Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Viktor Orbán: A True Leader of and for the People of Hungary and Hungary's Constitution The Fundamental Law of Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán giving a speech on March 15, 2016
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speech on March 15, 2016. Photo: Vlad Tepesblog/Orban'shistoric speech puts Hungary on war footing

In late November when President-elect Donald Trump placed a call to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and invited him to Washington, it stirred up many positive thoughts I have had about Hungary and Viktor Orbán for quite some time. It seemed only fitting to share those positive thoughts in what I consider to be a timely post, one that not only acknowledges the Hungarian constitution, The Fundamental Law of Hungary, but also draws attention to Viktor Orbán: a true leader of and for the people of Hungary!

Like President-elect Donald Trump—who has great respect for Hungary—I too am a big fan of Hungary and its prime minister. I have been impressed with both for several years now; a positive impression that first began with the writing of its new constitution, The Fundamental Law of Hungary (25 April 2011), that took effect on January 1, 2012.

The constitution is a document worth reading all on its own, but especially as a primer to Prime Minister Orbán's most noteworthy speech of March 15, 2016; the annual day that Hungarians commemorate the 1848 Revolution.

Orbán has proven that the words in The Fundamental Law of Hungary have meaning and can only be taken seriously if they are backed up by action. Action is exactly what Orbán took to stave off the flow of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern "migrants"—what is essentially an aggressive Muslim invasion of Europewho simply decided they were going to trek across Europe, on their way to Germany, and impose themselves upon each individual country along the way.

Hungarian army and police erecting fencing near Serbia to deter migrants.
Hungarian army and police setting up fencing at Roszke and Horgosz, at the Border Crossing Station, near the southern border with Serbia. Photo: RafaVideoart/Hungarian army stopped Refugees in Roszke and Horgosz Hungary

Well, not Hungary! Orbán made that abundantly clear, as he closed Hungary's southern border with Serbia in Fall'2015; mobilizing the army to erect secure fencing to prevent the hordes of so-called "refugees" from travelling through Hungary. This was all done in a very expeditious manner, proving that Orbán means what he says.

What further impresses me about Orbán's actions is that he clearly understands that one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government is to ensure the safety and protection of its citizenry, whatever the threat may be.

Hungary and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán impress me in many other ways. To expand on this would require a separate blog post. No doubt that will be forthcoming in the very near future. In interim, I invite you to discover more about Hungary and Viktor Orbán by visiting the following: the official Government of Hungary web site, www.kormany.hu/en, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's web site, www.miniszterelnok.hu, his Facebook page, and on Instagram

As to the specifics of what has primarily impressed me about Hungary and Viktor Orbán, the remainder of this post provides those details: Hungary's National Avowal, The Fundamental Law of Hungary, and Viktor Orbán's speech on March 15, 2016.

Hungary's National Avowal

Hungary's National Avowal, a two page listing of statements—that is preceded by God bless the Hungarianspreambles the constitution. At its core, it acknowledges its Christian origins attributed to King Saint Stephen, and the establishment of the Hungarian people as part of Christian Europe. It proudly recognizes the struggles and sacrifices that Hungarians of past had to make to ensure survival, freedom, and independence. It also recognizes the outstanding intellectual achievements of the Hungarian people, Hungary's participation in defending Europe in a series of struggles over the centuries, and how the Hungarian people have enriched Europe's common values with their talent and diligence.

The National Avowal commits to the preservation of the intellectual and spiritual unity of the Hungarian nation, torn apart in the "storms" (World Wars I and II, the 1956 Revolution and the Communist suppression and occupation that lasted until 1989) of the last century, and to promoting and safeguarding Hungary's heritage, unique language, and culture.

Hungarian parliament photo blended with the constitution
The Fundamental Law of Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the Hungarian parliament on the twenty-fifth
anniversary of parliamentary democracy in Hungary in 2015. Photo: Viktor
Orbán Facebook

What I found particularly noteworthy was the explicit statement on the first page that recognized the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood, and the following statements that spotlight the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, freedom, the nation, and fundamental values
We hold that human existence is based on human dignity. 
We hold that individual freedom can only be complete in cooperation with others. 
We hold that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence, and that our fundamental cohesive values are fidelity, faith and love. (2)
It also makes clear that democracy is only possible where the, "...State serves its citizens and administers their affairs in an equitable manner, without prejudice or abuse." (3) This is such an essential point considering that preceding this, it holds that the common goal of both the citizens and the State is, "...[T]o achieve the highest possible measure of well-being, safety, order, justice and liberty." (3)

