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Jul 10th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako Responses from my story on Referendum 74, the Catholic Church's "Inquisition" of Gays and Lesbians
Responses from my story on Referendum 74, the Catholic Church's "Inquisition" of Gays and Lesbians PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Monday, 07 May 2012 10:13


By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako


I 've gotten several interesting and different pro and con responses from my story last week on Referendum 74, the modern day "Inquisition" of Gays and Lesbians by the Catholic Church. These people who wrote them were not those, who we may call the average two-sentence letter-writers, but from highly-intelligent, highly-educated, prolific letter-writers.


They wrote about their beliefs on this issue, as well as their beliefs on God.  I cannot fit them all within the space of this column.  One came from a nun and one from a "devil," named Salvahey2, and several more from my detractors and critics ... and, believe it or not, from someone who seemed to be an honest-to-goodness moron.  I deleted the letter of the moron. Grabe, I tell ya.


I've saved the worthy ones though to share with my readers.  This first letter came from Romy Marquez, a Toronto, Canada-based colleague and cyberspace friend, whom I respect and admire.  He wrote:


Pareng Jesse ... Without going into details, I'd like to say that I am against same-sex marriage not because I disfavor gays and lesbians.  On the contrary, I am for inclusion.


Marriage to me is between man and woman, period, whether it's civil or church-sanctioned.


My belief is rooted in the ability of the human race to perpetuate the species.  Can you imagine a world of same-sex marriage all throughout?  That'll be the end of the human race; the human race will be extinguished like the dinosaur simply because of a failure to procreate.


I'll leave the discussion of other issues affecting same-sex marriage to pundits.  Thanks and best regards.


My response to Romy's comments?  Thanks, Pareng Romy.  I understand.


A LETTER FROM "DOC" LEE: Now, this one came Lee Licerio of San Diego, California, who I call, "Doc Lee" in our Internet letter-writing to each other.  Like me, he's a retired US Navy man and a Vietnam veteran ... and a former English and Literature professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila.  This is what he said:

Jesse, I just finished reading your latest salvo on your continuing discussion with your fellow Knights.

I had to take care first of a few emails I haven't answered lately. I have been up to my neck with things to do and appointments and people to see and this and that. You know what I mean.


Jesse, you don't need me or anybody else to help you defend your position. You did a wonderful job! I agree a hundred percent with everything you said! It is uncanny that we share the same abhorrence of dogmatic reasoning and "know-it-all" people. You stated your position clearly, persuasively and passionately. I like that fire! I like that passion! I do share many things with you.


Jesse, I was not baptized a Catholic as an infant. My grandfather fought the Spaniards with Aguinaldo during our war for independence. He disliked the Catholic church with a passion.  I was his first-born grandson and he would not let my parents get me baptized as a Catholic. 


I became an Aglipayan (Philippine Independent Church). Something happened to me in 1953 which forever changed my life and my faith.  (I will let you read my story telling the miracle of prayers to a special Lady).  I asked to be  baptized a Catholic. I told you this to let you know that I am a Catholic by choice and not by happenstance.


As I get older, I've gotten more and more disappointed with the Church's dogmatism and its refusal to grow with time. I am bothered by the way it takes the Church hierarchy many centuries to admit mistakes. The Galileo case you wrote about is a good example.


I was old enough when Vatican II convened in 1962. I was hoping that "the pill" would become an accepted contraceptive. I was married by then and thinking that there had to be a better way to prevent pregnancy other than the "Roman roulette" of good days and bad days to have intercourse. How do you tell a "horny" sailor no because it is a "bad" day? Even then I was thinking why not women as priests? These things didn't happen.


I am a Catholic because I still believe that it is the closest to my core beliefs. The dogmatism of its hierarchy I attribute to their mistaken thinking that changes will lessen their hold to power.


As I told Bobo, I am not a theologian.  I am just a Catholic who sins every day by not agreeing with my priest, my archbishop and my pope.  God will forgive me.


DOC LEE'S LETTER TO BOBO ABOUT GOD: Curious, I asked Lee, "Who is Bobo?" 


"Xia Hong Bo (nicknamed Elsie or Bobo)," Lee said, "is one the Chinese students that we hosted for a couple of months last January.  A couple of months ago after two USC Chinese students were murdered in Los Angeles, Bobo emailed me and asked about God.  How does one explain to a non-believer the presence or the reality of God?"


"Bobo grew up in Communist China," Lee said, "where Christian Churches are controlled and even persecuted.  I really feel inadequate when discussing God and religion.  My faith is very personal."  Lee said that he had "to answer the question put to me by someone groping for answer."


When I read Lee's letter to Bobo, I told Lee that "it was a beautiful letter."  And that I would like to share it with my "Cup of Kapeng Barako" readers.  So, here it is, Dear Readers, verbatim.  Enjoy.    

Dear Bobo,


I'm sorry for this late email. I had a doctor's appointment last week for two days. I also had to renew my driver's license which took more of my time. After the age of 70 in California, we have to take the driving (written) and also eye tests to renew driver license. The doctor's appointments turned out ok. No problems. We also had some work done in the house - plumbing problems.


Thank you for thinking about us and our safety here in California. We are grateful for your concern and caring. Thank you for your prayers.


You wrote in your email, "And I will pray for you in China (will it be listen by lord god if I am not Christian?).


Bobo, God is everywhere!  He is not only in Christian countries but in China and all over the universe. You see Him at every dawning of every day. You see Him when the sun sets at the end of the day. You see Him at the blossoming of a bud into a beautiful flower. You see Him at the sprouting of a seed into a green plant reaching for sunlight. You see Him among people helping other people. You see Him in everything that is beautiful in nature. You see Him when people care for other people. You see Him where love exists. God is with us everywhere.


God is love - not just love between a man and a woman but love for one another. We can show that love when we treat others like we want others to treat us. I think Confucius said the same thing in  other words. We show that love when we give water to those who are thirsty - when we give food to those who are hungry - when we give shelter to those who are homeless and when we do God's work on earth as His children .


We are all His children - Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, etal. Even people who do not believe in Him are His children. We have to have that faith that there is a Supreme Being who watches over us. Ask (through your prayers) and you shall be given.


God is forgiving.  Bobo, I am not a theology (religion) teacher and I know that my explanation to you about God is wanting, inadequate even . It took me a long time trying to answer a question that has been asked for centuries.  I am not even a very good Catholic but I try to be in my own way. God is a forgiving God and I know He will forgive my sins - the errors of my ways. I think the basic rule of God is that one about "treating other people like you want other people to treat you". You live by that rule and you are a child of God.


Lola and I miss you and Cherry.  How is Cherry?  Ask her how come we haven't heard from her?  Take care of yourself Bobo and say hello to your parents.


Love you,

Lolo and Lola


My response to that?  One word: Amen.


PS: And, as I've said in my previous story: "Referendum 74: the Catholic Church's present-day Inquisition of Gays and Lesbians in Washington state (google that story, if y'all have missed it), Lord Jesus is a God of Inclusion and this referendum that Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of our Seattle diocese is endorsing, is WRONG.  Excluding groups of people is WRONG.  Denying certain groups of people their equal rights is WRONG.  We are all God's children.  Gays and lesbians, too, in their loving relationships with each other.  JJ


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Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 10:39

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