Lorant Hegedus Jr’s clerical fascism must not be ignored

As this weekend Christians around the world reflect on the 500th birthday of John Calvin, one self-professed Calvinist is making headlines for very different reasons.

Xinhua reports that Calvinist priest Lorant Hegedus Jr. was one of several prominent Jobbik members presented with new uniform for Jobbik’s paramilitary wing, the Hungarian Guard Movement uniform, at a rally in Budapest on Saturday. This, despite Hungarian court orders outlawing Jobbik’s Hungarian Guard for violent attacks against Gypsies. Jobbik is deeply violent and hateful towards Hungary’s Roma communities, and its leader has made obscene comments about Jews. Adam Holland has covered recent developments concerning Jobbik and Hegedus Jr in more detail.

So who is Lorant Hegedus Jr.?

Adam Holland notes that Hegedus Jr is a minister of the Hungarian Reformed Church and a deputy leader of the far-right MIEP party. Hegedus Jr has previously been in trouble with Hungarian authorities over his incitements to hatred against Jews. He was tried in 2002 over comments that Jews should be excluded from Hungarian life, and were ‘vagabonds from Galicia.’ The verdict of incitement against him was annulled in late 2003.

As can be seen in this article (Google translate version here), Hegedus Jr. admires Dezso Szabo, whose call to physically exterminate Hungary’s Jews in 1921 preceded Hitler’s. Hegedus Jr. describes him as ‘genius’ (‘lángelme’), and also expresses admiration for Laszlo Nemeth.

Lorant Hegedus Jr has previously hosted David Irving in Hungary, and has also given a sermon protesting that Israel “endeavours to occupy Hungary and oppress the Palestinian people.”

Karl Pfeifer has pointed out Hegedus seemingly has many defenders in the Hungarian church. According to the ecclesiastical Court of the Reformed (Calvinist) Hungarian Church, Hegedus’ business relationship with the Gede brothers, who recently screened ‘Jud Suss’, does not offend against the good reputation of the Reformed Hungarian Church.

Whilst the BNP and its form of Christianity has been strongly condemned by the Church of England, Hegedus Jr appears to be treated with leniency by the Reformed Hungarian Church, which in turn provides him with some degree of credibility and legitimacy.

Across the political and theological spectrum, the British public has on the whole rejected the BNP’s form of Christianity (HOPE Not Hate, NORFOLK is currently doing a fantastic job following the BNP’s Robert West’s efforts to win a by-election in Norwich). It goes without saying that similarly, many Hungarian Christians are deeply disturbed by Hegedus Jr’s discriminatory words and actions. In his support of Jobbik, promotion of Nazi material and his racist articles, Hegedus Jr quite explicitly gives theological justification for fascism. In the view of many, this is an abuse of trust and ecclesiastical power.

Might I suggest that those of you who know vicars and reverends here in the UK bring this story to their attention?

The case of Hegedus Jr should not be ignored by British clergy, particularly as Jobbik now hold three seats in the European Parliament. It was indeed a remorseful Christian minister, Martin Niemoller, who wrote the unforgettable poem ‘First they came…’.

As Christian news outlet Bos News Life brings us news from Hungary about the very real concerns now facing the nation’s Roma and Jewish populations, the Reformed Hungarian Church should speak out against Hegedus Jr’s clerical fascism, which does indeed affect its reputation.

Update: See Edmund Standing at Harry’s Place. Hirolvaso, Tudózsidó and Hettie have also kindly linked here.

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6 Comments

Filed under anti-fascism, bigotry

6 responses to “Lorant Hegedus Jr’s clerical fascism must not be ignored

  1. Pingback: Hungary’s Biased Justice at Z-Word Blog

  2. Bill Corr

    Quick! Run round to the vicarages and seminaries, tell the clergy to stop their hanky-panky with altarboys and choirboys and join the chorus of strident condemnation!

    Tell your local Bishop, too! You’ll probably find him down at the nearest mosque, apologising to the asylum-seekers and heroin dealers for being a Christian.

  3. Mark

    This news-report is false propaganda! The Hungarian guards are NOT violent and hateful towards the gipsies! They are a peaceful unarmed group of patriots who NEVER harm anyone! They attend demonstrations, give blood, do community service like they went out to the villages and fixed up people’s houses for free after a big ice-storm and YES even gypsy families’ houses! They want to protect the nation from crime, they are not against race!
    The report about Lorant Hegedus Jr is also false propaganda! He is not against race but he’s against those people who are taking over Hungary and that is Israel. The Israeli president declared that they are buying Hungary. They currently have 4000 Israeli soldiers in Hungary and the government (which is run by Israel/people who serve Israel) is purposely causing a situation between the Hungarians and the Gypsies that will end up in civil war. ISREAL WANTS THE HUNGARIAN PEOPLE DEAD so they can move 4 million Jews (and more) into the country and turn it into ‘New-Israel’
    Lorant Hegedus Jr is not racist he just wants to protect his country and its people from poverty and death!

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