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Going overboard with 'Live Show'

April 13, 2001 · 


THE PROBLEM with Conrado de Quiros and other liberal writers is that they tend to go overboard when interpreting the much-abused principle of “suppression of freedom of expression.”

Ultra-liberals dismiss the conservatives’ opposition to immorality in public entertainment as an invasion by moral terrorists.

Their attacks become more acrimonious when the Christian churches condemn the sleaze and violence appearing in most of Filipino movies. They see this as a denial of the people’s right to freedom of choice. Epithets fly hither and yon as they call the conservatives fascists, dictatorial hypocrites, moral terrorists, meddlers, etc.

I support liberal causes that uplift human dignity and the person’s self-esteem as well as those that will change the image of the Pinoy society from its mean baseness into something morally worthy for our children to inherit.
If we allow the ultra-liberals’ moral permissiveness to hold sway, the moral values of the Filipino — or what is left of it — would regress to what De Quiros describes as Manoling Morato’s and Etta Mendez’s Cro-Magnon type of primitivism.
We must realize the capability of the average Filipino moviegoer to deal with the concept of using sex to drive home the point of the dehumanizing effects of poverty in our society. He is not capable of fathoming the abstract social implications that the producer and the director purportedly try to convey. Ask the first Pinoy that comes out from the movie how he liked it, and he is likely to say: “Pare, talagang maganda pala ang katawan ni Licia Delicia. Nalibugan ako.” Enough said.

JUAN GALLARDO, Candelaria, Quezon

As a concerned Filipino Muslim, I would like to say that the Catholic Church through Jaime Cardinal Sin has the moral responsibility to protect Filipinos against immorality. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is a Christian ans a leader of this nation must not tolerate any form of immorality for it is her responsibility to uphold the moral integrity of every Filipino.
To a Muslim like me, the film “Live Show” is without question immoral.

The Holy Qur’an says in Sura, “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes so that they will see the way and to draw their veils all over and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers or their sons, brothers or their sister’s son.”

This Qur’anic injuction prohibits Muslims from watching this kind of movie so that they may ot be hld liable in this world and in the hereafter.

It is hypocrisy I think to say that the sex scenes are needed in the movie for the sake of art. I do not know why they do not say that it is for money. These people are actually insulting the intelligence of Filipinos when they say on national television that sex scenes are there for the sake of art.

It is good to know that in the Philippines, you cannot find Muslim women who are in way part of the movie industry, especially as bold actresses or producers. If there is one, then I am reminding er of Chapter 33 (Al-Ahzab) verse 59: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veil) all over their bodies (screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be betterm that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is ever oft-forgiving, most merciful.”
I strongly urge my Muslim brothers and sisters not to watch “Live Show” and similar movies which may stain the dignity of te women.

If defenders say “Live Show” is an expression of freedom, we must be reminded that the freedom of religion has a priority over other rights and this also is guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution. Now that the Church has spoken on the immorality of the movie, I think other religious sects will take the same stand.

CHUCK SALAPUDDIN, Blk. 15, L16, Almar Subdivision, Novaliches, Caloocan City

 I AM very disappointed that, based on your editorial calling for the abolition of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, you seem to support the artists who are crying foul over President Macapagal’s decision to ban the exhibition of the movie “Live Show”. As a writer and an art lover, I am a friend of freedom of expression. But I oppose using this right as an excuse to sacrifice the hang-ups of a noisy minority – a talented minority, to be sure, but a minority just the same.

You said something to the effect that the Catholic Church’s teachings should not be imposed on the Filipino populace, ad that the MTRCB should not act is the guardian of morality. Let me point out that morality is not just a Church thing. There is an immutable and universal morality based on the nature of man. (Incidentally, I’m curious to find out what our Muslim brothers ans sisters have to say about the “Live Show” controversy.) And just as no public official, even the President, is above the law, artists are not above the natural moral law.
Respect for this law is the foundation of a strong nation. The vast majority of Filipinos showed that they knew this when we took to the streets after the impeachment trial was aborted. We went to Edsa convinced that a corrupt president was bad for our country. I don’t thinl anyone of us doubted that we had the right to “impose” a high standard of morality on our leaders.

We have to be consistent. The exhibition of lewdness is no less bad for our country than graft and corruption.

CRISTINA A. MONTES, 30 Nottingham St., Hillsborough, Alabang, Muntinlupa City


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