Hungary has celebrated the revolution of 1848/49 last Friday, and as always, this is the occasion to distribute medals. Let’s have a look at who got one.
Of course, there are again a good dozen of church employees from parish priests and administrative workers to national heads of Catholic convents who have received various crosses of the Hungarian Order of Merit. Among them, János Kothencz, director-general for children and youth issues of the Catholic diocese of Szeged-Csanád, whose name you have read only a few weeks ago in an other context: he is the founder and guru of methodology of the Ágota Foundation, which was entrusted with 25 million forint (85 thousand Euros) to recycle last year’s anti abortion campaign initiated by Christian Democrat (KDNP)’s Mr Miklós Soltész, state secretary for health issues. Both Ágota Foundation and Kothencz’ method, KÁSPEM are registered brands, the latter is a method to deal with children who have to be taken out of their families, while the former is an NGO dealing with foster children and foster parents, which prides itself to have a wide network of church sponsors, including the NGO Renovabis, which was established by the German Catholic bishops’ conference in order to give aid to central and Eastern European Catholics. Their aim is the evangelisation of children who had to be taken out of their families by showing them that God and providence love them, too.
There are quite a number of other interesting winners, too: first of all the guitar player of the far-right wing band Kárpátia, then Mr Tamás Fricz, the organiser of the „Peace March” and its NGO, the Civil Unity Forum (Civil Összefogás Fórum, CÖF), i.e. demonstrations in favour of the government, strengthened by Polish conservatives who are transported by special train from Poland; Mr Vilmos Lázár, who is not only a renown horse-cart driver but also the owner of the grocery franchise CBA and who is a vocal supporter of the government; Mrs Tamás Adamik (maiden name Anna Jászó), who supported Fidesz against the former government and whose husband, the classical philologist Tamás Adamik, works for Kráter Műhely, the publisher who edits the books of the late nazi Albert Wass; Ms Emőke Bagdy, a psychologist who established the Society for Family Research I wrote about earlier. Bagdy’s co-founders were Ms Mónika Keresztes Rónaszékiné, a Fidesz MP, and Mr Imre Téglásy. The latter is the president of the Alfa Association which became notorious in 1998 when it tried to force by legal stratagems a 13 year-old-girl to carry her unwanted pregnancy to term (the local parish priest who assisted in the manoeuvre was awarded a medal for this by pope John Paul II).
Hungary can also pride itself with some real crackpot awardees: Mr Ajándok Eőry, a medical practitioner is know for his „alternative” approaches like chi massage, but he has also stated that he is able to predict the likelihood of certain illnesses by applying a pentagram and using the patient’s birth date. He provides medical services for the Hungarian charity of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, whose head, Catholic priest Imre Kozma stated that Africans are not yet fit for becoming pope. Finally, we have Mr Kornél Bakay who left the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to head a „chair” at the never accredited Humanities Association of Miskolc (Miskolci Bölcsész Egyesület) founded by another crackpot, the late Mr Ferenc Badinyi-Jós. He also ran twice for MP for the far-right MIÉP of the late Mr István Csurka and gave a speech at the funeral of the far-right bishop of the reformed Chruch, Mr Loránt Hegedűs (whose daughter-in-law, Mrs Loránt Hegedűs is an MP for the far-rigth Jobbik). His views are summarised by the linguistic portal Nyest as follows (I couldn’t be more concise): He doubts Darwinian evolutionary theory and sees Hungarian runic script in cave paintings, which he connects to the Sumerian writing system, he denies the existence of the ancient Jewish reign of David and Solomon, he links Hungarians to Huns and Scythians and even Celtic, Etruscan and Greek culture descends from the Magyars. He ascribes medieval slave trade to the Jews, and of course according to him, Jesus was not a Jew, but a Parthian.
Which brings us to the last item for today: the journalist Mr Ferenc Szaniszló was given a Táncsics award by minister (and pastor of the reformed church) Mr Zoltán Balog. During the last few years, Mr Szaniszló has professed quite, well, innovative statements such as the following: gypsies (roma) are primates („emberszabású majom”); as soon as it exhausts its oil occurrences, Israel will populate Hungary with Jews; the Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider was killed by a drone because of his success; and the accident at Kolontár (where a basin of an aluminium factory broke and inundated two villages) was not an accident due to natural geological processes (which could have been foreseen) at all but caused by the IMF which ordered NATO to bomb the dam of the artificial lake where residues were stored. After journalists and the Hungarian Journalists’ Association (MÚOSZ) protested and demanded an explanation, Mr Balog said he was sorry and didn’t know who he was giving a medal (several journalists who were honoured earlier have decided to give their medals back in protest). Which is maybe even worse, if it’s true (I mean, is a person who does not tell his staff to do a quick google search prudent enough to act as minister?).