Friday, 30 March 2012

Times: A disability called society
Sunday, March 11, 2012, by Fr Joe Borg

Disability is aggravated, if not caused, by society’s inability to accommodate people who do not conform to what society perceives to be the norm

• Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (The Times, March 2, 2012) made an impassioned appeal for people to rise up in unison to throw away the chains that imprison them.

Marx would have been proud! We live in a country, the learned parliamentarian informed us, that “is still struggling to free itself from the shackles that bind the political class with the Catholic Church.” Oh my! Oh my! A clear example of this enslavement of the political class by Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech is the fact that Malta, horror of horrors, has not legalised same-sex marriage.

But let us backtrack a bit to understand the implications of the ‘logic’ of Pullicino Orlando’s argument about the shackles that enslave our politicians and the misguided religious arguments (as these are the only arguments, says he) that can be brought against same-sex marriage.

Does the enlightened gentleman want us to believe that the only politicians that have shaken off the shackles of the Church are those legislators in only 10 countries and few states/regions who have legalised same-sex marriage? Are we to understand that the politicians of around 190 countries are still the willing slaves of ecclesiastics of their country?

Had Pullicino Orlando made a reasoned appeal for the granting of legal recognition to same-sex couples he would have been helping their cause. But his misguided and mistaken arguments for same-sex marriage do not in any way advance the cause of gay people. Rather he alienates those among them who are in favour of civil unions.

• “At the root of America’s economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America’s political and economic elite. A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty, and compassion towards the rest of society and toward the world... Without restoring an ethos of social responsibility, there can be no meaningful and sustained economic recovery.” Sachs, J. (2011) The Price of Civilisation. Economics and Ethics After the Fall.

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

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