by: Fredrik J. Pinakunary
Partner of the Fredrik J. Pinakunary Law Offices
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed (Martin Luther King Jr.). This phrase seems to represent the “struggle” of many people who demanded to revoke the Family Resilience Bill. Instead of providing protection and creating high-quality family resilience, the bill has the potential to destroy family life. It is possible to happen because such a private matter is intruded without an accountable basis. If the bill is validated, it would not be surprising to see a husband reporting his wife to law enforcers because that the wife fails to carry out her obligations to fulfill his rights (inner living) according to their religious norms. Also, it would not be surprising to see a wife complaining about her husband for reasons such as not being responsible for providing for the family’s welfare (Article 25).
A negative mind will never give you a positive life (Joice Meyer). It is no exaggeration to say that the regulation concerning the rights and obligations of a husband and a wife in the bill departs from the prejudice that husbands and wives in this country are individuals who are not very responsible in carrying out their roles in the family. However, even though the reality of familial life and the level of responsibility of spouses are still not as expected, it does not necessarily mean that they are so incompetent that their private affairs should be intervened by the State; it does not mean that the state has the right to “enter” the bedroom since it is is the private domain of each individual that must be respected by the state.
The rights and obligations of family members are regulated in the scriptures of each religion. One of the scriptures teaches a wife to submit to her husband as to God because a husband is the head of the household just as God is the head of the congregation. Therefore, just as the congregation is subject to God, so does the wife to the husband in everything. Husbands are taught to love their wives as they love their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself because one never hates their own body, but nourishes and cares for it, just as God does for humans. The explanation of this scripture has always been given in the houses of worship. Hence, do politicians think that they understand more about private matters in the lives of the people than the scriptures revealed to religious scholars who enlighten the people with the truth? If later on the rights and obligations of a husband and wife are forced to be regulated in the Law, which religion’s version will be used as its basis? What if the version of the Act is contradictory or not in accordance with the teachings of one of the religions and legitimate beliefs? Does the State have the right to adjudicate someone who has acted according to the teachings of their religion but does not comply with the law?
The Rise of Moral “Police”
In Articles 86-87, perpetrators of sexual deviations including LGBT must be reported or report themselves to an institution appointed by the government to obtain treatment or care. It is almost impossible to think that LGBT people will voluntarily report themselves to such institution because in their minds they are not sick and does not need to be treated. For the politicians who propose this bill, they need to know that that the existence of individuals belonging in the LGBT group is not appropriate to be opposed by the law. Do not curse the darkness but light a candle. Do not curse and treat them as criminals. Touch their hearts and souls with love and truth that sets them free and leads them to the right path. The approach taken in the bill is not right, instead, it has the potential to give rise to “moral polices” who feel entitled to carry out “law enforcement” in their own way which could be anarchist and can be argued to be done under the pretext of enforcing the law.
Creating a high-quality family resilience cannot be built on the concepts and regulations of do’s and don’ts because every human being has the free will to do good or bad. A high-quality family can only be built from intimate relationships and fellowship between each individual and the creator. Intimacy with God will bring out the spirit of wisdom that enables every human being to use his free will properly which is not only in harmony with the moral standards of human creation but moreover it is in accordance with the ultimate truth value of God. The spirit of wisdom dwells in the hearts of everyone who has a close relationship and fellowship with God and it is that spirit that guides each individual to become a husband, wife, or a child of noble character who can carry out the provisions in the draft bill without having to enforce it through the enactment of a law. Finally, all matters relating to privacy and character shall become the domain of religious teachings and beliefs instead of it being taken over by the state.