Does Christine Drazan Back ‘General Armageddon’?

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I just saw the horrific bombing of Ukraine’s Infrastructure conducted by Putin and his Mad Man ‘General Armageddon. Christine Drazan claims she is ahead in the polls in Oregon’s Governor’s race, just ahead of Tina Kotek, a professed Lesbian. This should make Putin, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and Donald Trump happy because Putin is on a Christian Crusade against Gay People. This Crusade was EXPORTED to Russia by Evangelicals. With the recent bombing of civilian targets, and Christian Threats to use nuclear weapons, I declare Christianity a Terrorist’s Organization.

Christianized Candidates like Drazan pretend they are homegrown hayseeds for Jesus, but they are all in for Christian Nationalism. Drazan uses the homeless, also, to get her fellow Crusaders into our Government- while their beloved ‘General Armageddon’ renders thousands – HOMELESS – in the name of wiping out LGBTQ citizens – everywhere! This is a worldwide Crusade! Oregon does not need to IMPORT Religious Terrorists!. Christine is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

John Presco

Сергей Суровикин

Those who believe that America’s white evangelicals have embraced Vladimir Putin due to some fundamentalist proclivity for authoritarianism have the story backwards. (Alexander Nemenov / AFP via Getty Images)

While many white evangelical leaders oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, televangelist Pat Robertson recently said Putin was “compelled by God” to invade the country in order to precipitate the coming apocalypse. In 2015, Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham, leader of post-war American evangelicalism) visited Putin and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Moscow and told the Russian press that “millions of Americans would like [Putin] to come and run for president of the United States”. Though Putin had just invaded Crimea, in 2014 Graham nonetheless applauded his efforts to protect children from “homosexual propaganda”; Graham moreover held that the importance of protecting Christianity was sufficient “justification” for Putin’s decision to strafe Syrian cities by way of support for Bashar al-Assad’s bloody civil war.

On Friday, Speaker Tina Kotek of the Oregon House of Representatives, a Democrat, renewed her call for Mr. Nearman to resign.

“Rep. Nearman put every person in the Capitol in serious danger and created fear among Capitol staff and legislators,” she said on Twitter.

Representative Christine Drazan, the Republican minority leader, said in a statement that legislators “are not above the law.”

“State legislators are the voices of their community,” she said. “The charges have been filed in Marion County Circuit Court and I trust the judicial process to be fair and objective.”

His colleagues have described him as “General Armageddon” and two days after his appointment, cities across Ukraine were hit by rocket attacks against civilian targets which included a road junction by a university and a children’s playground in a park.

Founder of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been calling for a tougher response to Ukraine’s counteroffensive called Surovikin “the most competent commander in the Russian army,” according to Live 24.

World Congress of Families, a largely evangelical Christian group based in Illinois, was the brainchild of an American historian and a Russian Orthodox mystic, who met in Moscow in 1995, according to Mother Jones.

Even though they have declined from 23 per cent of the population in 2006 to 14.5 per cent in 2022, evangelicals still comprise one quarter of all American voters. Hence the stances they adopt matter to America’s domestic and international politics. Not only did 84 per cent of white evangelicals vote for Donald Trump in 2020, but many have voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin for nearly a decade. Why? Those who believe that evangelicals embrace Putin out of some fundamentalist proclivity for authoritarianism have the story backwards. It’s more a tale of freedom gone awry.

While many white evangelical leaders oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, televangelist Pat Robertson recently said Putin was “compelled by God” to invade the country in order to precipitate the coming apocalypse. In 2015, Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham, leader of post-war American evangelicalism) visited Putin and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Moscow and told the Russian press that “millions of Americans would like [Putin] to come and run for president of the United States”. Though Putin had just invaded Crimea, in 2014 Graham nonetheless applauded his efforts to protect children from “homosexual propaganda”; Graham moreover held that the importance of protecting Christianity was sufficient “justification” for Putin’s decision to strafe Syrian cities by way of support for Bashar al-Assad’s bloody civil war.

To be sure, some of this amounts to little more than rallying the base around some of the lowest of low-hanging fruit in the culture wars. But why should evangelical leaders rally their base — who embrace Trumpism precisely because of its opposition to the “deep state” — around someone like Putin, an authoritarian strongman who, as an ex-KGB operative, is about as “deep state” as you can get? How does this square with the evangelical priority accorded to individual liberty and their fears of the government “swamp”?

