Why Filipinos are not ready to fully embrace ‘gay rights’

Any discission on the future of the “gay rights” movement in the Philippines has to start with the teachings of Filipinos’ Christian faith — because, at the moment, religion is stubbornly baked into Filipinos’ sense of identity. But, Christian teaching in general — and Catholic dogma specifically — categorically lists homosexuality and its derivative lifestyles and aspirations as inherently sinful.

So the question is, What’s it gonna be?

same_sex_marriage_30

The true sustainable foundation that needs to be laid to pave the way for gender and sexual orientation equality is to put the secular state over and above the Philippines’ Catholic cultural roots when evaluating the question of gay and gender rights. For now, prevailing notions on sexual orientation in Philippine society draw heavily from Christian teachings. The popularly-perceived place held by homosexuals in Philippine society is framed by religious thought from which originates the stigma of the “sinfulness” of their lifestyle.

The trouble lies in the manner with which Filipinos choose to practice their faith. Most Filipinos are Christians when convenient. When there is a need for spiritual inspiration, Filipinos turn to prayer and to God. But when it comes to their lifestyle choices, God and dogma become mere afterthoughts. Thus…

Filipinos are Christian in need, heathen in deed.

Unfortunately for Manny Pacquiao, in quoting bible verse to issue his indictment of homosexual lifestyles and aspirations, he hit Filipinos at their most sensitive spot — the space where Christian teachings come in direct conflict with their lifestyle choices.

Suffice to say, Filipinos are sexually active outside of marriage, are generally open to homosexuals and their lifestyles, practice artificial conctraception, and separate from their spouses whether or not they have the Church’s blessings to do so. All of these are, absolute violations of Church teachings.

Yet, Filipinos are also a prayerful lot. Worse, this prayerfulness and deference to divine will and intervention is intricately interwoven into their politics and state affairs — routine full-on (even institutionalised) contravening of the doctrine of separation of church and state.

So, on one hand, Filipinos strongly profess their Catholic identity and, on the other, also aspire to be seen to be espousing the un-Christian trendy progressive liberal attitudes towards sexuality and gender that are being discussed in Starbucks cafes all over the world. Perhaps that aspiration to be seen to be “progressive thinkers” and a part of that whole fashionable movement is what motivates many of these part-time Catholics to join the howls of protest against Pacquiao and, for that matter, anyone who dares express the conservative position on the issue of “gay rights”. Indeed, Interaksyon.com columnist Jessica Zafra goes as far as asserting that this progressive — and trendy — position is not subject to debate.

This confused way that Filipinos cling to their Catholic moral framework (when convenient) while angrily pumping their fists about “gay rights” (when in a trendy mood) merely makes for an amusing case study — the spectacle of a backward society trying to be part of a modern global discussion on next-generation social conventions that, in practice, can only be built on a solid foundation of secular institutional governance. Unfortunately for Filipinos, theirs is a society that, at the moment, as neither. Secularism continues to play second fiddle to a de facto theocracy propagated by an entrenched medieval-style oligarchy that counts as its key member the powerful Philippine Roman Catholic Church. And institutional governance? That’s an even bigger joke in the Philippine setting. There is none such in practice. Institutional governance — like Roman Catholic practice — is a facade that masks a primitive feudal regime that is motivated more by patronage than by the spirit of the written law.

In short, Filipinos, in the process of living double lives miss the point of both (1) being Catholic and (2) aspiring to be a modern people. Because, really, you cannot be both. Catholicism is built upon a medieval non-negotiable belief system that is written in black and white that constrains the efforts of no less than the pope himself to “modernise” its institution.

Modern social ethics are being built upon a thought framework that is open, invites critical scrutiny, and encourages debate.

The call to action, therefore, is for Filipinos to make a clear choice.

Do Filipinos want to be good Catholics? Or do they want to be good members of a modern secular society.

It is not an easy choice for most Filipinos — because making the right choice requires one to apply a lot of modern thinking.

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46 Comments on “Why Filipinos are not ready to fully embrace ‘gay rights’”

  1. Many filipinos are Christian In Name Only. They proudly proclaim their articles of faith, or morality, wherever they can and many are quick to judge the morality of others or lack thereof but they themselves willfully and repeatedly committ the same sins, or other sins that they so denounce. The self-righteous hypocritical bible thumpers are worse of the worst.

