I don’t understand why many of us have been celebrating the victory of the Rainbow Movement that happened on the other side of the Pacific, half way around the world. It must be that many dream of a Western way of life. Don’t they look at the mirror and see that they are Asians, to be more specific, Orientals? Where is our independence, our freedom to think on our own? We must be a confused lot.
Some reactions from Asian cities was to ascribe conspiracy theories to the “Obergefell v. Hodges” ruling. China, for that matter, is queasy about the message they read into the decision. They are of the opinion that when you give a hand to a minority, that minority takes your arm as well eventually, and China has to deal with all sorts of minorities. But, China may be right. If we listen to that organization composed of guys and gals who grew up in families of same-sex marriage (#SSM) settings in Canada, we will be forewarned that #SSM has more problems than what states and governments care to acknowledge and disclose. The group has been talking about the various ills of #SSM in various fora, and for that they have been fined and jailed several times since 2005, the year Canada passed a law on #SSM. It seems the law has become a trampler of freedom of speech. Well, what can you do; when you have a man-made law that goes against tradition, reason, or natural law, the only way to implement it is with an iron-fist?But, there is no need to go outside of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to see that the Obergefell decision, that won by a hairline, was earth-shaking. It is the first time that the dissenting Justices individually wrote their opinions, as opposed to just one consolidated write-up. And, the language of the dissenters were blistering. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that those who are for #SSM should celebrate for the decision because it makes available new benefits. But he added: “Do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.” He said the decision of the majority was an “Aphorism of the Fortune Cookies”, it was not a legal opinion, it was just an “act of the will”. The others had more vitriol for a judicial activism that hijacked religious terms to support irreligious objectives. I think it was Justice Scalia who practically said that the Obergefell v Hodges has brought America to the gates of hell. It was the first time that a minority of judges were in effect asking the Americans to defy the decision of the majority of judges.
I don’t know if those who have been celebrating among us want to see America go to hell, or if they want to import that hell in lieu of the hell we are already in. But if hell is what we want, why bother with an Obergefell? Isn’t it that tourism here is already geared towards prostitution (and how funny it was how we were surprised that we were surprised at, say, the Joseph Scott Pemberton incident involving a guy who is a member of the LGBT community)? Then, there is, of course, the unhampered corruption in high places as being an “acceptable system” now, not to mention other places? Don’t we merely dismiss yet another media killing with a mere shrug of the shoulders? Or how we openly welcome all sorts of gambling, like jueteng and the lottery? Are we not content that we have had our own share of major shifts in ethics and morality, and the least bit concerned that we have not been able to handle them well?
I suspect that those who have been celebrating just want to be seen as modern, whether that is good or bad. Sorry, but aren’t you suckers for fads? Here, then, lies the problem. As usual, we think in terms of form and not of substance.
Please bear in mind that while Obergefell was a tsunami alright, Americans knew it was coming. Long before the court decision, the culture already decided. For decades, there were already small tremors by changing the definitions of various aspects of culture. Marriage slowly, state by state, was allured to follow California’s initiative of allowing divorce without cause, so marriage has been redefined as anything but long-term. Then they redefined a fetus as just a lump of cells in order for a pregnant woman, without regard for the other life inside her, to say: “This is My Body.” (Isn’t it interesting that it is the same words pronounced during the Eucharist? Is there already a cooperation with an/the Anti-Christ going on if we dig deeper?) So, if some women could look at a sexual congress just as some men who look at it as a consequence-free activity, what is preventing the LGBT from enjoying the same right?
Marriage is a private matter, but the public makes it its concern because of the possibility of a new citizen coming out of it, and somebody has to be made directly responsible for that new citizen. But if children have become a minor consideration, then the civil union of people of the same sex is no different from the marriage of heterosexuals. (I don’t know if Pinoy Pride had something to do with Gay Pride — see, nobody says Hetero Pride) Thus, what is another redefinition today as that of Obergefell, even if it is of Orwellian proportion? But if we were to follow the whole thing to its logical conclusion, it now seems irrational why the public, the state, the govt should now even be concerned with something that is so private.
