wooing some high-profile figures on the American right. That's not because the Christian values he espouses are necessarily important to him; I doubt many religious adherents would describe killing and poisoning critics as fruits of the Spirit. He's tried to obscure those cruelties by erecting himself as a moral bulwark against deviance. It's a tall order—and yet, somehow, in certain corners, he's succeeded.

NEXT: How To Boost the U.S. Economy While Sticking It to Putin

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  1. Nobody more funny than bible thumpers.

    1. Yeah. If they would open it sometime that would likely help greatly.

      1. This article is certainly calling the pot calling the kettle black. The Progressive Death Cult in the US seeks to make any expression of Christian faith verboten in the public arena. Hearing much less speaking the very name of God is hard for some of the politicians in America. Alex Jones being a very prominent example of their reactions. Alex is evangelistic and tempestuous, even the Trump administration erroneously let him be cast out of the discourse in the public arena by CNN no less.

        No, I see little difference in the behavior of either country except that one openly moves to forbid religious expression as political expression while the other does so behind the scenes because its Constitution is based on the expressions they hate. The US Constitution is based off the Declaration of Liberty. As Christian and apparently hateful document as ever a Progressive Death Cultist attacked.

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    2. I have literally never heard anyone say this. I live in the core of the bible belt, talk to highly religious self-described rednecks on a daily basis, and I have never heard a single person say what is in this article affectionately.

      Not once.

      Now, they do respect Putin as an adversary to be feared. No, Putin's not woke. He's effective. The man was literally a KGB assassin. Only a moron would underestimate him. I have heard many people say that they worry that our leaders are completely and utter morons in comparison, worrying about unimportant nonsense, while a man who is an emperor in all but name is frighteningly effective.

      This article is twisting words and spinning them into complete falsehoods.

      1. I have literally heard with my own ears “Christians” saying they trust Putin more than Canada and more than the United States.
        They literally regard him as an ally, not an adversary.

        1. Many times. I live in Georgia and conservatives here love Putin.

          1. Cite?

          2. If you haven't realized this yet folks, Buttplug is a compulsive liar.

            1. I highly doubt he would reveal where he lives, even clues. Given his pedophilia and child pornography.

          3. Never forget that turd lies, constantly. If something in a port from turd is not a lie, it's there by mistake.
            turd is a trafficker in kiddie porn, a TDS-addled pile of shit and a lying lefty asshole.
            turd lies.

          4. You are lying.

            But you always do that, so it is expected.

          5. I also live in Georgia and am conservative. I know of no one who loves Putin. Most of us agree he's dangerous and needs to be brought down.

        2. "I have literally heard with my own ears “Christians” saying they trust Putin more than Canada and more than the United States"

          I trust Putin far more than Biden and a fuck of a lot more than Trudeau, or CSIS, the NSA, CIA, FBI and ATF, and I don't fucking trust Putin one bit.

          By now if you trust the American and Canadian governments at all, you're a complete idiot.

          Your accusation is literally meaningless.

          1. I trust Putin. I trust him to do whatever thing will be best for his empire and personal rule.

            I don't trust the American or Canadian governments. They will do things for their own personal gain and there is significant evidence that Trudeau and Biden have received direct and indirect bribes.

            Trusting someone and supporting them are completely different things.

          2. This
            "putin has had dissidents killed and imprisoned"

            So.... Biden

          3. The only thing I trust Putin to be is a foreign tyrant, just like the only thing I trust out home-grown tyrants to be is home-grown tyrants.

        3. He is indeed causing people to choose sides strangely, very much as the recent pandemic did. But the lines don't cut clearly along "left"/"right" lines here in the USA. The neocons are anti-Putin as they always were. But actual conservatives seem to go for him. Part of his appeal is to a tendency that crosses "left"-"right" lines: those like my friend Kathy Greene (who died last spring) who see him as opposed to the multinational big-business-and-pharmacologic world order, and in favor of health foods and organic farming. Plus they see the Ukraine regime as chock full of Biden cronies. Meanwhile the "right-thinking left", which would never have cared a whit for Ukraine until now, is sporting Ukraine flags, just because of who they perceive as their enemies.

          1. Plus he's an ally against Islamofascists.

            1. Except when he cuts deals with them. Like he did with Iran s9me years back.

            2. Not true at all. Putin actually appeased the Islamofascists here:

              Putin says insulting Prophet Muhammad isn’t artistic freedom
              https://tass.com/society/1380235

      2. Yet they are morons and they do underestimate him.

        Somebody needs to tell them you don't have to be evil to be "effective" and you don't have to be 'roid-raging "swold" to be strong.

        1. However, when you are fighting someone who is evil and willing to openly murder people whom he goes against, you do very much worry about his opponents who are more worried about pronouns and lining their own pockets.

          Being emotionally strong doesn't matter when you are in a fist fight.

          1. I say all of this because Putin apologists are so preoccupied with Putin's photoshopped chisel-chest and horseback skills. Both Putin-lovers and Woke Pronoun fetishists and such can go play.

