Of Condoms, Communities, and the Clash in Between

Image credit: Wikimedia

Somewhere in the blogosphere, I mused that for the human spirit to thrive meaningfully, it has to hold in  healthy tension the complex, the simple, the playful, and the silent – synchronously.

Currently, the complex is the heightening collision, morphing easily into a moral sparring between advocates of reproductive health and the dauntless cultural force of this country that is the Roman Catholic Church. Trapped in this cobweb of complexity are the RC and other right-wing believers who vacillate with some confusion, between heeding to the voice of their religious leaders and following their conscience – conscience that are formed not within the walls of seminaries nor rigorized by canon law but by the hard realities of irregular menstruation, unequal bargaining power in the household, scarcity of food, intra-uterine infections, or by the burden of childbearing and rearing. The complex is how the plain proposal to prevent or curb the 150 birth-related deaths per 100,000 births in this country, is turning into a battleground between religious pro-lifers and guess who – the civil society pro-lifers. One big difference is how the latter can publicly talk about sex and vaginal infections. The complex is how a plain proposal to promote reproductive health as a necessary dimension of our physical well-being – as necessary as our mental or spiritual health – is liberally perceived as advocacy for abortion (which by the way is as ubiquitous as those abortifacients peddled in the Quiapo Church yard, and way before those desperate believers heard about RH). Coming from a seminary, I somehow sense this complexity. It is called the “slippery slope” argument. Lawyers are also familiar with this. To my blogging delight, Rick Garlikov in his essay mentioned it as the “camel’s nose in the tent.” To quote him – “If you let the camel put its nose into the tent, pretty soon, the whole camel will be in your tent.” To apply to our current complexity: if you promote sex education in schools, pretty soon, young students will engage in limitless sex, a moral violation against the sanctity of marriage, and teenage pregnancies will pretty soon turn into unabated abortions, the graver moral violation against the sanctity of life. Is the slippery slope argument valid? The simple is the slippery slope argument could not be marshaled as one’s prime argument in the current debate because a law can neither be passed nor disapproved based on exceptions, on what’s still to happen, on what’s outside of its boundaries; it is passed or disapproved based on what it only stipulates. Sanely, the pending RH proposal does not stipulate sexual promiscuity nor abortion. This to me is the simple.

For the playful, let’s propose to Congressman Edcel Lagman to have fashion designer Pitoy Moreno design him a condom-styled costume worn during the debate.

Now for the silent. What about meditating vis-a-vis with Scriptures, the silent, sultry stories of famished families because their mouths are almost sore out of devouring noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I wrote a thesis on women’s reproductive health and needless of miracles, the opus did not keep me from worshipping my God, nor has it turned me into a pro-abortion placard. As for the freebies in life, I am enjoying Sting’s Desert Rose as I compose this piece.

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