The constitutional initiative of Patriarch Kirill called in Russia a storm of comments. Although the defenders of the Russian Orthodox Church and its critics have much more in common than it seems at first glance, notices Konstantin Eggert.
The proposal of Patriarch Kirill to amend the text of the Russian Constitution the reference to God suddenly aroused indignation as notebooks Putinists, and the most principled and adamant critics of the current Russian government.
What is a “secular state”?
People generally divergent even in opinion about what direction the sun rises, unanimously came to the defense of “secular character of our Constitution.” Although, to be honest, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said nothing of the less surprising and scandalous, and even on behalf of other religious communities (Muslims and Jews). Incidentally, the logic in the statement His Holiness is: if a national anthem singing about God, why not give it a phrase in the basic law?
I see nothing shocking in the mention of the Lord in the text of the Constitution of the Germans, Australians, Canadians, Norwegians, poles. Hardly anyone will doubt the secular and democratic character of the state. In many countries, including, again, the same Germany, the authorities are of the Christian democratic party. In America officials take an oath on the Bible (and can, for example, and the Koran). Examples of what the mention of God in the laws or the speeches of politicians does not make the state religious dictatorship, numerous and compelling. Denmark or the UK with state churches – a definite democracy and Communist Cuba or China (which forbid Christians to the burial of the dead in cemeteries) – disgusting dictatorship.
The funny thing is that against the proposals of the Patriarch are those who say that Putin has utterly perverted the Constitution and now it will not save anything, and those who believe that the President does everything right and is to amend the Basic law even more amendments.
The 1993 Constitution wrote the Soviet intelligentsia, not having the slightest idea about religion. The current overreaction to the words of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church – a product of the ideological chaos in the minds of a considerable part of the now post-Soviet, mainly, though not exclusively, the opposition of the intelligentsia. These people, as with the Soviets, confused secularism with state atheism.
The revolutionary atheists against the “group chanting” Putin
Part of Putin’s supporters, especially the Soviet school, every “clericalism” only prevents the restoration of the Soviet “friendship of peoples” and the military-industrial power, based on “science.” From the point of view of a significant part of the opposition, the real “fighter against the regime” allowed to post on social networks caricature of the Patriarch, to refer to it as a “Gunda” and quote the place and not the place of Richard Dawkins. At worst, it is possible to be Catholic. Still, Catholicism is the West, plus the current Pope Francis is “progressive”. In the eyes of these people are Orthodox, which does not like the current regime or alien creature, or “compromiser with the Kremlin”, or worse, a provocateur of the secret services.
Sunk into oblivion of the reservation era “punk prayer” Pussy Riot that we are supposedly not of the faith itself, but the “Church bureaucrats” and “response to Mercedes”. As convincingly shown by the protests against the construction of the temple in Ekaterinburg in the spring of last year, we are talking about the rejection of the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church and religion as such in public space.
Putin’s regime is quite happy: there’s nothing better than to present opposition to the people as a hysterical leftists sect of atheists. Which, of course, does not mean that the ROC is going the right way. I already wrote about the fact that she will sooner or later have to pay a hefty price for their cooperation with the Kremlin and the voluntary transformation of the Church if not in the likeness of the ideological Department of the CPSU Central Committee, the voluntary “group chant” on any relatively important for the Kremlin the question. And this is the main paradox of post-Soviet life: the atheists, secularists and their opponents-clerics see in faith first of all ideology. Only put different: the first fat minus, the second – the same fat plus. And those and others are wrong. But the error clerics may in the future be costly not only to them but to the faithful generally.
No links to formally legally independent status of the ROC will not help to wash away the shame justify the war with Ukraine, refusal to speak in support of the wrongfully convicted, concealment of corruption and sex scandals in seminaries. Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin have the primary responsibility for what is normal in General the concept of “conservatism” in politics and “traditional values” in public life in today’s Russia is severely compromised.
Eight years ago, during the protests in Moscow and the trial of Pussy Riot, the Patriarch and his entourage did not understand that the company unconditionally benevolent society’s attitude to religious faiths in General and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular is over, and to judge them now will today, in spite of the persecution and martyrdom of the totalitarian Soviet era. This historic shift is now irreversible. Therefore it is important that you write in the amendments to the current Constitution. She died. It is important that you write in the future. So, how are things going now, hardly in it – to the disappointment of many – there will be reference to God.