A Discussion With A Pro-RH Bill Supporter

A Discussion With A Pro-RH Bill Supporter

By Bro. Isahel N. Alfonso

 

This happened on Facebook and I think it is a good idea that I will share this to everyone; written in black is quoted from the Pro-Rh Bill advocate in written in red is my response.
Pro-RH Bill: Fun arguments by CBCP and the like when they themselves done follow the teachings of the bible most relevant with worshiping a man made idol i’ll make it into tagalog, gumagawa ng REBULTO. Though shalt not commit IDOLATRY which means do not worship or pray to anything man made and Idols are man made. Might tell you if you read the bible. John 14:6 says I am the way the truth and the light NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME AND NOT YOUR MAN MADE SAINTS. *cough* Calunsod *cough*.
Me: I cannot afford not to comment on your status. As much as I respect your opinion, allow me to correct some of your misconceptions about the Catholic faith.First and foremost you are correct in saying that the Bible prohibits worshiping idols and carving images of idols. In Ex.20:3-5 it is clear that God prohibits worshiping of idols and the creation of their images. However, God allowed the creation of images of angels on top of the Ark of the Covenant Ex.25:18 and the temple where people of the Old Testament is full of images in which it was God who ordered the creation thereof (1 Kings 6:29).

“The walls on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers”. 1 Kings 6:29

While the people of God are wandering in the desert God ordered Moses to create an image of a bronze serpent. (Num.21:8-9)

What can we learn from this? It basically tells us that there are two kinds of images. Images that were prohibited by God such as the pagan deities (we do not see any pagan images inside the Church). And the images of saints and angels in which God did not prohibited.

Nowhere in Catholic teaching ever teach nor encourage the worship of images of idols or saints.

We do believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) that is why in the Holy Eucharist the center of the worship ceremony is Jesus Christ not Mary and the saints. However, the Bible also says that The Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth (1 Timothy 3:15-16) henceforth if we want to know more about Christ and become close to Christ we have to heed the teachings of the true Church for faith comes from what is heard (Rom.10:17). May God Bless you.

 

Pro-RH Bill: I get your point but tell that to your delusional devotees that are overzealous on enforcing their beliefs on other people as well as interfering on the processes in the Law of the Land. Eucharists are now are interfered basically for POLITICAL STATEMENTS made by and for the CBCP. Where is the SEPARATION BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND STATE? If the Catholic Church can’t even respect that then might as well TAX the Church. Its already gone and long since the time of the DAMASO’S and the Hypocrisy. Even Oscar Cruz calling out “Civil Disobedience” what you want you get what you don’t want you interfere with.
Me: [I get your point but tell that to your delusional devotees that are overzealous on enforcing their beliefs on other people as well as interfering on the processes in the Law of the Land.]People of the faith have the moral obligation to oppose a law that is detrimental to the life and dignity of all human beings. It is those who are in favor of RH BILL who imposes their belief on others by making it a law obliging everyone to obey what they believe under the precept of law.

[Eucharists are now are interfered basically for POLITICAL STATEMENTS made by and for the CBCP. Where is the SEPARATION BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND STATE? If the Catholic Church can’t even respect that then might as well TAX the Church.]

The separation of the Church and the State does not entail absolute separation rather, the Church nor the state will not interfere in matters that are purely political or religious. Thus in the Constitution the state is prohibited from espousing or favoring a specific religion. However, it does not prohibits the cooperation of the state and the Church. When the Legislative branch of the state interfered in matters pertaining to morality they are the ones who is violating the separation of the state and the Church because they are imposing a law which is contrary to the moral beliefs of the Filipino people. Remind you that even in our constitution religious beliefs are being respected, thus obliging any person to act contrary to his belief is unconstitutional. There are provisions in the RH BILL that violates the fundamental right of a person. And this fundamental right is protected by our 1987 constitution and that is the right to exercise ones religious belief.

[Its already gone and long since the time of the DAMASO’S and the Hypocrisy. Even Oscar Cruz calling out “Civil Disobedience” what you want you get what you don’t want you interfere with.]

Yes Damaso is long gone because clergies nowadays espouses the example of Fr. Florentino, civil disobedience is justifiable and is an inalienable right of a person if such laws that were implemented are detrimental to his life, dignity and morality. It was through civil disobedience that the Negros were freed from slavery.

Pro-RH Bill: What fundamental right may that be? The right to live? THERE IS NOT EVEN A SINGLE CLAUSE WHERE IT STATES THERE IS ABORTION.There was no clause in forcing the RH Bill on Everyone, and Contraception was already available in the market long ago, it only helps on providing sufficient contraceptives on part of the mass that can’t afford it. Then you would be making the case on why not spend the Bill on helping people improve on their livelihood? The Government has already a lot of those and still it may be or not justifiable for the cost and the corruption that may happen within the Government.