    Their defense to this blatant display of hypocrisy? Well, they claim that nobody is perfect (I pretty much agree with this) and they strive hard to correct their mistakes – fair enough but, how can you so be fking hypocritical and stupid to say that you are striving to be a better person when you do the same sins over and over again, and there are many sins that people committ every day but yhese hypocritical idiots are so quick to judge others?

    I do not have a problem with religious people who do not judge others based on their religious dogmas who do not pass judgment. I have utmost respect for those kind of christians.

    You hit it on the nail. There are millions of people who are separated to their spouses and have new partners which is clearly a sin as the bible says but they do it anyway.

    How about pre-marial sex which a vast majority of christians practice yet some of these hypocritical fks are quick to pass moral judgement.

    Church and State should be totally separated. There are some who would say that we need the church, or God, to be a moral society, or to know what is right or wrong – I say that is total bullshit. The ten best countries to live in, and with the least crimes, are nom-religious countries amd the philippines ranked GASP 141!

    I believe it was Gandi who said, “i love your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” I reckon he was referring to the christian hypocrites when he said this.

    To make it clear, I have nothing against christians – I know many who are good christians (I am not one of them, lol). It is the self righteous hypocrite ignorant bible thumping pseudo-christians that I so despise.

    As for Pacquiao, I really believe that he did not mean to hurt the LBGT community. He is just an ignorant tool but he has a good heart. He was an adultere who changed his ways. I condemn what he said – about gays are worse than animals and not him being aganst same sex marriage – but I am not condeming him as a person.

    1. Ren Car,

      Many Failipinos use their respective religion (Christianity or Islam) to justify their arrogant attitude and self-serving way of life.

      Aeta

    2. I accept your opinion. But Manny did NOT mention gays. He did NOT call gays as animals. He said that if WE will decide on same-sex marriage (to allow man-to-man and woman-woman) we are worse than animals (who can decide better).
      **This media mistake intentional or unintentional became global.

  2. Do Filipinos want to be good Catholics? Or do they want to be good members of a modern secular society.

    Wrong. A lot of Catholics are good members of modern secular society.

    The notion that one has to abandon belief to be a good member of a secular society is laughable.

    It is not an easy choice for most Filipinos — because making the right choice requires one to apply a lot of modern thinking.

    Wrong.

    Even those who are for globalization who claimed that nationalism is no longer the way to progress are regretting it today.

    A lot of traditional ways are just clearly irreplaceable. This is what people like you, Beni, cannot grasp/fail to grasp.

    Another is the assumption that secularism is going to replace Christianity when its gone. Observable reality has proven this wrong.

    1. @Toby: OK. So let us say the secular state legalises abortion and gay marriage. As a “good” Catholic, how would you then regard people who practice or engage in both?

        1. That depends. Do they condemn the practice of abortion, abstain from having sex outside of the sacrament of matrimony, desist from harbouring impure thoughts, and refrain from receiving holy communion without going to confession first? Do they go to Sunday Mass, baptise their offspring lest they go to hell when they die and believe in Mary’s immaculate conception of Jesus Christ? Do they refrain from taking the Lord’s name in vain and do the Stations of the Cross during Good Friday?

          If a self-avowed Catholic can answer “Yes” to all of the above (or at least prove they mount a best effort approach to complying with all of the above as a matter of day-to-day personal priority), then they can be considered Good Catholics in my book.

        2. If that is really your standard, are you able to name 1 person that abide by every law of the country they are residing all the days of the his/her life?

          Or are you using a different set of standards to describe a good citizen?

        3. Nope, those are not my standards. They’re the standards put forth by the Roman Catholic Church. They’re all in black and white in canon law.

        4. False. Your list is incomplete. Part of the Catholic doctrine also is the NT doctrine that all are sinners. That no human is perfect.

          So, what is your standard to claim that a person is a good citizen?

        5. Irrelevant. You are simply attempting to weasel out from the hole you made for yourself.

          You just showed us that what you claim to be your standard to judge if a Catholic is a good Catholic is not really the RCC standard despite you claiming that it is the RCC standard.

          Now, what is your standard to judge is a citizen is a good citizen?

        6. FYI, Beni:

          the RCC standard != examples taken out of that standard.

          Examples taken out of that standard ARE examples taken out of that standard.

          Why is this important? Because if x is able to meet all those in the list but not those not included in the list, then x still failed to meet the standard.

