Christianity or Christianism?

When I read the last few lines of HVG’s interview with Vác’s diocesan bishop Miklós Beer, published before his retirement, I was deeply astounded. The bishop talked about how they were trying to pigeonhole him politically and how a good friend of his, who was involved in politics, suggested him to “keep his mouth shut”, just because he voiced different opinions from the government’s on several occasions.

It is typical of dark dictatorships to declare ecclesiastical persons as public enemies and silence them or, in a worst-case scenario, incarcerate them. Dark dictatorships tend to consider Christianity and its representatives as the enemy. An absolute moral superiority, a God just does not fit into their philosophy which glorifies human traits. They are especially terrified of the idea of forgiveness or love because their system is based on mercilessness and the annihilation of their enemies.

Fidesz’ anti-Christian zeal is all the more surprising since they have constantly been talking about building a “Christian democracy” and a “Christian state”. Viktor Orbán and his system are unable to comprehend anything beyond political products as they believe our whole life is just a political product which has nothing to do with morality. It has much more to do with arrogance, the lust for power and money. No wonder they keep trying to buy rather than earn the benevolence of historical churches. Unfortunately, they do succeed on occasion: sometimes by renovating a church or, if necessary, by making friends, like in the case of Bishop László Kiss-Rigó. As far as the masses are concerned, they are given some spectacular gestures and loud verbal harangues which are driven by nothing but the lust for power.

Regardless of what Orbán says, his system is not Christian because it measures people by their money: if they have a lot and are willing to worship it, he does business with them but he drives away anyone who wants to be independent. As far as those without money are concerned, they can toil for starvation wages in a factory or a local potentate’s business. Once they are no longer able to work, they can lie ready to die in a hospital that is about to collapse. He measures foreigners by their money, too: if they have a lot, they can make it to Orbán’s dinner table even if they are wanted by the CIA for financing terrorism or, once they lined their own pockets through robbing their own country, they can find refuge and join pleasant luxury parties in Hungary. On the other hand, those who legally knock at the door are starved in an iron cage in the transit zone for weeks. It does not bother Orbán and his self-proclaimed Christian friends, just like they cannot be bothered by the thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean Sea after the Fidesz government, just for cheap political gains, sabotaged the prospective agreement with African states to curb the migration of people who thought they could have a better future in Europe. These people could have been helped in their own homes but the Hungarian foreign ministry cynically swept the proposal off the table and, just as cynically, they are now watching them die. If Orbán calls himself and his government Christian and confessors, I wonder what religion they confess to, but we probably did not go to the same Bible class.

However, some people aren’t even entitled to a fair verbal treatment. That’s how Fidesz’ opinion shapers can call Pope Francis an old senile and launch flagrant online meme campaigns against him. This is how we got to the point where a bishop admits that his friend, who is involved in politics and fears for him, has just advised him to keep his mouth shut. Let me ask the question: could it ever happen in a truly Christian country led by a true confessor government? Could it ever happen under a Christian leadership that the interests of the government propaganda and a small elite override the words of church dignitaries? What kind of Christianity are we talking about when the prelates of the Catholic (or any other historical) church can be defamed and silenced?

Hungary’s government is not Christian, only “Christianist” in the sense that it is trying to use Christianity to manufacture a political ideology: “Christianism”. However, the teaching is above all political ideologies and any isms of human design. No matter what statements Viktor Orbán and Fidesz make about themselves, they are not the saviours of Christianity. On the contrary, they betray and persecute the real Christian values and the people who identify with them. They persecute Pope Francis, silence the bishops they don’t like and stigmatize real Christian ideas.

In today’s Hungary, it is an enormous challenge to represent real values in a system like this because real values prefer not to be boasted about or used for blowing your own horn. That’s why I usually refrain from writing about these matters but sometimes you just have to make things clear. What I want to see is not pseudo-Christian politics or political Christianism but humble Christian politicians. In Jobbik, most certainly.


Published on Márton Gyöngyösi's Facebook account.