Iulian Bulai, MP of Romania’s progressive-liberal Save Romanian Union (USR) party, has been fined RON 5,000 (€1,025) for a Facebook entry from a year ago, which the country’s National Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD) found offensive to those with religious views.
In his original entry, Bulai wrote at length about the disenfranchised Jewish communities in Bethlehem during the birth of Jesus.
“A child. Poor and from a very strange family. A father in his early youth and a teenage mother. He appeared in the world without his parents making love. With a surrogate mother and a father who accepts paternity without having contributed to it. Rejected by the community. Born without his parents being married, just engaged.” Bulai wrote. “His birth was extraordinary, but also shows the limits of the society in which he appeared. 2,000 years ago, the above happened. His fate is shared today by many children in Romania, but who did not have such loving parents with them.”
The entry triggered a wave of social media protests in the country where 92.3 percent of the population is Christian, the majority of whom are Romanian Orthodox.
Upon being notified of the fine, Bulai responded in another Facebook post stating that while he apologized for his remarks at the time, he still believed he had the right to express his opinion as a practicing Catholic.
“I understood, ever since then, that my wording might not have been the happiest, and I apologized at the time and for the wording in question and for the distorted interpretations to which it could have given birth. I’m still sorry,” Bulai wrote. “At the same time, however, I don’t believe there is only one way to manifest your faith nor that that one way should be imposed on others. We must be able to live together and differently per our beliefs and forgive those who do wrong.”
Bulai (33), who holds a degree in literature, has been an MP for the USR party since 2016.
Title image: Romanian MP of the liberal USR party Iulian Bulai.