      1. This is sort of a polling exercise. Those examples I cited are collectively difficult to comply with overall. So they represent a reasonably-sized sample of the total population of standards articulated in Catholic canon law. Personally, I know of 2 or 3 individuals out of about 300 to 400 friends and acquaintances who can claim to comply with that small sample set I listed. That such a small proportion of people can meet just this small set of examples proves it is a good enough subset to use for judging what a “good” Catholic is.

  3. @toby. The Philippines is a secular society only to an extent. Of the country is a secular society, how come Divorce, same-sex marriage, and abortions are illegal? The Church has a very strong influence in government.

    Another assumption is that secularism is going to replace christianity when it’s gone? Have you read any historical books lately, or ever, about how secularism replaced Christianity all throughout western and some parts of europe during the middle ages?

    Toby, here is the deal. I suggest that you should read more facts before you start pulling a plethora of B.S From your ass because people who write on this blog are not stupid. It is one thing to voice out your opinion but it is another thing to BS your way into an intelligent and well-thought arguments.

    You, Sit, obviously do not know what you are talking about and you are an insult to clear thinking people

    1. Ren Car,

      This question of yours:

      Another assumption is that secularism is going to replace christianity when it’s gone? Have you read any historical books lately, or ever, about how secularism replaced Christianity all throughout western and some parts of europe during the middle ages?

      Just proves that your english reading comprehension is lacking.

      And please stop pretending that you have any idea about all the things I know.

      So here is the deal, read properly next time before doing any knee-jerk reactions

      1. Toby, I do not pretend what I know. I know what I know and if I do not about a certain subject, I would just STFU intead of babbling like an ignorant fool.

  4. Hi benign0! Your piece has a false dilemma, but only if the horns are not misrepresented. I don’t think Christian, or even Catholic doctrine is at odds with modernity and in fact it is within a Christian framework that the ideals of secularism is able to thrive. Now, are the horns misrepresented? Yes, but not by you entirely. I am with you that Filipinos across social strata have misrepresented Christianity/Catholicism and may misrepresent secularism as well. So I don’t think it is the problem if “religion is stubbornly baked into Filipinos’ sense of identity” if the right approach to religion and faith is in place in our collective consciousness.

    Now let us proceed with examining “gay rights” and “Why Filipinos are not ready to fully embrace ‘gay rights’” I need to look into your assumptions here. One is that there is such a thing as ‘gay rights’. Well, sure, people like to say that a lot. But I would like to understand what specifically are you talking about here. What constitutes ‘gay rights’ apart from the rights of other individuals? I appreciate your criticism of Zafra’s dogged assertion that LGBT rights are not subject to debate. I mean, I cringe whenever someone says anything at all is not subject to debate and critical examination, including religious beliefs and homosexuality. Yes sure, Christian teaching categorically lists homosexual sexual relationships as sinful, but it does not mean that all homosexuals in the country should not be allowed to engage in such activities by banning or criminalizing it, and in fact it isn’t.

    Now, for one, your objective of paving “the way for gender and sexual orientation equality” is suspect. Again, you’ll have to explain what does this look like in public policy and in private practice. For one, in private practice, it can be done and it is being done (i.e., benefits for live-in partners regardless of gender is recognized in ADP, Thomson Reuters, IBM) but there is no need to force other private companies to follow suit in accordance to their company values. I guess for employees of government agencies, that is also OK but as a matter of public policy, in anti-discrimination laws and especially in civil marriage recognition it is debatable as it may have intrinsic contradictions and unintended consequences. Your method, “the true sustainable foundation that needs to be laid…is to put the secular state over and above the Philippines’ Catholic cultural roots when evaluating the question of gay and gender rights” is laudable, but it fails to recognize that (1) moral dimensions, such as the Catholic sense of identity of our majority, inform laws and that abandoning it constitutes (a) an affront to the collective consciousness of the majority and (b) having to enforce another equal moral dimension in secularism, even the Singapore government, committed to the secularism of the state, reserves the constitutional right to define morality for everyone; (2) granted the possibility of even abandoning such moral dimension, non-religious, philosophical, practical, even secular objections continue to hound the idea of gay and gender rights such as last year, we had discussion in congress committees on the draft of “Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” to which one commentator asserted that “the eccentric thing about the draft law is that it purports to say that there is no difference between the rest of the Philippine population and the LGBT, and then proceeds to provide rights and protections to the LGBT that the rest of the community does not enjoy (which is the total absence of requiring overt qualifications and escape from legal discrimination). Not only is this against the essence of democratic rule, it also illogically violates the doctrine of equal treatment, as well as the idea of human rights being universal. Rather than equality of rights, we have a balkanization of rights for a small group of people rather than for all people.”

    Now culturally, not only Filipinos “are sexually active outside of marriage”, but I get your point that there exists a disconnect in values and practice. But that disconnect does nothing to the truth and purposes of the Christian doctrine and Family laws against adultery and concubinage. I think there is nothing wrong with Filipinos being “generally open to homosexuals and [even approving of] their lifestyles”, some of us are gracious enough to understand that people don’t share our religious views and so given latitude, I do think that if we love them enough, we would gently persuade them into our views especially on matters of morality. Using artificial conctraception maybe forbidden by the Catholic church but not by Christianity in general. So not “all of these are, absolute violations of Church teachings”, really. The “prayerfulness and deference to divine will and intervention” is also not a problem and if “it is intricately interwoven into their politics and state affairs — routine full-on (even institutionalised)…” can be a matter for democracy to decide. I do not necessarily agree that it is “contravening of the doctrine of separation of church and state”, but can rather be a manifestation of humble reverence to the necessarily Theistic foundations of objective morality, human rights and principles of justice.

    I already understand and agree that we are almost a “medieval-style oligarchy” and that can be easily solved albeit slowly, by opening the Philippine economy. But it would be good to discuss how exactly are we “a de facto theocracy” and hopefully it isn’t only because of the supposedly “progressive” and “modern” policies you may personally favor (i.e., divorce, gender “equality”, same sex mariage, legal abortion, RH law, etc.) that get blocked or diluted because of imagined sectarian reasoning without considering that there are well-argued secular objections to these that are being raised in the interest of all and not infringing on individual (not special interest groups) rights. Having said that, I am also with you that we have a lot to do more culturally, but I don’t think it has anything to do for the most part of being Catholic or Christian. If anything, we need to critically rethink our religiosity and our approach to faith, but there is no need to jettison it.

    Yeah you’re right in one sense that majority of Filipinos have, in the words of Fitzgerald, “the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function” (and I don’t mean that as a compliment, as it’s similar to secular humanism, having your morality cake and eating it too) due to their trendy hippie “progressive” Catholicism and closed conservative Catholicism at the same time. However, back to my opening notes, if represented correctly, “aspiring to be a modern people” does not contradict Catholicism/Christianity. The statement “Catholicism is built upon a medieval non-negotiable belief system that is written in black and white that constrains the efforts of no less than the pope himself to “modernise” its institution” contains a somewhat contradiction that can be resolved by the question “Is Pope Francis being a real Catholic and adhering to Catholicism in his efforts to “modernize” the church?” if he is then, maybe the idea that “Catholicism is built upon a medieval non-negotiable belief system that is written in black and white that constrains” is false. I’d like to hear Catholic views on this.

    Finally, what does it mean to “apply a lot of modern thinking”? And what do you mean when you say “making the right choice”? Logical (normative) thinking has existed for centuries, nothing “modern” in that, but I agree, even that isn’t easy. And the false dilemma becomes clearer when the choice becomes, now in your words, “good Catholics” and “good members of a modern secular society” because another alternative is possible to be good Catholics/Christians and good members of a modern society.

    1. @PepeRep: Yes, you’re right. There is a lot of ambiguity around the term “gay rights”. Most of it has to do with being free from bias and prejudice which, for that matter, everyone regardless of ethnic background, lifestyle choice (within the legal framework of course), physical and mental ability, gender, and, yes, sexual orientation should enjoy, to begin with. As such, much of the rhetoric around gay rights are actually motherhood statements around enjoying “freedom from [insert form of abuse or prejudice here]”.

      The highest and, possibly, only form of concrete recognition that the state could grant to the “gay rights” movement is to legalise same-sex marriage (and perhaps enact specific legislation to directly address hate crimes against homosexuals). As I mentioned, for a mature debate around that to be sustained, secular ideals and principles need to enjoy centre stage in the discourse and religious concerns relegated to the background. As you rightly pointed out, a strictly secular regard for this issue will alienate the majority who suffer deeply-ingrained religious sensibilities.

      So, the way to resolve aspiring to be a “modern society” perhaps comes back to Filipinos putting their heads together to come up with a definition of modernity that suits their cultural frame. At present, the notion of modernity and progressiveness is derived from a Western ideal, specifically Western European and US coastal liberalism — one that, in my opinion, has swung too far out to embrace extremist political correctness that encourages the sorts of self-entitled foot-stomping we see from certain over-zealous gay “activists” today.

