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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Fight over the RH Bill: A Battle in the War between Secularism and Catholic Christianity

A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)
By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) 
Updated June 06, 2011 12:00 AM 

The showdown on the RH bill will reveal the identities of politicians who are really concerned about the welfare of our country and people and not of their own selfish interests. It will tell us whether they personally consulted their constituents and not merely relied on surveys before making a stand for or against the bill. It will tell us whether they have adequately studied the bill and explained to their constituents with clear and convincing arguments, not with deceit and mis-informaton, why they voted for or against the bill.

Our legislators must not employ the same dirty tactics they employed in winning the elections when they explain to their constituents their stand on the bill. Of course some of them have made their position on the bill known even before the elections. But they should not believe they won because of that stand and despite the Church campaign against them. These politicians mainly won not because of their favorable stand on the RH bill. They may not have even explained to their voters what the RH bill is all about or successfully convinced them of the bill’s merits. It is highly improbable that those who voted for them were fully apprised of the pros and cons of the bill. Actually these politicians won mainly because of “thousands” and even “millions” of other reasons or “considerations” that are usually the main ingredients of winning elections in this country where politics is no longer based on principles but on money, machinery, and dynasty.

One of the deceitful and misleading reasons so far used in supporting the bill is the belief that controlling population can eradicate poverty; that reducing our population, which is euphemistically called by its authors as “population management” and “responsible parenthood, will spur economic growth. This belief is contrary to P-Noy’s ringing campaign pitch in the last election “kung walang corrupt walang mahirap”. He obviously saw that corruption, not overpopulation, is the main cause of poverty in this land. Indeed well known economists and demographers have long discredited the Malthusian myth about population growth as stunting the economy. Official government data show “that since a population control program was put in place here in the 1970s – with billions of public money spent to fund it – our population growth has been declining and continues to do so today, yet poverty has not been reduced”.

If our leaders and legislators are really after the welfare of our people they would certainly realize that this RH bill on population control is actually a measure to eliminate poverty by reducing our human resource especially the poor; that this bill on “reproductive health” considers pregnancy as a disease which should be prevented by “teaching women – married or single – all methods and techniques to prevent it including abortion or the killing of an innocent and defenseless human being in the mother’s womb as confirmed by the authors themselves during committee deliberations when they refused to accept the scientific fact that the beginning of human life is at fertilization of the ovum.

If our leaders are really concerned about our people’s welfare, they would certainly not support a bill giving sexual rights to young people and requiring child sex education even if their parents consented to it; they would not support a measure imposing fine and imprisonment on parents, spouses and health workers who impede “sexual and reproductive health rights”;they would not support a bill creating a program for fertility control by encouraging the limitation of family size to two children and giving incentives to two child families.

Repeatedly dragging the Church into the controversy and personally attacking some of its prelates simply because of its pro-life and pro-family stand is also wrong. Such mode of arguing for the bill definitely shows the ongoing war between secularism and Christianity. This is a secularism aimed at the “destruction of religion” which “will not be the triumph of secular reason but the introduction of a new barbarism that on the ethical plane is the barbarism of those: who kill the foetus because its life will be detrimental to the mental health (reproductive health) of the mother; who say that an embryo is a blob of cells suitable for experiments; who kills an old person because he no longer has a family to take care of him; and who hasten the death of a child because is no longer conscious and is incurable” (Marcello Pera, President of the Italian Senate from 2001 to 2006).

In said article entitled “Paedophile priests and the Pope”, Mr. Pera wrote that “secularists know that if mud were splashed in the white robe, it would stain the church, and if the church is stained, so would the Christian religion” Hence, several papers in the U.S.A. have recently come out with stories of sexual abuse of minors by priests which were blown out of proportion and used to attack the “three pillars of the Catholic system: its moral authority, the priests and the Pope”.

The papers in the US particularly the New York Times has not been so honest in presenting the case. “Accusations are gathered since 1940 to come up with a figure of 4,000 paedophile priests in the US… In that country of 300 million people, over 2.5 million students and 763,000 university students in Catholic centers and 20,000 parishes, that is only a little less than 8 reported cases per year (and fewer each time) of paedophile priests reported over half a century (Josep Ardevol, La Vanguardia).

Three horrible cases in the US involving a priest in Wisconsin, two priests in Arizona and one priest in California which all happened in the 1970s were revived in an effort to implicate Pope Benedict XVI or Cardinal Ratzinger whose only involvement was when a request for defrocking landed on his desk. He was accused of cover-up or collusion because in a 2001 letter, he asked the parties to observe secrecy and confidentiality during the trial so that the victims could give their evidence freely and the accused protected until proven guilty. Obviously the letter was not a cover-up or collusion as misreported.

Obviously therefore by dragging the church into the ongoing controversy about the RH bill, a war against Christianity has been declared by this vicious kind of secularism – a war between those who are ready to defend the truth against those who engage in deception and distortion of facts.

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