Kirsten Andersen

News,

Hillary Clinton praises bravery of Pussy Riot band members who desecrated Russian Orthodox cathedral

Kirsten Andersen

NEW YORK CITY, April 9, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Former Secretary of State and likely Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton posed for pictures Friday with members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, just months after they were released from prison after storming the sanctuary of a Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to mock Christianity.

“Great to meet the strong & brave young women from #PussyRiot,” Clinton stated in a post accompanying one such photo on microblogging site Twitter.  She praised them for “refus[ing] to let their voices be silenced.”

Pussy Riot was started in 2011 as a form of political protest, mainly in response to legislation aimed at restricting legalized abortion, but also to promote homosexual acceptance and political anarchy. The band performs only in unsanctioned venues, filming their illegal exploits to upload later to the internet. 

The band members in Clinton’s photo, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested in early 2012 for staging an unauthorized protest in the sanctuary of Moscow’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The protest consisted of the musical group performing an obscenity-laden song in the cathedral’s sacred altar area with lyrics that mocked religion, calling it the excrement of Jesus Christ, and supporting “gay pride” and abortion. 

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were apprehended by church security, while three other band members escaped.  Later, another band member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was also arrested. All three were sentenced to jail, but Samutsevich was released on appeal.  In December, after nearly two years of Western outcry, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were granted amnesty and released.

Now, the two women are making the rounds in the West, receiving accolades from U.S. and European leaders who make no secret of their admiration for the duo’s controversial actions.

In February, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers also tweeted an image of herself with the band members, calling them “brave ‘troublemakers.’” 

The U.N.’s Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin mocked her in reply, suggesting Powers join the group herself.  “I would expect her to invite them to perform at the National Cathedral in Washington.  Maybe they could arrange a world tour for them, you know. St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, then maybe in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, ending up with a gala concert at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.”

But Powers said she’d “be honored” to join the group, whom she called “a group of girls who speak up and stand for human rights.”

Western coverage of Pussy Riot’s troubles has been largely supportive of the group, focusing on their opposition to President Vladimir Putin rather than their anti-religious antics. But the public in their native Russian homeland is not nearly so accepting.  In a documentary about the group released in 2013, one elderly woman compared their actions at Moscow Cathedral to “taking a s--- in the heart of the country.”  The public is also unsympathetic to their pro-homosexual message, with seventy-four percent of Russians believing that homosexuality is a "moral perversion" or "mental illness."

The dichotomy between the way Western leaders and the Russian public view the Pussy Riot saga parallels much of the cultural friction between Russia and the West today.  The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia also highlighted the divide, as President Barack Obama refused to attend the opening ceremonies, but instead sent three openly homosexual athletes in his place as a protest to a recent Russian law that prohibits the promotion of homosexual behavior to children.

German President Joachim Gauck, French President François Hollande, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also declined to attend the ceremonies, and the United Kingdom pledged to fund gay protests at the games.

The resulting chill between the U.S. and Russia may prove difficult to thaw for Clinton, should she win the presidency.  While she once famously promised as Secretary of State to “reset” relations between the two world powers, last month she admitted her commitment to promoting homosexual acceptance abroad made things “tough internationally.” 

"I spent a good amount of time trying to defend and advocate, not for gay marriage, but against discrimination and laws that even imprisoned homosexuals," the former Secretary of State said at UCLA in March.  “I had a knock-down, drag-out argument with the Russians."

"This is a big piece of unfinished business,” she added.

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Sign up today!

Select Your Edition:



Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook