Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán railed against liberal ideology Monday, insisting conservatives must defend schoolchildren from destructive leftist propaganda.
There are “irreconcilable differences in education policy” between liberals and conservatives, Mr. Orbán argued in an extended written address, with conservatives focusing on helping children “to be capable of becoming patriots who can carry forward our tried and tested traditions.”
The prime minister reserved some of his most pointed language for resisting the left’s push for gender theory in schools.
Christian democrats “expect schools to reinforce the sex identity that the Creator has conferred on each child at birth,” he said, “to help girls become fine and admirable women; and to help boys become men who are able to provide security and support for their families.”
“Schools should protect the ideal and values of the family, and should keep minors away from gender ideology and rainbow propaganda,” he added, while admitting that his words will seem shocking to the modern liberal mindset.
“Liberals see this as medieval backwardness at best, and as clerical fascism at worst,” he said. “In their view the purpose of school education can only be to lead children towards their inner selves, making them capable of self-realisation, introducing them to the beauties of the universal political order, and therefore peeling away from them the enveloping layers of tradition inherited from the lives of their great-grandparents, grandparents and parents.”
Central to the liberal, enlightenment project is an abandonment of Christian morality and anthropology based on the biblical understanding of the human person, Orbán suggested.
Liberals believe that “the sufficient condition for just and morally grounded governance is general, universal reason, and there is no need whatsoever for absolute values revealed by God, and the religious and biblical traditions that have grown out of these,” he stated.
“In fact, they say, a dividing wall must be built between church and government, and the influence of religion must be banished from the public sphere,” he said.
Given their relative isolation and their overtly Christian national constitution, Hungarians “know little of the breadth, depth and bitter struggles of this debate which extends across the whole of Western civilisation.”
The unyielding and insightful basic principle in our national-Christian Constitution, he said, is that “the state and church function on distinct parallel paths.”
“Whilst preserving the autonomy of church and state, this seeks to replace separation with the integration of religion into the life of society, maintaining a spirit of tolerance for religious views,” he said.
Christian democrats believe that in order to strengthen justice, public morals, and the common good, “the need for religion, biblical traditions and our churches is greater today than it has been for centuries,” he said.