            Meanwhile, you don't even need to be "swold" to win a fist fight and in fact, it's better to be smaller and flexible. There's not a man alive who has a steel-plated set of eyeballs, thorax, or gonads. The scrawniest man can strike those and send a Goliath falling down in pain.

            Let's hope little Ukraine holds Putin by the balls and kicks him in the ass!

            1. I think we are getting distracted by the metaphors, so I'm going to drop them.

              Putin will and has killed anyone who gets in his way. He is dedicated to reclaiming the Soviet empire.

              The reason he is being so aggressive now is that he thinks none of the other major powers will stop him, and he appears to be right. The only real way we can win at this point is pressure him economically and hope the Ukrainians hold out longer than the Russian people will tolerate the pain of the the invasion and any sanctions.

              1. As of last night, the Eu finally got it's shit together and said they would send Ukraine fighter planes!

                I hope at least some are like the VTOLs the French sold to the Israelis. Those things are so bad-assed and can get in and out anywhere!

      3. Heck, I am one of those rednecks. Is Putin effective? - somewhat. Admire him? Nope, he is a proven murderer and authoritarian. Just like Biden and friends.

    3. Speaking of, here is what the Head-Muthah-In-Charge of the Russian Orthodox Church is up to in the midst of this:

      BY KATHERINE KELAIDIS  FEBRUARY 25, 2022
      NO, PATRIARCH KIRILL OF MOSCOW IS NOT CALLING FOR PEACE — IN FACT, HE’S PUTIN’S ACCOMPLICE
      https://religiondispatches.org/no-patriarch-kirill-of-moscow-is-not-calling-for-peace-in-fact-hes-putins-accomplice/

      1. And here is Patriarch Kirill's mealy-mouthed prayer on Putin's attack on Ukraine:

        Ukraine conflict – Moscow Patriarch Kirill calls for prayer for peace
        Edit Author: Thema Newsroom | Published: February 25, 2022
        https://en.protothema.gr/ukraine-conflict-moscow-patriarch-kirill-calls-for-prayer-for-peace/

        Notice The Patriarch can't even bring himself to mention Putin either by name or as the aggressor, and he speaks of Russian aggressors and Ukrainians defending themselves as if they are moral equals!

        And people say religion has a monopoly on morality! Feh!

    4. Except the ultra rich Unitarians down the street from my house that had a BLM Flag posted prominently posted for all to see. I wouldn't call these people bible thumpers I viewed the flag as cheap VIRTUE SIGNELING.
      The real question is weather the US government treats its citizens any different than the Russians.

  2. “ The restrictions likely impact the Orthodox community, as the government requires that anyone sharing a faith have a permit to do so and constrain those efforts to religious sites.”

    “Likely” impact? It’s sounds much more like the Russian Orthodox Church is the official licensed State Religious body, and that it’s just being used as another arm of the Russian autarkic state.

    1. Not sure how “autarky” snuck in there, should have been “autocratic”.

      1. Putin would be both if he could.

    2. Well, duh, they always were. When Constantinople fell, the head bishop of the Russian church said, well, boys, looks like we're in charge of the Roman empire now.

  3. Pretty sure Jesus Freaks who're keen on Putin, aren't as big a libertarian or national security issue as the neocons looking to bump Raytheon's stock price.

    But hey, both sides, amirite?

    1. Hear, hear, HEAR ye the self-righteous preachings of MammaryBahnFuhrer! (Imported below). She knows JUST the right “Popular-with-the-Cool-Kids-in-Her-Own-Mind” theology to espouse, along with wearing JUST the right purse, hairstyle, whorestyle, and other accessories! Meanwhile, in the EXACT same source, She engaged in identity theft! Her heart, in truth, is a ravening black hole of hypocrisy, greedy self-righteousness, and other evils!

      Now, the preachings of The Great Mammary. Note that She picks the verses that say that the right BELIEFS and whorestyles get you “in” with the “in” crowd, and then you’re free to engage in ID theft and other evils, at will!

      Mammary-style whorestyles - preachings below:

      It amazes me how Americans living in a purportedly Christian culture don't even understand the basic tenets of its theology.
      Pretty much the whole point of Christianity is that everyone has sinned and is worthy of damnation so God became a human and took our punishment for us. And the libertarian angle is, that you still have a choice to accept or reject the gift already given.
      Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
      Romans 6:23 ESV: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      John 3:16-17 ESV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

      End of preachings of MammaryBahnFuhrer...

      We can pick and chose our Bible verses to justify ANY evils we WANT TO justify! And YOU equate "fashionable theology to justify ANY evil shit that I want to do" with Your fashionable hairstyle and whorestyle! Got the right fashionable BELIEFS, and so then The Queen can do WHATEVER she wants! Your BELIEFS will protect You from the consequences of Your evil actions? Do You not GET this, Oh Fashionable Queen of the Internet Cesspools?

