No crib at European Parliament? – Francis Vassallo

Who does the European Parliament offend by properly celebrating Christmas?

I recently read that Spanish MEP Isabel Benjumea tried to organise the putting up of a crib in the European Parliament during the Christmas festivities. After writing to the highest authorities she was eventually informed that the decision had to come from the department that looks after the maintenance of the building of the European Parliament. She later received a reply from that department saying that it is not the policy of the European Parliament to put up a crib, which celebrates the birth of Christ, as this could “offend others”.

May I politely ask who are these others that would be offended by having a crib put up in the European Parliament?

Europe, so far, is Christian and the European Parliament should be representing Christian values.

I am fully aware that there are people of different races and religions in Europe today  but, as far as I know, the majority is still supposedly of Christian faith, albeit many of those supposedly Christian do not practise their faith at all as materialism has, unfortunately, taken over in many parts of our society. Here again I ask: who is offended?

If anyone should be offended then let them speak out and,  thus, not enjoy the public holidays in Europe and work on Christmas Day.

So why do we put up all those street decorations around the world in December? Is it because we are celebrating the month of electricity?

December 25 is the day that our Lord Jesus Christ was born and the Christian world celebrates this day not just as a holiday but as a religious holiday.

The lighting up of our streets and the decorations we put up is to celebrate the birth of Christ but the most symbolic image of this event is the crib, which teaches us and reminds us Christians of the birth of Christ.

Europe so far is Christian and the European Parliament should be representing Christian values

The very word itself, Christmas, signifies Christ.

Why, then, do we give pre­sents to each other on Christmas? This symbolises the presents that the three Magi Kings gave: gold, representing kingship on earth, frankincense, a symbol of deity, and myrrh, an embalming oil as a symbol of death.

It is rather ironic, therefore, that on the celebration of Christ’s own birthday we give presents to everyone except to the birthday boy Himself, Christ. We even try to forget that He exists by refusing to celebrate His birthday.

I do not expect to see such decorations and a crib in a non-Christian country but to have our own European Parliament claim that the reason why they do not want to have a crib is not to offend a minority is offensive to the majority.

It is obvious that the European Parliament is absolutely spineless. I urge the president of the European Parliament to reconsider such an offensive decision and change the policy. He should also apologise for offending the majority of us Christians by re­fus­ing to display a crib.

May I ask how many non-Christian MEPs there are? I am sure the answer would be a definite minority.

If this is correct, then the European Parliament is willing to please this minority and offend the majority.

Well, this is, therefore, a new definition of ‘democracy’!

I fully recognise that my argument will fall on deaf ears as the only MEPs who might read my article are the Maltese ones who are Christian.

Therefore, I ask them to protest this issue because, while we are only a minority, it seems that minorities seem to be respected more in the European Parliament than the majority.

I would also suggest that, as a beautiful gesture, every government of the European Union member states donate a crib to the European Parliament to show that Europe is all about Christian values.

Francis Vassallo, former governor, Central Bank of Malta 

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