In fact, Putin is not seen as a “deep state” autocrat but as a leader who is advancing religious freedom globally against the tyranny of secular government. He’s also seen as standing up for the Russian people, who were robbed, on his telling, of their rightful place in the world by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both moves look right to America’s white evangelicals, who feel beleaguered by a secular government within an increasingly secular, multicultural society, and who are seeking an ally in their struggle for freedom to be Christian. The key word here is freedom.

It’s not that white evangelicals see Putin as an extension of “their man”, Donald Trump. Rather, they view Putin through a lens that makes both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, not just palatable, but persuasive. When offering his support of Trump during the 2016 presidential election campaign, Baptist minister Robert Jeffress explained, “I want the meanest, toughest, son-of-a-you-know-what I can find in that role [of president], and I think that’s where many evangelicals are”.

You could say that American white evangelicals came by their admiration and for the “meanest, toughest, son-of-a-you-know-what” honestly — by means of their history.

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The ancestors of today’s evangelicals came to the United State as covenantal thinkers, understanding society as a covenant for the common good among persons and with God. Should a ruler breach covenant, the people could remove him. Covenantalists, as religious “free thinkers” unattached to Europe’s state churches, were also persecuted by them. All told, they were wary of government, elite authorities, and “outsiders” who might disturb their way of life. The 1620 Mayflower Compact — declaring that “We … Covenant and Combine our selves together into a Civil Body Politick” — sought both to establish a covenantal government for colonial Massachusetts and to control non-Puritan “outsiders”.

Evangelicals also held to two key doctrines: the fallenness of human government and personal responsibility to come to the truth about God, world, and morality — which is to say, the need to think “singly” rather than follow authorities. Because all governments are imperfect and may not be taken for the Kingdom of God, each person must work out for themselves how best to further God’s vision. The belief encouraged individual moral reckoning and, again, wariness of authorities and outsiders.

In short, American evangelicals have not only a political basis for their wariness of government — as many Americans who have fled oppressive regimes had — but also a doctrinal one. During the Cold War, Christians in the West saw themselves as threatened by godless Communism. But today, in a world characterised by multiple power centres, white evangelical Christians see their freedom as under threat from an omnipresent secular “deep state”.

Fear of losing that freedom and of being trounced by (secular) government is more than a century in the making, and is deeply rooted in the evangelical worldview and motivation. Evangelicalism had been America’s default religion and the socio-cultural norm-setter until the late-nineteenth century, when it was successively challenged by industrialisation, urbanisation, Darwinism, and the new German “historical-critical” school of biblical exegesis — an academic movement which, with its array of philological and archaeological interpretive methods, threatened to overturn America’s grassroots, democratic, untutored understanding of the Bible.

Then, evangelicals lost the 1925 Scopes Supreme Court case over the teaching of evolution in public schools. In 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled that school-led prayer was unconstitutional. Then came the sexual revolution, followed by the feminist and gay right movements. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage a constitutional right. Today, 79 per cent of Americans and 65 per cent of Republicans support anti-discrimination protections for LGBTIQ+ people, deepening evangelical fears of a drubbing at the hands of a secular state and society.

When Donald Trump first ran for president, white evangelical wariness of government and loss of liberty was not new, but it was enlivened and energised as Trump and others tapped into their longstanding suspicion of government and elites alike — the “deep state”, the Washington “swamp”, and the “fake news” elite media. Trump promised a “mean” and “tough” bulwark against all these threats, and to offer unassailable protection for the freedom to be Christian. When he moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he said unambiguously, “That’s for the evangelicals”.

If we then add to this the evangelical fear of secular oppression globally, we can then see the way that “deep state” Putin — who has long shown himself remarkably adept at disguising brutal power grabs beneath the cloak of “saviour behaviour” — could emerge as the protector of the freedom to be Christian everywhere. It is from fear of losing freedom that people come to embrace a strongman who is willing to instrumentalise their anxieties for his own aggressive purposes. In their insightful analysis of the 2016 presidential election, John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck described these sorts of strongman tactics as “hunting where the ducks are”.

The peculiarities and problems of white evangelical politics cannot be addressed without understanding where the ducks are — namely, evangelicalism’s history as it undergirds evangelicals’ current fears. It is, after all, these fears which give evangelical politics its tenacity, its persistence, and its power.

