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György Gábor The Land of an Appropriated God: Sacred Political Symbols and Symbolic Political Sacrality In Ford Coppola’s film The Godfather there is a famous scene of a baptismal ceremony. The priest who is baptizing Michael Francis Rizzi is asking the regular questions from the godfather of the child, Michael Corleone: ‘Do you believe in God, the father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth?’ ‘I do,’ Corleone answers. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His Son, our only Lord?’ ‘I do,’ Corleone answers again with touching sincerity. ‘Do you believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Do you renounce Satan?’ ‘I do renounce him.’ ‘And all his works?’ ‘I do renounce them.’ ‘And all his empty promises?’ ‘I do renounce them.’ In that same uplifting moment, cross cutting back and forth shows us how at the exact same time as Michael Corleone’s answers are sounded the hitmen of the clan brutally murder the family’s enemies, on Corleone’s command. i6 Maffia II 00 book.indb 421 2016.12.07. 15:47 422 TWENTY-FIVE SIDES OF A POST-COMMUNIST MAFIA STATE Man is strongest when kneeling – Viktor Orbán In December 2005, Viktor Orbán participated in an Advent conversation with Béla Balás, bishop of Kaposvár and Zoltán Balog, a Calvinist pastor (today Minister of Human Resources), where he talked about his own faith, his commitment to Christianity, his political mission, and also touched on topics like the fear of God, religious life, the relationship between government and Church, and the Church as an absolute standard of values, revealing to the audience his ars poetica as a politician and a leader.1 Rather than simply a personal confession by a politician, the “testimony ” of Viktor Orbán amounts to the elevation of a personal confession to the status of a political creed. Orbán works for “the greater glory of God and the benefit of people,” as he declared. “As much as I can translate this into the language of our profession,” he said, thereby marking out the field of a politician, “it means that I have to build the country with a small c, the country which is the home of the Hungarian nation in this world, as well as the country with a capital C, the Land of God, and this is the higher goal and meaning of what I do. This is a meaning beyond and above political calculations ; it is a higher meaning.” On the one hand, Orbán hereby grounds the position of worldly authority as emanating from divine authority, thereby securing a transcendent legitimation for his own political career; and on the other, he places the ultimate accountability of the politician beyond mundane, earthly confines . The constitution, the laws, the principle of the division of powers is a mere garment on the body of divine power in this world, so to say: “The fear of God is a key issue. God save us from politicians who do not fear God... of course, laws restrict people, the parliament restricts us, power is divided, but ultimately, it is power, so we have to ask the question: what is the ultimate limitation on power?... and the ultimate limitation is none other but fear of God. For there will come a moment when we have to pay for everything ; when we are called to account. Does a politician believe that this moment cannot be avoided? And if he believes that this moment will come, then we can all feel safe. Because... those who understand what the fear of God means do not fear a mighty lord who is unfamiliar to them... what they fear is that they will get exactly what they deserve... We are afraid that we will be confronted with our own deeds. And this is the ultimate limitai6 Maffia II 00 book.indb 422 2016.12.07. 15:47 423 The Land of an Appropriated God tion—beyond any laws, division of powers and the constitution—of that dangerous business we call power.” It is only by appealing to God that the destructive forces inherent in human beings left to their own devices may be channeled and lead to a normal and acceptable political practice, controlled by an invisible constitution . A moral order and a political structure without transcendent grounding is impossible to conceive, as Louis de Bonald, an important representative of 18th–19th century Christian conservativism had already stressed: “…et ôtez...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155513619
Related ISBN
9786155513626
MARC Record
OCLC
959552378
Pages
660
Launched on MUSE
2017-03-28
Language
English
Open Access
No
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