Another member of the clergy condemned the play Stitching on Talking Point article on the Times, though not as aggressively as others before him. This comes at a time where a storm in a teacup is made because some evil mavericks decided to dress as Catholic religious figures in the Nadur carnival, some of whom are also being prosecuted criminally. I emphasise the word Catholic since in this same island we live in, a Danish cartoonist mocking prophet Muhammed and Islam was considered as an icon of freedom of expression.

 

However what struck me in this particular article was the fact that Fr Paul Chetcuti states everything, even freedom, included that of expression should have limits. (On a general basis I agree with this but not vis a vis Stitching, on things completely different for completely different reasons).

 

From then he proceeds to say that believing in not having limits or the ‘sky is the limit’ mentality would carry serious harms and eventually deprive us of freedom. He then goes to mention issues such as the economic recession, global warming, increasing poverty and teenage pregnancies. What he and many others, no necessary within the Catholic church, fail to see is that with the possible exception of teenage pregnancies, setting limits, especially those on freedom of expression have nothing to do with these catastrophic ills.

 

The problem with these issues, seemingly unrelated but definitely aren’t, is not freedom, it is a malignant tumour that has been plaguing humanity all along. A disease we never found the cure for since we rarely if ever searched for it. This plague that can melt glaciers, bankrupt banks and kill children with hunger is called greed. We have our war on terror, on drugs or even on freedom of expression, yet no state or even minority has ever declared war against greed.

 

When it comes to global warming, not even the sky is the limit. For the sake of profit people not only kept polluting but up to a certain time (after which it could not be denied any longer) even went on the media, corrupting scientists with millions of dollars to say that we humans have nothing to do with this. One scientist said very crudely ‘the cause of global warming is the sun’. Unlike the people of stitching, these scientists were not practicing art or fiction. They were stating these things as facts.

 

Yet as the climate change problem is increasing problems in drought in the poorest regions of the world, fighting rages on in these same impoverished countries. If one looks behinds what meets the naked eye, the fighting is rarely about religion or ideology. From those waging it is for personal power, including financial wealth but not exclusively. Once again – greed. For the victims, the poorest of the world which have become a majority rather than a minority group) the struggle is against the consequence, of this greed – hunger, untreated illnesses, lack of education etc.

 

And the economic recession – greed in its pure form. What has happened (in simple terms, I’m no economic analyst)? The culprits are actually compulsive gamblers. No casino or jackpot could do as much harm as the stock exchange. These people take extremely high risk investments, with the potential of astronomic gain of wealth, or otherwise catastrophe. Yet, for these gamblers we don’t try to provide therapy like the man behind the jackpot. Neither do we imprison them for theft, fraud and misappropriation of funds. No, we bail them out. Rather than a deterrent we provide them with security, since these gamblers employ people, common citizens who work for their hard earned money. Poor guys, we think and rather than point our fingers to the gamblers and their greed we try to save these employees by giving more money to their oppressors. Ironically it’s mostly money that had been paid by the employees themselves through their taxes.

 

So, should there be limits? Definitely but not on a shocking play. It may be distasteful for some, but no Stitching will melt the glaciers, kill innocent people and eventually drown us both literally and metaphorically. I don’t think to explain what these limits are and towards whom. Hopefully it’s pretty obvious

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