Saturday, June 28, 2014

Marilyn Manson Gigs Cancelled in Russia, Religious Fanatics Rejoice

By John Sanidopoulos

Russian religious fanaticism reared its ugly head yesterday in Moscow when protests erupted with hundreds of icon-bearing Orthodox Christians against a Marilyn Manson concert. Yes, you heard that right... protests over a Marilyn Manson concert... again.

Self-proclaimed defender of Russian Orthodox believers and leader of the “God’s Will” movement, Dmitry Enteo, celebrated a “victory” over the “blasphemous” rock band on his Twitter page on Friday. Enteo said that he and his fellow activists threw eggs and poured holy water on band members and Manson himself, which they captured on video. One woman can even be seen trying to hit a band member with an icon of the Archangel Michael.

“Pelted at with eggs, Manson was running away from me and was squealing like a pig as we were sprinkling him with holy water. You won’t believe it, he was making circles,” Enteo wrote.

The activist earlier announced his action as “the decisive fight against the blasphemer Manson.”

However, the man shown in the footage was not Marilyn Manson himself, but a member of his band. Enteo then tweeted: “I’m sorry, maybe we sprinkled not Manson himself, but members of his band. But maybe it was him – they all look alike.”

Manson’s frenzied Russian fans took to social media, accusing the same Orthodox Christian activists of disrupting the performance. Enteo denied his involvement on Twitter, but cheered the incident by saying “Thank God!”

Manson sent out two Tweets yesterday and posted a photo of the protest. Note how he doesn't rail against Christianity or Christians, but he does cite their hypocrisy. With the second tweet Manson posted a photo of the protests in Ukraine.

- "Bomb threats have cancelled our show in Moscow, just as we were about to perform."
3:33 PM - 27 Jun 2014

- "Why are the people that proclaim that music inspires violence, the ones that create such entropy?"
4:57 PM - 27 Jun 2014

Manson protested by Russians

Ukrainians protesting Russia

It seems like some Russians are still living in the late 1990's, when such displays of fear-based Christianity against Manson in North America were ridiculed by the rest of the world. This long-awaited by fans headline performance of the Park Live Festival was eventually cancelled due to a bomb threat, a common type of threat used by fear-based religious fanatics to get what they don't like cancelled, and this cancellation came after news that Manson's next gig on June 29th in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city, was also cancelled when protests began there a few weeks ago.

Before terrorists became the primary object of fear in America after 9/11 in 2001, Americans had other scapegoats to rest their fears on, most notably musicians like Marilyn Manson and then Eminem. This neo-satanic panic of the late 1990's began with the release of Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar in 1996, during which he toured the world promoting the album with his Dead To The World tour, selling shows out in minutes everywhere. Manson provoked conservative Christians throughout America, especially middle America, and the most fanatic among them protested his live shows by the hundreds fearing that he was corrupting the morals of the youth, converting them to satanism and encouraging them to commit suicide. Of course, this was a losing battle, since people will like the music they like, so fundamentalists began these and many other slanders against Manson accusing him of promoting every evil under the sun to prevent people from attending these concerts. This came to a head on April 20, 1999 when the shooting massacre occurred in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Immediately the blame for the shooting shifted from the shooters Dylan and Klebold to Marilyn Manson, because supposedly his music brainwashed them to shoot their fellow students and teachers. It was proved soon after that Dylan and Klebold were not Manson fans at all, but still out of respect for what America was going through Manson cancelled the tour he was on, and he had to even lock himself inside his house for months due to the many death threats he received. Blame would be levelled against Marilyn Manson for another 36 school shootings in America since that time, all proving to be unfounded and baseless, but proving the need for a scapegoat by fear-based conservative Christians with little understanding of the real issues and motivations behind violence.

Manson has toured Russia before without much of an incident, but this time, with the rise of religious fanaticism among some Orthodox believers, fear-based fundamentalist Christianity is rearing its ugly head there too. He is accused of trying to promote sadomasochism and the tearing up of Bibles, thus insulting Orthodox Christians. Of course Manson does not promote such things, as anyone who has attended a Manson concert will explain, but it makes the protesters sound like the morally superior good guys. To most of the world however they sound and look like religious idiots and moralistic hypocrites. Such is the price of basing your Christianity on fear instead of love and understanding and respect for human freedom, which are qualities displayed by mature Orthodox Christians. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing" (1 Cor 13:1-10).

In May 1999, about a week after the shooting at Columbine High School, Evangelical Christians in Iowa realized that perhaps it is best to soften hearts rather than inflame the situation. These were conservative fundamentalists who still believed Manson influenced the shooters, but realized perhaps the protests were making the fans of Manson more angry (they weren't, but they did make them feel resentful of Christians), and they wanted to make sure the concert went on without incident. So one church purchased 100 pizzas and 1200 cans of soda and they handed them out to the Manson fans waiting in line. Cookies, candy bars and fruit drinks were also handed out. Someone even made the kids turkey and cheese sandwiches. Manson fans waiting in line, who were soon seen to be just normal kids yet a bit resentful of Christians for their disturbing behavior against them, accepted their gracious offerings with thanks, and each group showed mutual respect, and some even prayed together. One pastor, Glenn Kazan, was interviewed by the Cedar Rapids Gazette and said, "We want the kids here to know not all Christians are judgmental or hate-mongers. Our desire reach out to them with the love of Christ and to let them know we care about them." The next day the media was finally able to say that some Christians can actually show some love and respect to Manson and his fans, and they can give it back as well. An interesting "revelation" that should be common sense. (Here is the account according to the organizers.)