In Support of Pussy Riot

Eugene Volokh supports the trial and jailing of anti-Putin rockers Pussy Riot.

I generally don’t like sentencing enhancements based on an offender’s anti-religious motivation, or on the religious nature of the institution against which the crime occurred, but even American law does often impose such enhancements. And a sentencing enhancement based on the trespass occurring at an institution being used by many people for quiet contemplation — a religious institution, a cemetery, a museum (especially a museum memorializing some solemn event), and so on — strikes me as proper.

The instinct of the Conservative is to side with Authority, which differentiates the Conservative from the Libertarian whose instincts are opposite. As a libertarian at heart I completely disagree with Volokh. He is apparently ignorant of the relationship between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church perhaps because there is no equivalent here in the US. The best analogy I can come up with is imagine the Dept of Health and Human Services was a religion, and Kathleen Sebelius wore a funny hat and stunk of incense instead of liberal shame. Then imagine Green Day performing a song in an HHS office. Would they get prison time? Nope. They might get fines of some sort, but prison time? Fat chance.

As a commenter to the piece writes “And I would hope that in some future America in which, say, the Roman Catholic Church were intertwining itself with a corrupt government, someone would protest it, even in the churches. Heck, especially in the churches.” That’s what PR is up against in Russia, and it is why they make every western punk and rock band of the past 20 years look lame in comparison even though their music sounds like squirrels being thrown into a chipper shredder.

One of my friends noted it’s pretty pathetic seeing Vladimir Putin, a man who flaunts his masculinity in public, running scared from a trio of young girls prancing around in sneakers and colorful skirts. Evidently these pussies have Putin running scared.

24 Comments

  1. Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Legitimate Rape’ Edition:

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  2. Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Legitimate Rape’ Edition | Virginia Right!:

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  7. Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog:

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  8. cynthia curran:

    I heard they did worst like playing with themselves. They did trespass into the church. Goerge Soros is funding them right now. ITs true that in Eastern Orthodoxy since it comes back into the Byzantine Empire and Peter the Great later on was influence by western state churches there is a connectin more with church and sate but I think some punishment not as much as the government gave.

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  10. Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Legitimate Rape’ Edition | askmarion:

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  11. Bookworm Room » Watcher’s Council submissions for August 22, 2012:

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  16. Bookworm Room » Watcher’s Council winners for August 24, 2012:

    [...] Sixth place with 2/3 vote – The Razor – In Support of Pussy Riot [...]

  17. The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council results | askmarion:

    [...] Sixth place with 2/3 vote – The Razor – In Support of Pussy Riot [...]

  18. The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council results | Virginia Right!:

    [...] Sixth place with 2/3 vote – The Razor – In Support of Pussy Riot [...]

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  21. PG:

    “They did trespass into the church.”

    Except Pussy Riot was neither tried nor convicted of any kind of trespass. (And in the U.S., trespass is merely a misdemeanor, i.e. penalized with no more than one year in prison.)

    They were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism: “a gross violation of the public order manifested in patent contempt of society and attended: a) by the use of weapons or articles used as weapons; b) by reason of political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred.”

    They had no weapons, so the only way to convict them was to claim that they were motivated by religious hatred, and to hell with their protestations that they are Christians and their song was about Putin and the church Patriarch, not in any way intended to disrespect the Church itself nor religion.

    Trespass, in short, has nothing to do with the case, as you’d see if you looked at how Russians discuss the case instead of just how Westerners do. http://www.yust.ru/en/publications/item.shtml?item_109

  22. Scott Kirwin:

    Americans just don’t get the Official State Religion angle, but it seems enough do considering the outpouring of support for PR here and in Europe.
    What I find more unfortunate is the reaction within Russia which apparently buys Putin’s justification. Would they be as supportive of Putin against Pussy Riot had they been arrested for performing elsewhere? I think it would have made no difference. Dictatorship has a long tradition in Russia; freedom of expression does not.

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