Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Russia Ends Separation of Church and State

There are very disheartening news coming from both Ukraine and Russia today. Russia's political party that holds the power stated that they will consult the Russian Orthodox Church before starting to work on new bills. The are promising to furnish the church with the Duma's (that is, the Russian parliament's) legislative agenda, so that the church leaders can participate in lawmaking.
Nobody cares, of course, that there are many people who practice other religions in Russia. Nobody cares that the Constitution offers equality to people of different religions (at least, in theory). Nobody cares that there are huge numbers of atheists and agnostics. Nobody is interested in upholding the ideal of the separation of church and state (stated in the Constitution of the Russian Federation). Nobody wants to remember that the Russian Orthodox Church is a profoundly corrupt organization, which collaborated with the totalitarian Soviet regime and helped it persecute people.
Americans like to think that since elections were held in Russia, the country has become a democracy. They couldn't be more wrong. The ruling party led by Putin still does whatever it wants. And to hell with the constitution and the human rights.


Anonymous said...

Russians, man. What did you expect?

Tom Carter said...

As I've noted before, I lived in Moscow for three years during the wild-west times of the early and middle 90s. I can't help but think that Putin's iron-hand control is a bit better. But, as you note, just the fact of having elections is meaningless.

The truth is, Russians have never known democracy, aside from a few failed months in 1918 and the craziness of the Yeltsin years. Putin has emerged as the traditional authoritarian leader, and he's approaching being the "Little Father" that Russians have been more or less comfortable with throughout history. Taking the church under his wing, supporting it and being supported by it, isn't really anything new.

There are, of course, many in Russia who are enlightened and seek a democratic form of government. But there aren't enough of them, even in the major cities.

Clarissa said...

I agree with you completely, Tom.