because on the one hand: it will tell its followers abortion is a sin, those women who do it, they are sinners, they are irresponsible. all you, who use contraception, you are committing abortion. you are sinners. you are immoral.
on the other: they will refuse any form of education that has the word sex in it. yes, even when in the same sentence as sex, is the word responsibility. oh no! this Pinoy Church would rather think that every Filipino is a Catholic (#1) and is therefore a follower of all the Church’s rules (#2). that because of these two things, they will not sin, and they will not need to be educated on sex. because they already know the rules of abstinence and the rule of sex only after and within marriage.
this is ideal, yes, but it is unrealistic. and this is at the core of my issues with the Catholic Church, Pinoy-style. it refuses to see anything other than what it wants to see: a bunch of sinners, all of us who don’t follow their rules, who question their insistence on abstinence, who go against what they believe about sex and libog.
common sense tells us this: how do we listen to priests who, as a matter of marrying God, don’t even (shouldn’t!) think about having sex, or libog, or anything related to it. that is of course when they aren’t to throwing a sermon or two — along with some threats! — at their brethren.
and they threaten us all with what? there’s hell, for one thing. and for another, the threat of a civil disobedience campaign, and some good ol’ (but denied on the late night news) excommunication for P-Noy. and every other person who says yes (finally!) to birth control, to couples exercising their right to plan their families, to women deciding on their bodies, because we are the only ones who have the right to it.
any woman who has a sense of the real conditions of women in this country would also know not to fear excommunication, not to fear hell. because in fact, we are already in a worst version of hell here, in this space where we aren’t protected in any way, where that finger of blame is easily and quickly pointed in our direction, where half the time we feel like witches being burned at the stake.
the saddest thing? because we have been told so often that our voices are the bane of the Pinoy Church’s existence, we have started to believe it too, and become uncertain about crucial laws that have yet to be passed, but which are ultimately the things we need. and deserve.
the Reproductive Health Bill is our right as women. as women who admit to having and/or wanting sex (within and outside of marriage), as women who want to keep safe and healthy and productive despite the label of sinner that the Pinoy Church has stamped on our foreheads.
we believe all these and act on it, because truth to tell, we are also women who are about the things that this Pinoy Church teaches us: love and marriage and happy endings. yes, we dream of these things. but we can only be as liberated as our bodies are free. we can only be liberated when we cease to fear our bodies, when we stop thinking that all these things we feel and want to do are scary sinful things.
the travesty that is this Pinoy Church is that as it threatens us with hell, it creates this nation where women are without an RH Bill to protect them, where women die at childbirth and from sexually transmitted diseases, where women’s bodies are unprotected, as are their emotions.
if this isn’t hell, i don’t know what is.