      "By their fruits, you will know them", is something that Jesus said. DEEDS, not "Magic Beliefs"!
      So Great Theologian... How about Your DEEDS? Like identity theft? Was it YOU who stole "Buttplug the First"'s ID, to post child porn under his ID? How can we know either way, for SURE (how can we believe any denials that You might make), when you steal IDs, and implicitly in doing so, deliberately LIE, for malicious purposes? Stealing another person's ID is something that I would NEVER do!
      So tell me again about Your Superior Theology?

      PS, You (Oh Queen) are apparently saying that it's OK to act HOWEVER YOU WANT, and get a "free pass" with Your Magic Beliefs, fashionable hairstyle and whorestyle, etc. IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!! Your Magic Beliefs DO NOT protect You from the consequences of Your evil choices!!! If You drink a gallon of whiskey every day, is God going to forgive You because You have Magic Beliefs? AND give You Your healthy liver back? Have You SHOWN this to be true? Or do You know ANYONE who has demonstrated this?
      If You spit in the faces of ALL of Your friends, will You have any friends left? You're not married, are You? Is this perhaps the pay-back that You have earned by being a Perfectly Superior One, in the face of EVERYONE that You meet? Can you NOT see my basic point, that Your Magic Beliefs are ZERO protection from "karma", or, "what comes around, goes around"?

      https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/
      Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions
      If You were HONEST, Oh Queen, You'd be able to see that "The Holy Scriptures" (of any and all kinds) contradict themselves! They are like "Wise Old Saying" (or, they ARE exactly that). "Look before you leap!" "He who hesitates, is lost!" ... Pick the right one, at the right time. It requires WISDOM! And if You were HONEST, You would see that You have VERY little of either of these Most Precious Commodities! Wisdom and honesty! Stock up some!

      1. Crowdfund this man a megaphone and a one way ticket on the Trans Siberian Railway

        1. So, Entelechy... Tell us PLEASE? What is YOUR hairstyle and whorestyle which will SAVE us all?

          If you're not TOTALLY sure of your hairstyle and whorestyle... Try reading the below!

          The intelligent, well-informed, and benevolent members of tribes have ALWAYS been resented by those who are made to look relatively worse (often FAR worse), as compared to the advanced ones. Especially when the advanced ones denigrate tribalism. The advanced ones DARE to openly mock “MY Tribe’s lies leading to violence against your tribe GOOD! Your tribe’s lies leading to violence against MY Tribe BAD! VERY bad!” And then that’s when the Jesus-killers, Mahatma Gandhi-killers, Martin Luther King Jr.-killers, etc., unsheath their long knives!

          “Do-gooder derogation” (look it up) is a socio-biologically programmed instinct. SOME of us are ethically advanced enough to overcome it, using benevolence and free will! For details, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/ and http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/ .

          1. Hey ᛋᛋqrlsy, you tribalist, Nazi fuck. Done being an enormous hypocrite yet, or do you still have more copypasta to spam?

      2. Pretty much the whole point of Christianity is that everyone has sinned and is worthy of damnation

        "Sin" is made up bullshit by the clergy.

        “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
        ― Denis Diderot

        My favorite quote of all time.

        1. Never forget that turd lies, constantly. If something in a port from turd is not a lie, it's there by mistake.
          turd is a trafficker in kiddie porn, a TDS-addled pile of shit and a lying lefty asshole.
          turd lies.

        2. "Sin" is made up bullshit by the clergy"

          "Sin" is when creepy fucks like you touch kids, Shrike. That's probably why you're so hostile to the concept.

        3. You DO post kiddie porn, son. Not sure you're in a position to bitch about how unfair the concept of sin is.

        4. Actually the whole point of Christianity is that salvation is possible. You pedo retard

        5. Is fucking children a sin?

        6. Turn yourself in, pederast.

    2. Again, Putin ain't woke and the Taliban liberated Kabul from a regime that tears down statues, forces women to cover their faces, and mutilates children's genitals.

      1. Putin ain't woke

        Charlie Don't Surf

        1. Charlie Don't Surf

          Right. The aggressor is considered to have lost that war and Bannon isn't shooting at Putin with that comment.

          You're backing a finite strategy in an infinite game. There are no winners in an infinite game and, in that context, the only outcome of a finite strategy is to lose.

      2. Go join them.

        1. I don't have to. One tribal faction has avowed to force women to wear masks for religious reasons. The other tribal faction has avowed to force women to wear masks for slightly different religious reasons. I don't subscribe to either religion and the statues are going to get torn down and masks are going to get enforced either way, the best I can hope for is that they all shoot each other first. Even if one side wins, there will be fewer of them when they turn on me and mine.

    3. https://twitter.com/AdamKinzinger/status/1497354030904975364?t=PIqofAe_5bkZeSbCvd_YAA&s=19

      1) The fate of #Ukraine is being decided tonight, but also the fate of the west. Declare a #NoFlyZone over Ukraine at the invitation of their sovereign govt. Disrupt Russias air ops to give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight. It’s now, or later.

