RH bill: Spawn of statism

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A DIFFERENT show of people-power was staged last March 25 at the Quirino Grandstand when the clergy and religious, pro-life groups, and the Church as a whole gathered to call for the abolition of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

During the Mass, attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 people, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales called for respect for life and the junking of the RH bill. Cardinal Rosales said that despite the bill’s avowals of “responsible parenthood” and “sexual responsibility,” its bias for contraception and “safe sex” is very evident, so that it is hardly expected to foster authentic responsibility and discipline, two virtues, he said, that the people and the nation need. He added that people’s indifference to life, if not their utter disrespect of it, could lead to moral decay.

The Cardinal said life should be defended from conception: “Kapag hindi pinahalagahan ang buhay na iyan sa alinman o saan mang yugto ng buhay ng tao, (sanggol, fetus, matanda, malakas, o mahina) hinding-hindi igagalang ang buhay ng sinuman—at diyan kapag wala ng halaga o walang pagpapahalaga, wala ng magtatanggol sa buhay.”

The Cardinal’s remarks are a re-expression of what the Varsitarian has said in its last editorial (“RH Bill: Deadly, Anti-Constitution”). Despite its claim to being a lawful measure by its invocation of supposed constitutional principles and state policies, the RH bill is mum on the most important constitutional principle and state policy that should apply on any measure that seeks to regulate births, curb population growth, and introduce sex education—that the “State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” (Section 12, Article 2) If one pits all of the questionable provisions of the bill against this proviso, one will recognize how the bill is in fact an attack on the 1987 Constitution that had been overwhelmingly ratified by nearly 80 percent of the population! One will agree with the Varsitarian that it is “deadly,” “anti-life,” “anti-family,” and “anti-constitution.” One will recognize that the RH bill is an attack on human dignity and the Filipino nation!

Oh, but contraception is not abortion, the RH bill proponents maintain. But only the truly dense cannot see through their smokescreen, their lie. In the first place, the bill makes a blanket approbation of all contraceptives, which it wants to be declared as “essential” medicines. Some of these contraceptives are technically abortifacients, even physicians admit that. Moreover, the bill compels medical workers to provide services to women suffering post-abortion complications, which is a condonation of abortion and violates the penal statutes on the crime. Much as mercy and compassion should be extended to women suffering from complications arising out of abortion, wouldn’t a law that forces medical practitioners to extend services to them, regardless of established ethical medical protocols, encourage other women to commit abortion, which is a criminal act? In short, doesn’t the RH bill in fact abet criminality?

Meanwhile, UST, maintaining its Catholic nature and character, released a statement last March 24 opposing the RH bill, saying it violates conscience and tramples upon religious freedom.” It said that any government-sponsored responsible parenthood program should be motivated by an “option for life and not against it. Backing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ stand, UST said natural family planning was the better option as it is “not only pro-life but also pro-poor and pro-women, since it does not endanger people’s health.”

UST is specifically opposing provisions in the consolidated RH bill or House Bill No. 4244, such as Section 9 which names contraceptives as essential medicines, Section 18 demanding all employers to include contraceptives in their employee’s economic package, and Section 22 that prohibits any person from “malicious engagement in disinformation about the intent or provision of this act.”

“This would mean that the purchase of contraceptives shall be the burden of all tax-paying Filipinos, even those who, in conscience, are pro-life,” UST said in its statement. “This is a violation of the freedom of religion, of freedom of conscience, and of freedom of expression.”

As much as how the mainstream media generally biased for the RH bill portray the rally and UST’s stand, both events evinced a growing awareness in the Church and society at large of the demonic ends of the bill, its utter disregard of life. Despite secularism and the pro-choice mentality of many Filipinos, it’s good to know that there are still Catholics and other Filipinos who belive in the sanctity of life and the right to life of both the born and the unborn.

Moreover, Filipinos are beginning to see the dark social-engineering dimensions of the bill. Contrary to what the authors of the bill have been trumpeting, the RH bill is not pro-poor. If it is, then there will be no need for the more than a billion of pesos that is planned to be spent during its initial phase. Filipinos are beginning to realize that the money for it would be better used to address directly the education, food and health needs of the poor. After all, the poor need food, clothing and shelter, not condoms and contaceptives. Filipinos are beginning to see that the RH bill authors and supporters are really Stalinist legislators who see the poor as sex-starved rabbits and blame the poor for their poverty.

