Media in the West love the narrative that godless, Communist Russia eventually fell to the relentless, holy hand of capitalism (to be specific, the one at the end of Ronald Reagan’s right arm).  Now that communism is gone, lookee there!  Russians are flocking to view Our Lady’s Belt.

Visitors are required, because of the outrageously long lines, to wait an average of 26 hours to see the “cincture” of the Virgin Mary, on display thanks to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Perhaps a sign that communism is gone: it is reported by impatient visitors that a separate line exists for VIPs.  And then there’s the marketing.  RT writes:

Ironically, a tiny piece of the same holy belt is on permanent display at another Moscow cathedral, just a few hundred meters away from Christ the Savior.

Perhaps a sign that communism is not forgotten: the church had to adjust the display of the belt to more swiftly move visitors by it.  Their new flow of veneration sounds like the one used in Lenin’s tomb: keep the worshipers in order and shuffle them efficiently past the relic.

New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff told the Securities and Exchange Commission not spare the rod with Citigroup.

From Fox News, a lengthy story on Al-Qaida’s impersonation of Christian missionaries in Africa.  So last century!

Kamran Pasha at Illume reminds us that women have been playing dominant roles in Islam for a long time.