Austin Ruse, the leader of a U.S. Religious Right group that fights LGBTQ rights and access to abortion at the United Nations, devoted his article in this week’s “Friday Fax” to gushing praise for Hungary’s strongman president Viktor Orbán, who was been actively dismantling democratic checks and balances and silencing his critics in media and civil society.
Ruse, who has a track record of embracing the world’s most repressive regimes as long as they support his culture war on behalf of “traditional” views on sexuality and family, praised Orbán’s July 29 speech in Romania as part of Orbán’s “ongoing efforts to repel what he sees as an Islamic invasion of what used to be a Christian continent.”
In that speech, Orbán said that Europe, “once a great civilization,” is in decline because it has rejected its Christian foundation. And he took aim at philanthropist George Soros, whose pro-democracy civil society groups were forced to leave the country this year in the face of a “hate campaign.” Last year, Brian Brown, who heads the International Organization for the Family, bragged about working with Orbán to resist the work of Soros-affiliated groups.
In this week’s newsletter, Ruse expressed glee that “Orbán has once more caused European and some American elites to reach for their antacids”:
He took dead aim at George Soros’s vision of an open society, one that is at odds with Christianity. “In Christian Europe, there was honor in work, man had dignity, men and women were equal, the family was the basis of the nation, the nation was the basis of Europe, and states guaranteed security. In today’s open-society Europe there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity, and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions; and the state no longer guarantees security in Europe,“ he said.
Ruse was delighted at Orbán’s declaration that “every country has the right to defend the traditional family model and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father.” And he praised the speech as “nothing short of a call to political arms for center-right Europeans to rise up and take over the European Parliament in the coming elections.”
Ruse is far from the only Orbán fan among the Religious Right. Last year’s World Congress of Families global summit was held in Budapest, and WCF leaders praised the country’s “defense of family, life, and Christianity.” In contrast, Freedom House has called Hungary under Orbán the “least democratic country” in the European Union.