The new Pharisees
by Teresa Abesamis [published in Business World, which I am happy is now slipping in the readership race behind Business Mirror.]
[Before we even start, let us know who the Pharisees really are since this columnist wants us to think that all of her readers know who the Pharisees really are!. Let us remember that the Pharisees are a group of people most despised by Christ for their self-righteous and blind obedience to the law of Moses. They belong to the four school of thought in Judaism. The other three are the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots. After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the massacre of the Levites, the priests of Judaism are no more. And so what is left of Judaism are the rabbis who are of Pharisaical leaning. What we have now, in other words, is Rabbinical Pharisaical Judaism, no sacrifice, just talk. Sounds like your typical Evangelical group, eh? Christ condemned the Pharisees for their hypocritical interpretation of the Law, branding them "white-washed tombs", righteous and dignified on the outside, while full of malice, sin and corruption on the inside. They so pride in themselves that they prefer to keep their own sect's customs and traditions and setting aside the Law, which Christ condemned in Mk. 7:9. But not all Pharisees are enemies of Christ. Joseph of Arimathea was a follower of Christ even though he is a known Pharisee. What Christ condemned was the sin, not the sinner. Now, that we have that out of the way, let us read what this RH columnist has to say.]
The late Sr. Christine Tan, a true Christian to my mind, [a true dissident. you'll learn why.] who lived among the poor in a Leveriza, Pasay City, slum, once said that "if you do not live among the poor, it is hard to understand their need for family planning services." The mystical [the last adjective I would use to describe her.] Sr. Christine, who moved to her home in a Leveriza shack after serving as provincial (country leader) of the Good Shepherd missionary sisters in the Philippines, taught Bible classes in Tagalog.
She is also said to have distributed condoms to her urban poor neighbors as an expression of her Christian compassion. [In a way, she told her poor neighbors to keep having irresponsible sex as long as you use condoms.] Love, after all, was at the core of Christ’s message here on earth. [Irrelevant! Why shift that? She is NO WAY NEAR MOTHER TERESA!]
This makes me wonder what sort of mind-set inspired the members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), who, as we know, live in palaces, [has she ever been to where the bishops of Jolo, Bontoc-Lagawe, Batanes, etc. live? Here she paints a picture of a distant pastor, somewhat an Olympian god who does not know what their subjects need or feel.] to say in their Pastoral Letter billed as "Choosing life, rejecting the RH Bill" that family planning methods that are not "natural" are anti-life, and therefore, sinful. The bishops, presumed to be celibates, [see how malicious this woman is!] who have no experience in caring for and raising a nuclear family, [what? they were plucked from an orphanage? they weren't born into a human family? Idiot!] seem to have inordinately focused on sexual morality, in fact, abstinence from sexuality, as the standard for morality. They do not know how difficult it is for a poor couple with five children or more to feed, clothe, nurture, much less educate their children. [You started lambasting the bishops by calling their efforts "inordinately focused" by setting the standard for sexual morality, then you shift towards the situation of a poor family taking care of five children! Why don't we agree first that sex within marriage is the MORAL norm, ok?]
They cite as an argument against the RH bill that population growth is not the cause of national economic problems. [I think she only knows Malthus and not Kuznets. Stupid.] And so they cite corruption, inefficiency, etc., as the real problems. [they are not?] The RH bill is about responsible parenthood. [Free condoms on demand even in schools is responsible parenthood for her. Remember that.] The context is more intimate and smaller than the national economy. However, responsible parenthood can lead to healthier mothers and better educated and healthier children. [non sequitur! that is not what we are arguing about!] This is really the point.
One of my obstetrician-gynecologist siblings, who was trained in Chicago by the author of the textbook on obstetrics and gynecology used in US and Philippine medical schools, [wow! instant CV! build up her credibility!] and who is an active advocate for the Reproductive Health Bill, actually specializes in fertility problems in her practice. That means that she helps couples who are unable to have children, by enabling them to enhance their ability to procreate, using scientific methods. She is certainly pro-life. [What?! Pro RH, Pro Life? Wait...I just had a mental breakdown.] I have learned a lot from her on the subject of reproductive health. [try going out of the box and learn from others.]
For example, I have learned that the incidence of maternal deaths from pregnancy in the Philippines (1 out of 1,000) is higher than from the use of the pill (smokers: 1/16,000, non-smokers: 1/63,000). In the Philippines everyday, 11 women die while giving birth. Each year, this means over 4,000 families will have children growing up without a mother. There are an estimated 500,000 illegal abortions [idiot. are there legal abortions in the country? NONE!] in the Philippines each year; many of these result in maternal deaths. These are the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.
Pro-lifer friends, whose sincerity I do not question, are following the dictates of their consciences as prescribed by these Church leaders, who remind me of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, who instigated His crucifixion, because they believed that Christ violated the laws of their religion, such as those forbidding work on Sabbath Day, on which day, Christ performed miracles out of compassion to help the lame walk. The Lord Jesus Christ, let us remember, was born and raised a Jew; but He came to establish the New Law, which He summarized in the Two Great Commandments of Love for God and Neighbor. Christ did not devote much time to theological discourse on details such as implantation of the fertilized ovum in the placenta. [idiot! Christ came to fulfill the Law! He scolded the Pharisees for not knowing the spirit of the Law.] To Him, it seems to me, [yeah, really, it's just for you!] what was important was if there was love. [So the woman is so focused and in love with her career. She keeps on having sex with her boyfriend but does not want to get married. So she uses the pill to kill her fertilized egg, which in other words is her son or daughter. That is LOVE for her folks!] If the RH Bill is promoted out of love for our women and children, then, how can it be wrong? [She really has no idea that the pill is an abortifacient.] The New Law, it seems to me, effectively rendered the Ten Commandments to obsolescence, [idiot. No it did not! What Bible school did this woman go to? St. Vincent's? oops!] because it was more important to learn to love, to act out of true compassion, rather than to focus on the don’ts to avoid sinfulness. [So, you think that if Christ were alive, she'd approve of the RH Bill?]
I am told that when the conservative Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae, he contradicted the position of most bishops he consulted in a conference on the subject, when he said that use of the contraceptive pill was a sin. I understand that the Pope, in his pronouncement, did not speak ex cathedra. [idiot. The Pope teaches as the Bishop of the entire Church.] Therefore, his position on the pill is not binding. [Thank you dissident theologians for saying that! But sorry, missy, it is.] I wonder what the Great Pope John XXIII, who considered himself a loving shepherd of his flock, would have done. [done the same. ask the other popes after Paul VI. they did the same. Ever heard of Evangelium Vitae?]
The CBCP uses as its preamble to its Pastoral Letter its righteousness that the Church in the Philippines played a key role in the success of the Edsa Revolution. True, indeed. But what took them so long? [She is ranting that it took the bishops so long to "react" to the evils of the Marcos regime. Now that the bishops are acting swiftly, she is still ranting! Geez!] For years, the late Cardinal Sin, bless his kind soul, hobnobbed [really? he did? where?] with the high and mighty of the Marcos regime. Let us not distort history. His enlightened time came in 1986 when finally, he listened to his prophetic heart.
There is a lot of misinformation, [from the MSM] and even, I must sadly say, disinformation about the technology of reproductive health. [from the MSM] The pill does not cause abortion. [idiot.] It prevents ovulation. [idiot.] Therefore, there can be no meeting of sperm and ovum, which results in life. The condom likewise, prevents the meeting of sperm and ovum. It does not abort life, which is not formed. Yet, so called pro-lifers, including bishops, claim that the pill causes abortion. [check your facts!] More correctly, unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. [If the contraceptive fails, can she assure that the unwanted pregnancy would not lead to abortion? And to start with, can she assure that contraceptives would not lead to sexual promiscuity? Such as that the contraceptives would only be used by "responsible parents" for the "privacy of their own bedrooms"? This old woman really needs her vitamins!] There are many distortions of fact [from the MSM.] in the pro-life advocacy campaign. What Congress should do is listen to those who can explain the science of contraception and cite the relevant studies and statistics. [the are being silenced by the MSM, like you.]
The world is changing rapidly, almost by the day. [so does it mean that your values, natural laws and morals change? One day you are a woman, then you wake up you want to be a man and that is ok?] The Middle East (ME) will be a radically changed place, perhaps sooner than we think. [you think? islam has been there for centuries. What does this woman think, we are in the Marvel Comic universe?] The Western powers will have to rethink their approaches in the ME-Israel conflicts, where they have supplied arms to both sides. [Wow The universe, or our extremely limited knowledge of it, is expanding and evolving. New planets are being discovered. And we have just scratched the surface.
Long ago, the Beatles already sang Christ’s message "What we need is love." And John Lennon inspired the young to "imagine there’s no country." [And they also said that they are more famous than Jesus Christ!]
Why oh why are we still in this medieval era of theological gobbledygook, by sworn celibates, regarding the private, intimate decisions of married couples? [Why oh why? Let me tell you dear! Because the power to create new life is by two couples loving each other bound in marriage came from God Himself and nobody else. Couples share in the creative power of God. And this stupid logic of only married people can talk to married couples is your typical street corner psychology! If experience is the best teacher, tell me why would we believe in what NASA discovers when in fact they have not been to the stars that they have discovered. They have seen it through the telescope right but they have not been there. Now if you think that whatever happens in the privacy of the couples bedroom, then you might as well shout your ugly head off and ban the marital rape law! They happen in the bedroom of the couples right? What do you and I, and even the State have the right to meddle with what happens in their bedrooms? Fair trade.] It took the Church almost 500 years before it acknowledged its error in excommunicating Galileo [idiot!] and Copernicus [an even bigger idiot! Copernicus was not excommunicated! This woman is really an IDIOT! Both men are buried in a Roman Catholic Church. Take note people! Inside a church! They are not like Martin Luther!] for teaching that the Earth revolved around the sun. We hope it does not take that long for the Church to change its position on celibacy, [IDIOT! Is she writing about artificial contraception or about priestly celibacy!] which might lead the bishops (if we still have them) [you think? The Church has been around for thousands of years and you think the Church would run out of bishops just because of artificial birth control and questions on priestly celibacy? Idiot!] to open their minds on reproductive health. [No they won't. It is the natural law we are talking here lady! Grow up! OR maybe you can give one of your grandkids a condom and tell them to have a good time and stay protected! Let's see what you'll feel if you are actually on the other side of the fence!]
Why oh why do we have old washed old has beens still writing on our papers?
Why oh why can she not just take the time and study the issues before she spews out her stupidity on us all thinking that we are easily gullible!
Idiot with a pen!
If I saw this woman in a Catholic Church, I'll boot her out and show her the door of the Iglesia ni Cristo where she can worship Manalo along with his idiots who'd die for a man who claims to be an angel! And angel raping his followers!