In the Parliament Building on Saturday, at the 12th Congress of the Association of Christian Intellectuals (KÉSZ), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that in Central Europe today there is a cultural and civilisational life-force rooted in Christianity which contrasts with liberal democracies which have lost their sense of purpose. So far, Mr. Orbán stressed, Central Europe has successfully warded off the attacks of liberals who pose a threat to Christian freedom and who want to surrender Europe’s Christian culture, and it has also managed to curb the danger that poses a threat to Christian freedom from outside: the danger of migration.
The Prime Minister said: “Let us not be afraid to say out loud what everyone can see: Hungary is a city set on a hill, and we all know that it cannot be hidden. Let us rise to this mission, let us create it for ourselves, and let us show the world what a true, deep and higher order of life we can build upon the ideal of Christian freedom.” He observed that this might prove to be a lifebelt which even a confused, disoriented Europe plagued by fatal afflictions will reach out for.
The Prime Minister underlined that in Hungary a new model of state and political theory has come into being: a specifically Christian democratic state, on the path towards which there had been two bold steps, two political transformations. The first was in 1990, which put an end to the Soviet world; this was a liberal transformation, the era of liberation from oppression and occupation. As a matter of course, he added, this resulted in a liberal democracy, centred on liberation from something. At the same time he stressed that “there were some who already at that time recognised – you did sooner, I did later – that it wouldn’t be enough to say what we wanted to be free from. We would also need to answer the question of what we want to use freedom for.”
Mr. Orbán stated that this was why a second political transformation had to take place in 2010, when the new government did what former Prime Minister József Antall had suggested. He said that it enacted “constitutional revolution” with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, and that this second transformation has corrected and completed the first one, and given it meaning. The Prime Minister described this as a national and Christian political transformation, which has resulted in Christian democracy, with Christian freedom at its centre.
Mr. Orbán spoke about the difference between liberal and Christian freedom, pointing out that the former states that the individual is free to do anything that does not violate the freedom of another individual, while the latter teaches that one should not treat others as you would not want them to treat you.
The liberal view of freedom, the Prime Minister said, states that individual actions are a private matter, and must not come under the moral scrutiny of the community. According to Christian freedom, however, recognition is due to those individual achievements which also benefit the community, such as: self-reliance; work and the ability to create and to make a living; learning; a healthy lifestyle; paying taxes; starting a family and raising children; the ability to orient oneself in the affairs and history of the nation; and participating in national self-reflection.
He continued by saying that, in the spirit of liberal internationalism, liberal democracy holds that liberal democracies must eventually merge, with the European Union serving as the European pillar of this world government, linked to “a United States following the principles of Soros and the Clintons”. He added that this would be the liberal empire built solely on common sense promoted in his time by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant.
In opposition to this, he pointed out, Christian freedom teaches that nations are free and cannot be forced to submit to laws of global governance. Empires necessarily oppress nations, and are therefore dangerous and not desirable.
Mr. Orbán said that while today the liberal zeitgeist is still dominant, the world order has been shaken, with a geopolitical realignment and a technological revolution taking place. European civilisation is facing decisive changes, he observed, and democracies built upon liberal freedom are no longer able to provide meaning for the continent. He stated that the Christian democratic answer to this new situation is that Europe has a clear civilisational mission: it must continually recreate Christian freedom.