The RH Bill is a hot topic in the Philippine for the past several months. In fact, it’s so hot that it’s become quite divisive, forcing many people, who would otherwise stay quiet, to draw the line. I’m one of them. This is not about comics, but I feel I need to offer my opinion on the subject as a Catholic, albeit a somewhat un-devout one.
Once again, I need to emphasize I am only speaking for myself. If you want to disagree, go write your own blog post.
Having browsed the RH Bill, and all the arguments FOR and AGAINST it, I think it’s a healthy thing that it’s being addressed and talked about. The Catholic Church is perfectly within their right to say that this bill displeases them, and it’s perfectly within their right to teach against it among their flock, specifically the Catholics. And it is perfectly within people’s rights to say that this is a bill that they support and that this bill is what is right for them.
Now the government, and the law-making bodies should be independent of all this. No church should have influence on how laws are made in this country. This is why:
*The Catholic Church disapproves of the RH Bill because they believe that many of its provisions violate aspects of Catholic Cathecism, specially with regards to contraceptives.
*Not all Filipinos are Catholics.
*The Philippine government should speak for ALL Filipinos be they Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Baptist, Iglesya ni Kristo, Aglipayan and so forth.
The question is: Why is the Catholic Church so hell bent on disallowing a bill that affects not only Catholics but everyone else? In effect, it’s trying to push a Catholic agenda on ALL Filipinos including not only Catholics but also Muslims, Buddhists, INCs, Aglipayans, Baptists, Protestants, and Atheists alike.
NO CHURCH SHOULD HAVE THAT KIND OF INFLUENCE.
What if this were turned around? What if this was a predominantly Muslim country? Or what if this was a predominantly Atheist country? What if THEY force the government into passing or not passing bills that follow THEIR agenda? How would Catholics feel then? Pretty bad, I’m sure.
This is why government and religion should always, ALWAYS be a separate thing. There are reasons for it, and this is one of them.
The Catholic Church should simply concentrate on teaching their flock, the Catholics, not to follow the contents of the RH Bill if ever it comes into law. And Catholics, if they are true to their church, will follow. After all, this is what they signed up for. As Catholics, we Catholics should follow what the Pope says, and what the Church teaches us. And if Catholics no longer believe in the church, in the Pope and their teachings, they are free to leave, or just lapse. In my case, it doesn’t mean I no longer believe in God, or Jesus or the saints. I still do. I still very much strongly do. But I have been very unhappy with the behavior of the Catholic Church of late, specially with regard to this bill.
Instead of priests berating their flock, they should do the opposite. The should be more sympathetic, be more understanding, they should reach out with love and respect. Make their flock understand with utmost patience and kindness. If this is their approach, I’m sure many of their flock would be more willing to listen. The church should think of this as a new missionary mission. Just because we are already converted that doesn’t mean we will always stay that way. The church should always continue the effort. This is the only way for the church to survive.