In fact, family planning and population control were enshrined in the Marcos Constitution of 1973. Despite the widespread implementation of the draconian birth control law, poverty persisted, denying any correlation between population and poverty. On the contrary, the Philippine economy collapsed, which should show that poverty is caused, not by overpopulation (no such thing), but by corruption, mismanagement, and monopolistic and oligopolistic practices.

Now, Congress, backed by academics from the University of the Philippines (self-proclaimed leftist and nationalist) and Ateneo de Manila University (self-proclaimed democratic liberal and nationalist), both elitist and bourgeois institutions, want population control back! Their concourse should show that Statism exists, whether in the left or the right, and that Stalinists and fascists aren’t so strange bedfellows. In fact, for all practical purposes they’re cozy intimates. And from their act of consummation would issue the monstrous offspring—the RH bill, nothing less than the spawn of Statism.

Tags: RH bill

Even my professor (who's a

Even my professor (who's a doctor from UST Hospital) is a staunch supporter of the RH Bill. I just rage whenever I see stupid articles like this. I want Catholic priests to live in the squatters' area for a month and come back and defiantly say that they would still be Anti-RH Bill.

The RH bill doesn't mandate

The RH bill doesn't mandate anything right? It makes things more accessible. It doesn't say you have to use these things. I support any bill that gives the individual more control over their own lives. Abortion should be legalized, especially in the case of rape or incest.

I see...

Then what about the life created through the intercourse, whether caused by raped and incest? Isn't that murder? In my opinion, the RH Bill, even though I see it as senseless since why would you legislate choice or even morality for any given matter, tolerates if not promotes stability of the population, whether seen in an economic, sociological or moral point of view.

Sanctity of Life

1. Sanctity of Life cannot be denied by anybody, regardless of its religion or even absence of it. 2. As 'Gelo' wrote in his comments, citing the “Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church” :Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority. 3. So if the Government passes a law that makes contraceptives (which prevents conception, doesn't un-do conception, so not abortive) available, it gives its population the possibility to avail of them. It's called Freedom of Choice. If "good" christians don't want to use it because of their "moral values", nobody forces them to avail to them. But at least those who decide to avail to them have the opportunity to do so. 4. For me Sanctity of Life is having the moral obligation to assure that all people are given a decent life ! Everybody should have the assurance of having enough food so they don't have to go hungry, are provided with enough clothing to give them dignity, are provided with sufficient education so they can build their own future. Parents, and any one else who get involved in un-controlled parenthood are IMMORAL, IRRESPONSIBLE and yes, CRIMINAL if they promote having children, knowing very well that the child will be condemned to a life of deprivation, poverty, hunger and misery. How can you possibly call yourself a person with good morals if you accept and support that 30+% of your fellow country men don't have and will never have a chance for a decent, humane life. 5. Didn't Jesus, first and foremost, stand up for the poor, condemn those who denied them a decent life?!?! Think about that first and do something to give every living being a chance for a humane existance before you continue to condemn 100s of thousands more into an inhumane life of misery. Amen

Who's endorsing uncontrolled

Who's endorsing uncontrolled parenthood? No one. The Church is in favor of family planning using natural means that cost ZERO. Contraceptives have been made available in LGUs, DoH, health centers. Access could be improved, but the bill is not needed. Many of its provisions are already in the Magna Carta of Women 2009. Finally, contraceptives have another important mode of action. There can be breakthrough ovulation, in which case the contraceptive simply prevents the ovum from sticking to the uterine wall. That will undo conception, which is a violation of the constitution. And we aren't even talking about the emergency contraceptive and the IUD. These contraceptives are true abortifacients (imagine them in the hands of unmarried people, which is the intent of the bill). So don't go lecturing as if the other didn't know anything about contraceptives.

a thought on the article

Just a comment on the use of constitutional provisions on this article. The writer should read the constitution as a whole and not just cite a specific provision which he or she thinks support his or her position. the state is supposed to enact secular laws, free from the influence of any church- be it the majority or the minority religions. The Philippines as a pluralist state recognizes the diverse cultures and faiths that thrive in our land. We cannot impose our personal belief to other people who don't share our principles. The bill only pushes for an informed choice on the matter of reproductive health. Catholics are not forced to avail of the services and information regarding modern methods of family planning if it is against their belief. All that the bill is asking is respect for the diversity of Filipinos. And btw, we, Iskolars ng Bayan, are not self-proclaimed leftists and nationalists. Let's just say that we only know how to give back to the Filipino taxpayers whom we owe our education to. Please be careful in using labels for it may be misunderstood by your readers.

