Last night, many of us celebrated Christmas Eve with friends and family, some of us went to midnight mass and then sang joyful carols and shared hot cocoa and mince pies with our fellow churchgoers. Some of us stayed home to wrap presents, fill stockings, lay the table for Christmas Day lunch.
And yet, all this week we’ve been reading news reports of the increasing desperation of several hundred people stranded and abandoned in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in mid-winter – while most of us have stood by, and allowed our pseudo-socialist government to toss these human beings to the lions.
Rescued from rickety wooden boats on 19 December after three days at sea by NGOs who begin to seem like the last bastion of humanity in a rapidly degenerating society, these men, women and children desperately needed a safe haven to land. “Malta is not in a position to provide you with a place of safety,” the callous reply came.
?️ ~25 lives at risk in #Malta SAR!
Alarm Phone is in contact with a group who left #Libya two days ago and is in urgent need of rescue! Authorities are alerted but refuse responsibility or are not reachable at all. @Armed_Forces_MT
Don't let them drown! pic.twitter.com/ifUUSAnyaV
— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) December 23, 2021
And so their torment continued, day after day, until finally, yesterday, the Sicilian port of Pozzallo offered to take up Malta’s slack and offer salvation, food and shelter to the suffering human beings we, as a nation, turned our backs on.
Just as we did during the Christmas of 2018, when not only did we refuse to let 311 people disembark from the ship that had rescued them “from certain death,” but had also refused to provide them with food, according to a 22 December 2018 Instagram post from the charity.
Mikhail Gorbachev reportedly once said, “Jesus was the first socialist, because He was the first to seek a better life for mankind”. Each of us will no doubt have our own views on whether Jesus was the Son of God or not, but there’s no question that the principles of Christianity are based on love for one another, on community, solidarity, equality and humanity.
Malta, still professing to be almost universally Catholic, and living under a supposedly socialist government, which was voted in by a huge majority, should then, logically, be wholeheartedly devoted to seeking a better life for mankind.
Malta, whose population went into almost apoplectic hysteria over the idea that their own EU Commissioner was proposing to rob them of their precious Christian heritage, that they be banned from saying “Happy Christmas,” or using the names “Maria” and “Joseph,” should, naturally, be equally devoted to the concept of looking after the poor, of helping the vulnerable, of saving the lives of their fellow people of God.
But in Malta, nothing is as it seems. In Malta, most of our socialists quite brazenly and openly care only about amassing wealth for themselves, and the vast majority of our Catholics care only about preserving as much of that wealth for themselves as possible.
We are ostensibly Christian and socialist – yet in reality, we, as a nation, are neither.
Nothing illustrates the veracity of this than the shameful display of callous cruelty and disregard for human life that we were forced to witness this Christmas week. Those 300 human beings, men, women and children, floundering on rickety wooden boats in the harsh winter sea, refused entry by supposedly Catholic Malta, are our brothers and sisters in the human family.
There can have been no greater hypocrisy than this – we’ve allowed this to happen while, simultaneously, we’re telling our children the Christmas story. No room at the inn, we’re full up. Send them away. Leave outside to fend for themselves. Let somebody else look after them if they want to. Why should we be burdened with them? Sickeningly familiar words, these days. We hear them time after tragic time, but there truly is no worse time to hear them than at Christmas.
It’s impossible that those actually taking the decision to let almost 300 human beings continue to suffer have no cognizance of what they’re actually doing. It’s equally impossible that all those cheerleading the hateful and venom-spattered comments boards and gossip trains are unaware of the import of what they’re egging on with their vicious remarks and brutal jibes.
Do any of them stop to consider what must it be like, to be trapped in a tiny boat with hundreds of other desperate human beings, soaking wet, freezing cold, tossed about on the cruel waves of the December sea?
What must it be like, to watch helplessly as your child, your brother, your wife, dies in your arms, or drowns, flailing and terrified, in the deep, dark depths of the Mediterranean?
What must it be like to call for help, to plead and beseech for help, and yet be abandoned? To know that your cries have been heard, but ignored? To know that an entire nation of people would rather let you die in terror than actually follow the teachings of the figure to whom they profess their false fealty?
On this Christmas morning, many of us have woken up to the sound of children’s happy laughter, the smell of succulent turkeys roasting in the oven, the sight of the smiling faces of their nearest and dearest, the touch of those they love the most.
Not everyone is that fortunate of course. Some may be lonely, mourning lost loved ones, bereft of family or separated for some reason from those they love. Others may be ill, or isolating, or in quarantine. But most of them will at least be warm and safe, with shelter over their heads and food to eat.
Malta is no longer Christian. The carols playing on our radios are just pretty tunes, the words, simply a collection of pleasant-sounding letters. It is most certainly not socialist either. It has become a perversion of everything it once stood for. A travesty of what our parents and grandparents worked so hard to create.
Dickens’ Christmas Carol offered hope, that by being made aware of one’s terrible sins, one could make amends, change one’s way, and thus possibly alter one’s otherwise inevitable future. Malta’s Christmas Carol seems to be taking us in an entirely different direction.