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zanzoe marudo

A Condom as Weapon for Genocide

Preach ignorance:

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Economist and Demographer Linda Valenzola, a consultant of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on the Family, expressed that modern family planning methods like using condoms and IUDs are a form of voluntary genocide imposed by powerful groups upon the weak, and it will lead nowhere but to extinction.

According to Valenzola, poverty is mainly an economic problem, and therefore should not be blamed on a demographic issue such as population. "What happens is that the population is always used as a very nice way of covering up for the failure of government to solve the poverty problem. Overpopulation is a very convenient excuse, a scapegoat," she further added. This of course is supported by Fr. Melvin Casto, Executive Director of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines, who said that the creation of new life should never be disregarded and prevented, especially through artificial methods.

This self-righteous attitude in some people who cloak their beliefs behind God and the scriptures always make my blood boil. Sure she was right in saying that poverty is an economic problem. If we aren't living in a third world country, then maybe the government can provide proper housing for the hundreds of homeless people and maybe even come up with a livelihood program that should make every family earn enough to have three decent meals a day and provide their children with proper education. Maybe she is right in saying that this is a problem that the government has to solve. But up to what extent is it the government's problem? If a couple earning minimum wage does not resort to family planning because these church guru's tell them that it is a sin and ends up with more children than what their meager salaries can feed, should they just pray and blame the government? If the people in the slums that support themselves by salvaging through people's garbage keep on producing more and more children with no regard for the future of these kids, should they hope to God for a miracle and expect the government to provide support? If underage kids get pregnant and have to give up school and abandon any chance for a better future, is it still the government that is to blame?

Of course the church will say that for the youngsters, abstinence is the answer. And for the couples, use the natural method... and if that does not work well... that's a blessing from God. But if you can't take care of it... what then... blame the government?

We can always say that people are educated and informed enough to make their own decisions. But in a country that is predominantly Catholic, sadly, opinions like this are being taken seriously and followed by a lot of people. So while we can ordinarily say, to each his own, I just feel that in this particular issue, giving out an anti-choice propaganda and backing it up by the "word of God" is not only irresponsible, it is in fact the greater sin. If you ever see a starving street child, a vagrant family sleeping under a bridge with little children shielded only from the cold or rain by carton boxes, or maybe even just neighbors trying so hard to make ends meet because they have too many children to support then tell me, is this really what God wants?

Dale Bacar
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  1. OA naman ng simbahan...

  2. The lady who said that has a point. And I would like to clarify that the Church did not said that family planning is a sin. They actually advocate it but through natural methods only. You were right in saying that we should not blame the government for their poverty. Especially those who continually 'reap' children almost every year. But we should not forget that the government has a lot of money. We actually have more than a trillion peso budget for this year. The only problem is that almost 50% of our budget goes to paying off our debts and only a measly amount of 20% goes to basic social services like education and health. And almost 100 billion pesos a year is lost through graft and corruption. So is it really our population that is our problem or the mismanagement of the government? The government can do a lot. But they chose to be stupid.

    Population is a resource. People are the ones who will drive the economy and make it prosper. Maybe the problem is not overpopulation, but the kind of culture that we have now when it comes to sex. It is still a taboo and no one else dares to talk about it. Most especially to teens. And it is not right to just tell them to wear this condom or drink this pill so that you can't get somebody or yourself pregnant. We need a sensible sexual education that does not just teaches on how to use certain birth control methods.

  3. When Bishops lobby against the Reproductive Health and Population Bill on grounds that "... it will damage the morality of the Filipino" (Manila Bulletin 9/14/2008 - Church keeps up drive vs reproductive health measure), then they no longer need to state what they are obviously saying. To them it is the natural method or nothing else. And they even use their position in church to assert pressure on politicians so they would withdraw their support.

    Knowing that in this country, support of the church means getting more votes come election time, I see this as crossing the line yet again between church and state.

    I have nothing against their belief, they are entitled to it, as long as it is contained on the appropriate venue.

    Also, the goal of the bill is education among the populace on both the natural and modern methods of family planning as well as medical implications if any. It is laying out a choice so people can use whatever suits them better. It is NOT about telling teens to just wear a condom or use a pill. That is in fact sensible.

    This is just advocating the right of people to choose for themselves and not attempt to dictate what is right and back it up with the word of God. Taking on a moral high ground on an issue that can lead believers into having more children than they can afford when they don't share the consequences of those actions, for me, is not moral either.

    As for the government, yes, we lose millions to corruption every year. And yes, that should be remedied as well so that money can be better allocated to help out the people. But that alone will not suffice, as people also need to make an informed decision on matters like this. And this drive by the church is not helping anybody. It's not.