Reproductive Health Bill debate: can a good Catholic remain good amidst a thousand condoms and pills?

Pro RH Bill Argument:

“If a Catholic member has a morally-formed conscience with regards to these issues, a thousand free condoms and contraceptive pills being dangled before him WON’T tempt him to make use of them. It is as simple as that for me. An analogy has been offered by my daughter: Why did God allow the existence of the Forbidden Tree in the Garden in the first place? Why did He only command Adam and Eve: “do not eat” of its fruit yet gave them free access and freedom to exercise their free will? God could just have very well  PHYSICALLY prevented both of them easy access to it or installed formidable baricades around it.

Response:

A green leaf placed near a fire, can only resist the heat up to a certain point (when most of the leaf’s water content turns to vapor). Then the green leaf catches fire.  A strong rock cliff facing the sea can withstand a strong wave or two.  But after years of bombardment (we call this weathering), the rock cliff gets chipped here and there, then the cracks become bigger, until the rock splits into fragments.  In the same way, if you flood a well-formed Catholic with condoms, he can resist the first assaults.  But when the condoms become a common sight, and he sees little boys and girls blow them as balloons,  he sees demonstrations in TV how to use condoms, he finds condoms available in toilets for Php 5, and everywhere he goes he sees couples copulate in in broad daylight, will the good Catholic still resist? And what if the woman that he likes approaches him, gives him a box of condoms as Valentine’s gift, kisses him, and takes off her clothes?  If you are St. Francis, you shall jump into thorns.  If St. Benedict, into snow.  If St. Aquinas–you’ll grab a firebrand and chase the temptation away.  But what if you are just an ordinary Catholic who goes to mass only during Easter andChristmas, and whose last Confession was 10 years ago, can you still resist?

Before his Fall, Adam has perfect control over his passions.  This is called Original Justice.  His nakedness and Eve’s nakedness does not incite malicious thoughts on him.  When God placed the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden, Adam can perfectly control his desire for the fruit, so this is not a test of desire but of obedience.  There is no need to put walls and barriers, because this is a test of free will to obey God, in order to merit eternal life for him, for Eve, and for us their descendants.  When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he disobeyed God and this is Original Sin.  As one of the consequences, Adam lost his perfect control over his passions and desires (c.f. concupiscence).   So God knows that even if He forbade Adam to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life, Adam will sooner or later eat the fruit. To prevent this from happening, God banishedAdam and Eve from the Garden and placed an angel to guard the gates of paradise.  From this analysis, we see that since we are descendants of Adam and Eve who lost our perfect control over our passions and desires, despite having our Original Sin washed away by the waters of Baptism, then putting a temptation before us like free condoms would have a chance that we fall to the temptation.  So the best way is to follow a way similar to  what God did by putting a barrier between the condom and the man, by not making condoms more available, by stopping the passage of the RH bill.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

7 Responses to Reproductive Health Bill debate: can a good Catholic remain good amidst a thousand condoms and pills?

  1. This is such an interesting post and discussion. I have to prepare for a family birthday and can’t say all that I want to, but just to put a link. It is Cardinal Otttaviani’s Duties of the Catholic State, and besides being shatteringly clear in rejecting the idea that humans don’t need protection from temptation, it gives the teachings of previous popes on the matter (like Leo XIII). The title suggests that it’s only about the Catholic state, but also directly addresses conditions in a secular state. But even the teachings on the Catholic state per se apply to us, because reading it, reading how the state must help people get to heaven, how it must, for social health, proclaim its belief in God, reading it one becomes convinced that the secular state is simply wrong, impossible, unacceptable to Catholics, harmful, and the source of our troubles today. And so what I think is what I have said too often, perhaps, that just resisting the HR bill isn’t enough, that you’ll end as we have in the US, giving up everything else that’s important just to fight against abortion, because there just isn’t time to put out all the outbreaks of fire caused by secularism, especially developed secularism as we see here. We don’t have time to fight for excellence in the science and humanities classrooms (always falling under liberalism, due to the absence of strong standards, always falling because they insist on ‘dialogue’ of long established principles, and fail to move forward toward projects) and fight against divorce and against pre-marital sexuality and against homosexuality and against — all the sick horror of it. And besides that, you will see an encroachment of islam there as the further secularization of society permits them to demand yet another social option, sharia law.

    Two links: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/americanism/duty.htm for the Ottaviani

    and how the secularization of society permits inroads by islam, by some experts:

    http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/World.php?id=3249

    Love to you all from Chicago. It’s storming here.

  2. Arvin says:

    That was an awesome analogy and reply for the enlightenment of the supporter of the immoral sex bill 4244!

  3. jun balansag says:

    we need simple analogies and explanations like this in our fight against the RH Bill. I just wonder how come an intellectual like fr bernas has allowed himself to be used by moneyed pharmaceutical companies. I do not mean that he personally benefited from them, but he certainly has caused harm and sewn division in the church by his irresponsible statements. His superior is equally liable for allowing him to talk freely, even against the stance of the magisterium.

  4. pinoyleonardo says:

    Well-formed conscience? How many Catholics have this? Looking at it from how people talk, there is not too many. My parents’ generation talk about “pagtatali” (ligation) when one reaches two or three children. And I heard that all the time. Our generation does not speak of that anymore as there are more options. Who ever mentioned it was acceptable as a Catholic? There was not any talk regarding that. My only point is that, it would be hard to discuss an argument limited among “well-formed conscience”. The scope should refer to everyone regardless of the state of his conscience.

  5. Agnes dominique says:

    Dear sir, pls help me out here. I am a devout catholic and anti-RH bill. I understand what the Church teaches about the theology of the body. The only question i cannot answer or dont know how to answer is this : my sister ministers to women in the slums, those who have 12 children because their drunken husbands abuse them and force them to have intercourse at whim. As they live in abject poverty, these women are unable to provide for the kids, and so the cycle continues. Im sure you know he story. My question is – what do we do for these women? Do we and can we really tell their drunken husbands to control their urges and see sex in the context of he divine plan? What do we actually tell them? Help me out here. Thank you.

  6. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Agnes,

    Before starting anything, it may be best to pray:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.
    Amen.–Serenity Prayer
    by Reinhold Niebuhr

    Can we change the life of people in the slums? If you have the power to do so, do it, as long as it is in fidelity to the Church and with their consent. If not, focus only on what you can do. You can blog about it. You can make a study and write a research paper. You can coordinate with your parish priest in his programs for the alleviation of material–and also spiritual poverty. You can also encourage your rich friends who are married to have more children who can start businesses that will employ more people in the slums. Do what you are called to do. Do what your duty demands. Offer your labors to God and God shall bless it a hundredfold. Many religious orders started as a response to a particular need, many of them social needs. The La Salle brothers started only with a calling to teach little children crafts that they can use to earn a living. The Missionaries of Charity started only with one nun taking care of a dying man. Couples for Christ started only with a desire to put Christ into married life. The little mustard seed that we sow, God can grow into a big tree where birds and animals can find food and shelter.

  7. jayger chavez says:

    i agree too all of you
    because life is created in this world so it must be ”cherrised and love”.

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