At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, nor how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked, Did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked.
So tell me, my Orthodox brothers and sisters, do I, a feminist, hate my church? There are many aspects of Pussy Riot's actions, the charge of blasphemy issued by the Russian Orthodox Church, and the political motivations of the trial itself that can be debated. If you want to read excellent discussions, see the facebook pages of Nadieszda Kizenko, Inga Leonova or the group Taste and See, and debate them there.
I am more interested in this statement by the presiding judge: "The court does find a religious hatred motive in the actions of the defendants by way of them being feminists who consider men and women to be equal." The judge goes on to argue that equal opportunity for men and women is upheld by the Russian State, but is not in line with either Orthodox Christianity or Catholicism. Apparently Eastern Orthodox and Catholic feminists are motivated by religious hatred.
Really? Because I am certain that the anger I experience towards my Church (is it shocking, disturbing, that an Orthodox Christian might be angry at his or her church?) springs out of love and hope, not hatred: love that sees that more is possible, and hope that the possible can be made real.
Thanks to Women in Theology for this excellent post: http://womenintheology.org/2012/08/18/virgin-mary-mother-of-god-become-a....
And to the South African Orthodox Blogger Steve Hayes for showing a level of graciousousness eschewed by prominent spokespersons for Russian Orthodoxy. Apparently, we Orthodox do not forgive without repentence. So much for Jesus' words on the cross, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23.34).