Civil Obedience on behalf of the Church is NEVER and i repeat NEVER JUSTIFIABLE. You make use of the members of your congregation as PAWNS for the CBCP’S own interest. Then after that the CBCP will make make a say on the Issue which makes the line between the Separation between the Church and State has gone Blurry.

” There are provisions in the RH BILL that violates the fundamental right of a person. And this fundamental right is protected by our 1987 constitution and that is the right to exercise ones religious belief. ”

Again this is never ever forcing itself on everyone, EVERYBODY HAS A CHOICE AND THIS WAS GIVEN TO THEM. Di pinagpipilit ito sa mga tao kung magpaparticipate sila, specially when it came to Sex Education which for me is a need these days, KULANG ang guidance ng parents sa mga teenagers lately and it lead to more frequent teenage pregnancy. We were all teenagers once and don’t try to be a saint that curiosity never best us in many ways.

DAYS OF DAMASO Long gone? RUMOR MONGERING, SCANDALS THAT WERE SHUN. Dream on.

Me: [What fundamental right may that be? The right to live? THERE IS NOT EVEN A SINGLE CLAUSE WHERE IT STATES THERE IS ABORTION.]Of course it is not stated in the said provision because it is directly contrary to the constitution. However, the promotion of contraceptive pills and IUD which both are not only prevents conception but also acts as abortifacients. They might not have specific clause which legalizes abortion yet the mere fact that they are promoting the use of contraceptive/abortifacient medicines and devices is tantamount to promotion of abortion under the precept of “essential medicines” to where these medicines and devices where classified. What fundamental right was violated? Under our constitution in Sec.1 Art.III on the bill of rights it says,

Art.III Sec.1 No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of Law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

Isn’t it true that an aborted infant is deprived of his life and liberty? When a fetus or a zygote is aborted due to the use of pills and IUD are they not depriving such a person of his life and liberty? I cannot think of what to call a person who disagrees with this obvious truth. Clearly this is violation of a person’s fundamental right. Furthermore, the Constitution also protects another fundamental right, the freedom of religion.

Art.III Sec.5 No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for exercise of civil or political rights.

When health professionals under the penalty of law are coerce to teach or educate his client in using artificial contraception even if it is against his religious belief are they violating his fundamental right? Employers are force to distribute contraceptive pills to their employees even if it is against their religious conviction are they not violating his fundamental right? Are they not forcing these faithful to betray their own conscience for the sake of their so called law?

[There was no clause in forcing the RH Bill on Everyone, and Contraception was already available in the market long ago, it only helps on providing sufficient contraceptives on part of the mass that can’t afford it.]

There is a clause in H.B 4244 (Consolidated version) which forcing the RH BILL to everyone. H.B 4244 Sec.21 forces employers to provide reproductive health services. And by reproductive health services it includes the distribution of contraception. If such an act is contrary to the religious belief of the employer are they not violating his fundamental right as protected by the Constitution?

Aside from the employers, health care professionals faithful to their belief are also coerce to betray their conscience.

H.B 4244 Sec.28: Any healthcare service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

(1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health, including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods;

under this section a health professional who refuses to educate his client on how to use artificial contraception will be liable to the law even if it is against his religious belief to teach and spread the use of these contraceptive measures. Isn’t it clear that this law prevents the individual from freely exercising his religious belief? And under the precepts of our Constitution is it not clear that hindering the individual from exercising his religious belief is a violation of his fundamental right as stated in the constitution?

[ Then you would be making the case on why not spend the Bill on helping people improve on their livelihood? The Government has already a lot of those and still it may be or not justifiable for the cost and the corruption that may happen within the Government.]

The government lacks the funds for education and health care, how many times have we heard that we lack books, chairs and classrooms for our public schools? What about the government hospitals? If not for Japan under the JPEPA agreement the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City will not have the funds for renovating its buildings. And government hospitals lack sophisticated instruments, supplies and man power, you know why? Because they lack funds!

[Civil Obedience on behalf of the Church is NEVER and i repeat NEVER JUSTIFIABLE. You make use of the members of your congregation as PAWNS for the CBCP’S own interest. Then after that the CBCP will make make a say on the Issue which makes the line between the Separation between the Church and State has gone Blurry.]

And by whose authority do you say that civil disobedience in behalf of the Church is never justifiable? You might have forgotten your history class. Who was that person who initiated the People Power that ousted a dictator? It was Cardinal Sin! It was this person who called people through radio veritas to go out in the streets! People Power is an example of civil disobedience! Who where there in the front line facing the tanks with flowers and rosaries? It was the priests, nuns and believers!

