Friday, August 16, 2013

Who supports Russian anti-LGBT propaganda laws?

I've been reading up on the current East-West standoff brewing in Russia over their recent unanimously passed legislation outlawing, basically, LGBT propaganda. Before I comment, I want to note that I'm not supporting or opposing the legislation - I don't even know the strict summary of it. And I also condemn any idiots who take it upon themselves to physically assault people for just about any reason short of 'threatening their lives / family with harm'. What I want to focus on here is a few facts going unreported in the conversation about Russia's anti-LGBT propaganda law.

Claim: Russia's anti-LGBT law is entirely religiously motivated.

I mean, it seems reasonable - right? After all, as we've been told repeatedly in the West, all arguments against same-sex sexual relations and same-sex marriage are religious arguments, and thus have no place in the law based on that fact.

There's two problems with that. First is the fact that Russian polls are reporting 88% support for Russia's anti-gay propaganda law. But unless things have changed radically, around a third of Russia is either non-religious, atheist, or undecided. That would mean that, if these numbers are accurate, then it's certain that substantial numbers of the irreligious in Russia are supporting the anti-LGBT propaganda law. This is hardly being reported in any news article I've so far come across - they mention the orthodox, they mention religious objections, but atheist/'secular' support for the law isn't spoken of at all. Rather like how the previous APA position on same-sex attraction has gone down the memory hole, and now it's always been the opinion of the religious, and the religious alone, that same-sex attraction is disordered.

Further evidence comes in the form of the vote itself. Again, you'll read reports talking about these laws passing unanimously in the Duma - 434-0. What you won't hear about is the current Duma makeup. 49.5% United Russia, 19.2% Communist Party, 13.2% A Just Russia, 11.7% LDPR.

That means the far-left and the far-right in Russia came together to support this bill. Once again, unless the Communists are now hotbeds of religious fervor, apparently the situation is a little more complicated.

There's more going on here that's worth talking about, but I wanted to get these particular facts out. They're hardly being mentioned anywhere, and they put the entire situation in Russia in a very different light than what others are intentionally trying to present.


machinephilosophy said...

I thought I had linked to your blog, or maybe you have another one, the one with the Hal image? Anyway I'll link to this one soon.

The thing about the bigoted leftist agenda is that they are causing a hard-right reaction in Europe that they themselves are a key part of.

We weaken whatever we exaggerate. But in the media's coverage of politics, whatever is suppressed is thereby strengthened.

This has been going on for a very long time in Europe. I wouldn't want to be a lefty journalist when the sheets hit the fans.


Crude said...

You have a blog? I don't recall any Hal image.

Anyway, we'll see. It seems more like a Russia thing, I'd say - except I recall France had one hell of a turnout.

machinephilosophy said...

ultimatobject over at blogsot

...No, I got you mixed up with codgitator, sorry.

Btw, there is a kickass Thomism Discussion Group over at Facebook I think you would really like. One young UConn grad student with a heavy math/physics background just flatout kicked ass on a physics author/professor of the likes of those clueless dilettantes currently posturing at the Eliminative...III post over at Feser's right now. Thought I got an email that you had commented on that post but went there and ...nada.

But about my previous comment, it was just a general statement about European politics. Frankly, I'm far more concerned about the general youth attrition rate in Christianity, than the lgtb thing, although I of course agree with you about the implications for the future, from this whole ssm mess.

From high school to age 30: 85-90 percent drop Christianity. That's non-Catholic stats. Number 1 reason given: they don't feel comfortable expressing doubts about God and Christianity. I hear the Catholic situation is far worse. Schlussel did a thing on churches doing defunct---alarming and tragic, and most are rcc churches. 15 years from now it's all over in the U.S. without some kind of radical change, because there simply won't be a replacement generation to fund the churches.

I'll console myself for now by reading Clarey's Enjoy The Decline. lol

Anyway, i'm this moniker at the g for email.


Crude said...

Frankly, I'm far more concerned about the general youth attrition rate in Christianity, than the lgtb thing, although I of course agree with you about the implications for the future, from this whole ssm mess.

The problem is I don't see them as distinct issues and I don't trust people to accurately report their reasons for leaving the church - or, often, for joining one. I think, for example, the LGBT thing is a major reason why many young people are disconnected from or even hostile to the church - and a lot of it is based on misunderstanding, much of it having been unwittingly perpetrated by conservatives/traditionalists - even if liberal culture and media plays its own major role. And I think many of the operative problems in the LGBT issue are reflected in other issues as well.

