I was supposed to blog something geeky but when I saw the title of Arbet’s newest blog post in my Google reader my instincts yelled “Hold the press! a hot new story’s coming in!”
And so there it was, ‘the Church versus the State’ once more. It all started when Quezon City Councilor Joseph “Sep” Juico agreed to be the main sponsor of an ordinance “Establishing a Quezon City Population and Reproductive Health Management Policy” which of course has ticked off the local Church and is now, ironically and with the pun intented, raising hell against Juico, his followers and the ordinance in question.
…I wondered why no one challenged Lito Atienza when he banned the distribution of condoms and similar materials from Manila’s health centers. I think what he did what patently illegal, since his reason is religious in nature. This is the same reason why the Department of Health and the Population Commission are not pushing hard for artificial family planning methods. And this I condemn with strong words. This is the Catholic Taliban in action. The government is not even promoting such use because it is againts Gloria Arroyo’s religious belief.
Hear! Hear! And to add something original but a little off topic, I find Arrovo, Arroyo’s religious opposition to artificial family planning hypocritical, patently even. Consider and we must never forget that she once had the gall to swear on Rizal’s grave that she’ll never run for President but then all the while she was lying and now she continues to screw us all.
Second and most damnable, despicable, disgusting and revolting is that she had the tenacity to call up a COMELEC Commissioner during the last Presidential elections in order to ‘secure her votes.’ Which of course was nothing but screwing us and this country all over again by perverting the sanctity of the ballot which is the cornerstone of our democracy which in turn is what the Church has been “fighting for all along.”
Isn’t that right my dear, envelope-from-Malacañang-loving Bishops?
The Jester-in-Exile eloquently wraps up the legal aspect of this latest tussle between our democratic and Consitutional rights against some ancient dogma of a little over 1 billion of the world’s total population:
As for you Church leaders, let me say this: in this Republic we live in, the Bible — or your shamefully narrow-minded interpretation of it — has to bend its knee to the Constitution, and to the laws of the land.
Render what is Caesar’s to Caesar, lest you become hypocrites yourselves. The Philippines is NOT a Catholic fundamentalist state, and don’t forget that the kingdom Jesus the Christ spoke of is not of this earth.
Amen, amen to that!
Councilor Jucio was merely being rational, objective and responsive to the needs of his constituents, the very same people who voted for him. Not like the Church leaders who abandoned their families in order to become agents of a kingdom that is “not of this earth” and are now telling us, through Jucio and his supporters, even threatening them with fire and brimestone to heed their teachings as if they are in charge.
Rina Jimenez-David tells Jucio’s story:
As part of his work as a councilor, Sep says he makes it a point to “immerse” himself in urban poor communities in his district, sometimes even spending a night with a family. “Nakakaawa talaga ang kondisyon nila” (Their condition is really pitiful), he recalls, describing a typical shanty crawling with vermin such that “they no longer wake up when huge rats scamper across their chests at night.”
In our local church here in Silang, Cavite the priests built a tall and mighty fence around the church, renovated the patio and convent which made the whole place nice and grandiose. In exchange, the candle, rosary, flowers and religious item vendors were thrown out and forbidden to set up their make-shift stalls because “they were annoying the rich parishoners of our town.”
“Everywhere I go, I see pregnant women,” he adds, “and usually they tell me it’s their fourth or fifth child.” What’s really depressing, he notes, is that “they are not happy about it, telling me they didn’t want to have these many children.”
But the Church is not that bad. They give dole outs to the poor, say prayers for the poor, call themselves the ‘church of the poor’, read them sections of the Bible that says it’s totally normal and okay to be poor. (Remember the Beatitudes?)
Question now is, does anyone really want to be poor?
The infamous phrase in this post’s title I first encounter back in my 6th grade of elementary when my grandfather gave me a copy of a little book “Marx for Beginners” where it was discussed. So I quote the phrase in its full context once more:
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
If I recall it right, for I had my highschool education in a Catholic school and is now
chasing pursuing a degree in a Chatholic University, (Jucio and I are both Lasallians!), before Jesus left for heaven, he told his disciples to go out and serve the poor, not just be with the poor.
Sabi nga ng malupet na teacher ko nung highschool,
Sa muling pagbalik ni Kristo ang mga una niyang gugunawin ay ang mga simabahan at una niyang ihahagis sa impyerno ay ang mga pari at obispo, kasi ang sabi niya paglingkuran ang mga dukha hindi yung magpagawa ng magpagawa ng mga simbahan.