Thursday, 09 January 2014, 10:28
When somebody has been elected a deputy of the people in a secular and democratic state, and must now vote legislation in Parliament, the values that he/she needs to respect should be those of the secular state, with the rights, duties and liberties attached to them, applicable to all citizens, independently of their religious beliefs, Alfred Sant writes today
In his blog on inews, Dr Sant was referring to the controversy that arose over whether an MP’s religion should determine his/her vote in Parliament by obliging him/her to follow the instructions of spiritual leaders.
All citizens live and behave according to principles in which they believe, including religious precepts that they follow in their private life. When deciding about their private behaviour, citizens should feel perfectly free to follow such precepts, and indeed to accept orders about how to behave sent by the religious authorities to which they subscribe.
While the right of all religions to regulate the private lives of their members should be fully respected, this must in no way imply that when taking public decisions, MPs should follow the directives set by their religion.