Tag Archives: religion

Photo Collection: The Field Experience

Survey the beach!!

Future archaeologists? 🙂

Exploring the mangrove area

The Baby Jesus

R and R at the beach

Our last sunrise in the field

Note: Photos in this collection can also be found in my flickr account, alon89.

I decided not to post photos of the archaeology itself as publications and press materials about the site have not been released yet.

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RH Bill Wins on Final Reading

By Kert

(Image via Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Today I am happy because the Reproductive Health Bill (or RH bill, the bill that will make sure women have access to contraceptives, sex education and keep reproductive health in check) was approved on its final reading in the congress — 133 Yes, 79 No and 7 abstain. It is a historic event. It took a while before it’s been deliberated. There have been strong oppositions against it, especially from the church and the religious people.

I find it annoying how religion has to permeate in everything, even in public matters. Their reason for opposing the RH bill is that it goes against the teachings of the church and of God. “We should not prevent children from being born.” One bishop even attributed the recent disaster from Typhoon Bopha as an omen — that it’s God telling us the RH bill should not be passed.

There are a number of congressmen who agree with the church. During the deliberations, they claim that their championing the will of God in their vote because the RH bill is evil. Letting women die of childbirth — that is evil.

I agree with my friend who says “Pro-choice is pro-life”. Having the RH bill does not indict the people to adhere to it. It just gives people the choice and helps people as much as possible. People will still have the choice to do natural family planning, but they will also have the choice for alternatives. Yes, natural family planning works, but we also need other options.

Of course the RH bill will not solve poverty in the country. But it will indirectly affect it in a positive way through cutting down overpopulation. We don’t even have enough jobs as it is, what more if the population is doubled? In an interview with John Crawford, a professor in University of Sydney, he talks about how soil degradation is happening in a very fast rate. In 60 years, our topsoil will be so ruined that we might not be able to plant any more of our crops. There will be a shortage of food and economic crisis. One of the reasons for this soil degradation is overpopulation.

They think overpopulation will help the country’s economy as we “export” more OFWs. But they don’t see that it has more disadvantages than not.

The senate also approved the RH bill. Last time I checked, the vote was 13 for yes and 5 for no. One senator gave an endless tirade about how condoms will promote promiscuity. Seriously, people can still be promiscuous without condoms. It will help though in decreasing the chance for STDs.

Some people in the congress and senate should stop basing their decisions on their religious faith. The church shouldn’t even mingle with the affairs of the government. It is good though that the church realized today that they cannot totally manipulate the government. Why should they care about the bill, anyway? They’re not the bill’s target. And what do they know of being a woman?

The church should stop being so persistent. They can have their faith, but they shouldn’t shove it down people’s throats. Unless they want the Dark Age to happen here in our country.

Same sex marriage in the eyes of a teenage student

By Kert

(Image via Wikipedia)

Last week I came across the news publication of the high school where I used to study and now where I teach (I’m teaching in high school and college this semester). There was an article entitled “Same Sex Marriage” in the editorial page. Naturally, I was very interested to read it — “naturally” because I am interested in LGBTQ issues being a lesbian myself. I wanted to know what the younger generation thinks about the issue of same sex marriage. I had all hopes that their perceptions have moved away from discrimination and bigotry since our country is becoming more globalized and exposed to the different realities in this world.

The things I read  though, came as  a full shock to me.

The writer, a third year high school student probably around 14 or 15 years old, starts the article by explicitly stating that she is vehemently against gay marriage. What follows is a set of tirades posted as “arguments” as to why gay marriage is wrong and should therefore not be allowed.

Argument #1: God only created Man and Woman. He did not create gays and lesbians.

Argument #2: God created Eve to be with Adam only

Argument #3: Gays have sex, which leads to AIDS

Argument #4: Same sex marriage damages the sanctity of marriage because there’s no assurance that their relationship will last forever. A corollary to this is: Gay relationships don’t and can’t last because gays can’t have children with the same DNA as theirs.

Argument #5: Gays don’t have moral values and respect for religion.

Argument #6: Because gay relationship is against morality, it may lead to the deluge of the world as the youth will be “pushed” to do bad things.

Argument #7: Acceptance of gay marriage is a step towards the crumbling of moral values.

