Fake religiosity rules the day in Hungary

I will spend a little time today and tomorrow talking about topics that in one way or another are connected to religion.

Let me start with a footnote to the relationship between church and state in Orbán’s Hungary. I got so involved with the story of the alleged mummified right hand of Saint Stephen, whom I really should call Stephen I, that I didn’t pay much attention to the mass held in the St. Stephen Basilica and the procession that followed. However, today I noticed a sentence in an article that the grand old man of the 1956 Revolution, Tibor Méray, wrote on Galamus on August 28. The article itself is an indictment of the Hungarian political elite from József Antall to Viktor Orbán. The sentence that caught my eye was that “Orbán had the temerity to lead the Procession of the Holy Hand when he is a Protestant. Not even Horthy dared to do that.” Horthy was also Protestant.

Not only was Viktor Orbán present at the mass but also President János Áder; Zsolt Semjén, deputy prime minister; Pál Schmitt, former president who had to resign because of plagiarism; Péter Boross, former prime minister (1993-1994); Péter Darák, head of the Supreme Court (Kúria); Antal Rogán, leader of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation; and Mrs. Ferenc Mádl, wife of the former president (2000-2005) whose political sympathies definitely lie with Fidesz. I was somewhat surprised to find Ilan Mor, Israeli ambassador, among the dignitaries.

The opening of the school year prompted another round of incredible comments from government officials on religion and specifically on Christianity, but I will leave that topic for tomorrow.

Today I will touch on another topic that has something to do with religion. I’m talking about Mayor István Tarlós’s encounter with the Old Testament.

Erzsébet Gy. Nagy is currently a politician in the Demokratikus Koalíció. Earlier she was one of the leading MSZP politicians in Budapest, best known as the MSZP candidate against the long-time SZDSZ mayor Gábor Demszky in 2002. Recently she wrote an open letter in the name of DK protesting the decision of the Fidesz-KDNP city council to make homelessness a criminal act. After all, argued Nagy, the Constitutional Court found the practice unconstitutional. She reminded “the leadership of the country and the capital whose members claim to be Christians of what the Bible says: ‘Blessed is he who considers the poor! The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble’ (Psalms 41:1).”

That innocent biblical quotation became the center of a political controversy because of an interview Mayor István Tarlós gave on HírTV.  I will translate that part of the interview (from 8:25 on) that prompted the upheaval.

Tarlós: I also read today–what is the name of the group around Gyurcsány? Demokratikus Koalíció, isn’t it? Erzsébet Gy. Nagy, former MSZP colleague of mine in the city council, made a statement and began her declaration with “Blessed is he who considers the poor! The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble.” She quoted from the Book of Psalms. Now it is one thing that when they open the Bible on such occasions it always opens at the Old Testament, but I don’t want to say anything about this here.

Reporter: Let’s add to that that another DK member of parliament said that you will have to give account of your actions before the Lord.

Tarlós: It was so because I really believe in the Lord, although it is true that I read the New Testament more often, but we also read the Old Testament. But there is no need for such a hypocritical attitude. They come up with haphazard quotations. This is what happens to those who for a while confirmed.* Or who talk about the Messiah in front of rabbis.** So, these people would be better off if they didn’t lift passages from the Bible, but let that be their problem.

Kettos keresztWhy was it necessary for Tarlós to make an issue of the quotation that happened to come from the Old Testament? Naturally he denied that he intimated that members of the Demokratikus Koalíció mostly peruse the pages of the Old Testament and said that he finds the accusation “ridiculous and pitiful.”

Erzsébet Gy. Nagy answered in the name of the Demokratikus Koalíció. She decided to give a short lecture on church history to Tarlós who “unlike the children does need religious education.”  And she made four points. (1) The First Council of Nicea in 325 declared the Old Testament one of the holy books. (2) The Bible normally opens at the Old Testament because it is much larger than the New Testament. Earlier the Demokratikus Koalíció cited some of the New Testament passages that are applicable.  (3) In fact, Jesus put an even greater emphasis on mercy and compassion than the prophets of the Old Testament. Instead of the Book of Psalms they could have cited Matt. 18:33 “and should not you have mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” and (4) A gentleman is not “zsidózik” and for others it is forbidden.

