Vladimir Putin, Christian Crusader? by Pat Buchanan in April 2014.
Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying. This speech recalls last December’s address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West:
Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.
Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?
The West grew up as a Christian civilization, from about 300 AD onwards. The politically correct have thrown Christianity under the bus because it impedes their “progress,” but maybe we are nowadays moving too far from the values and culture that made the West great?
Many in the West are unaware that after the western Roman Empire based on Rome fell to barbarians in 450 AD, the eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople did not fall until 1453 AD when the Muslims conquered it (and renamed it Istanbul). The religion of the eastern Roman Empire was Orthodox Christianity, which spread in the Balkans and Russia. Today, Russia is one of the most staunchly Christian countries, which is notable after their recent experience with communism.
Indicting the “Bolsheviks” who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, “May God judge them.” What is going on here? With Marxism-Leninism a dead faith, Putin is saying the new ideological struggle is between a debauched West led by the United States and a traditionalist world Russia would be proud to lead. In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God’s side. The West is Gomorrah. …
The ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers who exposed Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, was, at the time of his death in 1964, writing a book on “The Third Rome.” The first Rome was the Holy City and seat of Christianity that fell to Odoacer and his barbarians in 476 A.D. The second Rome was Constantinople, Byzantium, (today’s Istanbul), which fell to the Turks in 1453. The successor city to Byzantium, the Third Rome, the last Rome to the old believers, was — Moscow.
Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism. Putin is plugging into some of the modern world’s most powerful currents. Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America’s arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated. He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West.
There is a lot here that our media never mention — the West’s Christian past, and the revival of Christianity and the claim to past culture by Russia.
In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.
His recent speeches carry echoes of John Paul II whose Evangelium Vitae in 1995 excoriated the West for its embrace of a “culture of death.”
What did Pope John Paul mean by moral crimes? The West’s capitulation to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicide—the displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values. …
But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia’s role, in Putin’s words, is to “prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.” …
In the new ideological Cold War, whose side is God on now?