I get that Russian president Vladimir Putin cynically wants to poke the US in the eye over a new law aimed at punishing Russia for human rights violations, but I cannot for the life of me understand why Putin would make Russian orphans suffer. What is the point of banning US adoptions of Russian orphans? Who really suffers the most from this legislation? Is this really the way to show the world that Russia respects human rights, despite what Washington says? Seems to me Putin is only making Washington’s case.

I wish the Moscow Patriarchate would find its voice for the voiceless orphans who are the victims of Putin’s cheeky politics. Seems to me that they are more important than Pussy Riot’s shenanigans.

UPDATE: Well, I guess we know where the Russian church stands:

The Magnitsky Act has drawn attention to crimes Russian authorities had hoped they could conceal. Russian lawmakers have resorted to blatant lies to support their position. State Duma Deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov had the temerity to say that adopted Russian children are “slaves who are not even protected by U.S. law.”

State Duma Deputy Svetlana Goryacheva went even further, saying,”60,000 children have been taken to the U.S. from Russia. And if even one-tenth of these orphans were used for organ transplants or sexual pleasure, there will remain 50,000 who can be recruited for war against Russia.”

But the best comment yet in this charade came from archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who said Russian children adopted by U.S. parents “do not go to heaven.” What he failed to mention is that children who are not adopted and remain in Russia get to heaven much faster than they should — many before they reach 18.

UPDATE.2: Thank you, Liam, for this helpful clarification of Fr. Chaplin’s remark:

I am not a supporter of this childish and shortsighted law by any means, nor am I a fan of Fr Vsevolod Chaplin and his occasional sycophantic tendencies, but fairness demands that one point out that the Guardian has not quoted the venerable priest fairly. His opinion was in fact somewhat more nuanced.

“Речь идёт очень часто о детях, происходящих из православных семей или даже о крещенных в Православной Церкви”, – отметил представитель Церкви. Усыновление русских детей зарубежными парами в большинстве случаев означает “невозможность получить истинно христианское воспитание, а значит, отпадение от Церкви и от дороги в вечную жизнь, в Божье Царство”.

(“We are speaking very often of children who come from Orthodox families, or who even have been baptized in the Orthodox Church,” observed the Church’s representative. The adoption of Russian children by foreign couples in the majority of cases signifies “the impossibility [for the children] to receive a truly Christian upbringing, and thus, their falling-away from the Church and from the path to eternal life, to the Kingdom of God.”)