Saturday, 9 November 2013

Times: Christians taking a stand
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 00:01 by Klaus Vella Bardon

In his contribution ‘Till death do Gaby and Cyrus part’ (The Sunday Times of Malta, October 20) commenting on the Civil Unions Bill, (same-sex marriage under a different name), Mark Anthony Falzon stoops to an unbelievable level of bitterness and unfairness.

As a worthy representative and champion of the local secular, anti-Catholic brigade, he portrays those who oppose the corrosive changes in marriage legislation in the worst possible light. Instead of sticking to a civil argument, he resorts to mockery and vilification.

I am disappointed and disillusioned by the stand taken by the current leadership of the Nationalist Party that have shamefully and with abject spinelessness played up to the strident gay lobby. This mimics the current low level of politics, where our politicians have an unenviable track record pandering to the unjust demands of hunters, speculators, squatters and any special interest which they feel will prejudice their power base.

Without any democratic respect for the grass roots that support their party, the PN have jettisoned their Catholic credentials even further. No doubt, Falzon gloats at this development as well as at the supine performance of the Church leadership and has a field day rubbing their nose in the dirt.

Sadly, Catholic politicians are afraid of nailing their colours to the mast and their say in Malta’s unfolding destiny seems to be almost totally neutralised. This is not surprising in the Labour Party.

Since the advent of Mintoff, it has lived up to its now long tradition of rendering the Church an increasingly irrelevant force in our society. As Adrianus Koster once remarked: “The success of the Socialist government’s policy in curtailing the power and influence of the Catholic Church depended to a great extent on its choosing the right time for each move”.

Lawrence Gonzi had many failings which were compounded by a one-seat majority and disloyal backbenchers. His failure to control corruption by his own people, his inability to discipline the bus service with the eventual fiasco of Arriva, the imposition of the Piano project in Valletta are some of the more conspicuous.

However, his record has also been outstanding, principled and statesmanlike, as in his stand over the Libyan crisis and the issue of divorce.

On the issue of divorce, he had the decency to be consistent to his beliefs and the traditional ideals of the political party he represented. Despite not having a mandate for its introduction, once his hand was forced by one of his own backbenchers who betrayed the voters he represented, Gonzi made the honourable and democratic decision to allow the people to express their stand through a referendum. The fact that many did not even bother to vote or voted for partisan reasons in the referendum is an inescapable risk of every popular exercise.

Yet, I am sure that logic should tell us that a majority vote does not make a wrong decision right. I am sure that we have the ability to distinguish between what is right and what is legal.

As G. K. Chesterton aptly wrote: “Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it”.

I am sure there are many people who have had first-hand experience of this.

As expected, any criticism of the Civil Unions Bill is being branded as homophobic. Slurring opponents is easier than arguing a case and requires far less intellectual exertion.

Yet, it is an undeniable fact that in the trend in the Western world, same-sex marriage has been introduced by stealth. It has been a breathtaking exercise of dishonest imposition by political leaders who have bypassed basic democratic rules. What is happening in Malta has been done elsewhere in Europe by parties of every hue.

The assault on the traditional concept of family, society and marriage has been long coming and is sustained and ongoing.

What was taboo only a few years ago is now legalised. Of course, these far-reaching social changes are done incrementally with salami style tactics. First divorce, then gay marriage, then abortion, euthanasia and eventually poly-amorous marriage.

These trends in Malta just mimic what happened elsewhere in the West as it loses its moral compass and rejects its Christian heritage even further.

The results of this state induced social engineering take time to reach fruition but they will hit our children and grandchildren sooner than we think.

Embracing individualistic policies that overturn common sense and traditional concepts of family and community are resulting in the disintegration of society. Easy divorce is just the initiation of this unravelling of society. The combination of widespread contraception, pornography and unbridled self-indulgence has resulted in the rapid and intractable demographic decline in Europe.

The future for our children looks bleak indeed and with current trends there will be no family to talk about as birth rates plummet and solitary living escalates.

Christians are expected to take a stand, not because they are assured success but because their witness will hopefully sow the seeds of the eventual regeneration of a civilised society worthy of the name.

What counts above all else, is loyalty to the truth.

Sadly, matters will get a lot worse before they get better. Each according to his responsibility is accountable for where he stands.

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