By Pet Melliza
Defy the church
IF Fray Butod — the quintessential symbol of the patriarchal, despotic, conservative, reactionary and backward sector of religion usurping the title “The Church” – ordered me to go forth and multiply and reject birth control practices, shall I say amen?
If Fray Butod threatened me with eternal damnation in hell or excommunication in life shall I cringe?
Before answering those queries, let’s journey back to the past. One conclusion we can glean from it is that humanity gained giant strides in all spheres of knowledge that translate to unprecedented progress.
Today, by tapping the keyboard or mouse of your PC, in matter of seconds we can communicate to people in different parts of the world, we can access information at such speed and efficiency never before imagined.
Humanity progressed not because of the conservative, patriarchal and reactionary faction of religion, most often its hierarchy and having the temerity to dub itself “The Church” – the world moved forward precisely despite it.
Stated otherwise, humanity progressed because of brave men and women who stood by their feet, who risked their lives to express and defend their creativity no-matter-what especially against the conservative sectors of society which sought not only to block them but to extirpate their very creators.
The Dark Ages happened because at some point, “The Church” not only frustrated human creativity through threats of eternal damnation but by real violence of torching thinkers, scientists, medicine people, name-it, on the stakes for witchcraft and heresy.
It is interesting to note that while scientists and thinkers burned on the stakes on the side of the world ruled by the “Holy Roman Empire,” while that part of the earth plunged to the Dark Ages, the other side, the one peopled by the Moors was enjoying the Golden Age where science, architecture, medicines, astronomy, engineering, math, culture, literature – thought and knowledge in general – flourished.
We advanced because of the likes of Copernicus the monk who stood by his discovery that the world is round and a mere speck in the world, not flat and the center of th universe as the princes of religion wanted their flock to believe.
We advanced because Copernicus and his like dared defy the princes of the church who arrogated unto themselves the collective title “The Church” who were angered by their subversive thought.
We moved forward, not because of the church but despite it. And we owe it to the likes of the maverick Catholic cleric Martin Luther who defied the petrified, dogmatic and autocratic thought fiercely defended by the tiny sector of religion which arrogated unto itself the title “The Church.”
The defiance of the monk Luther spun a movement that led to the Reformation that opened the religious movements to fresh ideas that challenged the feudal and enslaving mode of thought championed by Scholasticism, the dominant philosophy of the time (and until today in the tiny segment of religion). We can also say that because of Luther, humanity was ushered into the Rennaisance that in turn paved the road toward liberal thought and more scientific discoveries.
All told, had it not been for the creative and valiant men and women of the past, humanity would not have reached where it is now.
We are no fan of the Garins but this time around we have to praise Rep. Janet Garin (1st district, Iloilo), a main sponsor of the Reproductive Health Bill that in the main empowers women to have control of their bodies.
Fray Butod and his ilk especially the reprehensible character Mike Velarde whose El Shaddai is no different from “charitable institutions” of the church, that is, profit-oriented – Fray Butod and his ilk are shouting themselves hoarse against the bill calling it “abortion bill.”
We wish Rep. Garin more courage to resist the hierarchs who don’t see and repent for their own shameless records and those of their gods like that supreme pontiff, the unrepentant fan of Adolf Hitler who to date still speaks and acts like his idol.
Yours truly spent eight years in the seminary, five at St. Paul’s in Makati from first year high school to first year college, and the remaining three years in undergrad at the CICM Maryshore Seminary in Talisay, Negros Occidental.
One realization we got from that experience is that the Church, the real one that is, refers to people, the flock in collective struggle for liberation, journeying toward the Kingdom. It is a movement more than a static mass, a dialectical one involving the tension of the present and the future.
What we have now is that the hierarchs tasked to lead the flock are stuck to the past and are blocking that movement or its eschatological direction, and so, want us to be perpetually trapped to the Dark Ages where they and they alone have the right to think and speak.
The Philippines prides itself as the only Christian, Catholic for that matter, country in Asia, yet we are at the bottom in the pit of shame – the most corrupt in Asia, the most dangerous for journalists in the world next only to Iraq, the most backward in E Asia next only to Bangladesh.
And we have the highest figure in political killings, 900 innocent and the best lives in the country wasted since 2001. The tiny sector which arrogates unto itself the title “The church,” incidentally, is mum on all that and even openly colludes with the GMA regime that perpetrates them.
On the RHB bill, let’s pray for its passage by … pleasae refer to the headline above.