      As in the case of Singapore which you also highlighted, they came up with their own approach to framing their country’s march to modernisation. Filipinos can do the same. They just need to stop aping Western ideals blindly, use a bit of imagination, and come up with original ideas for a change.

      1. Thanks for your response, man! I will agree to a certain extent that “secular ideals and principles need to enjoy centre stage in the [legal/constitutional] discourse and religious concerns relegated to the background”, I suppose, since that’s already how I respond in most of my comments against same-sex marriage, that arguments without direct religious bible quoting are more effective in policy discussions. But that’s just my legal pragmatism. Ultimately, when it comes to culture and society, beyond the legal, religious principles continue to guide us whether we like it or not. It is how Northern European countries are able to have their “secularism”, by having a solid Lutheran foundation, quite unlike the “secularism” of Eastern Europe and Russia and China under the communists, where the state gets to sacrifice its people to the atheistic altar it has built. I mean, religion has a broad reach, it is philosophy or worldview, after all. It informs many aspects of our lives and lives together in a community, society and nation. If that’s how we define religion, then “secularism” is exactly the same, it is also a form of philosophy with its own set of guiding principles, in a philosophical discussion then, these will go head-to-head and when you get to the foundational levels, say, the ideas of morality, human rights and justice, it only become clearer.

        I find hate crimes illogical (not just LGBT, but the whole idea, that includes Jews, Muslims, etc.) Again, this is the kind of policy that enshrines group rights over individual rights. So it’s not really “being free from bias and prejudice…” but quite the contrary. In any case, the private sector can do so more effectively and voluntarily deal with bias and prejudice than policy can. NGOs can do so better inform everyone freely of its principles. It does not have to be the state, and the state shouldn’t pander to the idea of “hate crimes” (or especially “hate speech”) since it should treat all crimes as equally punishable with the same penalties regardless of the perpetrator’s/victim’s belonging to a “privileged”/”oppressed” group. So the question becomes should we ever be ready to fully embrace ‘gay rights’? or better, do Filipinos actually respect individual rights?

        I wouldn’t say any country at all is aping any idea, for one, there is nothing original anymore in the 21st century. Nothing new under the sun as the good book says. The Singapore government for example, has said that they look at what works around the world and see if it applies, that’s how their policies “evolve”. To date, there is still no same-sex marriage there and even the constitution criminalizes sodomy to the horror to our LGBT friends (I don’t even agree with that one legally, although I am against it morally). In this sense, it will always be automatically applied/reapplied in context but it isn’t entirely original. So perhaps you can blame something in the Filipino culture that somehow mangled Spanish Christianity (to Folk Catholicism?) and twisted American Liberty, etc., and not the other way around. So I think we already have our own brand, it may be not of modernity but maybe something else. But quite frankly, I want to find out that “something” in our culture, and my only clue is our education and protectionist economy, not enough capital (information and cash) coming in and going around out very big archipelago. Interesting to note that India, for example, it is said, has skipped modernity; it went straight from traditional to post-modern! I find that amusing and it may well apply to Filipinos too. I hope (I was inclined to say “pretty sure”) that given better economics and education, less taxes, we may have the opportunity to shed whatever it is in our culture that encrusts us, our artists have shown good signs, we seem to be very creative despite the situation we are in, but sadly creative also in errant ways. Anyway, I don’t think there is ever a need to worry about own brand or “definition of modernity that suits our cultural frame”.

      2. I will grant that religion was a powerful tool for organising and moving large numbers of people towards a common goal (e.g. war, allegiance to kingdoms and empires, the construction of large civil works, etc.). It provided the social glue to a collective with which individuals satisfied their need to belong and be a part of something bigger than themselves (and, as a result, justify to themselves their subjection to the will and command of an earthly “representative” of a deity such as a monarch). Religion was, in this respect, a foundation for the evolution of large-scale civilisation.

        I too agree that the development of the Philippine nation should be underpinned by a parallel evolution of our culture. At the moment, for lack of a clear vision of where this evolution should ideally head towards, the Western (specifically American) model is held up as the beacon for this aspiration. But, to be sure, the process will proceed unaided nonetheless in its own organic way.

        That’s not to say, however, that the process can be helped along by a conscious collective effort. And that is where competent leadership comes in (and, unfortunately, where the Philippines fails as far as the effort of uplifting its politics). A competent leader will have the skills to recognise and evaluate the potential and hindrances provided by his/her people’s culture and posses the vision to chart a course that rides the potential and works around or overcomes the hindrances.