Professor Marcia Pally teaches at New York University and held the Mercator Professorship in the Theology Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin. Her most recent books are White Evangelicals and Right-Wing Populism: How Did We Get Here?, From This Broken Hill I Sing to You: God, Sex, and Politics in the Work of Leonard Cohen, Mimesis and Sacrifice: Applying Girard’s Mimetic Theory Across the Disciplines, and Commonwealth and Covenant: Economics, Politics, and Theologies of Relationality, which was selected by the United Nations Committee on Education for Justice for worldwide distribution and was nominated for a Grawemeyer Award in religion.


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In November 2010, Russia’s Sanctity of Motherhood organization kicked off its first-ever national conference. The theme, according to its organizers, was urgent: solving “the crisis of traditional family values” in a modernizing Russia. The day opened with a sextet leading 1,000 swaying attendees in a prayer. Some made the sign of the cross, others bowed or raised their arms to the sky before settling into the plush red and gold seats of the conference hall at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.

On the second morning of the conference, the only American in attendance, a tall, collected man, stepped up for his speech. Larry Jacobs, vice president of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), an umbrella organization for the US religious right’s heavy hitters, told the audience that American evangelicals had a 40-year track record of “defending life and family” and they hoped to be “true allies” in Russia’s traditional values crusade.  

The gathering marked the beginning of the family values fervor that has swept Russia in recent years. Warning that low birth rates are a threat to the long-term survival of the Russian people, politicians have been pushing to restrict abortion and encourage bigger families. Among the movement’s successes is a law that passed last summer and garnered global outrage in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” a vague term that has been seen as effectively criminalizing any public expression of same-sex relationships.


Anti-gay groups have made tormenting the LGBT community a national and organized affair: Vigilante gangs have used social media to lure hundreds of gay people to fake dates and then disseminate videos of them being beaten or sexually humiliated, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers. Arrests and beatings at gay rights demonstrations are commonplace. This month, LGBT activists were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg hours before the Olympic opening ceremony and have been detained in Sochi itself.

Since Jacobs first traveled to Russia for the Sanctity of Motherhood conference, he and his WCF colleagues have returned regularly to bolster Russia’s nascent anti-gay movement—and to work with powerful Russian connections that they’ve acquired along the way. In 2014, the World Congress of Families will draw an international group of conservative activists together in Moscow, a celebratory convening that Jacobs foreshadowed on that first visit, when he ended his speech triumphantly: “Together, we can win!”

How the World Congress took Russia

MORE: Explore the network behind the World Congress of Families.

The Sanctity of Motherhood conference represented a homecoming of sorts for WCF, which was conceived in Russia in 1995. Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, two sociology professors at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anatoly Antonov and Victor Medkov, had been watching with mounting concern as marriage and birth rates fell precipitously—this was not how capitalism was supposed to play out. But they thought they knew who could help.

They turned to Allan Carlson, president of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, a historian who made his name studying family policy, earning an appointment to President Reagan’s National Commission on Children. His 1988 book, Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis, had set out to define and explain how a similar demographic decay—spurred by the postwar feminist and sexual revolutions—had played out in America. Medkov and Antonov read his work with enthusiasm, invited him to Moscow, and took him to meet Ivan Shevchenko—a Russian Orthodox mystic in whose Moscow apartment the WCF was hatched.  

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They envisioned the World Congress as a global gathering for social conservatives dedicated to protecting their vision of the family in a changing society. They soon launched plans to host their first conference in 1997 in Prague. It proved an unexpected success, drawing more than 700 participants. That year Carlson, who had raised most of the money to host the event, helped establish and became president of the Howard Center, which adopted the WCF as a core project.  

WCF has since put on conferences in Europe, Mexico, and Australia that have been attended by thousands. The group has deep ties with the most powerful organizations in America’s religious right, including Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, and Americans United for Life. These groups and many others pay $2,500 annually to be WCF partners, and some give additional funds—Focus, the Alliance Defense Fund, and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute each chipped in $20,000 to help put on the 2012 World Congress in Madrid. In Russia, they’ve tapped the support of the nation’s religious right and its billionaire sponsors.

Since 2010, WCF has helped host at least five major gatherings in Russia where American evangelicals put their views before Russian audiences. At a 2011 demographic summit in Moscow, the event’s loaded two-day schedule of panels and speeches included just one 10-minute slot without an American presenter.  

Two Orthodox  billionaires are footing many of the WCF’s bills: Vladimir Yakunin, the president of the Russian railways, and investor Konstantin Malofeev.

