Pagans for RH?

I am Aldrin and I am a Filipino-Lebanese naturalistic pagan in favour of the immediate legislation of the Reproductive Health Bill. But, where does one start in talking about the ‘pagan” opinion on reproductive health? Nowhere, to be honest. We are not a church, nor a tribe; we’re not even a single religion. ‘Pagan’ is an umbrella term (a very LARGE umbrella term) for various religious paths from the fairly modern Wicca to the indigenous religions of our non-industrial neighbours that stretch back thousands of years into prehistory. How united are we, really? Not so much, last I checked. We love our autonomy, and it’s exactly this love for self-rule and free thinking that got our pre-colonial ancestors into trouble with the forces of cultural hegemony. Hundreds of years later into the age of portable computers and 3-in-1 coffee, here we are again, in another ‘clash of cultures’. A clash between those who look past religious differences to work together for the benefit of our people, and those who wish to impose their ‘sectarian’ dogma on a secular, multicultural nation.

We, of the neglected ‘minorities’, wish to remind the “Dámasos” of our age that — though they are free to stand by what they claim to be ‘true’ — it is up to the conscience of each individual, Christian or otherwise, to decide on what to do with one’s own body, and how each should go about one’s life.

We, of the neglected minorities, would like to remind these self-declared “holy” men that they can no longer bully families into being ‘good sheep’ rather than free thinking, rational human beings.

Coming from a life-affirming, celebratory religion, I not only uphold the importance of life, but also the quality of life. Couples, and especially mothers, should be able to choose how many children they can afford to sustain, or if they want to have any children at all. Consequently, our children should not be denied of their right to proper education about their bodies — a right long denied to our people by our backward cleric-run hierarchy.

All that said, I come here before you as one pagan, not as a representative of many — however similarly inclined we are. To declare full representation would be contrary to the pagan spirit of autonomy. But this, I can say: I will not be silenced, and neither should any of my brothers and sisters. To be defeated by silence would be against our values as pagans; an insult to our ancestors who bravely fought and died for liberty.

So, I urge those of you who walk similar paths as I, honouring our ancestral gods and celebrating the cycles of nature, to stand up and step forth from the shadows of indifference and passivity. We will neither be silenced by others nor allow ourselves to be silent. As we speak, our pro-RH brothers and sisters within the Catholic Church have voiced out their support; I likewise urge other pagans to do the same if they truly care.

We are a secular, multicultural democracy, guided not only by our noble ancestry, but also by modern science and reason. But, all this is babble if we do not stand up for it; if we do not live by it.

I, as a Filipino pagan, but more importantly, as one who strives to be a decent, rational human being hereby sign my full support to the RH Bill. If you truly care about our women, our children, and our future… you will, too.

[Written originally for the Interfaith RH Forum, 22 March 2012]
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National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. I am coming out to all of you in behalf of those who cannot.

Let it be known that I am gay. And lesbian. And trans, queer, pan, and bi. Also intersexual, asexual, pomosexual, questioning, unlabelled, and undecided. I am everything this intolerant, ignorant society cannot accept. But I am a human being and I shall not stand by as others tell me I do not deserve the same rights that they enjoy.

I am here. I will not be bullied. I deserve the same humanity.

If you can, I hope you can come out with us, too. For equality and awareness, may we achieve victory in doing so.

Reality disagrees with the CBCP… as usual.

As if President Aquino’s halfbaked support for LGBT rights wasn’t sad enough, a certain Fr Melvin Castro had to make it all worse. Here, he says: “Essentially we don’t believe that same sex attracted people are discriminated upon in the Philippines. What we do not agree is for them to have marriage.”

Erm, what? In what alternate universe is denying marriage equality not discrimination? In what fucked up cosmos is all the shite that gay men and women have to put up with in the Philippines not discrimination? Can somebody give this priest back his brain?

I refuse to believe that these people speak for Jesus.

Fr Melvin Castro probably left his at the door



I am serious when I say I am a monarchist.

And it has little to do with the recent wedding of the Duke of Cambrige, Prince of Wales-Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Kate of wherever-the-fuck-is-Middleton (I say this in jest; don’t kill me).

I admit, though, that my allegiance is hardly rational and is almost purely sentimental (so don’t argue politics with me just yet). I am an advocate of secularism and I love my democracy; but my concern and affection for Their Majesties go back several generations in my family and are very difficult to dismiss. I choose to continue keeping that love.

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All that said, I wish the royal couple well. If the United Kingdom must remain a constitutional monarchy — and I pray it does for it to remain the United Kingdom — it is only natual that we wish the newly-wed couple the best of all things: Hail and be well, Ye Duke and Duchess of Cambrigde! We wish you continuance and prosperity. God save the line of Kings!

PS: The Majesties mentioned above refer to the King and Queen of Spain, but may also extend to their kinsmen (which just about includes every royal house in Europe), thus also the Queen of the UK (sovereign of my adopted culture) and her newly-wed grandson.

This is how you should oppose us, CBCP: With reason and dignity.

It is entirely possible to be against the RH Bill and not be a moron or an arsehole. I still side with the more practical priests who support the RHB, but I can definitely respect the views of this bishop.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma has proposed a non-antagonistic way that the Catholic Church and other opponents of the Reproductive Health Bill may use in campaigning against the controversial measure.

In a pastoral letter dated April 19 and read during the Easter Sunday masses, Ledesma said that the best way to say “no” [to the RH Bill] is to say “yes” to natural family planning.

The church strongly opposes the bill for promoting the use of contraceptives a number of which are allegedly abortifacient.

In explaining the natural family planning program of the archdiocese, Ledesma said that 1) all modern scientific NFP methods should be included; 2) NFP method should reach out to all parishes and chapel communities; and 3) NFP is being promoted without backup contraceptives.

He cited the archdiocese’s engagements with local government units in Misamis Oriental, Camiguin and Cagayan de Oro in promoting the NFP.

The archbishop emphasized that they are pushing NFP as an “engagement, not collaboration” since the Church wants it to be independent of the LGU. He added the NFP can only succeed if there is widespread acceptance of it by both the church and LGU.

Ledesma reiterated the stand of the church against abortion which he said is also in consonance with the Philippine Constitution.

He further stressed that instead of the government policy drifting towards “reproductive health,” more stress on responsible parenthood should be pushed. He explained that responsible parenthood can be differentiated from reproductive health to mean the “parents’ exalted role in giving birth to another person, body and soul…”

This should not be misconstrued however as abetting the country’s high population growth, he said.

“Christian parents must exercise responsible parenthood. While nurturing a generous attitude towards bringing new human life into the world, they should strive to beget only those children whom they can raise up in a truly human and Christian way,” he said. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)

Read the rest of the quoted article at mindanews.

Ang kahibangán na itó ay maihahalintulad sa kaululán ng isáng asong malapit nang mamatáy sa rabies.

These faux holy men are free to believe in the bogeyman under their beds, but if they must mention the spirit of deception, I believe they are more acquainted with it. We musn’t tell lies, bishop. We musn’t tell lies.

What is so wrong with being able to make your own choices that concern your own body, your own reproductive system free from another person’s boot on your face? What is so wrong with having the right to quality healthcare and proper education about your own body? What?

This insanity bears striking resemblance to the madness of a dying rabid dog. All the better, then. Die, culture of deception, die. Die, culture of hypocrisy, die. Die, culture of ignorance, die. Die, Dark Ages, die.

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The second highest leader of San Pablo diocese has expressed dismay that high ranking people who promote the controversial Reproductive Health Bill (Responsible Parenthood Bill) are employing the devil tactics of deception to lure unsuspecting Filipinos to favor its passage into a law.

Barcenas knew that by definition “reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the rights to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.”

Our enemy in fighting against RH Bill (otherwise known as House Bill No. 4244 the proposed Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011) is not the person (RH proponents) endorsing it but Satan who is behind them and seducing these people to spread the lies and make people believe that abortion is not allowed in RHB.

“In this fight against RH Bill, our true enemies are not the people (who proposed it) but Satan. It is the evil that is manipulating the minds of all (pro RH Bill Congressmen) or those higher ups in the world. This is the reason why it is difficult to fight this enemy,” the prelate admitted.

He said this issue about the RH Bill is not only the concern of Catholics (Christians) but of all Filipinos of good will.

Meanwhile, Diocesan Family Life Director Fr. Jerry Oblepias has expressed his doubts whether President Aquino has studied thoroughly the controversial Reproductive Hill bill (RHB) when he said in public that “I’m against abortion” but at the same time strongly pushing for the approval of the bill.

“Perhaps the president does not know the whole content of RH Bill. He said that he is against abortion perhaps just to appease the Catholic hierarchy,” Oblepias said.

“My (humble) advice (to our President) is to understand that Easter is a celebration of life. And (my advice) to those who support the RHB, they don’t deserve to celebrate Easter (because) it may be an outright contradiction (if they do so),” Oblepias concluded.

The CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) has said that although the RH Bill’s title has been changed from Reproductive Health (RHB) to Responsible Parenthood Bill (RPB), investigations made by Catholic experts showed that the contents of the two bills are all the same. (Fr. Romy Ponte)

Read the rest of the quoted article at cbcpnews.

It’s official: I am a terrorist. Fear me!

According to these crazy old men, at least. So. Freakin. Scared.

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Advocates of the reproductive health (RH) bill are no better than terrorists because the measure could lead to the death of innocents, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Tuesday.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP vice president, said condoms and abortion were tantamount to killing the innocent.

The Catholic Church, led by the CBCP, opposes the bill because it believes the measure will allow couples to gain easy access to condoms and other methods of contraception that can cause abortion.

Palma expressed dismay over lawmakers supporting the RH bill, which seeks to provide couples a choice of what family planning methods to use.

Reacting to reports that the bill was gaining adherents even from other religious groups, Palma said on Radyo Inquirer dzIQ: “I hope that it is not true. If it is, we can only pray.”

“If people vote because of money then it’s almost like becoming Judas,” Palma said.

He said he wished the President would recall the “walang mahirap, walang corrupt” campaign promise “because threatening legislators that they will not receive their pork barrel if they will not support RH bill is a form of corruption.”

Malacañang has not issued any statement to the effect that the President would not release pork barrel to legislators against the bill.

President Benigno Aquino III has said he was against abortion but favored giving couples “the right to choose how best to manage their families.”

Emphasis mine. Read the rest here via inquirer.net.