Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Hungarians vote to reject the European Union's quota for Muslim refugees, and get scolded by the New York Times: Is Christian civilization worth saving?

The New York Times Editorial Board is displeased with the Hungarians, which must distress them greatly. Last week, Hungarian voters overwhelmingly rejected the European Union's directive for Hungary to accept 160,000 mostly Muslim refugees. The vote was not close; 98 percent of the voters cast their ballots against EU's migrant quotas.

The Times Editorial Board blamed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for the election results. Orban had urged voters to reject the EU's dictate on Muslim refugees, framing the referendum  as an attempt to defend Europe's "Christian values." 

The quotation marks around "Christian values," by the way, were inserted by the Times, no doubt to suggest Orban's argument was bogus or insincere.   Of course the Times, unencumbered by any regard for Christian values, wants Hungary to accept Muslim refugees.  Indeed, the Times pooh-poohed any concerns about the security risks that Muslim refugees present, not to mention the threat to an ancient Christian culture.

The Times editorial professed to be knowledgeable about Hungarian history, noting that Western nations accepted roughly 200,000 Hungarian refugees who fled their country after the failed uprising against the Russians in 1956.

But history shows that the Hungarians have won the right to protect their Christian values. Hungarians and their European allies drove the Turks out of Buda in 1686, stopping the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe..

Robert Royal, author of a brilliant book on the Catholic martyrs of the twentieth century, had this to say about Catholicism in Hungary under Russian rule.
The fate of the [Catholic] Church in Hungary exhibits a regrettable soft tragedy. Historically, the Church there has always been close to the government. When the Communists came to power after the Second World War, many within the Church thought it prudent to continue the traditional pattern Only the Hungarian Primate, Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty, archbishop of Esztergom, resisted vigorously. . . . As a result of his heroic and lonely stand, he was tortured for forty days straight and then, weak and unable to resist any longer, forced to make public statements supportive of the regime. Six hundred priests went to prison with him. All were threatened with deportation and forced labor in Siberia. With their confinement, virtually all heroism in the Hungarian Church disappeared . . . 
Today, as Royal noted, Hungarian Catholicism is not robust. My wife and I attended Mass at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest last year, and we were surrounded by mostly old people, some of whom seemed surprised to see a couple of Americans show up to celebrate Mass in  the Magyar language.

Nevertheless, the Hungarians should be commended for saying no to an influx of Muslim migrants who will only further weaken Hungary's historic Christian culture and who may well pose a significant security threat.

Of course, the Times has no regard for Christian culture and little concern about Islamic terrorism. The Times Editorial Board members, after all, are surrounded by tight security both at home and at work. I doubt they lost any sleep about the rubes who died at the hands of Islamic terrorists in San Bernardino and Orlando.

But I, for one,  am sympathetic to the Hungarians. Millions of Central Europeans have died for their Christian faith over the last hundred years--victims of Communism and the Nazis. They are entitled to reject the dictates of EU bureaucrats regarding the alarming influx of Muslim refugees--driven out of their countries unfortunately by the consequences of the feckless and vacillating policies of the Obama administration toward the Middle East.

Image result for siege of budapest 1686


Editorial. No Way to Treat RefugeesNew York Times, October 10, 2016. Accessible at

Robert Royal. The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century: A Comprehensive World History. New York: Crossroads Books, 2000.