Firmly believing in the contributions of the future generations, it states, "We trust in a jointly-shaped future and the commitment of younger generations. We believe that our children and grandchildren will make Hungary great again with their talent, persistence and moral strength." (3)

The ending of the National Avowal concludes with a statement that paves the way for the remainder of the constitution, "Our Fundamental Law shall be the basis of our legal order; it shall be an alliance among Hungarians of the past, present and future. It is a living framework which expresses the nation’s will and the form in which we want to live." (3)

The Fundamental Law of Hungary

At fifty-seven pages, The Fundamental Law of Hungary, is quite the refreshing read. As with the National Avowal, it is explicitly Christian and nationalistic. It is the kind of constitution one hopes to read, in that, it includes the essential elements that ideally should form part of any constitution: the dignity of the human person; the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman; that a human person's right to life begins at conception; the right for parents to choose the upbringing to be given to their children; the importance of and the assurance to protect families; the role of Christianity in Hungary's nation building; and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The bulk of The Fundamental Law of Hungary begins at page four and is organized in the following sections: Foundation, Freedom and Responsibility, The State, Special Legal Orders, and Closing and Miscellaneous Provisions.

To illustrate how gratifying a read this constitution really is, I have selected the following excerpts:
Article L
(1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the survival of the nation. Family ties shall be based on marriage and/or the relationship between parents and children. 
(2) Hungary shall encourage the commitment to have children. 
(3) The protection of families shall be regulated by a cardinal Act.
Article I 
(1) The inviolable and inalienable fundamental rights of MAN shall be respected. It shall be the primary obligation of the State to protect these rights. 
(2) Hungary shall recognise the fundamental individual and collective rights of man.
Article II
Human dignity shall be inviolable. Every human being shall have the right to life and human dignity; the life of the foetus shall be protected from the moment of conception.
Article III 
(1) No one shall be subject to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or held in servitude. Trafficking in human beings shall be prohibited.  
(2) It shall be prohibited to perform medical or scientific experiment on human beings without their informed and voluntary consent. 
(3) Practices aimed at eugenics, the use of the human body or its parts for financial gain, as well as human cloning shall be prohibited.
Article IV  
(1) Everyone shall have the right to liberty and security of the person.  
Article V
Everyone shall have the right to repel any unlawful attack against his or her person and/or property, or one that poses a direct threat to the same, as provided for by an Act.

Article VII 
(1) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include the freedom to choose or change one’s religion or other belief, and the freedom of everyone to manifest, abstain from manifesting, practise or teach his or her religion or other belief through religious acts, rites or otherwise, either individually or jointly with others, either in public or in private life. 
(2) People sharing the same principles of faith may, for the practice of their religion, establish religious communities operating in the organisational form specified in a cardinal Act.
Article IX
(1) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of speech. 
(4) The right to freedom of speech may not be exercised with the aim of violating the human dignity of others. 
(5) The right to freedom of speech may not be exercised with the aim of violating the dignity of the Hungarian nation or of any national, ethnic, racial or religious community.
Article XV 
(5) By means of separate measures, Hungary shall protect families, children, women, the elderly and persons living with disabilities. 
Article XVI 
(2) Parents shall have the right to choose the upbringing to be given to their children.
If the above isn't impressive enough, the concluding two statements of the constitution will not disappoint, "We, the Members of the National Assembly elected on 25 April 2010, being aware of our responsibility before God and man and in exercise of our constitutional power, hereby adopt this to be the first unified Fundamental Law of Hungary." The final line below this reads," MAY THERE BE PEACE, FREEDOM AND ACCORD."

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's March 15, 2016 Speech in Budapest

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's speech of March 15, 2016, has to be considered one of "the" speeches of the decade.

Rich in historical and cultural content, it contains nationalistic ideals from both revolutions of 1848 and 1956, and identifies the modern-day threats to Hungary. A common thread that runs throughout the speech is the need for Hungarians to decide for freedom and the truth. 

A portrait of Sándor Petőfi, one of the key figures in Hungary's 1848 Revolution.
Sándor Petőfi: portrait by
Soma Orlay Petrich.
Photo: Alchetron
Orbán began his speech by quoting Hungary's national poet and one of the key figures in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Sándor Petőfi, "Salutations to you. Hungarian freedom, on this the day you were born!"

The hope that Petőfi had, a Hungary free from the Habsburg Empire, was echoed in Orbán's speech, "And today also, one hundred and sixty-eight years later, it is with unfettered joy, the optimism of early spring, high hopes and an elevated spirit that across the Carpathian Basin we celebrate—from Beregszász to Szabadka, from Rimaszombat to Kézdivásárhely: every Hungarian with one heart, one soul and one will."

