How to Become a Responsible Tourist

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Introduction

Responsible tourism is all about conformity of the tourist to the local culture, especially to the customs and laws of the host country or place of destination. There are different types of tourism and tourist. But all tourism is a cross-cultural encounter, an interaction between two cultures: the cultural orientation of the tourist and the culture or way of life of the tourist site. Thus, if an American tourist visits the famous Boracay Beach in the Philippines, he or she brings with her/his Western American culture mentality to the Philippines and interacts it with the local Filipino culture of the residents or hosts in Boracay island.

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Now, tourism often brings conflict in terms of cultural norms. Sometimes, tourists would impose consciously or unconsciously her or his cultural expectation and norm orientation to the tourist site and disregard the local norms and rules. For instance, Western tourists may find wearing bikinis in Philippine beaches as normal and culturally appropriate. But for rural folks in the Philippines, wearing this kind of outfit is culturally unacceptable and indecent.

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Cultural conflict is therefore inevitable. Thus, the tourist site or the host country must dictate how should tourists behave to protect the local culture. In this case, it must be the tourist site and authorities of the place who must determine through rules and policies how tourists must behave and become responsible to protect the local culture and attain sustainability of their tourism industry.

Here are some important tips on how the tourist can become responsible when visiting tourist sites:

  1. Orient yourself about the local culture of the place you are visiting. This includes knowing the customs or existing practices of the site. Know some basic rules on respect, decency, and social interaction.

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  1. Know the laws and ordinances of your place of destination before arriving at the area. Dont’s be afraid to ask friends or people who have visited the tourist spot you want to visit. Use the Internet or social media to get a glimpse of the rules.

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  1. Be respectful of the local people and customs of the place you are visiting. Don’t be arrogant and presume that you know many things about the site just because you are highly educated, rich, famous, and coming from a developed country.

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  1. Always remember that to become a responsible tourist means you conform to the norms and expectations of the tourist site and not the other way around. This advice is also good for your protection and safety when visiting tourist spots.

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Enjoy your trip, tour, and vacation! God bless!

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Why does society pressure us to conform to it?*

*This post is based on my answer in Quora.com at https://www.quora.com/Why-does-society-pressure-us-to-conform-to-it/answer/Ven-Ballano.

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Answer:

Society must achieve its goals and development plans, articulated in terms of norms, for the promotion of the common good of all its citizens. Thus it pressures people to conform to its social expectations and norms.

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Society has formal and informal norms. The informal norms consist of customs, traditions, or folkways, while the formal norms consist of laws, the state’s official and written social norms. Norms serve important social functions in society. They guarantee social order and integration of people as well as serve as deterrence against crimes and other forms of deviance. All societies, whether primitive or state society, have norms which pressure inhabitants to conform , otherwise they face sanction and punishment by the state’s judicial system.

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Society must have some forms of coercion and pressure to force people to obey the norms and preserve social order, otherwise it would gradually disintegrate due to anarchy and crimes groups.

One must take note that society’s norms or laws by themselves do not necessarily force people to conform. For the German sociologist Max Weber, there is no law without a specialized staff or group of law enforcers who would implement the letter of the law.

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What pressures people to conform to society’s norms lies in the law enforcement system, in the psychological coercion to people’s minds that any criminal or violator who break the law will surely be punished by an efficient police force or group of enforcers.

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Every society has certain long-term and short-term goals as articulated by the government which must be obeyed by people. The goals are legislated into laws by the legislature. These goals must be achieved by the state for the attainment and protection of the common good. That’s why urban democratic society are “ruled by laws, not be men (or women).”

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Democratic and republican societies usually invoked the police power of the state to pressure its citizens to conform to state laws. This is an inherent power of the state that can overrule individual human rights in the name of social welfare, public order, public health, and the common good.

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GIF Credits: Giphy.com

Thank you for reading this post. Subscribe of follow this blog via email for more updates.

