Skip to content

Taming the Tamer

October 15, 2012
  • Note: I initially posted this rant as a Facebook note.

To Ms Evangelista: The Varsitarian editorial board does not support a fascist, coercive bill that seeks to JAIL and/or penalize employers and catholic/atheist doctors for not obeying its provisions! It does not support a legislative proposal that seeks to put the entire industry and the healthcare sector under a higher degree of state control! YOU DO!

I read this opinion piece about two days ago and I have to say I almost had a mental breakdown. It’s quite disappointing to see how some public opinion writers missed the real point. Now let me take this opportunity to respond to the op-ed writer’s politically correct arguments.

In her piece titled ‘Taming the Tiger’, Patricia Evangelista, a member of the country’s mainstream media, offers this argument to the subject of her critique: “To The Varsitarian and to the administration of UST, Catholicism demands upholding the gospel according to the bishops, the men they call “successors of the Christ’s apostles.” To enter a Catholic school, to teach in a Catholic university is to stand by the Catholic standard declared by the bishops. There is no room for personal conviction once an individual declares himself Catholic or chooses to work and study in a Catholic institution.”

Taming who?

Yes, I strongly disagree with the opinion scribbler’s emotionally charged diatribe against the “rebel” UST Varsitarian.

Here I’d like to defend the Varsitarian’s ‘editorial courage’. I agree, Catholicism demands upholding the gospel, but it also demands upholding what the Church stands for. It stands for its religious doctrines, traditions and faith.

What Ms Evangelista fails or refuses to understand is that the University of Santo Tomas is not merely a religious institution; it is a private university as well. As a private Catholic university it has its own religious and academic agenda. No one– not even the State– has the right to force a Catholic university to go against its doctrines and faith. The State cannot force a Catholic school to include Atheism subject in its academic curriculum. Thus, it cannot be forced by any law or any political decree to include sex education or things that are against its religious faith and doctrines in its list of subject offerings.

The BIG problem in this failing Welfare State is that a lot of Filipinos, particularly our public intellectuals, have a peculiar, mediocre understanding of the role of government in education. They believe that the government can and should do anything to serve the greater good. That it can use force– legal force– against unarmed private universities and educators to help the poor and the underprivileged. That ‘belief’ actually gives them a ‘sense of righteous/moral superiority’ since they naively think they exist to help the poor. That is, they naively believe that the government has- and must have- an unlimited power when it comes to serving the common good.

Here’s a trivia question for everyone: What is this ‘ism’, which was conceptualized by two European aristocrats who never worked a single day in their lives, that purportedly seeks to help the poor and the working class through redistribution of wealth, collective programs and central planning  (at least this is what its proponents and blind supporters believe)?

Answer: SOCIALISM.

Yet history has it that socialism failed to help the global poor. Instead, it caused great poverty, social misery and government-sponsored deaths and persecutions in every society where it was/is practiced. What I am trying to imply here is that good intention is not enough; it is not a virtue. In fact in most cases, good intention KILLS and causes great social tragedy in many countries that had practiced or currently practice socialism or a greater degree of this ‘ism’.

UST, which is a private Catholic university, must protect its doctrines, faith and religion-based academic visions. And you’re getting this from a RABID ATHEIST!

In a secular, free society, the government must stay neutral, and its only proper role is to protect man’s rights and freedoms. What most people don’t know is that the separation of church and state principle was envisioned to strictly apply against the State or government. Why is this the case? It’s because the state holds a monopoly on the use of force. The separation principle is a limitation on the authority/power of government. It wasn’t designed or envisioned to limit the rights and freedoms of religious and private individuals. This simply means that the State cannot force Catholic schools and hospitals to do or offer certain things that violate their freedom of conscience and religion. IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND?!

Some clueless people might argue: ‘Well, it can. Our laws say so!’

Here’s my counter-argument to those who have such a mediocre belief: Yes, a state or government can when laws have been so designed to limit or even violate rights and freedoms. Hitler, Mao, Stalin and Kim Jong Il did it. These tyrants who promised to deliver the greater good simply passed laws that made the State the source of life, property and privileges. And if the people keep electing potential tyrants who promised them distributed wealth and freebies, they would not only lose free speech but everything they cherish and value in life. A law is supposed to protect, cherish, uphold and celebrate man’s rights and freedoms; it is not supposed to limit them. A law that negates or disrespects these values is not a law; it is an ANTI-LAW. As Thomas Jefferson, the man who penned the Declaration of Independence, once said: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

Now, are UST and Ateneo justified in putting pressure on their pro-RH bill professors? Definitely! Those professors should go!

In fact, that controversial Varsitarian editorial should have been more cruel. Those professors are not just “lemons and cowards”; they are WELFARE HYPOCRITES! Again, they should go. They should have some decency and resign.

