A new SWS survey confirmed old findings – most people support choice in family planning, including methods declared evil by some church leaders. But can legislators do what’s right and vote on the RH bill now, regardless of the parochial interests of their churches?
Will Congress finally do their duty, or will they be bullied once more into inaction? As Rep. Kimi Cojuangco of Pangasinan said,
I think it’s time for the House of Representatives to think, why are we there? Who do we represent? We are representatives of our constituents. We are not representatives of the Church.
Ironically, a well-known parable of Jesus celebrates the acts of a person who transcended his parochial interests and biases to simply do what’s right. He has no name, but is widely known as the Good Samaritan.
The story goes that a Jewish traveler on the road to Jericho was attacked by bandits and left half-dead. Later, a priest saw him but decided to just pass on the other side of the road. A fellow Jew came and did the same thing. Finally a Samaritan – a member of a people in conflict with the Jews – passed, saw the stricken man and helped, and probably saved his life. In the biblical account, Jesus replied with the parable when asked, “You tell us to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ but who is our neighbor?”
The RH bill is like the wounded traveler to Jericho. It has been attacked as a bringer of death, illness, corruption, immorality and all things evil. It has been on this deadly road for over 10 years now. Legislators of many congresses have studied the proposed law, or at the very least heard the pros and cons of the most publicly debated measure of recent history, only to walk away and bypass the bill without even a vote. The current congress is now nearing half of its three-year term, and 30 or so politicians are still in line as interpellators, with the obvious goal of delaying the process so that the bill gets bypassed again.
Lives and dreams are lost as the RH bill gets bypassed. While it is true that RH has unfortunately become a difficult battleground of values and beliefs, legislators can still choose. They can act like the scared, uncaring priest who failed the test of being a true neighbor despite his pious exterior and position of power within the dominant religion. Or they can follow the Good Samaritan.
Image above: El bon samarità by Pelegrí Clavé (1811–1880), from Wikimedia Commons