Some Things are Inappropriate in Churches?

Pussy Riot are back in the news, hopefully to have their appeals overturned.  I expect a return of the pearl clutching by offended Christians.  After all, no one worth listening to would do something as harsh as trying to throw moneylenders out of a temple.  (The temple itself hates this and wants them to publically repent).

Especially not when what they were protesting was not just Putin himself, but Patriarch Kirill I (born Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev), leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Krill is a man who called Putin’s two terms as president “A Miracle of God.”  Patriarch Krill being a man so devoted to the ideal of poverty that, as others noticed, the Russian Orthodox Church photoshopped out a £20,000 wristwatch on his photo.  And then he denied ever having worn the watch. (Image from Pet Snake Reggie).  He’s also petty enough to deny that forgiveness is appropriate for someone who gets dust on his books while having renovation work done, instead suing them for over half a million dollars.

It reminds me of an old childrens’ Spot the Difference game – spot the reflection.

As we can see from the words of “Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away” (translation:The Guardian with a the ‘Holy Shit’ pun clarified by Metafilter) this is not an Atheist anthem in the slightest.  The chorus might be against Putin – but every single verse is about the Church or the Patriarch, and in only one is the subject Putin as well as the Patriarch.

Punk-Prayer “Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away”


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

(end chorus) …
Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners crawl to bow
The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB, their chief saint,
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend His Holiness
Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, Shit of the Lord (Holy Shit!)
Shit, shit, Shit of the Lord (Holy Shit!)


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist
Become a feminist, become a feminist

(end chorus)

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

(end chorus)
“Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead”
Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer is possibly the most Christ-like thing to have been preached from that pulpit in the last ten years.  And I’ve signed the Amnesty Petitions, and hope that anyone reading this who hasn’t will do so.


4 thoughts on “Some Things are Inappropriate in Churches?

  1. ANYONE who has ever meditated on the Magnificat would surely recognise that the woman who gloried in a God who “put down the mighty from their seats/and has exhalted the humble and meek” and “filled the hungry with good things,/ but the rich He sent empty away” would be likely to be sympathetic to this, even if neither humility nor meekness is much in evidence in PRs way of protest.
    I am worried by the tense, the Koine uses a past tense; but if the original was Aramaic
    it is worth speculating that it was in the infiintely-more-dynamic “imperfect” which suggests not so much past or present or future but that [God’s] actions here are still going on – English has no exact equivalent. I have no idea about Russian,(or whatever archaisms the R.Orthodox Ch. uses for liturgy.)

    So, since any Christian priest who has never meditated upon the Magnificat is improbable; the
    over-reaction must be related to guilt and/ or fear. About time too!

    I am not only alienated, I am baffled by the comment “holy shit” as chorus.
    Are they implying that Patriarch Kiril/Putin is/are God’s rejected by-products? Or what?
    Or is there an untranslated specifically Russian meaning to the idiom?

    And what about the group’s name? My pet cats riot only at feeding-time! I have read that Americans sometimes use “pussy” as slang for female pudenda….they might be the female equivalent of “Sex Pistols” .? But why? Shock-value for publicity?

    But yes, about time someone brought the Orthodox/Establishment issues out into the open before the world. More power to their voices!

    • The chorus, I’m told, is a pun – and relatively common interjection – a bit heavier than “damn” but nothing much more than that. And it apparently scans. As for the name – once you’ve decided to violate one huge taboo (like not interrupting in a Cathedral), what’s a little bad language? Especially if it helps get the message out. Same approach as The Sex Pistols indeed, and Pussy Riot are intentionally in the Punk tradition.

      To quote a similar use of language by Tony Campolo “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.” (source)

  2. Going back to the watch. What evidence is there that it is a squllions of £ model? Not, eg. a fake worth a fiver? It has clearly been hidden, but I think it highly probable that precisely what aR. Orthodox priest might or might not wear was laid down centuries before the wristwatch was invented. Orthodox means sticking to teachings, so he might have felt it tactful to attempt to conceal it for that reason.A secret sin!!!! There are enough demonstrable negative facts in his actions to point to the appropriateness of protesting at him without weakening the case with wild rumours….

    Who is Tony Campolo, please,? It sounds as if he might be useful……

  3. Pingback: This month in the Slacktiverse « The Slacktiverse

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