Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Pope's Having a Really Bad Day

Can't win 'em all, buddy.

When the pope woke up in the Vatican this morning, he was greeted with some very bad news.  His morning report undoubtedly led with the front line: RH Bill passes Philippine House and Senate.

While liberal progressives like me cheered for the Philippines, I can imagine that the halls of the Vatican most likely fell silent.  You could probably hear a pin drop as the news came in.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a life-long stalwart opponent of women's rights, gay rights, and common sense in general, conceded defeat on the matter.  The pope too must swallow this bitter pill and accept reality.

While the Philippines' passage of RH legislation doesn't directly affect the pontiff, the message it sends is undoubtedly reverberating through the Papal Palace in il Vaticano. The Philippines is one of the Catholic Church's last bastions on earth. They've lost France; progressive liberalism has marched forward in Spain; Italy's moving forward bit by bit; Portugal has shaken off the shackles; and even Mexico and South American nations are giving the Catholic Church far less of a voice in public affairs.

This all must send a shiver down the spine of church leadership - not just in the Philippines but in the Vatican as well.  The ice is starting to crack.  For the first time in recent memory, the ´´Catholic´´ Philippines has went against the mother Church.  They´ve chosen personal liberty and the rights and health of women over religious doctrine.  Who knows what might come next, and perhaps that´s the biggest fear of all for conservative old men in robes.  Divorce legislation?  Allowing abortion in instances where the mother´s health may be impacted?  An anti-discrimination law to protect the rights of sexual minorities?  Same-sex partnership legislation?...

If the Philippines starts taking steps forward (i.e. away from the Church), will the Church start to finally lose its centuries old chokehold on the archipelago?

We can hope so.

I think hope this may also be a new day for the women's movement in the Philippines.  A new era for Filipina women to stand up, be courageous, outspoken, and strong; to break away from old religiously-induced concepts of womanhood, i.e. being the weaker sex, quiet, and an obediant "helper" to her husband.  It´s time for Filipina women to be comfortable with taking charge and standing up for their health and their rights, unapologetically.

The passage of the RH Bill may be the catalyst for a much-needed feminist movement in the Philippines, and I pray it is.  Modern history shows that when women have a powerful and equal voice in national decision making, the chains of patriarchalism and machoism fall off.  As a result, things get better for everyone - especially for minorities.

And so I say to my progressive friends in the beautiful Philippine Islands, best wishes to you as you see a new day dawning in your nation.  A very big congratulations to all, and a thank you to the majority of legislators who voted for RH!

Keep up the push!  Let scientific knowledge have a louder voice than ancient religious dogma, and I promise you you'll have a brighter, healthier, more democratic future.

Three cheers for the Philippines!


Post a Comment

Please be decent and respectful, and please post all comments in English so that everyone can understand. Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...