Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. CNS photo/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters

Italian PM puts culture of death in the shade

By  Andrea Mrozek
  • November 4, 2022

This is an article about Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and how she recently burst into my world bringing hope on a sad day. But in order to bring you to the light, I have to start in the darkness. It was Oct. 7, 2022 when the bureaucratic voice of a Canadian doctor testifying before a federal committee about medical aid in dying called for its expansion to include infanticide. Dr. Louis Roy of the Quebec College of Physicians proposed extending assisted suicide to babies before age one. 

Only, of course, for the very tough cases. The extreme cases. If I’m being quite honest, killing newborns with health problems disturbs me more than the killing of healthy newborns for what it says about our country choosing eugenics. I’ve long been moved to tears at the sight of people with Down Syndrome, knowing that 90 per cent of these people are not allowed to live. 

So on this day that my heart was heavy. A friend happened to email a link to Meloni speaking at the World Congress of Families in 2019. I hadn’t followed her beyond knowing she had been elected Prime Minister of Italy. Oh, and that she is fascist. These epithets, flung so easily, quickly lose their meaning. I’d reserve judgment, I told myself, and I wasn’t yet interested enough to check. 

But here she was in my inbox from a trusted friend of a liberal persuasion. I clicked the link. It was 15 minutes long. I told myself I’d watch five minutes — enough to get a taste. 

As it turns out, you do not stop watching Meloni early. You watch the whole thing. She combined the power of a mother’s “do as I say right now” with the enthusiasm of an activist and the moral persuasion of a good preacher. Meloni captivated me not because I always agreed, but because she transported me to a land where speech is free. The questions she was asking…That a politician anywhere might ask these questions and be elected marks a significant moment and, to my mind, a genuine accomplishment. 

You can and should watch the link for yourself, but the question that got me at my core on that day was this one: “Why is the winner always death?” Meloni describes contrasting cases of children who were terminally sick. In one, where the parents desired death, they eventually received their request. In others, where the parents desired life through continued treatment, their wish was denied. If the question is parental rights, why would the parents on both sides not be allowed to speak? Why does it seem that in these tough cases, death is the winner indeed? What might that mean if Canada, where health care is no longer available to all, were to allow “assisted suicide” for newborns?  

Yet hold on to your seats: this was far and away not the most contentious issue she raised. She dove headlong into surrogacy, abortion, marriage and the natural family as a source of identity. 

She is asking questions few politicians in North America dare to think, let alone ask. Politicians here, even those considered controversial, have generally perfected the art of saying nothing quite deliberately. It is no wonder voter turnout is low.   

And she pushed back. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told I am a misogynist and I want women back in the kitchen because I am pro-life, because I prefer non-state solutions to child care problems, because I am Christian, I could have made a quick trip to a Meloni rally in person by now. She joked about taking a little time away from her ironing to discuss politics with the audience that day.

Will Meloni prove to be fascist? Maybe. Will she disappoint me? Likely. She’s not the Saviour, and one is better positioned to enjoy politics from a low bar of expectations when one understands Who that rightly is. But on that day, when Canada hit a horrifying low in committee for entertaining the idea of the State-sanctioned murder of newborns, Italy’s new prime minister brought me a good dose of hope and light. And it quietly raised another point: Maybe the winner need not always be death, after all. For who is the prime minister of Italy now, but the woman asking the tough questions? 

(Mrozek is Senior Fellow at Cardus Family.)

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