The debate on the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines was heated. The Catholic Church and other pro-life groups were inundated with harsh attacks; yet they remained steadfast in protecting the unborn children. In the end, the proponents of the RHB had their way with the passage of legislation.
Now the Catholic Church is being criticized for the conviction of an individual, who at the height of the debate, interrupted an ecumenical service by carrying a placard with the word, “Damaso” and shouting, as he was taken away, “You bishops, don’t meddle in politics.” The name “Damaso” has a negative implication on the church, being a character in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere that personified the abuses of the Spanish priests in the Philippines. While his act brought him to jail, the individual had supporters blaming the Church for the outcome.
“You bishops, don’t meddle in politics.” But this wasn’t about politics. The law promotes the use of abortifacient drugs. This debate was about the right to life for the unborn children. Using strong words to defend the yet to be born infants, a bishop prior to the passage of the law said, “Our President intends to kill 20 million children with a fountain pen…to sign the RH bill into law...the womb of the mother would no longer be the safest place.”
Pope Benedict on January 23, 2013 in his weekly general audience said, "To believe in God makes us bearers of values that often do not coincide with those of popular culture and which give believers criteria for judgment that nonbelievers may not share. A Christian must not be afraid to go against the current in order to live his faith, resisting the temptation of conformity."
In one occasion, Jesus spoke before people of his own native place, who refused to believe in him, who refused to accept the truth of his words: “When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.” (Luke 4:21-30)
Jesus’ followers suffered for speaking in his name. “They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left... rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:40-42)
To defend the faith, to stand for the truth, to speak in his name can put a believer against the world. Be courageous, be unafraid for “He (God) repays a man for what he has done; he brings upon him what his conduct deserves.” (Job 34:11)