The threat in Petőfi's time presents the same problem for Hungary today, its survival as a nation. The modern-day threat comes primarily from within Europe, specifically: the European Union (EU), the host of well funded lobbyists, and billionaires who try to impose their agenda upon each nation. What is at stake is Hungary's freedom, culture, identity, and its future.

With a Polish contingent present, Orbán explicitly identified that threat by expressing Hungary's solidarity with the nation of Poland, whose shared history has experienced the loss of freedom and nationhood. Here is what Orbán stated:
... I welcome the spirited successors of General Bem: we welcome the sons of the Polish nation. As always throughout our shared thousand-year history, now, too, we are standing by you in the battle you are fighting for your country’s freedom and independence. We are with you, and we send this message to Brussels: more respect to the Polish people, more respect to Poland!
Orbán went on to refer to Hungary's two revolutionary traditions, in which he stated that when the need arises, the Hungarian people stand up for what is right. He referred to life in Hungary today as stemming from both the 1848 and 1956 revolutions, which move and guide the nation's political, economic, and spiritual life: equality before the law, responsible government, a national bank, the sharing of burdens, respect for human dignity, and the unification of the nation.

Reinforcing the important influence of both revolutions in today's society, Orbán stated, "Today, as then, the ideals of ’48 and ’56 are the pulse driving the life force of the nation, and the intellectual and spiritual blood flow of the Hungarian people. Let us give thanks that this may be so, let us give thanks that finally the Lord of History has led us onto this path. Soli Deo gloria [Glory to God alone]!"

One can not help but be impressed with Orbán, who not only acknowledged the sacrifices of Hungarians of previous generations, but also gave thanks and glory to God.

Every revolution is a factor of those who initiate it and carry it to its completion. For Hungarians of the past, these were decent folk, respectable and hard working citizens, regular people from all walks of life: military officers, lawyers, writers, doctors, engineers, honest tradespeople, farmers and workers with a sense of duty.

A black and white photo of crowds cheering Hungarian troops during the 1956 Revolution.
Crowds in Budapest cheering Hungarian troops in 1956. Photo: FORTEPAN/Pesti Srác2

Orbán asked Hungarians to ponder on Sándor Petőfi's question, "So what are you going to do?" It was a question Petőfi asked, three weeks before his death, in his last letter to János Arany. Orbán added to this, "How will you make use of your inheritance?"

Further acknowledging Hungary's existence, inheritance, and identity, Orbán stated, "...[T]he Hungarian people still exist, Buda still stands, we are who we were, and we shall be who we are."

All this is threatened by the instability of Europe! From this current threat, Orbán asked the Hungarian people, "Shall we live in slavery or in freedom?" It is a question that must be asked simply due to the fact that the destiny of Hungary is intertwined with that of Europe's, and Hungarians can not be free if Europe is not free. Orbán described the current state of Europe as, "...[F]ragile, weak and sickly as a flower being eaten away by a hidden worm. Today, one hundred and sixty-eight years after the great freedom fights of its peoples, Europe – our common home – is not free."

As to why Europe is not free, Orbán identified the fundamental problem: freedom begins with speaking the truth. He elaborated on this, in what I consider to be one of the key segments of his speech. Here is what Orbán stated:
Europe is not free, because freedom begins with speaking the truth. In Europe today it is forbidden to speak the truth. A muzzle is a muzzle – even if it is made of silk. It is forbidden to say that today we are not witnessing the arrival of refugees, but a Europe being threatened by mass migration. It is forbidden to say that tens of millions are ready to set out in our direction. It is forbidden to say that immigration brings crime and terrorism to our countries. It is forbidden to say that the masses of people coming from different civilisations pose a threat to our way of life, our culture, our customs, and our Christian traditions. It is forbidden to say that, instead of integrating, those who arrived here earlier have built a world of their own, with their own laws and ideals, which is forcing apart the thousand-year-old structure of Europe. It is forbidden to say that this is not accidental and not a chain of unintentional consequences, but a planned, orchestrated campaign, a mass of people directed towards us. It is forbidden to say that in Brussels they are constructing schemes to transport foreigners here as quickly as possible and to settle them here among us. It is forbidden to say that the purpose of settling these people here is to redraw the religious and cultural map of Europe and to reconfigure its ethnic foundations, thereby eliminating nation states, which are the last obstacle to the international movement. It is forbidden to say that Brussels is stealthily devouring ever more slices of our national sovereignty, and that in Brussels today many are working on a plan for a United States of Europe, for which no one has ever given authorisation.
If all this sounds like an alarm bell, that is exactly what Orbán was sounding off, and rightly so. Other countries in Europe are listening and responding with their own efforts to regain their autonomy, protect their identity, and restore their cultural and heritage. 

