Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

19 January 2011. Only in Russia… It’s Time for an Epiphany Dip! That’ll Clear Out the Old Sinuses!







Russian Reactions to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s Comments on Modesty

A spokesman for Chief Rabbi of Russia Andrei Glotser {there’s more than one “Chief Rabbi of Russia”… Jewish friends tell me that’s par for the course: editor} said that he hoped that society would come to a tacit agreement concerning modesty in appearance. “If you say that society should have an unspoken agreement about modesty in dress, of course, we welcome it”, he said Tuesday in an interview with our Interfax-Religion correspondent. This was in response to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s comments on Russian standards of modesty, and his observation that we need such a measure because some people choose to dress immodestly. However, our informant expressed concern, “If we talk about the development of a common dress code, then, this raises quite a few questions. People of many different cultures and faiths live in Russia, and what’s acceptable attire for some, isn’t necessarily so for others. For example, some Muslim women wear baggy harem pants, but observant Jewish women can’t wear them”, the spokesman told us in passing on Rav Glotser’s views on the subject. In his opinion, “Notions of modesty differ amongst different peoples, so, it’s really very difficult to develop a common standard on this, it would be more correct to speak about an agreement about what modesty in dress for both men and women entails”. The spokesman said that Rav Glotser believes that religious leaders should preach about modesty “in their churches, synagogues, and mosques”, but he emphasised that it “we couldn’t force it on people. Of course, it would be appropriate if we had a proper standard of modesty on television, so it would be less immodest, closer to what we believe as religious people”.


Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the Presidential Human Rights Council, doesn’t believe that we need an all-Russian standard for appropriate attire. “It’s pointless to make up such a code. We already have dress codes, and most people accept it as a natural thing. We don’t need to change anything”, Mikhail Aleksandrovich told Interfax on Tuesday. This was in response to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s comments on Russian standards of modesty. Mikhail Aleksandrovich said, “I wouldn’t change a thing. Moreover, I wouldn’t want to impose anything on people. We don’t have to have mandatory laws forcing men to wear trousers. We don’t need such laws. Regulation shouldn’t intrude where we don’t need it. For instance, we already have an all-Russian dress code for government officials; men have to wear a suit and tie, and women must wear a pants suit, a dress, or a skirt with a dress blouse. There’s an Orthodox dress code… we all know that men must take off their hats when they enter the church, and that they can’t enter wearing a t-shirt and shorts. There’s a dress code for women, too; they should enter the church with covered heads. Muslims and Jews have their own standards”. He pointed up that Russia is a secular country, and there are “many different dress codes. The dress code for a bank it is different from the dress code in a factory. For many years, we’ve had many dress codes, widely spread throughout our society. There’s no need to change any laws, but we do need to bring up the level of our culture, which includes personal appearance”, Mikhail Aleksandrovich said.


President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya supported the call by Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Synodal Division for Church and Public Relations, for women to dress modestly. “Since when is a call to humility, and to ask that people act with proper dignity, a criminal infringement of somebody’s rights? Perhaps, Russians just have to remember their history”, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted Ramzan Akhmatovich as saying on Wednesday. This was in response to Fr Vsevolod’s comments on Russian standards of modesty. For his part, Ramzan Akhmatovich said, “The Russian people have always regarded decency highly, and they’ve always respected feminine modesty. Do you want to see girls hanging out on the streets, smoking, drinking, and letting themselves go? They’re your mothers, sisters, and daughters! Rather, I’d like them to be models of femininity commanding respect, esteem, and admiration. It all begins with how you appear!” Ramzan Akhmatovich said. He lamented that Russian folk music and dance concerts had disappeared from Russian TV. “What happened to the Pyatnitsky Choir, the Siberian Folk Chorus, and the Kuban Cossack Ensemble? Instead, on all the channels, you see debauchery and naked women. Once upon a time, the whole world admired Russian culture. When I was in Jordan, a Chechen who was born abroad, who never saw Russia, told me how he loved the writings of Leo Tolstoy. He read them in Arabic. We’ve tossed it all away, and opened up the doors to Western materialism”, Ramzan Akhmatovich noted with regret.


Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, called on Russian women to be exemplars of decent behavior. “Primarily, women have a maternal role, as they’re the educators of their children, women should be more spiritual, and, of course, their clothing, character, habits, and general appearance are important for the health of the family. Women should set an example for the younger generation, and for their children”, Mufti Ravil told our Interfax-Religion correspondent. This was in response to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s comments on Russian standards of modesty. “As a Russian citizen, as a religious leader, I’ll support any initiative that seeks to maintain morality and spirituality”, Mufti Ravil stated. He pointed up that Russian society, “if you look at our history as a nation, was always built on a spiritual basis. Both Muslim and Orthodox peoples always wore modest clothing. In our understanding, our spirituality is connected with how we dress ourselves…  we’re not supposed to be ostentatious, and we’re not supposed to dishonour our human dignity”, Mufti Ravil said, adding that women were “gentle creatures, and we should protect them”.


The Russian Association of Islamic Concord (all-Russian Muftiate) supported the idea of Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin to introduce a standard for dress in Russia. “Men and women should always remember their role as parental role models; they should bear in mind the old traditions of their people and give good example in everything, especially in the manner of their attire. Therefore, sensible people fully support the initiative of Fr Vsevolod about a dress code”, Mufti Mukhammedgali Khuzin, the head of the executive committee of the all-Russian Muftiate, and Chief Mufti of Perm, told Interfax-Religion. This was in response to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin’s comments on Russian standards of modesty. Mufti Mukhammedgali pointed up that dress codes for both men and women “is actually one of the basic building blocks of human behavior in society. Until the early 1990’s, Russians retained the concept of propriety in choosing their clothing, and they just didn’t choose things willy-nilly. Therefore, we don’t perceive the words of Fr Vsevolod in a hostile manner; we don’t think that his statements on female behaviour are provocative”. In his opinion, According to him, the position of Mrs Alekseyeva, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, is bizarre, saying, “It’s very difficult for me to imagine Mrs Alekseyeva wearing a mini-skirt”.

Mufti Mukhammedgali noted that a man should be a father and the head of the family, whilst a woman should be a mother, the keeper of the hearth, and the educator of their children. “What can they teach their children if they shamelessly expose themselves, if they degrade their humanity with rings in their noses, tattoos all over their body, with cigarettes dangling in their mouths, and a can of beer in their hands? Only debauchery (it’s just a “subculture” with bestial instincts) and a departure from the centuries-old traditions”, he said. He reminded us that, since very early times, in Russia, “People dressed according to their religious beliefs, and that wasn’t just true for only Muslims. For example, if a Christian woman went out amongst men without a headscarf, people would call her a ‘questioner’ {literally, “questioner of the power of hair”… in peasant culture, to see a married woman’s hair was to see her “power”: editor}. A woman without a headscarf was a symbol of corruption, and man without a belt was the image of impotence. In was indecent for a man to go out without a belt, it was considered senile, or it was thought that such a man was trying to conceal his former status. Only during mourning could a man could go out unbelted. In general, people called men without belts ‘dissolute ones’. If a woman unbound her hair and practised divination and fortune telling bareheaded, that, no doubt, was a departure from tradition and a return to paganism”, Mufti Mukhammedgali said.


Roman Silantyev, the Director of Human Rights Centre of the World Russian People’s Council (VRNS), believed that the majority of believers would support the proposals of Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin concerning the introduction of an all-Russian dress code. “The position of Fr Vsevolod isn’t the official position of the Church, but it’s close to what most religious bodies and believers hold. You can argue about the details, but it’s clear that people should dress decently. There’s an old proverb, ‘Your clothes speak for you’”, Roman Anatolyevich said on Wednesday, as quoted by the website Особая буква (Special Letter). He believes that, at some point, Russian society “became marginalised, there was a social failure, so, many people decided that you can dress as you please. That’s not so. Clothing is an important element in demonstrating the social status of a person or to the class to which he aspires”. However, he continued, “to introduce any legal restrictions in this area makes no sense because a large role is played by general societal mores; it rests in the attitudes of those people who allow themselves to flaunt such attire. Today, dress codes are commonplace in different organisations. Therefore, if you work in finance, no one would ever wear shorts to a business meeting or come like that to work. This isn’t restricted to regulations or management guidelines. We all understand that if we violate the rules of the dress code, we would soon find that we would be out of a job”, Roman Anatolyevich commented.