[Again this is never ever forcing itself on everyone, EVERYBODY HAS A CHOICE AND THIS WAS GIVEN TO THEM. Di pinagpipilit ito sa mga tao kung magpaparticipate sila, specially when it came to Sex Education which for me is a need these days, KULANG ang guidance ng parents sa mga teenagers lately and it lead to more frequent teenage pregnancy. We were all teenagers once and don’t try to be a saint that curiosity never best us in many ways.]

Section 21 and 28 of H.B 4244 (consolidated version) clearly forces an individual to act against his religious convictions and against his conscience. Sex education for elementary and high school students is not appropriate because they don’t have the maturity of an adult to know what is right and what is wrong. We are all teenagers once and we all passed in the state of curiosity however if one’s curiosity is guided to know which one is wrong and which one is not then such an exercise of curiosity is blameless.

The Fr. Florentino nowadays out numbered those of Damaso. Why focus your attention to the Damasos and not on the Florentinos?

The Bishops, The Law and The Controversy

 

Well probably by now you are one of those who accused bishops of violating the constitution, when they requested and received 4×4 vehicles to be used for spiritual and social service intended for our indigent brothers. For the sake of justice and equality we have to presume that those bishops are innocent. Even our law recognized the innocence of a person accused of a crime, as what the old saying goes “Innocent until proven guilty”.

 

 

 

Rule 115 Sec. 1 Revised Rules on Criminal procedure


(a) To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

To accuse bishops of committing a criminal act when they requested and received vehicles from the government is a gross violation of their right. Since no criminal case was filed against the bishops and no court has ever declared that they are guilty of a crime beyond reasonable doubt, then we are obliged to accept that they are innocent. Refusal to accept the truth that these bishops are innocent is an indicium that such a person pays no respect for our laws. To pronounce opinionated judgment on the plight of the bishops is tantamount in playing the Russian Roulette on himself, if these bishops are cleared from the controversy then guess who will be eating their words? Some people love to pretend that they are lawyers or even constitutionalist! They went further by claiming that what the bishops did was unconstitutional. They frequently quote the 1987 constitution which says:

 

Article 2 Section 6, 1987 Constitution

(a) The separation of the Church and State shall be inviolable

But what does this provision mean? Is this absolute or not? Are there exemptions to this provision? Why is this included in our constitution? When confronted with these questions, an ordinary person with no legal background usually turned dumb. When talking about the separation of the Church and state most people does not have a clear cut idea what it is all about. Some speculated that this puts a barrier between the Church and the state, but this is not the case. The metaphorical separation of the state and the Church is an effort to protect the Church from the influence of of the state, not the state from the Church (Carter 105). The principle of the separation of the Church and the state simply means that the Church will not interfere in purely political matters or temporal aspects of man’s life and the State, in purely matters of religion and morals, which are the exclusive concern of the other (De Leon 62). Henceforth the separation is not absolute it simply laid down the basic principle on how the Church and the State can coexist in the society. But when it comes to the welfare of the people the Church and the State can cooperate with each other as long as they do not violate the principle stated in the Constitution.

 

Did the bishops violate the constitution when they requested the government to donate vehicles for their social service?

First and foremost, it is not a felonious act (criminal act) for a person, institution and organization to seek donation, aid or assistance from the government. There is nothing in the Constitution, the Revised Penal code and Civil code that prohibits, prosecutes and penalize a person for asking favor from the government. When the bishops asked for a favor from the government it was done in good faith, since they will use it not for personal gain but for charitable reasons. The Church has always been a partner of the State in safeguarding the welfare of the people by delivering goods, medicines and other means of assistance. The Constitution does not prohibit the State from assisting in the social work of the Church. Joaquin Bernas stated in his commentary of the non-establishment clause of Art. 3 Sec. 5 of the Constitution. (2) both direct and indirect aid to religion are prohibited but only if the support involves preference of one religion over another or preference of religion over irreligion. (Bernas 345)

 

Direct and indirect aid to religion is only prohibited if its sole purpose is for the advancement of religion or in other words if it is use for the propagation of religion not for social service. But if the aid is use for the charitable or social work of the Church such as medical mission, education and other social services government aid is not prohibited. As far as legality is concerned, the problem is not with the bishops but on the side of the government. It was not the bishops who demanded that the funds will be taken from the PCSO charity fund.

 
Bibliography:

Stephen L. Carter, The Culture of Disbelief, p. 105, Harper Collins Pub. 1993
Hector S. De Leon, Textbook on the Philippine Constitution, p. 62, Rex printing company 1994 ed.
Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines A Commentary, p. 345, Rex printing company 2009.