        1. Alright, cool. I will reserve further philosophical inquiry for another time especially since it isn’t part of the current discussion on your article. At least I know where you’re coming from, of course I don’t agree with your evolutionary explanation of “religion” and if especially the foundational ideas we hold to (our assumptions) contradict each other, both cannot be true. Anyway, I share the hope for better leaders, my opinion is that it starts with better education and better economic prospects for a bigger percentage of the population (so we get more people to choose from, not just the traditional “elites”). Again, thank you benign0, for this piece.

        2. @Pepe,
          its me again.

          I am just thinking out loud now (and yes its not within the scope of the actual topic).

          Who decides about the educational system in PH is poor, average or good? Is that the PH president, the CEO’s of DepEd and/or CHED or the public? And what makes it poor (if it is so)?
          Who will gain/profit by not changing the educational system, curriculum and the quality of it? And why?
          If it is indeed poor (compared to what/who, which other countries?) why does nobody protest actively and demand change?

  5. When you say “gay rights”, what are those actually aside from freedom from discrimination and hate crime and a right to wed? Because like for example a person is murdered or abused, whether he’s gay or straight, same law will be applied.

    Also, whenever I hear LGBT community, it felt like heteros are outsiders to their sphere. Who separates themselves to equality? Isn’t there just a single community for both? Somehow the divide was made prominent when they made distinction to the community where it’s normal for all genders and ages to belong.

    1. The “gay rights” movement does not seems to be too different from the “cause” of the Bangsamoro people who claim that they need the BBL to be passed for them to realise their “full potential” as a people. But the question that they cannot seem to answer in a compelling manner is, What is it specifically about the current national system they are currently subject to that prevents them from achieving the same without having to change anything?

      Same thing with the gay community. Is there anything about the present system that prevents them from being all that they could be within the legal framework?

      1. Same thing with the gay community. Is there anything about the present system that prevents them from being all that they could be within the legal framework?

        I supposed it’s the nation’s restriction of its institutional marriage between a male and female, in a biological sense. 🙂

  6. Filipinos should just strive to create a good modern Catholic society in the vein of Poland, Austria, Hungary, or Slovenia. Only problem is that Failipinos are too primitive and inferior to make such a thing happen.

  7. My thoughts on the matter of gay rights and being a Christian:
    First, being a Christian for me, is being a follower of Jesus. There is a relationship. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Jesus being the Lord of my life means His will is above my will, His statutes above my life. I cannot be a follower of Jesus without surrendering my will to His, without obedience to God, to His Word, the Bible. That is why homosexual activities including gay marriage and whatever “gay rights” constitute (except when it is a basic human right) is simply not tolerable. Because it is a sin. (Disclaimer: I was a sinner too but by His grace through faith in Jesus, I am saved. Now that the Holy Spirit is within me, I choose to live daily by His grace in overcoming the sinful nature in me.)
    Homosexual activities today are no different from the homosexual activities described in the Bible especially dating back to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Likewise, the God of today is no different from the God during those days and the God of tomorrow. God still and will still detest sin.
    Everyone are given/will be given a choice to be saved but not everyone believes that Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
    Free will is intrinsically woven with love as demonstrated on the Cross (Jesus chose to obey God’s will out of love for the Father) but sometimes, people exercise free will out of their convenience, out of their own truths, out of their circumstances.

    1. Combatron,
      in my country we have the freedom of religion. That means that every individual can choose his/her own religion (including being muslim, buddhist, an agnost or atheist or you name it. Although I dont consider atheism a religion) without being/getting prosecuted for it. In that concept (freedom of religion) you have your truth (there is a god) and others have theirs (there is no god or another god). Now, in any civilized country they perfectly can live next to each other. Okay at worst, I may not be your friend (if being your next door neighbour) and I maybe even dislike you for having and sticking to your own religion. What I will never do, is throw my belief-system into your throat as being the ONLY truth.
      Even when I dislike your religion/belief-system, I sincerely and genuinely think it is very beautiful that 2 people from different belief-systems can live next to each other in perfect harmony (meaning not killing or harming each other). In other words, I leave you alone (with your ideas) and you leave me alone (with my ideas). You dont even have to respect me and my ideas.

