Lost innocence: Muslim child brides and US sex education for children

In this post, I shall talk about two things: Muslim child brides in the Muslim East and US sex education for children in the Secular West–an education not only in schools, but also in movies and TV shows.  And lastly, I shall propose the Catholic remedy by discussing the 6th and 9th Commandments, together with the virtues of modesty and purity.

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit.

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Cyber-crimes, the Confessional, and the Catechism

I have no more energy right now to think about libel in the internet. In the days when there are only few newspapers and books, it is easy to pinpoint the culprit and charge him in court. Now, with the explosion of social media, how would the government police the internet, unless it wants to be like Communist China? I think the solution is not a new civil law but the rediscovery of the law of conscience: no one charges the person with libel except his own conscience. He then goes to the priest in the confessional and tell the priest the sins he committed in the number and kind. Then the sinner awaits the judgement of the priest who will give him his penance–pray the rosary, go to mass, ask forgiveness from his neighbor, etc. Then the sinner says the Act of Contrition and the priest absolve his sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church has 2,000 years of experience of thinking about thinking, and She has classified every conceivable sin in its minute detail according to gravity of the matter, fullness of the consent, and fullness of knowledge. What is needed therefore is not a new civil law but ethics education in all public and private schools–an ethics education based on Ten Commandments as taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

For example, internet libel falls under the 8th commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Under this commandment are the the following sins listed in the Catechism (articles 2475-2482): false witness and perjury, rash judgment, detraction, calumny, boasting, lying. The use of Social Communications Media is covered articles 2493-2499. Some excerpts:

2497 By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

2498 “Civil authorities have particular responsibilities in this field because of the common good…. It is for the civil authority… to defend and safeguard a true and just freedom of information.” By promulgating laws and overseeing their application, public authorities should ensure that “public morality and social progress are not gravely endangered” through misuse of the media. Civil authorities should punish any violation of the rights of individuals to their reputation and privacy. They should give timely and reliable reports concerning the general good or respond to the well-founded concerns of the people. Nothing can justify recourse to disinformation for manipulating public opinion through the media. Interventions by public authority should avoid injuring the freedom of individuals or groups.

2499 Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion through the media, manipulate defendants and witnesses at public trials, and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and repressing everything they consider “thought crimes.”

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is all there.

Catholic movie review: Prometheus and the Christian God

Prometheus movie

Prometheus movie

Prometheus provides an alternative mythology to Genesis.  And there are some references to Christian theology.  Notice the Christmas tree and the Crucifix.  And the Crucifix is seen again and again in the movie as a sign of faith or its loss.

Let us focus on Prometheus and Christ.  Prometheus gave up his life so that the evolution of man can start.  Christ, on the other hand, gave up his life to save mankind from sin, and on the side of Christ flowed the water of life and his life-giving blood.  Prometheus  (it need not be the same person)  slept in a tomb and was resurrected from sleep by the humans.  Christ was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead by his own power.  Prometheus has human DNA.  And so is Christ.  But the similarities ends here.

Even though the whole ship is filled with runes of the ancient tongue, Prometheus can’t talk.  And he refused to talk to reveal himself.  He could have said, “Why did you open the Stargate?” Or “Remove the sandals from your feet because the place you are standing is holy.”  The humans attempted to communicate with him, but he just killed them.  That was disappointing: a god who can’t reveal himself.  Just like the idols of Israel: they have mouths but do not speak.  But the Christian God reveals Himself: “I AM WHO I AM”.  He gave the Ten Commandments.  He sends prophets who proclaim: “This is the word of the Lord!”  And in the fullness of time He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh.

God is our Father.  If God is an alien, then the bond uniting the whole human family breaks down.  Heaven becomes harsh inhospitable planet for the human crew that seeks to finally meet its creator.  Sexual intercourse becomes sterile.  The child in the womb becomes an alien that should be aborted.  The only way to conceive a new life is to destroy the old one.  And even in human relationships,  father becomes emotionally distant from his daughter, the automaton becomes valued as a son, and compassion is dulled even in sight of a bloodied and suffering woman.

But God is a loving Father and that is what the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us.  Jesus promised us that He will prepare a place for us in heaven.  And in heaven, God awaits for the homecoming of his beloved sons and daughters.  And when He sees us from a distance, He will run towards us, and embraces us as His long lost children.  He will give us robes to wear, put rings in our fingers, put sandals on our feet, and announce a feast. As Jesus promised, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.  A society built on the vision of God as a Father results to families and communities bound by love.  The swords will be beat into plowshares.  The lion will lie down with a lamb.  And death would lose its sting: it would be true immortality when the soul reunites with the body in the Resurrection of the Dead.

