Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Religious Transformation of Vladimir Putin

    "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Matthew 7:15

(St.Petersburg Russia Church Park by Victorgrigas)
     I’m surprised to hear Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin referencing God and godly virtues in his public speeches lately.  He sounded like a religious man, and even looked pious before the rostrum when he speaks on the erosion of Western culture.  I have one word to describe his pseudo-religiosity: Odd.
     It makes me pay close attention to his actions, more than his words, as his actions speak louder than his words.
     What is Putin’s objective when he becomes a proponent of godly-traditional values?  And attacking the United States and the Western nations for being anti-God?  Did he really morph to a staunch defender of Christian tenets?
     Let me step backward for a moment and look back where Putin comes from.  He’s from Russia, a nation where its history has been associated with persecutions and killings of Christians and those of other religious faith.  It started in the October Revolution of 1917 when Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his Bolshevik cohorts ousted Czar Nicholas II from power.  The upheaval ended with the communists taking control of Russia, which set in motion the persecutions of Christians.  The killings ensued without letting ups and progressed through the years of Iosif Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, and Leonid Brezhnev.
     The eradication of “reactionaries” was intrinsic to the communists’ dogma as defined in Dialectic Materialism.  This societal model of class struggle depicts the Christians as “opposing forces” in the pursuit of a classless society.  Opposing forces are “reactionaries”, and reactionaries have no place in a progressive state.  Counter-revolutionaries had only two destinations: Gulag and the cemetery.
     The purification campaign to remove the rotten parts in the society had resulted to the killings of millions of Christians, which the mainstream media consistently ignored on its reporting even to this date. 
     Accordingly, the War on Christians had resulted to the death of 12 to 20 million people, and the Russian Orthodox Church claims that 50 million of its church-followers lost their lives in the 20th century. 
     Of course, the number of deaths is a rough estimate, but the killings are not.
    From the October Revolution of 1917 to the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in 1991, Marxism-Leninism and the doctrine of class struggle caused the death of about hundred million “reactionaries” around the world, and the martyred saints comprised a large portion of this total.
     The violent teachings of Karl Marx and Lenin had strewn fear in the hearts and minds of Christians for almost a century in the former Iron Curtain countries (e.g., Poland, Hungary, and Romania) and in the old Soviet states.
     Lenin once declared, “We would be deceiving both ourselves and the people if we concealed from the masses the necessity of a desperate, bloody war of extermination, as the immediate task of the coming revolutionary action.”
     Friedrich Engels, a friend of Marx and co-author of The Communist Manifesto,  had also alluded to the termination of Christians when he said,  “The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples.”
     Now, given the snippet of communism, I wonder what Putin’s motive is when he mentioned God, Christian beliefs, and traditional values in his public speeches.   
  •           "We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."   
  •      “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.’ 
  •      “Crimea is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized.  His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus."    
    Putin isn’t an ordinary Russian politician, but a former KGB Colonel and  was a spymaster who ran his operations from East Germany.  His predecessors were ruthless killers who exported violent doctrines to Asia, Africa, and South America.  He’d form a cordon sanitaire to keep himself in power, and shrouded his ambition of becoming the next autocratic ruler of the neo-Soviet empire. 
     So, is Putin for real or is he masquerading as a religious man?  If he is an impersonator, what is he up to?  Who is his target audience?  Is this part of his subliminal campaign to create a neo-Soviet empire?  Is it a psy-op to soften the stance of the West against his military adventurism to revive the old USSR?
     One thing is clear, though: Putin didn’t squirm in mentioning God and those godly, traditional values in his public speeches - a gesture rarely seen from President Barack Obama.