A Response To “Ang Krus Sa Loob Ng Palasyo: Ang Pakikialam Ng Simbahan Sa Pamahalaan” Written by Nina Jerrica Canon and Perly Bantilan

Weeks ago I was informed by a member of the Catholic Faith Defenders University of Southeastern Philippines chapter about a school publication that assaults the Church on her stand against social issues. The group also asked me if I can make a comment or refute the said publication. I was right away provided a copy of the school published newspaper entitled The Collegiate Headlight[1]for me to read and evaluate. 

Before I proceed in responding to the misleading arguments raised by the other side I would like to share my first impression after I’ve read the said article found within the pages of this school newspaper. To be honest I am quite disappointed with the quality of their work and research skill, their article is grounded more on their subjective understanding of the social issues and their contentions are based on emotions rather than rational reasoning and facts.

Written in bold is quoted from their publication.

The authors of this article without delay immediately made an issue out of the state policy “Separation of the state and the Church” which is written in Article 2 Sec. 6 of the 1987 constitution. The Catholic Church has no problem with this policy because the Church knows that she is not violating this fundamental principle of the law of the land. The authors of the article said;

“Artikulo II pahayag ng mga Simulain at Mga Patakaran ng Estado, Seksyon 6 – Hindi dapat labagin ang pagkakahiwalay ng Simbahan at Estado.”[2]



For those who do not have any background in law they are quick to believe the comments uttered by the authors of this article. They further explained that the provision stated in the constitution means that the separation of the church and the state are absolute.

Ang bawat isa ay may impluwensyang hawak sa kanyang nasasakupan at parehong may malaking papel na ginagampanan sa ating lipunan. Subalit sa kabila ng probisyong nakasad sa ating saligang batas na tuwirang pinaghihiwalay ang tungkulin ng dalawa taliwas naman dito ang nagaganap sa ating bansa.[3]

Notice that they did not quote any jurisprudence or authority in providing an accurate and fair interpretation of the constitution rather they relied on their own understanding of Art. 2 Sec. 6 of the constitution. This only exposes their poor scholarship and lack of research on the subject. They are trying to make us believed that

 1.) Art.2 Sec.6 of the Constitution proposes absolute separation of the church and the state and 

2.) That the Church violates this fundamental policy of the land. The authors of the article failed to educate the readers for reasons only known to them on the real meaning and interpretation of the constitution. 

Article 2 section 6 of the constitution says “The separation of the Church and State shall be inviolable.” So what do you mean by this? To what extent are the two institutions separated? How did the court interpret this provision? This policy was adapted from the from the first amendment of the United States of America, Stephen Carter explained that this policy was intended to protect religion from the control of the state.[4] One of the drafters of the 1987 constitution Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J further explained that;

The non-establishment clause prohibits the state from passing “laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.” The intermediate views are chiefly two: (1) the non-establishment clause prohibits only direct support of institutional religion but support indirectly accruing to churches and church agencies through support given to members; (2) both direct and indirect aid to religion are prohibited but only if it support involves preference of one religion over another or preference of religion over irreligion.[5]

Evidently the drafters of the constitution have a different explanation and interpretation of Art. 2 Sec.6 of the constitution compared with that of the authors of the article published in the school newspaper. As explained by Bernas the separation of the Church and state means that the state should not 

1.) Prefer one religion over another, 

2.) Aid one religion, 

3.) Aid to the propagation of religion and 

4.) directly and indirectly aid to religion if it support involve preference of one religion over another.

This suggests that the separation of the Church and the State are not absolute and its separation lies on how the state should remain neutral over religion this interpretation of one of the drafters of the constitution goes contrary to the understanding of the authors of the article that espouses absolute separation of religion and state. Furthermore another authority that is worth quoting on the subject is Hector S. De Leon a known writer of law books and commentator. He further explained that the separation of the Church and the state means;

The principle simply means that the church is not to interfere in purely political matters or temporal aspects of man’s life and the State, in purely matters of religion and morals, which are the exclusive concern of the other.[6]

Again, there is no mention of absolute separation as what the authors of the article asserted. When it comes to the issue of RH BILL and the promotion of contraception is no longer a “temporal aspect” of man and/or man’s life rather it is already a moral issue. That is why the Church reacted when some godless politicians wanted to promote an immoral act and that is the promotion of artificial contraception. Henceforth it is not the Church who violated a fundamental state policy but the state itself through its lawmakers. Evidently their understanding of Article 2 Section 6 of the Constitution is shallow thus their contention and argument cannot hold water. Who are we to believe? Bernas and De Leon who extensively studied law and wrote books explaining the different laws of our country or two college writers who seem to lack scholarship and credibility? 
 
[1] Official Student publication, University of Southeastern Philippines

[2] Ang Krus sa loob ng Palasyo: Pakikialam ng Simbahan sa pamahalaan, Nina Jerrica E. Canon & Perly T. Bantilan

[3] Ibid.

[4] Stephen L. Carter, The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, p. 105, 1993

[5] Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines A Commentary, p. 345, 2009

[6] Hector S. De Leon, Textbook on the Philippine Constitution, p.62, 1994

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10 Reasons Why “Same-Sex Marriage” Is Harmful And Must Be Opposed

1. It Is Not Marriage

Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and well being of the spouses.

The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.

Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.

2. It Violates Natural Law

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)

3. It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother
It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent.

The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model.

Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.

4. It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle
In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.

5. It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right
Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

This is false.

First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.

Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.

Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.

6. It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union
Traditional marriage is usually so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. It naturally tends to create families.

On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families. Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.

7. It Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage
One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents. This aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the State.

Homosexual “marriage” does not provide such conditions. Its primary purpose, objectively speaking, is the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.

8. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.

In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.

In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.

9. It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution
In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”

If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

The railroading of same-sex “marriage” on the American people makes increasingly clear what homosexual activist Paul Varnell wrote in the Chicago Free Press:

“The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people’s view of homosexuality.”

10. It Offends God

This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29)

The same was taught by Our Savior Jesus Christ: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.” (Mark 10:6-7).

Genesis also teaches how God punished Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality: “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.” (Gen. 19:24-25)

Taken From: TFP Student Action

Catholic Position On Homosexuality

In order to have a broad understanding of what homosexuality is in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, we have to first know what the Church really teach about homosexuality. Homosexuality per se is not a sin which means a homosexual person is not living in sin unless he perform things that are contrary to morals. On the other hand homosexual acts are detrimental to the person’s salvation. When we speak of homosexual acts we do not refer to signs of feminine trait but actions or beliefs that are contrary to divine law such as same sex marriage or same sex unions. The Catholic Church has this to say about homosexuality.

Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. CCC 2357
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. CCC 2358

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. CCC 2359

In CCC 2357 the Catholic Church defined homosexuality as men or women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. In other words people who are attracted to the same sex. Furthermore, the Catechism also clarified that homosexuality per se is not a sin, but homosexual acts are. The Church also expounds the nature of homosexuality calling it as “objectively disordered”, this is no polemical language of the Church but a fact that is well established by science. This clarification is important in order to disprove the belief that a homosexual automatically goes directly to hell simply because he or she is a homosexual. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders 5th ed. a manual used by psychiatrists to guide them in diagnosing mental disorders classified homosexuality as “Gender Identity Disorder” with corresponding signs and symptoms.

302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults

Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults) [1]
A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by 2* or more of the following indicators: [2, 3, 4]

1. a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or, in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [13, 16]

2. a strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or, in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics) [17]

3. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender

4. a strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

5. a strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

6. a strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)

To sum up the information above the symptoms of homosexuality involves the strong desire in doing or performing the roles of the opposite sex (i.e a man wants to fulfill the gender roles of women or wants same sex marriage), a strong desire to rid one’s primary or secondary sex characteristics (i.e a man wants to undergo sex change surgery), a person who strongly associates himself as a man if she is a female, or a female if he is a man. Given the facts above same-sex marriage or same-sex relationships are all signs and symptoms of gender identity disorder.

Therefore, to legalize these acts is nothing but legalizing the symptoms of a mental disorder. Aside from telling us of the nature of homosexuality the Catholic Church also tells us how to properly treat homosexuals, in CCC 2357 we are reminded that homosexuals are called to chastity which means it is commendable for them to remain celibate rather than engage into homosexual acts. The foundation of homosexual acts or homosexual union is not love but lust. We are also reminded that discrimination has no place in the Christian attitude towards homosexuals.