      1. Sure, no reason to not cause a massive war with a nuclear power while also wasting tons of money and our people. Good idea.

      2. Do the citizens of the U.S. get to vote on that?
        I don’t see a security interest of the U.S. sufficient to risk nuclear war.
        I vote to arm Ukraine and not have U.S. forces shoot down Russian planes

    4. Ackshuyally, yes. Here it is both sides, especially when Czar Putin has access to NBC weapons.

  4. Conservative expressions of affection for Putin's supposed moral clarity are perhaps louder than usual.

    Conservatives and Trump Cultists love any enemy of a liberal free trade democracy.

    #MakeRussiaGreatAgain

    1. You’re confused Kiddie Raper. It’s you democrats that are opposed to freedom. And Ukraine is your fault.

    2. Turn yourself in, pederast.

  5. I think David French has it correct with his "enemy of my enemy" analogy. The problem with that idea is that after they defeat your enemy they go after those that supported them in the effort. Authoritarians generally start by lining their enemies up against the wall, followed by their own supporters that they think have too much power or too large a following.

    Life in Russia is good for those few in power but not for anyone else.

    1. I don't think anyone in support of Putin's religious positions legitimately want to see his preferred policies implemented here.

      I think the point is an overt "It doesn't matter if Putin cracks down on Baptists at the bus stop or we crack down on pizzerias who refuse to cater gay weddings. Both sides." The problem for Reason is that it's not the right kind of 'both sides' argument or the right people making it.

      1. The right kind of argument here is that ALL kinds of power-hungry power-pigs just LOVE the "Big Lie"! "Both sides" my ass! ALL sides who love the "Big Lie" are the enemies of personal freedoms!

        https://www.salon.com/2021/04/11/trumps-big-lie-and-hitlers-is-this-how-americas-slide-into-totalitarianism-begins/
        Trump’s Big Lie and Hitler’s: Is this how America’s slide into totalitarianism begins?

        The above is mostly strictly factual, with very little editorializing. When I post it, the FACTS never get refuted… I only get called names. But what do you expect from morally, ethically, spiritually, and intellectually bankrupt Trumpturds?

        Totalitarians want to turn GOP into GOD (Grand Old Dicktatorshit).

        1. Trump's Big Lie has only one purpose - to undermine American democracy.

          1. So how's that different from Soros's?

      2. Which makes Putin supporters hypocrites as well as ugly and stupid.

        1. There was a concerted and very public attempt to shut down a pizzeria for not catering. There have been ongoing, pervasive, and increasing attempts to circumvent The Constitution for decades. Putin had nothing to do with any of it. In fact, the unprincipled hypocrites who've been perpetrating it despise Putin for his heavy handed and narrow defense of it.

          When men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything.

          Corollary: When men stop having faith; they lose all faith, including good faith.

          You think calling me a hypocrite means anything? You don't operate specifically by hypocrisy. What do you think it's doing, making me feel guilty?

          Additionally, this is a notable departure from the typical left idiocy of "I'm going to Canada." (frequently after having migrated here from Canada). I'm not going anywhere and Putin's "coming for both of us". If you're so principled in your opposition to him and I'm such a hypocrite, step up.

          1. The Ukrainians at this moment are fighting and risking lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to throw off Putin's tyranny. They are a damn sight more moral and admirable than all the Putin lovers' religious yammerings.

            Men of faith Patriarch Kirill and Big Papa Francis only offer mealy-mouthed prayers for peace and no condemnation of the tyrant Putin, while Ukrainian individuals who want to enjoy a free life on Earth actually do something about it and fight against Putin bringing his tyranny to their land. While private bakeries and pizzarias have a right to choose their customers and I'll defend that right, I'm sure the desperate Ukrainians don't care about how their donors swing in bed.

            And you know what? The first charity drop box I find for the Ukrainians will be getting a generous bachelor's mite of support from me, including ammo if I can send it!

      3. As an "ex"-KGB intelligence officer, I doubt Putin has any sincerely held religious beliefs or values. Like so many American opportunistic politicians do, he makes church appearances and pretends to be devout because he realizes that Orthodoxy is a large part of Russian cultural identity that politically can't be ignored, and because he can control and weaponize the ROC as an effective propaganda arm. Ironically, it has been the most secular and Westernizing regimes in Russian history, Peter the Great with Patriarch Theophan and Lenin with Patriarch Sergius, that successfully transformed the Church into a state organ. Sergianism is alive and well with Patriarch Kirill, who himself was more than likely involved with the KGB's 5th Directorate to monitor and regulate religious activities in the USSR.

        1. Yeah, but The Little Bush Boy used his "As Seen On TV" BulbHead/Bell & Howell Soul-O-Meter on Putin and found him to be "a good man." /sarc

          Now, as always, religion is for sheep and sheep attract wolves.

