(River of) Love and (Gay) Marriage: parable from a pastor

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It seems as though not only did Gordon Manché not move his clock an hour forward, but his calendar is a day behind, and still showing the first of April (much like KSU’s, it seems). Manché, pastor of the infamous River of Love evangelical group, seems to have had too much seawater to
drink lately, and intends to collect signatures for a petition to block the government’s planned legislation on civil union.

“We want to get the present government’s attention and stress that over 80% of Malta and Gozo do not want the law on gay adoptions and civil unions to go ahead against the majority of the Maltese people’s desire and opinion,” he said in a statement published on MaltaToday. I wonder if
he pulled that figure out of the same hat that he used to convert gay people, or if this is actually a bona fide statistic.

“It is unheard of, in a country where over 80% of the people are against these issues, that people in power continue to press on. This is no longer democracy, but subtle, in-yourface[sic] dictatorship.” I must be honest; this worries me slightly. Our governments are generally either subtly dictatorial or blatantly dictatorial, but if Labour are both… things must be getting bad. Never mind EU law, not even the law of non-contradiction can stand in Joseph’s way!

On a serious note, however – what is intriguing is that both Labour and Manché use recourse to popular opinion to justify their crackpot notions. With Muscat last year, it was the refugee push-back, which did admittedly have the support of a good number of the (subtlym inyour- face) racist pragmatic Maltese population. Now Manché is calling on God with one hand and the (obscure and plain) bigotry piety of a good chunk (or so he claims, but for some reason, I don’t doubt it) of the Maltese population with the other in order to justify what is spewing forth from his sewer of hate (as Ramon Casha aptly put it in the comments section of the same article). Although it might seem comical, and, mind you, to a certain degree it is, there are serious issues at stake, as well as the potential for the setting of some dangerous precedents.

Maltese politics has always had a tendency to trample over minority rights in order to please the majority. Now, it seems, not only do politicians do it, but the Maltese themselves are doing it as well. Both in this case as well as in the case of the proposed spring hunting referendum, not to mention the irregular migration controversy, issues which essentially matter to a minority and which are a question of minority rights are at risk of being decided by majority vote. It is a symptom of the failure of democracy as practised worldwide that political dialogue is all but dead, and issues that matter are decided by being put to the vote, whether direct (as in the case of a referendum) or indirect (as in the case of boot-licking politicians who want to win elections).

There is nothing more totalitarian than the squashing of minority rights. Most people aren’t a fan of River of Love and their nonsense. I wonder how Manché would react in the face of a referendum to have his little hate group shut down.

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