REALity  Volume  XXXVI Issue No. 8 August 2017

The World Congress of Families XI, organized by the Hungarian government, was held in beautiful Budapest, Hungary in May, 2017. It was an incredible experience.

The Congress started off with a powerful speech from the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán. He made it clear that Hungary was a pro-life, pro-family nation, and that he intended that it would stay that way, despite pressures from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

Other Hungarian officials addressing the Congress included its Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén; Minister of State for Family and Youth, Katalin Novák; and Minister of Human Resources, Zoltán Balog.

Since Mr. Orbán’s Fidesz Party was elected in 2010, the good news was that Hungary has implemented policies that have increased both the marriage and birth rates in that country.

Officials from other countries also spoke at the Congress, from Macedonia, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain and Poland. Their speeches were fascinating in that they provided actual examples of positive, successful policies implemented in these countries that have dramatically changed their countries to become pro-life and pro-family. If only we could apply some of these policies to our own desperate and deprived country.

Many Hungarian religious leaders of all faiths in Hungary addressed the conference and gave it their blessings.

What was extraordinary about the conference was the research papers presented. The information they disclosed has been hidden from public view by the media because they obviously do not want the public to know that leftist policies have been a failure world-wide.

For example, one of the outstanding presenters was US Psychologist, Dr. Patrick Fagan, from the Catholic University of America, whose studies demonstrate the importance of weekly religious worship to society. According to Dr. Fagan, his research found that children who attended at least weekly religious services experience much higher academic success. He found that the greater the involvement in religious services, the more likely children will pursue advanced courses, spend more time on homework, establish friendships with academically oriented peers, and successfully complete university degrees. For youth in impoverished neighbourhoods, religious attendance makes all the difference in their academic achievement prospects. Dr. Fagan also found the weekly practice of religion not only stabilizes marriage, but also improves its quality.

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Religious commitment and practice, according to his study, result in increased self-esteem, well-being and is related to greater longevity and a reduced risk of a number of health complications like colitis, and different forms of cancer. Moreover, the greater a child’s religious involvement, the more likely it is that both the child and parent will agree about the quality of their relationship and the similarity of their values. There is also a greater emotional closeness.

Who says religious observance doesn’t matter anymore?

Another interesting paper was one by Professor Philip Zimbardo, from Stanford University. He carried out an extensive study on the problem of young men in today’s society, who fail to accept adult responsibilities. They lack motivation, have less education than their fathers, and have dramatically dropped out of the work force.

This conclusion is supported by a study by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, which found that among young men between 21 to 30 years old, 15% worked zero hours in 2015, a rate nearly double that of the year 2000. Even those who were employed, worked 12% fewer hours in 2015 than they did in the year 2000. The study also found that since 2004 young men have increasingly allocated more of their free time to playing video games and other computer activities. These results are very worrisome considering that there are ten million American men ages 24 to 64 who have now completely dropped out of the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, in June 2017, there were nearly six million jobs waiting to be filled, but young men are choosing to stay home and play video games instead.

According to Dr. Zimbardo, these young men are also excessively shy, which is the result of fear of social rejection by making a poor impression. They also have a fundamental social awkwardness, especially with women. This results in young men retreating from life and into the online fantasy world of video games and pornography. Further, he found that young men today are over-relying on medications and illegal drugs as never before.

Dr. Zimbardo discussed the serious implications of the failure of young men to live a normal life due to fears which prevent them from participating in society. Dr. Zimbardo has written a book entitled: Man Interrupted, which offers solutions to this problem. His book can be obtained from Please click on the name of the book above and it will take you directly to the website. The book costs $31 Cdn.

Other fascinating discussions were held at the Congress, such as one on the media. For example, Jack Hanick, former producer of US Fox News, gave an eye-opening account of how the mainstream media are completely controlled by the left-wing, and are deliberately shutting out conservative voices. Ted Baehr, son of the famous Hollywood actor, Irvine E. Theodore Baehr (an actor who worked as Robert (Tex) Allen, and whose mother was actress Evelyn Peirce) is founder and publisher of Movieguide U.S.A. Ted gave an account of how R-rated comedies today are bombing at the box office. As an example, there were five R-rated comedies in a row that failed to be financially successful this year. If five faith-based movies bombed in a row, headlines questioning whether the genre is even relevant would dominate. Four other R-rated movies are scheduled for release later this year. If these four become money losers too, Hollywood financiers will be forced to re-think their product. Thankfully, quality, faith-based movies have proven to be very profitable.

An audience of millions of families want wholesome, entertaining content. It pays for Hollywood to produce such products.

The many discussions presented at the Congress were intermingled with interludes when musicians from all around Hungary entertained the Congress participants.

The conference ended with a beautiful concert “Symphony of Life” by the Dr. Jerome Lejeune Orchestra. French born Dr. Lejeune discovered the cause of Down Syndrome. During the concert, slides of Dr. Lejeune’s writings were displayed. One of the most poignant moments was his comments made when he was approaching death. He said he was overcome with grief at leaving his wife and children, but his greatest sense of grief was of his failure to complete his life’s work, which was to find a cure for Down Syndrome. He attributed this failure to his own inadequacy in technique, coupled with the lack of time.

Another memorable aspect of the Congress was the hospitality of the Hungarian government.   It provided a never ending succession of hot meals, cold buffets, salads, desserts, snacks, etc. throughout the entire Congress. Our host couldn’t seem to provide us with enough delicious food. This warm hospitality is a wonderful characteristic of the Hungarian people.