From the idiotization of our morality flows derangement of our politics

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Reacting to the US Supreme Court legalization of “same-sex marriage” throughout the United States, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the Filipino bishops and clergy will continue to teach what the Church has always taught about marriage. Namely, that it is the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman for the propagation of the species.

The natural institution of marriage, blessed by God, cannot be reduced by deconstructionists like Jacques Derrida and his heirs into a sexual union or partnership between two or three persons of the same sex. Not only Catholic Christians have a right and duty to defend this truth.

Coming from the highest court of the world’s lone superpower, the ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges has certainly disturbed all the cultural, moral and legal fault-lines around the world. It is the dictatorship of relativism’s most audacious and intrusive edict, and all morally indifferent lifestyles seem to approve it. But the Church has an eternal vocation to the truth, and cannot possibly capitulate. Were the Pope himself to declare “same-sex marriage” as the new orthodoxy, he would be reviled and opposed by the whole Church; the doctrine itself would remain false, and the bishops, priests, religious and the laity would have no right or duty to alter their knowledge, understanding and profession of the indelible and immutable truth.

We thank and commend Archbishop “Soc” for assuring everyone that the Church will continue to teach what she has always taught about marriage. It’s another way of saying the Church draws the line between her Magisterium and the political emanations from the global powers, despite the sorry behavior of the Aquino administration, in the case of “reproductive health.”


But the CBCP president could probably have said a little bit more, notably about the fundamental issue of morality, for the sake of educating those who see a false boon to humanity in “same-sex marriage.” Although Church teaching on marriage as on everything else has been constant, this did not prevent some of the Catholic justices on the Court from attacking the integrity and dignity of marriage.

Did these “Catholics” intend, by their action, to force a seismic change in Church teaching on marriage? Most likely not. For they were the first to know, what even the non-Catholic justices presumably knew, that no court ruling could ever compel the Church to alter her teaching on anything simply by attacking it.

Therefore, while the CBCP president’s statement tried to reassure, it did not say enough. It merely tried to close an already closed door, when it could have opened a large window as well to let in the sunlight on the rights of man and the rights of God, which the justices had chosen to discard or usurp. The justices did not have to hear from Archbishop Soc that their ruling would not affect Church teaching on marriage, which is a universal public good, one bit. But they needed to be told that they did not have the right or the competence to redefine marriage.

No matter how words are perverted, they retain their original meaning, says Camus. This is what they should have been told. With the zeal of our Lord driving the moneychangers out of the Temple, Archbishop Soc could have come out swinging against the ruling. For even though it had no direct impact on the Filipino faithful, it has put marriage and the defenders of marriage at great risk.

There are times when the good shepherd, sensing danger to his flock, must summon all his courage and strength to confront and drive away the big bad wolf. This is one such time. To leave the wolf near the fold would be bad for the sheep. I hope that the entire CBCP would take up this challenge when it meets for its next semi-annual plenary meeting later this month, before the puppet Aquino tries to lick Barack Obama’s boots, again, by paying off the political mercenaries in Congress to pass an abominable law on “same-sex marriage.”

Reacting to my previous columns, one prominent politician told me the other day that if ever PNoy or any senator or congressman tries to push any same-sex proposal in Congress, we should be ready to defeat it to a national referendum or plebiscite. The suggestion was well-intentioned, but it showed that the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

There are self-evident truths, which do not depend on a majority vote. The truth is never subject to ascertainment or confirmation by a majority vote. Even if every voter knew what is morally right and what is morally wrong, and our voting system were as honest and transparent as the voting that takes place during a conclave to elect a new Pope, we do not need a referendum to establish the truth.

We do not need a majority vote to affirm the fact that no human being ever creates himself, that every person is born either male or female, and that only the sexual union of the two is capable of naturally generating a new life. We need to recognize God-given truth for what it is.

Majorities, no matter how powerful, do not guarantee that truth and justice would be served. This is evident in both the legislative and the judicial processes. It was a Supreme Court majority under Chief Justice Roger Taney that declared in Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857, that Negro slaves were commodities rather than human beings to be traded, that even free blacks were non-citizens, and that Congress could not restrict slavery in the federal territories.

In 1896, in Plessy v. Ferguson, as referenced in a US Family Research Council paper, the US Supreme Court majority upheld racial segregation through its infamous “separate but equal” doctrine, which provided “unequal” facilities for the Whites and the Blacks, those for the latter being significantly inferior to those for the former. Justice John Harlan, dissenting, said segregation should have been declared unconstitutional because the US Constitution is colorblind.

In 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court corrected its error in Plessy. But not before committing another error in Lochner v. New York, where it struck down as unconstitutional a New York state law limiting to 60 the number of hours per week that the owner of a bakery could require or permit his employees to work.