If you go against the advocacy of your employer- or if you no longer serve his/its mission and vision- have the courage to go. Again, resign!

Allow me to present an analogy to explain that Ateneo and other Catholic Universities (like UST and DLSU) are justified in protecting the Catholic doctrines and in asking their pro-RH professors “to go”. Consider a private entity like Cato Institute, which champions and promotes the idea of Liberty, Individualism and Capitalism, or a secular university like Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) in Guatemala, which is inspired by its mission to “teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons.” Private organizations- like Cato Institute and UFM- created and organized to promote liberty and capitalism are known to oppose any form of government intervention and statist programs like the RH bill, universal healthcare, PhilHealth, etc. However, what if two or three of their members (in the case of Cato) or professors (in the case of UMF) supported a government program that is notoriously known as anti-capitalism and against individual rights? The question is NOT “can Cato or UMF fire its anti-capitalist and anti-rights members”, but “SHOULD Cato or UMF fire them?” The answer is: YES, they should. The main reason is because the anti-capitalist members no longer serve the organization’s advocacy, mission and vision. (This is lifted from a previous post: https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/fr-bernas-egregious-sanctimonious-misunderstanding/ )

Plus, there is no moral equivalence here. Ms Evangelista chides the entire Varsitarian editorial board for having a “sense of righteous superiority”.

Look who’s talking!

I find it really amusing and utterly pathetic that the RH bill issue is now focused on the Varsitarian’s ‘righteous editorial indignation’.

Let’s talk about the bill. Let’s talk about its punitive provisions. Let’s talk about how it tries to divert the real cause of poverty in this country: government’s failed economic policies, protectionism, regulations and unsustainable welfare.

To Ms Evangelista: The Varsitarian editorial board does not support a fascist, coercive bill that seeks to JAIL and/or penalize employers and catholic/atheist doctors for not obeying its provisions! It does not support a legislative proposal that seeks to put the entire industry and the healthcare sector under a higher degree of state control! YOU DO!

The Varsitarian is merely supporting the stand of the Church! You may disagree with their choice of words, but I honestly think they should have been more cruel and straight to the point!

Ms Evangelista, by supporting this fascistic bill, you simply support the idea that employers and doctors in this country are potential criminals. You cannot legislate morality! You cannot simply pass new laws to help the poor.

There’s a better alternative to that RH madness, and it’s academic freedom!

RELATED POSTS:

Why Expose the RH Bill’s ‘Trojan Horse Socialism’

On Editorial Courage and Cowardice

When UAAP Meets the RH Bill: It Means More Than ‘Academic’ Tension!

Rights Versus Entitlements

To RH Bill Sluts: Pay for Your Birth Control!

Ateneo must FIRE its Pro-RH bill Professors!

If UP, Ateneo Profs Really Read the RH Bill Yet Still Support It, Then They’re A Bunch of IDIOTS!

Filipino Freefarting Hippies for Palamunin Culture

I’m an Atheist and I Oppose the Fascist RH Bill

Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong to PH’s Malthusian Economists and Intellectuals: ‘You Got it All Wrong, Stupid!’

The Utter Hypocrisy of the Pro-RH Bill Fascists

In Defense of the Troublesome, Meddlesome Catholic Church

The Catholic Priests have a Right to Influence the Government!

How to Spot a Pro-RH Bill Moron

Sotto is Right, ‘Overpopulation’ in PH is a MYTH!

Fr. Bernas’ Egregious, Sanctimonious Misunderstanding

Fr. Bernas: More of a Pro-RH Statist than Religionist

To NEDA Chief Balisacan: Demographic Transition Follows Economic Growth, Not the Other Way Around

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2012 3:38

    Yes, the state cannot force the Catholic institutions to do everything they want them to do. Same goes for the Church. They can’t force the state to stop the bill if it really pushes through.

    You just confirmed what I read in her article by the way. It’s funny how you speak of academic freedom, yet despise it or find it almost unforgivable when others who share your faith do not share your emotionally charged beliefs and stance against the Bill. It’s like Christians have been turned into puppets who can only follow blindly anything the Bishops believe in. Christians no longer have the freedom or individual conscience to DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES whether the Bill is beneficial or not.

    Certainly we all have the right to speak our minds. I can call you a stupid, religiously-brainwashed creature if I want to, but I need a good reason why I’ll call you that. Not just simply because your opinion differs from mine, or because you support something I find blasphemous or stupid, or simply because your writing disgusts me.

    I was born and raised Catholic, and personally I don’t like the things religion has caused people to do. So much for love and unity and all that they include in their preaching.

