Viktor Orbán: Christian Europe in danger

Once a year the Keresztény Értelmiségiek Szövetsége/KÉSZ (Association of Christian Professionals), an alleged NGO, holds its congress. The fact that since 2011 the event has been held in the chamber of the former Upper House (Főrendiház) says a lot about the independence of the organization.

Until very recently KÉSZ was a purely Catholic affair. It was established in 1989 by a Catholic priest and professor of theology who served as its president until his death in 1996. In that year another Catholic priest and a great admirer of Viktor Orbán, Zoltán Osztie, took over. He served until 2016. At that point the presidency was assumed by a Greek Catholic priest and canonist, I guess in an attempt to appear a bit more ecumenical.

The close connection between KÉSZ and Fidesz was obvious even from the few references Viktor Orbán brought up about the organization’s past. He specifically noted KÉSZ’s assistance in setting up thousands of “civic cells” that Fidesz used to widen the base of the party after the 2002 defeat. Then, in 2009, KÉSZ joined the notorious Civil Összefogás Fórum (CÖF), a phony NGO financed in all sorts of devious ways by the Orbán government. KÉSZ also gives assistance to the government when it comes to its nationality policy outside the country’s borders. For example, KÉSZ has signed joint declarations of intent with the Keresztény Értelmiségi Kör (Christian Professional Club) in Serbia where the Hungarian political elite is an important supporter of the current government. KÉSZ’s website provides no details about its financial resources, but it has a publication called “Jel” (Sign) which looks quite professional, it finances books, and it organizes conferences.

At the KÉSZ congress held on September 16 Viktor Orbán delivered a lengthy lecture on the state of the world. His two most important statements, both made at the end of the speech, were that (1) “the Germans, the Austrians, and the arrogant western media” began a “smear campaign” against his country which was “centrally ordered, centrally controlled, centrally engineered against Hungary—out of vengeance because [Hungary] closed the Balkan route used by the migrants” and (2) if the European leaders are unable to find a path to coexistence between immigrant and non-immigrant countries “the tension that exists between them now will be even more intensified, which may lead to a greater chasm or even a fatal break in the history of the European continent.” Both of these claims are rather frightening.

The attentive audience / Source: Index / Photo János Bődey

Although these are the two statements I chose as the weightiest, there were some other noteworthy claims. One was that “the goal of today’s anti-Christian program” is the importation of non-Christian elements, which in turn will weaken Christianity in Europe to such an extent that it will actually die out. Before Orbán spoke, Cardinal Péter Erdő had delivered a speech in which he talked about the strong roots of Christianity in Europe. Picking up on this theme, Orbán accused “the anti-Christian European program” of planning “to change the subsoil” so that “the roots of Christianity, no matter how thick and strong they are, cannot take hold, and thus the giant tree simply falls over.” Again, Orbán sees a malicious design or at least tries to convince his audience that there is such a design–that European politicians are contemplating the Islamization of Europe and the death of Christianity on the continent.

Orbán also set forth a religious elaboration of his theme that “We want a Hungarian Hungary and a European Europe.” He added: “But this is possible only if we take upon ourselves the task of creating a Christian Hungary within a Christian Europe.” This qualifying sentence is a new motif in Orbán’s political vocabulary. He is certain that under his leadership Hungary will remain a Christian country, but he is not so sure about Europe. “The ideology of the immigrant countries is international liberalism,” while in the case of the non-immigrant countries “the guiding principle is … sovereignty and Christian social teaching. The adoption of Western European liberalism by the people of Central Europe would simply mean suicide. Or to be more precise it would be a suicidal ideology for the countries of Central Europe” because it would result in their becoming immigrant countries. Obviously, liberalism in any shape or form should be banished from Central Europe. I wonder what the Czechs and the Slovaks would think of this demand.

Finally, here is something that Orbán uttered elsewhere, but I think it belongs here. In his speech to the members of the Fidesz parliamentary delegation he apparently noted with great satisfaction that “in the last six years, on the left-right scale, a thoroughgoing shift has occurred toward the right.” I’m afraid he is correct.

