There are topics that are by default very delicate. Nowadays, one of these topics is homosexuality and gender. The position of the Church is very clear: great respect for people with homosexual tendencies but condemnation for homosexual practices. It is not easy to talk about these topics and question the gay lifestyle without being labeled as homophobic or worse (an accusation that has labeled the Church for decades, if not centuries).
One person who is trying to oppose the lobbying that the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) movement is doing around the world to impose their agenda is Dr Silvana De Mari. She is a successful writer (some of her books have been translated also to Chinese), a physician and blogger. She is in the midst of many controversies at the moment in Italy, because of her strong position about the topics we mentioned before. She is also fighting, as we will see, against what she has perceived as a lack of freedom of speech on these issues. Also in the interview, her pugnacious attitude was very evident. But it is god to have people who have the courage to stand for their own ideas, especially when they have to fight against the “big narrative”.
In last months, you were in the eye of the storm because of some interviews you gave where you deal with topics having to do with family, natural law….
The reality is that all the storm that has happened because of my interviews has to do with something very simple: freedom of speech. When freedom of speech is respected we can have disagreement on different issues, but when freedom of speech is not allowed, disaster is sure to follow. In the last five years the western world has been afraid of the LGBT movements. With the bugbear of homophobia, they have muffled freedom of speech, imposing choices that are against religion, common sense and cultural traditions. It is no longer possible or very difficult to organize a conference where you are speaking of a family with mother and father because the LGBT movements are going to the municipalities asking that these conferences be not allowed to take place. Or they take actions against people that you have to be very courageous to face.
Can you cite an example?
When I go to listen to Mario Adinolfi [popular speaker in defense of natural family issues] I need to go through more police cordons than when I have to listen to Magdi Allam [popular journalist under police security for his positions on Islamic terrorism]. So what is at stake is freedom of speech: freedom of speech should be guaranteed for everyone. Freedom of speech is threatened when — and this is a phrase that a journalist told me — “someone feels offended and it is OK that the LGBT movement takes you to court.” Now, I want to point out the construction of this phrase: not if someone is offended — there are no objective criteria for offense — but if one feels offended.
But what is really important is: correct, wrong, true, false. If someone is saying something that is false, he can commit two crimes: defamation and slander. For defamation I might say, for example, “That person is an idiot” or for slander I might say, for example, “That person was stealing inside a supermarket.” Outside of the cases of defamation or slander no one can tell someone how to speak and what to say. I have the duty, being a physician, to speak about the huge damage brought by sodomy, and I have also the right to use the word “sodomy” because that word is part of my language.
You have spoken in many interviews of the damages coming from certain practices connected with homosexuality. So I would be curious to know how come this kind of inclination has been existing for so long a time, involving not a small number of people…
Here I have the perfect answer, indeed I have three answers: the first is that I don’t know and I haven’t the slightest idea; the second is that this s not my problem; the third is that it is completely irrelevant. If homosexuality is congenital or not, I don’t care, we are missing the point. The point is that I should have the right as a medical doctor to say that certain homosexual practices are causing diseases without being sued by the LGBT movement and without having to appear in court. I should have the right to prevent proponents from the LGBT movement going inside schools saying that those practices are nice and good, because this is false. If it is natural or not, if animals are doing this or that, it is totally irrelevant and I am not concerned about this.
The Italian Order of Physicians seems to disagree with your statements….
Really? Have you seen that they made those remarks on my interviews before any measure was actually taken? Don’t you think it strange? It is like a judge making remarks on a person that is indicted before the actual trial. This only shows that we are all afraid and with downcast eyes in front of the LGBT movement, who decides what we can say and what we cannot say. I don’t want to live like this. You can do what you want with your life, I am not concerned about that. But my freedom of speech is the most important thing. Congratulations to my Order of Physicians! An impeccable behavior!.
Do you think this problem of lack of freedom of speech is just our own problem or do you feel that it is a problem that touches all the western world?
It is a problem in all the western world, and indeed in Italy it is not bigger like in other places. For example, in Obama’s United States, those working in the government and who were holding positions against gay marriage were losing their jobs; in the UK, Catholic schools are forced to welcome courses that praise gay marriages; in Germany, parents that do not let their sons participate in classes that praise some questionable sexual practices are at risk of going to prison. There is freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We know what our religion teaches about homosexuality. Do I have the right to say that I don’t like it? From the moment you prevent me from criticizing this behavior when it is taking positions in the public arena, you are violating my freedom of religion. It is like forcing a person of Jewish religion to eat pork, a very big thing.
You were involved in a big storm for your strong positions. Are you ready to take all the consequences?
It is evident that I have provoked this situation. If anyone involved would remain silent, my statements would remain in my little circle, my 5000 followers in Facebook. But the other side has attacked me. And now I am a “national star.” And I will not stop until I don’t get the things I want.
What are they?
Suspension of public support for LGBT movements (who in this moment are considered “charitable institutions”). Then, I want that the LGBT activists are prevented from going into schools. And also, that the crime of change of sex, which creates desperate people and with high percentage of suicides among them, will not be done with state support. If someone wants to do it, he has to pay it himself or herself. As a taxpayer, I don’t want to pay for a human being’s destruction.
You are not only a medical doctor, but also a writer and some of your fantasy books, your children’s books, were translated to Chinese and to other languages. I want to ask you: how powerful is literature, even the one for young people, to transmit messages?
It is very powerful. Indeed now there are a lot of books that are targeting certain issues, to make it possible for certain messages to seep into our minds more easily. I know this because I am receiving lots of emails asking me: “Please write a book about the child who is a son of two moms or two dads and we will give you a scholarship.”
But we need to be careful: children’s books are also very powerful in transmitting great values as loyalty, courage and chivalry. I am a fantasy writer and my values are loyalty, courage and chivalry and I have the courage to fight for my freedom of speech and freedom of speech of other people.
As a Catholic writer, which authors would you suggest to transmit positive messages?
Dante, Tolkien and Manzoni. And Chesterton and Shakespeare.
What about C.S. Lewis?
Yes, also him, but frankly The Lord of the Rings is on a very different level.
You being a writer, what do you believe is so special in The Lord of the Rings?
There is grace. In the same way that there is grace in Dante, in the same way that there is grace in that extraordinary novel that is The Betrothed and in Shakespeare too … there is grace. I cannot give another explanation.