Letters: 13th July 2014

No catalogue of shame in comparison

In January 2013, in another paper, John Guillaumier gave vent to a similar detailed account of the crimes and cruelty committed by our Christian forbears. And it was written in the same vitriolic vein of deep opprobrium towards the Catholic Church.

For reasons of space, I can only touch lightly on Guillaumier’s mention of murders carried out by the Christians. In the history of warfare and persecution during a period of 1,800 years, there is no warrant for considering the crusades as a world of historical crime of any sort. And that goes for any other period of violence by the secular and clerical fanatics.

Mr. Guillaumier certainly has no kind words for Christians but surely religion has not been the bane of history. By exploiting his excellent pen and fertile imagination, he focused on the atheist moral critique and this critique greatly exaggerated the crimes that have been committed by religious fanatics, while neglecting or rationalising the vastly greater crimes committed by secular and atheist fanatics.

I do not for a moment deny that sometimes religion was a source of self-righteousness and that this tendency could have led to persecution and violence. In the past it has indeed been so. But for Christians the tragedy of violence in the name of religion is thankfully in the ancient past. Mention of these crimes and wars does not justify the bloodthirsty horror and violence beyond all imagining against Christians and exonerate them from utter condemnation.

Let’s begin with the Crusades. The horror perpetrated by the Muslim side is always notably concealed. After all the Christians struck back after more than 200 years of militant Islam’s foreign conquest of a very vast territory. They were not rapacious conquerors or murderers but rather pilgrims.

The horrific images of the Inquisition are largely a myth concocted by the political enemies of Spain and later of religion. Trials were more lenient and fairer than their secular counterparts. Frequently the only penalty given was fasting or a community service. Contemporary historians estimate that around 2,000 were executed for heresy. These deaths are all tragic but we must remember that they occurred over a period of 350 years.

Admittedly the Thirty Years’ War could have been started for religious motives but eventually it was fuelled by political contests of influence, power and territory.

For argument’s sake, all the other crimes and massacres are accepted but the evident conclusion is that religion-inspired killing simply cannot compete with the murders perpetrated by atheist regimes. Taken together, the Crusades, the Inquisition and the witch burnings killed approximately 200,000 people.

Adjusting for the increase in population, that’s the equivalent of one million deaths today. Even so these deaths caused by Christian rulers over a 500 year period amount to less than one percent of the deaths caused by Stalin, Hitler and Mao Ze Dong in the space of a few decades. One hundred million Christians have been killed throughout the years and this number is always increasing. In Pope Francis’ words “I tell you today we have more martyrs than we had during the first years of the Church.”

In conclusion, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 3,000 years not managed to kill anywhere near the number of people killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades.

Deduct the killings of the current ethnic fanatic Muslims and communists and you will have a very insignificant number of crimes committed by Christians to show, and this in the ancient bygone past.

It is time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the main source of human conflict and violence. Atheism was, and still is.

Despite all this, the Church still preaches pardon and love, ashamed but undeterred by the criminal failings of any of its own.
In the meantime Mr Guillaumier keeps us guessing how and why all this hatred towards the Church has accumulated throughout the years.

He certainly tries hard to impose on readers his uncanny knack for placing his manicured fingers on records of murders by Christians and conveniently leaves untouched the tsunami of mass murders committed by others. His ultimate aim is to vilify the Church at every opportunity with grit and determination. This is also done with calculated gusto to the extent that he is also an entertainer.

John Azzopardi, Zabbar

The China Connection

This sudden coziness our Prime Minister is displaying with regard to the Chinese government surely begs the question – why?

What could a world power, thousands of geographic and cultural miles away from us, possibly gain from throwing money at our problems?
This ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ sounds like a way to make an Asian outpost of our little nation. I would not want to sound racist but this sudden interest in Malta must surely raise some eyebrows other than mine.

A move towards greener energy is a good thing. As are strong international relations, in a world where the internet has already brought us closer together.

However the motivations behind both of these moves, so happily brokered away from the scrutiny of the general public, should be made clear.

Vincent Falzon, Mqabba

The bigger picture

Reference is made to the report published on the MaltaToday news portal, titled ‘Construction magnate Nazzareno Vassallo accused of perjury’.

I would like to give a wider picture to the case to eliminate certain negative impressions that could have arisen from this report.
A civil court case is currently pending between Joseph Vella of Avantegarde and Vassallo Builders Ltd. The case relates to works commissioned to Joe Vella by my company at Prince of Wales Residence in Sliema.

Bad workmanship, delay in delivery and the use of poor quality materials resulted in Vassallo Builders Ltd terminating the contract of works between the parties.

With court proceedings having already reached an advanced stage and with the report by the court’s appointed experts already presented and published, Mr Vella instigated a separate legal case trying to discredit my evidence and the validity of the documents I exhibited.

One wonders why Mr Vella opted for a separate criminal court case against me rather than presenting the same concerns and complaints in the civil court case. Mr Vella’s allegations in my regard are unfounded, frivolous and vexatious.

Nazzareno Vassallo, Chairman, Vassallo Group