The CBCP began fulfilling their duty as sex education consultants by doing three things: (1) urging President-elect Aquino to scrap sex ed, (2) filing a class suit against Education Secretary Mona Valisno and Undersecretary Ramon Bacani, and (3) telling the DepEd (and anyone who will listen) that there shouldn’t be sex education in the first place.
The geniuses at Malacanang who thought consulting the CBCP on sex ed was a good idea made an obvious mistake: they weren’t being realistic. Why? Because the CBCP is not compatible with sex ed, DepEd, and reality in general.
The CBCP is not compatible with sex education. Asking the CBCP to be consultants on sex is like asking creationists to be consultants on evolution. Not only is the CBCP as ignorant of sex as creationists are of evolution, they have the same aversion toward the topic they’re supposed to consult on: both dogmatically ignore scientific evidence about said topics, both think that teaching said topics has lead to the moral degradation of our society, and both prefer that the public remain just as ignorant.
The CBCP is not compatible with the DepEd. The DepEd is a democratic, secular organization. The CBCP is a theocratic, religious organization. The DepEd is responsible for all Filipino citizens, while the CBCP, although it also tries to be responsible for all citizens, favors only Roman Catholics, ignoring the rights and beliefs of those who have different faiths, or who have none at all.
To implement its projects, the DepEd uses unbiased scientific evidence from experts around the world. To perpetuate its dogmas, the CBCP chooses only the evidence that is consistent with its myopic worldview.
The CBCP is not compatible with reality. By ignoring scientific evidence about sex and sex education, they are denying the truth; by making claims based on tenuous evidence or no evidence at all, they are spreading lies.
But apologists will say that they do consult experts, they do listen to evidence. Whose experts? Which evidence? The Vatican’s? Who can forget the Pope’s irresponsible comments about the condom?
They say that sex education will result in children being exposed to sex too early. The truth is, earlier than ever, children are not only exposed, they are bombarded by sexual ideas — from their peers, the media, video games, the internet, and so on. And this will happen whether or not our children are educated enough to deal with it. It is wishful thinking to think otherwise.
Another fallacy based on wishful thinking is the idea that sex education should be left to parents. How likely is it that a Filipino parent has accurate information on sex and sex education? How likely is it that a Filipino parent will actually talk to their children about sex properly, if at all? Just because the CBCP believes that parents should teach their children about sex does not mean that they will.
The spread of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted teenage pregnancies, the rapid growth of the population — these are real problems that need real solutions. If only the CBCP could stop its wishful thinking and finally accept reality, they will realize — sex education is the best real solution that we have.
Malacanang’s experiment has failed: making the CBCP sex ed consultants was a gross mistake. They have betrayed their partners not only by asking for the suspension of the project they’re supposed to work on, but by filing a class suit against the people they’re supposed to work with. Yet the appointment was a mistake from the start — a failed hypothesis. Their way of thinking is antithetical to the success of a secular, science-based sex ed program (or any secular, science-based program for that matter).
Malacanang must revoke CBCP’s appointment immediately. If the CBCP can be consultants on anything, it’s not sex education — it’s sex ignorance. But if the DepEd wants to keep them as consultants, the best way to go about it is this: measure progress by how much the CBCP is pissed off. If they’re filing lawsuits and pressuring politicians, you’re doing a great job.