      To make this workable/doable, such a government (allowing freedom of religion) has to grant the population certain other freedoms (such as individual (equal) rights). So there is a legal abortion for those who think that will benefit them or is just practical. You (as religious) person are free NOT to use that freedom for abortion. Isnt that also beautiful? You are given a right (legal abortion) but not needing it? The same for legal same sex civil wedding/marriage. You are given that right but you are free NOT to use it.

      Because you have the freedom of religion you are even allowed to condemn me for using all those rights. Perfectly legal to condemn me (verbally and in writing here and anywhere else). You can even kill me for it but then pls commit the perfect crime and dont get caught.
      Will I kill you for thinking/behaving different? No bec in my simple mind (if I would kill you) I will and would degrade myself and you are not worth it to go to jail for that. Hence, I like the way my government let us choose and live. Although those rights were not ‘given’. We first had to fight (not physically) for them. And in some cases the Constitution needed to be changed/altered.

      We – my country – were till a few decades ago, also an overwhelmingly christian country. Now it becomes more and more secular, more and more atheist like.

      Last but not least, my country still have a fair share of religious people. Those religious people/households/individuals can be categorized into 3 groups:
      a) strict religious
      b) moderate religious
      c) enlightened religious.

      I would label the people described by Benign0 as being part of group b).

      1. In a twisted sense…

        This once-abhorrent act became normal that it affected the belief system of the majority and then the law was adjusted to keep the peace and sanity.

        Waiting for someone to champion the cause of “killing” as justifiable. The plot from the movie “The Purge” is very likely to come true.

        1. I think you do not get the point of robert’s comment, for example, they legalized abortion yes, i condemn abortion, because it is killing of life in my belief, so even if it is legal in their country, those who are against it doesn’t have to do it. The rights were given to protect people from getting harmed from hate crimes, if i have a neighbor who i know have an abortion, i could condemn her all i want, but i couldn’t harm her or do something that will harm her physically and emotionally because she is protected by the law which legalized what she did. Now, isnt it great the law actually help us from practicing on not passing judgment, because whatever we do we will face the consequence anyway at least for those who believe in the last day of judgment. Individualism is supported in their country, and thumbs up for that.

          Robert, i think filipinos still see laws as a leash that will make their life difficult instead of viewing laws as helpful, no wonder they vote law makers based on popularity not on their ability to create innovative laws.

        2. @Ccc,
          as long as the Philippines has/is a collectivistic country and as long as the family (-code) excedes (in importance) the individual(ism) then the Philippines will never be ready to move forward, to progess, to improve.

          For most of us a family consists of a number of individuals. And hence the family can never excede the individual. Each member of the family is unique in its make up, personality traits.

          Only when each individual is raised and brought up in a strong way only then the Philippines can start to get out of poverty, get rid of their flawed and corrupt poliicians/president(s) and the too powerful RCC.

        3. @Ccc,
          In addition to my earlier response (to you) I want to add something.

          The way you explained everything to Karlz was/is precise and accurate.

          We have/hold a different definition about life (in case of a pregnancy). We take into consideration the viability of the fetus.

          Just FYI: abortion is legal since 1984 in my country.

          Abortion in the Netherlands was fully legalized on November 1, 1984, allowing abortions to be done on-demand until the twenty-first week. Cases which involve urgent medical attention can be aborted until the twenty-fourth week. There is a five-day waiting period for abortions.

          History
          Abortion was deemed illegal under the Penal Code of 1886. Convictions were all but precluded, however, by a requirement that the prosecution prove that the fetus had been alive until the abortion. The Morality Acts of 1911 closed this loophole and strictly barred all abortions except those performed to save the life of the pregnant woman.
          Legalization reached the forefront of public debate in the Netherlands during the 1970s as many other Western European countries liberalized their laws. The Staten-Generaal, however, was unable to reach a consensus between those opposing legalization, those in favor of allowing abortion and those favoring a compromise measure. A controversial abortion law was passed in 1981 with single swing votes: 76 pro and 74 against in the House of Representatives and 38 pro and 37 against in the Senate. The law left abortion a crime, unless performed at a clinic or hospital that is issued an official abortion certificate by the Dutch government, and the woman who is asking for the abortion declares she considers it to be an emergency. The law came into effect on November 1, 1984.
          Currently, there are a little over 100 Dutch general hospitals certified to perform abortions, and 17 specialized abortion clinics. More than 90% of abortions take place in the specialised clinics.
          In the Netherlands, abortion performed by a certified clinic or hospital is effectually allowed at any point between conception and viability, subject to a five-day waiting period. After the first trimester, the procedure becomes stricter as two doctors must consent to treatment. In practice, abortions are performed until approximately 24 weeks into pregnancy, although this limit is the topic of ongoing discussion among physicians in the Netherlands, since, due to recent medical advancements, a fetus may sometimes considered viable prior to 24 weeks. As a result of this debate, abortions are only rarely performed after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions after the first trimester must be performed in a hospital.
          The number of abortions has been relatively stable in the 21st century, around 28,000 per year. As of 2010, the abortion rate was 9.7 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Netherlands
          Abortion in the Netherlands was fully legalized on November 1, 1984, allowing abortions to be done on-demand until the twenty-first week. Cases which involve urgent medical attention can be aborted until the twenty-fourth week. There is a five-day waiting period for abortions.

