Seriously, sometimes this stuff is so unbelievably stupid that it’s hard to believe at all. A local art group in Moscow had planned to mount a replica of Sauron’s Eye on top of a skyscraper to celebrate the release in the last movie in the Hobbit series. Fans were elated and I’m sure Warner Bros. wouldn’t be unhappy with the free publicity, but the whole plan was kaboshed when… get this… the Russian Orthodox Church claimed that such a display would invite evil upon Russia’s capital and convinced Svechenie, the group who was planning the event, to back down.
Because a scene from a book of fiction is going to do bad things to your country? According to the group, “We didn’t expect that our fan initiative, which received lots of attention from the media and millions of John R.R. Tolkien fans, would provoke such a reaction from society.” They went on to add that the display “does not have any religious or political subtext,” as if that really had to be added.
But the spokesman of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church, Vsevolod Chaplin, warned that the display would be a “symbol of the triumph of evil … rising up over the city.” He further said that it was a bad thing and people shouldn’t be surprised if something bad happens to the city if it was put up. The Church has, in recent years, moved to decry anything that it sees as disagreeing with its religious authority and position. Heavy metal groups like Cannibal Corpse have been banned in Russia and others like Marilyn Manson have had to cancel dates because of religiously-oriented bomb threats.
People in Russia see the horrors that are coming to their land, strengthened in recent years by Vladimir Putin’s highly religious rule. A fan of Svechenie wrote on their Facebook page, “Guys, it’s a cool idea — we’re with you, but in the Stone Age our people are living in, you’re like Giordano Bruno!” Yeah, hopefully the Church doesn’t burn them alive like they did Bruno.