Monday, October 20, 2014


Transmission

A Discussion About Condoms Reveals Deeper Fault Lines In Georgia

On the surface, the topic of discussion in the Georgian parliament was quite reasonable. Lawmakers were debating a proposed bill that would ban the sale and advertising of sexual paraphernalia in shops that also sold children's goods or within the vicinity of schools.
 
But then, as EurasiaNet reports, the debate took a turn for the bizarre, with parliament discussing what exactly constituted sexual aids and whether condoms could be divided into two categories: those designed for preventing pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and those that were merely tools of arousal:

And so the work began: sex toys – yes; porn – yes; condoms -- here things get a little tricky. Some parliamentarians proposed to make a distinction between condoms that serve the sole function of preventing sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy, and those that also enhance sexual experience.

"A condom can have not only a protective function, but also be meant to receive pleasure if it is enhanced by certain technical means,” senior Georgian Dream lawmaker Levan Berdzenishvili explained to parliament’s legal committee.
 
Other lawmakers disagreed, saying that it was a personal matter and that consenting adults should have access to sex toys if they so desired.

The video capturing the debate about the true functionality of condoms has been a hit on Georgian social networks, with many poking fun at the lawmakers. But -- smirks aside -- the discussion reveals deeper fault lines within Georgian society, pitting liberals against social conservatives who seek to uphold Orthodox values.
 
Open discussion about sex is relatively rare in Georgian society. The Georgian-language edition of "Playboy" magazine was launched in 2007 but only lasted a few issues -- apparently shut down due to lack of reader interest. A Tbilisi sex shop had to close after repeated acts of vandalism.

In 2010, a book by 19-year-old author Erekle Deisadze angered religious conservatives because of its subject matter: homosexuality and incest. In Georgian, the title of the book is a play on words combining "The Last Supper" with the word for penis. Activists from an Orthodox group targeted the book launch and beat up guests and audience members at a television station where the book was being discussed.

In recent years, the Popular Orthodox Movement (PRM), an umbrella group comprising several Orthodox groups, has emerged and grown stronger. One of the members of the PRM is the Union of Orthodox Parents, which in May attacked a gay-pride event in Tbilisi to mark International Day Against Homophobia. Fistfights broke out, with antigay activists saying homosexuality would lead to moral depravity among young people.

The Orthodox Church has a good deal of formal and informal power in Georgia. David Kakabadze, the head of RFE/RL's Georgian Service, says that politicians tend to tread carefully and rarely come out against the church, largely because of its widespread support. Patriarch Ilia is hugely popular and the church consistently receives approval ratings of more than 90 percent.
 
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili always tried to cautiously balance expectations of Western liberals and the more conservative demands of the Orthodox Church. It's unclear if the defeat of his ruling coalition in parliamentary elections and the rise of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a country boy with traditional Orthodox roots, will swing the balance of power further towards the conservative camp and in the church's favor.

-- Luke Allnutt
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sey from: World
December 11, 2012 17:53
Georgia is an Orthodox Christian nation. Furthermore, it is one of the first Orthodox Christian nations. If it is not up to Georgia to defend Christianity as the liberal terrorists seek to destroy it, then who shall come to defend it?

You tell me Georgians struggled for centuries to defend their Christian beliefs as the Islamic armies ravaged the nation, but cannot do anything when these traitor pro-Western politicians advocating homosexuality and promiscuity seek to sink Georgia into the abyss of liberalism?

God willing, Georgia will reclaim its position as one of Christianity's holiest lands again...and the ravaging of Christian values will stop. Sakartvelos Gaumarjos!


In Response

by: Alex from: LA
December 14, 2012 08:15
HAHAHA.... They were part of Armenian Orthodox Church, then betray us and join the Byzantine Orthodoxy, which was at holy war with Armenian to convert us, and brought in Turkish mercenaries to deal with a nation that defended it's eastern borders from those same Muslim hoards that ravaged the lands, and not to mention that their royal dynasty was Armenian.Another reason for Georgian to hate Armenians, and we our saint was asked by them to create a written language. The only Brothers in the region turned against each other by Greek Byzantines that last to this date. That reason, What do you call your Christianity and the matter judgement day, We (Armenians) believe that you can't never buy your way into heaven. Today, they are closer with both Turks, on each side, then with those CHristian that defended any Advances by Muslims Expansionist than any other nation in history.
In Response

by: Rasto from: office
December 14, 2012 15:24

The traditional Georgian narrative regarding the origin of the Bagrationi can be traced back to the 11th century. According to the Georgian chronicler of that time Sumbat Davitis-Dze,[6] as published by Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi (1696–1757), who added chronological interpretations, the ancestors of the dynasty traced their descent to the biblical King David, and came from Palestine around 530 AD. Tradition has it that of seven refugee brothers of the Davidic line, three of them settled in Armenia and the other four in Kartli (also known as Iberia by Classical authors), where they intermarried with the local ruling houses and acquired some lands in hereditary possession. One of the four brothers, Guaram (died in 532), allegedly gave an origin to a line subsequently called Bagrationi after his son Bagrat.[7] A successor, Guaram, was installed as a presiding prince of Kartli under the Byzantine protectorate and bestowed, on this occasion, with the Byzantine court title of Kouropalates[8] in 575.[9] Thus, according to this version, began the dynasty of the Georgian Bagratids, who ruled until 1801.[10] This tradition had been given a general acceptance until the early 20th century.[11] While the Jewish origin, let alone the biblical descent of the Bagratids, has been largely discounted by modern scholarship, the issue of their origin still remains controversial. Several Soviet-era historians of Georgia developed a view summarized by N. Berdzenishvili and et al. in their standard reference book on the history of Georgia:
The illustrious dynasty of the Bagratids originated in the most ancient Georgian kingdom of Tao-Klarjeti. This ancient Georgian kingdom is in Turkey and called Speri (today İspir).[12] Through their farsighted, flexible policies, the Bagratid achieved great influence from the sixth through eighth centuries. One of their branches moved out to Armenia, the other to Iberia, and both won for themselves the dominant position among the other rulers of Transcaucasia.[13]
Certain, generation by generation, history of the family begins only in the 8th century, when the downfall of the rival clan of the Mamikonians helped the Bagratids to emerge as a major force in the ongoing struggle against the Arab rule.
In Response

by: one time comment from: Brooklyn
December 19, 2012 01:18
Armenian dude, we are cool with each other, I hope, but you guys gotta chill sometimes:) I am not saying u r wrong or right but can't be first in everything throughout the history of the world.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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