Odd objects-A A +A
So to speak
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
ADVERSITY loves adjectives. In the conflict between heaven and hell, for instance, both sermons and invectives would pack more power if it could summon the intercession of a modifier. The Spirit needs to be holy, and the devil entails to be exclaimed: “Pesteng yawa!”
The demon is in the description even if we may say amen to the idea that God is in the details. Yes, we hardly talk about will without its accessories-—good, ill, free.
Aiee, freedom! Even this thought can be trapped in elaborate phrasing. Talk about “religious freedom,” and we may as well hear a hissing of forked tongues where the middle ground crawls with complications down the cul-de-sac of a dilemma. Paved with good intentions, true, but the convergence of these broad words appears as welcoming as the approach of an anaconda.
Squirm, squabble. Thus the twining of religion and freedom has pitted the inseparable personal issues of faith and choice into the fire-breathing pit of politics. In the United States, unanimity is an alien notion as smoke coils around President Obama’s health program that will prompt employers, including sectarian hospitals and universities, to offer insurance coverage that includes even contraceptive procedures to their employees.
A call to arms, thus United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has waved its banner against the official mandate. Short of calling the firemen to hose down the White House with holy water, the priests in various parishes all over the country have been prodding the devotees into a 14-day period of prayer, education and action—-holding rallies in front of state capitols—-starting last June 21 “in support of religious freedom.”
Liberty is no milk and honey when laced with morality. In his letter to the editor of the Topeka Capital Journal about the bishops’ call and its resonance to those who righteously adhere to the conservative view, a reader reacts: “If you believe in something, you fight for it. If it is morally wrong you fight against it. If it is law you obey it. Freedom comes with a price.”
The cost of crossing the boundaries of ethics and legality can be as tricky as traversing the proverbial distance between the devil and the deep blue sea. Drowned by waves of denunciation from those who uphold themselves as the “moral majority,” a young Filipino lawmaker has decided to withdraw his House Bill 6330 that proposed the “Religious Freedom in Government Offices Act.”
Though his intention was clearly delineated—-to oppose government sponsorship of any religion as an official mandate—-it was complicated with accusations against him as an atheist out to “ban God.” Though the allegation was untrue, he was no match to the muddle of adjectives arising from the status quo.
Such initiative was “godless,” said Congressman Roilo Golez. “Divisive,” echoed Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama as a local church-based group described the bill as “short-sighted, discriminatory and un-Filipino.” End of discussion. As usual, where democracy is in dire need of a verb that would have clarified concepts of tolerance and openness, rants and raves always swell with the clutter of adjectives.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2012.