Informed choice -- then full

Informed choice -- then full information is needed. Contraceptive pills can increase the risk of breast cancer. The pill can prevent a fertilized egg from sticking to the uterine wall, which is an abortifacient mechanism. IUD's and the emergency contraceptive will become available in the market -- and these are abortifacients. Moreover, there will be no respect for diversity when schools (even Catholic schools) are forced under the bill to teach questionable sex-ed materials, and conscientious doctors are forced to refer patients to others if the patients demand RH services in emergency cases.

ust should be ashamed of this article

this made it to the school paper? ust should be ashamed of how distorted and uneducated this article is.

Unfortunately...

... rather than be ashamed, they've made it a sort of proud tradition. I recall how the editors released a similarly-themed editorial back when the 14 professors from AdMU released their position paper support the original RH Bill. It would probably be better not to expect good journalism from this sheet moving forward, so as to avoid disappointment and disbelief. Side note: I wish they didn't try to argue it from a Constitutional standpoint, because the reasoning they employed was simplistic and pathetic. Doesn't speak well of their law school. The should have tried something else, like the bottom portion of this: http://wp.me/pU56P-1i

reply to raggster's post

raggster clearly doesnt know what an EDITORIAL is. Like what someone opined in this thread, you are not the final arbiter of the constitutionality of things. So, please stop caterwauling like an envious loser. It was not only the Varsitarian who argued the unconstitutionality of some provisions in the RH Bill. Father Bernas has likewise pointed out some infirmities in the bill that do not conform with the constitution.

Editorials are opinion

Editorials are opinion pieces. There are opinions that you like and opinions that you do not like. You are not the final arbiter on the constitutionality of things. Other people therefore are entitled to their own take on the constitution.

Fr. Bernas affirms RH bill is anti-constitution

My stand on the RH Bill By: Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J. Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:49 am | Monday, May 23rd, 2011 848 Share2716 I HAVE been following the debates on the RH Bill not just in the recent House sessions but practically since its start. In the process, because of what I have said and written (where I have not joined the attack dogs against the RH Bill), I have been called a Judas by a high-ranking cleric, I am considered a heretic in a wealthy barangay where some members have urged that I should leave the Church (which is insane), and one of those who regularly hears my Mass in the Ateneo Chapel in Rockwell came to me disturbed by my position. I feel therefore that I owe some explanation to those who listen to me or read my writings. First, let me start by saying that I adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception even if I am aware that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do. Moreover, I am still considered a Catholic and Jesuit in good standing by my superiors, critics notwithstanding! Second (very important for me as a student of the Constitution and of church-state relations), I am very much aware of the fact that we live in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception. But freedom of religion means more than just the freedom to believe. It also means the freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes. Hence, the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief. As the “Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church” says, “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” and “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.” Third, I am dismayed by preachers telling parishioners that support for the RH Bill ipso facto is a serious sin or merits excommunication! I find this to be irresponsible. Fourth, I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can. Because of this, I and a number of my colleagues have offered ways of improving it and specifying areas that can be the subject of intelligent discussion. (Yes, there are intelligent people in our country.) For that purpose we jointly prepared and I published in my column what we called “talking points” on the bill. Fifth, specifically I advocate removal of the provision on mandatory sexual education in public schools without the consent of parents. (I assume that those who send their children to Catholic schools accept the program of Catholic schools on the subject.) My reason for requiring the consent of parents is, among others, the constitutional provision which recognizes the sanctity of the human family and “the natural and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.” (Article II, Section 12) Sixth, I am pleased that the bill reiterates the prohibition of abortion as an assault against the right to life. Abortifacient pills and devices, if there are any in the market, should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration. But whether or not there are such is a question of scientific fact of which I am no judge. Seventh, I hold that there already is abortion any time a fertilized ovum is expelled. The Constitution commands that the life of the unborn be protected “from conception.” For me this means that sacred life begins at fertilization and not at implantation. Eighth, it has already been pointed out that the obligation of employers with regard to the sexual and reproductive health of employees is already dealt with in the Labor Code. If the provision needs improvement or nuancing, let it be done through an examination of the Labor Code provision. Ninth, there are many valuable points in the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles which can serve the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service. There are specific provisions which give substance to these good points. They should be saved. Tenth, I hold that public money may be spent for the promotion of reproductive health in ways that do not violate the Constitution. Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution. Eleventh, I leave the debate on population control to sociologists. Finally, I am happy that the CBCP has disowned the self-destructive views of some clerics.