Despite this, he believes that “under the influence of Hollywood movies, some people relate to things rather loosely, and they look like a fright. It’s just stupid to pick out clothes that bring you negative consequences. The Church is calling for debate on this subject; it’s not trying to impose by force any standard of conduct. It realises that not all of society is within its jurisdiction”, Roman Anatolyevich said, reminding us that, “on its own turf”, the Church does demand that believers fulfil certain requirements, including those relating to appearance. “We know that the Church has the right not to let improperly dressed people enter the church. It decides what’s improper. Many parishes allow women to wear trousers to the services. Likewise, the Church doesn’t compel women to wear headscarves; they can wear hats, too, as long as they cover their heads as is required. Today, it’s clear that there’s no sinister motive why women wear trousers to services. After all, most women don’t wear them to enhance their sexuality or as a form of protest. It’s simply because it’s more convenient. Based on this logic, we can’t deny a woman entrance to the services if she’s wearing slacks”, Roman Anatolyevich said.

18-19 January 2011








Editor’s Note:

The most important comment was in the last item. Note this:

We know that the Church has the right not to let improperly dressed people enter the church. It decides what’s improper. Many parishes allow women to wear trousers to the services. Likewise, the Church doesn’t compel women to wear headscarves; they can wear hats, too, as long as they cover their heads as is required. Today, it’s clear that there’s no sinister motive why women who wear trousers to services. After all, most women don’t wear them to enhance their sexuality or as a form of protest. It’s simply because it’s more convenient. Based on this logic, we can’t deny a woman entrance to the services if she’s wearing slacks.

Roman Anatolyevich is very close to Vsevolod Chaplin, they’ve worked together often under the auspices of the VRNS. He’s NO Renovationist… he’s not one of the Blunder’s faction at all. Therefore, his statement is important. There appears to be an amended “dress code” for women coming about, and it appears to have the blessing of His Nibs. Roman Anatolyevich wouldn’t speak on such an important topic without a “blessing” from His Holiness. It’s simple, truly… women can wear trousers to services so long as they follow the Evangelical precept of covering their heads at prayer. That’s neither the “Traditionalist” imposture of a skirt down to the floor and tablecloth on the head or the Renovationist rebellion of an uncovered head with a plunging neckline and hip-hugger slacks. As it falls within the “Golden Mean”, it’s probably correct. Be modest in your clothing… that’s not rocket science, it’s good sense, and all decent people know what it is.

I smell the presence of KMG behind Roman Anatolyevich’s remarks. We’re lucky to have him, aren’t we?


John Boehner is a “Respectable Man”… He Wants to Take Away Healthcare Access for the Working Poor so that the Rich Save a Dime or Two

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

How much did the HMOs pay you for your vote, Mr Boehner? You DID spit on what your pope teaches, after all…


Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care. The provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is commonly accepted as a fundamental human right. Governments are obligated, therefore, to adopt the proper legislative, administrative, and financial measures to provide such care along with other basic conditions that promote good health, such as food security, water, and housing.

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone


Important also in the field of health, integral part of each one’s existence and of the common good, is to establish a true distributive justice that guarantees to all, on the basis of objective needs, adequate care. Consequently, the world of health cannot be subtracted from the moral rules that should govern it so that it will not become inhuman. As I stressed in the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, the social doctrine of the Church has always evidenced the importance of distributive justice and of social justice in the different sectors of human relations.

Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions.

Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome


We have a right to health care, really? God doesn’t give health care. Man provides health care. So how can it be a right. If you are endowed by your Creator with certain unalienable rights, how can a God-given right be health care, unless Jesus comes down and starts to open up a clinic and heal us himself? There cannot be a right to health care, because the rights come to God.