I once tried to explain what this strange Hungarian verb means. The occasion was Zsófia Mihancsik’s article, which I translated as “Antisemitism: A short history of responsibility.” And I added that the word she used, and what I translated as antisemitism, is “zsidózás,” a noun coming from the verb “zsidózni,” which is an untranslatable Hungarian verb. It means talking about Jews (zsidók in pl.)  in an unfavorable light. It also implies that the speaker regularly engages in anti-Jewish speech. There is no question in my mind that this is what Tarlós was doing.

——–

*The original makes no more sense than the translation.

** The reference here is to Ferenc Gyurcsány who in 2005 in a speech commemorating the Holocaust got mixed up and talked about the Messiah instead of the Creator before attending a Jewish service.

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tappanch
Guest

Let us not forget Mayor Tarlos’s other anti-Semitic decisions:

the appointment of a Csurka protegee to head the “New Theater”,

the erasing of most anti-Nazi personalities from the Budapest map, including President Roosevelt.

Tarlos is very comfortable working together with Jobbik.

Mutt
Guest

The “I was confirming for a while” is a reference to an interview with Gyurcsany from 2006. He said he wasn’t religious but was a churchgoer Catholic for a while when he was child. He even wanted to be a priest. I think he was joking.

http://youtu.be/rIb4XgxX4cY

Tarlos is an idiot.

There is a facebook page about him that has 26000 followers. It is called “Let’s Rename Istvan Tarlos!”

Alois
Guest

Tarlós, like Orbán, is a bully who just loves these games. Tarlós (like Orbán and his friends) never has bigger fun when he can make liberals annoyed and worked up.

He is also uneducated, but that is another issue.

Anyway, unless Tarlós is given another position by Orbán (like the district XII mayorship where the right wing citizen would elect anybody nominated by Fidesz) or the Budapest mayorship is abolished altogether (Orbán deeply hates that position as it is a position in which a younger politicians can make himself and someone who symbolizes Budapest where Orbán is much less popular than elsewhere in Hungary), Tarlós has not a big political future (and of course his presence is abysmal).

tappanch
Guest

Tarlos and the likely new director of the theater “Vigszinhaz” (who is another political commissar) together in a photo:

http://index.hu/bloghu/vanyabacsi/2013/08/31/megsem_koltozik_alfoldi_mephistoja_a_vigszinhazba

Ilan Mor
Guest

Dear Ms. Balogh

I would like to set the record straight:

I was invited, with other ambassadors, to the mass held outside the St. Stephen Basilica.

As soon as the mass was over, I immediately left the place, and did not participated in the procession that followed.

Ilan Mor.

Johnny Boy
Guest

“The original makes no more sense than the translation”

It is only your ignorance. It was Gyurcsány, the ham actor, none of whose gestures are honest and who is full of pretention, who said “rendszeresen bérmálkoztam” (meaning: “I regularly confirmed”). Tarlós was referring to this ignorant statement of that ignorant moron.

Johnny Boy
Guest

Mutt :
The “I was confirming for a while” is a reference to an interview with Gyurcsany from 2006. He said he wasn’t religious but was a churchgoer Catholic for a while when he was child. He even wanted to be a priest. I think he was joking.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIb4XgxX4cY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent%5D
Tarlos is an idiot.
There is a facebook page about him that has 26000 followers. It is called “Let’s Rename Istvan Tarlos!”

No. Gyurcsány was not joking, he was putting on his usual, unbearably pretentious, completely dishonest, idiotic show. Tarlós was simply making fun of the twit, rightly so.

Pusztaranger
Guest

Regular participants of the St.Stephen procession since 2010 is the “Hungarian National Guard”, former members of the banned Hungarian Guard. And this year also a group of veterans and symphatisants in the uniforms of the Horthy-Gendarms, who carried out the deportation of Jews, see http://hungarianspectrum.org/2009/07/13/sk-the-return-to-the-gendarmerie/
Apparently no problem at all for the Hungarian catholic church, the attending politicians and the audience. Some pictures here:
http://pusztaranger.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/ungarische-garde-marschiert-auf-katholischer-staatsprozession/

Mutt
Guest

Johnny, Gyurcsany, as you can see in the video, simply said he wasn’t a religious person. So if he was dishonest, does that mean he is a practicing catholic? Then what’s your beef?

