Monday, May 9, 2011

Religion, Reproduction, and Respect

One of my dream churches.

I had an awful time in church last Saturday.

It was as if the priest was 'celebrating' mass for the sake of celebration itself, like throwing a really lousy birthday party. His homily was a bunch of incoherent sentences and paragraphs strung together by his dead-pan speaking, and he breezed through the entire hour without even the slightest hint of gusto or genuine enthusiasm. His excuse: He was supposedly just passing by when the resident priest asked him to celebrate the last mass of the day because no one else was available. Now that's just pathetic.

So your being unprepared is an excuse to suck at your job? And it doesn't even require cutting up a body or singing inhuman notes or extracting a tooth, not that any of these makes sucking at one's job even slightly permissible. Oh, and have I mentioned my bafflement over why those two chaps who did the first and second readings were even asked to read in the first place? I really had a difficult time keeping up. Sometimes, the state of the church and the quality of our priests and masses sadden me.

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Before Glee made them into household names, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele simulated live sex eight times a week in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening.

So there was this nationally televised debate last night on the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, and I must say that after watching only a single five-minute segment, I already had to turn off the television for fear of developing a headache. If you're not from the Philippines, you must know that despite the Vatican's current stand on reproductive health laws, contraception, and such things, our Catholic Church here continues to strive to keep this country in a wayward mindset. 

Hearing the anti-RH Bill people talk last night was excruciating and hilarious at the same time - because many of their arguments were quite contrary to what's actually written in the Bill. What's worse, however, is that for the longest time, those against the Bill have striven to twist the facts and spread the lies - very much an irony, considering that they label themselves on the side of life and God. If you're not from this country, consider yourself lucky. 

I'd enumerate my reasons as to why I'm for this Bill (an improved version would be even better), but I'd like to give just one - and let me get my Broadway thinking cap: There is this little musical called Spring Awakening. Wendla, the female lead, is deprived by her mother of information concerning reproduction and sexuality. Melchior, the male lead, knows the technicalities of sex without a full understanding of its consequences because he's had to dig up the information from outside his home. Moritz, the secondary male lead, is confused because the 'legs of a woman' haunt him at night in his dreams - and this contributes to his suicide later on. Ilse and Martha, supporting females, are sexually abused by their fathers - and their mothers let such acts pass. Melchior later has sex with a confused Wendla and gets her pregnant. Wendla's mother forces her to have an abortion (in one of those dark-alley clinics) and the complications get her dead.

Spring Awakening is set in 19th-century Germany, but God knows it's as relevant today as it will be in a couple of decades. Today, Filipino Melchiors and Wendlas with totally different lives and entirely different stories continue to haunt this country - walking proofs of the backwardness that some in our society unknowingly (or even worse, knowingly) push for.   

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Closed-ear communication.

During that excruciating homily, a random thought occurred to me.

We have Confucius's Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Yet, many of our adults believe that the young are required to respect the old, but the old are allowed to treat the young like trash. Parents can shout at their kids, slap them, punish them, make them do all sorts of things - and yet, the slightest protestations from a child can incur another wave of retribution. What kind of values are we promoting then?

I'm not campaigning for all-out rebellion. I want consistency in the principles and the value systems that we pass on to the future generations. I want communication in the very sense of the word, because shouting and slapping and hitting is never effective communication.

I'm all for mutual respect, because that's the only form of respect that should exist in society.


mindcatcher said...

Interesting musical. I've seen the debate, too. The antis weren't making any sense. But, they won based on text votes. Not sure, though.


We are just hard-headed creatures that's why we need stricter rules.

And btw, feel free to visit my blog, too. =D


They weren't, weren't they?

And wow, we actually had the same STS teacher. =))

mindcatcher said...

Thanks for visiting my dump. =))

Oh, you were in his 10-1 Imed class!

So I guess it's goodbye-CAS-forever for you! Haha


Yes I was. And we'll always be nearby though. =D