There are so many fallacies in her arguments that I just want to facepalm (for a lack of a better word) so hard. I don’t have to explain to those who are in their right mind why the arguments above are just completely wrong. But for those uninitiated, I will give a response to each argument.

Response #1: I don’t see why Christianity or any religion should matter when it comes to a person’s sexual orientation. But for the sake of argument, I would point out that there’s nothing written in the bible saying that the “Man” or the “Woman” can’t be gay or bi or trans or queer.

Response #2: Again, there’s nothing in the bible stating that a person cannot love whoever s/he wants. But wait! There’s Leviticus saying “You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman”. Well, it’s not about loving someone of the same gender. Also, we’re forgetting the context of this passage. There are many things in the bible that are no longer considered right and may be considered downright oppressive in today’s standards. For one, the bible says that women should be subordinate to men or that rape victims should marry their rapists. Remember that the bible was written hundreds of years ago in a very patriarchal society. More than the voice of God, the bible is the voice of the culture, the social environment and the time in which it was written. We have to be careful not to take it too literally. Oh and a little trivia, there are relationships in the bible that can be considered almost romantic, i.e. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi.

Response #3: Almost everyone has sex, even straight people. Sex between gays don’t result to AIDS all the time. Also, straight people can have AIDS too, not just gays. Being gay is not the root cause of AIDS, unprotected sex is (and transfer of blood from unknown sources or in the case of Kenshin the Battousai, getting yourself cut while slashing another samurai who has AIDS)

Response #4: There’s no evidence that gay relationships don’t last for a long time. A lot of gays have monogamous relationships that last for a lifetime. Also, having children isn’t the only reason that couples stay together. It’s love and trust. When those two things break, people usually end up separating. This is also the case for heterosexual couples.

Response #5: Seriously, this is ridiculous. For one, religion doesn’t have the monopoly on morality. Also being gay, doesn’t mean that a person has no moral values. Just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m going to run around performing the most heinous crimes and the worst debauchery. I usually just sit on my chair, read, check my facebook, or check my students’ requirements. I am as boring as any heterosexual person out there. I wish I have a more exciting life, but that is how it is.

Response #6: Why should LGBTQs be blamed for the actions of miscreant kids? In my opinion, out LGBTQs are actually good role models for showing people that they can be themselves. Also, I cannot see the bad message in loving another person. What’s so bad about love?

Response #7: Accepting gay marriage doesn’t mean the entire world should run amok. It’s just giving the same rights that heterosexuals have to the LGBTQs who are also citizens of this country. Why must we treat LGBTQs as second rate citizens? We pay our taxes too and we’re serving the country no matter how oppressive it is to us.

To be honest, I was appalled with what I read. I can’t believe how much misinformed people are where I’m from. And a teenager having such bigotry at a young age, it’s just beyond me. A friend said it’s “learned bigotry”. It makes me wonder, what the hell are we teaching our children? Why would we teach them how to hate? It’s funny how Spain brought us medieval dogmas hundreds of years ago through Catholicism, but they don’t even take them seriously anymore. Now we’re stuck with them.

With the current state of the country and its adherence to religious dogma and traditions, the fight of the LGBTQs has a long way to go. I still hope though, that our social environment will change one day; that we will be accepted in this society no longer as deviants but just like any other human beings who feel and love.

Featuring: Photobaket and vincescarch

Today we feature our in-house photographer, Vince. You can see his works over at his tumblr account, photobaket(?) (baket means “why” in Filipino) and flickr account, vincescarch.

Vince is the type of guy who brings his camera all around — always there to capture the right moments and memories. He is very devoted to his camera and also to the subjects of his photos. Being an anthropology graduate has helped him perceive the world in a different way than most people. This adds a refreshing perspective and angle to his shots. His photos not only emanate emotional meaning, but also cultural meaning. To say the least, a lot of his works have cultural relevance.

His photos have already appeared in this blog. See Kabilang Buhay and Blood had been spilled in the lands of Tarlac. The header and profile picture for this blog also came from his photo collection.

Here are some of his other photos:

Paglaot (Sailing) (Image via Photobaket)

Untitled (Image via vincescarch)

Trail (Image via vincescarch)

Hulma (Mould) (Image via Photobaket)

 Other than taking pictures, Vince is interested in Visual Anthropology and Development Anthropology.