The biggest piece of news for the day is the vigil/rally that members of the Iglesia ni Cristo held on EDSA last night. The mass of people was so immense that it caused a gridlock in Manila’s busiest high-ways; trapping people on the road.
This is causing so much controversy online that it’s almost impossible for people not to get passionate on either side. Personally, I’ve always been averse to religious groups demonstrating on behalf of their faith, especially when it hampers the lives of people who don’t have a stake in what the group is fighting for.
Now, living in Manila for 25 years has made me numb to the inane need for the faithful to proclaim their beliefs – mostly I just ignore them – as do most other people. But, the INC take their shenanigans to a completely different level that ignoring them is just impossible.
The group already has an infamous reputation for helping form the political culture of the country through their practice of bloc voting, which they of course deny. It’s, however, displays like this “vigil” that prove what most people already suspect about the group and its members – they just do whatever they’re told.
Granted, I do say that anyone referring to a faith-based system of belief for guidance on EVERY aspect of daily life have no ability to think for themselves. But, to the credit of other religions there’s at least an attempt at trying to understand the issues confronting its members. No such attempt is ever made with the INC, and it’s given its members a warped understanding of reality – or an even more warped version of reality anyway.
The main point of contention stems from the purpose of the rally. A few days ago some ex-ministers of the church filed a complaint with the DOJ about mis-treatment from current ministers.
As its their directive to investigate complaints filed with them, the DOJ went about its job…which is wrong apparently.
Most of the rallyists claim that the investigation is a violation of the separation of Church and State and that the government should leave the internal politics of the INC alone. This not only betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Separation of Church and State, it also displays how idiotic people can get en masse.
FIrst of all, yes the Separation of Church and State is a concept that supposedly prevents religious institutions from exerting influence over government to prevent the corruption and prejudice of European monarchies in the past. Likewise, governments can’t dictate what its citizens should believe.
The reason why this case is NOT a Separation issue is because THIS IS NOT A MATTER OF FAITH! It’s one person lodging a criminal complaint against someone else. This literally happens everyday. The only reason this is an issue is because the defendant is an INC official and he wants the charges dropped.
This is one of the most blatant examples of corruption in recent memory, and the biggest tragedy is all the people at that rally are more than happy to oblige. But, the most brain dead thing about the whole issue is how the members actually try to defend this idiocy.
There have been some attempts to liken this protest to the People Power Revolution
The problems with this are obvious. People Power is about defending human rights from a dictator after years of censorship and oppression. The INC rally came together because they got a text massage to go there.
The location of the protests doesn’t even make sense. The DOJ is on Padre Faura, Malacanang is in San Miguel; Why the hell are you protesting on EDSA? This all reeks of nothing more than using the masses to exert pressure on the DOJ.
It’s sickening, stupid, and corrupt. This is the definition of herd mentality and the very reason why democracy continues to fail in this country. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, religion dulls the mind and the world will be better off the sooner it’s gone.