Thursday, January 24, 2008

Judging Heath and Other Stories

This morning, I could not afford to press the Snooze button on my iHome because I had to be in the office before 7a.m. Two things caused this break in my usual schedule - I promised my sister I'd pick her up from the airport tonight, and I needed to avoid the car ban for plate numbers ending in 8. Despite my body's complaints for ten minutes more of precious snoozing, I forced myself to sit up, say a quick prayer, gulp down instant coffee (no time to brew), take my short-version shower, and drive to the office in my slippers and without makeup.

I encountered the early-risers on the road who were no less violative of simple traffic rules than my classmates on the second or third shift of the morning rush. They still cut corners, created illegal counter-flows, and crammed their vehicles on every space conceivable without considering the consequences to the rest of humanity. It was not a leisurely drive, therefore, as I didn't want to be fined for the after-7a.m. use of my car.

Upon reaching the St. Paul-Pasig area five minutes before 7, I encountered a traffic jam. There was probably a school event, and a security guard motioned for us to take a detour. I asked him why, he said the drivers up ahead each insisted on his own way, and thus blocked the road. As I was turning right for the detour, tears streamed down my face due to frustration. I mentally prepared my script for when the MMDA would accost me for driving beyond the allowable period. Thankfully, my prayers were answered and I did not see a single man-in-blue until I reached our office at 7:18 a.m. I was the first to press my finger on the biometric machine, and I made history. I heaved a sigh of relief.

I heard on Wave 89.1 that a church group was going to picket Heath Ledger's funeral because according to them, the late actor was a pervert who starred in Brokeback Mountain, and they were certain that he went straight to hell. I found myself lashing out mentally, while driving along Katipunan Road, at the leaders of that group for their judgmentalism. I contemplated writing them a short email asking, "Where is the Memo delegating you as Judges?" Hello!

So curious was I that I visited their website. The name alone explained where they were coming from - I found them at I realized how different their world was entirely from mine - because the website was full of little banners showing whom God hated, and was backed up with Bible passages that were obviously taken out of context. It seemed that the God of this church hated everyone except, maybe, the members of Westboro Baptist Church.

For those who are wondering, Heath Leadger is the Australian actor who was found dead in his New York apartment a couple of days ago. He was only 28 years old, and he left behind a baby, who would grow up fatherless. News of his death shocked the whole world because he was a talented, handsome, and young actor. I did not write this to defend him, but I just felt like voicing out my thoughts, so shocked was I that people could easily throw labels like "pervert" and condemn actors just because of their roles. If actors could get in trouble in the afterlife for whatever movies they took part in on earth, then there would be multitudes rotting in hell, even if their crime was only being good actors, and there would be a corresponding crowd gathered in heaven, whose only claim to eternal life was playing the role of holy people in their movies. The logical fallacy is enough to make me blog so early in the morning!

I just could not see the connection, how his part in one movie could make these people so sure that he landed in hell, just because he played the role of a practicing homosexual. I myself did not like the concept behind the movie, and I refused to watch it. That was how I stood up for my faith. But I could not see the WBC's need to use the name of God and make illogical conclusions, not to mention blacken the memory of one who was dead.

But with a group like WBC who was born to picket, it would be folly for someone like me to pick a fight over this. Or I could turn out to be someone who hated and who blogged about it, and probably get enough attention, but whose actions would not be backed by solid Scriptural basis.

I would rather we all lived in love of Christ and what He taught us, and let others be- whether they were actors playing gay characters, drivers disobeying traffic rules (yes me guilty of judgmentalism this morning as well!), or ministers leading their flock. For Christ would be the one to sit on Judgment Day, to separate the goats from the sheep, to declare who were His followers, and to deny those who denied Him and His teachings. This power had not been delegated to us human beings.

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