    2. The populist authoritarian nationalist movements are clearly winning though. Liberal democracies are struggling to survive.

      Evidence:

      Modi
      Trump
      Putin
      Orban
      Xi Jinping
      Bolsonaro

      I'm an old school classic liberal. I admit we are losing to the far right all over the world.

      1. "I'm an old school classic liberal..."

        turd is a lying pile of lefty shit. turd is a trafficker in kiddie porn, a TDS-addled asshole in addition.
        Never forget that turd lies, constantly. If something in a port from turd is not a lie, it's there by mistake.

      2. I'm an old school classic liberal

        You're an old school classic liberal like Mao was a laissez-faire, free-market capitalist.

      3. Turn yourself in, pederast.

    3. Agreed! Very good! THIS is what I have been trying to explain to the pussy-grabbers! YOUR pussy will get grabbed in due time! No matter HOW much orange phallus ye will be willing to kiss!

      https://reason.com/2019/09/02/hard-lessons-from-the-russian-civil-war/#comment-7916153
      “The Bolsheviks, meanwhile, were not only more unified but more unscrupulous in their strategic alliances: They joined forces with Makhno’s anarchists only to turn on them the moment the White Army was no longer a threat.”

      THIS is also a central lesson to be learned here!!! So many of us fantasize that our support of those who we think is (or will be) the “winner” will earn us the support of the “winners” and their spoils.
      See “the night of the long knives” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Long_Knives… Ernst Röhm (head brownshirt, street brawler, for Hitler) thought his support of Hitler would leave him sitting pretty. So sorry, Ernst Röhm, Hitler had another thing coming for you…
      Right here on Reason.com comments, we see the same thing. The “brownshirts” of the commentary (Nards, etc.) try to brownshirt their enemies off of the comments board, tell their enemies to commit suicide, and other “street fighting”. They, I suspect, expect payback (war spoils) from “winning” Orange Hitler, just as Ernst Röhm did from “winning” Hitler.

      They and their ilk, too, have another thing coming… Orange Hitler will throw them under the bus, the VERY first instant that Orange Hitler finds it to be convenient to Him… Just as Shitler-Hitler threw Ernst Röhm under the bus!

    4. I think David French has it correct...

      Surely only the wisest words of wisdom will follow.

      Life in Russia is good for those few in power but not for anyone else.

      Sounds familiar.

      1. I think David French has it correct...

        You don't hear that much in libertarian circles. TDS is a hell of a drug.

    5. I have a friend, pretty (Korean) American chick, who lived in Russia for a few years. Moved back to the states 3 years ago.
      She loved it. Said it wasn't very different from living in the US.

      1. So why doesn't she go back? Kaybe try buipding a Buddhist shrine next to one of Patriarch Kirill's Cathedrals?

        1. Correction: Maybe try building a Buddhist shrine next to Patriarch Kirill's Cathedrals.

    6. "I think David French has it correct"

      You will be incorrect in doing so. Every single time.

  6. Putin used to be the head of the KGB. Part of his job was using sex to entrap victims. Part of his job was torturing people who were not loyal atheists. Part of his job was ordering the assassination of defectors.

    This man is NOT a defender or Christianity, let alone any form of morality.

    1. Agreed! In spades!

      And WHAT is Putin doing today? While being praised as a "genius" by Trump? Engaging in blatant, unprovoked military aggression! In KILLING for no other reason other than pure power-piggishness!

      "By their fruits, you will know them!"

    2. "Part of his job was using sex to entrap victims"

      After the former President recent praise of Putin, a family member suggested that maybe the "pee tape" does exist. Personally I think Putin's hold on Trump is more likely economic in nature. Either way Putin would know how to trap important people, by sex, money or something else.

  7. He's tried to obscure those cruelties by erecting himself as a moral bulwark against deviance. It's a tall order—and yet, somehow, in certain corners, he's succeeded.

    Not to short Putin's efforts and the "rewards" he's earned for himself but, on this side of the pond and maybe to a degree elsewhere, he's about 50/50 earning his perception as a conservative icon with the other 50% being handed to him by:
    -Jussie Smollett
    -Bubba Wallace
    -Whoopie Goldberg
    -Lesbian couple burns down own house claims hate crime
    -"That could've been me./You didn't build that."
    -Steele Dossier/Russian Collusion
    -We should emulate China's leadership model for tackling AGW.
    -Actual collusion between Obama/Biden and Google/FB/Twitter
    -Spying. Snowden. Lying about spying. Spying some more.
    -BLM and similar organizations that don't exist because their members don't carry membership cards.
    -Hong Kong and the NBA's opposition.
    -My body. My choice. Except vaccines.
    As well as people openly supporting all of the above, including Reason parroting an anti-K-3 human sexuality bill as "Don't say gay."

