So Russia’s top oil exec is saying that the price may drop to $60 a barrel by the middle of next year, and currently it stands at $73. This is a bit important considering how the 2015 budget was planned out based on an oil price of $100 a barrel. Yeah, do the math for a bit. Now what can you do when your living standards are plummeting, the currency is falling through the floor, and the market has slashed more than a quarter of your budget? Why you go and spend nearly 2 billion rubles on “spiritual education centers” for the Orthodox Church, of course. Who cares about that pesky constitution, which in Article 14 clearly defines Russia as a “secular state” with full separation between the state and religion?
The money is being provided via the “Reinforcement of National Unity” program, but I can’t help but notice that nothing is said about building spiritual education centers for any of Russia’s other major religions. In fact, the construction of new mosques is banned in Moscow, in spite of the constitution’s text about all religions being separate from the state and equal before the law. Hmmm…It’s as if they don’t follow the constitution at all here.
Obviously we have a serious problem with separation of church and state in the US. I don’t mean to belittle the work of those who tirelessly struggle to keep religious fundamentalists out of our school textbooks and to prevent them from dominating our military. However, I think we can all agree that we’d be out in the streets for days if we found out that the American federal government was spending the equivalent of 2 billion rubles on the construction of schools for one particular Christian sect.