The Varsitarian, RH Bill, and tolerance

Posted on - in Life, News, Other Stories

While I was browsing my Facebook this morning, a post of a friend caught my attention. It was about an article — an editorial, to be specific — of The Varsitarian entitled, “RH bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards“.

So I read it… and got surprised. No, appalled. That was the word I used during a short tweet reply to my kumpare to describe how I felt after reading it.


I am a Thomasian alumna. And I was a staff member of the Varsitarian from 1999 to 2001.

It’s not the first time I’ve read about the publication taking a stand on an issue.

But it was my first time to read scathing words in the editorial. And it made me cringe.


I would have gladly defended its stance (even though I am not totally for RH Bill) because its points were valid. UST, a pontifical university, simply follows what the CBCP says, what the Church says. Such a Catholic institution (and I think it goes with all other Catholic institutions as well) is obliged to comply with, or at the very least respect, the beliefs of the Church. It comes with the territory.

It’s just like any other organization, that its members should follow and believe the established rules and tenets of its association. If they don’t, they’ll just feel uncomfortable about being with those who strictly believe them. They end up with 2 choices: to remain in the organization and respect its beliefs, or leave and find another group that feels the same way they do. It’s actually a logical choice.

Just like at home, where my parents are traditional Catholics — my father the president of the lay minister organization in our parish even — they are against the RH Bill. But my husband and I, who live with them, do not agree entirely on the Church’s stand. We don’t argue with them about it, not because we’re afraid of them, but because we respect their belief.


The only thing I didn’t like about the editorial (which is meant to not have a byline, by the way) is its tone.

So if a person’s belief goes against yours, do you call him maleducated? Is that valid reasoning?

The editorial could have stuck with their stand and their reason for that stance, but why go to that point when it had to call the pro-RH Bill Atenean and La Sallian professors “intellectual pretenders and interlopers”? Just because these universities do not have a “school of medicine” (correct me if I’m wrong) doesn’t mean that they cannot have a say about topics of medical nature.

You get my drift, right?

Or call them intellectually dishonest people with no moral conviction.

Just because they don’t agree with the RH Bill per se? Logic tells me that this is an attack to the person. Argumentum ad hominem. And that’s not a good way to defend your stand. It makes you a bully.

And I hate bullies.


All these arguments about the RH Bill makes me sad that tolerance is never practiced in our society.

It’s like, “you like us to like your opinion but won’t want to hear ours”.

Understanding is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit — yes, that’s a Catholic teaching — but we don’t practice it. Why?

People will have dissenting opinions on the issue. Debates will not end, even if this bill is passed and enacted. It’s a healthy discourse to have debates, but it ain’t fun anymore when arguments start getting riddled in the mud.


I’m pretty sure some of those I’ve worked with in the V would stumble upon this little post of mine. I’m making it clear that this is purely my opinion. You may agree with it or not, that depends on you.

What’s important for me is that we all have beliefs, and they may differ. So why don’t we all just get along?


  1. Krissy

    I’m saddened by the choice of words – mean and arrogant. But the points raised are valid. It’s like, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. If they don’t agree with the stance taken by their Catholic employers, then by all means, they should go.

    It’s funny though, that most of the people who are hurling insults (and I talk about both the pro/anti RH) probably haven’t even read the bill, and it’s quite obvious in the way they post comments, or make their arguments. Kind of pathetic. And yes, most of these people I am talking about come from those two universities. No offense meant to friends from those universities though. I am not generalizing.

    10 years ago
    • dompy

      Valid points, bad presentation, IMO.

      Maraming nagpapadala sa silakbo ng damdamin, both for and against the RH Bill (and this editorial as well). Thing is, whether we are pro or anti, respect for one’s opinion should always be in this kind of discourse.

      I still love The Varsitarian, though.

      10 years ago

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