Why does society pressure us to conform to it?*

*This post is based on my answer in Quora.com at https://www.quora.com/Why-does-society-pressure-us-to-conform-to-it/answer/Ven-Ballano.

police use GIF

Answer:

Society must achieve its goals and development plans, articulated in terms of norms, for the promotion of the common good of all its citizens. Thus it pressures people to conform to its social expectations and norms.

episode 5 book GIF

Society has formal and informal norms. The informal norms consist of customs, traditions, or folkways, while the formal norms consist of laws, the state’s official and written social norms. Norms serve important social functions in society. They guarantee social order and integration of people as well as serve as deterrence against crimes and other forms of deviance. All societies, whether primitive or state society, have norms which pressure inhabitants to conform , otherwise they face sanction and punishment by the state’s judicial system.

society GIF

Society must have some forms of coercion and pressure to force people to obey the norms and preserve social order, otherwise it would gradually disintegrate due to anarchy and crimes groups.

One must take note that society’s norms or laws by themselves do not necessarily force people to conform. For the German sociologist Max Weber, there is no law without a specialized staff or group of law enforcers who would implement the letter of the law.

super troopers police GIF

What pressures people to conform to society’s norms lies in the law enforcement system, in the psychological coercion to people’s minds that any criminal or violator who break the law will surely be punished by an efficient police force or group of enforcers.

plan b potus GIF by Obama

Every society has certain long-term and short-term goals as articulated by the government which must be obeyed by people. The goals are legislated into laws by the legislature. These goals must be achieved by the state for the attainment and protection of the common good. That’s why urban democratic society are “ruled by laws, not be men (or women).”

using war GIF

Democratic and republican societies usually invoked the police power of the state to pressure its citizens to conform to state laws. This is an inherent power of the state that can overrule individual human rights in the name of social welfare, public order, public health, and the common good.

beach ball riot police GIF

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

Thank you for reading this post. Subscribe of follow this blog via email for more updates.

Some Factors Why Clerical Abuse Persists in the Catholic Church

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1. Introduction

Why many cases of clerical abuse in the Catholic Church remained unresolved  is often attributed to the conspiracy of bishops, supervisory priests, and erring clerics. With this collusion, the reporting and prosecution of cases become difficult and tedious. Cover-up as well as mere transferring of assignment, instead of bringing the accused to justice, seem to be the common response of bishops in dealing with criminal abuse of secular priests such as sexual abuse. Cardinal Law who resigned as Archbishop of Boston on 11 April 2002, for instance, admitted that he just transferred pedophile priests to new parishes despite knowing that they are guilty [1]. Clerical abuse has caused scandals and severe damage to the Church not only spiritually but also financially. Dioceses in the United States, for example, have paid out more than US$2 billion in compensation claims. In July 2007 alone, the Los Angeles diocese paid out US$660 million to 500 victims. In Canada 81 victims at the Mount Cashel Orphanage were paid US$16 million in 2003[2]. Thus, one may ask: Why is clerical abuse persisting in the Catholic Church?

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2. Canonical Standards

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The main legal normative standard in the Catholic Church is the Code of Canon Law. Canon law is the name for the law of the Catholic Church that includes the Code of Canon Law (CCL) and many other canonical documents issued by Popes, Roman Congregations, Bishops’ Conferences and Bishops. “Whereas moral, sacramental and even pastoral theology can only indicate what is fitting and proper conduct, leaving it to each faithful to make responsible use of his freedom to act accordingly” (Achacoso, 2010, p.188). But Canon Law is said to stipulate what is juridically binding and hence owed if not outright enforceable” (Ibid). However, most of the canonical provisions, unlike the state’s penal code, deal with church administration, general norms, hierarchical structure, institutes of consecrated life, and only a few concerning criminal offenses of the clergy such as sexual abuse of minors that require penal punishments.[3]

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One of these provisions include canon 1395 of the 1983 CCL explicitly provides that sexual contact with a minor qualifies as one of four classifications of sexual offenses for which a priest may be permanently removed from the clerical state. The other three grounds include any form of coerced sex, a public offense against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, and continued open concubinage with a woman after an official warning. Permanent removal from the clerical state constitutes one of the most serious penalties contemplated by canon law. Canon 1389 of the 1983 Code also imposes a penalty including deprivation of ecclesiastical office, for bishops or officials who abuse church power or omit through culpable negligence to perform an act of ecclesiastical governance. “A bishop who fails to employ the appropriate provisions of canon law in a case of sexual abuse of a minor is liable to penal sanctions imposed by the Holy See” (Coughlin, 2003, p.980).

