RH Bill Varsitarian Article “Lemons and Cowards”

First of all, the original article was titled “RH Bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards” and was published almost a month ago, on September 9, 2012 but made rounds around the ‘net last night. Second, I honestly have no idea what the lemons are supposed to signify. Finally, this article explains why the RH Bill Varsitarian article is the worst thing possible for RH Bill detractors (i.e. those who do NOT want it to be a law).

RH Bill Varsitarian Article

You may see the PDF version of the RH Bill Varsitarian article here on Google docs.

Arrogant and Condescending

From the get-go, one could see what the article was saying: it did not support the controversial RH Bill. However, the execution was a poor display of an opinion write-up; instead of presenting the virtues of the anti-RH Bill camp, the editors who published this article instead produced a scathing article on the bill’s supporters from the academe. Specifically targeted were RH Bill supporters from Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University (my Alma Mater). Aside from name-calling, of which there was plenty, there was also unnecessary accusations of ‘dishonesty’ and the unfair call for these professors to ‘resign’.

Authorship was not Clearly Defined

Granted, it was supposed to be an editorial from a university’s newsletter (The Varsitarian). I am a firm believer of ‘standing up for your beliefs’ and in this case, there wasn’t really any one author of the article. In fact, from the complete text of the article, it was not even attributed to anyone. For an article with claims and accusations of this magnitude, there should at least be a note stating who or which organization penned the article – for it sounded less of a university newsletter editorial and more like a personal attack on three schools: AdMU, DLSU, and the University of the Philippines. To be authoritative (no matter the stand), one must first be a believable and honest authority on an issue.

Alienated the Most Influential Schools

The last paragraph of the article really took home the cake, in my opinion.

But alas, it seems intellectual honesty and moral conviction are in such short supply in Katipunan, Quezon City and Taft Avenue, Manila.

- The Varsitarian, September 9, 2012

An accusation this heavy and serious cannot go unchallenged. As a former member of the DLSU administration (referred to by the “Taft Avenue” part), I can attest to the high standards of honesty and moral convictions present in the university especially with the leadership of the Christian Brothers. I am sure it’s the same with the Jesuits of Katipunan and the academics of Quezon City, to stay in tune with the article’s tone. When a university editorial makes claims like this, friends are NOT made – in fact, this just makes these schools look at the accuser just a little differently.

What’s the takeaway here?

Quite simple, really. The RH Bill Varsitarian article (I’m sure you have read it by now)  did a great disservice to its camp by attacking not the issue but the morality of their opponents. How can there be intelligent debate which can try to reach a quid pro quo when one side is already crucifying the other? (Pun very much intended). It should be noted that there is no diplomatic way in which this article can be seen, in my opinion. It also proves to a  point that those who believe in their religion a little too much begin to veer away from the innocent and honorable path they initially set before themselves.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments – you are free to speak your mind here. Please share this article as well.

Featured image a screen capture of the RHB Varsitarian article.

jsncruz RH Bill Varsitarian Article

RH Bill Varsitarian Article

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20 comments
trebyal
trebyal

I came not from any of the institutions mentioned on this article, but I was brought up as a catholic and was educated in a catholic school as well. I know that somewhere in there (the catholic teaching) said "maunang bumato ang hindi nagkasala".  Bless are the editors of UST Varsitarian because they have not sinned!!!

lovestarfire
lovestarfire

What I initially thought also was, with the strong words used in the Varsitarian's Editorial/Opinion, the author/s could have at least mentioned who they were. It's a shame that because of this article, a lot of people are criticizing the university as a whole (hasty generalization), even those who do not feel the same way as the authors and the supporters of the article do. And this indeed is unfair to the others.

 

I don't see the point in the uncalled for bashing of the other institutions. They veered away from the real 'issue' which was the 'RH Bill' and decided to go negative instead of just sticking to the  reasons as to why they were against the bill. In my opinion, the DLSU and ADMU professors chose to support the bill not as professors primarily but (put a lot of thought and discernment into it) as citizens and as a possible benefactors of the bill, before anything else. I just think it's quite ironic that they push "Catholicism" and "Moral Conviction" in this article which displays characteristics unbecoming of a "Moral" man .  