Fact: A 1996 analysis of

Fact: A 1996 analysis of worldwide epidemiologic data conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer found that women who were current or recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer.

And yet they want pills to be

And yet they want pills to be declared "essential medicines"!

SEC. 10. Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines

Products and supplies for modern family planning methods shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.

Hillary Clinton: Reproductive health requires abortion

Hillary Clinton confirms: Reproductive health means abortion

In Abortion, Family Planning, Women's Rights on April 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s rebuke of the Canadian government last week finally confirms what pro-family groups have been saying for decades: when they say family planning or reproductive health, they mean abortion.

As rotating head of the G8 this year, Canada is leading efforts to promote maternal and child health in developing countries. These efforts will be the primary theme at the upcoming G8 summit in June.

In outlining the initiative for the upcoming summit, conservative Prime Minister Harper specifically left out reproductive health topics, specifically abortion and contraception, preferring to focus on actual healthcare. The choice led to a national controversy and pressure from pro-abortion lobbies.

In response to a campaign by a Canadian policy group, Harper did concede and include contraception in the initiative but refused to include abortion. The opposition Liberal Party then attempted, but failed, to force the issue by passing a parliamentary motion that would require Canada’s G8 initiative to include “the full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options.” Although the Liberal Party would not state that this would include abortion, it was clearly implied.

Enter Secretary Clinton.

Last Tuesday, Canada hosted a G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in Gatineau, Canada in preparation for the summit this summer. Clinton took the opportunity to chastise the Canadian government for, among other things, this policy on maternal health and abortion and clarify for everyone that reproductive health means abortion.

When asked her opinion on the Canadian debate, Clinton responded:

“I’m not going to speak for what Canada decides, but I will say that I’ve worked in this area for many years. And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”

There you have it. Reproductive health means abortion. For decades, we have been fighting the words “reproductive health” and “family planning” in UN documents, arguing that these words mean abortion. And for decades, our opposition has denied it. Well, they can deny it no longer. Clinton has made it clear that every document that includes the words “family planning” or “reproductive health services” is a document promoting abortion. Unfortunately, as our alert two weeks ago pointed out and this recent incident illustrates, the push to reduce international maternal mortality rates will only increase the number of documents and policies susceptible to this language.

So thank you to Secretary Clinton for making the battle so clear. And thank you to Prime Minister Harper for standing for life and focusing on policies that save rather than take lives.

The comment may be correct in

The comment may be correct in citing Sec. Clinton but it ignores one crucial facet of the Phillippines' crafting of its OWN laws - sovereignty. In short, while Sec. Clinton may speak of a foreign conception of reproductive health, the Philippine legislature, being a branch of the government of a sovereign state, is free to design reproductive health as it deems fit. That the American model says something does not mean that the Philippine incarnation should be a mirror image.

Our legal framework is filled with examples whereby we deviated from foreign models even as we share features with them. Our democracy borrow from the US the presidential rather than the parliamentary systems, and also a bicameral rather than a unicameral legislature. But ecen as our democracy is modelled after that of the US, we do not have a federal system, we have but one Supreme Court whereas in the US they have state supreme courts and a federal supreme court. In addressing Muslim secessionism we have adopted the concept of an autonomous region but this is not completely parallel to CHina's one country, two systems approach which is being followed in the case of Hong Kong. Our Civil Code combines elements from continental jurisdictions while also adopting features of common law systems; moreover, in 1988 Book 1 of the Civil Code was replaced by the Family Code with the intention, among others, of adopting a Code that is more in tune to Filipino values.

So clearly that a foreign model says something does not mean that the Philippines is bound to follow it in toto. The fact remains that the Philippines is a sovereign state. That is of course, unless we say that the Philippines is not truly sovereign and is but a puppet of the imperialist United States of America. But if we say that, aren't we now falling into the same generalizing and lazy attitude of leftwing radicals that this article similarly criticizes?

But, can we be a little bit

But, can we be a little bit more skeptical? The RH lobby is funded by pro-abortion American NGOs. Is it unreasonable to suspect a hidden agenda? Isn't it prudent to not to swallow the whole RH thing hook, line, and sinker? Don't you think this bill is being pushed to lay the groundwork for the eventual legalization of abortion? This is legal framework they want to establish. And the RH framework includes access to safe and legal abortion. Hillary Clinton herself attests.

That may be so, but I submit

That may be so, but I submit that skepticism for skepticism's sake is not healthy. To he who alleges lies the burden of proof. So we can just say, "baka it's laying the groundwork." And we can just say that because Sec. Clinton say's so, then ipso facto that's what's going to happen. THe Revised Penal Code is clear, abortion is criminalized whether intentional or unintentional. In Law there is a principle that where the law is clear there is no room for extraneous interpretation, the plain of the law will stand. So hindi naman kaya paranoia ang concern sa abortion when our laws are so clear and categorical. I mean, is there anything clearer than specific words than define abortion as a crime and prescribe penalties therefor?

The Center for Reproductive

The Center for Reproductive Rights

Our Mission

For more than 15 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has used the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.

Our Vision

Reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination and equality embodied in both the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Center works toward the time when that promise is enshrined in law in the United States and throughout the world. We envision a world where every woman is free to decide whether and when to have children; where every woman has access to the best reproductive healthcare available; where every woman can exercise her choices without coercion or discrimination. More simply put, we envision a world where every woman participates with full dignity as an equal member of society.

Since 1992, our attorneys have boldly used legal and human rights tools to create this world. We are the only global legal advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive rights, with expertise in both U.S. constitutional and international human rights law. Our groundbreaking cases before national courts, United Nations committees, and regional human rights bodies have expanded access to reproductive healthcare, including birth control, safe abortion, prenatal and obstetric care, and unbiased information. We influence the law outside the courtroom as well, documenting abuses, working with policymakers to promote progressive measures, and fostering legal scholarship and teaching on reproductive health and human rights.

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By this comment's own

By this comment's own admission, it's referring to an NGO and not to the sovereign Philippine Republic.

An NGO (among many other

An NGO (among many other pro-abort NGOs) at the forefront of the RH lobby, in a legislature that is at the beck and call of lobbyists.

At the beck and call of

At the beck and call of lobbyists? SOrry but I can't take that statement hook line and sinker. If that were true why are anti-tobacco measures still pending in the house? Why did we get only a watered down version of the Clean Air Act? Why won't the P125 across the board legislated wage hike get ratified? For that matter, why has it taken at least 15 years for the RH bill to even reach this stage? That we are even having these dicussions today is proof positive that lobbyists do not ALWAYS get their way with Congress.

Now you're talking. Of course

Now you're talking. Of course you can be selective on which statements to take hook, line, and sinker. Let others do the same.

Oh, I can also cite a listing of many bills passed and not passed as a result of lobbying. The 2003 Sin Tax bill was watered down at the beck and call of Fortune Tobacco and Philip Morris. The 2005 RVAT law was passed at the beck and call of our dearly beloved foreign creditors, the WB, IMF. The vehicle excise tax law was watered down at the lobbying of car importers. The Milk Code can't pass because of the pharmaceutical lobby. The cheaper medicines law was watered down because the generics lobby was a lot stronger and they had a congressman, an industry insider, on their side. The Customs Brokers' Act was passed at the instance of Customs Brokers. Wait, there's more. The fiscal incentives act has been languishing because the big multinationals don't want to lose their tax perks. The excise tax on softdrinks has also gathered dust because sugar companies and beverage firms don't want to lose revenues. The 2001 EPIRA law was passed reportedly with cash going around. That's just the legislative department. You can just imagine the kind of lobbying at the executive. I assure you, the RH lobby will try and try, until it succeeds.

Ever notice that you guys are

Ever notice that you guys are saying practically the same thing? The triumph of one lobby group is the failure of another. If the P125 wage hike can't get passed, that means labor groups are failing at their lobbying while employers are successful with their counter-lobbying. True, the labor groups are the proponents, but employers are also doing their own lobbying. It's different sides of the same coin. The RVAT Law was passed because foreign creditors outdid people's organizations, etc, etc. But see, here's what's funny, the RH Bill has lagged for 15yrs. AND, as I'm sure the anti-RH groups are hoping for this, they don't want it to be passed. And assuming it does not get passed... Isn't that a testament to the Church's potency? So who's the powerful lobbyist now, certainly, the past 15years points to no other but the Church. If the RH Bill gets passed now, then maybe than represents a shift in the balance of power, but that DOES NOT DISCOUNT THE FACT THAT FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS THE CHURCH WAS THE MORE POTENT LOBBYIST. More so if the RH Bill doesn't get passed, now that's really indicative of the effectiveness of the Church. See, it's too easy to villify lobby groups when our example of lobby groups are tobacco companies, foreign creditors, big businesses. But the indigenous people's organizations which succeeded in passing the Indigenous People's Rights Act, they are also lobbyists. The environmentalists who pushed for the Clean Air Act, they are also lobbyists. The Health secretaries who sought to intervene in the placing of visual warning on cigarette boxes, they are also lobbyists. The public safety advocates who are pushing for urban planning with greater foresight in the wake of destructive earthquakes, they are also lobbyists. So the Church too is lobbying,and for that matter it has succeeded for over 15years! So far, it has been successful in opposing divorce and other pieces of legislation. And just the same, I'm sure that the Church will "try and try" to keep the RH lobby from failing.

Don't muddle the issue. The

Don't muddle the issue. The abortion agenda is the topic here. Of course the Church will continue lobbying -- its ABORTION the RH lobbyists want.

We can't do anything anymore

We can't do anything anymore when people, after having been informed that RH lobbyists' intentions are not exactly lily-white, still decide to swallow the RH lobby propaganda without even a tinge of skepticism. Maybe their minds have already been made up. Well, it's not taxes or infant formula we're talking about here. It's ABORTION.

And aren't you the one who's

And aren't you the one who's muddling the issue? Read the thread from top to bottom and you'll see a linear progression of arguments that ultimately led to someone saying that Congress is at the beck and call of lobbyists. Somebody just pointed out the interesting fact that there are always two lobby groups to a proposal - pro and con - and you cry "muddling the issue"? Well that's just convenient.

That's what you're good at,

That's what you're good at, falling back into your settled suppositions whenever logical loopholes become apparent.

I am a 27yo young

I am a 27yo young professional who wrote an undergraduate paper defending the Church on its involvement in politics (this was in the aftermath of EDSA II when the Church was being criticized for 'politicking') - take this mention of my background for what it's worth.

Now, consider these ladies and gentlemen:

1. I've seen one comment below where one went on to lengthily claim that what happened here is not ad hominem - and he ends with "HAHA!" (whether or not that is accurate is another matter altogether). Now, ad hominem or not, the effect of this article has clearly been TO OFFEND individuals from other institutions. In other words, we can be very technical and all, but we cannot discredit the clear result that has arisen from this article. The most articulate of defenses can be written but against the clear fact that negative feelings have arisen out of this, there is simply no counter-argument.

2. So that begs the question, ad hominem or not, did this article really further the merits of the Church's arguments or did it only spread greater discord and ill-will?

3. I don't know about the other Catholics and Christians who have seen, read and commented on this article, but my understanding of Christ's teachings is that it has been against proselytizing and bigotry. Did Christ not criticize the pharisees for their hardline stance on matters of faith? Did Christ not preach a message of tolerance, forgiveness and community? And was it not precisely Christ's very vocal opposition to sanctimonious / holier-than-thou attitudes that brought him to disfavor with the religious authorities of his time - something that ultimately led to his death?

4. I invite you to consider the adage, "the medium is the message," that is, the manner by which something is said or an idea is conveyed will inevitably affect the value and weight of that message.

5. Now granted that there is merit in the intentions of the article, was the article nevertheless un-Christian in the MANNER by which it delivered its intended message? Was the lambasting of other institutions really essential to a meritorious presentation of the article's intended (if indeed intended) rational arguments? Or have these insults been nothing more than unnecessary surplusage that have caused, if not worsened already existing, divisions? Or worse, did the article not only alienate (as someone below pointed out) and drive away others who may already share or may be led to share the Church's position? Talaga bang kailangang may banat pa sa mga taga ibang school? Or for that matter, kailngan bang may banat pa talaga sa kung sino mang ibang tao?

6. Much has been said about the intricacies of fallacies and ethics in writing, about the status of or prestige associated with various universities and their pedagogies, there have even been (interesting, and I must admit, enlightening) discussions on political ideologies. But what it all boils down to is whether or not the article has been an effective advocate of the Church's cause. As regards this, I humbly assert that the article has not been successful.

7. Some would say, pro-RH advocates have aired insults and personal attacks too. I agree, and even the threads below are replete with this. But, and again I assert this with humility, is it not precisely the challenge of being Christians that we should not be vindictive / vengeful. Did Christ himself not discredit the concept of an eye for an eye? I suppose we can all realize that there is a line that divides legitimate self-defense from belligerent retaliation. As someone below pointed out, the essence of opposing the RH Bill is in asserting that we should not fall prey to our human passions. If that is so, then is not anger and the drive for retaliation also a human passion that we must control? Is not wrath as much of a deadly sin as are lust and gluttony?

Taking the "high road" (as someone below puts it) is indeed very challenging, but I think, our Christian faith calls for nothing less than overcoming such an overwhelming challenge. After all, did not Christ himself win over his tormentors by a show of love and temperance rather than by an overwhelming show of force?

It is, at the very least,

It is, at the very least, refreshing to see some positivity amidst all the hate. Congrats!

what's your definition of

what's your definition of hate? you just don't like the tone, so you call it "hate."

Guys, my reading of the

Guys, my reading of the comment is that it's a simple call for sobriety, which after all is perfectly reasonable call.

Must we be so fundamentalist

Must we be so fundamentalist as to dwell on minutiae and technical definitions. Just scroll down and you will see perfectly clear examples of hate from both sides of the fence. Let's respect each other and have the basic courtesy by thinking that people know of basic vocabulary instead being all arrogant and say that people do not know the most basic of definitions.

See below and you'll see all

See below and you'll see all kinds of hate. Whether pro or anti-RH. I'm saying this irrespective of people's positions. Pro-RH people calling anti-Rh as stupid, etc. Ang technical naman na hahanapan pa ng kung anong definition.

good. sauce for the goose,

good. sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.

Lots of things wrong,

Lots of things wrong, especially No. 3.

No. 1, Jesus said he could cause division. “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is My anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Uhhhm, did you read the bible? Did you read the part where Jesus said, "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?” How about this: "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” Oooops, name-calling.

St. Peter was really harsh: "Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings….these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish…..They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done….They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!….Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

Also, when Christ entered the temple of Jerusalem, there was absolutely no show of temperance. He simply drove all the vendors out.

How wrong is it to label UP academics leftists when the institution is itself a hotbed of the Left? How wrong is it to call the Ateneo liberal when liberals abound in it and it has produced liberals like Noynoy and Risa H.? UST and the Church don't take issue when it's called names, like conservative, orthodox, dogmatic. Enough of the appeal to pity.

I hope you guys devote the

I hope you guys devote the same kind of energy to these people:

CARLOS CELDRAN: "just got chewed up and negged out by Bishop Bacani on GMATV. Wild. What an angry and bitter man... I think I need a chakra cleansing. Oof."

BETH ANGSIOCO: "The silent majority supporting the bill should now be counted. We need the hero in you to come out for this bill. Damasos controlling women’s ovaries should be no more."

Iloilo Representative JANETTE GARIN: "Hypocrisy in your institution is pulling you down..we object to the imposition brought about by stone-age beliefs not intended for the good of the many...”

Rather than applaud the heresy of Catholic professors who like to get salaries from a Catholic and Jesuit university, I also hope the Catholics in this thread use their zeal in correcting the grievous mistake of the Ateneo 14 in twisting Catholic teaching to justify their claim that it's perfectly OK for Catholics to use contraceptives.

I do not think the comments

I do not think the comments are losing sight of the error of the above-mentioned pro-RH advocates whenever they engage in name-calling. To me it's clear that the common sentiment is, it's wrong to hurl insults whichever persuasion one may hold.

