Churches and Republicans do share something in common: A complete and utter lack of understanding of what the concept of free speech actually means.
In Russia, yesterday, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church criticized the rest of the world for having a negative opinion of both Russia’s draconian new anti-gay law, and of Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva’s defense of the law, and criticism of gay Olympic athletes as not “normal.”
According to church spokesman Vladimir Legoida, we’re infringing on Isinbayeva’s “freedom of speech” by giving our opinion on her opinion.
To people like Legoida, freedom of speech means his side gets to say whatever it wants, and everyone else has to sit back and shut up.
Someone clearly misses the Soviet days.
Legoida also added that it was a sign of “disrespect” for the rest of the world to question the anti-gay law, since 80% of Russians supposedly support it.
Of course, the new anti-”gay propaganda” law likely might even make it illegal to publicly disagree with the law in the first place, since by opposing the law you’d be promoting “gay propaganda,” so I’m surprised anyone told the pollsters they were against it.
But of course, under Legoida’s logic, it is equally a sign of disrespect for Legoida to question our opposition to the law. After all, if disagreement per se equals disrespect, then Legoida shouldn’t be disagreeing with us, should he?
Church officials, like conservatives everywhere, tend to have a weak understanding of the notion of “freedom.” To them, freedom is anything they do, and nothing you do.
And of course, the ultimate irony, and proof that Legoida and the Russian church have no clue what freedom truly is, is that Legoida is claiming that it’s an infringement of his freedom of speech if you disagree with a law that takes away your freedom of speech. But he’s not worried about the fact that the underlying law itself, which he supports, is about curtailing freedom of speech.
It’s seriously time for a little girl from Kansas to drop a house on these people.