These gatherings have helped WCF’s American leaders establish tight relationships with key Russian government officials, like Duma member Elena Mizulina, the country’s foremost anti-gay legislator, who has met with Jacobs in Moscow at least three times and is a frequent attendee at WCF events. This June, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, who serves on WCF’s Moscow 2014 planning committee, flew to Russia two days after the lower chamber of parliament approved her gay propaganda ban to meet with Mizulina about crafting her next piece of landmark legislation, a gay-adoption ban. They were met by another 2014 planning committee member, former Fox News producer Jack Hanick, for a round table on the topic.  

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WCF has lent its support to anti-gay politics elsewhere in Eastern Europe—Serbia, Lithuania, Romania—but it has had its biggest and most notable successes in Russia. Indeed, the rise of anti-gay laws in Russia has mirrored, almost perfectly, the rise of WCF’s work in the country, with 13 new anti-gay laws passed since Jacobs first traveled there. When I ask Jacobs if WCF’s work has contributed to this pattern, he laughs and says, “Yes, I think that is accurate.”

To be sure, the country was already fertile ground for WCF’s efforts: “On the issue of sexuality, its no secret that Russia is a conservative country,” says Tanya Cooper, Human Rights Watch’s Russia researcher.   

Russians have increasingly adopted the kind of language the American religious right has long deployed to fight acceptance of homosexuality—terms like “natural family,” “traditional values,” and “protecting children,” with rarely a mention of the word “gay.”

The Orthodox Church’s family lobbying arm is led by Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, a powerful Moscow clergyman.

“This does not seem like native Russian policy,” Cooper says. “It’s the rhetoric of homophobic activists in the States.”

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A Powerful Church

But the fight is not just about what happens in Moscow. With same-sex marriage now legal in 16 American states and counting, elements of the US religious right have come to see Russia as a redoubt in a global battle against homosexuality. “The Russians,” Jacobs has said, “might be the Christian saviors of the world.”

That’s in large part due to the Russian Orthodox Church’s immense political influence. Post-Soviet Russia saw a huge revival in Orthodoxy after communism’s restrictions were lifted, and harsh new economic realities increased the appeal of the faith. By making common cause with the church and its goals, Putin has not only cast his regime’s opponents as enemies of Russian tradition, but shored up his popularity: Today, about 90 percent of Russians identify as Orthodox. The church is a marker of national identity, a source of political endorsements, and an official participant in the legislative process: In a 2009 agreement with Putin’s ruling United Russia party, the country’s top Orthodox official, Patriarch Kirill, won the right to review (and suggest changes to) any legislation being considered by the Duma. Since then, both Putin and Patriarch Kirill have stated explicitly and repeatedly that they believe in collaboration between church and state—a partnership that is helping to drive the government’s campaign against homosexuality.

Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov is one of the church’s most prominent officials, the host of a weekly TV show and the head of eight Moscow congregations. When I arrive at one of them on a rainy Sunday, mass is still ongoing. In his office, two men are setting up tripods and camera equipment. Archpriest Dmitri explains that our interview will be uploaded to his personal blog to ensure he won’t be misrepresented.

Dmitri was recently appointed to head the Patriarch’s Commission on the Family, Protection of Motherhood, and Childhood, a church body established in 2011 to influence legislators and act as a policy development shop for the Putin administration.

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“We don’t even use the word ‘gay.’ We use the word ‘homosexualists,’” Archpriest Dmitri explains. “What’s ‘gay’ about it? I think it’s pretty sad, actually. We see homosexualism as a sin. And not just homosexualism, but also alcoholism, drug use, murder of people on the streets, or robbing a bank.”

The commission has worked closely with Mizuluna’s Duma committee on family policy, and confers with a variety of international organizations; of these, Dmitri says, “our main connection is the World Congress of Families.”

What can “homosexualists” birth?

Sociologist Anatoly Antonov is a WCF cofounder and an intellectual leader of Russia’s anti-gay forces.

To learn more about the work of WCF, I’ve arranged to meet Anatoly Antonov, the WCF cofounder, at his office at Moscow State University, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions. Antonov, who has slicked back salt-and-pepper hair and wire-rimmed glasses, pulls a book off his shelf—there are at least 10 more copies—signs it, and presents it as a gift. It is a compilation of Carlson’s essays that Antonov personally translated, got published, and now distributes to students.  

Family, as Antonov sees it, is crumbling in the contraception-happy, gay-friendly West. “Today, this is Aldous Huxley’s brave new world!” Antonov says, shaking his fist. “I ask my students all the time: Can two stools give birth to something? So it is with two homosexualists—what can they birth? Nothing.” 

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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