APPETIZER: The misplaced public indignation caused by this paper’s recent editorial titled "Dishonest, mediocre, anti-poor" which judiciously refuted the erroneous declaration of the 14 Ateneo professors that "Catholics can support the RH bill in good conscience" has allegedly prompted some quarters in the Ateneo community to demand my resignation as well as that of the two advisers for, as one infuriated letter-sender said, "publish(ing) crap."

How entertaining. But Disturbing? Not quite. Thrilling? Actually, and so let me humor such call with a pair of two-worded badgers, ironically wrought to suit a level-headed reply: DREAM ON. DREAM LONG.

Don’t forget to say your prayers at night.


Still concerning the gush of violent reactions that betide the same editorial, one letter-sender wrote something that is, from a Political Science student’s perspective, academically unsettling, nay smack of grotesque realization, considering the backdrop of her verbal shadow-boxing.

She wrote: "True. Many of the faithful just follow the Church blindly. But many do not as well. And others may not care a bit. It might be useful to see the fight in terms of interest groups (a la Marxist), each one asserting its own agenda to ensure legislative victory. The dominant ideology (Marxist again) is the Church’s position. That’s what UST and many church lobby groups seek to retain. And they are a noisy, angry bunch. I think it’s time that ideology crumbles."

This being said, allow me, in my humble knowledge of the Church and Marxism, to painstakingly invoke fraternal correction in order to preserve the factual truths governing the historical and intellectual compasses of both the men of the cloth and Isaiah Berlin’s so-called "Red Terrorist Doctor."

And so rescuing this letter-sender from the wilderness of her own faulty analogy begins by telling, nay advising her to visit Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844) which claimed – in the light of explaining the incidence of the humanistic estrangement of man – that "religion," alongside "family, state, law, morality, science, art, etc. are only particular modes of production and fall under its general law. The positive transcendence of private property as the appropriation of human life is, therefore, the positive transcendence of all estrangement – that is to say, the return of man from religion, family, state, etc. to his human i.e. social mode of existence."

Sec Gen: Teaching of ethics in UST 'not simply academic'

By this pronouncement alone, how then can the Church as an agent of the Catholic religion espouse an "ideology" that considers it more as a means to an end, an estrangement from the true, organic human self? How about championing a philosophy that once accused the Church as a vehicle of exploitation, a pseudo-institution, a fascist construct (i.e. clerico-fascist)? How about the family which, while the Church deems as a sacred institution, is viewed in classic Marxism as an emotional barrier, a relational facade toward man’s fulfillment of his communal destiny?

What happened now to Marx’s immortal expression that "religion is the opium of the masses?" For the record, Marx, in justifying this statement, held that religion as the "encyclopaedic compendium" of the world presents only a shady caricature of hope and happiness surrendered consequently to a cosmos of illusion. Marx succintly adds: "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo." And what about atheism, which Marx crudely described as a "negation of God" ?

Aside from poring on Marx’s works, our dear letter-sender can also cure her personal inanity about religion (Catholicism’s categorical description) and Marxist literature by reading Ludwig Andrea Feuerbach, whose masterpiece Das Wesen des Christentums (The Essence of Christianity) — which became one of Marx’s inspiration in conceiving the humanistic dimension of estrangement or alienation — posited that "the motive force of history was not spiritual but the sum of material conditions at any given time." In a nutshell, Feuerbach suggests that man’s "material distress caused them to seek solace in an immaterial ideal world of their own, albeit unconscious, invention, where as a reward for the unhappiness of their lives on earth, they would enjoy eternal bliss (read: everlasting life) hereafter." Moreover, "all that they lack on earth – justice, harmony, order, goodness, unity, permanence – they transform into transcendent attributes of a transcendent world which alone they call real and turn into an object of worship" (i.e. God).

Melody Campilla

In answering the "Jewish Question" (1843) to achieve political emancipation among Jews in the Christian-dominated Germany of his time, Marx said: "The most rigid form of the opposition between the Jew and the Christian is the religious opposition. How is an opposition resolved? By making it impossible. How is religious opposition made impossible? By abolishing religion. As soon as Jew and Christian recognize that their respective religions are no more than different stages in the development of the human mind, different snake skins cast off by history, and that man is the snake who sloughed them, the relation of Jew and Christian is no longer religious but is only a critical, scientific, and human relation."

These few citations considered, I then submit: Marxism and Catholic social teaching is like oil and water. Religion-wise, they hardly mix together. The same goes with Catholic social teaching and the Draconian permutations lumped in the so-called "Reproductive Health" bill. (How I wish I had more space to further enlighten our dear letter-sender. Perhaps our dear letter-sender should consider this as a blessing.)

Perhaps Dora (the Explorer) can help our confused letter-sender spot the difference. Mea culpa?


Meanwhile, the anachronistic contentions of our dear letter-sender has then reminded me of a "staunch anti-American" lad I met a couple of years ago. But as it turned out, the guy who was introduced to me by a friend as a "man of conviction" turned out to be an "ideological" hack. The catch? On the way to protesting Uncle Sam and company in front of the US Embassy for "bullying third-world countries no end in the global market" (or words to that effect), the guy wore a pair of Chucks, Levis pants, an LA Lakers cap and held with him a can of Coke which he brought along for after-protest refreshment.

Models of student coops shown

I knew this because he invited me to tag along prior to joining the parliament of the streets’ regular session in front of the US Embassy. What is quite dumbfounding about this "ideologue" is that he is unaware of the walking contradiction he has turned himself into, given his vow "to boycott all things that has something to do with US imperialism."

In the first place, why fatten the economic purse of an acknowledged "international bully" by supporting its creations? And as my friend later revealed to me, the guy was in fact a die-hard Lakers and Jackass fan, a Harvard student wannabe and a David Letterman disciple! Aren’t these "global brands" a projection of the good ‘ol American lifestyle whose political and economic dimensions he so willfully loathes and curses like Soddom and Gomorah while stomping mad on the streets? So how do I call him?

A hypocrite, plain and simple.

SLAP ON THE NAPE. At the course of buffering the collective wrath brought about by the same editorial’s "problematic" (again, according to one letter-sender) content, I happen to stumble upon a blog which lambasted this paper’s position. The owner of the blog, to my surprise was a Thomasian who also posted a problem: he is now tired and ashamed to stay in this university, all because of the editorial which, according to him, has "ridiculed" professors from his former high school just for being "intellectually honest."

The equally "intellectually honest" solution? Get outta here.


Let me take this opportunity to clarify some inaccuracies in the article "Lady Spikers On Track in V-League Bid" which appeared in the November 20 issue of this paper. The "ace libero" being referred to in the article is actually the injured Jessica Curato who was replaced by Kim Lazaro midway in the tournament. Rhea Dimaculangan was not part of UST’s V-League line-up. Also, Judy Ann Caballejo’s height was mistakenly stated as "5-foot-11." Caballejo, as former ‘V’ sports editor Francis Wakefield, who religiously followed the Lady Spikers’ games, confirmed, is only 5’7." Our apologies.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.