By Theodore Shoebat
An opera director in Russia, named Boris Mezdrich, designed a painting for an advertisement for one of his plays, in which a crucifix is placed in between the legs of a woman. This enraged the pious Christians of Russia who gathered together by the thousands to protest against the opera. Putin and his administration had the director fired from his job for blaspheming against our Lord Jesus Christ, and rightfully so. I did a whole video on this:
According to one report on the controversy:
The director, Boris Mezdrich, had failed to apologize and to take other steps to mitigate the outcry among the Orthodox faithful offended by various aspects of the production at the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, said Vladimir Aristarkhov, the deputy minister of culture, according to Interfax.
President Vladimir V. Putin has made the protection of “traditional values,” including religious values, a pillar of his third term. In this case, Mr. Putin made his opinion known on March 23 when he awarded a state medal for “service to the homeland” to Aleksandr Novopashin, a priest in the Novosibirsk diocese who helped to lead the campaign against “Tannhauser.”
This case came three years after the storm over Pussy Riot, a punk protest band that performed an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral. Several band members served up to two years in prison for “hooliganism.”
In 2013, a blasphemy law made it a criminal offense to perform public acts that offend believers, punishable by up to three years in prison.
The church took Mr. Mezdrich and the director of the opera, Timofei Kulyabin, to court in February, accusing them of offending the feelings of believers with their December production. Local prosecutors threw out the case on March 10.
But the church continued on the offensive. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the theater, praying and holding up signs saying things like “Judas; 5th Column; Get out of the Culture Ministry” and “Let’s defend our faith in Christ from sacrilege.”
In an interview this month, Vladimir Medinsky, the culture minister, denied that the Kremlin was the enforcement arm of the Russian Orthodox Church. He made his displeasure over the opera clear, however, saying that the director had made a mistake by not warning the community about what was coming and then not reacting to the outcry.
“You have to explain what kind of a production this is, that it’s a new interpretation,” Mr. Medinsky said. “You have to talk to people. Instead, their position was approximately: ‘You foolish priests and your henchmen don’t understand anything about art.’ ”
Wagner’s circa 1845 opera focuses on a hero who is initially tempted by Venus and her entourage, but is eventually drawn back to the Roman Catholic Church.
The Novosibirsk version imagines Tannhauser as a modern film director who makes the temptation of Venus something that Jesus Christ endures. Perhaps the most controversial element was the poster for the would-be film, which shows a crucifix between the naked, open legs of a woman.
What the Russian government is doing against blasphemers and sodomites is absolutely correct.