Prometheus is a bleak movie for Atheistic Materialism and Scientific Darwinism.  Is Prometheus the God atheists and Darwinists longed for?  David, the android, says it best:

David: Why do you think your people made me.

Charlie Holloway: We made ya ’cause we could.

David: Can you imagine how disappointing it would be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?

Like David, humanity without God will be humans without souls.  And even if humans attain eternal life, it would be one long and dreary life of a disembodied head watching the sands and stars.

Ten Commandments of the Modern World: A guide for Filipino Freethinkers

Lady Gaga’s concert in the Philippines has sparked a new controversy on whether Catholic teaching on the four last things–death, heaven, hell, and purgatory–still makes sense on the modern world.  It appears, however, that modern Atheistic Western Civilization cannot make its own values; it only proposes an idea opposite to what the Catholic Church teaches, as we can deduce from the ideas espoused by the Filipino Freethinkers.  The Church proclaims the light of the world who is Christ.  The Filipino Freethinkers proclaim the shadow of that Light.  So the Filipino Freethinkers can do nothing but object to the Ten Commandments, and in doing so they form their own Ten Commandments:

  1. There is no God.  Science has explained everything.  I define what is right and wrong for me, and I don’t care what is right and wrong for you.  As long as we don’t hurt each other, everything is fine.
  2. You can use the name of God in vain and make fun of him.  He does not exist anyway.  (Insert blasphemy here).  The right to freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution.
  3. Sunday is just one of the days in the week.  Sunday is not the time for going to mass but for shopping or playing sports or watching concerts.
  4. We honor our hominid ancestors via evolution and we thank Darwin for breaking our bonds with Adam and Eve.  Mother and father are discriminatory labels.  That should be parent 1 or parent 2, since both parents may be of the same sex.  Actually, the proper term should be couples, because couples does not imply a child.  Marriage is only for sexual union, and a child is an unnecessary burden which can be avoided through contraception and abortion.
  5. The aim of each human being is to live life to the fullest.  Those who live an unsatisfactory life do not have the reason to live, so they must be killed.  Thus, abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are ok, especially for the unborn, the infirm, disabled, the disfigured, and other useless members of the society.
  6. Marriage is not a sacrament but a contract between two parties, which can be revoked anytime.  Adultery, concubinage, and fornication are  natural relationships like marriage.  Homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia should not be discriminated by bigots.
  7. There is no such thing as private property and fruits of personal labor.  The government owns everything and I am the government.
  8. It is ok to lie in order to protect one’s self-interest.
  9. I want your wife.  I want your husband.
  10. I want whatever you have.

Filipino Nurses: Is the right to life the right to end life (euthanasia)?

I came across an article in the blog Filipino Nurses, entitled “Right to End Life (Euthanasia).

The first argument is that for animals in serious injury or illness that couldn’t be cured, the and “humanely” thing to do is to “put them to sleep.”  So, the argument goes, the same should also be true for humans.

There is no such thing as animal rights co-equal with human rights because animal rights are what humans bestow on animals.  Once we lose our biblical moorings, our philosophical arguments goes adrift.  When God made Adam and Eve, God gave them “dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth” (Gen 1:28).  After the Great Flood, God told Noah:

Fear and dread of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered. 3b Any living creature that moves about shall be yours to eat; I give them all to you as I did the green plants. 4c Only meat with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat.* 5Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life.d(Gen 9:2-5)

If you are going to kill your animal to eat it, God allows you to do it. If you want to kill your animal to put an end to its suffering, the Bible does not explicitly say, but it appears you can do it.  But if you are going to kill a man to end his suffering that is another story: God explicitly forbids it, because, as God told Noah, God will demand an accounting for every human life whose blood was shed by another man.  Thus, mercy-killing or euthanasia of another man is wrong.

This is what the Cathechism of the Catholic Church teaches about Euthanasia:

Euthanasia

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

Filipino nurses and doctors needs to read carefully these words of the Catechism, because Church defines what are morally and not morally acceptable forms of treatment.  These statements are rooted in 5th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill.  As stated in the original Hippocratic Oath:

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

In this time of Lent, Jesus shows us that the path to human happiness is not by spurning the cross but embracing it.  Suffering, when united to the suffering of Christ, becomes redemptive.

