After thinking things through properly and getting real with things (in more ways than one), I am taking back everything I said about Carlos Celdran, about defiance, and boldness. I think my mistake was in trying to put a little too much effort in blogging about it, aggravating (among other things) a bad sleeping disorder. Not to mention that I really looked ugly doing that.
Horrendously ugly. Uglier than the six or so clauses I cram into one sentence.
So really, Carlos Celdran should have done absolutely nothing.
Let me start by saying that we really need to get a grip on things and get real: we are a damaged culture. More than that, I submit that we are a self-damaging culture, as exemplified by the palengkero performance Carlos Celdran did with that “Damaso” stunt. You’re right, and I was wrong: Carlos Celdran should have sought out the proper forum.
See, with all his clout, with all his influence, Carlos Celdran should have done it like the rest of us when we have complaints: blogged about it. But Celdran’s already a blogger, so he would be completely indolent and un-innovative by doing that.
Here’s what I think: Celdran should have submitted his complaint in a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and had his complaint acted on promptly and swiftly. Like the RH Law. No theatrical performances, no unnecessary hubbub, no commotion.
Surely the CBCP – or whoever that SASE’s addressed to, like the Pope himself or God Himself – would have acted upon their own wrongdoings because Carlos Celdran had a properly filed complaint. Surely St. Peter won’t delay letters sent to God when we have a problem with Catholicism; you know, like sending letters to Santa. Or moi: a guy who has written so many open letters on this wonderful thing called my blog, signed so many petitions, and changed the Philippine condition more than, say, the symbolic heroes we worship in our currency.
There won’t be a need to (cringe) “stir the ambiguity between the secular and the religious” (un-cringe) because, unlike nailing paper on the door of a German church, Celdran’s letter won’t cause apostasy or a schism, or the biggest threat to an already vulnerable and emo Philippine psyche, a new religion. You know, like Nazis.
Forget Jesus, Gandhi, and Aung San Suu Kyi. Heck, forget Rosa Parks either: she set back the civil rights movement for years by going against the law and insisted on staying on the white people’s section of the bus without considering the economic benefits of racial segregation in postwar America. There’s a chart for that. But I digress.
See, these historical nuances get in the way of getting real: symbolic gestures like crucifixion, marching, and the imprisonment of meddlesome “pro-democracy” leaders, damage our culture. Look no further than the Philippines, people: we have it worse than Somalia.
Anyway, back to Celdran’s self-addressed stamped envelope. You have to consider the Philippine postal system, too. Anyone who has read up on Wikipedia would realize that a great part of the improvement of civilization comes with a strong postal system. Do we trust PhilPost to deliver Celdran’s SASE on time? That’s something to think about. Here’s something to think about: suppose the postal system worked, how do you write a letter to a bishop? But since we’re talking about the Church here, how do you write a letter to the Pope?
Since we’re talking about the Philippine Roman Catholic Church: how do you write a letter to an omniscient, omnipotent God who’s against the things you believe in?
After all, there’s really nothing to complain about at the end of the day: we just have to get real about our own imagined notions of injustices and accept the “self-mutilation” as nothing more than a hard lesson in building a nation, free from the shackles of historical context and human experience.
Justice, after all, is just that: imagined. So does every gripe Celdran has against the Church: millions of Filipinos are fine with the teaching of the Church and use homily time for a quick dash to the comfort room. Why should Celdran be any different? Why should he be so disruptive?
So rather than further contributing to the damaging of Filipino culture by speaking out, Celdran should have just kept to himself and did nothing about the imaginary plights and crises taking place in his head. Because – and I read this in Wikipedia – the French criminologist Alexandre Lacassagne writes, “Justice shrivels up, prison corrupts, and society has the criminals it deserves.”
Carlos Celdran’s act was all noise, all disruption, and no substance. Like “hope” and “conviction,” and all the other claptrap that the Mainstream Media feeds us on final words on things like The World Tonight, it didn’t deliver concrete things where it mattered. And so the most substantive thing that Celdran could have done was, well, precisely nothing. Or wrote a letter to God. Or Santa. Like all of us law-abiding thinking people do.
Mostly because we’re too dumb, too ugly, and too verbose to do anything about it anyway.
(Note: Because at least a dozen people reading this blog have the reading comprehension of a garden snail, this entry is satire. You’re welcome.)