On RH Bill now RH Law, a celebrated issue: Roman Catholic Church (Phils) vs the Government?

This is a forwarded message and a late upload. But this is a reality in the Philippines.  Now that RH is a Law, many Roman Catholic members  who personally support and agree Reproductive Health Law  still coy of exposing their true stance publicly.  Many are still hesitant to admit publicly for fear to be deported especially those non-Filipino sisters here in the Philippines. Though this was printed many years ago, still the Roman Catholic Church remains strong of their anti RH stance.

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Hi all,

The bishops are getting on my nerves, so I sent this letter to the Inquirer. Ambot lang if they will publish it. (I wonder if the Inquirer will publish it.)

Arnold

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Arnold Vandenbroeck
Date: Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM
Subject: Churches/Religions and contraceptives
To: feedback@inquirer.com.ph

Dear Editor,

The Catholic bishops claim that the RH bill is immoral and some bishops even consider it “terroristic”. Can they please stop playing the self-appointed guardians of our morality? All the more since practically all other churches and religions accept artificial family planning as a moral choice.

The United Methodist Church values “family planning programs that improve health care, empower women and protect the global environment and that enable individuals and couples to decide about the number of their children free from violence, coercion and discrimination.” While Catholic bishops in the Philippines tend to be dismissive of the problem of present population growth, the UMC even says that “people have the duty to consider the impact on the total world community of their decision regarding child bearing and should have access to information and appropriate means to limit their fertility, including voluntary sterilization.” Clearly the UMC seems to have a fuller appreciation of what is the greater and common good.

Many Christian churches have standpoints similar to that of the UMC. Moreover, family planning (including contraception) is embraced by religions across the spectrum as a moral good, a responsible choice and a basic human right. Religious support for contraception and family planning is consistent with faith principles that give primacy to well being, including the health of children, families and the community at large. In fact, many religions believe that family planning is a moral duty, a stance echoed by well-known leaders. Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Planned parenthood is an obligation of those who are Christians. Our church thinks we should use scientific methods that assist in family planning.” The Dalai Lama said, “Family planning is crucial, especially in the developing world.”

The Episcopal Church first approved of contraception for the purpose of family planning in 1930. In a 1994 resolution, it directed its dioceses and agencies to provide information to all men and women on the full range of affordable, acceptable, safe, and non coercive contraceptive and reproductive health care services.

In 1954, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America stated that a married couple should plan and govern their sexual relations so that any child born to their union will be desired both for itself and in relation to the time of its birth. How to do that is up to the couple.

The Presbyterian Church supports full and equal access to contraceptive methods. In a recent resolution endorsing insurance coverage for contraceptives, the church even affirmed that contraceptive services are part of basic health care and cautioned that unintended pregnancies lead to higher rates of infant mortality, low birth weight, and maternal morbidity, and threaten the economic viability of families.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the USA, supports the use of birth control that prevents conception from taking place.

Unitarian Universalists already in 1987 opposed any move to deny or restrict the distribution of government funds as a means of restricting access to contraception in the U.S. or abroad.

Jewish traditions have a long history of support for family planning, dating to the 1929 Reform resolution noting that birth control contributes to social stability. Already in a pioneering 1935 resolution, Women of Reform Judaism expressed support for lifting bans on the dissemination of information about birth control.

For Muslims, the Quran does not make any explicit statements about the morality of contraception. Early Sunni Muslim literature discusses various contraceptive methods, and a recent study concluded that any method that did not produce sterility was acceptable.

Sikhs have no objection to birth control. Whether or not Sikhs use contraception, and the form of contraception used, is a matter for the couple concerned.
The same applies to Hindoes, the same to Buddhists.

The Roman Catholic Church is the only major faith institution to forbid the use of contraception. However, in actual practice most Catholics disagree with the prohibition or don’t pay any attention to it. Not much of a moral problem. For one, they are in the good company of practically all other major religions of the world.