But be that as it may, it is the lifestyle that the Americans have chosen. In the last few decades, they have been trying to cope with the collateral damage to their society as they enjoy the benefits of social change. Americans have been trying to mitigate the undesirable sociological and psychological impacts at the same time that they have been trying to extract economic benefits from being liberal and progressive in their approach. They knew the impact of it in pedagogy and not just see it as a phenomenology, and there have been organizations that have been putting stop measures so that these cultural experiments do not get out of hand.
So, really, I don’t understand the celebration of the many among us. Our culture just does not have the sophistication that America has. Just look at our democracy. We tried to imitate America and, as a resut, we have a democracy gone haywire, because we never bothered to understand the foundation, the philosophical undergirding that underlies a working democracy. Indeed, what we have is a government run like hell by Filipinos, as Quezon predicted. We are not just at the gates of hell, we are in hell already. Can we allow a 180-degree shift in morality as America has, when we do not even know how to weigh a positive against the negatives, or a negative against the positives. (Better not move if we are stuck in quicksand, especially in a country that calls itself Catholic, and yet is one of most morally depraved of tourist destinations!)
Until we have gone up the ladder of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I don’t think we have the ability to talk of things as complicated as the rainbow. If we are interested in nation building, our task today should be focused on segregating what is black from what is white, probably coming to an agreement on what is gray from time to time. Outside of that task, we would be screwing up our priorities.
Our latching onto the Rainbow fad as a context to how we regard the coming elections in 2016…
It does point out how shallow we have become. How can we even talk of rainbows when those who have arrogated upon themselves, as the group of Leah Navarro had, the distinction of the ones able to distinguish black from white have themselves become color blind. How can they think of themselves as white, as those that signify purity, when they always come out swinging in the yellow side. If I am supposed to be in a shirt in immaculate white and it turns out to be yellow or tainted with something yellowish, then I must have contacted something gross, something filthy, something yucky. I will have to go home and change shirts. But, the Black and White Movement doesn’t want to go home and re-assess things. They insist President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino is white as snow, clean of any corruption. But, how can that be when he is yellow, yucky yellow, of PDAF, DAP, Malampaya, just for a starter.
While we have been wishing and wishing that we be given other choices, other than Binay, Poe, Roxas and Duterte for these front-runners seem to be tainted with shades of black, if not shades of gray – #WalaNaBangIba — I think we are beginning to realize that this is wishful thinking. If even Leah Navarro, Cayetano, Trillanes, etc., could not stop Binay, who else could stop him? Sonamagan, even B&W’s own Jim Paredes is now unwittingly, or maybe wittingly, helping Binay with his #StopBinay movement. I am beginning to think that Jim must have spent a lot of time in Kings Cross, the red light strip of Sydney, for he seems attracted to red, the campaign color that Binay has now picked. I told you, guys, we shouldn’t be talking of rainbow colors — see, we are now getting confused.
But, I must agree that Binay is an astute politician. If it were not for the fact that he has dragged his own children into the mud of a politician’s life, I think I could vote for him for he would be a fantastic CEO. UNfortunately, any father who could do that to his children would have no qualms in violating all, or any, of the Ten Commandmenta, and I would be scared of such a person.
We have now in the middle of us a golden opportunity to change 2016 into an issue driven election, rather than personality driven. The word war now going on between Malacañang and the Binay camp has given us that opportunity. But, can we pick up the gauntlet and make 2016 a meaningful exercise? I wish we all can. But, I don’t know; we are easily dazzled by rainbows and phenomenons that have nothing to do with nation building. We are even color blind even when it comes to black and white, or with bad and good.
[Photo source: @JonasBagas on Twitter.]
GRP Featured Comment hall-of-famer. Former executive of the Far East Regional Office of a US-based multinational company living out of a suitcase covering the market from Tokyo to Mumbai to Melbourne, and all the countries within that triangle. Got tired after logging 300k air miles per year. Now, I just have a little trading biz on specialty chemicals.