Glenn Beck


Read this:


John Boehner is a “respectable man”, that’s what the Tea Party fanatics say, anyway. All civilised developed states have single-payer state healthcare. It’s quite that simple. If Mr Boehner wants to kiss the naked bums of his rich paymasters at high noon in the public square so that the whole world sees it, that’s his business, so be it. If Mr Boehner wishes to make a braying jackass of himself, that’s his business, too, so be it. However, when he spits on the teachings of all the major legitimate Christian leaders from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformation Protestant faiths, it becomes everyone’s business. What’s more, he knows it, and he doesn’t care… it’s much more important for him to cosy up to his rich pals so that they can line his pockets. Oh… don’t forget… John Boehner is a “respectable man”.

Remember this… John Boehner defends a system that denies surgery to people with two holes in their heart so that HMO execs can pull down fat expense accounts and so that HMOs can pay fat dividends to lazy rentier “investors”. John Boehner defends a system that denies people treatment because they have a “pre-existing condition”… and expects you to swallow his “indignation” whole. Keep in mind… John Boehner is a “respectable man”.

The USA has a healthcare system that costs 17 percent of its GDP and leaves millions uninsured. The EU has a system that costs 8 percent of GDP, and covers everyone. There’s something wrong with this picture, kids… the difference is clear… the American system siphons off healthcare money to enrich the HMOs and insurance companies. John Boehner smiles at this and approves of it. It doesn’t matter if millions go without healthcare… they should “sacrifice” and pay for health insurance at extortionate rates, per Mr Boehner. It doesn’t matter to him if thousands file for bankruptcy because of crushing medical bills… he’s insulated from that by Congress’ very generous health insurance plan. However, don’t you ever say that Mr Boehner isn’t a “respectable man”.

This is going nowhere. Harry Reid will take great glee in (figuratively) disembowelling Mr Boehner with the greatest gusto and vigour. It won’t even reach the president’s desk. This is the result of the GOP defeat last November. You see, the GOP needed supermajorities in both the House and the Senate to overturn any legislation of President Obama’s that they didn’t like. They fell short of that… lunatic Tea Party candidates for the Senate slit their throat, and kept the Democrats in control of that body. Note this well… Sarah Palin’s fair-haired boy Joe Miller lost to a WRITE-IN CANDIDATE. This was in Lil’ Miz Sarah’s home state!

Mr Boehner is a “respectable man”, though; yes, siree. Let me see… weren’t Caiphas and Pontius Pilatus “respectable men?” Birds of a feather flock together, no? The GOP took out a gun, and it shot itself in the head today with full deliberation and forethought. Look at the good side of it all… they exposed themselves as the Chester the Molesters of the political world (and the Pee Wee Hermans of morality)… and that’s NOT a bad thing.

John Boehner or Otto von Bismarck… who’s the conservative? I’ll give ya a hint… it was the first leader to introduce single-payer healthcare (and generous unemployment benefits) in the world…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

Wingnut Catholics such as George Weigel notwithstanding, the Catholic Church condemns laissez faire Free Market nihilism and advocates the Social Market instead (indeed, since Rerum Novarum, it gives trades unions a legitimacy that the GOP denies). That is to say, as John Boehner claims to be a practising Catholic, he has to disown the healthcare repeal vote, go to confession, and receive absolution for dumping on the public teaching of his church. Indeed, any Catholic bishop should ban him from Holy Communion for contumaciously and openly spitting on the teaching of not only the present Pope of Rome, but his predecessors as well. He’s WORSE than any “pro-abortion” legislator… John Boehner attacks the teachings of his pope and expects to be applauded for it! I would advise Mr Boehner that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill agrees with Pope Benedict on this issue… completely and absolutely.

John Boehner has left the circle of legit Christians by voting against single-payer healthcare. Maybe, he should join the Mormons… Glenn Beck did. Then, he could advocate evil social policies without being in conflict with his religious leaders! That would be honest, though…


19 January 2001. Fathausen Has “Discussion” With His Nibs

More stuff n’ nonsense from the folks who gave you such inimitable stalwarts as Bobby K, Monk James, Herman Swaiko, Nikolai Soraich, Benjamin Peterson, Isidore Brittain, Sam Greene, Vassa Larina, and Alexander Lebedeff, and many others too numerous to mention… cock-a-doodle-doo!


