Even if the promotion of “Christian values” in the Romanian public space can sometimes seem excessive and ostentatious, especially when viewed through the prism of how other European public spaces function, it still takes mobilizing political forms in symbolic and spiritual resonance with the Christian religion and, to a certain extent, tempting in its suitability to some vision of Europe or, more broadly, the West. This in itself is not useless. Perhaps it is even a necessary cultural reflex of political will. Breakfast with a prayer in Parliament, the Coalition for the Constitution, the combat activities of various associations, alliances or foundations, personalized mobile tribunes, requests at the corners of the events of the day and all kinds of presence in the media illustrate these forms arising from the identity that we must cultivate it with selflessness concerning the holiness that belongs to him. Therefore, the overloading of public space with “Christian values” is not a real problem either for trust in political discourse or for the quality of political action. The American and European political landscape provides many illustrations every day. The inflation of “Christian values” in public space is not a problem in itself. Just as the political opportunism of some to claim a certain monopoly on “Christian values” in debates and campaigns is not a real problem either.

Stefan BratosinPhoto: Personal archive

However, an important problem is the presumption of superiority of “Christian values” that persists in political discourse, political actions and public opinion formation in Romania. It is the systematic and widespread promotion of the idea that the principles and teachings of Christianity are inherently superior to the principles and teachings of other denominations or value systems, the idea that Christian values ​​provide a stronger moral or ethical foundation than the values ​​of other religious or secular traditions. Of course, protecting human life from conception to natural death, protecting the traditional family, promoting religious freedom, helping the poor and disadvantaged, protecting children’s rights, fighting corruption, etc. they can join in spreading the gospel message that the church transmits and benefit the societies that have received it. but, political parties whose platforms express and support the primacy of “Christian values”, as well as politicians who affirm and defend the primacy of values “Christian values” to denote their political positions, despite appearances, are, from several points of view, part of a nationalist dynamic harmful to society as well as to Christianity and the church.

A constructive Christian political approach with even the slightest pretense of intellectual honesty will always maintain a clear distance from any expression of the supposed superiority of “Christian values”, focusing on the observed reality that humanity did not wait for Christianity to correct conservative principles regarding the family, morality and other social issues. Humanity did not wait for Christianity to build systems of solidarity, help, moral order, rules and obligations between members of families or communities. Humanity did not wait until Christianity included in its laws of social functioning such precepts as “honor your father and your mother”, “do not kill”, “do not steal”. Christianity is not the source of morality. In China, for example, or in Muslim countries, the condemnation of homosexuality, abortion, or the promotion of national identity is in no way politically or legally justified by any reference to traditional Christian values. In a political approach, flaunting the presumption of the supremacy of “Christian values” is an expression of a limited and limited political horizon both in terms of the vision of the democratic functioning of society and in terms of the perspective of its economic prosperity. A horizon that fades away before you know it democracy and science are products of ancient Greece, products that Christianity appropriated not without great upheaval and vacillation later in history. A horizon on which the economic prosperity of Shinto and Confucian Asia cannot be discerned. A horizon that ignores the fact that the “ecclesia” appeared in history several centuries before the Christian era.

The political use of the presumption of superiority of “Christian values” harms Christianity. He deprives the evangelical dogma of credibility in the public space, cultivating pride, religious pride, which ontologically destroys Christianity. More precisely, Christianity is amputated in its very essence by the “Pharisee” party or politician who, praying in the public space, is proud of his achievements, his successes, which are the result of his moral superiority, and who illuminates his actions as a model of virtue. Christianity, on the other hand, is ennobled by the public prayer of a “publican”, a humble politician who is aware of his past mistakes, who acknowledges the shortcomings of his party or previous policies, who sincerely expresses his desire to serve the people and for whom the comparison of “Christian values” with other values ​​is anathema . In short, the idea that “Christian values” are superior to other values ​​has no origin in the Gospel or in the Christian spiritual experience, even if those who promoted or promote it wear the label of Christian. _

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