Secular state means ... Constitutional law
Secularism is one of the most important characteristics of a modern modernized state. Today this principle is laid down in the laws of most countries of the world.
Fundamentals of the secular system
The notion of "secular state" means thatthe state is free from the influence of any religion, its rites and dogmatism. With such a system, representatives of all kinds of clerical organizations can not influence the government. The secular state means that the system of state education, legal and political institutions develop separately from the church.
All of the above rules are fixed inConstitution of the Russian Federation. Russia is a secular state. This principle is stated in Part 1 of Article 14 of the Constitution. Secularism is one of the foundations of Russia's current political system. It fixes the balance of interests of religious associations and the state. In addition, secularism is one of the consequences of the ban on official ideology in Russia.
Modern models of the state consisted offor many centuries. All this time, relations of the secular and religious authorities were built in different ways. In earlier times, the church (in the broad sense of the word, and not just the Christian one) played a large role in any society. Until the end of the Middle Ages, religion was not just an important factor in human life, it was a mandatory dogma. The heads of the confessions (popes, patriarchs, rulers of the caliphates, etc.) enjoyed enormous power.
The state and religion waged a constant struggle forsupremacy. For example, in Russia this confrontation resulted in the crisis of the 17th century, when an open conflict erupted between Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and Patriarch Nikon. During the heyday and the greatest influence the church tried to get the functions of the executive power. Most often, however, she sought to set the standard of public behavior, to regulate his life with the help of sacred rules. The more a religious organization tries to influence the situation in the country, the more inevitable is its coalescence with the state. In addition, when a particular confession achieves a privileged position, it tries to deprive the influence of other teachings. Becoming official, the church begins to live on public funding. For example, in Russia before 1917, the ROC received from the executive power millions of rubles for the maintenance of its apparatus and the construction of new churches.
The struggle of power and the church
For a long human history, the state andreligion went through a huge evolutionary path. A great influence on their development was provided by science. With the advent of this factor in the New Age, the influence of religion on society began to come to naught. At the same time, the state began to regain its positions. An important fork in this way was the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648. This conflict between European states began as a traditional medieval religious, but ended with the triumph of national and state interests over confessional ones. The countries of the Old World were changing. Gradually, in an increasing number of societies, the signs of a secular state were becoming increasingly vivid. This process ended with the separation of the church.
Almost always secularity appeared as a resultinitiatives of the authorities. In an effort to get rid of the universal influence of religion, the state began to modernize its structure. Church institutions were liquidated or deprived of authority. There was also secularization. The church took away the land, real estate and other expensive property. All this was nationalized. In our country, similar campaigns were conducted under Peter III after the 1917 revolution. The Russian state is a secular state, the foundations of which were laid in the era of the USSR and were somewhat altered in the 1990s.
The place of church in society
With the secular model of the state, the church is depriveda number of powers. She can not register birth, marriage, death, as well as regulate family and marriage relations. Religious organizations are deprived of the opportunity to participate in the political process. In particular, all church institutions within the state machine are liquidated. In Russia until 1917, the Synod existed in this capacity.
Secular state means that the church is largercan not influence state affairs. At the same time, power in a mild form continues to affect the confessional sphere. The legal regulation of the activities of church organizations is being formed. Often the state cooperates with them in solving social issues. Regulation by the authorities is also necessary because all kinds of confessional movements can become a breeding ground for the emergence of sects and totalitarian communities.
The Russian model
In the Russian Federation, a secular statemeans also that citizens are guaranteed freedom of religion and conscience. Residents of the country can relate themselves to any confession or not to refer to any. Every citizen has the right to choose, change and spread his faith. Exactly the same opportunities can be used by subjects of other states legally located on the territory of the Russian Federation.
No one is obliged to declare his attitude toreligious teachings. Nobody can be forced to define religion and refuse to believe. Strictly forbidding forced involvement of children in religious organizations without the permission of their parents. According to the same principle, an educational program has been built in public schools.
Features of secular society
Important signs of a secular state arein the external attributes of power. The authorities and local self-government can not accompany their activities with public religious ceremonies or rituals.
This rule applies to allofficials. No one in the civil service can use his office to force subordinates to perform certain confessional rites. The same goes for the military. Respect for the power of the religion of citizens - that's what a secular state means.
Secularity in the Modern World
Today in the world, no matter what, continueStates that have their own official religion remain. For example, this is Israel (Judaism), England (Anglican Church), etc. In most countries, the equality of all faiths is established (Germany, Japan, Italy, etc.). It is also worth mentioning theocratic states, the supreme power in which belongs to the church. A vivid example of such a system is the Vatican.
What does a secular state mean? That power is not merged with the church. A similar configuration is present in the clerical state, but there are also fundamental differences in it. In such a system, the church, with the help of legal institutions, influences the decisions of the authorities. Their interaction is mediated indirectly, which, however, does not weaken the effect on society. For example, in the clerical state in schools, church dogmas are necessarily studied.
Convergence of legislation
At its current stage of development, secularism is full ofcontradictions. This phenomenon develops in different, sometimes oppositional directions. In the modern world there has been an unprecedented variety of secular states. It is explained by the unique legal, cultural and socio-political development of each country.
Today, the institution of secularity is becomingubiquitous through the globalization of the world. This, among other things, supports the trend of convergence (convergence) of legislations of different countries. For example, this trend was experienced by the Russian Federation. The secular state in our country was built according to the Western model. Another, even more striking, example of convergence is the European Union. The countries of the Old World, included in this organization, are experiencing the results of the integration policy. Their national laws are converging and unifying.
In addition to the trend of convergence in developmentsecularity, other patterns are also observed. One of the most important is diversification. It consists in the desire to pursue its own unique policy towards the church. In other words, diversification is the opposite of convergence. To preserve an original secular state, despite membership in the EU, the authorities of France and Germany are trying today. Such a policy can be traced in other countries.
Comparing the experience of different states shows thateverywhere has its own understanding of secularism. Moreover, the attitude to religion today is changing before our eyes. The whole world was characterized by rapid transformation, which was used to spend decades and centuries. The current secularity is polysemantic - multivalued and diverse. At the same time, everywhere it is based on two fundamental principles - the ban on the establishment of compulsory religion and the separation of religious organizations from the state.