Arnold Vandenbroeck

(same text also in attachment)


Arnold Vandenbroeck
Third St. cor Trinidad Ave.
Trinidad Greenhills Subd., Ma-a,
Davao City, Philippines
Telefax: +63-82-2440090
Mobile: +63-918-5156245
Mail address: P.O.Box 81937
8000 Davao City, Philippines

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Have Mercy To Thy People

(This is an edited version from the original reflection/article written 2 years ago.)

It is funny to think that Jesus was a Palestinian: he grew in Palestine, he lived in Palestine, he walked and crossed the valleys and hills of Palestine and even died in Palestine in the hands of the Jews and the Romans. Christians must know that Jesus was never a Christian. And the Jews do not believe Jesus is God.

Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Jericho are located in Palestine and not in Israel or the Modern Israeli State. The Patriarch Abraham’s Tomb is located in the ghost town of Hebron, after it was depopulated less than a decade ago.  You can check the original maps but not the modern maps because you cannot find Palestine.  There is no Map of Palestine today sold in the open market of Jerusalem.  But I was able to have one after searching a small bookstore owned by a Palestinian in Salahedin Street across Herod’s Gate.  Those areas/places in the Map of Israel are the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories of Palestine!

Take for instance Yatta in South Hebron Hills is populated with 120,000 people but you cannot find it in the Map of Israel. Instead you have Carmel and Susiya (part of the depopulated places) which are now fast growing Israeli Settlements.  Susiya now is within Yatta Municipality under Hebron Governorate, West Bank.  Our placement house is located in Yatta.  We lived there for three-long months but as far as the Israeli State is concerned, Yatta does not exist.  How come? In place of Yatta in the Map of Israel I bought in Jerusalem, I found a picture of a tamed gazelle instead.

The Original Susiya, now part of an Israeli tourist destination was once a thriving Palestinian community, a big village with their ancient heritage traced back to the historical Palestine which was part of the Canaanite civilization as mentioned in the Old Testament.  The original inhabitants, the Susiyans were uprooted through demolition and forced evacuation to give way to land development, tourist spot and settlements. The new Susiya (new place) is  located two kilometers away or less from the original Susiya. For the past years, the relocated Susiya Village was slowly invaded by the settlers as the Susiya Settlement increased. Therefore it needs more land for expansion.  Just two years ago, before my team left in our placement area, Susiya was in danger of total demolition.  Now threats of Susiya Village to completely disappear continue to attract international supports.  Just recently, President Obama of the USA warned Netanyahu Regime to spare Susiya from demolition.

To date, with our biblico-historical data, Palestine is the Promised Land.  It is the land of abundance mentioned in the Old Testament. To quote Exodus 3:7-8, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV):

7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

In other words, Palestine is the biblical Israel which was the land promised by Yahweh to the Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt.  Yahweh’s desire to liberate the people from the bondage of slavery and oppression sent Moses to bring the people out from Egypt. The Promised Land is clearly the Palestine.  A country established in 1948, Israel  could  never be the one.

What is happening now in Palestine under the military occupation of Israeli State is similar to the experiences of their ancestors, the Israelites under the hand of the Egyptian Pharaoh.  It really makes one crazy to think about that we are taught and made to believe that Israel is the biblical Israel.  Many people are becoming irrational, ignorant and naive in believing that it is okay for Israeli especially those with guns, military forces and settlers to shoot and kill Palestinians in broad delight. Many of us were praying that God would save Israel from the hands of enemies during Israeli’s war of aggression in Gaza. How could it be when Israeli bombed Gaza and killed thousands especially children?

We need to be objective in reading the situation, the signs of the times, the historical facts, and learning from experiences of the people as well as from those who witnessed the inhuman treatment of the Israelis in the many checkpoints around Palestine controlled areas or the so-called Area C.  Why people of the world especially Christians are made to believe that God bless Israeli’s killing Palestinian Arabs? Not only today but since Israeli invaded Palestinian territories with the aid of internationals like UK and other European countries, Israeli had been slaughtering Palestinian people, occupying more lands, putting them in refugee camps and driven thousand Palestinians out of their homeland scattered in many countries.