The law was meant to protect workers from the high risk of lung disease “from breathing in the flour dust and severe burns from the ovens,” but the Supreme Court said no. Like Dred Scott, Lochner was finally repudiated under the immensely popular Franklin Delano Roosevelt fighting a great Depression.

These are but some of the instances where error and injustice were committed because of a misguided majority vote. In our jurisdiction, we could cite the impeachment and removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona; the forced enactment of the Reproductive Health Law; the systematic lying in the Mamasapano massacre inquiries to shield PNoy from any criminal accountability; the ongoing efforts to ensure a thoroughly manipulated electoral process in 2016 through Smartmatic and the Comelec — all by majority action of the collective groups involved.

A clear ethical mind is needed to avoid these follies. But this requires a fair understanding of objective ethical principles, without which one may be tempted to repeat what an old senator of the realm said a few years ago during a public debate, “what is ethical to you is not ethical to me.” In this case, the strength of the law, which springs from the truth and justice, yields to the power of the strong.

We all could use a good guide. For me, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is one such guide. He remains (for me) the world’s foremost living theologian and intellectual. In discussing the moral foundations of a free state, he examines the ethical foundations of the law, and poses this question: Are there not some things that can never be legalized, things that always remain wrong? And are there not some things that always remain absolutely legally binding, things that precede every majority decision, things that majority decision must respect?

From the essence of what it is to be human, there follow, in Benedict’s view, unconditional values that cannot be altered by shifts in parliamentary (or judicial) majorities. Of course, the numbers count in reckoning majorities, but truth and justice, not numbers, always decide what is right and what is wrong.

A bought Congress could impeach and remove a non-erring Chief Justice, enact an immoral RH law, and prevent the impeachment and removal of an impeachable and obviously guilty president. A bought High Court on the other hand, (may it never come to pass), could declare a former American and naturalized Filipino citizen as a “natural-born citizen,” in order to allow her to run for an office for which she is not constitutionally or morally qualified.

None of these could alter the truth, but we could lose the truth, if we do not watch out. We have to work extra hard to make sure this does not happen. We must not lose our grip on our moral lives. This is the key. From the derangement and idiotization of our morality flows the derangement and idiotization of our politics, not vice versa. Let us never forget that.

fstatad@gmail.com

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16 Comments

  1. genesisbughaw on

    Sir,
    May kasabihan nga ko po na ; ” man does not live by bread alone”.
    In the level of intellectual field, nakakalungkot po… the daming down of our fellow filipinos.
    the rat race in the metropolis sa “tuwid na daan” compounded with the unnecessary troubles to the riding public, Im emphatic enough to understand in the micro sense of what your “obra maestra ika nga.”

    who’s to blame?

    The idiot at the helm or the sublimal message of what happened to them just accept it and from the ordinary sense level of thinking…from idiotization to derangement.
    Wow! Our beloved in Country is in deep trouble.
    Politics is our way of life we cannot just leave it sir to the notion or admitted realities that politicians are all animals.

  2. Nobody knows that Marriage is a holy sacrament. (for your information)
    ….anyway the devil is succeeding in their mission to earth…..to have one a world government.. ??? peace….love sex and devotion???? everything is free for one world government..

  3. Teddy Sevilla on

    Whoa! Pipe down, Mr. Tatad, pipe down. Such vitriol.

    Pope Francis is wise, compassionate and supremely, elegantly kind. Yes, I am certain he does not favor gay marriage. But I am also sure that his holiness would not sanction your themes of doctrinal rigidity and religious intolerance. Do you really feel good, Mr. Tatad, being more popish than the pope? Don’t you realize that it is exactly people like you that drive people away from the church?

  4. Dominador D. Canastra on

    Maybe Archbishop Soc is just tried of repeating all the necessary and true doctrines which the Filipinos generally don’t give a hoot for because among the rich and middle class, their focus. is on making more money and getting their share of power and among the poor, dirt poor as well as those whose noses are just am inch above the poverty line. their focus is on how to last until tomorrow or tonight!

    But Mr. Tatad is also absolutely right. We must continue to defend what is right against any force that adds to the power of the wrong. .

  5. THE SOURCES ARE RELATED ON THE MATTER AT HAND.
    PLEASE READ.
    *****
    WHERE DID SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCACY STARTED? WAS THE DECISION SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED? WHAT DID THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCATES DO TO GET MORE YES VOTES? WHAT’S NEXT AFTER THE DECISION?