    The Hong Kong one being particularly important as you look back at the Boris Yeltzin years and see/hear Michael Jordan say, "Republicans buy sneakers too." Putin may be a strongman and Republicans may support him but it should be clear and concerning to anyone on either side that it's about them being driven away from the US. You have people who still live, breath, and *literally* die by the ethos "Better dead than Red." saying they prefer Putin over what America is now. It says a lot to an outside observer that their opposition says "We should take their healthcare away." and the person standing just to their right chimes in with "Getting vaccinated really is a good idea."

    1. "Getting vaccinated really is a good idea."

      Not according to those who stretch "civic duty" (AKA love of your neighbors) beyond ALL recognition!

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/centner-academy-vaccine-rules-leila-centner-david-centner
      Florida School Run by Idiots Says Vaccinated Students Must Stay Home for 30 Days After Each Shot
      This is the same school where a teacher told students not to hug their vaccinated parents for more than five seconds.

      (End subtitles and excerpts).

      See? We are ALL data-driven by now! My data says the OTHER (evil) tribe believes in vaccines, so MY tribe must BAN and SHUN the BAD tribe (and their cooties) as much as possible!
      The unvaccinated are now CLEAN and the vaccinated are UNCLEAN! Civic-minded BAD! Afraid of micro-chips in vaccines GOOD! Black is white, and good is evil!

    2. Putin may be a strongman and Republicans may support him

      The idea that Republicans "support Putin" is absurd.

      Republicans, for the most part, point out that Obama/Clinton/Biden screwed up badly and that at this point, there isn't anything that can be done about Ukraine. Putin has taken advantage of the idiot in the WH perfectly.

      1. Tell us all about it!

        https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-praises-putins-genius-gop-fissures-grow-ukraine-crisis-rcna17259

        Trump praises Putin's 'genius' as GOP fissures grow on Ukraine crisis
        Republican leaders, political candidates and prominent conservatives are all over the place as the Russian leader sends in troops.

        1. Yes, Trump identified Putin as an evil genius.

          That's as opposed to Biden, who clearly underestimated Putin.

          You know who else is very smart? Smarter than Biden certainly. Xi will invade Taiwan within the next couple of years.

          Part of what encourages Putin and Xi is the utter stupidity and incompetence of the Biden administration.

          1. “I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine—of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. So, Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy, I know him very well. Very, very well.”

            “Genius.” “Wonderful.” “Very savvy.” As a reminder, these are words Trump is using to describe a man people are legitimately worried is going to start World War III. While the whole thing is completely insane, it is not actually surprising given not only Trump’s well-documented affection for Putin but his disdain for democracy and Democratic presidents. Can an interview in which Trump claims Putin’s invasion is “the best, most terrific invasion” he’s ever seen be far behind? We’ll just have to wait and see!

            The above is from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/02/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-ukraine-genius ... Note that Trump uses the term "wonderful" to describe Putin's "genius".

            WHERE in Trump's blathering do we see the EVIL part of your "evil genius" Big Lie here, Noy-Boy-Toy? Citation please, liar!

      2. Pissed about the ruble?

        1. Why would I be?

      3. Measured against the bar set by Obo/droolin' Joe, Putin is looking very smart indeed.

      4. The idea that Republicans "support Putin" is absurd.

        Should've said 'republican'. I didn't mean the GOP supports him. I meant somewhere there can be found someone who says, "I am a Republican and I support Putin."

    3. And most critically:

      -globalism
      -covid totalitarianism
      -build back better
      -great reset ("you will have nothing")

      1. Yeah, my only hesitation in that regard is that it could be construed as e.g. Australians support Putin because of COVID camps. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if some did, but I don't speak on behalf of Australians, conservative or otherwise. I would, however, add that Australia and the rest of the Five Eyes see all of each other's bullshit. News about the Jussie Smollett hoax was pretty pervasive throughout the English-speaking world.

  8. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has pitted much of the world into two teams, as war tends to do. The prevailing sentiment in the West appears to be pro-Ukraine. But among certain corners of the chattering classes, there's somewhat of a third team: one that isn't anti-Ukraine, per se, but also isn't anti-Russia. There is one foe, and it is America.

    I suspect the biggest camp is the "we don't f*cking care, it's not our concern".

    1. I'll volunteer for that third team, but idiot Binion needs to be corrected: it isn't anti-America, it's anti-Globalist ruling "elite" who are actively ruining our way of life and want to subjugate us all into serfdom

      1. Putin is a Globalist who wants serfdom too...He just wants The Big Blue Marble for himself, just as his Commie predecessors and co-ideologists did.

    2. You'd think libertarians would be in the third camp, no?

      Pointing out that while Putin is bad, he's less of an immediate concern then the problems we have right here is not downplaying Putin. But why HE is the greatest villain on Earth over all others is baffling.

  9. The traitorous scum on FOX News needs white Christian privilege, or else how would it get away with nonstop anti-American lies? You people set your hair on fire over some random black college student stealing tampons, but there's Tucker, actually siding with a foreign adversary, and a particularly useless one at that.

    1. Putin-Trump LOVES us ALL, did ye not KNOW!?!?

      Let me paint the picture for ye!