September 19, 2017
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Member

Politicians, when they become dictators and extremist, find out sooner or later, that their ideology can last only for a relaitvely short time (short by historical time).
People notice that their ideology rest on lies after awhile and they get disappointed and tired of it. There is a good proverb for this or rather a quote from Abraham Lincoln.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

The viktor (as all previous dictators and extremists before him) will soon find out that Abraham Lincoln was right!

wrfree
Guest

Lincoln was a masterful and courageous politician and always good for producing astute and critical insight into what successful politics and politicians feed on. Another Lincolnian insight coming from the first Lincoln-Douglas debate 1858:

‘With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment
goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions’.

Member

Unfortunately, nowadays multi-national corporations, big business and industry overrides public sentiment or present their views about the issues as if it is as good as the public sentiment. Most politicians lend them ears, since they are elected from their money.

PENNY OSWALT
Guest

I am not surprised with your findings. Although the Catholic church is a main socialization component, the term “Christianity”is used too loose. I serve and follow a LIVING GOD, not a dead one.There is a social conflict with the Catholic Church. I am a former Catholic. I pick up division and confusion concerning true Christianity in Europe. The Catholic church have gotten it wrong about the authenticity of Jesus Christ. They are authentic if you want to be “religious”, that kind of church has no freedom. Did I mention that they are the largest religious denomination in the world?

PENNY OSWALT
Guest

Again, Orbán sees a malicious design or at least tries to convince his audience that there is such a design–that European politicians are contemplating the Islamization of Europe and the death of Christianity on the continent?
I stand against that prediction, there is always an authentic remnant. Maybe the Catholic church needs pruning, so that authentic christian churches can be stronger, like a mighty tall Oak tree.

PENNY OSWALT
Guest

For your information….I am not muslim or islamic. I do not serve their God and I am glad that Orban has spoken publicly about it. However, the Catholic church does need to prune the dead portion of their beliefs. Christianity will always carry a remnant.

exTor
Guest

comment image

Interesting (or worse) implication in your averment wherein you state that you “do not serve [the Islamic] God”, further stating that you are “glad that Orbán has spoken publicly about” Islam, PENNY.

Perhaps you can elucidate how Orbán made your day with respect to Islam. The HS community awaits the furtherance of your thoughts.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Ferenc
Guest

OV accusing others of “smear campaign”, “centrally ordered, centrally controlled, centrally engineered against …”, “to change the subsoil”
Just one reaction feels fully true:

EVIL DOERS ARE EVIL DREADERS – KI MINT ÉL, ÚGY ÍTÉL

Anita
Guest

Little Boy Viktor is a staunch Christian? LOL

As a student of Marxism he knows that religion is opium for the people. A permanently sedated mass is a dictator’s dream.

This whole discussion about Christianity is just another way to distract the attention from the large scale robberies that he and his nepotistic inner circle are committing with regards to the country’s assets.

Shame on everyone collaborating with Little Boy Viktor and his gang.

Guest

“Shame on everyone collaborating with Little Boy Viktor and his gang.”

Hear, Hear!

:Bastiat2
Guest

However much I loathe Orbán for his clan-like way of confiscating all the revenues for himself and his clansmen, I do agree that we must beware that Christian values (not to stress any particular Christian faith, catholic or protestant) are slowly and deliberately eaten away by the Islamic attempt to win Europe by its foibles rather than by the force of the sword.
The recent terrorists attacks, however terrible and tragic for the victims, are not the most dangerous of all Islamic tactics. The way that gradually they push their way of life, which, by the way, is incompatible with most European civil codes, is, to my eyes the most dangerous in the long term.

Petofi
Guest

So called ‘Christian values’ had no problem with sending an extra 300,000 jews to the Auschwitz chambers in 1944 in order to loot their businesses and homes. I do believe that narry a word was spoken in the high pulpits of the priesthood against this, either…

Guest

Petofi, read my reply to troll Bastiat re the Catholic church and its cosy relations with the Nazis – horrible!

exTor
Guest

comment image

How is it that you appropriated the name of Claude-Frédéric Bastiat, a renowned libertarian economist born 180 days into the 19th century? Do you fancy the mantle of such as he?

