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How to stop moral violence?2010-05-17 18:06
Georgian patriarchate severely condemns attempts to insult people's religious feelings and calls to adopt a law prohibiting infringement of moral values. GOC's statement was a reaction to the scandal over Saidumlo Siroba (Holy Crap) book whose presentation in Ilia University and on Kavkasia TV led to clashes between Orthodox believers and liberals with the believers urging for ban on sodomy and lesbianism while the liberals advocate freedom of expression.
Georgia is located on the verge of two cultures - Western and Eastern. The government appointed in this country has finally decided to move toward US-European values while the church and Orthodox congregation are trying to save foundations of traditional culture.
Recently the Georgian Orthodox Church reacted to the scandal over Irakli Deisidze's book Saidumlo Siroba (Saidumlo seroba (Last Supper) reduced phonetically to a curse (Holy Crap)).
Public confrontation has been on for over a month, though the church ignored the scandal at first only asking to keep religion away from political squabbles. In the meantime Patriarch Ilia II gave a reward to David Isakadze's father, an activist of the Union of Orthodox Parents for his long service. The ceremony took place in Georgia's main cathedral. The Union and People's Orthodox Movement (POM) were active participants in clashes at Ilia University where the presentation of the book took place as well as in Kavkasia TV studio that hosted debates over the issue.
GOC's special statement of May 15 denies any involvement in activities of these organizations. The church however was hard on "propaganda of immoralities, indecencies, unchasity and satanism" in Deisidze's book.
"The book's protagonist tells about his sexual excitement he has when he sees his mother praying, and ponders that the world would be better if Saint Mary performed an abort", - Malkhaz Gulashvili, head of People's Orthodox Movement told pravmir.ru. "This is like spitting in the face of any Orthodox Georgian, or any Christian", - he believes.
The church's statement terms the impact of the book more diplomatically - "moral and psychological violence". It's not about a potential patient of Freud's followers telling about his sexual problems. Most importantly, the book was published and presented with support of the state, at Ilia Chavchavadze state university, as a landmark in Georgian literature. Though Nodar Dumbadze or Otar Chiladze must be turning inside their coffins thinking of this new Georgian writer.
All this is not neglect, but full compliance with the plan to liberalize a too prudish (in US terms) Georgian society. As Gulashvili explains, all these atrocities (the book, the gay parade and the law on sexual minorities - ed.) appear through Saakashvili's constant desire to please Western structures".
According to the patriarch, Deisidze's book sets more sophisticated goals. Arousing natural resentment of the Orthodox community and provoking clashes, the book sponsors wanted to show believers as sluggish, backward and non-tolerant passing all these characteristics to the church in order to diminish its authority afterwards.