“But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”
WE LIVE under one Supreme Being, one nation, one government. It is for this reason that all Filipinos should be treated equal as to the rights accorded and obligations imposed. However, this equality should not be used to tear down our cultural identity as a people. Neither should it be used to acquire additional rights and privileges over other citizens.
Through time, we see groups after groups clamoring to be treated equal. As a consequence, a lot of laws have been passed either to vest rights to certain groups of people or exempt them from the application of particular laws. All these for the sake of equality. However, taking a deeper look, is this fostering equality or vesting additional rights to certain people who are not accorded to a common Filipino citizen? Also, what could be possible strong reasons that would justify the vesting of additional rights and exemptions from application of laws? By asking for more rights, some Filipino values are compromised like the sanctity of marriage, submission of wives to husbands as the head of the family, respect to the elders and so on. Far be it from us that time will come when we lose our identity as Filipinos who are known to value the decisions of fathers in the home, the value of respect for elders and sanctity of marriage.
Equality is a value that should be applied with care. If every minority group will ask for special rights and privileges from the government, can we imagine the uncontrollable consequences of it? We would have a government full of laws with many exceptions. The sad thing is many of those laws favor not the general public but particular groups only. The absurd thing is that a person who belongs to a particular group will have more rights as compared to a common Filipino citizen.
The Word says, “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” This is a reminder to us to use every given right by the State or the law judiciously so that no one will become a casualty in the exercise of that right. There is a thin line between zealous and limitless exercise of rights and abuse of rights. Let us, therefore, be cautious in exercising the right to be treated equal so that no casualty will be produced in the process. Furthermore, let’s exercise that right of equality within the bounds of morality and law. Equality should be defined as equality before the eyes of God and the eyes of man, not only viewed from the eyes of man. Thus, it should not be interpreted only by the laws of man but also by the laws of God. Above all, in our clamor for equality, let us not compromise the values and qualities that make us a chosen (Pili) and refined (pino) race.