It was this morning that the second Orbán government was sworn in. For those of us who are accustomed to the American custom where the chief justice of the Supreme Court swears in the new president, it was a bit odd to see the Hungarian prime minister read the text.
Viktor Orbán gave a short speech in which he turned again to religion and Latin. In April, after winning the election, Orbán drew on the Vulgate (Matthew 6:10): "Thy will be done," or in Latin: "fiat voluntas tua." However, he changed it to "vincit voluntas tua," meaning "Thy will wins." Since Orbán knows no Latin it is likely that these biblical quotations come straight from Zoltán Balog, his spiritual advisor, who is a Protestant minister. This time Balog turned to the Protestant Reformation, which he should know well. Orbán concluded his speech with "Soli Deo gloria," meaning "Glory to God alone." As I just learned there were five solas or five phrases that emerged during the early days of the Reformation: Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone), Sola fide (by faith alone), Sola gratia (by grace alone), Solus Christus (Christ alone), and Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone). These solas summarized the reformers' basic theological beliefs as opposed to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church of the day.
I'm really curious when the Hungarian people will become tired of all this religious phraseology. Orbán seems to be enamored with the Polish model. He made references earlier to the Polish constitution's elevated style as being desirable for the new Hungarian constitution. In the preamble of the Polish constitution there is a reference to all those "who believe in God as the source of truth, justice, goodness and beauty, as well as those not sharing such faith but respecting those universal values as arising from other sources." I hope my readers still remember what Zsolt Semjén and László Kövér came up with in the preamble to the law concerning a Day of National Belonging: "We, the members of the Parliament of the Republic of Hungary who believe that God is the lord of history as well as those who are trying to understand the course of history from other sources, declare…." It seems evident that Semjén and Kövér simply reworked the above quoted passage from the Polish constitution. I'm afraid the new Hungarian constitution promised for 2012 will have the desired elevated style and plenty of references to God. But the Poles are religious people, the Hungarians are not. In addition, many find Orbán's conversion less than genuine.
While inside the building Orbán talked about wanting to be the prime minister of the whole nation and about his desire to work hand in hand with the opposition parties. At the public demonstration in front of the parliament building his tone changed considerably. Orbán and Fidesz decided to celebrate his becoming prime minister again and called the faithful together for a large gathering of supporters from all over the country. According to estimates about 200,000 people came to listen to Viktor Orbán, Zsolt Semjén, and Lajos Kósa, who is the managing director of Fidesz while Orbán remains the chairman of the party. The tone of the speeches was rather harsh and I think it would be useful to summarize them at some length tomorrow.