‘God, Family, Country’: Italy Elects A New Conservative Leader

/


“We will defend the value of the human being.”

—Giorgia Meloni

“We will defend God, country, and family.” That is the promise of Giorgia Meloni, who is set to become Italy’s next premier, or prime minister, after her political party, Brothers of Italy, dominated in the most recent round of the Italian elections.

According to The Hill: “Italy’s far-right Brothers of Italy party swept to victory in elections this week and is prepared to form the most conservative government in the nation since World War II. The head of that party, and now Italy’s incoming prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has pushed for a new direction in her country centered on Italian, Christian, and family values.”

Once the new parliament is seated, it is forecasted that Meloni’s party will control both chambers. And she will be the first female prime minister in Italian history.

The morning after the elections, a few viral video clips of Meloni speaking at the World Congress of Families in 2019 started circulating.

And it is easy to see why. In this speech, she gives a rousing defense of basic truths that have become so unpopular in our era of stifling political correctness.

She closes with a quote from G.K. Chesterton, in which he spoke of a day when “Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.” In other words, a day will come when mankind will have to fight to defend the most obvious realities of life — such as the fact that men can’t be women, for example. Meloni closes by saying “That time has arrived. We are ready.”

Over and over, Meloni appears to clearly and unapologetically defend the importance of faith in God, the natural family, and the love of country. Yet, unsurprisingly, the media is trying to label her as “far-right” and even as a “fascist.” Apparently being pro-family equals being pro-fascist now.

This reaction is entirely predictable and worthy of little more than preemptive dismissal. After all, when you watch the mainstream media reporting on elections, whether at home or abroad, remember: “Democracy” is what happens when their preferred candidate wins, and “fascism” is what happens their preferred candidate loses. It’s that simple.

Here are two main reasons the media is reacting against Meloni — and what American Christians should think about her election.

She’s the Wrong Type of Woman…

First, the media hates her because she is the wrong type of woman. Yes, she is a woman, but she doesn’t adhere to the currently acceptable beliefs for cosmopolitan global women, a la Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t appear that she subscribes to the current set of secular elite-approved dogmas, such as feminism and transgender ideology (which are wildly contradictory when you stop and think about it), or unfettered abortion access.

If Meloni was a leftist, there’s little doubt the liberal media would be cheering right now.  After all, she just broke through the “glass ceiling” to become the first woman prime minister in one of Europe’s oldest countries. Now, I do want to point out that some, such as Anthony Esolen, argue that politics is fundamentally a masculine endeavor. But leaving that debate aside, remember when Kamala Harris became the first female vice president in the history of the United States? Media outlets around the world called it a great inspiration for young girls everywhere. Interestingly, I haven’t seen the same fawning coverage for Meloni. And that gives the game away: Liberals don’t really care about the empowerment of all women—just the ones who think like them.

With the Wrong Kind of Message

If Meloni is the wrong type of woman for our global elites, she most certainly has the wrong message.

Here I want to share a key piece of her speech from 2019 in which she beautifully defends the importance of the natural family, cultural roots and identity, and human dignity. She says:

Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There’s a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves. And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity.

I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No. I must be citizen X, gender X, parent 1, parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer. That is the reason why…We will defend the value of the human being. Every single human being. 

Of course, this message angers the global elites, who do want us reduced to a number. But family, identity, and cultural roots are good things. They are gifts from God, and they should form the foundation of all good governments. This is a common-sense message. But it’s not approved by the World Economic Forum, so it’s the wrong message.

What Should American Christians Think About Meloni?

Much of what Meloni is saying sounds good. The idea of “the value of every human being” is a classic exposition of the idea of the Imago Dei, the belief that since every human is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28) they have inherent value and worth. We are not just a number.

Her defense of the natural family is a much-needed message as well. There is no doubt that the family (one man and one woman in marriage caring for their children), which was created by God as an institution for human flourishing and as the bedrock of society, is under violent attack. Defending marriage and encouraging married couples to have children is nothing less than fulfilling the dominion mandate (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 9:1), as well as recognizing that children are a blessing, not a burden (Psalm 127:4-5).

Her prioritization of the well-being of Italian citizens is a Christian priority as well. God designed earthly governments to rule over one group of people — not the entire globe. When she says, “Migrant flows need to be managed…nations only exist if there are borders, and if those are defended,” and “The smart approach is: You come to my house according to my rules,” she is caring well for those under her authority, those to whom she owes greater loyalty and love.

Christians should also be hesitant to believe the accusations of fascism being thrown at Meloni. Isaiah 8:12 reminds us of the wisdom of caution:

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.”

Some claim that her party, Brothers of Italy, has “fascist roots.” But, according to Yascha Mounk at The Atlantic, Meloni “has declared that ‘fascism is history’ and suspended members who persisted in praising fascist leaders.” Far from assuming she’s a fascist, it is more reasonable to conclude that Meloni has been elected in large part as a reaction to the authoritarian overreach under the previous Italian government during COVID.

All of that said, we must also be humble. Italian politics are different than American politics. We can’t map any one Italian election directly onto our situation in the United States. Yet, in our humility, we can still find hope and inspiration in the message she is articulating.

Because when she says, “We defend our identity. We defend God, country, and family. Get over it,” that resonates with me. And I trust it does with many other American Christians, too.


Follow William on Twitter! @William_E_Wolfe

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.