Your racism with respect to Islam underpins your ‘analysis’ of Islam in Europe, which repeats rightwing nonsense about “the Islamic attempts to win Europe”. Other than saying that your position is garbage, which is not a valid rebuttal, I wont engage with you other than to state the obvious: you are a racist bigot.

I wouldn’t elevate your opinion by using the word ‘misguidedness’; there is no ‘guidedness’ in you, at least not on an intellectual level. You exude hate, which you attempt to prettify with some measure of ‘thought’. No dice.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

Maybe Bastiat2 follows the old Hungarian tradition:

It’s only corruption (or anything else that’s bad …) if I’m not in it!

Guest

The same goes for many Christian sects who are against equality of the sexes, against same sex marriage, would like to reintroduce the death penalty and so on …
Religion has no function in a modern democracy . what you do in private, ok, that’s your business!
PS and rather OT:
I remember reading stories of how at the beginning of WW1 priests would put their blessings on the soldiers and their guns …
And the Catholic church wants us all to forget that they had a very nice relationship with the Nazis! Not all of the priests of course, there were some martyrs, but the Pope had no problem with Hitler. And if you ever heard of the “Rat Roads” which helped many Nazi criminals to get to South America you start to wonder wtf that meant!

Observer
Guest

The Orbán nonsense deserves attention only as an indicator of his intentions. I wonder how does the “Christian intelligencia” stomach this empty posturing, phoney prophecies and primitive preaching.

The christian world a la Orbán is a fiction, at most a self delusion for a few who can not imagine anything different from their little stale corner.

Marty
Guest
In order to stop the right there exists only one solution. To have credible, consistent (over decades even) politicians like Bernie Sander and Jeremy Corbyn. In my view Macron is very questionably leftist, his is a different story, he benefited a lot from Fillon’s troubles and having Le Pen as a main opponent. But when the decision is binary, left vs. right, the left stands a chance only if there’s credibility and an apparent vision. Just as in the 1930’s these days the median voter leans right. That’s the baseline. The left stars with a serious handicap. Times are bad despite the statistics. People are frustrated, they have a ‘lost decade’ behind them (e.g. many people are still saddled with enormous debts due to the FX housing loan crises despite many rounds of relief by the Orban-government). While there’s plenty of opportunity for people to get entry level jobs, more senior, really well-paying middle-class jobs are still rare (as someone said it the other day, its much easier to find a CEO for a bank than a call-centre associate). But nobody will be setisfied with a call-centre job for very long. The left can only hope to win the bigger… Read more »
Ferenc
Guest

OT – foreign language press in HU
Checked two (not listed as ‘noteworthy’ here) foreign language weeklies published in Hungary:
*Budapester Zeitung – Politische Ausrichtung:
Unsere Zeitungen sind streng parteienunabhängig. Inmitten der stark parteipolitisch gefärbten ungarischen Presselandschaft stehen sie für seriöse und objektive Informationen und Analysen.
*Budapester Time – Political Orientation
Both newspapers are strongly independent. Within the politically divided Hungarian press market, they stand for serious and objective journalism and analysis.
Note: both are published by BZT Media Kft. (meaning Budapester Zeitung Times)

And what is a.o.many other things one of them publishing:
*Die rechte Seite / Kommentar zum Zwangsquotenurteil: Nicht mit uns! – Geschrieben von Zsolt Bayer
translation: The right side / Comments to the compulsory quota verdict: Not with us! – written by … …

So as ‘strongly independent’, ‘serious’ and ‘objective’ as ‘Magyar Idok’. Spreading government/referendum/consultation ‘information’ through adverts doesn’t seem workable for them. Wondering which route is applied by the HU government to support them, aka.shift money to keep them publishing…
?possible sideway of the car-production highway?

