My friend, Italian journalist Alessandra Nucci, has translated this article by Rino Cammilleri from La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
An ancient law of the sea says that, when at risk of shipwreck, women and children must be helped into the lifeboats first. This is what was done on the Titanic, in the most notorious shipwreck in history. On that famous ship the orchestra continued to play to buoy the courage of those who were doomed to drown, including the musicians themselves. And a Catholic priest gave confession and absolution to all those who asked for them, himself going down with the ship. Old-fashioned gentlemen?
Nope, Christians. Because the unwritten rule of «women and children first» dates back to when Christianity empowered the weak and commanded the strong to take care of them. Before then, it used to be the law of the jungle that applied, because not even the super-civilized Romans gave any weight to women and children.
Please take note, as you rummage in your historical and anthropological reminiscences: only in Christian civilization has there ever been the habit of treating women and children with kid gloves, so much so that even today, when anyone holds the door open for a lady, he is termed “chivalrous” [deriving from the French “chevalier”, or “knight”]. This is a reference to the “macho” warrior whom the Church had taught to defend the widow and the orphan, the poor man and the oppressed.
For example, when the much-praised Native Americans (once known as redskins) travelled, the squaw went on foot, laden down with the luggage and with her papoose on her back; the husband was up front, riding a horse.
Assuredly, many of the gentlemen who went down with the Titanic were not religious at all, and many were Freemasons and anti-papists. But they were born and raised in a culture that was nineteen centuries old, a culture that could hardly avoid calling itself Christian, as even liberal Benedetto Croce had to admit.
Now let's listen to soprano Dimitra Theodossiou, one of the passengers on the Italo-Greek ferry that went up in flames a few days ago: «I was beaten and dragged down, as they tried to pull me off the ladder. But I reacted vigorously. I said: 'It's our turn!'».
Her words were confirmed by many other female passengers who underwent the same treatment. The men in the helicopters did indeed try to embark the women, children and the elderly first. But among them «there were at least some fifty men (…) who, in order to take their places, beat them, pulled their hair and threw them out».
In this reported sentence, the phrase omitted and replaced by dots included: «mainly Turks, Iraqis and Pakistanis». One of the rescue pilots said: «In order to try to save the children, the women, the elderly and the wounded first, as we always do, I had to yell and threaten to go away in my helicopter and leave them all there, over and over again.»
«As we always do». Quite. But not in the places of origin of those who (in the words of a Greek truck driver aptly named Christos) «had no consideration for the women and children at all».
However, why should the protagonists of this act, which to us is simply disgraceful and cowardly, be ashamed of themselves or feel like vile human beings? In their “culture” (I place the word decidedly in inverted commas) the women and children don't count at all.
These men have on their shoulders fifteen centuries which have accustomed them to thinking in this way. Back when I was studying Political Science, there was still a subject called Comparative Cultural Anthropology. That was before political correctness and relativism rendered it useless, as the 1968 protesters spread the idea that the Sioux were better than the cowboys and that the English first, and all the other Westerners after them, needed to be taught everything by Hindu gurus.
Today, whoever dares say that our civilization, moulded by Christianity, is superior to all the others risks a jail sentence or at the very least a lynching in the media. Yet the very ideology of relativism has been possible only in a Christian environment, and politically correct thinking itself believes it is superior to all the others.
What ludicrous imbecility this is, however, was summed up best by one of the men shoving the women aside in order to take their places in the rescue seat: «Why, aren't we all supposed to be equal?». What he implied was that, now that women have achieved equality, they can no longer expect preferential treatment. But it just so happens that he was universally deprecated (by the ex-Christians [or post-Christians]).
There's nothing to do: the latest ideology in vogue (again, among the Westerners) is no match for a culture that has become rooted in consciences precisely because it is the closest to the project that the Creator had in mind. And those who try to save their skins by climbing into lifeboats in place of women and children still remain cowards and vile human beings.