The saggy reality of Sogie

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TO BE OPEN to a culture of diversity and inclusivity is a mark of a progressive nation. Society’s flourishing largely depends on its capacity to ensure that everyone feels accepted and that no one is left behind.

However, respect and tolerance, which has become the battle cry of the 21st century, should likewise apply to those who are clamoring for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (Sogie) bill.

Respect toward the LGBT+ community can only be genuine if people who have opposing views are not forced to compromise their own convictions and beliefs. We can only respect others when we are first and foremost allowed to respect ourselves.

When we just drift amid the caprices of the times and fail to have a firm grip on the values we hold dear “in the name of love and equality,” the progress that comes from acceptance and inclusivity becomes illusory.

In 2014, Facebook opened 71 gender options for its users. In 2019, Tumblr has at least 112 genders to choose from. It doesn’t take a student of philosophy to see where this is headed.

I know it calls for an open mind, but as G.K. Chesterton puts it, let us not be too open-minded that our brains fall out. Our age has come to the false notion that the concept of human rights and equality serves as license to do whatever we want, without responsibilities and consequences.

Indeed, discrimination and intolerance are abhorrent and should be fought without question. However, it would be naïve of us to think that tolerance simply means accepting everything.

St. Thomas Aquinas defines love as “willing the good of the other.” If there is anything revealed by the recent drama of Gretchen Diez inside a Quezon City mall toilet (aside from his real gender), it is that tolerance and inclusivity sometimes take the form of a subtle reproach.

The University upholds the motto “Veritas in Caritate” (truth in love). Without truth, love turns into a destructive lie. Real love means that certain things should not be tolerated. Real love means rejecting things that would not lead others to their own good. Real love means telling hard truths even if it means looking primitive and bigoted to others.

As Christians, we take our stand regarding the issue on gender not because it is demanded by doctrine or because the pope says so, but because it is what our nature as human beings demand and it is from this nature that our rights are derived.

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