Pe blogul meu maghiar am postat alaltăieri o invitaţie la prelegerea de azi din Cluj a binecunoscutului scpetic american Michael Shermer. În comentarii am atras atenţia şi asupra unui interviu dat de el portalului Hotnews.ro în care critică imixtitudinea religiei în educaţia, statul şi politicul din România. Cea ce s-a reţinut din acel interviu mi se părea o premieră binevenită în mass media românească de mainstream. Aşa explicit şi îndrăzneţ poate încă nu a fost nimeni. Era timpul.
Comentatorul nostru fidel depe Limba Cailor, Ovidiu, a binevoit să posteze la acel post un comentariu în limba engleză, fapt care sincer mi se pare un act de interes şi de respect lăudabil. El probabil neştiind maghiara, urmârind blogul meu maghiar probabil prin Google Translate, a comentat în engleză, ca să înţeleagă şi cititorii mei din Ungaria.
Am făcut această introducere pentru că aşi dori să re-postezi aici, cu îngăduinţa lui prezumată, comentariul lui Ovidiu şi răspunsul dat de mine ca să o discutăm împreună şi pe acest blog. Vă recomand ca intâi să vă uitaţi la interviul lui Shermer arătat mai sus şi după aia să reveniţi şi să citiţi cele două comentarii prezentate mai jos, pentru că ele derivă din acesta.
În final, dacă doriţi să vă exprimaţi opinia despre cele zise de noi, vă rog să o faceţi în comentariile acestui post, ori în româneşte, ori dacă vă place mai bine, în engleză.
Comentariul lui Ovidiu:
The sense of ethnic identity of the Romanians is not fully separated from older (pre 1848-revolution) source for identity : the religious one, they are interwoven.
It is made apparent, quite obvious, by the fact that the Romanian nationalist movements of the 1930s (Iron Guard, Legionary) had a powerful Christian-Orthodox dimension. A strange feature noticed by many as weired, it was unlike those of the German extreme nationalism (nazism) or Italian fascism which were openly anti-religious.
The cause (distal not proximal cause) of this (unusual amongst the EU nations) phenomenon are to be found in the great speed and amplitude with which the Romanian “national awakening” unfolded. Starting at the begining of 19th century, in less than 60 years the country switched 180 degrees from Slavic, Greek and Turkish orientation toward West. It was a forced, fast pace, and huge change. Not a small thing, to understand that is sufficient to look at the Russians who tried hard exactly the same during the 17th and 18th centuries and yet they failed big time, they are still not there even today.
But such an ambitious transformation did not succed completely and parts of the old identity could not be destroyed completely but rather they ended up entangled in the new identity ( the new one being the ethnic one, not the religious one).
In the Western Europe the decline, the fall of religion (of faith in God and immortality) as the main source of identity ( the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, and Secularization) went hand in hand with the rise pf Nationalism so as to replace religion.
In some sense nationalism is a “substitute religion” with faith in your own nation and the singing of the national anathem replacing “God” and the “Our father”-prayer. Immortality too is achieved by the survivial into eternity of the nation to which you happen to belong and for which you are supposed to sacrifice even your own life.
Therefore, in the case of the most of the European nations the “death of God”( secularization) developed naturally and it was helped, balanced and accelerated by the birth of its substitute : nationalism.
In Romania the process was “pushed”, forced at high speed, by the intellectual elites of the 19th century and it had a more difficult task to achieve.
It was achieved in the end but at the price of much of the old (religion) material not being purged but rather embedded into the new (ethnic) identity.
So there we are, and we are stuck now with it. Amongst many other things, to be Romanian requires to also be religious to some extent. The Romanians is always be religious, or they won’t be at all.
Although what you say does sound like making sense in the details, in the great picture I do not agree with you.
There are a lot of nations in Europe where their particular religion was very strongly part of their identity, in some cases it was one of the most important thing separating them from the others, usually their occupiers, thus keeping their national identity alive and strong: Catholicism of the Irish (against the English), Catholicism of the Polish (against the orthodox Russians and protestant Germans), Protestantism of the Dutch (against the Spanish Habsburg occupiers), Protestantism of the Swiss (against the catholic French), orthodoxy of the Bulgarians (against the Muslim Turks), even the Jewish (against the Christian surroundings in Europe), and so on. There are many cases in the European history where the identity of a nation was actually “saved”, formed and shaped by their religion. Even so in most of the cases the secularization occurred already in the XIX. century and speeded up a lot in the second half of the last century. Theese nations could form their identity without problem by leaving behind most of what traditional religion is, out of their state affairs, their media, their public life’s. It was of course also a matter of historical and geographical context, but a matter of political will to.
I strongly believe that the Romanian national identity can and will be strong even without the religious proselytism and hypocrisy that currently shapes our country and politics (let’s ad that only after 1990, before that religion in Romania was officialy „the opium of the masses”).
Also a lot of Romanians are very much not aware, or should I say lied about, the real religious background of the process of the forming of their national identity. It is a fact that the national identity of the Romanians was first developed, created, catalogued and shaped by the greek-catholic Scoala Ardeleana of Blaj, in Transilvania. Therefore the Romanian identity was not even formed by the orthodox, as they like to claim nowdays. The Romanian orthodox church in the XVIII century was a Slavic speaking and writing, backwarded church with very little or no connection to the European nation building trends of those times. They only picked up the work of the Scoala Ardeleana much later, actually not even voluntary, but forced by the high speed latinization process, de 180 degree turnaround that you talk about.
If your theory would be right, nowdays all Romanians should be strongly greek catholic, not orthodox. Let me say, that that would have been much better for them in their process of caching up with the West, and (re)latinizing their identity, since the whole mentality of the nation would have been connected to the West, trough the church. We Hungarians benefited from this since the XI. century.
Even today the Romanian orthodox church is the biggest brake in the modernization of this nation, and it was so right from the beginnings of the XIX. century. It cultivates backward thinking, rejection of rational thinking and science, intolerance, homophobia, immixing in the private life’s and decisions of people, rejection of liberal values, rejection of modernization and globalization. I’ve wrote about this some time ago here and here.
But it could be easily scraped of most of it’s influence and power by the government, by the politics, if they really wanted to, or had the guts to do it (see for example the case of Spain in the recent years). But the current situation benefits both sides, the church offering the votes, the politicians offering the easy and big state money. It’s the greatest business, under the most untouchable cover. Probably quite uniqie in the EU at this scale.
Voi ce părere aveţi? Are şansă o identitate românească fără sau cu foarte puţină religie, cum este acum cazul celor mai multe identităţi din Europa (inclusiv cea maghiară de exemplu)?