It Was Right to Send Pussy Riot to Prison

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr Mark Dooley

AM I really the only person who believes the Russian courts were right to jail the three members of punk band Pussy Riot? Am I the only one who thinks their unauthorised performance of a 'punk prayer' at the Cathedral of Christ The Saviour in Moscow was a gross act of desecration? And am I alone in finding Western hysteria surrounding the singers' conviction, a sickening exhibition of moral hypocrisy? Consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks after last Friday's sentencing of the three women to two years in prison. She claimed the 'excessively harsh' sentence was 'not compatible with the European values of law and democracy'. Good to know that European 'values' now include blasphemy and sacrilege.

And what of Sinead O'Connor's comment that 'these ladies are showing spiritual leadership in times of great crisis and that is the job of true artists'? Funny, but I thought the job of a true artist was to shine a light on the sacred and not to 'do dirt' on it. And how, pray tell, is gyrating around the sanctuary of a cathedral an act of 'spiritual leadership'? What's more, I don't remember too many 'artists' like Pussy Riot using their public platform to denounce the communist despots of the old Soviet Union.

No, back then it was 'American tyranny' they were denouncing. Back then, their heroes were those, like Chairman Mao, who considered the concentration camp as the only place worthy of 'true artists'.

Writing in Monday's Irish Times, writer and musician Ian Maleney commented that people like Pussy Riot 'want the freedom to do, say and think as they wish, without the undue pressure and influence of the government.

It's a basic civil right'. No, it is not, for even the great liberal John Stuart Mill believed that when such freedom 'harms' other people, it must be curtailed.

Those who were harmed by Pussy Riot's antics were not only the Russian Orthodox worshippers of Christ The Saviour, but, I suspect, most people who still believe in the sacred. The jailed singers claim they were entreating the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin. If so, why did they think that trampling on sacred soil was a good way to earn the Blessed Virgin's favour? Imagine, for a moment, that rather than invade a Christian church, Pussy Riot decided to perform their 'punk prayer' in a mosque. In such circumstances, do you think Western politicians, commentators or 'artists' would be queuing up to support them? Do you really think the politically correct High Command would be so vocal in its praise? We, in the west, have become so immune to attacks on Christianity, that we can see nothing wrong with a bunch of punks prancing around the sanctuary of an iconic cathedral. …