By Fr. ROY
WHEN things are not
inspired by charity, when we fail to keep a supernatural outlook in
life, when we just depend on our reasoning and feelings, then most
likely we end up running amok, killing everyone we meet.
This cruelty can
easily be seen when political issues and controversies erupt. They
erupt in the first place because many people think politics is outside
the domain of charity, faith and religion.
mentality is that prayer and sacrifice have nothing to do with
politics. One would be accused of living in a different planet if they
behave along lines of charity and religion. He would not be “getting
This attitude has been
demonizing us for quite some time now that I’m afraid it has become
part of our culture. Proof to that is the openness with which this
inhumanity is expressed in public, and hardly anyone complains. On the
contrary, a great majority applauds it.
I thought, for
example, that gossiping and backbiting are done in whispers, quite
hidden in some corner and in small groups. No, it’s not like that
anymore. Gossips, backbiting, all sorts of impertinent ad hominems can
now be broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet, with many people
stoking them to their maximum viciousness.
What is worse – and I
hope I’m wrong – is that they think they are doing the right thing,
that their reaction is what is just and fair. They have lost the sense
of balance, and charity is, of course, regarded as an outcast in the
In this kind of
discussion, the targets are painted all in black. They do not seem to
have any saving grace. They seem to be beyond redemption.
This does not bode
well of us as a people. We will be hooked to divisiveness and to a
spiral of vindictiveness if we exclude charity and the finer
requirements of religion in our political discussions.
Let’s remember that
our Lord himself told us to love even our enemies. He himself forgave
those who crucified him. To the repentant thief, he also promised the
Paradise. He told us to forgive not only seven times, but seventy
times seven. He asked us to be merciful, because our heavenly Father
We need to consider
these words as the perfection of our humanity, a way to purify and
heal us of our spiritual and moral wounds. They serve none other than
to reconcile us with God and with one another. These commands and
counsels are not optional. They are necessary.
The truth is that we
are all sinners. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.” (1 Jn 1,8) We need to understand each
other, and forgive each other. No use getting entangled with our sins,
mistakes and failures. We just have to move on, doing all to make that
possible as soon as we can.
I was both amused and
bothered when I heard a radio commentator say that since justice is
supposed to be equal, then everyone has to be treated in the same way
whether the one involved is a high official or just an ordinary Juan.
In the first place,
equality in justice is never to be interpreted as uniformity in
treatment. This is commonsensical. Even in our family life, parents
love their children equally but treat them differently, simply because
the children are different from one another.
Wherever we go we try
to be fair with everyone, but we always treat everyone differently,
because people are just different. We don’t make a big fuss about
this, unless there is clear injustice.
I froze in disbelief
when the commentator said that if a public official who happens to be
sick already has been arrested, he should go to prison with all the
other criminals who had to bear with all the inconveniences of prison
life, like hard labor and exposure to sickness because that is simply
a prisoner’s plight.
That, he said, is
equal justice. There should be no privileges like a hospital arrest.
Then he launched into personal attacks on the public official
involved, taking jibes at the physical defects of the person. All this
at prime time and in a major media outfit. Unbelievable!
He forgot that
everyone has a right to protect oneself, his name, his dignity. If
many prisoners are treated inhumanly, it’s not because of some
discrimination. It’s because of the imperfections of our human justice
and legal system.
Again, if there is
no charity, our justice can run amok.