Respect LGBT rights or leave the EU, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte asked Hungarian Viktor Orban at the European Union meeting last week in Brussels.
According to Reuters, participants described it as “the most intense personal confrontation between the leaders of the bloc in years”.
Hungary has just passed a law banning schools from using material considered to be pro-homosexuality. According to the AP, the new law “prohibits the sharing of content about homosexuality or gender reassignment with persons under the age of 18 as part of school sex education programs, films or advertisements.”
Rutte enthusiastically recounted the details of his confrontation with Orban: “It was really strong, a deep feeling that it couldn’t be. These were our values; this is what we stand for.
“I said, ‘Stop it; you have to withdraw the law, and if you don’t like it and really say that European values are not your values, then you have to think about whether to stay in the European Union.
Orban defines himself as a freedom fighter and a defender of traditional Catholic values who believes in democracy but not in liberalism: “The Hungarian nation is not a mere bunch of individuals.
Almost everyone has apparently fallen hard on Orban.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, reminded Orban “that values such as freedom, tolerance and human dignity are at the heart of the EU”.
Several EU Member States signed a letter declaring: “Respect and tolerance are at the heart of the European project. We are committed to continuing this effort, ensuring that future European generations grow up in an atmosphere of equality and respect.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was present at the meeting and, when asked about the new Hungarian law, replied: “All forms of discrimination are totally unacceptable and obviously any form of discrimination against LGBTQ + people. is totally unacceptable.
The issues raised by this confrontation are numerous.
First, those who warned in the 1960s that the EU, which began as a European Coal and Steel Community, a Franco-German free trade area of six nations, would inevitably evolve and expand towards a transnational regime which would seek to impose its “values” on its members have proved their worth.
And what are “EU values”? Who declares them; who defines them?
Christian teachings have a pedigree stretching back thousands of years.
But what is the source of the moral authority of the doctrine of modernity that homosexuality is moral, other than a fleeting ideology, which Russell Kirk reminded us is political religion?
What is the source of the moral that teaches that same-sex unions are the equal of traditional marriage and that any government that does not agree is a fanatic regime that we should not associate with?
For the position adopted by the EU today – that homosexuality is natural and normal and should be morally and legally equal to other forms of sexual expression – categorically contradicts the Christian beliefs and values that Europe itself – even reflected in its early days.
Are values changing? Or are people simply converted to new religions, new beliefs, new ideas and new “values” that contradict old ones that have been taught and believed for centuries?
If tolerance is, as Michel declares, an EU value, is the awning of tolerance not wide enough, and the great tent of tolerance not large enough, to include the Christian values that Orban marries, although they contradict the EU values that Rutte and others state?
Isn’t Hungary discriminated against by the EU for the moral offense of sticking to beliefs different from the new EU consensus?
Is EU liberalism so intolerant of dissent that it would kick out an EU member who does not embrace its 21st century teachings on LGBT rights?
It was not until this century in the United States that homosexuality was declared a constitutional right. Judge Antonin Scalia disagreed with this decision.
And if Hungary sticks to Scalia’s ideas and beliefs, and tens of millions of Americans still stick to them, but is forced to leave the EU for it, why wouldn’t Americans support- don’t they have Hungary’s right to dissent?
American values, once declared freedom, liberty and independence, have evolved into inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.
Which brings us to the culture of cancellation.
Where is the tolerance here for differences in belief as to whether homosexuality is moral? Can’t those who reject the newly established opinion still be included in the company of honest men? Or don’t the values of inclusion and diversity go this far?
Why should disbelievers in the moral equality of homosexuality be excluded from the circle of honest men?
We are getting closer here to what the cancellation of culture is.
Should we teach future European generations that the Christian position on homosexuality was backward, fanatic and hateful and that its abandonment marked a major step in human progress?
If the Hungarian people and nation find that the values of the EU conflict with their Catholic and Hungarian values, they should declare their independence from the EU as something other than a trade bloc.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever”.