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The penalties under CCL against clerical abuse are of two types: expiatory and medicinal. On the one hand, the expiatory penalties aim to deter offenders, to restore right order and to repair the harm caused to the community. They include removing a parish priest because of sexual abuse. Medicinal penalties, on the other hand, are aimed at reforming the offender. They include penalties such as excommunication, interdict, and suspension. Unless they are automatic penalties, the offender must be warned first and told if he carries out this action then he will be suspended (c. 1347) (Daly, 2009, p.34). An excommunication (c. 1331) is the harshest penalty in the Catholic Church. This means that the priest is cut off or expelled from the Church. This sanction is usually reserved for serious cases such as a priest marrying a woman in civil court without authority. An interdict (c.1332) is a medicinal censure that “prohibits a person from ministerial participation in and reception of the sacraments and sacramentals.” A suspension (c.1333) prohibits the clergy from “some or all acts of the power of orders” and the “power of governance,” (such as performing the sacraments or administering Church property), or from “some or all rights or functions attached to their offices” (such as witnessing marriage [4].

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Despite the strict provisions of some canons of CCL against clerical abuse, canonical penalties are only seen by the Church as a last resort when all other pastoral efforts to help the erring individual by warnings, instruction etc. have been exhausted and have failed (c. 1341). Pope Francis’ address to the Roman Rota, the Church ecclesiastical court, for instance, exhorted canon lawyers to consider, above all, mercy and compassion, when applying canonical sanctions to specific cases in the Church (Mckenna, 2015, p.19). This ecclesial attitude towards mercy rather than strict legality implies that the legal standard is not the absolute normative standard in the Church. It is then only one of the many normative criteria to consider when judging misbehavior of priests. Other non-canonical and informal ecclesial norms that do not prescribe penal sanctions must first be explored by bishop-judges or supervisory priests who are handling abuse cases before turning over abusive priests to the civil authority.

2. Non-Canonical Normative Standards

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The Catholic Church as a complex religious institution in society does not only have a legal code but also a myriad of doctrinal, ethical, sacramental, and moral normative standards to judge orthodoxy of human acts and beliefs of church members and priests. It is also surrounded by a variety of the social and cultural norms of society which can influence ecclesiastical decision-making.

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In the absence of a professional judicial system, the varied and conflicting use and applications of the Church’s normative standards by bishops or church officials may not be always subject to judicial review. The CCL has given the bishops or local ordinaries vast discretionary powers in their dioceses to decide cases in their own jurisdictions. The Vatican seldom interferes in local cases unless these erupted into public scandals such as the sexual abuse of priests in the United States that attracted the attention of the Pope and Roman Curia.

Under this environment of normative pluralism, ecclesial investigators then encounter a multiplicity of normative considerations aside from the legal provisions of Code of the Canon Law (CCL), the legal code of the Church, in deciding canonical cases.[5] Legality is not the only criteria for the Church hierarchy in deciding cases, but also morality and, ultimately, the unity of the Church as one Body of Christ. “The Church’s response to clerical abuse undergirds the belief that criminal abuse by clergy should be sanctioned by the Church internally—if at all—in accordance with canonical commands of contrition and forgiveness, and not by civil authorities” (Logan, p. 321-321). The State’s version of legality is not the only standard for Church to judge clerical abuse.

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Aside from the institutional concern of applying appropriate norms and sanctions to specific cases of clerical abuse, the Church also complies with society’s cultural norms and expectations concerning religious institutions. Thus, bishops face with a variety of normative criteria in deciding complex cases of clerical misbehavior. Although the CCL provisions are clear against clerical abuse, such as sexual abuse against minors, the bishops can choose from other religious and cultural normative standards to judge clerical abuse with the view of protecting the image of the Church in society, avoiding public scandals that undermine the moral authority of the Church in society.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

References

[1] The Guardian.2010. “How the Boston Globe exposed the abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church”. Retrieved 3 May 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/apr/21/boston-globe-abuse-scandal-catholic.

[2] Brendan Daly, “Sexual Abuse and Canon Law”, Compass Review 23, (4) (2009), 33. Retrieved 3May 2017, http://compassreview.org/summer09/5.pdf.

[3] Canon law is the of the Catholic Church. It includes the Code of Canon Law and many other canonical documents issued by Popes, Roman Congregations, Bishops’ Conferences and Bishops. The current ecclesiastical code in the Catholic Church is the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church was promulgated on January 25,1983, and went into effect on the First Sunday of Advent that same year (Daly, 2009, p.33). In the Catholic Church, very few rules carry a penalty. Only those few actions that injure the life of the Church or seriously imperil the soul of the offender carry a penalty (King, 2011, p.13).

