Dutch populist politician Thierry Baudet

Frustration with system drives Dutch Catholics to populism

Growing numbers of Dutch Catholics are getting behind politician Thierry Baudet and his Forum for Democracy, an anti-immigrant, anti-establishment, anti-EU and anti-climate control party that has emerged as the new face of populism in the Netherlands, winning three seats in the European elections in May. The reason? Dissatisfaction with the “established order of the big political parties who are relatively alike when it comes to their ideas [and] offer little alternative to people”, as philosopher Michiel Hemminga told Katholiek Nieuwsblad.

“The current system needs a breakthrough”

“According to one of the party’s plans, at a certain point all religious people should agree to the fact that the Dutch law is above their own religious beliefs”, said Hemminga, justifying his support for the Forum for Democracy. “For me as a Christian that’s not an option. I’m not suddenly going to support gay marriage or abortion, because it’s the law”.

“I don’t know what the future holds for the party, but I do think the current system needs a breakthrough. Geert Wilders hasn’t been able to do that, but I hope Forum for Democracy will”.

The tyranny of political correctness and the hypocrisy of Christian parties

“On the political right something had to happen, because the current Christian parties in the Netherlands will not get us very far in the future”, added another Forum supporter, Erik van Goor, a publicist, blogger and former Protestant.

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“I’m also under the impression that the Christian parties tend to promote all sorts of interests of, for example, America or Israel. I get that, but in the long term this doesn’t get us Dutch Christians anywhere”.

“People are becoming more and more secular and liberal”, continued van Goor. “We run the risk of living in a world where you cannot think or say anything that is opposed by the mainstream media. When the Dutch translation of the Nashville Statement [an Evangelical Christian statement of faith opposed to LGBT identity and sexuality] appeared, people were almost physically disgusted by the people who supported the Statement. What was the reaction of Dutch Christians to this? They turned away or echoed the outcries of the liberal left”.

“Forum for Democracy however attracts many secular people who worry about the whole gender craze. It’s not strange that the party attracts many labor-type, conservative people who feel abandoned by a liberal left policy”.

But it’s not just the supposed Christian capitulation to gender ideology, however, that worries van Goor, but the complicity of Christians with abortion and euthanasia as well.

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“Thierry Baudet talking about abortion and euthanasia is important, I think”, continued van Goor. “He might upset people because he’s not pro-life, but as Christians we should be more upset about ChristenUnie, the Christian party in our government at the moment who supports the government’s policy on abortion”.

“The democratic system doesn’t work well”

For her part, Zlata Brouwer, a violin teacher, supports Forum for Democracy out of her concern to preserve traditional values and for the same disenchantment with the system as Hemminga.

“The democratic system doesn’t work well, you can see that everywhere around you”, observed Brouwer.

“A lot of art and music has been inspired by the Christian faith. People are able to create such wonderful things! But we throw away our own culture”, continued Brouwer.

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“Although Forum for Democracy is not a Christian party, I believe it’s the only party who tries to preserve our culture, our democracy, for future generations… You need only to look at the history books to realize that the traditional marriage and the family are essential to all things created within a culture”, the music teacher concluded.

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