The reaction to the guilty verdict handed down by a Russian court with regard to the Pussy Riot group's protest in an Orthodox Church was interesting. First of all the three women's reaction was the most interesting of all: as they were found guilty they were smirking - that says a lot, I think, and reveals a lot about them.
The reaction of the usual celebrities was as predicted - talk of free speech, valid protest etc etc. Yet the same celebrities are not too keen on free speech when it comes to issues and people who disagree with them. How often have we in the pro-life movement been condemned by celebrities who toe the Planned Parenthood line and proclaim it is a woman's right to choose and there is no room for discussion?
The Orthodox Church's reaction was also as expected - decrying what was an act of deep offense against the Christian faith, yet calling for mercy following sentencing.
And as for Putin, well he's tough anyway: I have no doubt these ladies knew that if they were caught he would not be inclined to be conciliatory - and I think they factored that into the equation, at least my interpretation of their haughty smirking in the dock leads me to that conclusion. I think they want to be martyrs for the cause - the protest was to continue in the courtroom. For that reason I think a public trial might have been a bad idea - it just gave them publicity. Ladies like these need to be treated like naughty toddlers - ignored and sidelined.
And then there is the media's reaction, falling in line with the celebrities. Watching the coverage I see the media up to their old tricks, ignoring some facts and exaggerating others. First of all the accepted version of the story is that these ladies were engaged in a political protest, they are bona fide dissenters courageously defending freedom of expression and seeking political freedom. Yet the media have ignored what the women were actually doing. They were dancing in the sanctuary of a Christian church - a sacred place, mocking Christian worship with a song whose chorus is anything but fitting. Is that a protest against Putin?
But the media are also hiding a lot of facts about these women. Pussy Riot are not as noble a group as we are led to believe: LifeSiteNews has a comprehensive piece, and here is another interesting article with some background on the group. Some have compared the woman with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I don't think so. Protest is fine, the day will come, I'm sure, and not too far away either I think, when we Christians may be protesting against our governments and engaging in civil disobedience, but protest must always respect others and the faith of others. As some have asked, would these ladies do the same in a mosque? They would not for two reasons - it would not be politically incorrect and they might end up being stoned to death before they had a chance to get out of the building. Is it legitimate to mock faith and descecrate places held sacred by people in order to protest against a political regime?
Some will say these ladies did so because the Orthodox Church is too close to the Russian government. Okay, well Judaism is considered by many to be too close to Zionism and the State of Israel - well, where are the lewd feminists dancing in the synagogues mocking Abraham and Moses? They are not there because they know it is inappropriate and wrong - just as it is inappropriate and wrong to desecrate a place of Christian worship. As the homosexuals are always saying: all we want is to be treated equally, but as we all know, when it comes to Christianity equality goes out the window and double standards are all the rage.
As regards the verdict, as a Christian I would side with the Orthodox Church and look for mercy since we must forgive, but in doing so I would recognise that they got what they deserved. Perhaps they, and the secularists need to understand that Christians, while they will forgive, will also demand justice.
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