BJLFuentes
BJLFuentes

Good one!  Clear, concise and to the point.  Indeed, zealots can start going overboard and start to become the hypocrites they so openly accuse other people of.  This isn't Christianity as Christ intended it, IMHO.  Hiding behind anonymity only further detracts from the publication's status as a respectable entity.

MaiiLuaLi
MaiiLuaLi

It doesn't matter WHO wrote the article. It's the content that holds the whole meaning. Nevertheless, the content of the said article is known to be an opinion but evidently, the upbringing of the other university names is considered to be a foul which makes the public throwback to such offense.

 

It is also mentioned that contraceptives cause cardiac problems and cause of Filipino women deaths. I firmly believe that these so called deaths are effects of the irresponsibility of consumers of contraceptives and not the contraceptives itself.

 

Anyway, very well said, Jason. Couldn't agree more.

misterbaks
misterbaks

From a publication point of view, the Editorial writer is one of the Editorial Board (EIC, Associate Editor or Managing Editor). The Editorial is the collective opinion of the entire publication, including the institution being it's official school publication.

 

Although, there's an assigned "Editorial Writer" in every issue, he or she is not named because it is supposed to be not his or her opinion but the organization. So in this case, it's one of this members of the Editorial Board: RAFAEL L. ANTONIO, Editor in Chief; BRYLLE B. TABORA Managing Editor; and, JAMES BRYAN J. AGUSTIN Associate Editor.

 

And "I think" it's Tabora, because he was head editor of Witness, the section of the publication where the main subject is Religion and Catholicism, before being the Managing Editor.

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @trebyal Hi and thanks for visiting my blog! That is perhaps why the Varsitarian has gained quite the negative following - the article was self-serving and self-righteous!

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @lovestarfire I'd call it pot calling kettle black, but it wouldn't be very accurate. Again, it was less of an article than a personal attack to prestigious schools and the line was crossed the moment undue accusations happened. News say the Varsitarian still stands with its article; I stand by my loss of respect for them as well! @lovestarfire 

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @BJLFuentes Thank you for the comment. I also happen to agree with you on how this article isn't going to be answering the "WWJD" question any time soon!

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @MaiiLuaLi Thanks for dropping by, Maii. I think it's quite obvious that the article wasn't meant to stir a discussion so much as it was written to incense not just the opponents of their belief, but the communities of each school attacked as well. So much for 'education' from such a prestigious school!

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @misterbaks I was in an editorial board as well, back in my school paper days. I know that it's not credited to any 'one' but again, this is a huge national issue - it may not be 'standard protocol' BUT I do believe the individual(s) who authored this should have claimed credit. As it is, my opinion on the ENTIRE university of theirs is tarnished. 

 

Never mind who - personally, I care more about WHAT they wrote and WHY.

lovestarfire
lovestarfire

 @jsncruz  @lovestarfire  @lovestarfire Yup. They released a statement in the varsitarian rin. Oh well, we can't change how they are but we can definitely change how we react to them. Not worthy na. Haha. :) Have a good weekend.

MaiiLuaLi
MaiiLuaLi

 @jsncruz  @MaiiLuaLi Evidently. I don't even see any reason behind that matter of mentioning other schools. I'm starting to think it's linked to the UAAP games already. Haha! Anyway, this so called attack is a foul.

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @mdejesus Wow, who are these people and why do they write with so much hate? Social media is supposed to be for intelligent, thinking men and women who wish to resolve conflicts, not for firebrands with beef to settle. 

misterbaks
misterbaks

 @jsncruz It's up to the publisher if they'll name the 'editorial writer'. For a campus paper, the publisher is the "student body". Let's just wait if they'll name the writer. But, I think they wouldn't, that's the typical Varsitarian: they start the fire but they'll let others fix it for them (Adviser and his assistant).

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @MaiiLuaLi Haha! I doubt that they are that shallow, plus the article was published last month. It could be just to open a can of worms, and if it was the goal - mission successful.

jsncruz
jsncruz moderator

 @misterbaks Hmm, I hope that's not true because if it is, I don't think I will respect writers and editors from that university newsletter again. It did not do the RH Bill debates/dialogue any favor whatsoever.

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