    SINCE APA’S ESTABLISHMENT IN 1890s, APA PIONEERED ALMOST EVERY KNOWN MODERN PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY. UNFORTUNATELY, ACTIVISTS WITHIN THE APA DID NOT ADOPT THE LEONA TYLER PRINCIPLE WHERE…
    “In essence, the principle states that when psychologists are speaking as members of their profession, any advocacy in which they engage should be based on scientific data and demonstrable professional experience. Perhaps Dr. Tyler, then APA’s president, was able to foresee the day when organized psychology would be influenced by activism, and she wanted to ensure that psychology as a profession would not be eroded.”
    (1) Dr. Nicholas Cummings says that since he was APA president in 1979-80, the group has been “totally hijacked” by the homosexual/lesbian political lobby. “It’s incredible,” he said; having personally seen “hundreds of people change,” the view that all homosexuality is “hard-wired” and same-sex attraction can never be changed is simply “not supported by scientific evidence.”
    www(DOT)josephnicolosi(DOT)com/former-apa-president-says/
    (2) In 2013, 1.6% of UK adults identified their sexual identity as gay, lesbian or bisexual. –United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics
    www(DOT)ons(DOT)gov(DOT)uk/ons/rel/integrated-household-survey/integrated-household-survey/january-to-december-2013/index(DOT)html

    IT’S ABOUT LOBBYING (MORE MONEY WINS JUST LIKE THE TOBACCO LAW, LIQUOR LAW, ETC) TO PASS A LAW, PUTTING SCIENCE IN THE DUST BIN. NEXT STOP FOR LAWMAKERS (MORE MONEY, GOODBYE SCIENCE) — POLYGAMY, PEDOPHILIA, BESTIALITY, PEOPLE MARRYING INANIMATE OBJECTS, AND MORE :), SEE THIS…
    www(DOT)thefw(DOT)com/weirdest-marriages-of-the-world-photos-videos/

  6. arthur keefe on

    Nobody is compelled to avail of this opportunity. Christians can obey the teaching of their Church. Others can have the freedom to think and act differently.

  7. IT’S ABOUT LOBBYING (MORE MONEY WINS JUST LIKE THE TOBACCO LAW, LIQUOR LAW, ETC) TO PASS A LAW, PUTTING SCIENCE IN THE DUST BIN. NEXT STOP FOR LAWMAKERS (MORE MONEY, GOODBYE SCIENCE) — PEDOPHILIA, BESTIALITY, PEOPLE MARRYING INANIMATE OBJECTS, AND MORE :), SEE THIS…
    www(DOT)thefw(DOT)com/weirdest-marriages-of-the-world-photos-videos/
    *****
    SCHOLARS OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY SHARES THE FF.:
    (1) SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS NOT FLUID, IT CHANGES WITH INFLUENCE (NO PERSON “IS” PERSON GAY/BISEXUAL, SCIENCE PEOPLE ARE STILL TRYING TO FIND ITS CAUSE-AND-EFFECT BUT UP TO NOW RESULTS REMAIN INCONCLUSIVE ) AND IT DOESN’T WHOLLY DEFINE A PERSON
    (2) DECLINE OR DECAY OR EVEN DEATHS OF CIVILIZATIONS WERE NOT ONLY FROM WARS OR FAMINES OR FROM FORCES OF NATURE BUT ALSO FROM THE LOSS OF MORAL COMPASS WHICH COULD HAVE GUIDED THEM TO EXIST UNTIL NOW
    *****
    HERE ARE SOME RESEARCHES THEY’VE PROVIDED:
    PLS. REPLACE (DOT) WITH .
    (1) History clearly tells the story of what happens next when courts decide the fate of your child and the generations to come. –www(DOT)worldcongressoffamilies(DOT)org
    www(DOT)wcf9(DOT)org/files/2015/06/SCOTUS_Marriage_React(DOT)pdf
    (2) “Homosexuality Is Not Hardwired,” Concludes Dr. Francis S. Collins, Head Of The Human Genome Project
    www(DOT)narth(DOT)org/docs/nothardwired(DOT)html
    FOR MORE, GOOGLE AND SEARCH ENGINES ARE YOUR FRIENDS :)

  8. George castillo on

    GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE, TO MULTIPLY AND REPLENISH THE EARTH.

  9. Vic Penetrante on

    The Ten Commandments should now be:
    Commandment 5. HONOR THY FATHER AND FATHER, OR THY MOTHER AND MOTHER, whatever the case may be; and Commandment 7. GO TO COURT FOR A VIOLATION OF YOUR MARRIAGE CONTRACT.