On salvation and the good works of non-Catholics

Question from ivan misoto December 6, 2011 at 12:52 

So, you said that we should be wary of false prophets, and that we shall know them by their fruits. Isn’t it that there are also people in other religions that show really good deeds to their fellowmen? Some of them even possess humility that nowadays are hard to see in people. They are not as famous as Mother Theresa or Saint Joan of Arc, but, I believe that you too have friends like them or have met people like them. Some of them also are very diligent in their church services and responsibilities. My point is: how can man be really saved, considering that we keep on committing sins before God? Will religion be a way to salvation or just our “faith”? Similarly, what if we do persevere in doing missionary works for the glory of “God,” but then, it is not the same God as the God of other faiths? Will those works, no matter how selfless, still count on the day of judgement, if that “saintly” person did not really serve the true God who is spoken of and being taught in the Bible? Do we really need to find the true Church of Christ before we can serve God and go on with our missionary works?

Response by Quirino M. Sugon Jr December 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Ivan,

I shall answer your 2011/12/06 comment.

1. Yes, there are people in other religions who show good deeds to their fellowmen, but there is difference in merit. If a stranger gives a woman a bouquet of roses, the woman can simply smile and say thank you. But if it is her beloved boyfriend who gives her an ordinary flower freshly plucked from the field, and telling her, “I love you,” the woman would be ecstatic in joy. Similarly God gives more merit to those good deeds done by His beloved adopted sons–and infinitely more that of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The good deeds of non-Catholics may save themselves. But the good deeds of Catholics can save not only themselves but also those of others, especially the souls in Purgatory. This is what the line “I believe in the Communion of the Saints” means in the Apostle’s Creed.

2. The first path to salvation is through the Sacrament of Baptism. As Christ said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15). Peter also said to the crowd: “Repent and be baptized,* every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.u 39For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”v 40He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”w 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. (Acts 2:37-41)

3. Through Baptism we become adopted sons of God, so that we can call Christ as our Brother and God as our Father, and God will say as He did to His Son: “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. (c.f. Mt 3:17)” Sonship can never be revoked, but you can squander God’s graces as what the prodigal son did. Yet God always awaits for the coming home of his son. For Catholics, this coming home to God after a life of sin is done through the Sacrament of Confession. Catholics must tell all their sins to the priest whom Christ gave the power to absolve sins: “Receive the holy Spirit. 23* n Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22). This power to forgive sins was given to the apostles and to their successors, the bishops. The bishops in turn delegated this power to the priests.

4. Basing from 2 and 3, the Catholic religion is a real path to salvation and not just an emotional feeling or an intellectual opinion. The Catholic religion is a practical religion because it saves man from sin.

5. God has bound salvation to the Sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by his Sacrament. For those who were not baptized in the Catholic religion, God will judge them according to their conscience. So even if the pagans have not heard of the Gospel, they will still be judged by their obedience to the natural law engraved in their hearts. Indeed, what you are asking is what the Japanese also asked St. Francis Xavier. The Japanese are worried that their ancestors have not heard of the Gospel and will not be saved. Here is an excerpt of the letter of St. Francis Xavier to the Society of Jesus in 1552:

“Before their baptism the converts of Yamaguchi were greatly troubled and pained by a hateful and annoying scruple—that God did not appear to them merciful and good, because He had never made Himself known to the Japanese before our arrival, especially if it were true that those who had not worshipped God as we preached were doomed to suffer everlasting punishment in hell. It seemed to them that He had forgotten and as it were neglected the salvation of all their ancestors, in permitting them to be deprived of the knowledge of saving truths, and thus to rush headlong on eternal death. It was this painful thought which, more than anything else, kept them back from the religion of the true God. But by the divine mercy all their error and scruple was taken away. We began by proving to them that the divine law is the most ancient of all. Before receiving their institutions from the Chinese, the Japanese knew by the teaching of nature that it was wicked to kill, to steal, to swear falsely, and to commit the other sins enumerated in the Ten Commandments, a proof of this being the remorse of conscience to which any one guilty of one of these crimes was certain to be a prey.

“We showed them that reason itself teaches us to avoid evil and to do good, and that this is so deeply implanted in the hearts of men, that all have the knowledge of the divine law from nature, and from God the Author of nature, before they receive any external instruction on the subject. If any doubts were entertained on the matter, an experiment might be made in the person of a man without any instruction, living in absolute solitude, and in entire ignorance of the laws of his country. Such a man, ignorant of and a stranger to all human teaching, if he were asked whether it were or were not criminal to kill, to steal, or to commit the other actions forbidden by the law of God, and whether it were right to abstain from such actions, then, I say, this man, so fundamentally without all human education, would most certainly reply in such a manner as to show that he was by no means without knowledge of the divine law. Whence then must he be supposed to have received this knowledge, but from God Himself, the Author of nature? And if this knowledge is seen among barbarians, what must be the case with civilized and polished nations? This being so, it necessarily follow that before any laws were made by men the divine law existed innate in the hearts of all men. The converts were so satisfied with this reasoning, as to see no further difficulty; so that this net having been broken, they received from us with a glad heart the sweet yoke of our Lord….”