      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08LP1SVCN/reasonmagazinea-20/

    2. The 1980's called.

      They want their foreign policy back.

      1. Things were better when Russia was run by a drunk.

        1. Things were better when America was run by a reality TV show host, rather than a senile, war mongering imbecile and his slutty sidekick.

          1. So now you don't like warmongering?

            1. We never did. It’s usually weak idiots like you and the weak, senile moron you voted for that allow this shit to happen.so maybe yo7 should can the attitude, shut the fuck up, and go back to being spitroasted in the back room of your windowless bars.

              1. I don't know what the fuck you're talking about because I've been right about more things than I expected to be.

    3. Is Russia an adversary though? And if so, why would China not be?

      1. Charles Koch has Chinese interests.

        1. Also, Russia's not an adversary when Mitt Romney says so. Unless they hack elections. Then they're the gravestest threat ever to democracy. Again. Gravestest ever until unarmed protesters show up. Say what you will about the tenets of Vladimir Putin at least he's got an ethos.

          1. Any bets Tony thought Obama's "slam" was genius?

            Hey, we agreed with you clowns. Be happy.

            Russia is bad. Canada sliding into fascism next door to us is a bigger problem for me.

            1. Does Canada FORCE people to buy magazines?

              Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
              How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

              Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

              So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

              “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
              Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)

              (Etc.)

              See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/

            2. Agreed. Although the greatest threat to Americans is even closer. The democrats party and their faithful.

            3. *Walk. Chew gum. Walk. Chew gum.*

          2. He needs an ethos as worm food.

      2. Yes, and why not indeed. Next question.

      3. They both are at the moment, not that it needs to be the case.

        The best argument for democracy is that, even if you have the best five-year plan ever, vast power makes men go crazy, and crazy men may inherit vast power, and we're all fucked by their whims.

        Both Xi and Putin have worldviews informed by their power and isolation. Their goals are stupid. Luckily, the stupid are easy to outsmart.

        1. You’re such an idiot. Xi and Putin are predatory sociopaths. If they think they can get away with taking something they want, then they do it. You’re sociopathic yourself, so I thought that you could at least understand that, but damn, you’re too obtuse to grasp something so simple and familiar to you.

    4. Traitorous scum like you is why American kids keep getting sent to die in meaningless wars.

      1. No Americans are being sent to war!

        1. The day isn’t over with you vacuous poof.

    5. "The traitorous scum on FOX News"

      OH.

      Dissent is NOT the highest form of patriotism again? Resistance is bad now, eh?

      Funny how that works.

      BTW, is there any group on Earth more benefitting from "white privilege" than the Bidens?

      1. Wake me when FOX News ever dissents from their 100% pro-Republican propaganda.

        1. Again, funny how dissent is only patriotic when you dislike the President.

          Resistance is only patriotic when you dislike the President.

          At least you're consistent. Hypocrisy is your only constant.

  10. Binion you're confused - religious liberty has *never* been a Christian value.

    1. It's an odd concept really.

      If you believe Buddhism, Free Market Capitalism, or veganism is the absolute best way to live, why would you support the spread of Taoism, Socialism or Atkins?

      You might not be actively hostile but you shouldn't be expected to want to encourage their spread.

      1. You should support the right of others to express opposing viewpoints and if what you espouse is objectively true, then you shouodn't fear expression of opposing viewpoints. Nothing "odd" about that.

        1. That's fine - but what is the First Commandment?

          "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

          Christianity - like basically every other religion before and after - has never prized religious liberty. Not even among different Christian denominations.

          'Religious liberty' is a *secular* value that some sects of Christianity (and other religions) have picked up in the last couple of centuries at the most.

          1. I'm certainly not arguing against you here, Ag. I've always said if religion were compatible with libertarianism, we would have had a free society millennia ago.

  11. You know who else was no defender of Christian values?

    1. Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus?

    2. Oh, no defender of Christian values.

      Huh, I could still answer Matthew Quintal.

  12. Putin said he's taking out the Nazis, Biden opposes Putin, Biden supports Nazis

    1. Good point. Since the name and the actions do not matter, per antifa, then Biden clearly supports Nazis.

    2. Biden supports extra helpings of jello too, and they’re probably about the same to his hollowed out, dull little mind.

  13. This article is all well and good, but how does it advocate for more immigration to the US?

  14. Well, there is always the practical question of what we're supposed to be fighting for.

    "Culture wars" only don't matter to people who pretend that they don't have a culture.

    When I was on watch against the Russians, back in the stone age, I knew what I was (potentially) fighting for, a mostly free country.

    What now though? People being un-personed and de-platfomed for wrongthink? A government that has been practicing banning assembly for two years? Or so that I can be fired for refusing to call a boy in a dress "she"?

    Culture is what we actually live inside of. Culture affects how we actually live our lives.

    Not to mention I'm not sure that our "fortified" democracy (see Tie magazine's bragging article about 2020) is any better than Russia's kleptocracy anymore.

