Episode 11: The Red Ribbon Army

When I first heard of the term “Red Ribbon Army” being used in recent news, what immediately came to mind was this:

Red Ribbon Army from Dragonball

So when I found out that it was actually something coined for the CBCP’s campaign against the RH Bill, you can imagine the snickerfest that ensued. And no, I’m not talking about the chocolate bar.

Of course, only an otaku (Japanese anime fan, for the uninitiated) would know what the Red Ribbon Army means in Dragonball anime parlance, so for the uninitiated: The Red Ribbon Army is an organization led by Commander Red (big face with red hair in the picture, also very short), bent on world domination – or at least that’s what it was on paper, until it was later revealed that the sole purpose of the Red Ribbon Army was for Commander Red to gather the seven Dragonballs and make his ultimate wish – to become taller. Long and short of it is that Goku (main hero of the Dragonball series) stopped them single-handedly, and the entire Red Ribbon Army was annihilated. You can read more about it here.

Feel free to supply parallelisms here.

Along with the threat of espousing civil disobedience, it seems that the CBCP is going all-in on its bid to prevent the passage of the RH Bill into law. Is this a winning gamble?

In an article, Fr. John Caroll S.J. shares his belief that far from being a wise move, the CBCP’s anti-RH efforts is pushing the Church into a no-win situation. From the article: “If the bill passes over the total opposition of the hierarchy, there will be gloating in some quarters and a sense of ‘Who’s afraid of the big bad Church?’ If it is defeated by the opposition of the Church, I fear a powerful backlash at the Church’s ‘interference in politics’ and ‘reliance on political power rather than moral suasion’—the beginnings of an anti-clericalism such as has overwhelmed formerly Catholic bastions such as Spain and Ireland.”

Fr. Caroll’s fears may already be realized, as another group has come forward to pledge support for the RH Bill and has taken the color purple as its banner, in direct opposition to the Red Ribbon Army. Added to the perceived “isolated” status of the Church on the RH Bill issue, could anti-clericalism be too far around the corner?

At the end of the day, the CBCP’s only out may be to simply fold on the RH Bill issue, while it has not yet been passed into law, and instead return to the focus of their ministry. An all-out war against the RH Bill is not something they will likely win – if anything, the record of the Church in all-out wars isn’t exactly stellar (“Crusades,” anyone?). While there is still time, the Church can simply leave their stand as it is, and return to the pulpits to strengthen the resolve of Catholics to practice their faith in choosing their family planning methods, with or without RH – and leave politicking outside the Church doors.


2 responses to “Episode 11: The Red Ribbon Army

  1. Kit Yu’s comment on FB:

    “I doubt that the folks that coined the name ‘red ribbon army’ had anime in mind when they chose a color to fight under.”

    Not what I said nor implied at any point, but I’ll bite anyway. The point in raising the Dragonball “Red Ribbon Army” was to make a comparison between the two – how both are similarly named, similarly oriented (“world domination,” in varying scales), and likely similarly doomed. There are probably more paralellisms that others could come up with, hence “Feel free to supply parallelisms here.” If I need to spell it out: I think coming up with this “Red Ribbon Army” is a ridiculous idea and should never have been entertained by the CBCP and its allies.

    The other important distinction I want to raise here is that this anti-RH drive is a “CBCP+allies” thing – not a “Catholic Church” thing. I didn’t explicitly mention this in my blog post above as this requires a much deeper analysis than I care to make at this point. Still, the mere fact that a respected member of the clergy such as Fr. Caroll can criticize the CBCP’s actions and recommend alternatives offers some proof of my theory. If you haven’t already done so, please give his article a read (linked in my blog post). It is very insightful for Catholics who want to get past all the grandstanding made on both sides and get down to the real issues surrounding the bill, and what we as Catholics can do to contribute meaningfully to the debate.

  2. Pingback: Episode 17: The Year That Was, And How The Times They Are A’Changin « Letters from the Laughing Man·

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