A fat monk is no monk at all.

Traditional Orthodox folk wisdom

Read this:


There’s an interesting wrinkle about every post on patriarchia.ru (except for the first one)… they’re all listing as coming from the DECR Communications Service… that is to say, they’re from the Blunder’s propaganda mill. Note well that there was only one high-res photoalbum on Fathausen’s trip so far… that was because His Nibs celebrated liturgy on a major feastday (which invariably gets a photoalbum on the website). The above post reverted to a low-res image, to wit:

Note well that the author posted the above item on the website at 22.23 MSK (17.23 UTC 14.23 EST 11.23 PST)… that’s late. I’ve also noticed that items actually appear on this website about an hour after their “official” time… most probably, someone vets stuff before it’s actually put up, and they edit it if necessary. No doubt, the Blunder submitted high-res images, but the staff at the website invariably steps them down to thumbnail size (that’s interesting… it indicates friction between Vlad Legoida and the Blunder… but nearly everyone hates the Blunder (especially after the Der Spiegel interview fiasco)).

Did you notice the vague nature of the reportage? This was the only solid part of this piece of fluff:

In a warm atmosphere of trust and understanding, they discussed the evolution of the relations of the [MP] and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as a wide range of topics associated with the situation of Orthodoxy in the Americas.

Firstly, as this crapola originated with the Blunder’s minions, we can brush aside the first phrase as mere verbiage and diplomatic wind (it means that no one raised their voice). Therefore, the only relevant portion is:

[They] discussed the evolution of the relations of the [MP] and the Orthodox Church in America, as well as a wide range of topics associated with the situation of Orthodoxy in the Americas.

No detail… they gave no details at all, which strongly hints at an interrogation. To be blunt, it smells very strongly like a woodshed session, and the vagueness of the post makes it look like KMG gave El Gordo “three of the best” (I would have paid good money to see that…) No doubt, Melchisedek Pleska was there as a witness, His Nibs obviously doesn’t trust either the Wonder or Fathausen (are you thinking what I’m thinking? Could KMG be considering Pleska as a replacement for the Surfer Dude?) … he has a reputation for honesty in some quarters. What sort of evolution? What “wide range of topics?” In a related vein, some correspondents of mine pointed up, “Notice how unhappy Bishop Melchisedek looks” (they used the same words! Well, it’s a simple observation, after all). Here’s the image in question:

Well, the OCA posted another story on the junket:


Interesting detail… Melchisedek Pleska arrived a day after El Gordo did. That raises SERIOUS questions. Did His Nibs send for him without Fathausen’s knowledge or permission? Did you see his look in the image posted above? It was sour enough to curdle milk in all the cows within a fifty-kilometre radius. He was PISSED OFF seriously at something (or someone). He didn’t even try to “put on appearances”. It looked as though he wanted to plant his Size 12 squarely in El Gordo’s backside.

There are no quotes from His Holiness in the oca.org blurb. None. There’s some propaganda BS from the Wonder, but he’s a known quantity. Don’t forget, His Nibs refuses to make him a ruling bishop (let’s see, Rotov, Denisenko, and Gundyaev were all ruling bishops… of Leningrad, Kiev, and Smolensk respectively… Russians don’t break tradition lightly). My belief is that Alfeyev is too well-known in Western and papist circles, and that his removal would cause more upset abroad than is comfortable for His Nibs. However… as Chukcha the Wise would say… “Big man makes big splash when fall down… only takes one harpoon to kill whale”. Jed Clampett would agree. Hmm… a good analogy came to mind… Fathausen as Jethro Bodine with a tummy (and half the brains), and Melchisedek Pleska as Jed (of course, everyone knows that’s a COMPLIMENT, and a high one at that).

“One last thing”… did you note the sour look on His Nibs’ face (and the knowing smirks on the faces of the lower clergy)? Trust me, KMG normally either has a dignified look or a genuine smile (especially with handicapped kids… he loves them the most of all). Could this be das Ende for El Gordo? Perspirin’ minds wanna know.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Albany NY

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