Hungary Like Poland Moves Towards its Christian Roots
HUNGARY, LIKE POLAND AND SLOVAKIA et al has recently, amid scathing criticism, began a movement opposed to the moral, economic, and political program of neoliberalism promoted by leading Western nations. Along these lines, Hungary like its Slavic counterparts, is resisting the EU proposal to relocate Islamic refugees. Of three million one hundred thousand Hungarians who cast a vote in a nationwide referendum, 98 percent were opposed to the EU migrant quota plan.
According to Prime Minister Viktor Orban .
“Brussels can’t impose its will on Hungary (that is, its refugee policy or any objectionable neo-liberal policy). The choice was between Brussels (capitol of the European Union) and Budapest (capitol of Hungary), and people chose Budapest” (Britain First).
FOREIGN POLICY VIS A VIS RUSSIA
In addition, amid harsh criticism from the West, Hungary, like an increasing array of other nations, maintains a different foreign policy vis a vis Russia than the EU would like to see.
In February 2015, Orban stated that,
‘We think that without cooperation with Russia, we cannot achieve our goals.” (Business Insider)
POLITICAL PLATFORM AND CHRISTIAN VALUES
Hungary’s leading Fidesz Party led by Prime Minister Orban has much in common with the newly elected Law and Justice Party of Poland (Pis). Both favor a strong sense of patriotism and are increasingly skeptical of EU economic, political and social initiatives; they both favor limits on immigration, oppose liberal moral values and liberal control of the media while promoting national and traditional moral values. They both are staunch supporters of Christianity and Catholic social teaching regrading distributive justice in service of the broad common good. Both Fidesz and Pis favor progressive Catholic social ideas of private property hallowed by charity and justice with a communitarian dimension in favor of broad distribution that provides a social safety net to poverty and a strong element of human dignity. Both Poland and Hungary have moved to place moral limits on the media amid loud outcry from the EU, which in the name of tolerance views any such restrictions as a violation of human rights rather than a guarantor of human dignity and therefore a boon for human rights.
Along this moral contour, Hungary is in the vanguard with Russia regarding the protection of Christians around the globe. Orban has clearly indicated that Hungary will work in tandem with the Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to aid persecuted Christians. In fact, he regards Catholics as:
“the most vulnerable Christians in the world” (Vatican Radio).
Surprisingly, it is not the United States or the United Kingdom that has vowed to protect Christians around the globe, but Russia and Hungary. Like Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban has made it clear that predominantly Catholic and Christian Hungary will defend persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Orban has, moreover, backed his words with action; he has created an executive department to aid persecuted Christians and has endowed it with an initial operating budget of $3.35 million.
SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE AND OF HUMAN LIFE – ABORTION RESTRICTIONS
As in Poland and Russia, the Prime Minister of Hungary has moved to protect unborn children and to promote the sanctity of life by amending the Hungarian Constitution to articulate the principle that life begins at conception and that marriage consists of a perpetual union of one man and one woman.
Orban is a sure proponent of democracy and human dignity, but he is opposed to what he refers to as “liberal democracy” (democracy with a neoliberal tinge) in favor of “illiberal democracy“, that is democracy without liberalism. In short, Hungary under Orban has moved toward its Christian heritage in favor of traditional Christian values; it is increasingly opposed to EU liberalism in favor of a Christian commonwealth
In addition to Fidiez, Jobbik (Hungary’s third largest political party) shares many of its ideas along the Christian spectrum. Jobbik defines itself as
“A principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party“, whose “fundamental purpose” is the protection of “Hungarian values and interests.”
As a result of the parliamentary elections of 2014, Jobbik received over a million votes thereby garnering 21% of the seats in parliament becoming the third largest party in the National Assembly.
OPPOSITION TO NEOLIBERALISM AND ZIONISM
As in Russia and to a lesser extent among Pis leaders in Poland, Jobbik is opposed to the spread of neoliberalism or global capitalism and the international institutions that support and perpetuate it. As a result, it advocates Hungary for Hungarians and closely monitors foreign investment within its borders. Like the others, Jobbik is characterized by a strong distrust of Zionism and international finance, perhaps the most contentious political, social, and cultural issue in play today. As a result, Jobbik directly opposes Jewish (read Zionist) investments in Hungary.
Party Chairman Gabor Vona has been quoted as saying:
“The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale.”
ALLIANCE WITH POLAND: THE SUPREME COURT AND PARLIAMENT
As a final display of its defiance for liberalism, the European Union has threatened sanctions on Poland for its recent move to place moral limits on the foreign press and the implied protection of Christian values via the appointment of “midnight judges” to the national tribunal (supreme court). According to Politico, PiS has an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, and will resist liberalism imported from Western Europe. As such, the new Minister of Culture, Piotr Gliński, has stated that in accord with Christian social values:
“Single-sex marriage, abortion, gender ideology — these are red lines for us”
After years of experiencing ideological dominance by the supreme court, similar to the ideological dominance exercised by the United States Supreme Court that resulted in abortion rights (Roe v Wade), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the founder of PiS, referred to the tribunal as
“The bastion of everything in Poland that is bad.”
Consequently, it is not surprising to see such rancor over supreme court appointments, over justices that can rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by parliament. Law and Justice (PiS) however, not only won the presidency; it also gained an outright majority in the parliament. PiS now governs by popular mandate and wields more power than any government since the collapse of communism in 1989. Consequently, any attempt by the EU to impose sanctions on Poland for something that is well within its sovereign rights to oppose are highly unlikely. Hungary, moreover, has indicated, it will veto any such sanctions should they be imposed.
Poland is on a similar path as Hungary, its geographical, historical, and political cousin: One of the first steps taken by Orban in Hungary was placing limits on that nation’s constitutional court because that court was loaded with liberal and neoliberal ideologues opposed to Christian renewal.
Orban has clearly stated his preference for Christianity and opposition to worn out liberalism. One of his primary goals is to build an
“illiberal new state based on national foundations”
There was a visible Hungarian presence at the annual nationalist march in Warsaw on Polish Independence Day, November 11. “Friendship today, alliance tomorrow,” read a bilingual banner carried by youths with Jobbik flags.
According to a Polish priest nestled in the crowd:
“Nowhere in the world is there such a tie between nations.”
Hungary’s cooperation with the Polish National Movement is rooted in a shared vision of Europe; Márton Gyöngyösi, a leader of Jobbik responsible for foreign policy, told POLITICO.
“As opposed to liberal values based on individualism, secularism, consumerism and multiculturalism, we support the defense of the nation state, its traditions, ethnic composition and Christian values,”