*** UPDATE ***
Marc Bennetts from the Washington Times contacted me to verify the quotes in his article.
He provided the source quotes for his article so it confirms that Putin does believe America is Godless.
See his full email at the end of this article.
*** UPDATE ***
Thus is the declaration of an article written by Marc Bennetts published by the Washington Times, January 28, 2014. Well, this sentiment is ostensibly attributed to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. After a brief preamble, the article says this:
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a recent keynote speech. “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.
In his state of the nation address in mid-December, Mr. Putin also portrayed Russia as a staunch defender of “traditional values” against what he depicted as the morally bankrupt West. Social and religious conservatism, the former KGB officer insisted, is the only way to prevent the world from slipping into “chaotic darkness.”
As part of this defense of “Christian values,” Russia has adopted a law banning “homosexual propaganda” and another that makes it a criminal offense to “insult” the religious sensibilities of believers.
I will stop here since these paragraphs contain the essence of the article’s point: Russian leaders are condemning America’s slide into moral decadence.
So here is the drama behind this article. It has gone far and wide throughout the blogosphere being picked up by notable outlets like Brightbart.com, the American Thinker, and other conservative and Christian blogs that pay attention to current events. Nothing gets American Christians hot in the shorts like a good dose of moral condemnation against homosexuals and by extension, the evil, decadent America that lets homosexuals be seen in public. And like John Hagee sweating and frothing from the pulpit, the blogosphere comments poured forth hearty amens, declaring that America was Babylon ripe for God’s judgment. Surely Vladimir Putin is right. America is going to hell in a rainbow-colored Versace.
Faaabulous! (Jazz hands)
Ehem . . .
We will get back to this.
You will notice that I said that the sentiment is ostensibly attributed to President Putin. Here is the problem I have. I wanted to see the broader context for Putin’s comments, so I went looking for the “recent keynote” speech referenced in the article, and guess what?
I couldn’t find it.
I went to the official site of the President of Russia and read through the transcripts for the last two months thinking that qualified as “recent.” I searched the web. I had my assistant duplicate the search. I called the Washington Times to continue my fact-checking. My first call was to David Sands. He turned out to be the wrong desk, but he did tell me that Marc Bennetts, the writer, is stationed in Moscow. He transferred me to Matt Cella; I left a message. When he didn’t return my call and since I didn’t have his number, I called the foreign editor, Carleton Bryant, twice and left a voice mail. At the time of publishing this article, neither man has returned my call. In all fairness, I suspect that this has less to do with the article and more to do with the fact that I’m nobody. Right?
The lack of sourcing gave me pause about using the Washington Times article as a foundation, but my fact-checking led me to find the State of the Nation Address on December 12, 2013 where Putin “portrayed Russia as a defender of traditional values.” The Kremlin put out an English transcript that isn’t quite the same as the YouTube video, but it is close enough to confirm Putin’s appeal to defending “traditional values.” (Roughly minute 54) Also, it is a well-documented fact that Russia has passed a law against homosexual propaganda and pedophilia, a law that Putin endorses with wholehearted affirmation but holds out the caveat that there still remains no criminal penalty for homosexual action within Russia. Additionally, Putin’s commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church is, while politically understated, a well-known fact.
There are two other men of note quoted in the article—Patriarch Kirill and Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin. And much like Putin, their quotes are not sourced. I wasn’t able to track down the specific comments, but I did however find enough subsequent information to confirm that Kirill and Chaplin have expressed ideas similar to those stated in the Washington Times article.