I also am curious about your statistics - do they 'drop Christianity' or do they 'no longer attend church'? What's your source for this? Especially in America, I think the irreligion situation is complicated: these aren't, from the stats I've seen, people who become atheists. They become some kind of Christian-lite theists.

Crude said...

To comment more about the future of the Church situation - I think part of the problem is that the church really does need to update itself in general. But when I say update, I do not mean in terms of doctrines or teachings - but in presence and ministry, and what's expected of Catholics. Especially when the culture itself is in a state of not just flux, but decay. I read today that 23% of german men think that the ideal family size is '0'. If that keeps up, then worries about the future of Christianity in Germany are a bit pointless, because the future of Germany, period, is bleak all on its own.

machinephilosophy said...

It's about dropping Christianity. It's from two major surveys, one by USA Today and another by the Barna Group. 75 percent within two years of leaving home, and this supposedly increases to 85-90 percent by age 30. There's another big study that was done by a non-religious survey organization headed up by a respected researcher named Beemer, for the book Already Gone, that supposedly confirms this range of numbers. I just intuitively doubt they are becoming atheists, but there's bound to be a collateral increase in both agnosticism and atheism due to this, in addition to the influence of an explosion of atheist literature and sales.

A few evangelical pastors I've talked to have told me that the writing is on the wall, one of their churches just sold all and dechartered a few years back, and all of them either have or have started preparing for new means of making a living completely outside of anything religious.

As you alluded to, this is not just about Christianity, or even religion in general, but the entire culture. It involves birth rates, attitudes toward marriage, counterproductive incentives of government schemes, etc.

In fact, even agnostic-atheist academia and the scientific establishment are getting nervous. It seems they are getting a bit wise to how mindless dirtbag culture is degrading everything, and that it's no longer just a matter of posturing pomo's uttering juvenile absurdities at Starbucks and on college campuses.

Decay is starting to sound too slow. If those government checks ever stop or are significantly delayed, Road Warrior's gonna seem like an old episode of Romper Room.

Crude said...

in addition to the influence of an explosion of atheist literature and sales.

I think that's already petering/petered out. The Cult of Gnu has largely just managed to convince most people that atheists can be annoying, self-righteous pricks as readily as the religious.

I have no doubt that many, particularly smaller conregrations are in trouble. But something seems off about your statistics.

Can you provide me with links?

machinephilosophy said...

The lying by the Christians has been so bad that if they were to be believed in the last half century, the entire world would have been converted 10 times over, so trust me I'm as skeptical as you, but the overall decay of culture I've seen in major cities supplants the possible credibility of the numbers. I've heard some stuff about Pew's research backing all this up, but have nothing specific on that.

Here's the book link, and I just noticed a reference to the Beemer-led survey there:

Since I can't find the original two links for, respectively, the Barna and USA Today surveys, I went and found this link, which is the best rundown of the research I've seen so far:

The fairly recent Schussel post on church closures is here:

But you're right, correlation is not specific causation and the general decline may be warping a lot of these numbers.

Crude said...

I do not doubt that people are pulling out of churches, etc. I don't doubt that many churches are closing. The problem I'm having is the jump from 'drop out of church / stop regular attendance' to 'leave Christianity / no longer identify as Christians'. I suspect that their faith may be weakened, but their beliefs and identification is another issue.

Not to mention, I'm willing to bet at least a sizable share of those closing churches damn well should be closing. The Episcopalians, for example, are withering. At this point all I can say there is: that's good news.

As for the reference, I admit I'm a little hesitant on taking in the book study. What Ken Ham regards as 'authentic, bible-believing Christianity' may well be vastly different from what I regard as such.

machinephilosophy said...

Agreed on all counts.

And I sure wouldn't bother with that book. lol For the same reasons I suspect the stats: agendas, which are almost always about money.

Oh, and check out that Japanese guy's blog sometime, He monitors the Gnus, and it's insane what's going on right now. Shermer suing PZ Myers, etc. The trouble in the Devil's Paradize is becoming rich hilarity.

For a split-second I once thought an Episcopal priest was referring to the mystical presence of the Holy Spirit among small groups of Episcopaleans, when he said: "Wherever you find four, you'll find a fifth."

Don't be a stranger, man.


Crude said...

Thanks. Also, check out Shadow to Light on my sidebar - he keeps close tabs on the gnus as well, so I've been up to date on the hilarious Gnu stuff.

I'll add your blog soon.