July 2010


In this article I will be not be criticizing the Catholic church. I did when I felt so, but on the issues presented below this would be highly unfair. I’ve accused the Catholic church (as an institution) on many things, including for being oppressive such as when it comes to the attitude towards homosexuals. However something it does not deserve to be called is inconsistent.

This does not mean that a substantial number of so called Catholics are not inconsistent and hypocritical.

Lately two rights related things have been at the forefront of local news – the right to divorce and the right to seek asylum for refugees or potential refugees. The institution of the church is against the first but in favour of the second.

I think the church is consistent in the sense that in its interpretation of the Bible and the words of Christ it feels divorce should not be a right, and that the right to life (of asylum seekers in this case) is sacred.

However, as one can see on most local media, the right to life not being respected by many so called Catholics, the same ones who vehemently oppose divorce and the rights of homosexuals. The variety of these hypocrites is wide ranging – from high ranking politicians up to nauseating fanatics posting comments on online newspapers.

A couple of days ago 55 Somali nationals were saved by the armed forces. 28 were kept in Malta (a democratic country that has signed the 1951 Geneva convention) while another 27 were sent to Libya where human rights are anything but respected. However, when were told they left voluntarily this raised eyebrows to those who believe in human rights and organisations such as the UNHCR and JRS (the latter being a part of the Catholic institution itself). Rightly so. The lucky migrants who were on the same boat and made it to Malta denied their friends went voluntarily in Libya. A little knowledge about Libya as well as common sense, proves them right.

Apart from the extreme (and violent) racism many Libyans have against black people, immigrants are also denied their rights by the government and Libyan institutions. Many people were arrested without charge and tortured in Libyan prisons, which have nothing to do with our prisons. Neither do the Courts of Law. Getting out of prison hasn’t anything to do with being innocent. One can only get out by escaping or bribing officials. The amount of people rotting in Libyan jails, tortured or murdered will never be known. Libya is not accountable to anyone.
Yet, what do we get from most of the same Catholics who not only oppose divorce and rights towards homosexuals, but also go berserk if a Christian symbol such as the crucifix might not be visible in public spaces? Silence.

Where is Dr Adrian Vassallo who is ready to riot to save Catholic values? Is he only concerned with the evil of pornography? Isn’t the life of human beings on his agenda? Doesn’t allowing people to be kept in inhumane conditions come into conflict with his Catholic values?

Ok, let’s leave the freak alone. Where are the pseudo-Catholic politicians who are vehemently against divorce because of their faith? Those who solidly supported the Italian government’s appeal for the right to keep crucifixes in public places? Why are they silent on an issue that can be of life and death for some people?

Above all, why is the Prime Minister denying all claims by the UNHCR and JRS and stubbornly refusing to open an inquiry on what really happened at sea, so that maybe such abuses will not take place again?

Is this what Christianity has become in our country? Waving flags to the pope (who condemned such deportation of asylum seekers himself), flaunting the crucifix and hating homosexuals? Only to put it aside when it’s not convenient?

Do you blush while you are talking to a girl/guy you are attracted to? Or feel jitters before making a public performance? Do you feel edgy when going to an interview? Or maybe have palpitations because you will soon be married or starting a new job? Then, you are sick.

In reality, these are nothing but absolutely normal reactions we inherited from the monkeys. When under threat, the adrenaline kicks in so that you either fight of flee away from the dangerous situation. Without it monkeys would be extinct, and we would have never existed in the first place.

Yet the pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe you are crazy, and above all they have the right cure for you. They have eliminated the word shyness from their vocabulary. Now it Agarophobia. Anxiety and jitters? Now it’s Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Oh and that horrible jealous feeling people sometimes get, even if their partner is a very loyal person – Paranoid Personality Disorder. Quite scary, no? Don’t worry, all you need is a little innocuous pill to fix you.

These pills come at a price, not only financially (most of these medications are extremely expensive). The other price however, is your health. First of all the side effects. Sure, you will have these spelt out on a microscopic piece of paper inside the packet. However, for most people in the beginning the benefits make it all worth it. The shyness does lessen, so do the palpitations. And if you are convinced you have a disorder that will only get worse by time, even the dizziness, nausea and putting on weight might seem worth it. Most often these become worse by time. The ‘putting on weight’ will end up in being fat and without shape; the ‘dizziness’ will turn in not being able to concentrate on even simple things, and so on. (These are just generalisations. They vary from person to person and from medicine to medicine).

Unfortunately, there’s more: Addiction

Many users of these psychotropic drugs seriously underrate the little comment on the instructions paper ‘do not stop this medicine abruptly’. What that really means is: These pills are goddamn addictive and may have serious withdrawal symptoms not far away from those of heroin. Obviously they never emphasised that. They didn’t want to scare you from buying their products.

Most people realise they are hooked when the pills are not available. Either they have become unaffordable or happen to be out of stock. Others may want to stop them because they are unhappy with the side effects. Many believe that stopping them will bring them back to the state they were before they starting using these drugs. Just a little shy and anxious. Most of the time they are wrong. Withdrawals kick in: sweating, shortness of breath, extreme fear, paranoia (the real one now), spasms… the list is endless. They end up running to pharmacy like a junkie runs to his dealer. All of this because they tried to cure a disease they didn’t have in the first place.

And that brings me to the final question: What worse sickness there is than convincing innocent people they have a malady they don’t have, just to make more profit?

PS: I am not excluding that there are people who do need such medications. I’m referring to those few who can’t function in society at all, have become dangerous and/or have lost contact with reality. This article is about the rest – the majority.