On Exporting Excrement
we have same purpose;
we stand together.
The pioneers always have the toughest way to go...
Here's our shoulder.
We are your rear support;
We are your intercessors..."
(Alexei Ledyaev [apostolic "translation," not mine!])
The antics of New Generation, a mostly Russophone sect closely tied to Ainārs Šlesers' Latvia's First Party (LPP), have long been reported in Latvia -- I'm choosing to describe it as "a mostly Russophone sect" on purpose, because that's what it is (Ledyaev, its leader and a self-described "apostle," was furious when our President described it that way). Ledyaev, who doesn't speak Latvian and sees LPP and his sect as having the same goal (including "establishing bilingualism in Latvia" -- see an interview with the Apostle here, in Latvian), is one of the major forces behind gay-bashing in Latvia.
The latest ruckus was caused by the caricature pictured above, drawn by Ernests at the Internet portal of Latvia's most important newspaper, Diena (some of the comments [there were more than four hundred at last count] are in English). The cartoon shows the Lovecraftian creature Cthulhu, his name crossed out and replaced with that of Jesus, and a small dog yapping: "Hello, I am Ledyaev -- I lead a Christian congregation that worships the living god, Jesus!"
Ledyaev has suggested replacing Latvia's constitution, the Satversme, with the Ten Commandments, introducing Christian totalitarianism, and "humbling all liberals and homosexuals." The publication of Ernests' cartoon resulted in the offices of Diena being surrounded by Ledyaev's "Dream Team." As to how "bilingual" the sect is, check out their forum (perhaps Šlesers' dream Latvia will be bilingual in Russian and English, sans Latvian... there's also some impressive "bilingualism" in the list of their pastors' names). The caricature event was especially amusing because Apostle Ledyaev is also a rabid Islamophobe (N.B.: "The first devastating wave of homosexuality makes a way for the second and more dangerous wave of islamization," sic; op. cit.).
But the reason I am bringing this up now is that a friend of mine in Portland sent me an article entitled "God, Gays & Glasnost: the Oregon Citizens Alliance is back, and banking on Soviet émigrés for its revival." Apparently last year's hurling of feces at gays (and at a passing tourist of undetermined sexual preference) in Rīga is quite the rage in certain circles in America. The author of that editorial, Kyle Cassidy, informs me that Scott Lively is also targeting the Slavic community in California, whilst Ints at Latvians Online provided this piece on similar activities in Washington state. So this latest "Latvian" export could be coming soon to a theater near you! The Apostle is also a big fan of George W. Bush, having attended the National Prayer Breakfast, and New Generation is especially strong in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, one of the NGOs behind the brouhaha surrounding the gay pride parade last summer (which was prevented from taking place) is increasingly influential and networking with like groups globally, as can be seen from the English-language pages at its site. On the other side, Mozaika, the main Latvian LGBT rights group, became a full member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association last autumn.
The video below, obviously not raw, can give you an idea of what this movement is.