The Kingdom of Heaven

The saga of those lost at sea goes on. The story verges on the incredible. Daphne makes a fine point of it all in today’s Indy. There should be not much left to add to what she has to say except that maybe the more is said the better. The main question that irks me is that of the identity of the nation I am supposed to belong to. In these days of the ecological footprint I ask what is the moral footprint of our nation. What mark does it leave in today’s society?

Religion, morals and values are at their most paradoxical right now. On the one hand we have the crusaders of a faith – the Catholic faith – who have taken it upon themselves to march on against anything that seems to be a threat to what they believe is morally right. The “right to life”, that euphemism for an anti-abortion campaign is pitted against a shy “right to choose” (euphemism for the other side) in a war that has reached constitutional levels. “Every life is precious, even the one that has just been conceived and is still a mass of cells that can potentially develop into human beings” they shout from their soapbox pulpits. Strangely their voices must hit some sound barrier when it comes to speaking of fully formed lives floating dangerously in the middle of a sea on the brink of death and disaster.

“The Shame of Europe” is not what I had hoped Malta would aspire to become when it joined the EU. It’s stands with regard to immigrants found in international waters or picked up by Spanish trawlers is a bit too Macchiavellian for my taste. Surely there were better fora to protest with the EU that it is not receiving enough help to deal with the constant influx of boat people. Surely we could do better than leaving four and score persons hanging for their dear lives on the edge of a tuna net. Surely.

Sometimes it does seem that we do take it out too much on “the government”, that we blame the powers of the land too much. But who else? Isn’t it they who are entrusted with the governing of the country? Isn’t it why we are called every five years to choose who is to lead the country and ensure that all is well in accordance to the will of the people? What can we, the little minions of the land, do to force a change in the approach? How can we have a government that takes a lead in the humanitarian drive that is necessary to curb all future problems?

I have an idea. To begin with we should start by insisting that all parties facing the next election have a clear plan spelled out regarding the issue. A plan that starts on the international plane – what fora will be used what solutions will be spearheaded by a future proactive Maltese government – and moves onto the local – a plan for safe harbour, proper dealing with refugee issues, proper housing and accomodation, proper and humane treatment for every human being.

For theirs too is the right to life. And theirs too is the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

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4 responses to “The Kingdom of Heaven

  1. Claire Bonello

    I agree with what you say Jacques – however do not automatically assume that the right-to-lifers are the same people who would not want immigrants saved – maybe they do. Just because a group campaigns for a specific issue does not mean that they are against all others

  2. True Claire. I thought of that while writing and imagined that I would give that impression. What I wanted to say was that the amount of noise that the right-to-lifers make for “potential” lives forces one to expect that the same people would cause just as much ruckus and raise as much dust and noise when it comes to fully formed human beings being left to drown in the sea.

    Where are the loud voices? Where are the campaigns? Where are the lists of ministers and MPs who have been harassed to do something about the issue?

    So if the right-to-lifers can stir up a movement against abortion I expect them to be equally vociferous in favour of any human life. Otherwise I might very well start making the wrong assumptions.

  3. Read the letter linked below: I expect a blog post about it just for its entertainment value since I don’t have my Ajjut blog anymore 🙂

    http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=51946

    Nice weekend, Antonio

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