PS: from the by Eva listed ones, the following seem ‘out of print’, ‘suspended, or ‘on long leave’:
-Budapest Telegraph (latest article 2015.Oct)
-Orange Files (latest 2016.Dec), though it’s website/archive remains a rich resource (as remarked on the list)

Guest

Ferenc, with 7000 copies printed the Budapester Zeitung needs money – but they also publish other stuff and different opinions. And Bayer’s fascist racist points are so obvious nonsense …

Anyway imho the Pester Lloyd has more readers and what’s also interesting:
It has a lot of ads online where German and Austrian employers (often restaurants and hotels) are looking for workers …

Member

From our Monday discussion:
Zsuzsa Demcsák announced her resignation from ATV after two weeks on the job. She stressed that the decision was hers and hers alone.
Just like it was her decision not to take the job as government spokeswoman. It seems Demcsák is the kind of woman who marches by the beat of her own drum.

http://24.hu/szorakozas/2017/09/20/demcsak-zsuzsa-bejelentette-felmondott-az-atv-nel/

Member

Demcsák: She may intended to march to some beat, mostly not her own, but she was only staggering all the way.

Istvan
Guest
Related to continuing news from Hungary. Of course the hue and cry over the Ukrainian education law continues and Péter Szijjártó now wants the United Nations to take up this issue. No doubt they will get to it right after they deal with the possibility that President Trump will launch a nuclear attack on North Korea. But what is stunning in all of this is really that there is not one opposition party discussing how the Russian SVR is aggravating the situation by generating story after story about the oppression of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine. That the SVR is fully succeeding in destroying the Ukraine by utilizing all minority language groups and nationalism based on those groups, inclusive of Hungarians. There is nothing in the education law that prevents Transcarpathian Hungarians from setting up private schools that will provide Hungarian language instruction beyond grade four, there is also nothing that prevents linguistically obsessed Hungarians from massively donating to support such schools in Ukraine. But instead what we are getting is Dialogue for Hungary (PM) co-chair Gergely Karacsony tapping the name of three ethnic Hungarians who died fighting separatists in eastern Ukraine on the gate of the Ukrainian embassy in… Read more »
wrfree
Guest

Re: POTUS, ‘Rocket Man’ and possible nuclear attacks

OT: Really I think it was not wise for POTUS to say he will ‘totally destroy North Korea’. He must think he’s in some sort of action movie or something.

Istvan
Guest

The three generals, Mattis at the Defense Department, H.R. McMaster, still an active lieutenant general in the Army, now national security adviser and John F. Kelly, former secretary of homeland security who is a retired Marine Corps general, as Trump’s chief of staff I suspect are more than a little concerned over the UN speech President Trump gave. As a retired US Army officer I have to say Kelly, McMaster and Kelly are serving my country in ways now that help safeguard our democracy and Constitution and may prevent a rash act by Trump while enduring incredible damage to their own names and reputations. I am sure many people believe I am totally crazy in this thought, but it is what I believe. Possibly some years from now they can reveal to the American people what was really going on in the Trump White House.

Guest

The reason why muslims don’t blend in when they settle in Western countries is that they are threatened not to do so. They live in fear. The threats from violent fanatics, often relayed by power hungry clerics, range from being ostracised to being killed.

Hungarians also live in fear as the Fidesz mafia threaten to destroy the life of anybody who is not with them.

This is just two examples of rule by creating insurmountable fear.

Marty
Guest
OT: Very important sentences. “Above all, Clinton has relentlessly embraced the notion that politics must bend to the world as it is—no matter how sordid—rather than imagine the world as it could or should be. It is this quality that she defends perhaps most zealously in What Happened, despite the fact that her unapologetic embrace of that ethos helped create the world that gave us Donald Trump.” This is the most fundamental problem of the political left. The left (I mean the centrist left, not the stalwarts like Corbyn or Sanders) simply accepted the world as it is – ie, capitalism, globalization, migration and their consequences however detrimental to millions upon millions of voters. But voters just hate that resignation. Voters love that Orban, Szíjjarto, Lázár are “tough” (e.g. vetoing Romania’s, Croatia’s OECD membership) and try to resist “the West”, the banks, the multinational corporations, tormenting liberals and immigrants. They (Orban at al) do have a vision which is (beyond being fundamentally autocratic and anti-liberal) about the control of the effects of globalization – its autocratic, thoroughly corrupt control, but a control nonetheless. Never mind it’s hopeless and it is even detrimental to Hungary (as the successes of Slovakia or… Read more »
Member