No words to describe, how the Palestinians live under the Israeli military occupation. God of heavens and earth and the known and the unknown, HAVE MERCY TO THY PEOPLE! My respect to some genuine Jews in heart who stood firm advocating an end to the occupation, those Jews who sided with the Palestinians who bravely and openly resist their own government. They are the Jews who recognized their roots, they are the Palestinian Jews like Jesus.

August 24, 2016/ 2:36 AM

Women’s Tears and Courage

For all the women who fight for freedom, this is my salutation for all of you. I want to include all the mothers also who bless their daughters and sons and the wives as well who let their husbands go, all  with tears and courage in their hearts with hope and prayers that those who leave may return alive. BLESS YOU ALL!

Despite of what you face, you can still smile.
Thanks for the courage and bravery you offered
for your people and to the world as well.
Women of faith, you are good examples to all the women.
What you did is both a heritage and a legacy:
women liberate, free the people.
My heartfelt gratitude that I have seen you,
even in pictures only, in my lifetime.
I feel so proud that I am a woman.
May your tribes increase, influence other women
in the whole world to fight for freedom, for rights and
for life so that the next generation may live,
to have a just life, living in peace and harmony.
Thank you for offering your lives.
Long live courageous women of faith.
Please be safe and try to be able to return alive
to your families and love ones, I pray.

Again thanks to all the women  who overcome the pains of leaving,  longings, separation and even death. My heart has full respect for all of you, BRAVE WOMEN!

We are ALL Beautiful

beautiful and love this so I’m sharing it

Awakened

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We all have rolls when we bend down.

View original post 393 more words

just feeling happy

Hurray!!! After almost 2 years of hiatus, this blog is now available, meaning I can open and post .

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Why peace is elusive?

NOTE: This is a late post,  drafted almost  2 years ago.

PEACE: Shalom, Sala’m, Kalinaw, Kapayapaan, Kappia, Salaam, Pax, Paz, Pake, Vrede, Selam, Patz, Pasch, Fred, Samaya, Shanti, Pakigdait, He Ping, Emem, etc… is always elusive to the people of the world! Empires have their own language for peace and it means always: war, land occupation, land aggression, oppression,  to name a few.

Biblical peace is always anchored in justice. And it is always in the perspective of the victims, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the dehumanized, the despised, the weak, and all those people denied to live peacefully as human beings in their lands, those people whose source of living are taken forcibly away from them. Why it is so difficult to understand the meaning and the essence of peace when all religions and faith communities speak about peace? I remember one of my professors in the seminary said, “It all depends what lens you are using” in understanding peace. People of the world can never be united because we have always taken a side… and mostly it is more or less subjective and favorable not to the victims but to the perpetrators who describe and set the standard of understanding peace in a world of un-peace.

For the past two days, we received ALERT’s information on various demolition throughout the West Bank: residences, business structures, cow farm, dairy factory, a Bedouin  community, among others.  We were told that during the Israeli “Protective Edge” war against Gaza, less or no demolition happened in the West Bank.  However, with the current situation of “truce” in Gaza and the Israeli soldiers are back, demolition is almost happening everyday.

We visited a village the other day and saw what left from the demolition last Monday afternoon. Nothing is seen standing of the remains. Tent-houses, kitchens, toilets, tent for the sheep, tent for the supplies and all the rest were all destroyed. Three families were victims of sudden demolition.  Both families were with their elderly/parents aged 64 and 60 and children as young as 4 year old. In a makeshift tent, the Ecumenical Accompaniers were served and offered tea, part of the Palestinian tradition.

What is peace then for those victims of state violence and all forms of violence afflicting not only adults, elderly but children, as well. not?  Peace, peace… how elusive!

Because of Her Testimony

This year’s theme for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “Give me water to drink”

Reading the Gospel: Jesus discourses with a Samaritan woman on the well.

MEN VALUE the WOMEN

STRENGTH

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