what was the reason for the proposed amendment to the Constitution mentioning God?
Roman Lunkin: I Think that the amendment related to the mention of faith in God today is very timely. Both from the point of view of the General spirit of the Constitution, and from the point of view of historical truth and justice, which many say today, and especially the Patriarch. Patriarch Kirill is not motivated by an amendment in reference to historical justice, but this, of course, there is a lot of respect and giving memory to the faithful, who endured repression and persecution in the Soviet period.
the Committee of the state Duma has approved the amendment of the mention of God in the Constitution
I think the mention of God and faith in God in the Constitution is also a symbol of a change of attitude to faith and religion, an unconditional Declaration of its great role and importance in the lives of our fellow citizens. The degree of importance of the amendments for different people is different, for some, it is of practical importance for someone Patriotic and cultural, but it’s perfectly normal in a diverse society like Russian.
the Initiative of the Patriarch was supported by the representatives of all religions and denominations in Russia?
Roman Lunkin: Yes, literally everyone. Because there was a meeting of the Interreligious Council of Russia and the Christian interconfessional consultative Committee that issued a communiqué stating that all historical and traditional religions and confessions in Russia, present on the territory of our country, – the Orthodox, the Protestants, the Catholics, the Armenian Apostolic Church and many others – support the initiative of the Patriarch. The broad language of the amendment does not establish the primacy of any one religion and the monopoly of any ideology. Faith in God is on a par with the memory of ancestors and their ideals, that is inserted into obselescence the context that, from my point of view, it should satisfy those who consider themselves either atheists or agnostics, or humanists, not believing in any particular God.
the Secular character of the state is not threatened?
Roman Lunkin: of Course not. Complaints about the alleged violation of the secular character of the state based on nothing and, well, funny. The fact that secularism in different European countries takes different forms. In France, for example, is associated with the displacement of religion and religious symbols from public life and public space in General. But in the Constitutions of many other countries, as well as the laws of the religions quietly proclaims the value of some, historical for this country, religion or denomination. As, for example, the value of Orthodoxy in Greece, Catholicism in Italy and in Poland. The Hungarian Constitution proclaims a commitment to Christianity and responsibility before God, but denomination is not specified, because in Hungary the two main confessions is a Catholic and Reformed Church.
There are times when you need to say is simple and clear truths and to fix them, without succumbing to the calls of cynics to undermine the foundations of the state
In many countries are not afraid to mention faith in God in the Constitution?
Roman Lunkin: In European countries not exactly afraid. The Constitution of Ireland and in the Greek Constitution speaks directly to the Christian faith and of the Holy Trinity, that the people guided by faith in the Holy Trinity. The principle of secularism is manifested in how the state treats religious organizations as the respected religious law keeps a certain neutrality of the state is already at the local level – in relation to religious organizations. With the current changes in the Russian Constitution any threat to secular character of the state does not occur, the lightsky nature of the state it does not change. And does not radically transformerait relations of Church and state in Russia.
Eduard Boyakov, artistic Director of Moscow art theatre. Gorky:
I fully and unconditionally support and believe is very important and necessary amendment, referring to God. This is not just some kind of poetic tribute to the history of the ancestors, but the Declaration of our spiritual aspirations. The Declaration that the nation has values above the material. The presence of God in the fundamental Law of our country shows the power and spirituality of our nation. Anything other than a choice between idealism and materialism, between faith and unbelief, impossible to think. There are times when you need to say very simple and clear truth and to fix them, without succumbing to the calls of cynics to undermine the foundations of not only the state but also the thinking.
Alexander Sholokhov, Deputy of the State Duma:
– Mention God in the Constitution precisely does not bear any harm to anything, including the secular character of the state. But, following the old Eastern wisdom “how you say “halva” in the mouth will not become sweeter”, it’s worth asking the question: will anything from mentioning God in the Constitution, in ourselves, in society?