Monday, May 14, 2007

Family and family day

Ok, I'm a conservative and that's nothing new. I hope a wise conservative, possibly a corny conservative and surely, to the eyes of some people, a hopeless or even sleazy one, who knows. But that's what I am, at least in the large majority of subjects, and I've never been ashamed of being one nor to publicly show my standing and my beliefs, and that in a country when, as a teenager in mostly left wing schools where professors openly do political propaganda and literally brainwash their pupils, coming out as a right wing person is worse than coming out as a gay in the most conservative states of the Bible belt.

Now, while on some things I can be borderline progressive and on many others I can at least open up a discussion, there are a few selected subjects where not only I feel my point of view is the best one (which is not uncommon), but with absolutely no manoeuvring space about it, as some unfortunate ones discovered along the years, last of them my girlfriend a few days ago. One of these things, possibly the cornerstone of my own beliefs, passed to me by my father and to him by his own, who knows, possibly since roman times, is the concept of family.

Family is, by my standards, which in this case I assume as absolute standards, the union in marriage (religious or civil doesn't matter, but marriage as solemn commitment to each other AND the community AND the state) of a man and a woman aimed at, first and foremost, having children. A married couple is not a family, even if it can be a family to be. An unmarried couple with children, although very close to being a family, I can't but see as an odd social group where two adults are acting as kids refusing commitment and although they should be granted some legal and social protection in consideration of the children, shouldn't be elevated to the same level of social and legal consideration that a married couple with children should.

I know, by now half the people reading this few lines will have labelled be a bigot and another good number as an oddly old fashioned one, but so be it. I will even go further and add that families, my kind of families, should be encouraged by proper legal provisions, contributions and fiscal measures that shouldn't be granted to the other "family like" social aggregations. And even more, I get annoyed by the people who say that legislation should follow the reality of the time they are forged for, while I always believed that the State should change for the better, not simply certify, the social reality it deals with. Old concepts, ancient ones actually, totally out of fashion these days, but that's me.

So, keeping all that I've said in mind, is no surprise that last Saturday I did something that conservatives very rarely do: went to a huge rally. Yes, conservatives usually don't do that, they usually are the silent majority (or minority?) that think it's impolite to protest, to rise their voices, to invade the streets and cause so much troubles to the ordinary life of their fellow citizens, so it is kind of extraordinary that there was a rally organized in favor of the traditional family and against a bill soon to be discussed to the parliament which basically recognizes and practically parifies traditional families and cohabitations, same-sex ones included.

(Click on the pics to enlarge)
Not only I did go, but I did go with my parents and I must say it felt good to be surrounded by between (even more extraordinary) 750.000 and 1.300.000 people who, apparently, did share my own point of view. People coming from all the country, from different backgrounds (although admittedly the catholic organizations and the groups organized by the churches around Italy played the prominent role), all age groups (the baby carriages were uncountable, with grandparents keeping a extremely watchful eye on their nephews for them not to be lost in the crowd), talking, singing, playing old forgotten games.

People who were so evidently, just like me after all, not used to go to rallies that were wearing the wrong kind of shoes, or had no hats to protect them from the already hot sun (Good thing that my father is a veteran of the '60s and '70s and prepared us properly). People who invaded the immense square in front of the cathedral of Rome, Saint John, a place traditionally used by the leftish parties for their own mass demonstrations (ironic, thinking about it, as they tend to enjoy the shadow offered to them by the tall walls of the church which so majestically represents the institution they usually despise), with the statue of teh said seemingly waving to the crowd.

People who could be met already a mile away from the square and that became more and more thick as the walls of the city approached (Saint John is, for historical reasons, very close to one of the southern gates of the city rather than in the center of the city) to become a second wall themselves right after having passed the gate. People smiling, rather than yelling to make their point across. People playing with their kids, rather than devastating the streets. People laughing rather than setting cars on fire.

Good people. And a good day.


shinsengumi said...

"I always believed that the State should change for the better, not simply certify, the social reality it deals with."

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Guido wrote: "coming out as a right wing person is worse than coming out as a gay in the most conservative states of the Bible belt."

Interesting, so there are people being killed in the USA for being conservative?

Guido Costantini said...

Hi Anonymous

Well, I do not know in the States (altho it wouldn't surprise me, sure thing they get generally marginalized, for instance in academic fields), but in Italy, yep, it has been a common occurrance between the 50s and the 90s and they get still regularly ostracized nad at times bullied, threathened and beaten up, especially in highschool and university.