Gift children with books instead of toys, parents urged

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MANILA, Nov. 25, 2012—Just like plastic guns that subtly promote violence among boys, the pregnant dolls being sold in the market nowadays are subtly sending a wrong message about pregnancy among girls.

In an interview with YouthPinoy, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon discouraged the giving of “preggy dolls” to young girls as he said that these send a wrong message about getting pregnant.

“I haven’t seen one, but from the looks of it, these ‘preggy dolls’ are not to be encouraged as Christmas gifts, especially to young (unmarried) people! they do send a wrong message, which is, ‘it’s ok to get pregnant!’” he said.

Baylon clarified that pregnancy is a “wonderful” thing, but it must be seen always in the context of Christian marriage in order to be properly understood and appreciated.

“Pregnancy is never a wonderful thing outside of marriage,” he added.

The chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), Baylon encouraged parents to give children books instead of toys like the “preggy dolls” and guns to promote the habit of reading.

“Surely there are many other gifts we can give our children this Christmas than just toys. For a change, I would like to suggest that parents give their children books this Christmas,” he said.

“Let us encourage our children to return to and appreciate the habit of reading books, a practice that is slowly but surely dying — because of the phenomenal influence of the digital world on the young, where visuals rather than words are most attractive and powerful,” Baylon added.

The prelate even recommended the book titled “PEDRO CALUNGSOD, Patron for the Filipino Youth”, by Fr. Salvador G. Agualada, Jr., CMF.

“With this book we introduce our young people to our second Filipino saint who they can identify with, whose life can inspire theirs, and whose witness to the faith they can look up to and emulate. San Pedro Calungsod was himself a very young person — perhaps only 17 or 18 years old — when he offered his life for the faith on April 2, 1672,” he said.

“They — our young people — can learn a lot from him. And this book will help them get to know him,” Baylon added.

Baylon suggested to give older youths or those about to make major decisions in life books to deepen their Christian faith, such as the “Catechism for Filipino Catholics.”

“Especially in this Year of Faith, to which our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has invited us, and during which we are being called to deepen, celebrate and give witness to our faith, our young people would merit much if they get to know about the teachings of the catholic Church. And a book they can get hold of is the ‘Catechism for Filipino Catholics,’” he said.

“Or else the Holy Bible is still one of the best — if not the best — gift we can ever give someone we love and who we wish to grow as a son or daughter of God, and a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, not ashamed to share his/her faith to others, nor afraid to defend it before a world that can sometimes be (at best) indifferent if not totally opposed to it,” he added. (YouthPinoy)

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