Bringer of Death

I heard that Teodoro Bacani thinks the President’s war against drugs is the ‘bringer of death’.

And I wonder—did he choke just a bit when he said that? Did he kinda go, “Uhmmm..wait a minute..” like there was something that sounded vaguely familiar — but couldn’t quite put his finger to?

Or did he, like the arrogant church he represents, be so blind as to miss the thick irony of his own words?

Because in truth, the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines is the Supreme Bringer of Death to this poor benighted land that they’ve lorded over for centuries now.

And if we were to stack up the body count from the President’s Drug War side by side with the body count this church is responsible for, there’d be no contest at all.
This Church would win, hands down.

This Church with blood on its hands for all the deaths of women who died from bearing too many children because they chose to turn off that part of their brains that thought critically and failed to examine, under the light, all that they’d been taught by their religion.

And thus, they failed to see the patent misogyny of this church— how it regards women as nothing more than cattle whose only function in this as world is baby-making machine. Palahian.

Doesn’t matter if your tired body begs for some respite. The church will have none of that. You are bearer of life. Bear life! Even at the cost of your own.

Sure they call it nice names (this is the specialty of any organized religion—unmitigated bullshit cloaked in virtue). They call it ‘vessel of life’, ‘daluyan ng buhay’, ‘the noble vocation of motherhood’, ‘ilaw ng tahanan’, blah blah blah.

And they do so while leading these hapless women to slaughter.

Indeed, the road to the church doors of the Catholic faith is littered with bodies of women that the bishops step over like they don’t see them.
Because any old time there is a discussion about reproductive health and these men in funny clothes and cocktail rings talk about the sanctity of life and then you ask them, “Pader, what about the exploding-in-our-faces maternal mortality rate of which our country has one of the highest in the world?”

What they do is blink blink then say a grand total of nothing. Like they didn’t hear you.

I know this. I’ve thrown that fucking question at their faces for as far back as I can remember because, at the start, (when I was still that good Catholic girl), I was sure there was a clear answer to this. Just some misunderstanding. Why would a church that preaches sanctity of life ignore this blazing red flag of women dying from the perfectly preventable cause of multiple pregnancies, right?

Blink, blink. Blank stare.

Later on, as I started waking up to the misogyny of Catholicism, I would still ask because I was half hoping I would be given that answer that would make me stay in this church

Blink, blink. Blank stare.

And then later, when I had woken up, I asked, as I do now, with contempt and with rage –for all the women whose lives were snuffed out much too soon—leaving behind  a trail of grief and heartache, children too young to be without their mother, unlived lives, lives stolen from them because they had gravely misjudged the danger they were in and  cast their lot with a church that cared nothing for them.

The Church that sang praises to motherhood as it slowly but surely decimated their ranks.

And that road that leads to the church doors is littered too with the bodies of women who had died frightened and in deep pain from botched abortions that they performed on themselves or had done in some back alley that swarmed with festering infections.

What is the number one cause of these unwanted pregnancies?

I wish I could tell you that it was some highly complicated medical condition–just so there would be some justification for the monumental grief we’ve had to bear for all those deaths of women–mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers, friends.

And I am sorry to tell you that those deaths could have been easily prevented by something as commonplace as condoms and pills (at less than 20 bucks) and that this church has done everything in its power to stop from reaching those who need it the most: the poor who cannot afford to pay for their own birth control.
This church has created an impossible no-win situation for its adherents—a damn if you, damn if you don’t situation. And if you don’t obey them, why there’s this fear of hellfire and brimstone they sic at you.

And contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of abortions are performed on married women who just  couldn’t take one more pregnancy in their lives.

And that 90% of abortions in the Philippines are performed on Catholic women.

Yet this Church chooses to look the other way and continues to spread its gospel of ignorance and yes, DEATH.

Women are expendable. Worthless. So when you point out the horrific maternal mortality rates in this country to the padres, they give  you a blank stare.

The horrific numbers don’t register. And those numbers don’t register because those lives don’t matter.

On top of that, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is upon us now and is all set to claim thousands upon thousands of lives.

From Edsel Salvana of the UP PGH Section of Infectious Diseases, “HIV/AIDS has reached epidemic levels in the Philippines. In contrast to the world which has seen a decline in new cases over the last decade, the new cases in the Philippines are up more than 300%.”

And I am afraid, as we all must be, that the number of deaths will be unbearably high.

Deaths that could easily have been prevented by condom use.  That this church fought tooth and nail to disallow distribution to Filipinos.

But what does this church care, right?

Those are just gay guys contracting that deadly disease. And promiscuous people. And sex workers. Not really people, you know. Sinners. Which shows you just how ignorant this church is. And, too, how cruel.

Because AIDS doesn’t confer immunity on anyone. Which means we are all fair game. People with AIDS will die slow, painful deaths—their bodies racked with pain and sores and cancers and pneumonia and where even a common cold can kill them.

And the social cost to all these deaths will be tremendous.

So yes, side by side with the bodies of women who have died from bearing one too many children and women who have died from raging infections and hemorrhage due to botched abortions, will be the bodies of Filipinos who have died from AIDS—stacked one on top of the other.

That’s the Roman Catholic Church for you.
And that’s the brand of pro-life this church preaches and practices.

The bringer of grief and misery even as it promises life eternal, and that has you singing hallelujah as you jump off the cliff to your death.

So the next time Teodoro Bacani accuses the President of being the author of death in this country, someone ought to hand this man and the Church he represents a mirror so they see clearly, who, really is the Bringer of Death.

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