The Reproductive Health Bill now in Congress has been the subject of discussions, heated arguments and lengthy position papers for many months. As BCBP members and concerned citizens, we must make it a point to know more about this piece of proposed legislation and how it would affect our lives, our faith, our families, our children and their future.
This Bill is, in the view of our faith, is a prime example of the “conspiracy against life” that is subtly encroaching on the sanctity of life in today’s milieu. This conspiracy takes the form of a “culture of death” and damages us not only in our personal, family, and community relations, but also distorts relations between peoples and nations. It is in direct opposition to the Culture of Life.
For a more detailed discussion of the various aspects of the Culture of Life, the Culture of Death, and other burning issues of the times (contraception, abortion, euthanasia, bioethics, health care, and sexuality concerns), read Evangelizing Presence: Caring for Life, a BCBP publication, authored by Nancy Russell Catan (BCBP Portal Editor), Fr. Pasquale T. Giordano, SJ, and Mitos Rivera. It is available at the BCBP National Office. Some of the salient features of the Culture of Death vs the Culture of Life are summarized in the following paragraphs.
The basic feature of this Culture of Death is the noticeable absence of God in a growing secular lifestyle, influenced by a flood of distorted and hedonistic values where pleasure is maximized and pain is minimized. Having and hoarding become more important than “being”. Sexuality is depersonalized and exploited. The so-called right of women to decide whether or not to kill their unborn child due to various reasons usually in support of their personal life-style is highlighted and the right of the unborn to its God-given life is being ignored.
This is the modern tragedy: the eclipse of the sense of God and man, and the resulting distortions wherein society refuses to accept and care for any life – the sick, the aged, the dysfunctional, the weak – that interferes with its “progress”. We are gradually but inexorably losing the sense of the sacred in our society.
Life as designed by God is always “a good”. It is the seed of an existence that transcends the very limits of time, for God himself has planted eternity in the human heart. Human life has always been sacred to God, and to proclaim Christianity is to proclaim life.
Therefore as a “people for life” we need to view life in its deeper meaning, and to look for God’s living image in every person, in the unborn person as well as in the birthed. By seeing Christ in every person we meet, we can experience a God-given, everyday – or we could say, an every-person – epiphany! This is the Culture of Life.
It is this Culture of Life that promotes and enables us and others to live in dignity and fullness of life. It is in embracing the Culture of Life that helps us build our families as the basic life unit of community and society. It is in strengthening this Culture of Life in our families that the integrity and sanctity of the family as the domestic church, the basic unit of Christian life and cornerstone of society, is truly realized.
Let us ask ourselves and answer sincerely and honestly from our hearts: Who am I, who are we, to arrogate ourselves equal to God by legislating whether a God-created, God-given life should live or die? The future of our society depends on the rediscovery of the innate human and moral values that promote and strengthen the Culture of Life. At the same time we need to fight against those values that promote the influence of the Culture of Death.
We urge you to familiarize yourselves with the various aspects and concerns surrounding the Reproductive Health Bill by reviewing and re-reading the ten news articles and two videos that have been posted on this website since September 2010.
What Should Be Our Response to the RH Bill – by Bobby Atendido, BCBP BOT Chairman (posted on 10-04-10)
No Place for the RH Bill in Our Law – by former Senator Kit Tatad (10-10-10)
Talking Points for the RH Bill Dialogue – by Loyola School of Theology and the John Carroll Institute on Church Social Issues (10-11-10)
Mother, Let Me Live! – video (10-21-10)
Let Us Renew Our Commitment to Life – by Bishop Jesse Mercado, D.D., Bishop of Paranaque (11-22-10)
Pope Benedict and the Condom Question – Vatican news (11-23-10)
House Bill 13: Safety and Protection of Life – by Nancy R. Catan, Portal Editor and Columnist (12-12-10)
“Watch, Laugh, and Learn” or Are We Really Overpopulated? – video (12-15-10)
A University of the Phils. Position Paper on the RH Bill – (12-18-10)
Choosing Life, Rejecting the RH Bill – CBCP Pastoral Letter (2-01-11)
Consolidated RH Bill – 15th Congress – (2-01-10)
Choosing Life Video: the Official Stand of the Catholic Church on the RH Bill – video (2-14-11)