Mutt
Guest

Meawhile on Planet Hungary …

The NGM took the National Debt Meter off their web site. The ministry explained that the reason is the raising software maintenance cost. Probably it required to change a number every week …

Could this have something to do with the fact that the level it showed was higher than the level when the Fidesz took over in 2010?

Our dishonesty expert, Johnny Boy, may want to comment …

PeopleAgain
Guest

The Hungarian gendarms were ordinary Hungarians, mostly recruited from poor provincial areas.
Their officers were responsible to turn most of them into monsters.
Even so, I have known some who remained more the humane. Many of them even assisted Holocaust victims.
This is the story of every police force in tyrannies.

MessAgain
Guest

The other development of tyrannies.
The whole population with the exception of a few, practices self-defensive liarship.
To save carriers, social standing, honesty and openness are the first victims.
How can the few honest political leaders address such a human mess?

Guest

@Messagain.

You obviously meant “To save careers, social standing, honesty and openness are the first victims.”
I remember that story from my parents who had the same experience – in Hitler’s time …

Member

tappanch :
Tarlos and the likely new director of the theater “Vigszinhaz” (who is another political commissar) together in a photo:
http://index.hu/bloghu/vanyabacsi/2013/08/31/megsem_koltozik_alfoldi_mephistoja_a_vigszinhazba

Johnny Boy :

Mutt :
The “I was confirming for a while” is a reference to an interview with Gyurcsany from 2006. He said he wasn’t religious but was a churchgoer Catholic for a while when he was child. He even wanted to be a priest. I think he was joking.
[youtube


Tarlos is an idiot.
There is a facebook page about him that has 26000 followers. It is called “Let’s Rename Istvan Tarlos!”

No. Gyurcsány was not joking, he was putting on his usual, unbearably pretentious, completely dishonest, idiotic show. Tarlós was simply making fun of the twit, rightly so.

OH, the same way as Orban used to be an atheist and making fun in religious people in the parliament? THat was before he found God. Maybe Gyurcsany learned a thing or two from Orban after all. hahahaha

Member

Johnny Boy :
“The original makes no more sense than the translation”
It is only your ignorance. It was Gyurcsány, the ham actor, none of whose gestures are honest and who is full of pretention, who said “rendszeresen bérmálkoztam” (meaning: “I regularly confirmed”). Tarlós was referring to this ignorant statement of that ignorant moron.

Talking about ignorant morons, we missed your comment lately Johnny Boy.

oneill
Guest

“It was so because I really believe in the Lord, although it is true that I read the New Testament more often, but we also read the Old Testament.”

One would have thought the Old Testament God would have been more Tarlos’ and his Fidesz sponsors’ cup of tea what with all the various plagues, smittings and what have you he sent to sort out the heathens, liberals and MSZP voters. I am also surprised a celebration of the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah hasn’t been included in the Budapest Muncipal calendar Perhaps the Old T God too Jewish? The New T God would have problems with certain elements of the Tarlos Philosophy… I think Jesus is unlikely to have believed the homeless should be thrown in the clink for example.

As regards a Prod like Orban getting involved in a RC ritual, it suits both parties.
If becoming a Co0nfucian would grab him an extra 6 votes in Debrecen, he’d do it. And the RC church’s collaboration with the Nazis during WW2 and countless other *holy* dictators shows what realpolitik moral plane it operates on

Member

RE #16 I have no idea how I got tappanch’ comment in there. No relevance.

Member

Meanwhile on Planet Hungary …

Brownnose champion of the month!

In a Torokbalint, Pest County, elementary school children were ordered by the principal to haul all (!) their books to the school Monday morning, and place them on their desks, because Viktor Orban will visit the school. The principal wants to prove Orban that au contraire to the “left-liberal” press there are no problems with the book distribution.

