It’s so in vogue to label Russians and other Eastern Europeans as homophobic without questioning how it got that way. It’s just assumed that these people are more traditional and to blame the Soviet regime which isolated these countries from the scientific and psychological community when it developed on the topic of human sexuality. That’s a very palatable explanation for certain Westerners because it allows them to feel morally superior without considering what role their countries played in creating this state of affairs.
It is no secret that Russia’s “traditional values” lobby has deep ties to American fundamentalist Christian organizations. Thanks to the massive torrent
cultists Christian missionaries who flooded into Russia and Eastern Europe after the fall of the “socialist” regime, one cannot claim that these reactionary sentiments rose entirely on their own. Indeed, post-Soviet Russia was a haven of many right-wing ideologies, often copied from the West and inspired by the Cold War idea that Communism had “ruined” Russia, but it seems to me the organic, local attitude towards LGBT people was one of apathy, not hatred.
It is indeed odd that evangelical Christians flock to places like Russia to peddle their nonsense, given the fact that many of these people subscribe to an end-times prophesy which dictates that Russia will attack Israel and then be destroyed by God in the process. Not to mention the fact that these are typically “Bah-bul believin’ churches” which no doubt hold Russian Orthodoxy as being on par with Roman Catholicism, i.e. heretical blasphemy for the hell-bound.
This recent article from Americans United for Separation of Church and State documents a recent influx of hucksters into Ukraine. They’re lecturing Ukrainians on the founding values that made America great, which no doubt entails free trade, low government regulation, low taxes, no social services, and of course, lots and lots of Jay-zus.
The article says that these people are free to travel and we can’t stop them. I disagree. I think there are ways to stop them, seeing that some countries have restrictions about people who are known for preaching hatred or people who are identified as cult leaders or members. Perhaps the US government can’t do anything about it, but the Ukrainian government can do something if pressured. And they are under a bit of pressure now, aren’t they?
It is regrettable that Eastern Europe’s political spectrum is nearly all right-wing, but we have to remember that our enlightened Western nations turned their countries into a dumping ground for every conman, nutcase, cultist, and crank. When our societies rejected these people we should have figured they might take their bullshit on the road so we could either warn other countries about them or organize to meet them there so they would not be unopposed.