Sunday, 11 April 2010

Times: Chetcuti's extremely biased book
Sunday, 11th April 2010 by Laurence Mizzi, Paola

The gentleman who came over from Australia to launch his book on homosexuality in Malta would have served his cause much better had he stayed down under and left the job in the hands of his partners in the Gay Rights Movement.

The sentiments expressed by the former MUSEUM member, ex-religious and self-confessed agnostic Maltese-Australian only served to reveal his deep anti-Catholic prejudice and little else. It is not fair to make assumptions on, and ungrounded assessments of, people's sexual orientation, whether living or not, but especially when dead.

One of our basic rights today is that we are not obliged to divulge our orientation, so is it not presumptious and abusive of someone to 'reveal' dead people's sexual orientation? As a lawyer and a gentleman he should know much. Much better.

Gay people can come out and we respect them for it. Others may choose not to and we equally respect their right to privacy. If Joseph Chetcuti is indeed an activist, therefore, he did infinitely more harm than good to the 'cause'. Such an exercise certainly does nothing to erase the prejudice people with different orientations regrettably face. On the contrary, it fuels idle speculation, which a closed society like ours unfortunately already has too much of.

One gets the feeling that producers keep coming back to this topic for discussion merely to boost ratings. Sex (and sub-themes of the topic) sells. However, the discussion keeps coming undone at the same bend in the road.

Rather than a discussion on how to break down prejudice and create a more inclusive society, it turns into an attack on the Church's stand against sex outside marriage. People conveniently forget the Church's stand holds even for sex within a heterosexual relationship which is not bound by the vows of marriage, and a marriage performed in Church.

Regular Church-goers can attest to the fact that there is no witch-hunt against homosex-uals, or finger pointing or condemnation in the Church's cur-rent teachings, but that the Church is consistent in its teachings against unbridled physical relations and indecent or overt sexual conduct even, and equally, in heterosexuals.

A campaign such as the one seemingly embarked on by this author against the Church and anything remotely connected to it is pointless, unwarranted and as self-destructive as his attempt to rewrite history through a fantasy of twisted interpretations.

Nonetheless, he was free to give vent to his extremely biased and negative perceptions during the time so generously offered to him by the producers of the programme. However, he was not free to try to shock and even hurt the sentiments of the vast majority of viewers by implying that the much revered and loved priest, now a saint of the Catholic Church, was him-self a homosexual.

This assertion was based, not on proven facts, but purely on fantasy. And the ultimate irony, actually, lies here.

In his rush to allege our beloved saint was a homosexual, he didn't stop to think that this would by inference shoot down all his accusations against the Catholic Church who, it would then follow, not only does not discriminate against people within this section of society but even allows them to be raised to the highest echelons.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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