Saturday, 7 February 2009

Times: The louder they speak

Saturday, 7th February 2009 by I.M. Beck

What is it about some people? Normally intelligent - in fact, you'd go as far as to say that they were above normal intelligence - guys sometimes come out with stuff that makes you shake your head in wonder.

For instance, which is what I am sure you want me to give you (as in, "give me a fr' instance") what was His Holiness thinking when he came out with that crack about gay marriage being more dangerous to the human race than the erosion of the rain forest?

I know I've referred to this before, though I'm not entirely sure when or where, and I know that the Vatican has clarified the Pope's thoughts on the matter, as good spin doctors do all the time, but all that was achieved, was that the Church Organised's less than utterly tolerant attitude towards sexual mores that are not aligned precisely with the CO's own definition of what is acceptable, was brought into stark relief.

Did that help anyone? I don't think so. The arguments that blow up in the wake of ill-judged statements like these only serve to alienate the already tepid even further from the Church (whether this is a good or bad thing, in the light of the ills visited on the world at large by slavish adherence to religions, is an issue I'd not care to debate) and to cause the not-so-tepid-yet to question precisely why it seems that there is such great importance given to what people get up to in the privacy of their own homes.

Not to put too fine a point on it, sometimes you get the impression that to be a good person you have to be straight and reserve your sexual activity strictly to a man and wife (the phrase itself is telling) scenario.

To put even less fine a point on it, why the heck should anyone care what I get up to, and with whom? As long as I don't scare the horses or give offence to the servants, of course.

Closer to home, but in the same general area, we've been regaled with comments from a local Curia that the Church will not employ anyone in a homosexual relationship. Before anyone starts screaming that this is not what was said, let me point out I'm working from memory here, so I might be wrong, but that's not the point I wish to make.

It is clear that the message coming from the upper echelons of the most important religion of the country is that homosexuality, per se, is not evil, but indulging in homosexual activity is. Forgive me, your eminences, but shouldn't you be directing the full force of your condemnation at anyone, straight, gay or somewhere in between, who indulges in sexual activity outside marriage? I was under the impression that it's a no-no to nooky if not hitched, whatever the combination of genders.

So why the spotlight on same gender activity? Is it not as sinful, from your point of view (and this is one to which I do not subscribe any longer), for a man to have sex with a woman who is not his wife?

Getting back to the Pope, what was he thinking when he reversed the excommunication of a holocaust denier? True, the denier had not been excommunicated because of this particular heresy but, for the sake of all that's beautiful, surely the Vatican, known to have the best intelligence service known to man, could have made sure he recanted before he was rehabilitated? Isn't there already enough of an anti-semitic tinge around St Peter's, justified or not?

For sure, the maxim "ensure brain is engaged before starting mouth" isn't emblazoned on many coats of arms. And that doesn't apply only to gentlemen of the religious persuasion, either. If there was anything guaranteed to put me into a coma, it was trying to read the reports of the debate on the procedural motion the government has proposed to the House.

The stultifying boredom of this sort of thing didn't stop Dr Alfred Sant from getting to his hind legs and unleashing a tirade about the fascistic nature of the whole thing. To be honest, I didn't read much more than the headline but it was enough to make me wonder why a former leader of the Labour Party, given its record when in government (not under Dr Sant, to be fair) should be invoking memories of fascism.

In the meantime, Stitching, as at the time of writing, remains banned because some arrogant people think they can tell me what to watch.

Continuing on leisure activities that are not denied us by the thought-police, over the weekend we watched 100, which was enjoyable, had dinner at Chez Cyrille, which was very good, and discovered Da Manuel, the last restaurant as you drive out of Xlendi towards the tower.

Keep going, even if you think you've got the last one - there's another one, just round the corner, and it's worth it, believe me.

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