Pussy Riot: Guilty of Crimes of Blasphemy or Being Feminists? By Michele Stopera Freyhauf

In a country that was willing to [sic] its secular court on a “religious” cause, Pussy Riot are true revolutionaries. Nonetheless, it was not until they delivered these closing statements that their supporters—and opponents—heard what these three brave women stand for. Although they are being crushed in the jaws of the system—and know it!—their courage and steadfast sincerity are sufficient cause for (impossible) hope. If not for the Russian state, then at least for the Russian people. —Bela Shayevich

“When religion puts people in jail it’s unjust” – David Gross 

The intermix of religion and politics are familiar, especially after this year’s presidential election.  Many supported Mitt Romney out of concern for religious freedom; a stance that had the potential to marry religion and politics in a dysfunctional union.  We also witnessed a veiled attempt by the Catholic Church to emphasize and sway the faithful to vote for the one true moral candidate; a stance contradicted by Obama’s ability to carry the Catholic vote.  I believe what we see in Russia is a shining example that shows what happens when regulations and laws do not segregate between secular law and church law.  Freedoms do not exist, rather, rules and restrictions are imposed creating an institutional prison.

The prosecution of an all girl punk band named Pussy Riot [i]  demonstrates a “complete fusion of the institutions of the state and church,” which devalues “women’s rights and freedom of speech.”Members of Pussy Riot are serving a two year sentence of hard labor for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”  What was their crime?  They went into a Cathedral in Moscow and started singing a punk prayer – “Mother of God, Chase Putin Out!”

(The translated lyrics)

From The Atlantic.com
Frm the Atlantic.com

Virgin birth-giver of God, drive away Putin!

Drive away Putin, drive away Putin!

Black frock, golden epaulettes

Parishioners crawl bowing [toward the priest, during the Eucharist]

Freedom’s ghost [has gone to] heaven

A gay-pride parade [has been] sent to Siberia in shackles

Their chief saint is the head of the KGB

He leads a convoy of protestors to jail

So as not to insult the Holiest One

Woman should bear children and love

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

Shit, shit, the Lord’s shit!

Virgin birth-giver of God, become a feminist!

From AlJazeera.com

Become a feminist, become a feminist!

The Church praises rotten leaders

The march of the cross consists of black limousines

A preacher is on his way to your school

Go to class and give him money!

Patriarch Gundyay believes in Putin

Would be better, the bastard, if he believed in God!

The Virgin’s belt won’t replace political gatherings

The eternal Virgin Mary is with us in our protests!

Virgin birth-Giver of God, drive away Putin!

Drive away Putin, drive away Putin!

Original Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEBLskpDWQ&feature=related

Finished Video (music added): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYzlaBPCM6c&feature=related

They danced, kneeled, and crossed themselves in front of the Church’s high altar.   This occurred the day before the re-election of Vladimir Putin.  While I do not support going into a sacred space with relics to make a protest, what I find problematic is their harsh sentence.  However, it should be noted that with the coverage of the trial and the outpouring of support received from many organizations, and musicians, they did manage to bring to the forefront issues surrounding the government and the Church.

Continue reading “Pussy Riot: Guilty of Crimes of Blasphemy or Being Feminists? By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”


Why has Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith mostly been a non-question in his political life?  John Kennedy was asked if he would obey the Pope or make his own decisions, Jimmy Carter was asked how his Baptist faith would affect his Presidency, and Barack Obama was asked if he agreed with the sermons of his preacher.  Why is the press afraid to ask Mitt Romney if he agrees with the patriarchal teachings of his church and if so, if this affects his views on the rights of women?

Like other patriarchal institutions, the Mormon Church believes that women’s place is in the home.  Every Mormon man is a priest and a patriarch in his own home.  Mormon belief teaches that men are to make the final decisions in the family, that only they can be leaders in the church, and that they are the members of the Mormon community who should speak and act in the public (non-home) dimensions of life.  Traditional Mormons believe that “ [The] LDS [woman is] always [to] accept counsel from her husband, and not as just his opinion, but as God-inspired revelation.”  Continue reading “LET’S ASK MITT IF MORMON PATRIARCHAL BELIEFS AFFECT HIS VIEWS ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY by Carol P. Christ”

It’s Junk Science by Brian Froelich

Let’s be honest. It’s not about the junk science. There were some crazy things said recently but they were crazy with a purpose.

Republican Rep. Todd Aikin (who is a policy blood brother to Republican Reps. Paul Ryan and Chris Smith) effectively said a woman’s subconscious can determine if she gets pregnant. He said as a result of a rape a women’s body can shut down its reproductive mechanisms. Of course this is junk science. And Republicans quickly reacted to the predictable public uproar by castigating Rep. Aikin and seeking his resignation from the race. (Two interesting exceptions to that list were former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and current Congressional candidate Rep. Chris Smith. Huckabee by his stout defense and Smith by his silence.)

But this had nothing to do with Republicans’ regard for science. In fact science is held in very low regard in the Republican party. This is best exemplified by the fact that the Republicans appointed Rep. Aikin to the Congressional Science Committee. Continue reading “It’s Junk Science by Brian Froelich”

Is the Republican Party Platform Truly Pro-Life? by Michele Stopera Freyhauf

As many feminists invest their life fighting for women’s rights to be the center of attention – no one could predict the occurrences of this election year.  In my previous post “Rape is Not a Political Platform – Rape is a Violent Crime!” Carol P. Christ made a comment about women’s issues and politics:

 “I have been waiting all my life for women’s issues to become central in an election campaign, but I guess I should have been more specific in my wish: this is not the format I imagined…”

Christ’s reaction is like so many others in the election; no one could have imagined such a bizarre and backwards slide being lobbied against women’s rights.   Issues being bantered around continue to be rooted in a purported pro-life stance.  This ranges from trans-vaginal ultrasounds, definitions of “legitimate” rape, and now using an Ob/Gyn’s “best guess” to define the gestational age of a baby from the time of a woman’s last period.  This is not a game – this is semantics, this is politics, this rhetoric, and frankly, this needs to stop. Continue reading “Is the Republican Party Platform Truly Pro-Life? by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”

No One Is Safe from the Parodist (Part 2) by Barbara Ardinger

I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this, but I once worked as a freelance copywriter for a multi-level marketing company.

I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this, but I once worked as a freelance copywriter for a multi-level marketing company. (Okay—I needed the money. It was a job.) I wrote the following piece one day when I was supposed to be writing real advertising copy. They were not amused. A few years later, when I was writing Finding New Goddesses (ECW Press, 2003), I pulled it out of my three-ring binder, renamed it Dr. Lucre’s Whoopee Pack, and Found (i.e., made up) Panglossolalia, the Found Goddess of Infomercials. Today, if we want to be politically correct, we recycle and reuse, so here we go again. I’ve changed the names in this infomercial and brought it up to date. When November comes, be sure to vote for the candidate of your choice.

Dr. Mittens’s Whoopee Pack

Good evening, friends, and welcome to my secret garden. I’m your friendly political commentator. I’m so glad you could visit me tonight as we take a short break from biased documentaries and endless negative commercials. Friends, tonight’s movie, Attack of the Jobless Economist, will begin in a minute. But first, this.  Continue reading “No One Is Safe from the Parodist (Part 2) by Barbara Ardinger”

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