This year's Winter Olympics in Sochi brought worldwide attention to the plight of LGBT people in Russia after the country passed a series of draconian anti-gay laws. A homoerotic calendar of models posing as Eastern Orthodox priests and reenacting the seven deadly sins mocks those laws.
As the calendar's creators explain:
The story takes place on the right bank of the Moskva River south of Moscow, where some priests believe that same-sex unions are NOT a sign of the coming apocalypse, contrary to what Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill may claim. These priests set out, in a humorous way, to remind the world that homosexuality is NOT one of the 7 deadly sins and in fact that Jesus Christ never even referred to homosexuality as a sin!
Yet in the words of many in the Orthodox hierarchy, LGBT people have suddenly become the worst kind of sinners -- an omen of the impending end of the world. What about wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony?
Three years after its creation, OC is still the only organized global effort against homophobia in the Orthodox region. Our creative team along with our gay-friendly guests are more enthusiastic than ever to work on this new series illustrating the ancient sins forgotten by a declining Church obsessed with demonizing the LGBT community.
The calendar is called "S.A.L.I.G.I.A," which is Latin for Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, Acedia (Pride, Avarice, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth). The creators are from Romania and have released two previous calendars in support of LGBT acceptance, with this one set in Russia.
Patriarch Kirill, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church, preached last year against gay marriage: "This is a very dangerous apocalyptic symptom, and we must do everything in our powers to ensure that sin is never sanctioned in Russia by state law, because that would mean that the nation has embarked on a path of self-destruction. We face enormous temptations when countries start approving sin and codifying it into law in order to justify it."
The calendar costs about $17, the X-rated version about $32. I was sent some X-rated images and they show full-on erections if that is your thing. Here are some safer images, but might be NSFW for some:
Here is the promo video, that includes shots of actual gay bashing in Russia, the protests by Pussy Riot that caused a sensation and one hunky priest: