Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Saga of the Right to Life Against the Culture of Death

Maybe only a handful knew about the March for Life that happened Valentine's Eve, due to the absence of the major media networks in the country; in fact, the only prominent one present was Radyo Veritas, which is the sole Catholic radio station in the Metropolis. In my personal opinion, this is a problem to the prominent profession which we seek, and because of this ignorance, I was disappointed to the very institutions I look up to. 

But all that happened there is just the tip of the iceberg. Because when you dive down deeper, you would realize that there is a continuing saga of life versus death. 

Yes, reader. I'm talking about the most talked-about moral issue to date: the Reproductive Health Bill; and I would give my best common-sense comments on this. 

It started in the last days of the Arroyo administration, but was aggravated at the beginning of Benigno Aquino III's presidency when Albay Representative Edcel Lagman filed House Bill 96 in the Lower House of Congress. With its responsibility as Mater et Magistra, obviously the Catholic Church is the first to react and challenge the said legal action. Their conflict even got worse when Carlos Celdran got into the picture and rubbed to the Bishops' faces that the Church should not meddle in political affairs while raising high the placard which wrote "DAMASO"; but the Bishops didn't interfere in politics, they just reacted as it is natural for all men to react in a peculiar issue. It is the Church who spearheaded the campaign against the RH Bill, but it does not mean that they were the only ones fighting. There were also pockets of resistance that came from several pastors, imams, and even secular groups. Their support was physically shown in the March for Life and virtually shown through social networking. And everything between it is history. 

Now, I name the game. It cannot be morality because it is more religious. It cannot be the freedom of choice because it's vague. It cannot also be Church vs. State because being a Theist cannot be separated from being a Filipino. Maybe the name of the game is social responsibility. 

Why such? 

Everyone, I presume, is familiar with the Basic Human Rights: in this case, the right to life. Maybe the Bill could promote life, but what makes it wrong is simple: the intention is good yet some provisions are shown promoting artificial family planning (e.g. contraceptives), which is something not yet 100% proven effective. In short, the intentions may be good, but the means are doubtful: thus, a doubtful legal action that must be scrutinized. 

Moreover, to make things simple, imagine this: you were born even if you are uncertain of your future and no matter how and why; and after all your prayers and endeavors, you succeeded in the things you look  forward to achieve (who doesn't want to, anyway?). Will you be that generous to share your experiences to your future children for their future reference; or will you be that selfish to keep all your grudges to yourself, given that you were told that you were a mistake? 

Okay. Enough of the analogies. The reason why we see this as a taboo in society is because of three things: 

1. Filipinos value life even outside religion and law. We are known for our acceptance for children, regardless of color, physique, or even gender; 

2. Filipinos try hard to be careful of their bringing, especially in their sexual aspect; and 

3. Filipinos do not want to shame the ones they cherish the most, especially one's family and community. 

It is not wrong to make love in bed, as long as it is according to one's social norm and as long as the participants are responsible enough to face the potential consequences. We must remember that no matter what happens, deprivation is not an answer to something that is rendered as sacred. 

And the saga goes on.... 

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