Friday, October 1, 2010

Carlos Celdran's arrest and the Core Issue on the Reproductive Health Bill

Carlos Celdran did the right thing--he went out
of his way to express his stand against
Church opposition to the RH bill
To use plastic or not is an environmental question. For a priest though, it's religious. For President Aquino, its just state policy. 


President Aquino has just regained the sympathy of the middle class when he opposed the view of his church on the reproductive health bill. Aquino said that the State has the right to give couples an option to use contraceptives or not. Fact is, the state right now is imposing upon couples to use artificial means of contraception through the propagation of condoms. 


The Church, through the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, has stated their opposition to Aquino's plan. The government, seeing an opportunity to regain the sympathy of many Filipinos, publicly announced its so-called "plan" which sparked this debate. 


The question really is this--who has the right to impose artificial or natural means of contraception to people or couples? The answer is no one


The use of condoms is simply not a religious matter nor a state matter. It is a personal choice. The use of contraceptives is one of the rights given to people under a democracy. You want to use a condom, go ahead. You don't want to use it and would like to exercise natural methods, do so. No law or canon can actually dictate a person's action or choice. 


What is abominable is when the State uses its coercive powers to interfere with personal choice. When a state uses its budget to buy billions of condoms and force its use among its citizenry, that to me, is entirely illegal and un-democratic. When the State uses its enormous clout and money to fund advertisements encouraging couples to use plastics or other contraceptive tools, that to me, is unnecessary and un-democratic. 


This also applies when the Church uses the pulpit to encourage people not to buy or use condoms. The Church only has the right to do so when there is an existing social malady or condition that necessitates its interference. The Church is recognized by everyone as a social influencer and it is within its rights to oppose measures that it thinks borders on the immoral.


When my good friend, Carlos Celdran did his action yesterday, it behooves me to write if he did the right thing. 


Celdran did what he's supposed to do--express his disgust over the apparent or non-apparent interventionist stance of the Church. It is well within his rights to express his opposition to the   Church. And he committed no crime, as far as the public's eye is concerned.


It is different though when you ask a lawyer--Celdran may be charged with violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code which imposes jail time for those who will disrupt religious ceremonies such as a mass. Manila mayor Alfredo Lim ordered his arrest.


I texted him to know his condition and he says that he's okey. 


There must be other people who must stand up for or against this RH bill. If you support the bill, then, do a Celdran. If you don't, then, what prevents you from doing the same thing as what my friend did? This is a democracy. We live in a democratic society. If we want change, then, it is up to us to the necessary thing.