26 February 2007

On Exporting Excrement

"First Party, we are one;
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.

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Blogger Agnes said...

"The first devastating wave of homosexuality" - Congrats, Peteri, for the first Latvian tsunami, and the first local Bob Roberts. I fail to see the link between homosexuality and the Shariah. (Romania has a long way to go, we desperately need Charismatics. Better late than ever.)

27 February, 2007 00:12  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

When we have put our house in order, we can consider occupying Transylvania.

27 February, 2007 08:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paldies for the link to NOPRIDE.LV. As I recall, the only obscenities that occurred last summer were the responsibility of this group of fine upstanding citizens, not least of which their logo. It is unbelievable the amount of stupidity (there is no better word for it) posted on their website. I especially like their survey question: "Are you for prohibiting the popularization of homosexuality?" A slanted question if I ever heard one, and yet they can't muster a majority of "Yes" votes. Heck, even I would be against "popularizing" homosexuality, or any other lifestyle for that matter.


28 February, 2007 19:18  
Blogger jams o donnell said...

Popularise homosexuality and Islam is sure to follow? Perhaps Guiness causes global warming if you want to talk non squiturs!

01 March, 2007 22:17  
Blogger akarlin said...

Hi peteris

I've gotten to this post from your comment on my blog, where you wrote:

"People like Šmits look to Russia for their brand of intolerance. Much of the venom towards LGBT rights in Latvia is Russian and/or pro-Russian."

Now I agree that they sound like a bunch of unpleasant nutjobs.

What you choose not to emphasize is that a) the fact that according to the same article there are 5000 of them, out of 650,000 Russians - less than 1% of the population, b) you pass over the Latvian/US aspects of what seems to be a common evangelical, anti-gay, Bible-bashing movement.

For instance, that same Latvia's First Party won 8.6% of the vote in Latvia's 2006 elections. A party that sponsored a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, unambiguously excluding homosexual unions, and one of whose members insinuated gays should be killed.

Please see the full reply at https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4726609376430713361&postID=67794927939217715.

The point is that, contrary to your assertions, there is no essential difference between homophobia in Russia or Latvia, between Russians and Latvians, and that unfortunately it happens to be one of the few things that unite us. Let's drink to that.

(But careful now, don't give them nasty Russkies any neo-imperialist ideas, or you'd be in a Holy Roman Golden Horde straight-jacket before you can gulp it down and say dēļ veselība).

21 January, 2008 08:39  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

I responded to Stalker at his blog.

I have no intention of passing over any Latvian/US aspects -- I have another post on the subject here.

21 January, 2008 09:34  
Blogger Bradpetehoops said...

I feel sorry about gay, they are humans. More power, some are just feminine in nature but they are men.

08 June, 2009 05:08  
Blogger Gio Ve said...

Just to complete Your interesting report, I invite You to see the political borders of Latvia and in all the world in my Italian-Estonian site http://www.pillandia.blogspot.com
Best wishes!

06 August, 2009 17:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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02 August, 2010 07:03  

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