    I actually applaud those Ateneo and La Salle teachers for speaking up their minds and following their own conscience, and not simply follow religious “teachings” oh so obediently like puppies. At the end of the day, stripped of our citizenship/religion/kind/whatever, we humans still have personal, individual consciences that tell us what’s right and wrong.

    Religion was something our old ancestors made up along the way anyway. I know you won’t find this last bit appealing, but, think about it.

    PS. You sound so much more emotionally charged actually, like many religious people do when their beliefs are threatened. Happy life.

    • October 15, 2012 3:38

      “They can’t force the state to stop the bill if it really pushes through.”

      – Do you understand the implication of that statement? Do you understand how evil and immoral the RH bill is? It seeks to force catholic and even atheist doctors to go against their freedom of conscience! Do you understand what that freedom of conscience means?

      Here’s an analogy… Can the state legally force Muslims to sell pork?

      Well, if the bill is enacted into law, the Church would still have the right to challenge its constitutionality in court. Imagine a law forcing Catholic hospitals to do certain things that are against their faith and doctrines. That’s what this bill threatens to do.

      If this bill pushes through, then the State can and may also force real estate companies and the entire building industry to lower the prices of their housing products for the benefit of the Filipino homeless and poor people. In fact this is possible under the Constitution. It means that the State has an unlimited power to when it comes to allegedly providing “welfare” to the poor and the least advantage.

      You said: “Certainly we all have the right to speak our minds. I can call you a stupid, religiously-brainwashed creature if I want to, but I need a good reason why I’ll call you that.”

      I think you didn’t read the blog. You simply read its title and perhaps its lead paragraph. Religiously brainwashed? That’s so hilarious. I am a RABID ATHEIST, STUPID! You should read my previous posts on religion and atheism to further inform your self.

      You are indeed ONE BIG proof that most pro-RH bill folks are TOO STUPID to understand that the RH bill is NOT simply about religion! It’s primarily about individual rights, stupid!

      You said: “I was born and raised Catholic, and personally I don’t like the things religion has caused people to do.”

      You know it’s definitely useless to respond to your comment, but let me tell you that the Catholic church has no political power to force you not to do things against its doctrines or dogma. You are still free to buy condoms and to have your vagina ligated any time you want. Nobody is preventing you from SLUTTING or BITCHING yourself around if you want to. Just pay for your own birth control and don’t be a PALAMUNIN!

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 15, 2012 3:38

        actually, its NOT against catholic dogma to sell contraceptive services. only to use them. so the muslim analogy does not fly.

      • Boynoy permalink
        October 15, 2012 3:38

        Haha! What a contradictory statement

  2. October 15, 2012 3:38

    “To Ms Evangelista: The Varsitarian editorial board does not support a fascist, coercive bill that seeks to JAIL and/or penalize employers and catholic/atheist doctors for not obeying its provisions! It does not support a legislative proposal that seeks to put the entire industry and the healthcare sector under a higher degree of state control! YOU DO!”

    “YOU DO!”

    The last time I read her article, her point was that a reasonable analysis should back up what journalists say, or write for that matter. Since when did the RH Bill seek to “jail/penalize” blah blah…?

    • October 15, 2012 3:38

      “The last time I read her article, her point was that a reasonable analysis should back up what journalists say, or write for that matter. Since when did the RH Bill seek to “jail/penalize” blah blah…?”

      LOL! Read the bill and try to educate yourself more…

    • October 15, 2012 3:38

      @ Joymarie,

      Seriously I need to ask this very simple question since you said you “don’t like the things religion has caused people to do”…

      Am I right to assume that you think/believe the Catholic church has a ‘political power’ to punish you or “cause” things against you if you decided TO HAVE YOUR VAGINA LIGATED? Is this what you think?

  3. bogz permalink
    October 15, 2012 3:38

    @joemarie

    You just got burn. Welfare policy? Not on Lee Kuan Yew’s watch!

  4. Simon Raval permalink
    October 17, 2012 3:38

    Selling or providing contraception is considered a sin by the Catholic Church. Contraception itself is considered as a sin. A Catholic who takes part in selling/providing is classified as an “accomplice” by providing both “material cooperation” and “formal cooperation” to the sinful act.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01100a.htm

    • October 18, 2012 3:38

      Yes, and the state wants to force religious hospitals and institutions to do certain things that are against their freedom of conscience and religion. If that’s possible under our current setup and constitution, then that suggests that the “welfare” power of government is unlimited. So long as a proposed policy is pro-poor or seeks to help the poor, the government can force the entire building community and real estate companies to lower the prices of their housing products to serve the pinoy homeless and the poor. It can also issue price controls; it can also force all private schools to lower their school fees in favor of the poor, like this one in India http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/world/asia/india-opens-a-door-to-private-education.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all& .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: