Archive | April, 2013

A Very, Very Narrow-Minded View on Gay Marriage

marriage-equality-1I hate to admit this but my mind is pretty impenetrable. After reading what passes for a “stand” on legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines, my opinion on the matter remains the same. I just can’t (and I probably never will) understand why anyone would want to vote against gay people getting married.

I hate hearing people say that same-sex marriages will destroy the sanctity of that union. On the top of my head, here are 5 things that are currently destroying the sanctity of marriage:

  1. Domestic violence.
  2. Non-consensual non-monogamy (or infidelity with deliberate deceit).
  3. Getting married because of economic reasons.
  4. Getting married because someone got knocked up.
  5. Getting married under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Nobody’s asking me but I don’t think marriages were ever sacred. Most marriages in the good old days were done to acquire land, to obtain financial security, to improve social status, to gain more political power…  pretty much the same reasons why most people are getting married today. Romantic love is a fairly recent invention but as far as myths go, it’s also a fairly good thing to put your faith in. I get very giddy when I see couples holding hands while walking because even though it doesn’t seem to exist for me, it’s nice to see that it is real for some people. They’re not hurting me, unless I’m particularly hormonal that day and I start wondering why I’m still single.

I’m also perpetually perplexed by people who cry foul for their divine being of choice. Take the people who believe in Judeo-Christian god for example. You’ll occasionally find them protesting on the streets carrying “God hates fags” posters (even though their god allegedly created everything – hell included because, as you might know, Lucifer came from heaven too). I envy them because they have so much time in their hands, as I’m pretty sure it takes a while to organize a protest. It takes time and effort to create banners and posters but I suppose nothing bonds people closer than a common enemy. All that hate must have the kick of a million energy drinks.

Anyway, it perplexes me because if they hate “fags” so much… why not just let them burn in hell? What’s all the fuss trying to save damned souls? Don’t you people want more space in heaven? I’m pretty sure all your efforts have already been recognized by the bearded one upstairs. Do good and be good, that’s all you need to do right? I checked the Bible and from what I can tell, there are only two things that will guarantee safe passage to hell: suicide and doubt. So unless you killed yourself and/or you’re an atheist, all you need to do is to ask for forgiveness and you’re all set to go up.

Marriage isn’t as sacred as you want to think it is and the promise of hell for other people seems desirable if you hate them, which leaves us with… it’s unnatural?

Do you know what I think is unnatural? Wearing clothes. Animals don’t wear clothes. Why don’t we legislate a law against wearing clothes? Especially hideous ones like leopard prints. And glittery shoes. Why do people wear these things? Sometimes together. It’s just unnatural. Let’s ban it.

Oh, what’s that? I’m using my own subjective opinion of what is fashionable? You mean to say that I can continue to disapprove of them without depriving them the pleasure of being dressed horribly? And what’s that? They think my outfits are just as bad? Wait, wait, wait. Do you mean to tell me that we can coexist being poorly dressed and disapproving of each other without having to ban anything?

Alright, alright. I have to be honest. The reason why I’m this close-minded is because I like humans. Not women, not men: humans. Have I kissed a girl and liked it? Indeed I have. She was a very beautiful, very intelligent but also very silly adult female and we never had sex but I loved her for seven years and we didn’t hurt anyone but each other.

I know it’s hard to look at something you find unsightly. I really, really find leopard print and glittery shoes ugly but here’s a trick that addresses the problem: turn away. No one is asking me to approve, no one is asking me to change my opinion about it, but I’m very aware that I don’t have the right to tell them that they should stop wearing that abominable print simply because I find it weird. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell anyone that they are not allowed to love someone simply because they happen to be of the same sex.

On the top of my head, here are 3 pairings that need more negative attention than same-sex couples:

  1. “Consensual” pedophilia. I’m pretty close-minded about this too. I don’t think it’s proper to sexualize children.
  2. People afflicted with Stockholm Syndrome.
  3. Rape victims who are forced to marry their rapists.

There’s just so much suffering in the world. I just don’t see the point of depriving anyone of some modest amount of joy, no matter how temporary it may be or even if I get nothing out of it. I don’t plan on ever getting married so this really doesn’t concern me. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t concern straight people either so I don’t see why they have so much say in it. Pardon my ignorance.

Posted in Advocacy, Gender Rights, Personal, Politics, Society5 Comments

Know Their Stand: Chiz Escudero, Senatorial Candidate

teampnoy-thumb400-escuderoElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Chiz Escuderos responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – FOR

“It gives the right to not only women but families to decide for themselves what they want at inaassitan sila ng gobyerno para malaman what’s out there at kung ano ang mga options nila.”

 

Sin Tax – AGAINST

“Una, one of the most heavily taxed na ang mga Pilipino sa mundo. Pangalawa, kung talagang health ang concern nila dahil masama daw sa katawan yan, eh ‘di sana parang marijuana or cocaine pagbawal na lang nila, hindi ‘yung pagkakakitaan pa nila. Pangatlo, kahit taasan mo ang buwis, lilipat lamang sa mas murang brand ang umiinom o nagsisigarilyo. Pang-apat, kung talagang gusto nilang ipagbawal o bawasan ang nagsisigarilyo sa mga bata, ipatupad nila ‘yung batas na nagsasabing bawal magbenta ng sigarilyo at alak sa mga bata na hanggang ngayon ay wala pang nahuhuli at nakakasuhan o pag-aralan nila yung pagbebenta ng tingi sa Pilipinas dahil sa Pilipinas lamang nagbebenta ng tinging sigarilyo kung saan mas madaling magsimulang magsigarilyo ang mga bata kumpara kung by the pack binebenta ito.”

 

Cybercrime – FOR

“Bumoto ako pabor do’n pero ‘di ko nakita, inamin ko naman noon, ‘yung provision sa libel. Maliwanag na against ako doon dahil isa ako sa mga authors ng decriminalization ng libel dito sa Senado. Maliban doon, pabor ako sa Cybercrime law.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“Unanimous na binotohan ‘yun dito sa Senado. Simple ang rason sa likod ng FOI, anumang bawal, masama o iligal, hindi mo gagawin kapag may ilaw at camera. Karamihan ng bawal at iligal, ‘di ba ginagawa sa dilim? Layunin ng FOI lagyan ng ilaw, ilagay sa camera lahat ng gawain at transaksyonng pamahalaan para sana mabawasan o maiwasan ang mali, bawal, at iligal na gawain.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – AGAINST

“Ang balak ko diyan ay mag-inhibit at ‘di magparticipate, dahil baka sabihin may personal akong interes sa bagay na ‘yan. But personally, ang mga most advanced democracies sa mundo, ang Amerika, UK, wala silang anti-dynasty provision kahit anak, asawa, kapatid, kapitbahay, hindi kaano-ano ng dating nakaupo ‘yung tumakbo, desisyon ng botante at malaya silang pwedeng mamili kung sino ang gusto nila dahil may tiwala sila sa botante, hindi nila bine-baby ‘yung botante nila. Kailan pa matututo ang ating mga kababayan kung palagi nating bine-baby ang pagpili nila ng mga magiging leader nila?”

 

Divorce – AGAINST

“Hindi ako pabor dahil sa tingin ko hindi napapanahon. Mas gusto ko gawing affordable at accesible ang annulment. Halimbawa, hindi na nga kailangan ng batas, payagan o iauthorize ang PAO na maghandle ng annulment cases, magbigay ng mga psychologist ang DOH o ang DSWD para libreng makapagbigay ng expert opinion kaugnay sa mga kasong tulad niyan.”

 

Death Penalty – AGAINST

“Isa ako sa mga bumoto para alisin ang death penalty sa batas natin. Nananatiling ganun ang posisyon ko, hindi dapat ibalik ‘yan… Ang daming wanted na hindi naman nahuhuli, kahit gaano kabigat ‘yung parusa balewala din ‘yun. Pangalawa, hindi pa perpekto ‘yung justice system. Sa kasaysayan ng pagpapatupad ng death penalty, madalas ang napapatawan niyan ‘yung mahihirap nating mga kababayan at hindi ‘yung mga may kaya na kayang magbayad ng abogado at minsan ng huwes pa.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – AGAINST

“Hindi pa napapanahon ‘yan sa ating bansa. Maaring dumating ang panahon na mapayagan ‘yan pero sa ngayon, hindi… sa pananaw ko lang hindi pa napapanahon at hindi pa handa ang Pilipino at kultura natin na tanggapin yun”

 

Total Gun Ban – AGAINST

“Mas pabor ako sa gun regulation, stricter gun regulation at pag-update ng ating makalumang gun regulation laws. Hindi ako naniniwala sa total gun ban dahil kung titingnan mo rin yung baril na ginamit dun sa stray bullet kay Stephanie hindi lisensyadong baril yun. Yung baril na ginamit sa Cavite, hindi rin lisensyado yun. Ang mangyayari kapag may total gun ban ka, yung mga malakas ang loob at walang pakialam sa batas sila na lamang ang magdadala ng baril.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Know Their Stand: Bal Falcone, Senatorial Candidate

baldomerofalconeElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Bal Falcones responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – AGAINST

“We want to adopt the posiiton of the Catholic Church which is anti-RH and talagang tinatawag na partido ng buhay, ‘di tulad ng patido ng patay and one of the objections we have against the RH is because it allocates P14 billion every year for contraceptives and condoms when in fact this kind of big money can be of use to so many Filipinos. The homelessness, hunger and thirst of Filipinos is more important than condoms and contraceptives.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“This is for the health of Filipinos. In that regard we are for it, okay lang ‘yun.”

 

Cybercrime – AGAINST

“We adopt the position even the Solicitor General that it cannot be imposed because it is really against freedom of information. In effect, you are curtailing the freedom of every individual to search and research in the Internet. There is enough civil punishement already for poeple who will abuse the Internet.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“We are totally for it. As matter of fact we are faulting the President for certifying RH as urgent when the FOI is more important and needed by the country and ordinary Filipinos.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – FOR

“We are totally against political dynasties. Pork barrel is the generator of political dynasties. You take away the pork barrel, there will be no more political dynasties.”

 

Divorce – AGAINST

“I’ve been maried for more than two decades, hindi maiiwasan ‘yung minsan magkakatampuhan, but given a romantic setting, maayos rin ‘yun. Give chance to reconciliation… there is no need to divorce.”

 

Death Penalty – FOR

“Only as a very last resort. Kung talagang the crime has been committed several times and talagang beyond rehabilitation na itong criminal na ito. I think even the bible allows death penalty.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – AGAINST

“I don’t have anything against gay people… they were probably born that way but this should not be sanctified by marriage. Some of my friends are gay but marriage to me is a sacred institution.”

 

Total Gun Ban – AGAINST

“Kung total gun ban eh kawawa naman tayong inosente, how do we defend ourselves? Sila lang ang may baril. Responsible gun ownership is the answer to that not gun ban because the criminals will just hide their guns.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Know Their Stand: Jack Enrile, Senatorial Candidate

EnrileElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Jack Enriles responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – FOR

“I happened upon this particular stand by accident. Originally, I was not going to vote for the passage of the measure, but having visited several provinces, you get the sense of what is really needed… If we allow people to choose for themselves, it will be step in alleviating poverty and curing all those social ills.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“I voted in favor when they decided to lower (the revenue target). The original figure was P60 billion, especially coming from the northern part of the country. The farmers there will be affected. When they lowered it down to P30 billion, I thought it was a good compromise between the need for a government to raise necessary revenues for its programs and also the need for our leaders to look for ways to supplement the industry.”

 

Cybercrime – FOR

“I voted yes before there was the take-down provision and before the criminalization of libel. I will not support the criminalization of libel and the take-down provision without due process and a court order.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“I have supported it from the beginning. I signed the petition that came out in broadsheets. It is up to the President to push for it.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – FOR

“I will support depending on the definition and the acceptance of the realities of our culture and the politics here.”

 

Divorce – FOR

“Let’s start the discussion now. I would venture to guess that a lot of couples are living together now without the benefits of a formal marriage, and the reason for that is that it is very difficult to get an annulment and there is no divorce in this country.”

 

Death Penalty – AGAINST

“We do not live in a perfect society. Our justice system is an imperfect system.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – FOR

“Let’s give everybody a chance for happiness. Let’s not discriminate. If it is your inclination to be happy with a man, why discriminate against that? I have seen in other countries couples of the same sex who have lived very upright lives and raised children.”

 

Total Gun Ban – AGAINST

“You have a period right now when there is a total gun ban but you still see these crimes. Total gun bans don’t work.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Solidarity with Bangladeshi Bloggers

BANGLADESH — Several atheist bloggers have recently been prosecuted for blasphemy by Islamic political parties. The said parties are calling for the death penalty as punishment for the bloggers’ “insulting religion” online.

bangladesh-bloggers-leaflet-thumb-p1Despite how Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina claims that the Bangladesh constitution is secular, she still goes on to contradict herself by saying that “existing laws are enough” and “If anybody tried to hurt any sentiments of any religion or any religious leader, there is a law. We can take any action.”

The Filipino Freethinkers stand in solidarity with these bloggers as the religious groups of Bangladesh seek to trample upon their right to freedom of speech.

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If you would like to help out as well, the following are just some of the many ways to take action:

[the following is taken from this webpage]

 

Express your dissent online. There is a “Scarlet B” campaign for bloggers and others to express solidarity with the Bangladeshi bloggers (use the image on the right). The Twitter hashtag #HumanistSolidarity has also been used in connection with the Bangladeshi bloggers.

 

scarlet-B-zapfino (1)

 

Contact the ambassador to Bangladesh from your country. The American Humanist Association has urged its members and supporters to contact the US Ambassador to Bangladesh and express their concerns. Individuals in most countries can undertake a similar action, writing to protest the arrests, and the threat to freedom of speech they represent. If a national ambassador receives even a small number of letters on the same topic this can draw an issue to their attention and raise its priority with the foreign government.

 

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It can’t be said enough that ideas do not have rights, but people do, and that no expression of criticism warrants harming one’s fellow humans. To quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Posted in Advocacy, Freedom of Expression, Politics, Religion, Secularism, Society0 Comments

Know Their Stand: JV Ejercito Estrada, Senatorial Candidate

7eabaf18dbd87642147f26b312cc8da4Elections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate JV Ejercito Estradas responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – AGAINST

“To be honest, hating-hati ako riyan… but I’m quite close to the clergy because I was educated in a Jesuit institution. My mother is a devout Catholic. When I felt that the RH bill was going to pass anyway because the President has given orders to certify it, so at least to soften the impact, I voted no. I valued my nanay and the institutions and doctrines I grew up with.”

 

Sin Tax – AGAINST

“I don’t think the law included possible alternative livelihood for tobacco farmers. Of course, I pity those people.”

 

Cybercrime – FOR

“I think there are some abuses also being committed in cyberspace like pornography at ‘yung mga paninira that are very unfair. The cybercrime law passed at the House did not include the controversial provisions. Right now, I am for amendment.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“I am an author so I am obliged to support.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – NO STAND

“It’s also in our Constitution that equal opportunity should be given to everybody.”

 

Divorce – NO STAND

“That has to be studied further since it is another controversial measure. I think it will polarize our people.”

 

Death Penalty – NO STAND

“Yung recent crime wave is a blackeye on the administration. Whatever economic gains we have will go to waste if the peace and order situation is not improved. If it really does not improve, baka it is worth considering.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – AGAINST

“We are still a Catholic nation. If we look at the Bible, the marriage of two persons is always man and woman. It’s always been Adam and Eve. Wala namang Adan at Adan. Wala ring Eba at Eba.”

 

Total Gun – NO STAND

“First order of the day is to recover first the 500,000 loose firearms. Majority of those involved in heinous crimes are loose firearms. If the PNP is able to address the loose firearms situation and the peace and order situation does not improve, then we can talk about a total gun ban.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Know Their Stand: JC de los Reyes, Senatorial Candidate

john-carlos-jc-de-los-reyesElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate JC de los Reyess responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – AGAINST

“I’ll repeal it if ever I’m elected. The RH concept is not indigenous to the Philippines but was dictated upon by development agencies abroad. So we repeal the whole concept.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“We are for it, but the timeliness of it and the purpose of the law should be defined. Is it geared to healthier Filipinos or is it to generate revenue more?”

 

Cybercrime – AGAINST

“That’s clearly to suppress Internet freedom and we’re not for it. We would lean towards freedom of speech over cyberspace.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“We are for it and we want it right away. If ever I’m elected, I’ll make that number one in my agenda.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – FOR

“We have to stop being hypocrites and adhere to the constitution, and stop tinkering with the constitution in the guise that it’s not working. We have to make it self-executing, and Congress would not do that because 70 percent of them are dynasties.”

 

Divorce – AGAINST

“We are not for it. It will destroy the family. There is a big difference between annulment and divorce in the sense that divorce is killing the marriage, (while) annulment is giving it hope.”

 

Death Penalty – AGAINST

“We’re against that, given the justice system in the Philippines, especially if a poor accused given a PAO lawyer and a rich accused has 10 lawyers from the best law schools.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – AGAINST

“Totally against that. Equal rights are guaranteed by the United Nations Charter on Human Rights. There is really no need to expand the concept of human rights. I respect the human rights of gays and lesbians, but when you allow same sex marriage, there is no purpose whatsoever as to the objective of that.”

 

Total Gun Ban – FOR

“We do not curtail the right to bear arms, but we have to do it properly within the context of the common good. When anybody could bring those arms out in public places, that is wrong. They could keep it at home safely, but when they bring it out, that’s tantamount to false peace.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism2 Comments

Know Their Stand: Lito David, Senatorial Candidate

david20130317Elections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Lito Davids responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – AGAINST

“Ang pangunahing layunin naman ng RH Law ay paigtingin ‘yung sexual education. Bakit? Para bumenta ‘yung contraceptives. Pera-pera lang ‘yan. ‘Pag na-imbibe na ng ating mga kabataan ‘yung contraceptive mentality, papasok na dyan ‘yung legalization ng abortion.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“Tama lang naman ‘yung sin tax law. Ang sa akin lang, ang problema ng pamahalaan, gusto niyang patayin ‘yung industriya but at the same time, pinagkukunan din niya ng kanyang revenues. Ano ba talaga ang gusto mo, protektahan ang kalusugan ng mamamayan, o pagkakitaan mo?”

 

Cybercrime – FOR

“We need to have regulations ‘pag dating dyan sa paggamit ng Internet. It doesn’t have to be very stringent, hindi naman kailangang very heavy ang penalties. Kailangan lang i-regulate.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“Maraming nangyayari sa pamahalaan dahil marami tayong mga bagay na hindi alam. Kung meron tayong Freedom of Information Law, kahit sino pang maliit na mamamayan, pwede niyang itanong, saan niyo ba ginagastos ‘tong pera namin?”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – FOR

“Ang punto ay hindi kung mabuti o masama ang isang political dynasty. Kung may paggalang ka sa iyong sarili at kapwa, malinaw sa konstitusyon na ipinagbabawal na ito, even in the absence of an enabling law. Alam mo ‘yung spirit ng konstitusyon. Mahiya ka naman kumbaga.”

 

Divorce — AGAINST

“Pinapadali mo ‘yung paghihiwalay ng mga mag-asawa eh. Hindi naman ‘yun ang sagot sa problema ng pamilya.”

 

Death Penalty – AGAINST

“Walang karapatan ang estado na kumitil ng buhay ng kahit na sino, matindi man ‘yung krimen na nagawa ng isang tao. This has something to do with our faith.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – AGAINST

“It’s against natural law. Ang lalaki, ang mapapangasawa niya ay babae, at sila’y mag-aanak at dadami ang sangkatauhan. ‘Yan ang naturang batas at hindi kailanman nagkaroon sa natural law na pwede ‘yung parehong babae, parehong lalaki… Walang pamilya! Hindi naman ‘yan magkakaanak.”

 

Total Gun Ban – FOR

“I-regulate maigi ‘yung use of firearms. Dapat ma-limit sa law enforcement agencies. Hindi namin sinasabing ipagbawal ang pagmamay-ari ng baril. I-regulate lang ‘yung permit to carry at hindi dapat dalhin ito sa pampublikong lugar.”

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Marriage Equality and the Unequal Society

Marriage Equality vs Unequal SocietyBrace yourselves. Marriage Equality is coming. It’s been happening all over the world recently, and it’s only a matter of time that it happens here.

But as with many developments in science and social justice, the conservative Catholic Church and its Pro Life cohorts will do everything to stop it. They’ll be particularly more antsy with the recent loss in the RH battle and a potential loss on divorce also looming.

They’ll explain how marriage equality — we don’t call it same-sex marriage anymore* — is an attack on the traditional marriage, the sanctity of the family, Filipino culture, and human existence itself. They’ll bring out their usual non-sequiturs and one-sided statistics.

And although this especially applies to their flock, the Church will fight so that it applies to everyone else. They have every right to do so, but it shouldn’t matter in a secular democracy. Yet just like “equality,” “secular” and “democracy” are words the Catholic Church has always been allergic to.

They made this very clear a century ago when France first introduced secularism. In response to the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and State, Pope Pius X promulgated Vehementer Nos, an encyclical that called secularism “a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error.”

Although it was particularly aimed at secularism, it illuminated the Church’s stance on other issues, showing just why equality, secularism, and democracy are foreign ideas to this foreign institution:

The Church is essentially an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of per sons, the Pastors and the flock, those who occupy a rank in the different degrees of the hierarchy and the multitude of the faithful.

So distinct are these categories that with the pastoral body only rests the necessary right and authority for promoting the end of the society and directing all its members towards that end; the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors.

The encyclical goes on to explain why secularism has been, is, and always will be denounced by the Roman Catholic Church.** For now, understand that in the same way that the Church fought against secularism until it became the obvious choice to almost everyone, they will do the same against marriage equality. They’ll rehash the same tired arguments they’ve been using to block the measure here and all over the world.

But ultimately, behind the flawed arguments and supposed “science,” what it all boils down to is this: the Church does not think marriage equality is a good idea, so everyone else will just have to obey them. Because in their unequal society, our one duty is to allow ourselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors.

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* What LGBT couples are asking for is not a special kind of marriage that merits its own moniker (same-sex marriage). All they’re saying is that the right to marry should apply equally to everyone.

** Fans of Vatican II will undoubtedly bring up Dignitatis Humanae, which supposedly corrects the Church’s stand on religious freedom. But one of the last things Pope Benedict XVI did was explain how this wasn’t really the case. But that’s a story for another article.

Posted in Gender Rights, Politics, Religion, Secularism1 Comment

Know Their Stand: Tingting Cojuangco, Senatorial Candidate

Tingting+Cojuangco+JR+Lopez+Gonzales+2013+Senatorial+Elections+PoliTikalonElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Tingting Cojuangcos responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – AGAINST

“I always say na dapat yung magna carta for women would suffice in order to protect the women and the family.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“The sin tax is good because it’s going to go to health services. But we should not also dislocate the tobacco farmers, we should still encourage them to plant tobacco and we should still work hard for the marketing. So I am in favor of that, provided that it really goes to where it is intended to be.”

 

Cybercrime – NO STAND

“There is a section in the Cybercrime Law, Section 19, that says that the Department of Justice can actually block the service provider and I don’t know to what extent they can be the ones to investigate or look into the computers. But I believe that there should be due process because it’s a violation of the Bill of Rights when there’s no court order.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“It’s good because we should know really what’s happening in the country. But then on matters of national security, we should keep [the information].”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – AGAINST

“When we were fighting the dictatorship, we were not considered a political dynasty, and the Aquinos and the Cojuangcos were forerunners, you know, in bringing freedom and democracy. But now we’re considered a political dynasty and I believe I will not support that bill because based on our idealism and my family, if they wish to run for public office, I think they should. Because we have a track record of public service and I would like them to live our legacy, of what we want them to be in order to help the country.”

 

Divorce – AGAINST

(no comment)

 

Death Penalty – FOR

“I think, for certain crimes, yes.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage – NO STAND

“Actually it’s already being done whether there’s law or not on same-sex marriages. I’m gonna leave it at that, let them decide what they want to do. I don’t want to interfere in the lives of others.”

 

Total Gun Ban – AGAINST

“No, there shouldn’t be a total gun ban; [guns] should be given to responsible citizens. Otherwise, if there’s going to be a total gun ban, the criminals are going to be the ones holding the guns, and what’ll happen to those that need to have guns? Now, if you believe that there should be stricter gun control, then you should look into smuggled guns and those that have not requested for re-registration.”

 

***

 

politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

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Know Their Stand: Alan Peter Cayetano, Senatorial Candidate

teampnoy-thumb400-cayetanoElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Alan Peter Cayetanos responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health – FOR

“The bill is not perfect but it reflects a health incentive to those who are married and to those who want to engage in sex but are not married.”

 

Sin Tax – FOR

“I’m hoping that this extra revenue will really go towards health and the safeguards that will be put in place to prevent the loss of livelihood for the farmers will be fixed.”

 

Cybercrime – AGAINST

“Not only should this law be amended as soon as possible, we have to bring in more creativity in coming up with programs that will really promote the use of this technology.”

 

Freedom of Information – FOR

“Kapag iyan naipasa, everyone can be a graft buster. Bawat citizen, may access na sa data na may kinalaman sila.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty – AGAINST

“It’s not really whether magkakamag-anak kayo. Ang tanong kung maganda ang serbisyo ninyo o hindi.”

 

Divorce – AGAINST

“I think tama na ang annulment, ‘yung psychological incapacity, palakasin na lang.”

 

Death Penalty  AGAINST

“Whether its one day, one year, one hundred days or the death penalty, if you think that you won’t get caught then the penalties mean nothing.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage  NOT AVAILABLE

 

Total Gun  NOT AVAILABLE

 

 

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politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Filipino Freethinkers Meetup, April 28 (Sunday), 2:30 PM, Holy Trinity Church

Location: Holy Trinity Church, 48 Mckinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati
Google map: http://goo.gl/wCMAl
Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

RSVP on Facebook

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Discussion topics
– Boston Bombing
– Islamophobia
– Democracy 2.0
– Terrorism: America’s Fault?
– Raunchy Topic of the Week

After the meetup we usually go for dinner and drinks somewhere nearby. If you’re not a meetup regular and can’t make it for the meetup but would like to go for the post meetup, please indicate on a post in the wall or comment so we can contact you.

Got questions about the meetup? Contact us at 0927 323 3532

* Newbies are welcome.
* Look for the FF sign (or the group of smart, sexy people).
* There is no required age, religion, philosophy, or IQ level.
* Discussions are informal yet intelligent (most of the time).
* You don’t have to talk; you can just sit in and listen

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Know Their Stand: Teddy Casiño, Senatorial Candidate

casino3Elections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Teddy Casiños responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health  FOR

“Babantayan lang natin na hindi magkaroon ng wrong signal or wrong impression that the solution to poverty is population control. Kasi ‘yan ‘yung isang consciously pinaalis namin. It might still lead to that kind of thinking na ang maging emphasis sa anti-poverty strategy is population reduction, so that is one thing na kailangan nating bantayan.”

 

Sin Tax  AGAINST

“For me, ang more important, saan mapupunta ‘yung pera? It is supposed to be earmarked for health, so ‘yun ang kailangan nating bantayan ngayon.”

 

Cybercrime  AGAINST

“We hope that the SC will decide on it in favor of free expression and in favor of people’s right to know and be protected from illegal searches and seizures.”

 

Freedom of Information  FOR

“We withdrew our authorship from the substitute bill dahil may mga provisions doon na pinasok ang Malacañang that tend to restrict instead of expand access to information. Sana pumayag ang Kongreso sa mga amendments na gagawin namin para matiyak that the FOI Bill will really have teeth and will really serve its purpose.”

 

Anti-Political Dynasty  FOR

“Ang pag-asa niyan, wala sa Kongreso o sa Senado. Ang pag-asa niyan, nasa taong bayan. If the people are able to unite, organize, and mobilize for a passage of a political dynasty bill, that’s the only way that it will pass.”

 

Divorce  NO STAND

“I think it’s something that we should already start discussing. We have to address the reality that there are really couples who cannot live together. Kailangang pag-usapan na, but I think it will undergo a long, long process of discernment and I do not see in the near future na ito ay magiging realistic pa.”

 

Death Penalty  AGAINST

“We have always been against the death penalty dahl tingin natin, given the flaws of our judicial system, ang mabibiktima talaga dito ay ‘yung mahihirap. The deterrent to a crime is not the penalty but the certainty of being caught.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage  NO STAND

“Ang malaking question pa sa akin ay ‘yung granting them legal recognition. It’s something I still have to study and learn. I’m willing to hear both sides, what the benefits and disadvantages are. I have an open mind.”

 

Total Gun Ban  AGAINST

“Ang nakikita kong problema ngayon is more of the failure to enforce the existing laws. Ipatupad muna natin kung ano ‘yung nasa batas at saka natin pag-usapan kung dapat baguhin. Hindi naman natin naipapatupad ‘yung kasalukuyang batas, what more a gun ban.”

 

***

 

politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

Know Their Stand: Nancy Binay, Senatorial Candidate

BINAYNANCY_UNAElections are coming. If you are a voter, you should know who you are voting for and where they stand, especially when it comes to issues of secularism. Here are senatorial candidate Nancy Binays responses on nine important issues, based on GMA News’ Mga Isyu ng Bayan.

 

Reproductive Health  AGAINST

“I think yung pera na gagamitin to buy contraceptives mas may pangangailangan pa in terms of libreng bakuna na sana dun na lang ginamit kaysa sa contraceptives. I practice natural family planning and it worked for us, tama yung spacing ng mga anak namin.”

 

Sin Tax  FOR

“I think ‘yung version ngayon I would have voted for it.”

 

Cybercrime  FOR

“May apprehension din ako sa penalty clause niya, ‘yung criminally liable ‘yung libel. Pero nagiging high tech na rin ‘yung mga criminals lalung lalo na ‘yung… human trafficking and nagagamit talaga ‘yang cyberspace sa ganung crimes.”

 

Freedom of Information  FOR

(no comment)

 

Anti-Political Dynasty  AGAINST

“At the end of the day it’s the people who will vote for us and hindi naman automatic yun porke’t may kapareho kang apelyido nananalo na. Maraming families na yung second generation, yung asawa o kaya yung anak hindi naman nananalo.”

 

Divorce  AGAINST

“I am not for divorce, I believe that government should strengthen the family, not break it up.”

 

Death Penalty  AGAINST

“Hindi rin ako for death penalty kasi dapat pag-aralan natin kung papaano made-deter ‘yung talagang deterrent ng crime at saka ‘yung talagang strict implementation of our laws.”

 

Same-Sex Marriage  AGAINST

“Ang paniniwala ko pa rin between man and woman yung marriage.”

 

Total Gun Ban  AGAINST

“Ako kailangan muna pag-aralan ‘yung proseso ng pagkukuha ng gun permits kasi di ba ang nangyayari ngayon yung mga crimes na nangyayari hindi naman yan committed by people who have gun permits, ito ‘yung mga loose firearms. So I think unang-una i-strengthen, palawakin muna ‘yung paghuhuli diyan sa mga loose firearms.”

 

***

 

politi-koWho among the 33 senatorial candidates matches your views best? Politi-ko.com can help you find out. (From the makers of Rollcall.ph)

Posted in Politics, Secularism0 Comments

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