WE may not have the number to elect a candidate, but we have enough to make one lose.”

The threat, made by a lay leader, seems to define the concept of current Church activism in relation to the elections. Hell can wait; there is an earlier day of judgment for those who offend Church policies especially the one on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. That day is May 10.

Listening to the fire and brimstone pouring out of the mouth of the rabidly anti-RH bill clerics and lay leaders, one gets the impression that there is only one commandment: Thou shalt not encourage the use of condoms.

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Whatever happened to the original ten? Have they been repealed?

A candidate can have many wives and sire as many children and it’s tolerable? Another candidate can steal millions of pesos from the government coffers and it doesn’t merit the threat of perdition? But let him as much as advocate that couples should have a choice of birth control methods and he is damned?

“Hindi naman yata tama ‘yan,” to quote friend Pedro. We’re not only creating a hierarchy of transgressions, we’re practically saying that only a particular one matters while the others are tolerable.

I am a Catholic. At least, I consider myself one and I feel a tinge of envy every time I hear about politicians wooing Iglesia Ni Kristo, El Shaddai and even Apollo Quiboloy’s flock to support them. No candidate has gone on record that he is seeking the Catholic vote.

Now, I know why. There is no Catholic vote, none that can successfully install a candidate in office. What we have, if we believe the lay leader that I quoted above, is a negative vote and it is the bogey that we’re waving against candidates who have taken a more liberal view on population control.

I have looked to the Church to provide the necessary guidance to the faithful in choosing our leaders. But I feel shortchanged every time I notice the anti-reproductive health tunnel vision and the resultant bias in favor of thieves, plunderers, liars and womanizers.

The Church doesn’t have to relent on its strong anti-RH policy. All that I am suggesting is that all evils should be treated equally and dealt with the same severity. I do not pretend to know the Bible but I don’t think the Ten Commandments, unlike our Revised Penal Code, categorize transgressions into serious and less serious.

All evil is the same. When the commandments do not distinguish, we should not distinguish.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)