          History
          Abortion was deemed illegal under the Penal Code of 1886. Convictions were all but precluded, however, by a requirement that the prosecution prove that the fetus had been alive until the abortion. The Morality Acts of 1911 closed this loophole and strictly barred all abortions except those performed to save the life of the pregnant woman.
          Legalization reached the forefront of public debate in the Netherlands during the 1970s as many other Western European countries liberalized their laws. The Staten-Generaal, however, was unable to reach a consensus between those opposing legalization, those in favor of allowing abortion and those favoring a compromise measure. A controversial abortion law was passed in 1981 with single swing votes: 76 pro and 74 against in the House of Representatives and 38 pro and 37 against in the Senate. The law left abortion a crime, unless performed at a clinic or hospital that is issued an official abortion certificate by the Dutch government, and the woman who is asking for the abortion declares she considers it to be an emergency. The law came into effect on November 1, 1984.
          Currently, there are a little over 100 Dutch general hospitals certified to perform abortions, and 17 specialized abortion clinics. More than 90% of abortions take place in the specialised clinics.
          In the Netherlands, abortion performed by a certified clinic or hospital is effectually allowed at any point between conception and viability, subject to a five-day waiting period. After the first trimester, the procedure becomes stricter as two doctors must consent to treatment. In practice, abortions are performed until approximately 24 weeks into pregnancy, although this limit is the topic of ongoing discussion among physicians in the Netherlands, since, due to recent medical advancements, a fetus may sometimes considered viable prior to 24 weeks. As a result of this debate, abortions are only rarely performed after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions after the first trimester must be performed in a hospital.
          The number of abortions has been relatively stable in the 21st century, around 28,000 per year. As of 2010, the abortion rate was 9.7 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.

        4. Thanks for the explanation. It may be far away but the circumstances leading to the legalization of the issues discussed (i.e. Abortion, same sex marriage) were major considering factors. People move lines between illegal/legal, immoral/moral to resolve conflicts in belief and principles. I tell you that the sun is dying and you tell me that it would long after my lifetime. To each his own.

  8. There’s a reason why Yano’s “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo” remains relevant today.

    At least one gay person said, all they want is protection from harassment. No one to successfully oppose their relationship. For example, they don’t want someone breaking down their door and forcefully dragging them out and apart. But I’m certain there are some other people who want that. And that’s the problem.

  9. May be off-topic.
    But, a friend whose daughter got married said fwg at the end of his speech at the wedding reception. Liked it so much that I asked for future use. Marriage is not all honeymoon.

    Here it is:

    I raise my glass to you and say:

    May you have:
    Enough happiness to keep you sweet,
    Enough trials to keep you strong,
    Enough sorrow to keep you human,
    Enough hope to keep you happy,
    Enough failure to keep you humble,
    Enough friends to give you comfort,
    Enough wealth to meet your needs,
    Enough enthusiasm to look forward,
    Enough faith to vanish depression,
    Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.

    1. Why don’t you write an article about how many people (women especially) seem to always wish for a DREAM WEDDING than a DREAM MARRIAGE.

      This myopia about that and the seeming lack of foresight at the trials and tribulations of married life is, I think, one of the many ball on chains that keep us perpetually mired in misery.

  10. Roman Catholicism is a religion of most of Filipinos. The religion was imposed to us, by the Spanish colonizers.

    Conflict of teachings occurs, when religion goes far as exerting influence, over the affairs of the Republic.

    This is why we have the separation of the Church and the State.

    Jesus Christ was clear on this issue:”Render unto Caesar, things that are of Caesar’s. And, render unto God, things that are of God”…

    In the Christian, or Roman Catholic Church teaching. This is a very clear boundary line between the church and the state.

  11. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last respect a rather common one.

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