6. Nevertheless, it still remains the task of Christians to proclaim the Good News, in fulfillment of Christ’s command: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 h Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,20i teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.* And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)

Reproductive Health Bill: How to treat humans like dogs by spaying and neutering them

I.  Spaying and Neutering

I was reading about spaying and neutering of dogs and other animals in Wikipedia.  For females, the ovaries and/or uterus are removed.  This is called spaying.  For males, the standard neutering method is castration: the penis is cut off.  Other methods of neutering are via contraceptives:

  • Male dogs – Neutersol (Zinc gluconate neutralized by arginine). Cytotoxic; produces infertility by chemical disruption of the testicle. It is now produced as Esterilsol in Mexico.[42]
  • Male rats – Adjudin (analogue of indazole-carboxylic acid), induces reversible germ cell loss from the seminiferous epithelium by disrupting cell adhesion function between nurse cells and immature sperm cells, preventing maturation.
  • Male sheep and pigs – Wireless Microvalve.[43] Using a piezoelectric polymer that will deform when exposed to a specific electric field broadcast from a key fob (like a car alarm) the valve will open or close, preventing the passage of sperm, but not seminal fluid. Located in a section of the vas deferens that occurs just after the epididymis, the implantation can be carried out by use of a hypodermic needle.
  • Female mammals – Vaccine of antigens (derived from purified Porcine zona pellucida) encapsulated in liposomes (cholesterol and lecithin) with an adjuvant, latest US patent RE37,224 (as of 2006-06-06), CA patent 2137263 (issued 1999-06-15). Product commercially known as SpayVac,[44] a single injection causes a treated female mammal to produce antibodies that bind to ZP3 on the surface of her ovum, blocking sperm from fertilizing it for periods from 22 months up to 7 years (depending on the animal[45][46]). This will not prevent the animal from going into heat (ovulating) and other than birth control, none of the above mentioned advantages or disadvantages apply.

The reason why human owners spay and neuter their dogs is because of the inconvenience of having a dog litter–the danger of overpopulation in so little house space.  The owners don’t also like that their dogs behave like dogs in mating season: urinate, mount, and copulate.

I wonder if human owners ever asked their dogs whether they like to be spayed and neutered in the first place.  This goes against the very nature of dogs.  This is very inhumane and uncanine.  Animal rights activists should protest against spaying and neutering of dogs.

Now, the proponents of the Reproductive Health Bill are similar to dog owners in that they cannot afford to have another dog or human in the house.  By raising the spectre of overpopulation, the proponents of the RH Bill wants to limit the number of children to two.  To achieve this, they have to neuter many Filipinos, especially the poor, by promoting the use of condoms and contraceptive pills through sex education starting at the Grade 5 level, giving them free contraceptives at government’s expense, and subsidizing their sterilization surgical procedures.  The message to the poor is clear: “Stop littering the streets with your hungry children.  We don’t want you in the Philippines.”

II. How to treat humans as humans

I was watching the Dog Whisperer in National Geographic.  Caesar Millan, the man who knows more about dog psychology than anybody else in boob tube (now flat screen), tells us one fundamental principle: “Do not treat your dogs as human beings.  Treat dogs as dogs.  It is the humans who must lead dogs and not vice-versa.”

In case of the Reproductive Health Bill, I say this: Do not treat humans as dogs.  Treat humans as humans.  Humans need to be led to what is right and wrong.  Who shall tell the human what is right and wrong?  The congressmen and senators who think they are more intelligent than a poor boy from the province?  Dogs must be led by a higher intelligence (man), and humans must also be led by a higher intelligence (God).

God is not a theoretical concept, but a being who intervened in human history, who promulgated his laws in the Ten Commandments.  And when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son born of a woman, in order to become a role model for all of us.  Christ is the way that we must follow, the truth that we must believe, the life that we must live.  When Christ departed from this world, He did not leave us orphans but sent the Holy Spirit to guide his Church–the Pope, bishops, priests, and laity–into all truth.  In matters of Faith and Morals, the Catholic Church could not err, because God Himself, Christ, promised to Peter and his apostles: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mt 16:19)” No other human institution has this divine seal.

Let us pray the Cong. Lagman, Cong. Hontiveros Baraquel, and Sen. Santiago would listen to the voice of the Catholic Church.