Wednesday, January 28, 2009


by Martín Bonfil Olivera
Published in
Milenio Diario, January 21, 2009

In his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama assured that his government will "restore science to its rightful place", and will "wield technology's wonders" to improve health and education and fight the energetic crisis.

He acknowledged, together with the importance and diversity of religion, the existence and rights of atheists: "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers".

This respectful and inclusive vision contrasts with the intolerant and retrograde view presented last week on the World Family Congress, in Mexico, a view that Mexican President Felipe Calderon endorsed when he was there to inaugurate the event. With this, he violated the Mexican separation of Church and State, since he presented himself not as Mexican President but as a catholic citizen.

Other pearls of wisdom expressed in this meeting:

Javier Lozano Barragán, of the Pontifical Council for Health, said that the (Catholic) Church is worried because the predominant economical model causes family mothers to work, so they don’t put enough attention to their children: "Four words: less food, more attention".

President Calderón had the nerve of extending this ridiculous theory and stated that the source of violence and drug traffic is family disintegration… this theme has been sufficiently refuted —and ridiculed— by numerous analists.

Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said that homosexuality is "contrary to the truth of human identity" and stated that "no one can deny being a man or a woman".

Of course, one of the agendas of this meeting was to violently disqualify any type of union between persons different from the traditional model of nuclear heterosexual family with children ("homosexuals constitute a transgression to the sense of love").

What is alarming is not only the ignorance that such ideas reveal, but that they are presented as "natural laws" (imposed by God, of course).

Maybe if the Vatican and the Mexican government were more respectful towards diversity and individual rights, and had a greater appreciation of science, our future would be more promising. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

(translated by Adrián Robles Benavides)

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