God and our ‘sexual rights’ PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 October 2015 13:41

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

The recent proliferation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a most welcome development since they facilitate our life in society. With them, the requirements of the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, so essential in society, are more finely met.

Subsidiarity is when a bigger entity can delegate some of its powers to a lower entity. It’s also when the smaller needs of men in society are met due to the presence of more intermediaries between the individual citizens and the over-all state authorities.

Solidarity is when society becomes more organized and moves more or less in the same direction without annulling legitimate differences and variety of sectors comprising it. It means having better working unity in society.

The NGOs are these agents and intermediaries that foster the need for subsidiarity and solidarity in a given society. We just have to make sure that a third social principle, that of the common good, is also met, so that the play of the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity gets into the right groove.

This is the problem we often encounter these days with respect to the NGOs. Many of them, I’m afraid, are a cover to advance an agenda whose idea of common good is at best inadequate, often dangerous, if not utterly wrong.

The other day, someone told me that in a Congress hearing, a representative of an NGO was batting for sexual rights, saying that everyone has a “right to a satisfying and safe sex.”

While it’s true that we are a sexual being, and therefore sex has a legitimate part in our life, we just can’t be naïve when ideas like what was presented in that Congress hearing is proposed to us.

We need to see if indeed this “right to a satisfying and safe sex” truly corresponds to an objective common good meant for us.

We have to know what that right involves, what its inspiration and true purpose are, etc.

We just cannot say anything is a human right based on an opinion or even on a consensus of some people. We cannot even consider a culture and civilization as the ultimate source of what is the authentic common good for us and what is not. They are not the ultimate terra firma. They shift too like sand, and can contain impurities.

The crux of our problem is that in determining our common good, any mention to God is immediately or, worse, automatically rejected. It’s as if God has no place in this discussion. It’s as if God is the very antithesis of democracy and its ways and processes.

At best, any reference to God has to be veiled, since making it explicit is considered a fallacy of begging the question. It is feared it would illegitimately stop further discussion or reasoning, which is not true, since such reference would in fact throw the doors open for further scrutiny. It fosters more discussion.

We need to make a drastic change in our attitude and ways of determining if a claimed human right is indeed part of our common good. We have to defer to what the Compendium of Social Doctrine says about the source of human rights.

In point 153, it says, “The ultimate source of human

rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his Creator.”

So, it’s clear that no matter how hard it is to determine what is God’s will and design for us, we just have to make an effort to know God’s will, since ignoring it would just put us in the dark, and lead us to unjust ways of determining what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, true and false.

In short, it would not be democratic, in fact, if our political ways would systematically shun the contribution of religion, or that our discussion of issues that affect our common good would exclude faith and religion, and everything involved there, like listening to the teachings of the Church, etc.

In that set-up, democracy would be understood as just a purely human affair, as if everything begins and ends with us. Of course, we are the primary actors in democracy, but we are nothing without God who is our source, our Creator, and in fact, also our end.

Democracy, without God, would lose its foundations and sense of purpose, and would just be driven not by truth nor by love, but by sheer and brazen human power. That’s when human rights enter the crisis zone.