Some Christians let the ideal be the enemy of the practical, in things political; others of us are more pragmatic.
Life and culture in traditionally Orthodox countries, is “traditional”; but not necessarily in exactly the way you might expect.
I am an Orthodox Christian, and grew up in the Metropolia (predecessor to the OCA). My wife is native of the Republic of Georgia.
As you might expect, Georgia is a very traditional culture. Alternate sexuality is not only not endorsed, it is unthinkable. They very words for “gay” in both Russian and Georgian (both of which correspond to their respective name for the light blue color,;why I can’t say) are viscerally distasteful in a way the English speakers cannot imagine. When representatives of her EU tried to import a “gay rights” march to Tbilisi, there were riots led by clergy members. Some saw this as an attempt to embarrass the Georgian Patriarchate. While Georgians are absolutely committed to the West, (i.e membership in the EU and NATO,) they are determined at the same time to protect traditional values.
That being said, “traditional” values are not entirely consonant with Christian values. While women are expected to maintain purity until marriage, men are assumed to be promiscuous. Adulterous men are “just being men”. Former president Saakashvili traveled around the country with beautiful women, not his wife, and actively cultivated the persona of a ‘ladies man’ as a way to demonstrated his manliness. Subsequent leaders, at least have been more circumspect. Even 20 years ago, marriage by kidnapping / rape was tolerated, and not unusual. If a boy kidnapped a girl and kept her incognito overnight, the assumption was that she was spoiled goods and un-marriageable. Thus, she was often just stuck with him. Sometimes this was a cover for an elopement without parental consent; but sometimes it was an actual rape. Thankfully, the younger generation does not tolerate such things; but it was common up until maybe 20 years ago. My wife’s aunt was the victim of such an event many years ago, by an Ossetian man. She endured decades of abuse, abandonment and then had to care for him as he slowly died from prostate cancer and heart disease. After that, she had 2 good years with her grandchildren, before she too died from a stroke. Fortunately, her 3 children somehow turned out to be the kindest and loveliest people. So; “tradition” is not always what you might expect or approve of.
You should also note, that there is not one “Orthodox ” country that has outlawed abortion on demand. A couple years ago, his Holiness, Ilya II, suggested that he Parliament might undertake such a project. As I recall, only three of the usually loquacious MP’s were willing to go on record. All three sheepishly answered that “that is probably not a good idea at this time” or some such. no-one however, took up the measure or even recommended it. Usually, the government falls all over itself to pay lip service to the church, especially to Patriarch Ilya.
Furthermore, you need to be aware that in other countries much of the human infrastructure we count on here does not exist. In Georgia the state health care system is a rudimentary relic of the Soviet Era – vaccinations pre-natal care, and not much more. Government physicians earn the equivalent of about $50 a month. Private physicians are a cash and carry business. Since I work in oncology, there is not a month go by when we don’t get an urgent plea to explain a situation with directions on how to get adequate care, There are some well trained oncologists in Georgia, trained in Germany; but care is very much a hit an miss affair.
Public safety is also rudimentary. Car accidents are a major cause of death. Despite the rugged mountainous terrain, Georgian roads have no guardrails; just a series of low posts that won’t stop anything larger that a toy wagon. Until a few years ago, there was no requirement to wear seat belts. Smoking and drinking are epidemic and there is no public campaign to limit either. One could go on….
I could live with such imperfections. I’m not Eastern Orthodox, and have no interest in learning Georgian, nor moving there myself, but my point is this: if someone said I could choose between a more traditional society, which would look like the Republic of Georgia, versus what we have here in the West now (and even worse, where things are surely headed in the West in the years ahead), I’d happily pick the lesser evil of a decidedly hyper-macho, patriarchal, outwardly Christian society where mountain passes have no guardrails and people are drunken chainsmokers, than one where Christians are persecuted, and far greater immorality and wickedness are the order of the day. (As for abortion, unfortunate that they’re not better in that regard, but I can’t imagine they’re worse than here; I’m sure they’re actually better overall in terms of the rate, and social and cultural stigmas against it likely prevail more than here, and so taking everything else into consideration, such a society still looks much better than the West of today and to come.)
And similarly, while I don’t think Putin’s Russia is perfect, it’s a far cry better in all the ways that matter, in terms of the cultural war, than where we are here in the West.
We’ll never have perfection in this world. Perhaps we oughta consider up with which imperfections we could put.