Fundamentalism versus Reason
The surreal dynamics of that encounter between benightedness and enlightenment has been replayed in the House in the last few months, as shown by the passionate exchanges, on and off the House floor, provoked by the anti-RH interpellators’ oft-repeated questions and assertions:
Q. Didn’t God tell Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply?
A. Yes, but Adam and Eve were the only two persons in the world at the time. Now, we have seven billion people.
Q. Contraception is forbidden by God, and one way to show his displeasure at the House’s taking up the measure during the 14th Congress was his sending the destructive Typhoon Ondoy in September 2009.
A. It is forbidden by the Pope, not God. Other religions, such as Islam, and other Christian denominations, like the Iglesia ni Cristo, see contraception as ethically and morally acceptable. As for Ondoy being a sign of God’s wrath, we obviously have no way of discerning divine intent.
Q. Contraception is abortion.
A. Contraception prevents fertilization–the sperm from meeting the egg–so there is nothing or no one to abort.
Q. Contraceptives are abortifacients.
A. Contraceptives marketed in the Philippines are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, which has not found them to be abortifacients. Let us leave the determination of whether or not a contraceptive is abortifacient to the appropriate government agencies, which have the expert skills to do this, rather than have us amateurs in Congress make the decision.
Q. Doesnn’t contraception inevitably lead to abortion?
A. The RH Bill explicitly opposes abortion. And by providing reproducticve counseling to the young and making both counseling and contraceptives available to the poor, the RH Bill will lead to a decline in the rate of induced abortions, which now comes to 470,000 a year, since many of these stem from unwanted pregnancies.
Minsan nag-usap-usap ang mga senador tungkol sa RH Bill
- ENRILE: Every sperm by itself has life. Killing it is murder!
- SANTIAGO: Following that line of argument, every time a man masturbates, he commits mass murder. Massacre!
- LACSON: How about those who swallow sperm? What offense do they commit?
- MARCOS: Child cannibalism!
- SOTTO: How about those who want to prevent fertilization, iyong ayaw payagang mag-meet ang sperm at egg cell?
- LAPID: Alam ko ‘yan! Fertilizer Scam!
“Panic at the idea of young mothers is a relatively recent phenomenon. After all, the average age for a first child was barely over 20 a few decades ago. Instead, the problem of teen childbearing entered the political sphere in the mid-1970s, when the advent of sexual liberation and the women’s movement meant that more women were having sex outside of wedlock, and fewer were covering up pregnancies with shotgun marriages. When the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programs was established in 1978, teen childbearing was at a historic low, but adolescent sex was on the rise and marriage was beginning its decline. Through the next decade, the political importance of teen pregnancy grew as it was used to represent threats to the American social pattern as a whole. By Clinton’s presidency, teenage pregnancy had become a recognized political symbol, a common enemy that right and left could agree had no place in American life. Teen mothers were a social ill to be expunged.”—Madeleine Schwartz, “The anti-family”
CBCP releases master list of everything they disapprove of
Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCP presents the list to media
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has released a list of 1,829 acts that it says, “attack the moral fiber of Filipino life.”
Included in the list is the “consumption and distribution of chocolatey products.” The CBCP explains, “Chocolate is a natural aphrodisiac. It encourages promiscuity, which leads to abortions! … Chocolate is cancerous!”
Also mentioned is the “wearing of inappropriate attire, such as bikinis, mini skirts, and any clothing that exposes a woman’s head.” This is based on the Bible’s 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which states that if a woman fails to keep her head covered, she should be shaved bald.
Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Director of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said at a press conference, “The list clarifies the Church’s position as savior of the Filipino race.”
He said, “As God-appointed leaders, we consider it our duty to tell people how evil they are, and how they can avoid the fires of hell just by doing what we tell them to do.”
The problem with the anti-RH people is that they give too many bullets to the other camp.
But reading closely the argument that happened in the Senate, Sen. Miriam Santiago committed a straw man fallacy by proposing a complex question, to wit:
“If itis the position of Sen. Enrile that a sperm has life, of course, if a sperm has life, then that life should be protected. Therefore, in logic, when a person masturbates and releases all those sperms for nothing, he commits murder? Let’s think about that.”
Where in fact, Enrile just reiterated a basic biological fact, to wit:
There is life already [in the sperm and the egg] but not yet a human life because a woman cannot produce a human being without the sperm of a man, and a man cannot produce a human being without the egg of the woman so these elements on their own have life.
Ergo, it is Miriam who said masturbation is abortion and not Enrile.
In the final analysis, Enrile got the usual bad propaganda treatment the RH camp loves to use against its detractors. If anything, the one who are severely misinformed on bio-ethical issues are the two Senators (Miriam and Cayetano) who apparently have no internet access for still reiterating that there is no medical consensus on what exactly is human conception.
I mean, seriously, just Google conception and you’ll have statements like this:
If sperm does meet and penetrate a mature egg after ovulation, it will fertilize it. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein coating around it to prevent other sperm from entering. At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. Since the mother can provide only X chromosomes (she’s XX), if a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy (XY); if an X sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl (XX).
Kids, stop reading humor sites for your news, ok?