Like almost everyone else, I have very strong opinions on the RH law, dating back to the time when it was still a bill. My opinions haven't changed, notwithstanding the many arguments for or against. For a time, I felt guilty that I wasn't lending my voice to the fray, that I was sitting it out on the sidelines, perhaps to the neglect of my duties of conscience. But really, what is there to add by way of rational argument? Neither side has presented anything really new, and I doubt they ever will, the lines having been set and drawn so lo ago. Any further contribution I might set forward would simply add to the cacophony. At the end, t’was nothing more than a shouting match, ultimately decided on the strength of numbers, and not necessarily rationality.
The first casualty of the RH war was charity, and on this point, both sides may have been remiss. No quicker way to lose a friend than to discuss RH if you stood on opposite sides of the fence. And if it so happened that you both agreed? Even worse, I think, because you end up snickering how stupid the other side was.
The second casualty of the RH war was our sense of humor. Each side thought that, well, RH was A Serious Matter, and should be approached with dour faces and stern voices. Oh, the economy! Oh, the women! Oh, the children! Oh, the morals! Oh, the poverty! Harrumph! harrumph! We forgot to laugh.
And that's a tragedy, because there were so many episodes in the RH drama to laugh at. My own favorite happens to be the one with Carlos Celdran, whom at some point I wish to meet and shake hands with. His stunt at the church was a little funny, I admit, but not nearly as funny as the reactions he elicited. The media all described him “dressed as Jose Rizal”, but come on! Have you ever seen our national hero so, well, robust? Celdran in his outfit struck me less as Jose Rizal than Oliver Hardy. That media said this in all seriousness struck me as hilarious. (I would still like to see him in jail because I believe he will do a lot of good for the cause of prisoners.)
The loss of our sense of humor was deadly on two accounts. First, because it is very un-Filipino not to laugh, and so we have approached the RH debate in a manner contrary to our nature. And second, because it bespoke of too much faith in ourselves and the grand importance that our legal decisions have.
We might chide the diocese of Bacolod for their lack of charity, but that shouldn't mean that we should act without charity as well. Charity means granting that the congregation of Bacolod the benefit of the doubt, that many of the congregation may in fact feel this way, and if they don't that they can resolve it with their bishop. Charity means that even as we chide, we pray that it is the Holy Spirit moves them, not relying simply on the force of our arguments.
And if nothing else: chuckle with them. Or at them. All this is just the unseriousness of human affairs.