In a secular, democratic state, which we call ourselves, religion is separated from the state, citizens have freedom of religion, all faiths are equal.
These are fundamental principles.
But in everyday life, the boundary between what is permitted and forbidden to draw is very difficult. It is often not prescribed in laws, but exists in the minds of people, therefore it is unclear, unsteady. That’s why it’s debatable.
But for mutual understanding and peace in the country it is very important to exchange opinions, designate this line and align it with others.
Here, for example, how I see the border of what is permitted and forbidden in a free society:
1. Believers and atheists do not interfere in each other’s affairs. No one forces one to believe or not believe in God, does not indicate how to believe, how to pray, what clothes to wear. Nobody forbids anyone to wear a cross or veil, grow a beard or shorten pants. Similarly, no one forbids anyone to wear a mini-skirt, brightly paint, engage in prostitution. This is a private matter for everyone.
2. Everyone has the right to protect their own security and their living space. That is why border guards have the right to demand from citizens to remove glasses and a hat when crossing the border. In this way they protect the interests of citizens from potential criminals trying to get into the country or escape from it. That’s why security guards have the right to demand a woman to take off a veil at the entrance to crowded places: stadiums, airports, subways, stations. A criminal with explosives can hide under the burqa. Similarly, the guard has the right to see any person in a wide garment, not only in Muslim clothing.
3. The state does not build churches, mosques, synagogues. Religious objects are built exclusively on the money of the parishioners. At the same time, the state cannot prohibit the construction of religious objects for reasons of inexpediency. Only violation of building codes can be grounds for prohibition.
4. There are no “traditional religions” and “non-traditional” in the state. Everyone has the right to believe in anything. You cannot establish a monopoly on faith. The only requirement of the state: religious teaching should not promote violence against other people. Such currents are declared forbidden. This is done solely for reasons of other people’s safety.
5. Atheists respect the feelings of believers, and believers respect the feelings of atheists. However, this does not mean a ban on discussing each other’s views and jokes about each other. Atheists can openly claim that there is no god. This is not an insult to the feelings of believers. Believers can openly say that God exists. This is not an insult to the feelings of atheists. Atheists can draw caricatures of God and the prophets, and believers can joke that there are no atheists in a falling plane. This is normal. No one takes offense at this.
6. In society, it is believed that the formation of religious views occurs in adulthood. Children are not yet able to make an informed decision on this issue. Therefore, any propaganda of religion is prohibited in schools. A scientific version of the existence of the world is taught. Children are not allowed to wear any religious attributes: crosses, rosaries, hijabs, burqas.
7. In the conduct of religious rites, believers do not create inconvenience to surrounding people. Therefore, the bells on the churches, the azan from the minarets do not sound louder than allowed by the sanitary norms of the human hostel. This is not an oppression of believers, it is the protection of the interests of others, in whose personal space a loud sound invades. Similarly, atheists do not have the right to enter the temples, switch their music there loudly and interfere with the prayers. This is recognized as penetration into someone else’s personal space.
8. Believers and atheists respect each other’s memorable dates. They may not believe in the meaning of another’s celebration, but share their joy and congratulate them on the holidays. This they show their respect for them. No one demonstratively refuses to celebrate other people’s holidays.