Written by Christopher Dawson in 1932, this scholarly tome discusses the philosophical, theological and political issues form the end of the Roman empire to the rise of mediaeval unity. It is not a standard history book and assumes a solid knowledge of that period by the reader assisting the reader to better understand why the west drifted into its political and philosphical unity as the basis for the mediaeval era, highlighting the first attempts at the fruition of the renaissence and humanism of the furture.
The Dune series of books by Frank Herbert is a a science fiction / fantasy series that takes place far in the future, where humanity has spread throughout the galaxy and settled on a number of planets ruled by several noble houses, with an overall emperor. One notable feature of these stories is the cynical way in which religions are treated. Religion is widespread in this future - but it is designed and controlled by a number of groups and individuals for the purpose of control of the masses.
The Malta Humanist Association is concerned about a stream of misinformation that is being disseminated about a collection of books donated by the Malta Gay Rights Movement to the Education Ministry by a newly set up social media group. This misinformation is causing concern among some parents who have been led to believe that these books contain explicit sexual information, or that they teach children about sex, although - revealingly - these claims never identify which of the books supposedly contain this material.
Sometimes it seems that the anti-IVF brigade in Malta doesn’t spare a thought for the people they hurt when they write. In their desire to convince people they lash out, and in so doing they strike adoptive parents, single parents and those people who married someone with children and care for these as if they were their own, not to mention their children.
In recent articles, we’ve had writers imply that adoptive parents and single parents are inhumane, women who offer to be surrogate mothers were compared to someone renting out a garage, and children born through IVF were described as commodities.
Can we take a step back, set aside the hyperbole and consider what it is that we’re talking about here? Continue reading
The recent announcement that the government planned to do away with a number of articles in the law to bring it in line with modern standards gave rise to some criticism, but perhaps the most vociferous complaints were aimed at the removal of articles 163 and 164 from the criminal code.
These articles, broadly, threaten anyone who “vilifies” the Catholic religion, or any person or object related to it, with up to six months in jail, while a shorter sentence protects other “cults”, as the law derisively calls every other religion and church on the planet. Continue reading
The guests will be seated, and TERRY will be standing next to RAMON under the canopy. The music will start playing “Here Comes the Sun”, and ELISABETH will enter from a group of trees and walk through the guests accompanied by her brother MAGNUS. After they are greeted by RAMON, TERRY and ELISABETH will sit at the front nearby, and MAGNUS will return among the guests. Continue reading
The Malta Humanist Association backs the call for a mature and reasoned discussion on abortion. For too long, abortion has been the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, but issues are not resolved by ignoring them or sweeping them under the carpet.
Between the existing blanket ban on abortion, and unrestricted, unregulated abortion there are many grey areas that one should explore through dialogue and without prejudice.
Once again, political lethargy, indifference and NIMBYism (not in my back yard) has led to an avoidable human tragedy, as hundreds of migrants fleeing from war and human rights abuses that many of us can’t even imagine end up in floating death-traps operated by criminals who have less regard for these human lives than for material cargo.
One hopes that the expressions of sadness from the political leaders of Europe does not stop at words but translates into action that addresses the problems that these people are facing, and not merely by pushing it out of sight. Making it more difficult for them to depart without addressing the reasons they are doing so does little to alleviate their suffering.
We make gestures by donating flowers for the funerals of those who did not make it, while incarcerating those who do for inordinate amounts of time. European countries express solidarity while resisting the idea of sharing in the responsibility of hosting these immigrants. In the meantime, dangerous undercurrents of fascism are raising their heads, each new voice encouraging others with messages of hate and barely hidden glee at these stories of suffering.
Humanity has to come before colour or culture, nationality or religion, before citizenship or proper documentation. Europe must put into place a comprehensive plan, encompassing the immediate requirement to save lives, the short-term goals of addressing migration, and long term goals of promoting peace and respect for human rights throughout the region.