Spirit of discernment - Klaus Vella Bardon
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Spirit of discernment - Klaus Vella Bardon

Writing in 1924, G.K. Chesterton quipped: “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

Such a sharp comment should make us take a really strong look behind the use of such labels that are being misused so exhaustively in the current debates that are raging over core issues affecting our country’s future. 

No doubt, Malta is facing a steep decline in the traditional Christian virtues that underpinned society. Being called ‘conservative’ is today considered one of the worst labels one can be branded with. The so-called progressives seem to have all the winning arguments, to be politically correct, as they appeal to their presumed impeccable scientific credentials, mocking any reference to traditional morality.

Even the Church, once a reference point on timeless values, is now smothered in a warm, cosy fog of love and mercy that is exploited, out of context, to justify anything and everything. This gives oxygen to those who want to promote any agenda, no matter how irrational it looks under closer examination. 

It does not need an acute sense of observation to realise that evil is afoot as never before, under the guise of liberty and emancipation. The steep increase in broken marriages, the phenomenon of cohabitation, the vigorous promotion of the homosexual and gender agenda and now the demands for euthanasia and abortion are in one’s face, day in and day out. Only the blind or the indifferent can shrug off these realities.

Above all, any reference to Christian values is now being ever more dismissed from the public arena, as the Church is discredited under the relentless exposition of its numerous failings over the years. In this distressing scenario, Christians should not excuse their responsibility to participate in the fashioning of Malta’s future.

History is a great teacher. Society is never static. Contrary to what one would like to think, the passage of time is no guarantee of the inevitability of real progress. 

One need not look too far back in the past to see how the ideologies of Nazism and Communism came to fruition and left so many countless victims in their wake. Even now, with hindsight, serious analysis of these deeply flawed political programmes seems to elude too many of us. 

Malta is facing a steep decline in the traditional Christian virtues that underpinned society

While Nazism invariably evokes a negative reaction, the same cannot be said of communism. One need only notice the profound indifference to the scandalous record of human rights violations in countries like North Korea.

Late historian Donald Nicholls was particularly interested in how Nazism took root in a country such as Germany. After the war, again and again, he was told by Germans that they lacked discretio spiritum, the spirit of discretion. We face the same predicament and have lost the awareness to realise the evil power and seductive fascination of certain ideas. 

Sadly, history has the depressing ability to repeat itself. This is again the failing of our age. We feel we must entertain any idea and any opinion, even if at first glance it appears repulsive.

How much evil is couched in the cloak of tolerance and sympathy? This has paved the way for insensitivity to economic exploitation under the guise of entrepreneurship. Even more, it has led to the acceptance and justification of sexual misconduct and abortion with the lame excuse of ‘liberation’.

For those of us who claim to be Christians, we cannot evade our responsibility to grapple with our own demons and try to live an upright life. 

The way we live is in itself a powerful witness to what we then advocate to the wider world. This should be quite obvious. Those who do not practise what they preach are so easily discredited. The plague of sexual misbehaviour in the priesthood is a case in point.

Putting our house in order is the first step and labels of ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ reveal their insignificance in such a salutary exercise. The next responsibility is to make our voice heard loud and clear. Change for change’s sake should be most carefully scrutinised and evaluated. 

At present, the overriding pressing challenge Malta is faced with is the orchestrated and fine-tuned campaign by the promoters of the Culture of Death. After the fall of Ireland, Malta is being ruthlessly targeted. 

The drive to manipulate public opinion and legalise abortion, thus wiping out any remaining safeguards for nascent life, is now in full swing. 

Will the Maltese rise to the occasion to fight this vile agenda? We should all ask ourselves the question of whether we will live up to our grave responsibility to defend the sanctity of life.

Klaus Vella Bardon is a pro-life activist.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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