Aftermath of the RH Law


I hope the Supreme Court decision on the RH bill will now quiet down the man-made tempest of false accusations, deliberate misinterpretations, and fundamentalist insistence on just one religious view. And that somewhat shadowed and blurred by the high decibel stridency of it all.

There has been so much waste of time and human capital on a matter that in the end comes down to individual conscience.

Human beings have minds and free will, they can acquire knowledge, choose a belief system and make decisions based on it. They are expected to use their free will to be what each one thinks they should be, to act as they believe. Human beings earn or lose their salvation or what they value according to their conscience, the expression of their free will, the fruit of their religious knowledge. The individual is the ultimate judge because the individual alone knows his or her conscience best.

The use of threats, intimidation, pressure (even pressuring the Almighty with repetitive, pointed, judgmental prayers imposed on all without choice) is a disservice to the very religion that is bent on trying to dominate a universe of divergent religious creeds. It smacks of a struggle for power, an assertion of turf that is despotic, passe and deplorable and out of place in matters of religion.

We have seen as a result an unseeminly display of uncharitable behavior, condemnatory statements and dismissive expressions about different beliefs. This is no longer spiritual work but heavy-handed tyrannical behavior that has been a turn-off.

That religious leaders have acted like tribal leaders and combative warlords is not only a reality that we have been subjected to but also a contradiction of the role of honoring God above all and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Instead of persuasion, clarity and emphasis on these fundamentals, we have seen divisiveness and extremism in choosing to ignore or misunderstand the social reality that the general population, and the State see and experience. It is their way or no way. The prevalent religious leadership has been a disappointment. This is no longer the Old Testament allowing prophets shouting from the rooftops or the mountains to condemn and disparage a population of arrogant, intractable, primarily ignorant people bent on their vices. And even then the Divinity was sparing in his punishment.

This is another time, with a different reality of a society of inequality, of poverty for many, of injustice and unfairness in vitals aspects of national life, the consequence of which are the neglected young. In a country that has to develop, to prosper, to give opportunity to all we need to respect their beliefs and their needs. Why do church leaders have to scold, demand and reject those who have other ideas that do not in fact contradict any dogmas held by them? What is the meaning of this total lack of humility in viewing the world? Again, it is the pursuit of power that surfaces.

It will take some time and a very different behavior and attitude from church leaders for the rest of us to forget how they have fought to preserve unreasonable prerogatives and antedeluvian traditional influence on matters that are best left to those who experience them acutely and suffer the consequences of a refusal to change, to give way, to understand.

I am happy that the RH Law has been upheld as constitutional but made most unhappy by the Calvary that had to be taken to get there.


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