Bedazzled Russian cleric claims Vladimir Putin is saving Ukraine from 'horrific' gay pride parade
Most of the international community rightly rejects Vladimir Putin's justifications for his brutal attack on Ukraine - that he needs to keep his neighbor to the west out of NATO and that he is seeking to "de-Nazify" the country. In a sermon on Sunday, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church put forth a bizarre new explanation: the war is necessary to save eastern Ukraine from the gays.
Writing in The Bulwark, the Cato Institute's Cathy Young notes that Patriarch Kirill began his clerical career in the Soviet era and long has been a champion of the communist state. In his sermon the patriarch declared: "For eight years, there have been efforts to destroy what exists in Donbas. What exists in the Donbas is a rejection, a principled rejection of the so-called values that are now being offered by those who lay claim to global domination. Today there is a certain test for loyalty to that power, a certain pass into that 'happy' world, the world of excessive consumption, the world of illusory freedom. Do you know what that test is? It's very simple but also horrific: it's a gay parade."
The Russian church leader's remarks fall right in line with comments recently made by the likes of Steve Bannon, who recently praised Putin on his podcast for not being “woke” and said that “they don’t have the Pride flags” in Russia.
Perhaps most ironic about the cleric's remarks is that eastern Donbas isn't exactly a region of tolerance and freedom and, therefore, in need "saving" by Putin's war machine. Freedom House gives it a “freedom rating” of 4 out of 100, ahead of only North Korea, Syria, Tibet, Turkmenistan, and South Sudan.
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