Organised religion has a tradition of being averse to stepping up to a serious debate on a level field when its dogma is challenged. Certainly the Roman Catholic Church is not an exception to this tradition of intolerance to free inquiry. I wrote a while back how the Roman Catholic Church is really…
[…] an institution that has historically derived its power from the notion that we are all pathetic “sinners” from the time we are conceived (try explaining that to an embryo, [Padre]) and redeemable only by the “graces” of a God who — get this — is represented within our mortal realm by officers of said institution. We are talking about people who have inherited the offices of those who wrote, continue to propagate, and are custodians of and authorities on this doctrine.
Thus, the Church at its very core is not interested in seeing its flock find the light of true enlightenment. Rather, the goal of this fine specimen of business acumen is to ensure compliance to its dogma, a dogma that has remained fundamentally unchanged for the last two millennia.
Even more disturbing and even more fundamental is this:
Catholicism basically promises nothing in life and everything in death.
[NB: The above phrase was used in an article I wrote for FilipinoVoices.com.]
A deep reflection on the above statement gives new meaning to the euphemism “pro-life”, doesn’t it?
So what then is the point of appointing a cleric of the Roman Catholic Church to head a government department upon which is entrusted a key role in shaping the lives of future generations of Filipinos who aspire to a richer life? The way Education Secretary “Brother” Armin Luistro bumbled his way through his first encounter with the Media, refusing to comment on the issue of sex education when pressed by Media personnel, reflects the primitivist stance of the anti-enlightenment institution that he really answers to.
Indeed, even when called out on this infantile outburst on his first working day as an Aquino Administration henchman, his response is still marked by a grudging air. Rather than express regret over his gaffe, he…
[…] dismissed as a case of “first-day jitters” his outburst last week against the media over the sex education potboiler in public schools […]
…and promised that…
[…] Given time, [he] will be able to bring across [his] messages more clearly.
To be fair, Luistro “immediately signed up” for a “media seminar” offered to Cabinet members of newly-minted President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
I doubt that any “re-education” on the fine art of “managing” the Philippine Media will change the core mission of a man of the cloth. The Church’s position on matters regarding sex education and birth control are quite clear — and have been for at least 1000 years. Given the vow of obedience taken by the typical Roman Catholic cleric, Luistro does not enjoy much personal latitude in the way he will dispense his duties as Secretary of Education in our otherwise secular land.
Indeed, his presence in Government begs this question:
Who does Brother Armin Altamirano Luistro FSC really report to?
To answer that question “Brother” Luistro will first have to decide whether he is the head of the education department of a secular state, or a mere foot soldier of the modern-day Roman Empire.