Quae visa placent. —St. Thomas Aquinas—
The website Rational Hero is actually a play on the initials RH which stands for Reproductive Health. The website, launched late last year, is a venture of controversial tour guide Carlos Celdrán, Manila Times journalist Ana Santos, Elizabeth Angsioco of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, and Ryan Tani of Filipino Freethinkers.
At first glance, one would think that the website is just one of those numerous online sites attributed to or honoring the national hero José Rizal since it bears his familiar photo as well as the tag “Rizal alive in every Filipino”. However, upon further browsing, one will soon realize that the website is all for the support and passing into law of the controversial, divisive, and hotly debated Reproductive Health bill which originated from Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagmán (brother of slain leftist leader Filemón “Ka Popoy” Lagmán). And this website is using Rizal’s name to help further its cause. Worse, many articles in the said website attack the Church itself, and not just about the Church’s stand against the said bill.
Disturbingly, this website is toying around with, nay, taking advantage of Rizal’s well-known battles against the Church, a battle that is already history, and even before Rizal was executed, was already history. Nevertheless, the idea of using Rizal’s former bias against the Catholic Church seemed to be —especially among today’s youth too drunk with intellectualism and a high for romantic adventurism— an ingenious catapult for Celdrán and his group.
If they ever know anything about Rizal’s retraction, then it is obvious that, despite the overwhelming evidence of the document’s veracity, they deny it. Thus, they continue praising Rizal’s anti-Catholic stance to the highest heavens. And this they use to their benefit. They deny that Rizal died a Catholic, that he was deeply sorry for the troubles his novels had caused, and that he was even given a Christian burial (more on this in a future blogpost).
But what if Rizal were alive today, would he even support the controversial bill?
Let us, for argument’s sake, consider Rizal still steadfast to his Masonic beliefs. Let us pretend that Rizal is still anti-friar. Would he join Celdrán et al?
The answer will be in the negative.
No, Catholic or not, Rizal would not even dare support such a bill. He is too rational to commit such stupidity. And why? The way Rizal wisely admonished Pío Valenzuela in Dapitan against the inevitable failure of a bloody revolution (or should I say, rebellion), Rizal will definitely admonish the proud members of Rational Hero. To him, the RH bill will be rubbish and downright evil.
Deism was perhaps the greatest effect of Masonry to Rizal’s mind. For a brief period, Rizal left Catholicism and embraced the idea of natural religion. Rizal believed that through reason and observation of the natural world alone, one can determine that a supreme being created the universe without the need for either faith or organized religion.
When he was in Dapitan, he had a healthy debate (through mail correspondence) with one of his spiritual advisers, Fr. Pablo Pastells, S.J. In the exchange of ideas about the existence of God and of God himself (as compiled and translated by Fr. Raúl J. Bonóan, S.J. in The Rizal-Pastells Correspondence), Rizal wrote:
Even so, I venture to think of him as infinitely wise, mighty, good (my idea of the infinite is imperfect and confused), when I behold the wonders of his works, the order that reigns over the universe, the magnificence and expanse of creation, and the goodness that shines in all.
Unable to pass judgement on what surpasses my powers, I settle for studying God in his creatures like myself and in the voice of my conscience, which only can have come from him. I strive to read and find his will in all that surrounds me and in the mysterious sentiment speaking from within me, which I strive to purify above all else.
It can therefore be gleaned that, even without Christianity in his life, Rizal’s belief in an unknown deity was based on a reasonable reflection of nature. And when we speak of nature, it should be observed that all elements that make it up is filled with harmony: everything in it, from predator-to-prey “relationships” to procreation to speciation, cannot exist without the existence of harmony. And this harmony is based on a metaphysical thread called “unity”. This unity means that every real being is either uncomposed or composed of parts, i.e., if it has no parts, those parts must be united in order for that being to exist, whereas when a composed being falls apart, that being ceases to exist.
Contraceptions prevent life. Therefore, it is anti-life. To make it more simpler, it goes against the natural order of things, something that a deist like Rizal will fight against. In the metaphysical sense of the word, there is no “unity” in the prevention of the creation of life. There is no unity, no harmony, no naturalness whenever man’s baser instincts prevail over the creation of something that is natural, i.e., life.
Furthermore, Rizal’s only child died during birth. Just imagine the grief, the pain of an expectant father whose hopes had died on the day he was expecting it. And after such a traumatic experience, do you even think that Rizal would have opted for “pro-choice” methods? No, I don’t think so.
A newborn human life is supposed to please the senses, our lives. But nowadays, not anymore. In yesteryears, pregnancy is a celebration, a preparation for blessing. But today, the mere mention of pregnancy engulfs the mind with fear. How twisted.
In closing, these proud self-styled “heroes” are merely shaming Rizal by invoking on his name that is clearly anti-Rizal.
Rizal alive in every Filipino? I reckon not. Just ask Willie Revillamé.