Saturday, 31 March 2012

Times: Shameful comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 , by Simon Walker, Għargħur

May I congratulate Kenneth Zammit Tabone for A Rose By Any Other Name (March 13). His comments are honest and written with conviction and I like to think that any sane reader would agree with this even if they disagree with his views.

May I also applaud Adrian Buckle for his letter (March 14), highlighting the horrendous comments made by a correspondent to the paper and here I think we come to an even more serious point. Some of the comments on The Times' website referring to Mr Zammit Tabona's article and indeed to the matter of gay partnerships in general have been disgraceful. Frankly some writers have expressed views which resemble Hitler's denunciation of the Jews in the 1930s. In the UK, people who maliciously spread hate are subject to the law and I am sure I am not alone when I say that the hatred we have seen expressed towards gay people in general relating to so-called "gay partnerships" is unacceptable in a civilised and secular society.

Minorities, whether it be a matter of colour, creed, sexual orientation or any other basis have a right, in a civilised society, to be protected and given equal rights. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s when Martin Luther King was fighting for the rights of the black minority in the US. My parents fought against the tyranny of Nazi Germany and fascism in other parts of the world as did the people of Malta and the civilised world. People in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have recently successfully fought to escape tyranny yet tragically, as I write, people in Syria are being slaughtered because of the intolerance of a few who wish to dominate the majority. Man's inhumanity to man is hard to rid.

As a practising Christian, I have tried hard to believe in the true values of my faith which include, among many things, tolerance, forgiveness, not judging others and trying to help those in need. Picking on minorities is not part of that faith and I think those who have written these shameful letters and blog comments, supposedly in the name of their faith, should think very carefully about their hateful, bigoted and unchristian comments.

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

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