The dear leader cannot be disappointed …

Paul
Guest

Let’s have some more “haphazard quotations”:

“love your enemy”

“turn the other cheek”

“blessed are the meek”

“it is harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the Eye of the Needle”

Funny how these people who profess so loudly and frequently to be ‘Christians’ never seem to follow anything that Christ actually preached…

Paul
Guest

Good to have you back, Johnny, I haven’t had much to laugh about since I broke my foot.

“Tarlós was referring to this ignorant statement of that ignorant moron.”

“he was putting on his usual, unbearably pretentious, completely dishonest, idiotic show. Tarlós was simply making fun of the twit, rightly so.”

How long does it take you to write this stuff? It’s brilliant!

And “twit”! I haven’t seen anyone use that in decades. Exactly where (when) did you learn your English??

Guest

Maybe here:
http://szotar.sztaki.hu/en/search?searchWord=seggfej&fromlang=hun&tolang=eng&outLanguage=eng
At least JB’s always good for a laugh – unlike most other trolls …

PS and OT:

Has anyone visited politics.hu lately ? They have the most unbelievable lowlife trolls there now – and these people call themselves real Hungarians! They’re so full of hate against everything/everyone not to their liking – maybe these are the soccer fans with their signs you see in Hungary …

tappanch
Guest

Today, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lezsak (Fidesz) praised, effusively, Horthy and his re-burial twenty years ago.

http://nol.hu/belfold/lezsak_horthy_ujratemeteserol__a_tortenelmi_bunozok_is_visszatertek_a_tett_szinhelyere

Member

Ilan Mor :
I would like to set the record straight:
I was invited, with other ambassadors, to the mass held outside the St. Stephen Basilica.
As soon as the mass was over, I immediately left the place, and did not participated in the procession that followed.
Ilan Mor.

Israel and Hungary would be better served by less sycophancy. There is no need for diplomatic personnel to patronize local semi-pagan rites (parading of mummified body parts) even when solemnly invited. Separation of church and state, domestic as well as international.

Member

OT of the day …

Egyptian authorities arrested a Hungarian spy stork. The bird was tagged by Hungarian ornithologist group with a transmitter device to track the migration of the storks. The device was spotted by concerned citizens.

Orban’s ministry of defense denied any allegations that this is part of a secret Hungarian drone program.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2407948/Bird-thats-ruffling-government-feathers-Stork-suspected-SPY-detained-police-Egypt.html

Member

Stevan Harnad :
Israel and Hungary would be better served by less sycophancy. There is no need for diplomatic personnel to patronize local semi-pagan rites (parading of mummified body parts) even when solemnly invited. Separation of church and state, domestic as well as international.

Stupidity is a Hungarian custom. One has to make peace with the natives … For instance I participate in every pot luck party in my office and taste everything that remotely looks edible. When I stock up with Imodium the pharmacist always goes like “Pot luck? Again?”

spectator
Guest

Mutt :
OT of the day …
Egyptian authorities arrested a Hungarian spy stork. The bird was tagged by Hungarian ornithologist group with a transmitter device to track the migration of the storks. The device was spotted by concerned citizens.
Orban’s ministry of defense denied any allegations that this is part of a secret Hungarian drone program.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2407948/Bird-thats-ruffling-government-feathers-Stork-suspected-SPY-detained-police-Egypt.html

Mutt :
OT of the day …
Egyptian authorities arrested a Hungarian spy stork. The bird was tagged by Hungarian ornithologist group with a transmitter device to track the migration of the storks. The device was spotted by concerned citizens.
Orban’s ministry of defense denied any allegations that this is part of a secret Hungarian drone program.

It somehow reminiscent of the old joke fro my childhood:
– How is the Albanian air defence looks like?
– Like this..! (Shake your fist toward those hostile airplanes…)

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Good news another conference on antisemitism in Budapest parliament (irony). At least the tourism managers know how to attact foreigners
http://www.atv.hu/belfold/20130901-az-antiszemitizmus-okaival-foglalkoznak-egy-konferencian-a-parlamentben

Mutt
Guest

The Fidesz lost the elections big time in Szigetszentmiklos. 359 to 201 against the MSzP-e14-DK candidate. Thi place never was a Fidesz stronghold but still …

wpDiscuz