Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hazing: A point of view of a theologian

By Rev. Osmundo ABAKAN de los Reyes
Friday, 24 February 2012

Revised for this post.

Genesis 6:5
5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

      Just this week, another victim of hazing died. There are fraternities nowadays do not exactly reflect their goals and objectives. The Latin root word is frater which means brother. Not surprisingly, we got this habit of coming together from American Imperialism. When we became its colony in 1898 and onwards, the Americans practically brought every bit and piece of their culture. Knowing the Filipino psyche, they did not have any difficulty introducing it. But wait, as early as Rizal's time there had been fraternities and he was a member of it. Suffice it to say, present-day Greek-lettered fraternities are largely American-influenced.
      Per se, there is nothing wrong with fraternities. Friendship that goes deep into brotherhood is well taken. But when it gets out of control, the problem begins.
      Studies have shown that most victims of fraternity hazing are innocent, too trusting provincianos who just want to be sincere friends with anybody. Long-time residents of Metro-Manila --- some of whom were provincianos themselves --- have acquired a gangster attitude of being bully and arrogant. Hence, when they become "masters" of the fraternity, they actually become monsters! Other victims of fraternity hazing are children of separated parents. Looking for love and attention, the young teen joins the group, thinking that he would find what would fill up the vacuum in his life. Sadly, the tragedy.
      Many have proposed in the recent that fraternities should be completely banned and declared illegal. But that seems too judgmental --- an overreaction to the situation. Of course, not all fraternities are bad as in not all politicians or justices of the Supreme Court are menaces to society! What we need in the Philippines is a complete turnabout of culture. Our undesirable, wanting, and barbaric culture needs to be trodden down and be replaced by a completely different one.
      We take life too lightly. We easily forget. This is so because Filipinos do not have a full appreciation of our History. Holidays commemorating heroes are meant for us to imbibe the things that our forebears did for our liberty, freedom, and independence. Such value had not been inculcated into our minds, much less, into our hearts, to be valued if not at all imitated.
      Everything begins at home. Responsible parenting is the key to all these. For roughly twenty years now, married couples are not responsible parents. Going back to American Imperialism, many young couples who marry are very irresponsible not knowing what they have entered into. Unwanted pregnancy among teenagers spring out from irresponsible parenting. Parents take things for granted. They really do not spend time opening the Bible and teaching its doctrines to their children! Many husbands and wives are too busy with their own thing: work, gimmicks, and shopping. They just say a word of reminder to their children without really seriously teaching God's Word to them! They feel they are too busy to spend quality time with their children. If parents are so careless that they only care about themselves because their children are already grown-ups, they are totally mistaken! Parents, when your children become teenagers or in their early twenties, the more they need your guidance from the Word of God!
       True friendship begins with Jesus Christ! Proverbs 18:24 says:

 24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
   but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(italics, Capitalization, and bold lettering mine)

Unless parents seriously consider sitting down and spending time with their children with God's Word open as they talk to them, our society will continue to be what it is now.
      Yes, the only way to put an end to the evils of fraternity hazing is to study and teach the Word of God with your children because

"The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." -Genesis 6:5

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