On the UST Varsitarian editorial.

The editorial can be found here. Not anymore, apparently. The Varsitarian link is dead so download the article here. Also, one last note, after calling us cowards, you take down your site? For once in my life I can say, I’ve got balls. Watch me keep this blogpost up.

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Just a few things I hope to say before retiring to bed:

“a closed reasding of the merasure which show it promotes abortifacients.” —Closed reading of the RH Bill, yes? Okay, let’s be Formalist. Show me the exact portion of the bill that proves this. Also, my pet peeve as a teacher: We live in the 21st century, spell-check please. Also, capitalize and this is not a sentence. Red marks all over the phrase.

“How could they argue that an RH measure would be needed to lower maternal mortality when the Philippine government not too long ago had told the United Nations that it was on track to meet the Unesco millennium development goals by 2015, one of which was the lowering of maternal deaths?” – How could we not? We read the reports or at least I did for a paper on the MDGS as norms. We might have signed up to fulfill them but we remain sorely behind in terms of maternal mortality. The UN MDG Report of 2011 reads like a report card. We failed, let’s do something about it. Nothing “alleged” about our poor performance in this regard.

“In contrast, UST, which has the oldest and the foremost school of medicine in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, has always warned about the dangerous side effects of contraceptives. UST and her physicians surely know whereof they speak. They’re scientists and experts, unlike the Ateneo and La Salle professors who are intellectual pretenders and interlopers!” — We aren’t just advocating the use of contraceptives, we’re also trying to ensure that we educate people on their reproductive rights which are part and parcel of reproductive health. This name calling on the other hand is unacceptable…I’d have thought that someone from UST would have chosen to argue instead of bickering.

“Ateneo had nothing to say about the intellectual dishonesty of its faculty members who are teaching in and receiving high salaries from a Catholic institution who however chose to bite the hand that feeds them all in the name of academic freedom.” — What is so dishonest about teaching without prejudice and showing both sides of this argument? Have you been to any of our classes or are you just assuming that we tell our kids to be pro-RH without any room to discuss? To think? To learn on their own? Also, I couldn’t help but laugh at the assumption that Ateneo is paying us high. Ha! That’ll be the day! As a part-timer, I can tell you quite frankly that I make close to 5k monthly for 3 units so again, where is this pay off that you speak of and why was I not informed? Hohum.

“We’re pretty sure Saint Ignatius would have no confusion on where to put that jesuitic Jesuit—in Heaven or Hell?—in his famous Spiritual Exercises.” — Have you read the Spiritual Exercises? I’m willing to bet my alleged salary that you haven’t because if you did, you wouldn’t be calling us intellectually dishonest.🙂 Trust me.

“uphold orthodoxy and defend the Church. As far as the RH bill and support for it among their faculty are concerned, they’re lemons. And as far as the Pro-RH Ateneo and La Salle professors are concerned, they’re dishonest and don’t have the courage of their intellectual conviction. Contradicting the bishops and defending the RH bill, they have clung on to their faculty membership in Catholic institutions. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. They’re intellectual mercenaries, nothing more, nothing less.” — How very reminiscent of the Crusades, noh? Have you forgotten Church history—more die because of unbelief—because we would rather uphold the orthodoxy and not the Church as I remember learning it to be the Lord’s House. It’s not an ivory tower, why do we treat it as such? Don’t have the courage of intellectual conviction? Did you want me to quit to prove a point? Because quitting would have achieved nothing. Quite the contrary, quitting would have been cowardice—it would mean telling my students, “Look, the world isn’t what we want it to be, let’s jump ship!” Instead I said, “Look, we don’t always agree, but we’re here: let’s talk about it—what do you believe in? What matters to you? Are these things correct? Can we help each other get to a solution? —This is a proactive approach. Also, how could I live with myself if I quit on the institution that helped open my eyes to realities often forgotten if not ignored? Have any of you mighty pen wielders been to the Fabella Hospital (close to your end of town, actually)? Or to any provincial hospital with barely enough beds to keep up with the demand? I’ve been around up North and sometimes down South, the situation is dire in both directions. So please, get out there. Better yet, take these assumptions of yours to the hospitals and tell the women to their faces that they are not real—because that is, in effect, what you are saying, right? Also, you might as well call them sinners, getting pregnant and all, often out of wedlock. Tell them that to their faces and learn what it is to have a deep, abiding faith.

How could I stomach being so “above it all” that in the face of an issue, all I’d opt to do would be quit? QUITTING, for real teachers, IS NEVER AN OPTION. And if we get fired on account of all this, there has to be a better reason than, “Um, the Church said so.”

“The student of a Catholic school must receive Catholic teachings without adulteration, without debasement.” — How do you do this? Show me an actual Catholic school that does this? Oh actually, can Catholic teachings really be taught without debasement when a lot of the teachings of the Church are by nature concerned with corruption? Is this an attempt to polish the shit off our ivory tower? Ay. Ignore this. I’m digressing.

“the Catholic university exists for evangelical purposes.” — Again, what’s with you and salvation? And why is salvation immediately about being dogmatic? How violent for a university so steeped in history to have such a narrow view of its role in educating young people. I have to say with all fidelity to my faith and understanding of the Church, you give Catholicism a bad name. Shame on you.

For a university that takes after Thomas Aquinas, I really hope you speak only for a few in the school you represent because these ideas of yours to stick to dogma and tradition are far from what Aquinas would have ventured had he been alive today. He would ponder the questions and think. He would write so others might also speak and most of all, as doctor of the church he would opt to heal and not violently use his faith to deprive others of what is rightfully theirs.

yours respectfully,

Nastasia L. Tysmans

(Teacher, Ateneo de Manila University)

5 thoughts on “On the UST Varsitarian editorial.

  1. KF says:

    Yeah, it’s still up, but it looks like they’re deleting comments as fast as they come up. Talk about intellectual dishonesty and cowardice.

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