    1. That was supposed to be Time Magazine

    2. That America is so free and so sophisticated is why people are freely changing their genders and insisting on the better treatment of vulnerable minorities. That is freedom in action, and you are being a reactionary to that. Your mistake is assuming that the only people who get freedom are you and people like you.

      Also, I just bet you've always defined freedom to include capitalism, or the right of your boss to fire you for whatever damn reason he wants. Correct? I mean, if you don't like it, form a union.

      Government is enforcing none of these things. Just society.

      1. So I can go out in public and say transgenderism is a mental illness, right? I can say sex changes for kids is child abuse, right?

        What, I'll get cops called for that? I may lose my own children to CPS?

        Hm, freedom for thee but not for me.

        1. Yes, you can say those things without consequence. You just did.

  15. Fuck it, I'm going to say. I assumed we were missing context from that Tucker Carlson quote, so I went to watch the clip. Basically, he explaining that not because he's apologizing for Putin, but because he's pointing out that we have no national interest in going to war over the Ukraine. And he was setting up that a lot of the media push to portray Putin as evil is due to Biden's conflict of interest with his family ties to the Ukraine.

    I don't think Tucker Carlson would describe Putin as a defender of Christian morality or possessor of any type of virtue. I think he's pointing out that Putin is not the cause of the domestic problems that his audience is concerned with. He's not the guy responsible for siccing the FBI on your school board meeting.

    1. He absolutely is the guy responsible for us needing the FBI to investigate violent threats against school boards.

      You can blame Trump and all of your paranoid fever dreams on Russian ops. It might be better for us all.

      1. I would think the actions of the school boards are why we 'need' the FBI to investigate parents.

        1. The actions of school boards in collusion with the Brandon administration to label dissent as domestic terrorism is why we need the FBI to investigate the boards.

          Not one parent got physically violent, but apparantly mean public input crosses the line and needs jackboots to stifle dissent.

    2. He's not the guy responsible for siccing the FBI on your school board meeting.

      Yup. The Reich Minister of Propaganda is whipping up the Brownshirts and the German People about the danger Stalin poses. Tucker Carlson is in the minority of voices saying "Stalin isn't our primary problem."

    3. That's what's worrying me. This is clearly missing such critical context that it borders on outright falsehood.

  16. God established 2 institutions: places of worship and the family. Governments were established by man, but all holy writings have a tacit endorsement from the supreme being to the institution. The Christian Bible gives the government the power of the sword, meaning it can kill. THerefore a police officer, shooting a criminal is not murder in the sense of thou shalt not kill. That being said, a leader of a government can be a Christian, supporting Christian values and also as a leader of a government do some unpleasant things - say killing its enemies. They are neither RIGHT or WRONG, but they can be necessary. As far as Putin's commitment to Christian Values, they are far greater at this time than that of the US government. As a US citizen, my first loyalty is to the US, but at the same time I am not deluded by the propaganda as "Liberal Thumpers" to follow a narrative at the expense of reason. Putin bad, so we must call him crazy, evil, a mad man, "Hitler" etc. That is idiocy. Putin is smart, no doubt about it. He is a strong leader, and he definitely is more POWERFUL and more of a leader than the pedophile we have elected president. I don't know the level of his Christianity. I do know that Christianity has made a resurgence in Russia as it is declining in the US- along with our prosperity and our strength. I also understand, as the leader of his country, he must order people to die, as our presidents do many times. At least killing people with poison doesn't KILL the innocent people around them, as Obama did when he BOMBED a US citizen in YEMEN and killed his innocent teen-aged son. As a Christian and one who believes the Bible, I know this world is not controlled by God, but by evil, impersoned in the character we refer to as Satan or the devil. This world has death and disease which shows that God does not control it directly. Leaders will have to use unpleasant acts to protect their government, including killing their enemies. A dead person is still dead, whether killed by a drone strike or poison. This authors demonizing Putin because he uses poison thus making him "unchristian" is not rational and simply following the "liberal thumpers" philosophy of AGENDA over reason.

  17. I trust Putin as much as I do this country’s ruling elite, and the deep state. I trust him as much as the government bureaucrats lying about bio weapons labs in Ukraine. Does that make me pro Putin? I don’t think so.

  18. This article and many commenters (Sorry, I haven't read all) misrepresent Putin's pragmatic support of peasant Christianity. No one knows what Putin actually believes (or any of us) but his actions point toward an understanding that Apostolic Christianity has served humanity better than any competing doctrines. Kooky offshoots always weaken the Body of Christ and so it is not surprising that a Czar would discourage such competition - thereby preventing fracturing of the national identity that Putin and Russians generally want to keep intact.

    We in the West could certainly use a Maximum Leader who didn't shrink from using lesser evils to root out major evil. The major evil of our time is abandonment of Christian principles.

  19. As if Billy Binion and the rest of the bugmen at Reason care about Christian values.

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