A religious leader of Russia’s Old Believers church said that the root of homosexuality is in the changing fashion of men’s facial hair and suggested that men should stop shaving to protect themselves from “slipping into” any sexual ambiguity.
Metropolitan Kornily said that men with beards are less likely to be “corrupted” by homosexuality, the Moscow Times reported.
Kornily, who last month had a visit from Russian President Putin, expressed his concern that beards fell out of fashion (he clearly hasn’t been to Brooklyn). And also lamented that the tradition of beards has “completely disappeared from Catholic West”.
“God set down certain rules. The Lord created everyone with a beard. No man can resist his creator,” Kornily told Russia’s National News Service. “It’s made a monstrous thing to see men’s clothing and hairstyles changing.”
He recommended that men stop shaving their beards to “protect themselves” from homosexuality.
The Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church split from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666 when they protested reforms by Patriarch Nikon of Moscow. They follow rituals that predate 17th century reforms.
While technically homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, there is a so-called “gay propaganda” law, which prohibits any exposure or statement in the media, and in the public domain that gay relationships are equal to traditional ones. Authorities claim it is for the sake of children.