Orbán talked about this, referring to it as an "awakening," in which Europe is realizing each day, more and more, that what is at stake is the future of Europe: prosperity, comfort, jobs, security, and a peaceful order.

Hungary's official stamp commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution
The official Hungarian stamp commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight.
The identified heroes visible on the frame image of the stamp block are: Erika Kornélia Szeles (1941-1956, center),
Mária Wittner (1937-), patron of the Memorial Year, Katalin Havrila Béláné Sticker (1932-1959), László Dózsa (1942-),
actor, Dénes Dóczi (1932-1958) and József Vass (1937-?). 
Photo: Hungarian Post Office, via Wikimedia Commons 

Europe is a community of Christian nations, that are free and independent, but that status is being challenged by the modern-day threat, that is different from threats of the past—which may not be so obvious or understood compared to the open oppression and attacks of totalitarian regimes of the past—a comparison which Orbán made to spotlight the dangers of the modern-day threat:
This danger is not now threatening us as wars and natural disasters do, which take the ground from under our feet in an instant. Mass migration is like a slow and steady current of water which washes away the shore. It appears in the guise of humanitarian action, but its true nature is the occupation of territory; and their gain in territory is our loss of territory. 
Orbán went to to repel the false accusations made against Hungary by so-called "human rights warriors," that Hungarians are xenophobic and hostile. Quite the opposite is true which Hungary's history proves; it is a nation of inclusion and intertwining cultures:
Those who have sought to come here as new family members, as allies or as displaced persons fearing for their lives have been let in to make a new home for themselves. But those who have come here with the intention of changing our country and shaping our nation in their own image, those who have come with violence and against our will, have always been met with resistance.
What first appeared to be a relatively small number of "migrants," quickly grew into hundreds of thousands. Orbán asserted that the main danger to Europe comes from within, Brussels' itself, with its "fanatics of internationalism." He boldly stated that Brussels must not be allowed to place itself above the law:
We cannot allow Brussels to place itself above the law. We shall not allow it to force upon us the bitter fruit of its cosmopolitan immigration policy. We shall not import to Hungary crime, terrorism, homophobia and synagogue-burning anti-Semitism. There shall be no urban districts beyond the reach of the law, there shall be no mass disorder or immigrant riots here, and there shall be no gangs hunting down our women and daughters. We shall not allow others to tell us whom we can let into our home and country, whom we will live alongside, and whom we will share our country with.
Orbán had no illusions as to the negative implications and social unrest that would result from Brussels' "cosmopolitan immigration policy." He stated that Hungary would be forced to take in the "migrants," and serve them, which would eventually result in Hungarians confronting a situation of forced removal from their own land.

Orbán clearly has the foresight, fortitude, and the courage to see to it that, such a scenario does not come to pass. He completely rejected the forced resettlement scheme and he made it clear that Hungary will not tolerate neither blackmail, nor threats.

Calling upon all European nations, Orbán explicitly stated that, "The time has come to ring the warning bell. The time has come for opposition and resistance. The time has come to gather allies to us. The time has come to raise the flag of proud nations. The time has come to prevent the destruction of Europe, and to save the future of Europe."

Orbán's alarm bell is a call for unity in Europe. The peoples of Europe can not be free individually if they are not free together.

In the last part of his speech, Orbán referred once more to Hungary's history as an encouragement to the people of Hungary to resist the modern-day threat. During the Habsburg Empire, the people of Hungary were not resigned to accept foreign control, and the same holds true during the Russian occupation after World War II. As for today's modern-day threat, Orbán stated the following, "Today it is written in the book of fate that hidden, faceless world powers will eliminate everything that is unique, autonomous, age-old and national. They will blend cultures, religions and populations, until our many-faceted and proud Europe will finally become bloodless and docile."

The resistance required against this scheme for Europe is especially understood by the peoples of both Hungary and Poland, who Orbán characterized as people who know how to resist, defeat, rewrite and transform the fate intended for Europe today.

It comes down to a choice that Hungarians and the rest of Europe must make, answering in the process the question that Orbán posed, "Shall we live in slavery or in freedom?" His encouragement to his fellow Hungarians, "That is the question—give your answer! Go for it Hungary, go for it Hungarians!"

God bless Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the nation of Hungary and Hungarians all over the world.

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