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Friday, May 20, 2011

Why the Church swims against the RH current

Commentary -- By Minyong Ordoñez

Filipino culture, family values, RH

President P-Noy’s public declaration in support of the RH Bill caused the Catholic Hierarchy to back out from another dialogue in Malacañang. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was left with no option but to swim against the current to manifest their objection against the RH Bill.

The bill’s abortifacient prescriptive birth control program (a violation of the constitutional right to life) packaged with euphemistic titles, Reproductive Health or Responsible Parenthood (P-Noy’s preference) is premised on the theory that too many people make our country poor, a theory that’s highly misleading according to empirical proofs presented by the anti-RH advocates former Senator Joey Lina and Congressman Roilo Golez.

Hegemonic Populism

In past surveys of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), more than 50% approval ratings registered as a solution to alleviate poverty, promote knowledge and health among women with unwanted pregnancies. The high survey scores made the RH bill a compelling populist cause in the minds of law-makers sponsoring the bill. They ignored the morality (doctrinal) issue being raised by the Catholic Hierarchy (a violation of the rights to practice one’s religious belief).

The populist appeal of the RH Bill was further influenced by existing mind-sets coming to our shores from liberal, pluralistic, and consumerist societies of the Western world. These mind-sets are: a) Freudian (Limiting sex is killjoy) b) Materialism (Pleasures...Yes! Sacrifice... No!) c) Socialism (Fewer people, better lives) d) Individualism (Morality is my personal judgment call, not God’s) e) Modernism (Iba na ngayon, di tulad ni Lola noon) and f) Feminism (female gender’s assertion of equality and status)

One of the RH aftermaths, least discussed -- perhaps out of trepidation -- by print and TV media talk shows is a silent but deadly communal dysfunction that disrespects and dishonors life in a civilized society. Only Blessed John Paul II had the fortitude to conceptualize it with alarming clarity. The good Pope calls it "The Culture of Death."

Subverting Family Values

The culture of a people, the Filipino culture in our case, defines our racial identity. Culture manifests goodness and virtues, creativity, and accomplishments in symmetry with the material and spiritual faculties of the people. Culture is the bedrock of a nation’s continuity, unity, subsidiarity, and dignity. And lovability too. We Filipinos are disarmingly called the happiest, most hospitable people on this side of the planet, a national character that originates from our profound celebration of the joy and sanctity of life. No racial pride or culture can evolve based on self-destructive and sinful acts of a people.

Filipino values, the microcosm of Filipino culture will be subverted by the licentious attitude and behavior of RH Bill executors. A contraception/abortifacient user collective mentality will subvert the existing norm of parental/maternal instincts or the formative formula for a child’s upbringing which teaches and monitors virtues such as self-discipline, respect for a woman’s innate modesty, fidelity in marriage, obedience to parents, and fear of God. A complete subversion of the noble role of parents -- as the nurturer of the strong moral fiber of their progeny -- will result due to the built-in amorality in the RH Bill. We are not free even in the name of freedom to kill human beings no matter what UN demographers, World Bank funders of birth control, social engineers, and despots like Pol Pot and Hitler think.

Futuristic and Transcendent

The Catholic Church’s concern for humanity is always futuristic and transcendent. Two thousand years of existence enabled the church to stack up on the wisdoms of the ages. The church is a living witness to the follies of histories and civilizations, from the fall of the Roman Empire to Nazism’s ethnic cleansing of the Jews and the self-destruction of atheistic communism.

It’s not fair to tag bishops and priests as "medieval," persons out of tune with modern times or get caricatured by irreverent village clowns as "Damaso." The church has 2,000 years history of evangelization. No human and divine institution can claim that longevity except the Catholic Church, validated by her Petrine authority and scriptural heritage.

No religion on earth will survive if it does not preach obedience to a set of doctrines -- using faith and reason -- to fulfill the immortal aspirations of man. No country in the world will survive if the spiritual aspirations of its constituent is ignored or trampled upon by the state.

Man does not live by bread alone. For this the Catholic Hierarchy and its faithful flock will swim against the current. It takes wisdom not hubris.

Minyong Ordoñez is a freelance journalist and a member of the Manila Overseas Press Club.


1 comment:

  1. Hear! Hear!

    Just one point: to be 'medieval' is not an idea to be ashamed of. Comparably speaking, there are greater thinkers, writers, artists and scientists in the Medieval Ages than we can have today; men who inscribed their names in stone, marble and the undying and immortal monuments of art, literature, music and the sciences.