Be that as it may, the challenge nevertheless takes particular significance for Christians because that is the call of Christianity. I mean, if Celdran, etc. choose underhanded tactics then, I suppose that's not very surprising precisely because they choose to not tread the Christian path. But Christians know better, can do better and they should show they can do better.

Now, if Christians can do better, I think they can deliver their message more clearly and more effectively. Let me put it this way, yung mga aktibista na binabatikos ng article na to, why doesn't anybody listen to them anymore? It's because banat sila ng banat, lahat na lang imperyalista, lahat na lang pasista, tapos, pag nag-rally naninira ng mga gamit, nagpipinta ng graffitti na pader ng may pader, nambabato ng itlog (Esperon, 2006) o nambabato ng paintbomb (UPLB Chancellor 2010). Nakakaturn-off yung violent ways nila.

Ikumpara natin sa mga peace advocate na gaya nina Gandhi, Oscar Romero tsaka Martin Luther King (na binanggit nung comment sa baba), diba mas malinaw at mas kahanga-hanga sila dahil hindi sila bumababa sa lebel ng karahasan o ng pang-iinsulto? In fact it's precisely because of their meekness that they are held in such regard. Si Aung San Suu Kyi ng Burma, diba sa lalong panggigipit sa kanya ng rehimen ng Burma at sa lalong pagtitimpi niya nakikita kung gaano katama ang ipinaglalaban niya. As Christians we have the examples of so many Christian martyrs who took the high road and we recognize them as prime examples of faith and virtue for it.

Population control

Population control -- an elitist and bourgeois idea.

Population control is not elitist

Families from the middle to upper classes of society are typically smaller than poor families. Why is that?

Perhaps because they are more educated, more aware, they know what options are available to them, they are able to absorb their current circumstance and reach a rational decision .

People from the lower strata of society are more vulnerable to making the wrong decisions. Why? Because such impoverished circumstances make it so difficult to reach a rational decision.

People in the upper classes of society exercise "population control" in the sense that they plan and decide how many children they ought to have. They have the means to make this decision: they are well informed and well versed in reproductive health; and should they choose it, contraception is available to them.

Consider this, Is it fair that it is the single mother with no means who is left to raise a family of 12 children?

Why should safe contraception (condoms for instance) and education in reproductive health be available only for those who can afford it?

What is wrong with educating the masses rich or poor about reproductive health? What is wrong with teaching them that such a thing as contraceptives do exist? teaching them how these contraceptives are used, what the consequences are should they choose to use it, etc. What is wrong with making safe contraceptives universally available?

We live in a democracy where people are free to make their OWN decisions and free to respect others decisions as well. Rich or poor. Why not educate the individual and let them decide how they would choose to live his/her own life.

... championed by leftists

... championed by leftists who are the exact opposite of the burgeois. This is funny.

Did you even read the

Did you even read the editorial? "Their concourse should show that Statism exists, whether in the left or the right, and that Stalinists and fascists aren’t so strange bedfellows. In fact, for all practical purposes they’re cozy intimates. And from their act of consummation would issue the monstrous offspring—the RH bill, nothing less than the spawn of Statism."

Beating a dead horse. Nasagot

Beating a dead horse. Nasagot na'to read below, Let's not waste space.

Yeah, nasagot na. Nasagot ng

Yeah, nasagot na. Nasagot ng "AD HOMINEM!" "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!" "Don't hurt my feelings!" "Ang bad nyo" "Bobo kayong mga taga UST"

More of the same. This is

More of the same. This is getting redundant.

Where were you 'Christians'

Where were you 'Christians' when Ateneo 14 twisted Church teachings to mislead other Christians?

I am anti-RH I beg of you,

I am anti-RH I beg of you, let's not alienate our fellow Christians.

I know for a fact that there

I know for a fact that there were "Christians" who engaged them in enlightened debates, wrote them letters, wrote articles in academic journals and rationally debunked their claims. "Christians" who did not resort to branding and insults.

These are Christians who will

These are Christians who will die for they faith, Christians who can exemplify their best virtues without having to be combative.

Let me clarify. I'm talking

Let me clarify. I'm talking about the likes of Bishop Romero and Martin Luther King, who will die for their faith and beliefs without having to be combative. And these are the kinds of Christians who will earn admiration and respect. THe likes of Gandhi are those whom humankind has admired for their peace. If you don't believe me, read up on history.

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