The United States is in great danger of being overtaken by the Russian Orthodox Church, according to Time magazine.
At least, that's what the newsmagazine is implying with the artwork on the cover of its latest issue:
Time was most likely going for a Kremlin theme here, playing on long-standing questions about the extent to which Russian operatives meddled in the 2016 presidential election that saw Donald Trump swept into the White House.
People in media obviously thought Time was doing a Kremlin motif, and they reported as much on social media:
The obvious problem here is that the magazine's cover clearly depicts St. Basil's Cathedral, which is located in Moscow's Red Square near the Kremlin. Well, the cover artwork is a pretty good representation of the legendary cathedral except for the fact it excludes the Eastern Orthodox crosses normally seen atop the 456-year-old structure's famous onion domes.
St. Basil's was converted into a museum in 1929, 12 years after the Russian revolution. Decades later, after the fall of the Soviet empire, St. Basil's was freed to perform the occasional religious service. The cathedral, whose official title is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, is named for St. Basil the Blessed, a Russian Orthodox saint who is known also as the "Fool for Christ" and "Basil, Wonderworker of Moscow."
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the Kremlin and Red Square, which includes the cathedral, a World Heritage site in 1990.
All this is to say: Time is in a weird spot. Is the magazine warning that the White House is in danger of being overtaken by a monument to the Russian Orthodox Church? Obviously not. The magazine is making a clear reference to President Trump and the federal investigation into Russia's alleged tampering in the 2016 presidential election.
But if that's what the magazine was aiming for, then why not just say that? Sure, St. Basil's is located near the Kremlin, and it's instantly recognizable the world over, but why not just depict the Kremlin, which, by the way, looks like this:
Oh, well. It was a good effort, Time.
And to those who are now on the record referring to St. Basil's as the Kremlin: At least you didn't bungle it as badly as CNN, which referred to the cathedral's famous chapel domes as "minarets."
Wrong religion, fellas.