Monday, August 3, 2009

Of saints and "religious conservatives", again

R.O. takes exception to two columns which appeared in yesterday's Sunday edition of the Philippine Inquirer.

One such statement was made by Patricia Evangelista in her column piece "After Cory." I admire Evangelista’s bright, independent mind and steely courage. In that light, the opinion she gave last Sunday was vaguely amusing to me, considering she’s the granddaughter of Ninoy Aquino’s publicist, Mario Chanco, and is niece to two devoted lay Catholic leaders I know. But I was not amused by this:

"Saints are touched by the hand of God, they do no wrong, they are faultless, full of the light of heaven – but they belong behind glass cases, painted eyes lit by Christmas lights, of little use in a country where every man is a sinner because he lives."
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The second one is made by columnist Michael Tan in Sunday Inquirer Magazine:

"Religious conservatives continue to label homosexuality as 'unnatural and sinful'," vehemently opposing any kind of gay rights legislation."

These two columnists, I observe, cease to surprise me anymore. I myself have taken exception to their writings in the past: here and here.

For one thing, Ms. Evangelista appears to me as a young, intelligent, creative and bold writer who is on an obsessive human justice crusade. Nothing wrong with that of course, at least until her obvious orientation eerily reminds me of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In her recent column, she makes it no secret when she says:

"I write this to celebrate a hero, not a saint". A saint, she adds, "is of little use in a country where every man is a sinner because he lives".


Her creative writing must be due in large part to her being a wide reader, yet she probably did not read much of St. Thomas More, for starters.

Professor Michael Tan, on the other hand, makes a whooping "horrendous error of generalization and oversimplification" according to R.O.. I agree. My comments on the thread thus:
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In fact the Catholic Catechism says in CCC 2357..."Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained...tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law." and in CCC 2358 ..."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."...


Now to direct attention back to Prof Michael Tan's assailed statement:

"Religious conservatives continue to label homosexuality as 'unnatural and sinful'," vehemently opposing any kind of gay rights legislation".

It is clear that Mr Tan is indeed guilty of "generalization and oversimplification." as R.O. suggests. He never bothered to expound on an objective presentation of the "religious conservatives" position as is normally expected of an academician. If you notice even in the past articles of Mr. Tan, he is bound to use the general term "religious conservatives" in a somewhat derogatory manner. Notice further that the Catholic position above says "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided", so that leaves us in the dark likewise what Mr. Tan means by "conservatives...vehemently opposing any kind of gay rights legislation". Again, his readers should expect better.
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So much so for "fearless views".

5 comments:

R.O. said...

These Inquirer editors... Tsk tsk. I have a strong suspicion they mostly share the same opinion. how come they allowed such grossly unfair statements to come out in the first place?

R.O. said...

Yeah, "derogatory" is an apt word to describe Mr. Tan's stance on religious conservatives, as though conservatism by choice is an invalid stance and liberalism the only enlightened one.

WillyJ said...

Strangely, its the liberals who come off as the most intolerant.

petrufied said...

there is a liberal bias in the news and many editors don't think it's a bias because they all think alike.

why is it that when the press brings up the church the word conservative crops up, but when it's about rh it's not liberal?

WillyJ said...

N,
Good question.