Thursday, September 08, 2016

Why my butt is itching, the story of Ananias and the bishops' mantra...

I admit the often quoted mantra of the Catholic Bishops that “all life is sacred” and Cardinal Tagle’s reminder to the Filipinos about “selective respect for human life” has been tickling my butt for a while. An itching butt, as everybody knows, has to be scratched or else it would not stop, the itch would fester on and on until it torments the mind.

Anyway...

I guess being the repository of the church's doctrines, they have to uphold and defend the church's official stand about the sanctity of life especially today when there's a perception that Filipinos are dying like flies as a result of Duterte's anti-illegal drugs war. 

Thanks to a few biased media, the number has bloated to thousands because almost all killings are attributed to the cops even the riding in tandem shootings (the official tagline of the previous administration) are now considered as extra judicial killings (EJK).

Even the United States is alarmed about the numbers that President Obama has stated that he would discuss with our president the EJK when they meet at the ASEAN Summit. But, as expected, Digong did not like the idea and instead warned Obama that he would be cussed if he ever brought it up to the meeting. Obama was offended so the meeting was cancelled and after an apology from the Philippine Government (not Digong, I think), it was rescheduled at a later date.


Here we go...

Whenever sanctity of life is mentioned, a lot of things start popping up in my head. 

Life is so precious that it should be preserved at all cost and these includes those who have committed heinous crimes. I guess there are those who believe that everyone deserves a second chance; that no sin is unforgivable and that no one has the right to take life even that of the nefariously evil person. Some would even argue that self defense does not justify killing. Kinda extreme pacifism but not everyone shares that belief, including me.

I don't want to sound anti-Christian here but every time the Bible is picked up to support the arguments for the sanctity of life, I have this urge to say, uurgggghh. Honestly, as textbook for the defense of human rights, I gotta say it's the wrong book.

There's this story in Acts 5 about Ananias and Sapphira. The story of a husband and wife who sold their land to give the money as an offering to the church. But Annanias, with Sapphira's knowledge, shortchanged the Lord. The Apostle confronted them both and rebuked them ,and because they lied to God, they were struck dead. Just like that.


Although it was an isolated case, the message is worrying. Why made an example of the couple who, whatever their motivations might be, gave money for the church and hid a portion for themselves, for whatever reasons? Why did that specific act so offend the deity that they were killed instantaneously? Why not drop dead the rapists, plunderers, murderers, the arsonists etc.  

I understand, an example must be made. But the method is disproportionate to the offense. I guess when it comes to financial stuffs, the Deity is quite harsh compared to what happened to Judas, the guy who sold Jesus, who was at least given the choice of taking his own life, or to Peter, the same guy here, who denied Jesus three times and yet was even promoted to apostleship. The precedents are quite confusing and the jurisprudence is not prudent.


I did not pick that story to debunk the Bible. What I'm trying to say here is that sanctity of life is not an absolute Biblical principle judging from Ananias' story and other stories. A person's life is always expendable for a higher good although in this instance two people died for a cause which in today's law and in today's society would not even be considered a crime against any person, or any state, or any church. 

I will not intrude into the thinking of the Deity, but I guess, from the viewpoint of a human bean, sanctity of life and second chances are subjects to the whims of the deity. As Jesus once said : "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me." You know this reminds of someone...forget it.

Life sucks for us mere mortals but at least we're doing something.


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