[4]“Canon 1395 of the 1983 of the 1983 CCL explicitly provide that sexual contact with a minor qualifies as one of four classifications of sexual offenses (the other three include any form of coerced sex, a public offense against the 6th commandment, continued open concubinage with a woman after an official warning) for which a priest may be permanently removed the clerical state (Coughlin, 2003, p.980).

[5] See Code of Canon Law. Available at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_INDEX.HTM.

[6] Canon Law, Crimes, and Fitting Punishments. Retrieved from http://www.ewtn.com/library/CANONLAW/zfitpunish.HTM.


 What is the Role of Law in Social and Structural Sins in the Philippines?

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The Difference between  Social Sins and Structural Sins?

       Although both social and structural sins share the same nature as having to do with systems and social groups of people in society, Church documents imply that social sins and structural or “structures of sin” are slightly different. Social sins are the sins committed by social agents in a social network, while structural sin is the sinful social situation–the by-product of social sins. In short, social sin refers more to the sinful agency of actors conniving in a social network to commit social injustice while structural sin or structures of sin refer to the unjust social order produced by social sins. Thus, the conspiracy of public official to circumvent the law on public bidding in order earn kickbacks in government contract is the social sin, while the unjust legal structure created by this manipulation in bidding in which private bidders who deserve to win the contract because they offer the lowest bid with high quality product or service and thus beneficial to the government is the structural sin or “structure of sin”. At the losing end are the people who receive low quality but expensive public service or product. If this has to do with public works, it can pose danger to safety to ordinary citizens. Substandard roads and bridges  built by winning contractors and their cohorts in government bent only in earning millions of pesos in overpriced contracts are hazardous to life.

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Another example of social sin is the so-called “palakasan” (patronage). In job promotion, for instance, only those with strong connections with the top managers can be easily promoted even if they are not qualified in the position. Those who are qualified and hardworking and who deserve a promotion are bypassed because they are not protégés of the powerful. Thus, the sin of “palakasan” is connected to another social sin called the “bata system”. The structural sin or structure of sin here would the highly unjust and biased promotion system in the company.

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On paper, laws and policies seem to be just. But in actual social practice, these laws are interpreted and implemented by people–and this where biases and social ties tainted by sinful human tendencies that social and structural sins manifest.

The Role of Law in Social and Structural Sins

Very often structural sins involve the creation of immoral laws by the powerful who controls the status quo. Law has the characteristic of fixing social life and ordering it for the benefit of its lawmakers. The legalization of abortion in some countries, for instance, is the work of law lobbied and supported by people and groups who favor abortion. Individuals as well as public and private agencies and networks affiliated with the abortion industry create a structure of sin fixed by law. From the Catholic point of view, this set-up is immoral though legal. Once a proposed law or bill is approved by the Philippine President and published, it becomes a effective statute or law created by legislative body. And since law, according to critical theory, is hegemonic or has the capacity to sideline other forms of knowledge and norms of conduct including morality, it would then be very difficult for others who oppose the abortion law to change it. This is probably the fear behind why the Church is strongly against the RH or Reproductive Health or Responsible Parenthood Law passed Philippine Congress. Once it became a law, the Church hierarchy fears that some immoral aspects of the law would be fixed in Philippine society.

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It is of public knowledge that big business lobby Philippine Congress to pass laws which favor their business interests. They often hire lobbyists and bribe lawmakers directly and indirectly to have their bills passed and signed into law by the President. The Expanded Value Added law is viewed by many people as legalizing an unjust situation in which the poor and rich alike pay the same indirect tax for consuming goods without regard to the difference in wealth and income. The vested interest behind this law can be traced structurally as far as the World Bank which pressures the Philippine government to pass this law in order that the latter can lessen its budget deficit and thus be able to pay its huge foreign debt to multilateral institutions.

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The primary duty then for the Christian in the area of legislation is to evaluate any bill filed in Congress whether it is just or unjust, moral or immoral. If it is unjust and immoral, s/he has the moral duty to lobby against its passage in both houses of the legislature. S/he would be doing a great service to the Church and society, if s/e prevents the passage of a law which fixes an unjust situation or social injustice into a “structure of sin.”

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