  10. Amnata Pundit on

    One pundit described this latest ruling in same sex marriage as tantamount to the devil poking his dirty middle finger right in the face of God. Yes, the devil has done it again. I believe down to my very bones that the devil is heavily involved in human affairs through human proxies in high but hidden places for the purpose of undermining God. It is not only in social issues that his invisible but palpable hand is present, but in all phases of humanity including religion. Just look at our country that looks like it is being run by a thousand chimpanzees, This is his work too. Some sectors are saying that the devil’s next target is legalized pedophilia. Sounds impossible, but so did legalized same sex marriage many years ago.

  11. Tanggapin na, ang tao ngayon ay hindi na naniniwala sa batas ng dios,lalo na dahil ang nagsasabi na sila ang nagtuturo ng salita ng dios ang unang-unang sumasalungat sa maraming batas ng dios!!lalo na sa ginagawang pagsamba sa rebulto,idol,at sa mga santo!!
    Tanggapin na ninyo,na bigung-bigo ang mga nagtuturo ng religion lalo na ang mga paring katoliko na may dios!!
    Walang masama sa batas na ito,sa mga taong hindi na naniniwala sa batas ng dios! Ganito ang demokrasya,lahat may karapatan gawin ang naisin nila,lalot hindi Sila nakakasakit sa kapwa!
    Ipaubaya na lamang ninyo sa dios ang lahat! Bawat isa ay binigyan ng sariling isip upang magdesisyon sa sarili nila!
    Tandaan kapag totoong ang religion ay sa dios, kahit ano pang batas, na gawin ng tao! Ay walang saysay sapagkat alam nila kung sino ang susundin! Pero kung ang isang religion ay hindi sa dios,totoong walang susunod sa kanila!lahat ay aasa sa batas ng tao at sariling interest ang uunahin nila!!masakit man,..
    Tanggapin na bigo ang pope at mga pari na pasunurin ang kaanib nila!
    Walang kasalanan ang US o ano mang bansa na bigyan ng karapatan ang lahat,dahil ito ang alam nilang tama!!labas ang religion sa kanilang pasya!

    • Justaskingseriously on

      I am going to respond in English so that those who do not understand Tagalog will be able to share. Anyway, I am sure you understand English. After trying to respond to you directly in Tagalog several times, I noticed that you still persist in your anti-catholic prejudice: against catholic priests who you say teach people to worship idols. This is a common thread in all your comments. Have you ever heard of the word “iconoclast”? You can google the word and you will know instantly.

      If you read my comments about the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage, I started with the word “icons”. An icon is a Greek word that refers to images. Your objection to icons is not something new. When the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the center of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 324 A.D., he observed how the catholic priests in that Eastern part of the Roman Empire were always quarreling among themselves over religious doctrines. That is why Constantine provided a venue to resolve their issues. In 325 A.D. they had the Ecumenical Council of Nicea. From that council, the catholics up to now recite the Nicene Creed that came out of the Council of Nicea. (Google Nicene Creed.) That is what I had been referring to in Tagalog as “sampalataya”. Sampalataya is Creed or Beliefs. From the creed you will read that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. But there is only one God. Jesus who is human is also “consubstantial with the Father”. Jesus is God the Son.

      Greek was the language in Byzantium renamed by Constantine as Constantinople and centuries later renamed by the Turks as Istanbul. After the time of Emperor Constantine, his successors became known as Byzantine Emperors. When the Roman Empire fell, there was still the Eastern part of the Roman Empire which became known as Byzantine Empire. Centuries later, it became the Ottoman Empire when the Turks conquered them.

      Emperor Constantine’s involvement with resolving religious issues continued with his successors. The priests looked up to the Byzantine Emperors/Empresses as their protectors. The Byzantine Emperors went as far as decreeing that all icons must be destroyed, because these are against the 10 Commandments. The Pope in Rome, Pope Gregory III, vehemently disagreed. This issue is referred to in their Greek language as “iconoclasm” or destruction of icons. Then in 787 A.D. the Byzantine Empress Irene who was in favor of icons welcomed the legates or representatives of Pope Hadrian I to the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicea. The Council decided that icons or images (rebultos, santos) are not against the 10 Commandments. Your constant objection to what you call “idols” happened long time ago. That is why it sounds so “old” every time I read your comments.

  12. P.Akialamiro on

    The whole thing redounds to faith and belief in the Sciptures which is (or not) already in the minds and hearts of people even before the U.S. SC ruling. Afer all, it is a matter of “to each his/her own” when the final judgemet day comes.

  13. Come to think of it for us believers, I suggest that all churches go ahead and officiate gay weddings. First of all, we know that these marriages will only be valid before the eyes of the government not the eyes of God and the priests are only doing it so as not to be sanctioned by the government. Second of all, these can be a source of donations for the church. Am I wrong?

    • Churches are not forced to officiate same-sex weddings. Nor are bakeries forced to bake cakes with figures both in tux on top of them. A business has the right to refuse to serve a customer.