Fr. Roy Cimagala
THERE USED to the cliché that goes, “the exception that proves the rule.” Now it seems people are rewriting it and making a new one that goes, “the exception makes the rule.” It would look as if now, if you are not the exception, you are strange, you are being unreasonable and unfair.
They have debunked the idea that precisely because of the exceptions that are due to our mistakes and frailties, the rule has to be spelled out clearly and defended strongly, while giving due adjustments for the exceptions.
This exception-makes-the-rule seems to be the strategy of sectors who are vocal and aggressive in pushing for the legalization of abortion, for example, or for the government to actively promote contraception and reproductive health, even using government money, that is, our taxes, etc.
This is also the tactic of the gay rights movement. This is clear in the recent development of the MacDonald’s in the US getting involved in the homosexual agenda.
The rationale of the hamburger-maker is that the world is diverse and should be respected as such. But their support has actually gone beyond that. By giving money, it is not simply respecting and tolerating. It is approving and promoting.
It should not be surprised if it also suffers a backlash by other groups who may decide to boycott its product, and would rather go to Jollibee or to MangDo’s from now on, encouraging others to do the same.
In the current Reproductive Health Bill now under discussion by our Congress, they are even forcing companies to provide all their employees with the full range of birth control methods, short of abortion, as yet.
My simple understanding of this move is that this is pure coercion. Are we now in some police state? Are we again under a disguised martial law? Things just don’t make sense. They don’t add up. Something has snapped. Some people have flipped.
They often cite very rare and difficult cases to fuel their position that certain immoral measures and actions should not only be allowed, legalized or decriminalized. Not even that they be vigorously favored. They go to the extent of claiming that any dissent to these actions should be penalized. What gall!
This threat is present in the Reproductive Health Bill. In effect, everyone is forced to agree with it. No one should go against it. This is a world-wide conspiracy gone wild. Besides, it has a dangerous if not wrong view on human sexuality.
The conscientious objector, while limply respected, is still forced to refer cases he could not perform to others. I thought that if one cannot perform due to conscientious objection, neither can he recommend it to others.
Going back to the exceptions, they often mention cases of incest and rape, even by one’s own spouse, to justify the legalization of abortion, for example. Of course, now in many countries with legalized abortion, they have not stopped in these cases alone. They can do it any time, even up to partial birth.
They fail to realize that these unfortunate cases are a result clearly of immoral actions that cannot and should not be remedied by having another set of immoral solutions.
I don’t know where the reasoning has gone and fled. It seems that we are entering into a new stage of our national life, our culture slipping from one favoring life to one against life and for immoralities.
Of course, these questionable groups can accuse their opponents of the so-called tyranny of normality, even cruelty of Christianity, a shameless reversal of things, a totally unfair thing to say.
Christianity teaches charity, understanding, mercy, patience, tolerance, openness, freedom. But it also teaches justice, truth and obedience. There might have been mistakes and abuses committed by some Churchmen in the past, but those are more of the exceptions that precisely prove the rule.
A true Christian believer not only can live with everybody. He can also love all including his enemies and the exceptions. If he truly follows Christ, he will always love the sinners but not the sin. He is even willing to die for them.
But he is duty-bound also to defend his faith. He will react when something that is wrong is said to be right, when evil and unnatural things are considered good and normal, and when freedom is trampled especially by noisy and powerful exception groups or by our congressmen.