We from The LaSallian did not release an official stand on House Bill no. 4244, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood Bill, despite numerous requests and pressure from a majority of our own members, as well as various University stakeholders. This is because we respected, and we continue to respect, every person’s right to have his or her own informed opinion, including our individual editors and staffers. What we stand for in many issues is the process of discernment, and for one’s personal stand and conviction to surface from rigorous research, contemplation, and discourse, before pursuing determined action.
Precisely because we are members of a Catholic University, following Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae and its challenge to university students, we encourage our individual staff to make personal judgments that may guide them to truth. Perhaps we may make recommendations, but we would never impose on the freedom of conscience (ECE II, Art. 2, sec. 4).
We did not feel the need to impose any stance to support or refuse a bill that would blatantly disregard the stances of some of our editors and staffers.
In this publication, we believe in independent thought, and we encourage our staffers to go against any norms in public opinion and rightfully deconstruct, and discern their own beliefs through issue-oriented critical thinking, if and only if it is what they believe in, and for as long as they too would respect the rights of others to voice an opinion contrary to their own.
In light of published content, we know for a fact that The Varsitarian is against HB 4244, and we respect the unified publication’s stance. Moreover, we applaud UST’s official student publication for declaring their stance with such great conviction. They do go against the grain, as they said, and what they did takes courage, and a lot of arguments. In our opinion, however, the method of expression used to express the matter veered away from the real issue, while creating new and unnecessary ones.
The RH Bill is an important issue that deserves constructive discourse. None of this constructive discourse, however, can come from ad hominem lambasting from any of the parties involved, whether Pro-RH or Anti-RH. We believe in sticking to the issues, and backing conclusions with substantial, objective arguments.
This is the nature of sincere rational dialectic. We advocate constructive discourse, and the search for truth that Catholic Universities so aspire for can, in our opinion, be only attained through issue-oriented critical thinking.
DISCLAIMER: The LaSallian is a publication and a separate entity from the institution that is De La Salle University; hence, its views do not necessarily reflect the views of DLSU or the Lasallian institution. Its opinion is also separate from and independent of its members, stakeholders, partners, alumni, staff, faculty, and students.
ADDENDUM: We wish to clarify that Ex Corde Ecclesiae (English: From the Heart of the Church) is an apostolic constitution, and not an encyclical letter, issued by Pope John Paul II.