Orban`s definition of Christianity includes the torture of pregnant women and young children in his detention camps? The handing over of schools to an organisation (the catholic church) which enabled pedophiles carry out their sick crimes against innocent young children for decades? The widespread theft of money? The persecution of those who preach the true values of Christ? His “war” against the homeless and the dispossessed?

Orbani is evil, Fidesz are evil, anyone who supports his sadistic regime (whether they define themselves a s Christian otrnot) are evil

Marty
Guest

We all know Christianity as such has nothing to with Orban’s politics.

In the 1930’s christian simply meant non-jewish which was an important thing. Today it means non-islamic, non-Arab, non-foreign, non-migrant and it is also important thing for most voters.

Voters understand that very well.

Voters don’t go to church, they don’t care about religion but they understand very clearly that a “parochial school” in a rural region simply means non-gipsy, orderly, clean, more disciplined (and Orban makes sure that the parochial school buildings get renovated and the teachers there get paid well).

wrfree
Guest

Christianity and its subset Catholicism ostensibly are infused with the spirit and fullness of both Christ and God. Therefore it is hard to believe the Church would let Orban speak virtually ‘ex cathedra’ when it comes to Magyarorszag and its holy endeavors in the spiritual. But it does.

Church and state now speak as one. And it’s a stretch when it comes to being ‘holy, catholic and apostolic’ which takes into account the inherent diversity of humanity and how they must all be given respect and all the rights entitled to them.

A misnomer also to the extent that if the teachings of Christ supposedly speak through Orban the Church is truly squeezing the poisoned wine out of the bottom of the barrel. It is a travesty of spiritual mindedness in the Magyar realm.

Aida
Guest
Your fat and out of condition “leader” uses the teachings and the churches of Christ for extending his political life and power and for growing his wealth and those of his friends. There is nothing new in this. The power and wealth throughout history of clerical and secular grandees was based on the same. The French Revolution and the American Constitution, inter alia, recognised this and introduced measures that made this more difficult. What is new however is that the ability of believers and followers to extend their support base has been undermined by a number of things. Extension of knowledge, advances in medicine, growth of rival forces to name but a few have made the subservience to Christianity and to Christian grandees less prominent. Those who have been successful are those who have tried to transform Christ to a promoter of “love” as his principal and probably only message. If in the more civilised parts of Europe, mostly Protestant, that revission is accepted then Orbanist headbanging is seen as meaningless or worse. Since Christ means “love” helping refugees, allowing gay sex to flourish are the norm in Europe and much of North America. Orban knows all this. He takes… Read more »
Istvan
Guest

The American Hungarian Federation released a letter to Secretary Tillerson on the Ukrainian language law http://www.americanhungarianfederation.org/news_AHFLetter_SecretaryTillerson_Ukraine_2017-09-13.html Frank Koszorus, Jr. also wrote an article on the situation in Ukraine where he describes the Russian annexation of Crimea as a “fait accompli probably impossible to reverse” indicating the defense on national minorities in Ukraine should be the primary concern of the international community and the European Union now. The fact that there is an ongoing war taking place in Ukraine with Russian proxy forces is never even noted in the article by Koszorus see http://www.americanhungarianfederation.org/news_transcarpathia_ukraine3.html

vzir
Guest

Where do all the atheists and agnostics fit in? This kind of speech is absolutely horrendous, as it imposes religion on people who theoretically have freedom of consciousness as a right. But this is not new at all, this is the “either you’re with us or against us” approach fundamentalists in power use to deflect from responsibility and acquire easy authority.

vzir
Guest

Correction: conscience.

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